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Just bought a new car. Want it to last forever

Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, our 97 Merc Sable has finally gone to pasture. For the sake of venting, here is the list of shit I've had to replace/fix in the 4 years I've owned this piece of shit:
*Transmission (rebuilt)
*Spark Plug Wires
*Oil Pan Gasket
*Ball Joints (plus new tires)
*Catalytic Converters
*Tie Rod Ends
*Headlight (collision with shopping cart)
*Alternator (rear-ended at stoplight)
*Back Bumper (same)

And the straw that broke the camels back was transmission failure, which would require a rebuild. Again. Fuck that car.

So now we are the proud owners of an '09 Yaris. Love the car, got a great deal on it. Plan on driving it forever and ever and ever.

I'm looking for all I can do to make this car last a long-ass time. Here's what I already do:

*Plan on changing the oil religiously. Dealership will pay for our first oil change and every third one after that for a little while, so I'll be taking it to the dealer for oil changes for the next little while.

*Neither I nor the Ms. drive like an asshole. No jackrabbit starts, minimal hard braking, we pretty much just drive the speed limit

*Trying to get in the habit of checking the tire pressure every other fill-up or so.

Some specific concerns I have:
*I live in Minnesota, which means cold and snow and salt. Will getting my car washed after they salt the roads help stave off rust? Should I get the car rust-proofed before this winter?

*Anything I can do to keep the transmission alive longer, other than following the scheduled maintenance plan? Maybe it's just because the tranny was the point of failure on our old car, but it's such an expensive repair I'd really prefer never to have to pay for another transmission :P

Monolithic_Dome on


  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Rust proofing is a total racket. Just get the car washed after a heavy salting, you'll be fine.

    Pretty much just follow the scheduled maintenance religiously, and learn how to check all the fluids (coolant, power steering, brake, transmission, oil). It's a simple thing to do that can save you a lot of money.

    Also, make sure that you get your brake fluid flushed every two years regardless of mileage. Many people overlook it, and it can be bad news if you don't. Like, "Oh shit my brakes aren't working!" bad news.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you're going to drive the car till its wheels fall off it's very likely that the transmission will have to be rebuilt at some point over the cars lifetime. There may be people who put 100K or 200K miles on their car and never have to do anything to the tranny other than flush it every few years, but that would be the exception and not the rule.

    Your best bet would be to follow all the recommended maintenance schedules and put away $25-50/month into a car repair fund, so that by the time the warranty ran out you'd have enough dough to deal with a major repair.

    Djeet on
  • KidDynamiteKidDynamite Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Good advice already.

    Check fluids regularly, pay attention to any "Weird" noises that you hear.

    Oil changes, go synthetic if you are able.

    No car will last forever, but with the right TLC it should last a long long time.

    Congrats on getting out of the Sable. Family member had one, and it was a P.O.S.

    Also, not sure how "new" the Yaris model is, but keep up to date on recalls, or Service Bulletins. I had a 99 CR-v that the key started messing up, looked online, and ta-da covered under recall. Fixed-for-free.

    KidDynamite on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Just keep up on the service, learn the car soyou know when there's a weird noise/change. Get good tires.

    MichaelLC on
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  • -Phil--Phil- Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Maybe think about getting a little journal and keeping it in your glove box. Keep track of all of your scheduled maintenance with date and mileage included. Check your fluids regularly.

    -Phil- on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you live in Minnesota, the only way you're going to be able to hang onto it "forever" is if you park it in the garage in September and don't pull it out again until May.

    Thanatos on
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I read somewhere once that leaving your car in the garage overnight after driving in salt and such can actually make the rust problem worse because the heat melts all the snow/packed dirt/salt. The thing I read said your best bet is to leave the car out. No idea if that's really the best thing for your car though.

    Scrublet on
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  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    There is a substance called POR-15 that is utterly amazing - a thorough underbody coating requires stripping the car of most stuff, but an in-car coating actually isn't that difficult - you just need to remove all the interior...

    Anyways, POR-15 is chemically constructed to bond to the paint, and it works in the most awesome way. We have a truck that had it coated about 8 years ago and there is not one speck of rust underneath - still a shiny coat of black.

    1ddqd on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I don't think rust should be much of a concern. I have a '98 Corolla that I've parked outside almost all the time since '04 and I have little/no rust. I live in MN as well and parked it outside throughout the winter. I'd be surprised if you ever had any transmission problems. I think its uncommon to ever have to do anything to a transmission (besides routine maintenance).

    Cauld on
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