It's my car! Now what?
April 22, 2010 11:53 AM Subscribe
I am about to own my first car that's actually mine. No, this isn't a car-purchasing question. This is a, "What else do I need to know?" question.
I'm being given a car. It's an early-90s sedan with about 100k on it that's generally been well-maintained. It recently had the timing belt replaced and at the time, the dealership said it looked good otherwise. There's a little surface rust.
But despite being like thirty, I have never owned a car before. I have driven this one a lot, but only when borrowing it from the family member who is giving it to me; its maintenance was never my concern aside from occasionally being the one to take it in. What do I need to know about cars in general and what are good resources to learn this? And is there anything I can do to head off the rust now so it doesn't get worse? I'm not concerned about appearance but rather keeping the car in as good a condition as it can be in.
I currently know nothing about cars--i.e., I don't know what the timing belt is, just that it was replaced. Obviously the unexpected can happen, but I would be really tickled if I could keep this thing running until it hits 200k. What can I do immediately to be sure I keep it in top condition, and aside from that, what should I know as the first-time owner of an older car?