What should you toss and what should you fix?
Talk to any old timer in the detail business and you will hear the phrase, "They just don't make them like they used to."
Actually, you will probably hear that from any business owner in just about any industry.
There are old pressure washers around that, if you can get the parts, are as good as, if not better than some of today's "low end" models that you can get from the big box stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco or Sam's Club.
Most detail equipment including vacuums, buffers, pressure washers and soil extractors have an expected lifespan, and because not every piece of equipment will last forever, the more expensive items are often better candidates for repair.
The typical life spans of common detail equipment are:
Vacuum cleaners: 1-3 years
Soil extractors: 3-5 years
Buffers: 3-5 years
Pressure Washers: 5-8 years
Remember: nothing is indestructible, but if you take care of the equipment and do proper maintenance, it will last well beyond its expected life.
Of course, you have to remember that the opposite is also true.
Now what should you do?
So, you agree it is a wise decision to get a few more years of operation out of your existing equipment, especially with the more expensive items.
Your next thing to determine is who is going to do the repairs?
While some detail operations have a person who can do repairs, or the owner can do it themselves, many have no one to do it and/or can't do it themselves.
Actually, most detail equipment can be repaired if the owner or one of their more mechanically inclined people will read the instruction manual and call the tech department of the manufacturer.