Advice to a Teenager on a 1st Car

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Advice to a Teenager on a 1st Car

Postby Singlefinger » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:46 pm

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This came off of a Reddit posting from a teenager wanting to know what was the best mods for his 1st car. I thought the reply has a LOT of merit & maybe some of you can use these arguments with your kids when they want to hop up some newer car or truck.

I'm 16 and I just got my first car. What are some mods that I can make to my 2002 E***** to make it great?
Leave it stock. You're a noob and you don't know what you're doing yet. You will, eventually. But not now.
Believe it or not, it will be worth more the less you do with it. When you're ready to sell, people pay a premium for cars that haven't been modded. Because there's nothing worse than reversing modes made by some kid. Mods also indicate that the car has been raced and beaten on. Spend less, get more.
With $500, the first thing I'd do is drop about $200 on a motorcycle MSF course. Get your motorcycle endorsement, too.
Yes.
Seriously.
They have an excellent course on road safety that goes beyond what you learn in driver's ed. Then you spend a day riding a bike, which is pure awesome. These will sharpen your skills and awareness. The course will make you a better driver.
Take the other $300 and buy a set of wrenches and your car's service manual. Learn to do routine maintenance. Get in the habit of routine maintenance. Buy a notebook and keep track of the maintenance. If you drive, it is your responsibility to know how the car works and how to fix it. I'm not talking about the heavy stuff, but you should know how to change:
Belts
Hoses
Spark plugs
Headlights and other bulbs
Fuses
Starter
Alternator
Flush the radiator
Water pump
Gas pump
Wiper blades
Front end, including shocks and springs
Filters (air, fuel, etc.)
Change the fluids (oil, tranny, etc.)
And all the other minor repairs. I don't know how old your car is or its condition, but as money comes in, start replacing stuff preventively. It'll make your car more reliable, you'll learn the skills, and you'll get top dollar for it when you sell. People will love that you kept it up, have the records and receipts for the maintenance, and that it was cared for. You'll be a lot better off than spending $500 on some crappy mod.
Last edited by Singlefinger on Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice to a Teenager on a 1st Car

Postby Singlefinger » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:47 pm

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I suggest you keep a logbook or spreadsheet on your "new car". This can be recorded in a spiral notebook or on a calendar. Do NOT keep it in the car, keep it in the garage.

1st, include a tally of EVERYTHING you spend on your car or truck. KEEP THE RECEIPTS!!! *** This can be your most important document in case of an accident or theft, as it proves to the insurance company what's been installed on the car.
2nd, log all of the misc maintenance that you've done. Include every oil change, fluid fill, repaired &/or replaced parts, etc. Include the mileage & date of the service. Some folks also include where they source their parts (online or local). This will pay off BIG when you go to sell the vehicle & the prospective buyer can easily see how well you've maintained it. This always results in a price that is much closer to the "Blue Book" value than you might expect.
Autorama -2012 Quote of the weekend:

"Hey, it's those f*ckyou guys from Downstairs!"
User avatar
Singlefinger
 
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Freakin' Paradise, man!


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