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Old 07-24-2012, 12:12 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Good quality filters, decent lubricants, don't beat on it ridiculously hard, but do drive hard enough for the thermostat to open up, highway miles are easier, watch for intake air leaks, uoa's help keep tabs better than anything.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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My '88 Escort with 518K+ miles has probably averaged an oil change about every 5K miles over it's lifetime, I've used whatever oil/oil filters I can find the cheapest. The fuel filter has been changed 1 time since new and the only reason I changed it then was because the car was running poor and I thought possibly it was clogged, should have left the original filter on it, ended up being water in the fuel. I drove it until it was nearly empty for a couple tanks got all the water out and the problem solved itself. Air filter has probably been changed 7-10 times. Lots of stuff that parts manufacturers and even owners manuals recommend are not necessary. I usually run a set of platinum plugs anywhere from 100-150K miles and usually they're still good and delivering good fuel efficiency when I change them, I just feel guilty that they've been in the car for so long. I think a valve adjustment is recommended about every 30K miles, it's never been done on the Escort. I do recommend fluid and filter changes on a regular basis, checking fluid levels every 500-1K miles, changing timing belts/tensioners/water pump on schedule or even earlier if an interference engine if it's a non interference engine I'll push it to 100K knowing it won't damage anything if the belt breaks, a tensioner gets weak or seizes, or a water pump bearing wears out or seizes. I've never changed the tensioner on the Escort since it's non interference and it's still good. Also repair known problems as soon as possible to prevent the problem from growing into a larger problem. I've never really beat on the car, but it has had some fast driving. When I was working construction and sometimes driving 150 miles a day it wasn't uncommon to run it for 30-40 miles at a time at 85-90 MPH on 4 lane and interstate highways, I did that until I got hurt and became disabled even though the car had about 350K miles. It also helps the pocketbook if you buy parts with lifetime warranty when replacing parts then when it wears out just take it off and go get another one free. Nearly all the normal wear parts I've ever replaced on the Escort have a lifetime warranty. Auto Zone will be glad when/if this car ever wears out!!
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think Ford Man's example is just about perfect, know your car, learn it's weaknesses, understand the importance of disaster averting preventative maintenance, and never neglect what you KNOW should never be neglected. E10 fuel helps rid engines of water in the gas and that is probably why he got such long service from his fuel filters.

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:36 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Consumer reports publishes auto reviews that list problem areas in vehicles, there are a lot of vehicles that have very minor issues and of course there are cars that have endless problems no matter how good the care of them is, so getting to 500,000 miles is somewhat dependent on the vehicle you start out with, but auto makers don't like to have to recall vehicles even for small issues, but when there is a common issue it does tend to get documented in the better auto review books.

It also seems more common for someone to get 500,000 miles on a vehicle that they bought new or when it was almost new, I think that the reason for this is that they know the history, whenever I buy a used car I check everything over on it, due a full tune up and make sure that there aren't any hidden problems or parts held on with duct tape that could leave me stranded.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #25 (permalink)
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ive never had a problem with any of the cars i drive daily or close to it ( i own 5 cars currently) my van was a daily driver for around a year and i did 20k+ km on it without a service at all, ive now had it for 3 years and changed the oil, filter and spark plug once because i felt bad, it still starts first crank every time (after putting a good battery in, i take the batt out if leaving it for more than a week or 2) even after leaving it sitting for 6 months once the battery goes in it starts straight away, the joys of a carby 4 pot on LPG...

one of my other cars though is a 1998 commodore (aka pontiac GTO) wagon, it has the 3.8L ecotec V6 and it runs perfectly when im driving it daily but has no end of problems if i leave it for too long, ive had it for 4 years now and left it sitting for 6 months twice, its been serviced every 7500km on average and not drive too hard but every time i leave it sitting for too long it has trouble starting and lacks power until i give it a service and drive it for 500km or so

my current daily is a 1977 F100 that has done 690k km and is still going strong, i bought it at 680k so im not sure on its service history but it starts first click every time for me and im not gonna touch much until it doesn't anymore
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #26 (permalink)
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One caveat: Some "lifetime warranty" parts aren't worth getting. Especially some of the cheaper electrical ones; it is not unheard of for several of these to be bad out of the box, or to go bad within a few months of use. The loss of use and hassle of actually replacing the parts can sometimes outweigh having to purchase new better-quality parts.

...Of course, it is still possible for "high quality" parts to be bad right out of the box. But it seems rather less common.

-soD
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:37 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Yep, agree 100% with soD! When I was younger & less wise, I had a Chevette where the starter died; the thing was a real bugger to get out. Bought a 'lifetime warranty' starter and it died within 6 months. Repeated 3 more times (I'm a slow learner) before buying a more expensive (and better!) starter.

It wasn't just replacing the starter that was a hassle... it was also coming out after a long day's work and finding out that the starter died again. Jumper cables wouldn't do squat, so the only other option was to bump start the car. And then park strategically everywhere I went until I had time to trade in the replacement starter and get it replaced. Wasn't long before coworkers called the Chevette the 'Shove it'.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:17 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Another thing that seems to kill cars is automatic transmissions and depending on the auto maker they are often a high wear part that goes out and can cost as much as the value of the car to replace, it's a big part of why I wouldn't bother owning a car with an automatic.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:30 PM   #29 (permalink)
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4.6 Million Kilometers Mercentes Taxi

Look at this ungly mercentes, i know the mechanic that used to do maintenance.
4,600,000Km / 2,858,307 miles !!!
Allthough this model fills nightmares to everyone with goodtaste here (i must have seen thousands of those ungly taxis) i must admit that these were pretty trusty cars.
The secret he said, every minor thing taken care and carefull driving.

google 4.6 Million Kilometers mercentes taxi...

sorry but i cannot post links yet.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
People who read their owners manual know, but like frank I've also had brake lines and many other parts rust from the outside, but I've also changed out brake parts that had rusted from the inside, putting grit in to the system and wearing out seals on the slave cylinders, so while I agree that every 3 years for brake fluid might be a bit often, but it does take on moisture, it does get dirty and there is no filter to pull that grit out that the system creates.
Agreed, I have seen corrosion in wheel cylinders; in the rears you can see the pits on the bottom between the pistons; for some reason I've not noticed similar pitting in front calipers. It's not hard to imagine a little puddle of water there in those back ones, that must have been pulled in past the piston seals when they cool and got condensation because how would it migrate down there from the master cylinder with that nice "bladder seal"? I wonder if that moisture has caused any wheel cylinder issues, and how effective bleeding would be to get it outta there.

It should be a good thing to get down there and bleed them a bit every x number of years even if it's only to break those bleeder screws loose once in a while so that when you really need to open them, you don't round or break 'em off. If you're going to do all that work it might be even better to pull the drums too, and pop the pistons out to see if a light hone is warranted.

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