Due to the economy, the number of people driving older cars is rising, and those older cars are older than they used to be. Here are sites with guidance on how to keep a car safe and running.
Car care. A service of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry, this page displays a diagram of a car. Mouse over the parts to find out what each gizmo does and how to keep it working. As described, the $286 billion aftermarket industry includes "replacement parts, accessories, lubricants, appearance products, service repairs, as well as the tools and equipment necessary to make the repair." It also bemoans "$55 billion in annual unperformed vehicle maintenance."
Instant Car-Ma. Car-repair maven Lauren Fix (could that really be her name?) is featured around the Web in car-care videos and articles. This is her blog, with commentary on how the bankruptcies of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler L.L.C. and legislation for stiffer mileage requirements of new cars will affect car buyers and owners. She's not real encouraged about some of the recent developments.
This separate Lauren Fix site links to a variety of articles and guides, such as the "road trip prep test," "girlfriends tire guide," "hot gadgets," and myths about your vehicle. She says, for example, that it's a fiction that you need to warm up a car before driving in the winter. Well, the car may not need it, even if your toes do.
Two pros. Need help repairing your old AMC Gremlin? You can pose car-maintenance questions in the forum on this busy site, and there are already half a million answered questions in the archives. Find out the meanings of terms such as "double overhead cam" and "hemi." This is for do-it-yourselfers who are just testing the oil and for hard-core gear heads. The long troubleshooting section is presented as a question list, with entries such as: "Why is one headlight dim?" "Why is my car making a popping noise?" "Why does my engine backfire?"