I live in the Boston area and my 1985 Toyota Corolla is starting to need a bit more work. It was the first car I ever bought (I am the original owner) and it has lived in California, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado. Since I only recently moved to Boston (1/4 inch of snow leads to 1/2 inch of salt), it is pretty much in great condition. Mechanically, it is in fine shape. But, there are little things that keep coming up and parts are getting really hard to find. I need to find a shop where they will provide a bit of real care for the car and go the extra mile. Also, are there any national resources for parts for this car? I figure on keeping this until I drop (could make a good coffin).
One of the funniest calls ever heard on Cartalk was from a young woman who had been a customer of West Cork Auto in Jamaica Plain. This was probably mid 90s. What made the call so memorable was that Tom and Ray called and talked to the owner, Patrick, on the air. The issue was that she had recommended Patrick to her boyfriend who she later caught with another girl, and she wanted to find a way to get Patrick to stop fixing the guy’s car. That call is on one of the early compilation tapes that used to be sold by the show, it may still be available. When the guys called Patrick, he turned out be the perfect “straight man” for T&R, he played along perfectly with the guys’ usual sarcasm.
According to the woman customer, Patrick was a remarkably fair and considerate mechanic, which is what it sounds like you are searching for. At the time I knew someone who had also done business there around the same time and also appreciated Patrick. I just googled and got several results. The shop is on Centre Street in JP.
On a side note, no matter what mechanic you find, your Corolla won’t have many years left if you drive it through Boston winters. That salt will consume it!
Congradulations for having cared so well and so long for your 28 year old Corolla! However, as others point out, the Boston brine and salt will quickly make the car deteriorate, and spending a lot of money on other things is probably not worth it.
We had this years ago in the Great Lakes a area with a Chrysler product. We nursed it along and patched up some of the rust with fiberglass and touch up paint, until the bottom rusted out and the car became unsafe. Then it was off to the scrap yard.
Find an imdependent shop with preferably an older owner and he can help your car through its geriatric years. If you lived in New Mexico or some other dry area, you could jut keep fixing the car as Toyotas have a very long life.