So, I have recently become obsessed with late 1970's to early 1980's station wagons. Every time I see one, I want to run to it and give it hugs and
kisses. I want one.
To tell you the truth, I don't know much about cars other than how to perform basic fixes, fluid refills, filter/tire changes, etc. I would like to
learn how to actually diagnose and fix my own car when something goes wrong, though.
The car I currently have is a late '90s 2-door coupe which I've owned for 12 years. It's a nice little fella by the name of Sparky, and has been very
tried and true. The only problem is that Sparky has some plastic parts. These plastic parts are in the habit of breaking fairly frequently. For
example: the plastic pins on my door panels have fallen off like 2-3x on each door. It sucks to have to wrestle with the door panel every time I open
or shut it until I can find time to take the car in to get the pins reordered or replaced. There are also problems with various rubber or plastic
strips and seals coming unglued or unpinned and just flying away as I'm driving. It's pretty annoying. My car, unfortunately, is looking pretty sad at
this point. Still drives beautifully though.
There are also some strange wiring or computer problems where lights blink randomly or dings ding randomly or some of the gauges stop working when I
go over a bump or something. I don't know how to fix these things, and no mechanic has ever fixed them or told me what has caused them. Granted, every
time I've brought the car in, of course, the problem cannot be reproduced.
So, while I love my car and could probably keep it running for another 20 years, I am seriously considering giving it away to someone and purchasing
an old vehicle whose parts all work together without any computerized interference and with a lesser amount of plastic included in the model.
I like my buddies from the Volvo 240 series the best:
But would settle for one of these sweethearts in the Mercedes 300 or 350 series:
My real questions are:
- What is the model year range of vehicles I should aim for when looking for a non-computerized vehicle?
- What are some things I should look at when inspecting each vehicle before a test-drive or purchase?
- What are some things I should listen for during a test drive?
- I've heard that it is better to get an older automatic than an older manual - what is the truth in this?
- What suggestions do you have for me?
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
edit on 4/11/2012 by ottobot because: (no reason given)