Consumer Reports' Tightwad Tod blog espouses the value of holding onto your clunker car rather than trading up—a well-maintained, reliable clunker, that is. The magazine's auto writers suggest that despite whatever your friends, parents, or mechanic tells you, the best rule of thumb for needed service is the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.
What are the non-essential items that you can usually do without? They include radiator flushes and new fuel filters ... To avoid getting unnecessary work, make a copy of the recommended service page, show it to the service manager and say, "this is what I want."
Simple, yet something most car owners have rarely considered. Hit the link for other tips on knowing when your clunker is past its prime. Photo by berzowska.