How your car ages
Cars age differently. How they age is a directly related to the environment in which they operate. Cars operating in the northeast of the continent, for example, tend to rust and corrode due to the chemicals we use on our winter roads. Cars in the south tend to dry out; the constant exposure to the sun and heat dry the leathers and plastics that make up much of our cars’ interiors.
On recent trip to Florida I was amazed at how many vehicles suffered from cracked dashboards, cracked and torn seats, ripped and damaged roofs. Rubber components such as window gaskets etc. all suffered greatly. Each area of the country affects your vehicle differently. The trick is maintaining your car to prevent environmental damage. After all, what can be better for the environment than not have to replace your ride prematurely?
Q: I’m into older cars and I have heard that cars from the southern states have rust-free examples. Have you had any experience with bringing cars in from the US? What should I be looking for?
A: Back in the ’ 70s my father was into classics. He did import a lot of cars from the US. The most important lesson here is to buy as much car as you can. That is, buy the best car you can afford. Restoring cars is hard and insanely expensive. Parts are hard to find and more costly than gold. If you’re looking for a project, most of the good stuff is gone. With popularity of the classic car auctions most of the great cars available have been bought and are under restoration. I would attend the local cruise nights and markets; you might have more success.
Q: I’ve been having trouble with my ride. I start my car and let it idle. After five minutes it will get a rough idle and stall. I try to restart and it will not catch. After letting the car cool down or waiting 20 minutes, it will start normally. I do not use this car very often and leave it parked in my garage for extended periods of time. Once restarted, it will run as normal.
A: Thanks for your question. It’s really hard to diagnose this without access to the car; however, your situation is very characteristic of a failing sensor. Look for a pick-up coil failure when hot. What you’re looking for is a lack of spark in the no-start condition. Best thing here would be to use a scan tool and check for pulse. If you have spark, then focus on the fuel system. Weak pump or plugged lines. Seek the help of a pro.