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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-10-2006, 10:09 PM   #41
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

This looks like it...

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-10-2006, 10:11 PM   #42
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Conclusions...

Recommended Filters

Based on the simple criteria above and the information I gathered in the Oil filter Study, I have found some filters that are readily available and are of good quality in my opinion. I have disassembled many filters and made observations and measurements on them. Sadly, some of the most common and popular filters don't cut it in my book. Those filters are described in the next section. The filter names are also links to the Oil Filter Study page, which gives the intimate details of that filter in the Ford 5.0L V8 version. You will find all the hard data for these filters there. What follows are filters that I recommend in alphabetical order:

AC Delco Duraguard

This filter does not appear to be AC Delco's original design, but it is still pretty good. As far as I can tell, it is no longer available for the Ford 5.0L. It has one of the highest filter element surface areas with fewer, but very deep pleats. It also has strong, metal end caps with a nitrile rubber diaphragm-type anti-drainback valve and steel bypass valve. It is one of the better filters you can get for $3.

I have had some feedback about these filters leaking at the seam between the backplate and the can. Often this was in situations where the engine was modified. Also, during a recent oil change, I found that this filter did not have the best anti-drainback valve. It is better than Fram because I have very little valve train noise at startup (I had a lot with the Fram), but I have not used them since.

AC Delco Ultraguard Gold

This filter appears to be a Champion Labs filter. This is not surprising given that Champion Labs also manufacturers other AC Delco filters for some European vehicles. See the German Oil Filter Study.

Amsoil

No real information yet. I have cut it open and it looks like a very nice filter. The manufacturer appears to be the same as Baldwin. I am not sure they are worth the rather high price (over $10 shipped).

Baldwin

They look like tough filters inside. Similar design to the Hastings and Amsoil. These are the filters I have been using lately.

Bosch

This is yet another Champion Labs filter that is sold at AutoZone. I am not a big fan of Champion filters. They seem flimsy on the inside to me.

Car And Driver

This is a Champion Labs filter that is sold at Target.

Deutsch

This is a Champion Labs filter that is sold at AutoZone.

Fram Tough Guard

Even with all the problems of the other Fram filters, this one is not too bad. It has a heavier filter element with more surface area, a silicone anti-drainback valve, the cheap pressure relief valve, but with a clever integral screen to keep out large particles, and enough inlet holes for good flow. The only other drawback to this filter is that it is capped on each end with cardboard instead of metal. Looking in through the center outlet does not reveal any paper end caps, but they are there. I personally do not use this filter, but the design didn't have enough bad qualities to cause me to tell others to avoid it.

Hard Driver

This is a one of the few oil filters that uses a synthetic filter element. It's has a dual-density layering "depth" filter element. The construction of the filter is what you would expect from a quality filter with steel filter element caps and special epoxy-coated steel mesh retainers to keep the element from flexing. It also has a good flowing, strong steel case and a zinc-coated backplate to prevent pre-installation corrosion. I have disassembled but have not measured this filter. I used these for a few years with no problems until they seemed to go out of business.

Mobil 1

This filter is made by Champion Labs and uses a synthetic fiber element that can filter out very small particles. It is rated by the manufacturer at just under the Purolator Pure One as far as filtering capability, but is still very much above conventional paper filters. It also has a very strong construction to withstand high pressure spikes during start-up. Given the choice between the Purolator Pure One and the Mobil 1 filters, I would choose the Mobil 1 because of the restriction concerns of the Pure One. However, as with all Mobil 1 products, expect to pay 2 - 3 times as much for this filter. I have seen this filter sold at AutoZone and K-mart and used them a few times, but I feel they are not worth the money.

Though I have never had problems, I have received feedback from a few people that these filters may leak at the base. It seems that the seal between the backplate and can may burst under high pressure (at startup). These were on Ford engine applications.

Mopar Filters (various)

These filters are Frams, Purolators, or Wixes. Mopar does not manufacture it's own filters, nor do they require anything special from these manufacturers. Since they basically paint them a different color, stamp them with a Mopar logo, and double the price, there is no reason to buy them. Sadly, the Mopar Severe Duty 53020311 filter is actually the worst filter of them all. It is a Fram Extra Guard.

Motorcraft

The one I opened seemed to be a Purolator hybrid. It had the Premium Plus case (anti-drainback valve, gasket, etc), but with what appeared to be a Pure One filter element. This was a cheap way to get a Purolator Pure One. It is sold at many locations including AutoZone, Pep Boys, etc. I have heard from several people that Motorcraft seems to switch between Purolator and Champion Labs as the manufacturer so be observant.

NAPA

They sell two lines of oil filters: NAPA Silver and NAPA Gold. They are both made by Dana (Wix) and there is no obvious difference between them. They may have different elements, but NAPA does not state that this is the case.

PowerFlo

This is a Purolator Premium Plus that I have seen at Murray's Auto Supplies.

ProLine

This is a Purolator Premium Plus that I have seen at Pep Boys. Pep Boys also sells the Purolator Premium Plus brand, which is pretty dumb (to be selling both).

Purolator Premium Plus

The Purolator is a solid design. It seems to have one of the tougher paper filter elements of the low-end filters and the bypass valve is built right into the cartridge. There are no internal sealing problems with this filter at all. There is an assembly string that is wrapped around the filter element, probably to hold it in place while the glue cures in the end caps. In the ProLine (one of the Purolator clones), the string was wrapped too tightly and had damaged the filter element. All the other Purolator-made filters (8 in all) had no trouble, and even the damaged one would probably have been fine. I usually go with these in a pinch.

Purolator Pure One

This is an interesting filter design made by Purolator. Most of the construction of the Pure One is the same as the Purolator Premium Plus. The big difference is the filter element itself. It has a dense paper/fiber filter element that can filter very small particles. The result of this is cleaner oil exiting the element, but more oil restriction. Purolator addressed this by adding more filter material (more and deeper pleats). After seeing one of these filters cut open, I am apprehensive about this filter. It seems to have so many pleats that it is almost a solid chunk of filter element. It seems like it would end up restricting the flow, more than anything. Purolator has plenty of data on the filtration abilities of this filter and I don't doubt it, but they have no flow data. Even so, I don't see any major problems with this filter. It also sports a silicone anti-drainback valve and a PTFE treated nitrile rubber gasket.

STP

This is a Champion Labs filter that I have seen at AutoZone and Walmart.

Wix

Another quality oil filter similar in design to the Purolator. It has metal end caps on the filter element, a standard nitrile anti-drainback valve, and a seemingly good flow. They are manufactured by the Dana corporation. These appear to have a depth gradient filter element, which uses cotton fibers to progressively trap smaller particles as they get deeper in the filter. This helps maintain good flow as the filter gets plugged.

Filters To Avoid

The following list of filters have known problems. You will see well-known names here and will probably be disappointed. This is because many of these brands have stopped making their own filters and buy from a common manufacturer.

Fram Extra Guard

Years ago Fram was a quality filter manufacturer. Now their standard filter (the radioactive-orange cans) is one of the worst out there. It features cardboard end caps for the filter element that are glued in place. The rubber anti-drainback valve seals against the cardboard and frequently leaks, causing dirty oil to drain back into the pan. The bypass valves are plastic and are sometimes not molded correctly, which allows them to leak all the time. The stamped-metal threaded end is weakly constructed and it has smaller and fewer oil inlet holes, which may restrict flow. I had one of these filters fail in my previous car. The filter element collapsed and bits of filter and glue were circulating through my system. The oil passage to the head became blocked and the head got so hot from oil starvation that it actually melted the vacuum lines connected to it as well as the wires near it.

Fram Double Guard

Another bad filter idea brought to you by your friends at Fram. The filter itself is a slightly improved design over the Fram Extra Guard, but still uses the same filter element. It has a silicone anti-drainback valve, a quality pressure relief valve, and enough inlet holes for good flow. The big problem is that they are trying to cash in on the Slick 50 craze. They impregnate the filter element with bits of Teflon like that found in Slick 50. As with Slick 50, Teflon is a solid and does not belong in an engine. It cannot get into the parts of the engine that oil can and therefore does nothing. Also, as the filter gets dirty, it ends up filtering the Teflon right out. Dupont (the manufacturer of Teflon) does not recommend Teflon for use in internal combustion engines. Please do not waste your money on this filter.

Penzoil

This filter is a Fram! It is the exact same design as the Fram Extra Guard filter and it is junk. On the up side, it costs $1 less than the Fram version.

Quaker State

This is another Fram Extra Guard that I have seen at K-mart. It used to be a Purolator, but Quaker State is now owned/controlled by Penzoil...
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-10-2006, 10:23 PM   #43
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
As far as oil, last time I saw someone do a full test was consumer reports doing it on taxi cabs in NYC. That was a long time ago, maybe 10 years. They found little difference between the 10w40's but more depletion of additives and viscosity loss in some 10w30's than in others. I figure if it meets the SG (or whatever the current 'standard' is) and i'm changing it every 2-3k miles or 6 months (the latter almost always coming first), its all good.
Yup. 5W-30 is actually in both our owner's manuals, but we never see temperatures below 55 degrees. If it was that cold I'd be too frozen to get out of bed and drive the car anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Conclusions... Recommended Filters
I'm not debating the quality of the research or the filter, or even the motivations of whoever paid for the study.

The logic here appears to be "Good materials, good design, good filter. Cheap materials, poor design, bad filter." But from the car's performance I can't tell that any filter is better for the engine than stuffing a wad of paper towels into a plastic water bottle and duct-taping it to the oil-filter threads. I've never had a problem with the cheap Frams or with oil-lubricated engine components and I don't see a reason to spend more for better.

Air conditioners, starter motors, water pumps... that's a different batch of issues. But piston rings, crankcases, head gaskets, crankshafts, several different cars over the last 25 years-- never had a problem!
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-11-2006, 07:00 AM   #44
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat

Must not live in a place that gets much winter. Coolant will break down after 30-40K. In a Minnesota winter you'd have a big problem.
We get just enough winter to be obnoxious in the DC suburbs. My Intrepid has the Mopar equivalent of Dexcool though, which is supposed to be good for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Now with that older green stuff, they always recommended changing the coolant and the hoses around 3 years/36K miles.

I think the main reason my mechanic told me I could go to 150,000 miles before the second coolant change is because at that time, I'd had the car about 3 3/4 years and had already driven about 85,000 miles. He was probably thinking that I'd hit 150,000 miles in less than three years from that point.

My understanding with Dexcool and its equivalents is that it's fine up until about 5 years/100,000 miles, but once it goes beyond that point, it actually turns highly destructive and can ruin the engine. Where in contrast, the old fashioned green stuff will simply lose its ability to transfer heat, lose its resistance to freezing and rust, so it will slowly let the engine get damaged in a more passive way if you let it go too long, but the modern pink/orange stuff will actually aggressively attack the engine.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-11-2006, 11:53 AM   #45
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
We get just enough winter to be obnoxious in the DC suburbs.*
I think you're being modest.

I've wintered in Pittsburgh, DC, Denver, Adak, NYC, Albany, Connecticut, Scotland, Monterey, & San Diego.

DC was by far the most consistently nastiest.* Pittsburgh had some tougher lows and a nastier stretch or two but you could always count on DC to deliver a higher & more consistent quality of pain.* I broke a steering wheel in Albany and blew up frozen sanitary hoses in CT & Scotland but DC winters make the Ironman triathlon look like a 100-meter sprint.* Even in February as you watched the snow melt you knew that you were going to get clobbered good at least one more time.

I will defer, of course, to those poor souls in Minnesota & Boston-- especially the guy surfing on the Great Lakes.* I have no desire to continue my research...
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-11-2006, 12:00 PM   #46
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'm not debating the quality of the research or the filter, or even the motivations of whoever paid for the study.
IIRC, the guy had a fram filter come apart and kill the motor in his mustang, but I may have him mixed up with another guy. Certainly that would taint ones opinion of the product.
Quote:
I don't see a reason to spend more for better.
I dont pay more for the purolator plus or motorcraft filters i'm buying vs the frams. The frams are defintely more "available" in volume and applications, but when I find a filter that fits I just buy 3-4 of them. They dont go bad. Heck, one of the auto chains had a rebate deal on filters a couple of years ago and I stocked up. I think I paid about two bucks a filter.

I do have to admit that after looking at the innards of the filters that I didnt feel terribly comfortable about pumping hot oil at high PSI through a couple of them.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 05-11-2006, 12:36 PM   #47
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

I've been messing with cars most of my life, and I like doing my own maintaince. I agree that Fram oil filters are something to stay away from.......just my opinion. I've cut them apart after use and have seen the cardboard endcaps and filter media collapsed. Several mid priced filters do great including Wix. Top of the line (again my opinion) are Mobil 1, and Purolator Pure 1. The Pure 1 being a bit more restrictive due to it's fine filter media.
Oil?....most all meet the specs for todays cars. I personally run Mobil 1 synthetic in our Honda and Valvoline Maxlife in my old vette due to it's additive pack.....which the older engines need from what I gather.
If you really want to split hairs as far as how often to change oil send a sample of used oil to this place: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ . They will send back a report telling you exactly how your engine is doing with the current oil, filter and change interval. It costs about $20.
Blackstone's report just gave my son the green light to extend his OCI (oil change interval) past 7500 miles using Mobil1 synthetic oil and M1 filter. They suggest the next change at 8500......then have that sample tested. He drives a Toyota 4Runner.

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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 03:45 PM   #48
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
My understanding with Dexcool and its equivalents is that it's fine up until about 5 years/100,000 miles, but once it goes beyond that point, it actually turns highly destructive and can ruin the engine. Where in contrast, the old fashioned green stuff will simply lose its ability to transfer heat, lose its resistance to freezing and rust, so it will slowly let the engine get damaged in a more passive way if you let it go too long, but the modern pink/orange stuff will actually aggressively attack the engine.
I just topped off my coolant in my car and the new coolant was almost clear-yellowish pink, so I'm assuming that's the Dexcool stuff you are talking about. I'd never heard about this before, I'll have to check the container when I get home. I used to use the premixed coolant and that was green.

I've never done the 30k or 60k on my car or my wife's car. I found that half the stuff didn't even apply for my car. For example, they said that they replace the plugs at 30k, but my plugs are platinum plugs that aren't supposed to be replaced until 60k. We just end up cherry picking services as we go, coolant flush, transmission flush etc.

One thing I noticed is that the 30k service at my dealer is supposed to take 1.5 to 2 hrs. Now, considering how slow they seem to work doing an oil change, I'm not so sure they can do a whole lot more.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 04:35 PM   #49
 
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
One thing I noticed is that the 30k service at my dealer is supposed to take 1.5 to 2 hrs. Now, considering how slow they seem to work doing an oil change, I'm not so sure they can do a whole lot more.
Count your money.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 04:48 PM   #50
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

It's not that you think they aren't doing the job. They aren't. I had one mechanic at a Jiffy Lube tell me that my tires are filled to 35 PSI as part of their courtesy service after an oil change. I'm like, "Really? The sticker on the door says 28 PSI recommended. You have just over inflated my tires." It turns out he just read the max recommended pressure off the side wall and said that what he did. I measured the tires out in the parking lot, and all 4 tires read 28 PSI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
From what I've seen, most of the "check this, check that" stuff never gets checked. Thats what you're paying extra for. That can lead to a false sense of security.

Unless its one of those deals where they check stuff for free looking for stuff they can charge you to fix. Then you better get a second opinion.

Theres a term, I think its "wall job", where you bring your car in for service, they put it over next to a wall, and go get it when you come in to pay.

Ever notice your car seems to run better after you wash it?

Perception... :P
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 05:09 PM   #51
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

I don't do hardly ANY work on our honda's (2000 civic and 2000 accord). Everything more complicated than replacing wiper blades goes to our local honda specialist auto shop (not the dealer). My family has been going there for a decade at least.

Just got the 45k checkup done on my civic - $150 which included oil change, a few other changes and a ton of inspections. The front brakes and rotors were also replaced for $180 I believe. Both of our cars have been running like champs for 6 years now just doing the scheduled maintenances every 15k miles and oil changes every 3-5k miles, per the honda specialists recommendations. Oh yeah, I did have to get the wifey a new set of tires around 60k.

I figure spending around $100/yr for routine checkups plus whatever we spend on extra oil changes isn't too bad to have a pro (who only works on hondas and toyotas) working on it instead of me. Occasionally I'll get the urge to try to learn how to fix stuff with the cars or do the maintenance myself, then I remember how lazy I am and how easy it is for me to make $100. And I'll probably screw it up anyway and end up paying 2x in repair costs to remedy my mistake.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 05:33 PM   #52
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Like my old boss used to say...

"I made a deal with my auto mechanic.... I don't fix cars and he agrees to not manfacture drugs."

Works for me.
I used to do a lot of auto work but stopped several years ago. I did not have the time, energy or $$ to keep up with the technology to diagnose and fix them. The days are long gone when you could tune a car by placing a glass of water on the fender and turn the carb. screws until the ripples stopped and the tach. stabilized.

I buy good well built cars that I know won't take a ton of tinkering to keep them going. For me that has been Toyota, Honda and Acura. I have one of each currently and the my annual repairs for all three run under $400 (not counting tires). The newest one is a 2003.

I know as they age they will need more TLC. I am OK with that. I have not had a car payment in 8 years so I figure I am coming out ahead of the game.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 07:23 PM   #53
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
The newest one is a 2003 ... I have not had a car payment in 8 years
neat trick!* the '03 was free?
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 07:42 PM   #54
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

While my DD was going to grad school down in Fla. a few years ago I sent her to the local garage to get an oil change and filter. When the job was done DD called me from her cell phone and said the car was bucking on the way home and she was affraid to drive it. I had the car towed to the local Mitsu dealer since it was a Mitsu Spyder. They found that the mechanic my daughter used had emptied the trany fluid and filled the engine with 5 more quarts of oil. So she had 10 quarts of oil in the engine and no trany fluid.

Needless to say I wasn't too happy with the original mechanic.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 10:59 PM   #55
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

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neat trick!* the '03 was free?
No, I pay cash for cars therefore no car payments. Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-02-2006, 11:53 PM   #56
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

I do everything myself.* Have for decades.* Each time I've let somebody do something, I've regretted it.*

Someday, I'll be to old and feeble to do it.* Just shoot me then.* But they'll probably miss the first time, and I'll have to show them which sight to use.* Just like Mr Pither did in his Bicycling Trip of North Cornwall.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:20 AM   #57
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I buy good well built cars that I know won't take a ton of tinkering to keep them going.* For me that has been Toyota, Honda and Acura.*
Yea, me too. I just had the clutch go out on my 2003 Honda CRV at 56k miles. It cost me $1,000. I was bummed. I hope I don't have a lemon. My Civic had 170k on it with the same clutch, then I was rear ended and it was totalled.

Oh well, at least I wasn't out in the dingles on a hiking expedition when the clutch went out.
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-03-2006, 10:35 AM   #58
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

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Originally Posted by Helen
My Civic had 170k on it with the same clutch, then I was rear ended and it was totalled.
Guess you should have changed the clutch then, huh?
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-03-2006, 01:46 PM   #59
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Guess you should have changed the clutch then, huh?
Oh, you can do better than that-- for example, were any other parts of the car damaged?
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?
Old 06-03-2006, 05:12 PM   #60
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Re: Car upkeep, what's neccessary and what's fluff?

I went 235,000 volvo 240 1992 model and never replaced the clutch!

I did however drop the entire exhust system on the interstate on my way home from work at 235,000!

Sold it for 1,000 and moved on!
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