A Guide for New Sports Car Owners
Owning a sports car is an exciting venture into a new world fraught with speed, intrigue and tongue-swallowing g-forces. Unfortunately, it is also a world filled with waiting weeks for a part, waxing canopies on humid days and wondering why your passenger window decided to get stuck right before a rain storm.
Yes, owning a sports car is like owning any other vehicle, except usually a whole lot more temperamental. Just imagine every bad and good thing about owning a car like a Honda Accord or Ford Fiesta dialed up to 11. That is sports car ownership.
Of course, all the hassles are worth the blissful moments of riding with your top down and listening to a hand-built V8 rumble lustily down the highway. These are the moments that make it all worth it, and so as a new sports car owner you will want to be good to your new baby to get as many rewards as possible. Here is how to do it:
Plan on Spending a Lot of Time with Your Car
Getting a new (or at least new to you) sports car is like getting a demanding pet. You cannot just lock it up in the garage for months and hope everything comes out ok. You need to:
- Keep up with regular maintenance
- Keep the car clean, outside and in
- Apply protective wax and interior leather conditioner periodically
- Check the car for maintenance issues or known issues
- Spend time driving in your car fairly regularly, hopefully tuning it afterward
We will cover these duties in greater detail in a moment, but the point for now is that you will need to keep your new car clean, protected and exercised, with plenty of health check-ups along the way. Make sure you put the time in your schedule to give your car the attention it deserves.
Save for Emergencies
Nearly all premium car owners — especially those with exotics — set aside some cash in case something goes wrong. The last thing you want to do is dip into your general savings when a problem arises since this action will likely cause stress. Instead, have funds ready for the express purpose of maintaining your vehicle.
Some say roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of the total sales price should be enough to anticipate issues. If you have a high mileage car you bought used, calculate these savings using the going price for the same model and year in good condition.
Learn How to Turn a Wrench
Fiddling on your own with struts on a vehicle like a Jaguar F-Type is decidedly not recommended, but changing your own oil is definitely possible. Even if you have the money to throw at a dealer oil change every time, knowing how to do it yourself can keep you more in tune with the status of your car — no pun intended.
Investing in tools and knowledge allows you to be proactive and feel in control of your vehicle’s condition. That way, you can detect sluggish acceleration and connect it to how it might mean it is time to swap out your spark plugs. Watch project videos on common fixes, and read forums readily to learn the difference between what you can and cannot fix yourself.
At the very least, buy a diagnostic reader so you can know whether an error code is big trouble or not.
Don’t Be Afraid to Keep Your Options Open
The sports car buying process is exhilarating. With new models and special variants coming out every year, staying on top of the latest car news can be addicting. Go with this instinct! Your car will not feel dejected just because you look at other ones. No need to clear your browser history to cover your tracks. If anything, knowing the market allows you to appreciate what makes your model unique, even if it is just a more accessible price.
In the long run, performing sports car market research can allow you to know the importance of keeping up with maintenance and service records. It can also tell you when it could be time to part ways with your car and seek out another one that offers you more of what you need.
Take Maintenance and Problem Fixes Seriously
With any car and especially sports cars, small problems can become huge if ignored over time. A torn seat stitch can lead to a headrest separating. A tough track session that nearly caused overheating can mean a destroyed engine if not handled properly afterward.
Keep track of recommended maintenance, and do not ignore unplanned maintenance issues lest they come around to bite you in the behind later. Also, read up on known issues with your vehicle to take the mystery and suspense out of fixing common problems. For instance, 997s may be prone to suspension creaking when the lower control arm bushes wear out, which is a relatively simple fix. Not knowing that could make you think the problem would be a lot worse, and costlier.
Allow Your Vehicle to Roam Free in Controlled Conditions
Track running your car is undeniably rougher on it than going down a country road at 60 mph, but the temptation to open up the throttle in places you really should not can create a lot more trouble in the long run.
Ensure that you get all the speed out of your system and learn how to control your vehicle in a variety of situations at the same time by taking advantage of Atlanta Motorsports Park’s driver instruction courses. We will teach what you need to know to stay controlled and safe in a variety of conditions, both on and off the track. Book your one-on-one training session today!