There Can Be Only One

…and in this economy, it ain’t gonna be a new one, that’s for sure.

“Who wants to live forever?”

Freddy Mercury asked the question many moons ago, and my car stood up, and stated “by golly, that sounds like a grand idea.” Yes, it can be done, using nothing more than simple common sense (which today is rarer than many of the parts I’d need if things kept breaking as the miles added up). Yes, now you too can be the highlander of vehicle ownership.

The latest Motorbooks Workshop release, How to Make Your Car Last Forever is the perfect addition to your workshop library if you’re a working stiff like me, and a new car is but some fleeting thought each time a douchebag cuts you off, or runs a red in front of you.

I’m a fan of keeping what I have running, and over the years, I’ve tried it all… from basic maintenance and logic to dark garage voodoo, and all sorts of miracles in between… This book is a collection of simple tips and logical steps to making your vehicular investment pay off. After all, even the most die-hard hot rodder has a daily driver that gets them someplace to gather the scratch to make the bills go away, and that every-day car is what makes it all happen for a lot of us.

The book is written by Tom Torbjornsen, who is the creator and host of America’s Car Show, which has been on radio airwaves since 1991. With over 35 years in the automotive industry and almost two decades in automotive talk radio, Tom makes learning about cars easy with his personal manner, his expert advice, and his high energy and entertaining style. He has the unique gift of simplifying the complex and demystifying the technical… and the book is a fun read, with some great rhythm and straightforward advice.

The book is certainly not the definitive, “only book your should own” kind of volume, but is certainly a welcome addition and great start for any aspiring driver seeking to make the most of his or her car, and I’d venture to say that it’d be a killer stocking stuffer this year. Couple this with a nice starter tool set, and you’ll be loved.

motorbooks workshop review

The book comes out of the gate with a steady start, and introduces you to the world of maintenance, covering the basics, and when you should be performing these tasks. As stated above, good, simple advice. Next, we are walked through the basic vehicle systems, including engine, transmission and driveline, steering, wheels, tires, and into more intricate systems like iginition, fuel delivery and electrical. The basic trouble-shooting tips contained are worth the price of admission.

Next, we are walked through the very premise of the book, and taught some simple tips to make your car last “forever”. From following maintenance schedules to exterior care and conditioning, you can be assured that your ride will look as good as it runs, and having a reliable car is a great way to start the morning, no doubt! Sure trumps a good cup of coffee.

As an added bonus, there’s some GREAT discussion on buying a car, namely in regard to warranties. As a believer in the extended wrranty, I was nodding in agreement with the advice presented. There are so many options, and taking care at this point, and selecting the right warranty can put you thousands of dollars ahead over the next few years. (imagine having a transmission let go in 110-degree heat, while your 8-month pregnant wife is on her way to the doctor… been there, and was in a covered rental car a couple of hours later, with a new transmission a few days later after a small co-pay, versus retail cost plus labor)

The book wraps up neatly with some tips for the absent-minded or automotive sadists, and quickly reviews the ways to kill a car. Sound tips to avoid!

Again, a great field guide for your first-time car buyer/owner/driver, and certainly a great gift idea for the youngster on his or her way to that first set of wheels… Truly a conversation starter (and what’s cooler than some bonding time in the garage?), and a great way to inspire your loved ones to take care of their cars, and give them the can-do attitude to head out in the garage, and do it themselves (or for you!).

You can grab a copy of this book, and save about 30% in our bookstore!

tips for vehicle longevity

How to Make Your Car Last Forever
Avoid Expensive Repairs, Improve Fuel Economy, Understand Your Warranty, Save Money
by Thomas Torbjornsen
Illustrated. 176 pages (225 color photos, 76 drawings)
Motorbooks (Motorbooks Workshop)
($17.99 in our bookstore!)


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