Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vehicle Repairs

   I own two old vehicles.  I have a 95 Chevy Corsica and an 84 Chevy K-10 Custom Deluxe pickup.  I love old cars for a few reasons.  One is their body style.  Old vehicles have a certain body style that reminds me of a time when life was simpler.  We didn't really have to impress anyone, they didn't come with all of these fancy gadgets that vehicles come with nowadays.  They had really only two motives functionality and simplicity.  Cars of old didn't come with computers that controlled absolutely everything to do with your vehicle.  They basically just monitored the sensors and that was about it if your vehicle even had a computer. These days cars come with computers slightly more advanced that a home computer it seems.  Which brings me to the other reason I love old vehicles... their inherent simplicity to repair.

  My Corsica has a very simplistic computer.  I can do virtually all of the repair work myself.  For instance in this vehicle I am in the process of replacing the head gasket.  I was able to disassemble the cylinder head and  all of the components that bolt to it myself, took the head to get checked and milled, pop on the new gasket and now all that is needed is to put her all back together, flush and refill the cooling system, change the oil and oil filter, change the spark plugs and wires and drive the hell out of her.  This vehicle saved me a ton of money in gas which is one of many reasons for my love for her.  Her blowing the head gasket however is the reason I purchased my truck.

  My truck is a whole other animal all together.  She is quite literally a beast.  However, she is thirty years old and even though she only has 91,000 original miles and is basically in stock condition it's about time some of those old factory parts start failing.  First was the lower radiator hose, a very cheap and easy fix.  Next came the starter and after I finally got the right starter for her it was a matter of minutes before she was running again.  Recently however, the fuel pump went out.  This should have been a twenty minute job but took me two days.  If you are ever working on your vehicle do me a favor and be very careful with your fittings and bolts.  The steel line running from the fuel pump to the carberator was cross threaded at the pump and the bolt had been stripped.  I finally had to remove the smog pump (freeing up a small amount of horsepower) and the alternator and take the whole line off while still attached to the pump,  I was able to have a new line made out of hydraulic hose and zip tied it off of the manifold.  She is running like new now and I'm saving a little in gas with the new pump.  The bottom line is old vehicles save money with cheaper repairs you can do yourself, they are usually better on emissions if you live in a region where you have to do that, and they are fun to drive and restore.  If you are in the market for a new vehicle I would say forgo the new car and get an old one. 


  1. Much appreciated... I feel like people underestimate the benefit of driving older vehicles.