Chicago Police Bust Catalytic Converter Theft Ring (Video Link)

The money you spend to purchase your car only represents a portion of the cash outlay necessary to keep your vehicle running properly. You’ll also need to allocate part of your budget to periodic repairs and replacement parts. Both are inevitable.

Any high quality boost gauge will work well. Accuracy is the important feature to look for. Autometer gauges are a good value. The Japanese gauges, A’PEXi, GReddy, HKS, etc., have more features, but at a much higher price.

Unfortunately, old age eventually comes regardless of what you do to hold it at bay. Auto parts fail and will need to be replaced. Below, I’ll give you a list of the components you can expect to replace down the road.

Most wheels today have wear indicators that make it easy to identify when they need to be replaced. If you’re unable to see indicator bars, you can buy a tread-depth gauge for a few dollars at any auto supply store. Simply stick the gauge into each of your tires’ grooves every three or four weeks. Once they wear down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace them. If you drive in inclement weather, you might consider replacing them when they reach 4/32 of an inch.

Burning Food – If the car smells like something in the oven is burning then you might have an electrical problem. There may also be something wrong with the air condition. Generally speaking when there is a burning smell this indicates that there is a problem and you probably do not want to buy this car.

Check the exhaust system, including the catalytic converter recyclers, for rust and holes, and repairs. Finding an old exhaust bandage flapping around under there can be a big hint.

The hot water heater will almost always contain copper. This is considerably more valuable than the shell, for instance, so take the time to remove valves, tubes and wires that might be made out of copper.

The most important thing is to PAY ATTENTION! Be observant and don’t overlook (or over smell) when you notice things that don’t seem right about your vehicle. If it looks or smells wrong, it probably is. Also, remember to relay that information to your mechanic. They can usually diagnose an issue based on the symptoms; much like a doctor can tell when you are sick.