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.
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.