Driving with J9 | Do your homework with car parts, you’ll save more money than you’d think – News24
Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post recently had to replace quite a few parts on her old 1998 Toyota Corolla, and was reminded of such a valuable lesson in the process…
I proudly own a 1998 Toyota Corolla RSI. 20Valve, Blacktop – I have to throw this in because anyone who is an enthusiast of the car, knows how special these cars are.
Yes, he’s 24-years old, but he’s been real good to me and still drives pretty well (The car that is, haha). When I bought it in Johannesburg fourteen years ago, I was not as wise, and still in a phase of my life where I needed to change the original wheels and grill. I also changed the filter and exhaust. “Cape Town stock” subtle modifications we called it. And I still made more power at Dyno Days than the Joburg boys with their “chipped” RSIs, and faster on the 400m run at Tarlton Raceway track days. They didn’t like me very much.
Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post’s 1998 Toyota Corolla RSI.
Wheels24 Janine Van der Post
Regardless, I kept my hand on it, changed the oil and spark plugs pedantically almost every 1000km, even when I hardly drove it. The result was a sweet-running engine with more than 380 000km on the clock before it had its first overhaul not too long ago. Fast forward a few years later and my parents now drive it so my obsession to keep it serviced frequently died down.
However, as I got older, I wanted the competition clutch to come out so it would be easier for my elderly parents to drive without so much bite. The shortened shocks also came and bit me in the bum when they needed replacing – a costly exercise.
So here’s the thing about your car – you need to have a vested interest in it. It should never just be an object to get you from Point A to Point B. And, it definitely isn’t just about checking the oil and water once in a while. When the petrol attendant at the filling station asks if he can check your levels on your older vehicle – always say, “yes, please!”
An experienced car maintenance worker looking for a part in a car parts shop.
My Corolla had Ian Glass shortened shocks. The go-to man when you wanted this done in Cape Town, and the legend that he is, is still working. I paired it back then with Eibach springs. I decided to get a set of coilovers instead of the conventional Gabriel or Monroe shocks one would usually go for.
It meant I needed to make a few visits to suppliers and make a few calls to get some prices and source what I was looking for. Like everything else, prices have sky-rocketed. Years back you’d pay R3500 for some ‘coilies’ and even that sounded like an arm and a leg to fork out. Now, they cost about R7000 a set. Ouch.
I called my regular supplier and even his best price was R6000. I eventually got a sweet deal and paid less as we needed to get two sets. When I was old enough to start walking to the ‘Best Buy’ to buy a loaf of bread, my Father would always say “ask for discount”. He would do this wherever we …….