: Aging.... I know it is impossible to prevent, but how do I cope with it?



durrk johnson
06-21-06, 02:19 PM
Well, My car is now 26 years old... Older than myself.

And I know around this time it is normal for little problems to arise for my car but How do I go about getting them solved? It seems that if I take it to a cadillac dealership like people are telling me too, that these problems will drain my pockets...

Here are a few of the little problems Im talking about....

-Blinkers dont work, I think its because one of the four bulbs are burnt out which caused them all to malfunction, which means I have to tap the blinker manually...
-Alignments slightly off...
-Power seat doesnt work anymore, when buttons are pushed there is a click for power but the seat doesnt move. Could be off track...
-Power antenna doesnt go down.
-Trunk wont stay open, one of the sides leaks air...
-Heat/AC no longer work.... They were both working a couple months ago, then sometime later they stopped working... Makes hissing noise when switched on and off but fans wont blow...
-Damn armrests cracking...
-Windshield washer ejaculators stopped working last month... Only one squirts out a little bit of washer fluid.
-I smell oil burning sometimes... dont see any leaks but then again I can smell it sometimes.
-I hear some piece of metal vibrating under my car sometimes in idle, like somethings loose... usually its quiet but maybe I should check that out...

-Not to mention all of the maintenence work i need to get done...

My car looks great for its age, it was almost mint until I got it, but how should I go about solving these minor problems that have been building up?

BluEyes
06-21-06, 03:09 PM
Maintenance is the answer. Yes, older cars take more money in operating costs, but it's still less than a new car payment if you learn how to do as much as you can yourself.

The blinkers is the blinker flasher (yes, that's what it's called) a burnt-out bulb will just make it blink faster. It is somewhere under the dash on the drivers side, maybe in the fuse box. There should be two - one for your 4-way flasher, and one for the turn signals. If your 4-way flashers work, find and switch them and the turn signals should work again, then get a new one at the parts store.

Easiest way to fix the alignment is to go to a tire shop and get the car aligned.

To fix the ejaculators (haha) first disconnect the rubber lines from the washer pump and try the washer. If both squirt, then your problem is the nozzles, otherwise the pump needs to be fixed.

If it's the nozzles, try taking them off and cleaning the nozzle with a pin. I found that boiling them in water also helped with mine, but mine are metal. If there's also lots of crud in the squirter you might want to check if the filter screen on the inlet tube in the washer fluid bottle is still there.

The pump is a bit harder, but they do sell washer pump rebuild kits in the parts stores. There's just a few rubber bits in there that can wear out with time.

Metal vibrating under the car is more than likely the heat shield around the catylitic converter. They can get loose and rattle. A hose clamp might fix it, or some bailing wire for a low-budget fix, otherwise head to the exhaust shop.
Another culprit may be a broken or loose exhaust pipe mount. Litle rubber doohickies that hold the exhaust in place. If they mess up, then the exhaust can sometimes rattle against the frame and sound horrible.

I've gotta head off and help a friend replace the alternator on his car, but you get the idea. Maybe other members can chime in and help you with the other problems. They don't sound that hard, and with a little bit of effort you should be able to stay ahead of aging and keep the car looking nice. Oh, one last thing: if you plan to keep this car long-term, head over to e-bay and find a factory service manual and a fisher body manual for your year. They have all the stuff you need to know to take the car completley apart and put it back together again. My '70 manual even has troubleshooting advice for most systems that would lead you through alot of figuring out what exactly is wrong and how to fix it. It is truly invaluable information to have.

brougham
06-21-06, 04:12 PM
A lot of that stuff sounds pretty easy to fix and you can do it yourself. For the rest see if you can find a garage to take it to. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone who can work on it.

For the blinker just look around the outside of the car and see what bulb is burnt out. If there's a bulb burnt out you're right it will make it not work. A garage can check the alignment for you. When you press the buttons for the power seat do you hear the sat trying to move at all? If it's just the track you can get another one form a junk yard and change it but you might want to use a volt meter or a test light first to make sure that it's even getting power and it's not something else wrong. Lots of posts about broken power antennas. Do a search for them. When you're at the junk yard for the seat parts look for a good arm rest too. When you're there you can think about any other parts you might need. Like you can get parts for the windshield washer or any other parts that look better then yours.