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Give Your Truck A Facelift

After seeding this spring my truck looked a bit grubby and tired. Plus it had a few little maintenance issues that were troubling it. When I got in to drive it one look told me I had more work to do in cleaning it out. After a while, driving it wasn t much fun.

Perhaps you ve had the same thoughts. Suddenly, a new trucks look pretty good. They re clean, everything works and they come with a warranty. It s only $20,000 or $30,000 difference to trade in for a new one. Not bad if you say it fast, but to me that s a lot of money.

How about we move that decimal point over a notch and see what $2,000 or $3,000 can do for your old pickup? No, it won t make it a new truck, but for up to $27,000 of potential savings I m sure it s worth seriously thinking about. Here are my five tips to staying happy with the truck you ve got.

MAINTAIN IT

First, get your truck serviced and checked over. If you can do it yourself, that s great. Make sure it s in good shape and it s going to run for the next while without problems. There s no point in spending a bunch of money on a truck that is just about worn out. If one large component such as the engine or the transmission is weak then price out repair costs. It might be cheaper to repair or replace the part rather than replacing the whole truck.

A little bit of maintenance will often keep expensive repairs away. Keeping a truck in shape is not always cheap, but buying a new one is much more expensive.

KEEP IT CLEAN

I m supposed to be driving a red truck. Well, it was red at one time, butt after five or six weeks of seeding, rain and hauling who-knows-what- where, it s more of a natural earth tone both inside and out.

Take some time and clean your truck properly. Wash it inside and out. Clean all the mystery junk from out of the box and under the seats. Make sure to clean the door jambs and all the other little mud and dirt catchers that make a truck look dirty. Take time to clean inside the fenders and all the nooks and crannies that trap dirt and moisture. Then give it a spray of Rust Check inside the panels, the doors and anywhere else mud and dirt collects. It will keep the truck looking good and help keep rust at bay.

Then buy an air freshener if it s called for. An air freshener won t make it run better but if it s clean, tidy and smells nice inside it at least seems to run better.

REPLACE THE WINDSHIELD

When you drive into the sun is your windshield so pitted that it s hard to see through? Not only is this unsafe but it makes driving a real chore.

If your windshield is getting old and pitted, replace it. If you have glass insurance it won t cost too much. If you don t have insurance it still might be worth the expense if it s hard to see through. Even if the glass isn t cracked but only pitted its replacement is likely covered under your additional insurance if you have glass coverage.

It s amazing how much better the world looks through a new windshield. Make sure to get new wiper blades for your new windshield while you re at it.

FIX THE LITTLE THINGS

Have you got a door that doesn t work well? Every time you get in and out it will annoy you. Get it fixed and you ll be a much happier person. If you don t keep the hinges in good shape and adjusted then the latch and handles start wearing and breaking.

The same goes for other annoying little problems. Spend a bit of time and a few dollars to get all those items fixed. If you can t do it I m sure there s someone in your town who can fix them up for you.

FIX THE RADIO

My 10-year-old truck has a radio with a CD player. Now, the CD player didn t always work. It worked enough to be annoying. You know the way these things work. You get ready for a drive, get your go-cup full and hit the road. You plug in your favourite CD and today it won t play. Well it worked yesterday but not today. Why not? So you tap the dash gently with your fist (just to shake the dust out) and it still doesn t work. So you try another CD. No go. Finally you find one that works, however it s spiritual folk music that s sung in some foreign language with accompaniment using sticks and logs. Not my favourite music and which garage sale did I buy that one at, anyway?

This is why you fix your radio. I took it out and sent it to a guy who specializes in repairing factory sound systems. It cost around $200 and it works just wonderfully. When I want to play a CD it plays it. Life is good.

Well, that s about it. The choice is yours. You can let your truck slowly disintegrate until you have to mortgage the farm to replace it or you can keep it in good shape so that you can enjoy driving it instead of dreading having to get in your truck.

P.S. Many thanks to all the readers who have called or written and commented on my articles. I enjoy hearing from you and look forward to keeping you informed of the goings on at Ancient Acres.

RonSettlerfarmswithhiswifeSheilaand theirsonsBenandDan.Theyalsooperatea repairandsalvagebusinessatLuckyLake, Sask.YoucancontactRonat306-858-2681or emailat [email protected]

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