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Old 02-04-2016, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,003 posts, read 1,695,130 times
Reputation: 2945

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack2000 View Post
How you drive a car makes a big difference. Gentle acceleration, anticipate traffic lights and traffic so you don't need to brake and then speed up again, that will do a lot.
This was the #1 answer the Car Talk guys gave on their radio show when asked this question. Of course one has to do the regular maintenance too.

This is why I've changed my opinion about buying used cars. Unless you know the person selling the car, there is no way to know how it was treated.

I'm on year 16 for my Accord that I bought new. During that time I've never had to be towed. Only twice has there been a repair that needed quick attention, and those were after the 100,000 mile mark.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:10 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,750,723 times
Reputation: 39385
Quote:
Originally Posted by magpiehere View Post
My mother always told me keeping a car in a garage helps immensely in adding life. I don't know if that is true or not.........
Keeping the car garaged makes an enormous difference to the life of the paint and probably extends the life of the tires. I don't know whether or not it would extend the life of the engine (probably not) but it prevents hail damage and theft and keeps the car looking new.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:01 PM
 
322 posts, read 330,150 times
Reputation: 863
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Keeping the car garaged makes an enormous difference to the life of the paint and probably extends the life of the tires. I don't know whether or not it would extend the life of the engine (probably not) but it prevents hail damage and theft and keeps the car looking new.
What you said makes good sense, except if the garage is heated and the car is put in there with salt on it. Doing that will cause it to rust out sooner. Where you live it might not be an issue, but where I live (Minnesota) there is a nice salty haze covering most of the vehicles for about 1/3 of the year. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:17 PM
 
337 posts, read 278,170 times
Reputation: 925
I have an 01 and if you have an old car, like myself, remember the timing belt. Once that baby comes off-forget it-not worth fixing as the labor cost is outrageous.
I just had mine done and it cost me about 589 (as I had a few other belts replaced and oil change)
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,402 posts, read 5,222,907 times
Reputation: 7457
2002 Ford Escape with almost 200,000 mi.. Garaged kept, regular oil changes, tires & tire rotation. Like everyone has said, regular maintenance. Sometimes spending $500 will be saving you thousands in the long run.

Last edited by kelsie; 02-09-2016 at 02:49 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-09-2016, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
251 posts, read 150,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Cut the short trips. Robert Sikorsky,author of Drive It Forever claims the first 10 seconds are murder. He even advises that if a bus is available for the trip, use it. If you can get the information by phone, do so. Especially avoid short trips in cold weather, though walking even a half mile in winter is too much a sacrifice for many.
I'll expand on my "live as close to work as humanely possible" comment from earlier. I was doing that for years because I hate traffic, I hate spending any time commuting, and I'm not even a big fan of the mere act of driving. It wasn't till much later and stumbling across articles like this one The True Cost of Commuting when I realized that my lifestyle was what was allowing me to get away with driving old, cheap, used cars. In turn driving old, cheap, used cars and buying stuff like Honda Accords rather than what an insurance company considers a "sports car" was keeping the insurance costs down.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,058,301 times
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For a period of about 5 years ( 1999 to 2004 ) I was a owner/operator with a expedite freight company, based here in Toronto. I had a Ford E 350 cargo van, with a 351 V8 gas engine. It had about 80, 000 miles on it when I bought it used.


My company required me to be ready 24/7 to go ANYWHERE in North America.....NOW.


A typical run might be from the Toronto , Ontario area, direct to Brownsville , Texas, with a 2500 pound aircraft landing gear leg. The aircraft is stuck on the ground, so the owner doesn't really care what it costs, just get it here, fast. I was paid three dollars a mile, when loaded.


My point ? I ran that Ford to just over 800,000 MILES. Then I sold it to a local delivery guy who ran it to over 960,000 MILES. The secret ? Oil change every 20 days, regardless of the miles driven. New hoses and belts and plugs every 50,000 miles. Trans drain and fill at 100,000 miles. New tires at 100,000 miles.


I carried a spare set of belts, rad hoses, and ignition coil and distributor shaft and cap.


Every morning while on the road, before the engine was started, all the fluids were checked, the tires pressure checked, and all the lights were checked. A tip, to check your own rear lights, back up to a place with windows and look at your reflection while pressing the brake pedal and using the turn signals and the 4 way flashers. Carry spare fuses.


My longest run.....Picked up two drums of printing ink in Toronto, destination Bakersfield, California. Be there in 4 days. Remember I am by my self, no co driver. Made it with 4 hours to spare. Unloaded, slept for 14 hours. The pager goes off, I call dispatch back in Toronto.... Jim head over to Torrance, as fast as you can. I get a 2200 pound load of computer equipment going to........Halifax, Nova Scotia. No rush I have six days to get there....Lay over in Halifax for 10 hours, get a single 16 pound box, going to......


Toronto. !!! My commission for that long distance trip was just over $8700 US dollars, less my fuel, meals, and incidentals.


Five years of that was as much as I could stand.....too many miles, not enough sleep. I hit 45 of the lower 48 states, and 9 of the 10 Provinces in Canada.


Jim B.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:13 PM
 
8,195 posts, read 10,208,781 times
Reputation: 7485
I DON'T TRUST MECHANICS.

My sisters clunker was working fine,and she never changed the oil,nor did any regular maintanence.

So what happens when she decided to finally change the oil and take to a mechanic?

The engine failed.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:17 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,980,913 times
Reputation: 7859
Keep GOing:

I guess by now, you have it that you should MAINTAIN your vehicle for long life.

GET and read the instruction manual that comes with the car. If you don't have one {most people take it out with all their stuff at trade-in time unfortunately}, have the local like brand dealer order one for you. READ IT and FOLLOW THE maintenance schedule religiously. When the schedule "runs out" recycle it by returning to the first item and repeat at the appropriate interval,and keep going on it.

You can find about anything on the 'net, so LOOK it up about your vehicle.

Keep the Oil AND OIL FILTER changed! Some unscrupulous places will ONLY change the oil when you say "oil change"....and NOT change the filter. AS noted earlier, dirty oil is a danger to an engine! IF YOU can, change it yourself. When you take off the filter,and go to put the new one on, rub a ring of new oil around the rubber gasket on the new oil filter, It will still seal against the port, but allow for easier removal next filter change! I can't physically change mine anymore {I used to religiously} , so I CHECK the DIPSTICK to be sure Clean oil was actually put in! If I can, I look at the filter to see if it appears new too.

Check your BELTS regularly...a failed belt {usually now a serpentine continuous single belt} can cause trouble. if it is frayed or squeals get it replaced. Replace at the regular recommended interval!

Check if you have a timing BELT or CHAIN. CHAINS in my opinion are better as belts stretch with time. BUT have it Changed or adjusted when the scheduled maintenance says so!!! AS noted, failed, it can be pretty much over.

CHECK all fluid levels at least once a week, when you fill your windshield washer fluid. They usually are see-through containers nowadays. Keep the RECOMMENDED fluids on hand, and keep one IN the vehicle at ALL TIMES for emergency use! {I keep a large plastic tub with antifreeze, oil, power steering/brake fluid, dry gas,etc in it in the back of my minivan. It can be a help if you spring a leak while out driving..local or long distance}.

Try to replace routine wear items BEFORE They fail..like thermostat, air filters, brakes, etc.

WASH and maintain the exterior of your vehicle, Wash at a car wash that has "wash and undercarriage wash" option and ALWAYS opt for the extra $1 or so for the under wash, especially in salt belt winter regions. If you can garage it or keep it under cover, but not under a tree. Keep it off the grass, as the evaporation of the water of rain, dew etc can cause premature rusting.

In short, keep an eye on it,,, if your mother ever told you take care of your toys and they will take care of you"...well, in addition to your dolly or red wagon, it APPLIES to your biggest toy: you car!

I now drive a 10 year old minivan {'06} we bought in '10 for which we sold off a 1992 Taurus after 18 years of service. AND we just bought a '14 Hyundai ELantra, for which we sold off a 1998 Grand Caravan after 16 years of service. Both sold off vehicles were in top mechanical fitness when we sold them off,. The bodies on those years around the '98 were known to rust form the inside out, so it's body, though we took care with it, wasn't the best, but the engine ran like a top! We plan on driving the '06 and '14 into the gorund, so to speak.

Best of luck to you, and your vehicle.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,628,961 times
Reputation: 11449
On top of maintenance, I would recommend fixing small problems as soon as they arise. It may seem prudent to live with a minor inconvenience rather than paying to have it fixed, but the problem is that eventually you will have a half-dozen of these minor issues that in total make your car seem like it's in worse shape than it is.
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