Love Your Car Again: 10 Ways to Reignite That Spark

Why spend money on a new car when you can fall in love with your old car all over again? Green with envy? Try a new paint job. Think you need an SUV to transport your bike? Install a roof rack.  We have the list of 10 ways to reignite the spark between you and your current vehicle.

Fall in Love Again

I’ve been in love with the Diamond Star Motor (Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon, Plymouth Laser) platform since I was 12 or 13. I now own my second Eclipse and just the other day I decided to crack open its owner’s manual. And what do you know — there’s a ton of interesting stuff in there!

After reading just a few pages, I already found something I didn’t know! Apparently, my car has a G-sensor — just like the famous Nissan GTR and the new C7 Corvette — under the dash. Now I want to see if I can pull live data off it to see how many Gs I’m producing at any given moment — the number will be tiny (my car isn’t too fast) but it would still be pretty cool to see!

I also found out tons of other cool stuff. The car actually has two antennae for the radio. It also has heated door mirrors. And you’re not supposed to use a cell phone in the car because it can cause car electronics to work improperly and you could die as a result! All interesting stuff!

With all this new information, I have even less desire to upgrade or sell my current car. I’ve just now found out about so many cool new features to use!

I already love my car quite a lot. But for those of you who are longing to upgrade your car just because, this list will probably keep you from wanting one of those stupid new cars. Here’s how to love your car again:

1. Find out Fun Facts

Did Kanye West drive your type when he was your age? Do you drive a Toyota Camry? Did you know it’s actually an anagram?  camry = my car.

2. Hit up the Forums

My favorite forum is DSMtuners.com. There, I get to chat about my car with people who are very passionate about the platform. They also help me diagnose and repair my car when it breaks and I don’t know what to do.

3. Test Its Limits

One thing I see people my age doing all the time is buying a high horsepower replacement car when they haven’t even tested the performance of their current car. Unless you’ve pushed your car to its limit and found it extremely lacking, why do you want more horsepower? On the other end of the spectrum, have you tried to attach a roof rack to your current car instead of buying an SUV? Cars with roof racks and bicycles on them look pretty sweet, in my opinion.

4. Do Small Modifications

Are there a few things you hate about your car? Could you solve those shortcomings pretty easily? Do it! Maybe you want heated seats — get ’em! Maybe you want a place to sync your iPhone to your car — mount an iPad in the dash!

Related Articles: Should you give your car a vinyl wrap or paint it? (cost breakdown)

5. Get It Squeaky Clean

Vacuum and wash your ol’ car. Like my grandpa tells me, “Cars just seem to run better when they’re clean. They don’t run any better but, boy, they feel like they do.” Plus, I find when I clean my car, I gain more appreciation for it. It’s hard to explain, but putting your own time and effort into a car will make you appreciate it more.

6. Get It Checked Out/Check It Out Yourself

I know quite a few people who after college bought a new car. Out of curiosity, I ask them why. They say that they just weren’t sure if they trusted their old car or not.

Instead of buying a $25,000 replacement, spend a little money getting your car thoroughly inspected by a mechanic. Have a mechanic perform all the maintenance and check for anything that looks out of place. (You could also do this yourself.) Then you’ll have complete peace of mind when embarking on your next road trip! I’d go anywhere in my ’99 with 169,000 miles now that I’ve done this step.

7. Fix Even the Small Stuff

You know the rear wiper, how it bolts to the car? My plastic cover for that 10mm bolt was missing (probably got blown off when power washing). Well, I had one left over from my last Eclipse (no idea how). I slapped it on the car and, wow, it actually makes a nice improvement to the exterior of the car. It looks so much more complete.

There are a lot of little things that may annoy you about your car. Perhaps the passenger electric window is broken. Maybe the headlamps are cloudy. Get that stuff fixed and you’ll be rid of all the annoyances that make you want to get a new car. Buying a new car because the power window stopped working? Palleeeaase!

8. Get a New Paint Job

I was watching Suze Orman a few years ago. Some guy called in wanting a new car. She told him to save for the new car and, if need be, he could respray his current car if it looked bad. That could hold him over for a few years. I’m mixed about Suze Orman but I agreed with her on this.

Related Article: Cheap Car Paint Job Options: Both Pro and DIY Options + Prices Listed and Where Can I Get My Car Painted? At These Places (Local to Most)

9. Read the Owner’s Manual

Like I said before, the owners manual will flush out some crazy features of the car you never knew you had! And it’ll help you make the car last longer by learning how to take proper care of it. Shoot, I didn’t even know I had heated mirrors and I’ve owned a second generation Eclipse since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, er, 16.

10. Get a New Set of Wheels

I’m not referring to an entire car when I say wheels. Just the wheels. Wheels completely transform the appearance of a car!!! Go on Craigslist (better yet, SearchTempest) and you can find some pretty awesome wheels for cheap. Just go to the forums first to find out if the wheels you find will fit your car (and look good). Most forums have a section for Photoshop requests. Talented young graphic designers are eager to showcase their skills.

love your car
Factory wheels…
love your car again
…new aftermarket wheels!

 

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21 comments

  • Laurel Larsen says:

    I for one love to drive a nice, clean car. However, I don’t often have the time to get it as clean as I would like to. Also, cleaning not just the interiors and exteriors, but the engine as well as can really help it run better! I need to remember to take my car in for detailing on a regular basis.

  • I like what you said about modifying your car to meet your needs or “make the car more livable”. There are definitely a few things that I would like to update on my BMW. I’ll have to find a reliable car shop in my area that I can take it to.

  • Guy Gardener says:

    These are great tips for how to love on your car. Getting a good and trustworthy mechanic to help you with a couple of these is important too. You wouldn’t take your child in to any random doctor for a check up, and it’s a similar situation. You need to look up and check out a few different people to make sure they are the right one for your car.

  • I love the part where you said to spend a little money and get my car looked at by a mechanic. I haven’t really been liking my car lately because it just hasn’t been running too well lately. That being said, I really appreciate you talking about this and letting me know that I should have someone take a look at it. I’ll make sure I take my car in right away.

  • Veronica Marks says:

    These are all great tips, but the one about making your car squeaky clean is my favorite! It might be because it’s relatively inexpensive, but there’s something about a perfectly cleaned car that makes it feel like a whole new car again! My parents just gave us their old minivan, and one of the first things we did was get it detailed. Best decision ever! Thanks for a great article!

  • Meg Lund says:

    I have been thinking about re-painting my car, however, I didn’t know what it would cost or what means I would need to do this. Do you, by chance, know this information? I was once told it’s cheaper to buy a new car than to re-do the paint, but here, you suggest that it is actually the other way around. Thanks for your insights in this article!

    • William Lipovsky says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      If paint costs more than the car is worth – don’t do it. Paint will run anywhere from 1k-3k, depending on the amount of prep-work needed. Sounds like you’re better off getting a different car.

  • Brandon Roberts says:

    I love how you talked about adding a roof rack to your car. I honestly am getting super bored of my car. I have been driving it for 7 years now, and I want to start adding some things to it to spark that interest back up. And I think adding a roof rack would do just that! Thanks a ton for giving me this idea.

    • William Lipovsky says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      No worries! Let us know how you get on! I really, really want a roof rack as well but I don’t need one. :/ I just think they look cool lol.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    LOL, the Eagle Talon was my dream car 20+ years ago!! Red, of course. #5 and #7 are my favorites on this list. There’s nothing like a good cleaning and sprucing up some little repair stuff to put the love back into an old car.

  • Often the best way to love your car again is to look at new car prices and car payments. Once you see those, the ‘old’ car looks pretty good.

    • William Lipovsky says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      That’s so true. I usually think a new BMW looks pretty good but not near as good as a healthy bank account.

  • Jason Vitug says:

    I totally agree that cleaning the car and paying close attention to detail can make one fall back in love with an oldie.

  • Ha, my passenger car window was broken for years, then suddenly started working again out of the blue. I’m the weirdo that purchased the car like that, so it’s definitely not a reason to buy a new car. I agree that cleaning your car and generally taking care of it will help!

  • I totally love my car as is, but it’s getting older (and more expensive, with upkeep), so one of the ways I keep the loving feeling going is by getting it cleaned! It really makes a difference – and I always get the new car freshener in it too 🙂

  • Making the car clean inside and outside will certainly make it more fun to drive the car I think. 🙂

  • Ben Luthi says:

    Our 98 Civic has been on the chopping block for a while, but we just got a new battery for it and we’re looking to get one of the tires fixed. As long as it’s cheap, I may learn to love it again.

    • William Lipovsky says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Honda, FTW! You gotta love how efficient those little Civic’s are! If you ever sell, keep me in mind. 😉

  • We got a free car from our inlaws (I know, lucky right?), so we put our old car up for sale.

    After having it fixed up multiple times,c leaning the interior and taking it for somereal test it out drives I was starting to fall back in love with it. Not that we would have sold it otherwise, but we hadn’t been giving the old car the attention it deserved.

    • William Lipovsky says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Score!!! Sounds like when my parents let me drive their Oldsmobile 98 for awhile. I disliked the car quite a lot until I started giving it some well-deserved TLC.

      I bet your car has been pretty well looked after. Were your in-laws the first owners?