Lori Johnson is driving the same car she bought twenty-one years ago--a Toyota black 1988 pickup. And her friends can not believe its amazing, pristine condition, says she. In this bad economy, they maybe are more than a bit jealous she payed the auto long ago...
"I haven't done a ton of replacing things; I do maintenance," says Johnson, the owner of Ladies Start Your Engines, a car repair class yes... for women. "My engine's still the original engine. I just change the oil every 3,000 miles on that thing. That was what was recommended back then, and it just keeps running and running and running."
"The challenge is that there really isn't an end in sight yet, and so the confidence on the consumer side is extremely low," James Clark, the general manager of research company Automotive Lease Guide - Santa Barbara, in Calif.
"What people don't realize is [driving with an old filter is] like choking your engine," affirms Johnson. "If air can't get into the engine because it's blocked by this dirty air filter, then you're not going to get as good of performance, and you might even feel hesitation when you're driving, or it will just feel like the car is dragging."
"You have a lot of gaskets in the motor and the transmission in the rear end, so if it's not warmed up, driven to proper temperatures ... what happens is those gaskets contract" says Tony Begley, the Muscle Car Club president and classicmusclecars.com owner. "When they contract, then you're getting transmission leaks, engine oil pan leaks, intake manifold leaks, exhaust leaks, everything."
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