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Old 08-11-2015, 11:06 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rayvt View Post
And the service department. I was recently in for some recall work on the Rav4, and they tried to tell me it was time for a brake system flush, battery service (on a 6-month old battery??), and a fuel system service, totaling around $400. Pretty good profit for $2 worth of brake fluid, wiping off the battery, and changing the $5 gas-line filter. While waiting, I overheard them (quietly) telling every customer in the waiting room the exact same thing.
The above is another good reason to find an independent shop to service your car if you are unable to do routine maintenance on your own.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:23 PM   #22
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^Keep in mind one must be able to show strict adherence to the factory maintenance schedule if making a claim for an unscheduled repair. Better know your maintenance schedule items and keep all receipts.
This is EXACTLY the reason I cancelled my Camry warranty. At first I thought it would be a good idea with the amount of miles DH puts on her vehicle travelling, then I realized I would spend three times more trying to maintain the vehicles strict maintenance schedule than the warranty costs were. After attempting to report an issue with the muffler, I quicly understood that if this could (and likely would) be classified as negligence it would not be covered.

As a consumer, I will skip the installments, and take the hit at the time of service, negotiating that service price when they come up.


With the muffler, the exhaust pipe was bent enough where the muffler was rattling on the heat shield. I paid some craigslist welder $50 to weld a chunk of leftover exhaust in between the muffler and the heat shield, problem fixed within an hour no hassles from the backyard mechanic.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:47 PM   #23
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I am all in favor of strictly adhering to the manufacturers recommend preventive maintenance schedule, but I dont. I also don't keep records that well so I'm probably out on any warranty extension unless the dealer gives it to me and I can't get the car cheaper without it.

I should keep better maintenance records though. My last two cars I have kept for 8 years each, one was 17 years when I got rid of it and the other car is currently 19 years old. This has allowed me to use parts warranties. On one I replaced the radiator and 7 years later replaced it again and they gave me a new one under lifetime warranty! I've also gotten multiple sets of break pads and one heater core 3x over! I'd probably be able to get a lot more use out of those lifetime parts warranties if I kept records rather than tried to remember.

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Old 08-11-2015, 09:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by StikyBoots View Post
I am all in favor of strictly adhering to the manufacturers recommend preventive maintenance schedule, but I dont. I also don't keep records that well so I'm probably out on any warranty extension unless the dealer gives it to me and I can't get the car cheaper without it.

I should keep better maintenance records though. My last two cars I have kept for 8 years each, one was 17 years when I got rid of it and the other car is currently 19 years old. This has allowed me to use parts warranties. On one I replaced the radiator and 7 years later replaced it again and they gave me a new one under lifetime warranty! I've also gotten multiple sets of break pads and one heater core 3x over! I'd probably be able to get a lot more use out of those lifetime parts warranties if I kept records rather than tried to remember.

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Anybody that changes a heater core three times loves punishment, although the next time around is usually easier. My last heater core job (2002 VW Jetta):

Dash out!

027.jpg

Heater box rebuild!

023.jpg
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:19 AM   #25
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There are things you should do that aren't listed in the owners manual. You see the results in cars that have low mileage per year. Mostly change your fluids occasionally. Examples.

1) I have a Mustang bought new in Nov. 2004. Now has about 65K miles and I did the brakes a couple of months ago. Decided to flush the brake fluid. It was opaque and discolored. Probably full of H2O. Cost (since I did it myself), maybe $10.
2) This made me think of anti-freeze. Drained and refilled it. It was discolored. Don't know if it would be a problem but I might have spent $30. Cheap compared to:
3) A friend has an A/M DB7 from the 90's. It had about 30K miles on it when it died in a small city about 1K miles from home. He didn't want a local guy to touch it and paid to have it shipped home. Here, a bunch of "car guys" including a very experienced British mechanic got into it (how often have you worked on an Aston Martin?). The head gasket was blown. Fixed it. The mechanic suggested that time, not miles, degraded the anti-freeze to the point it got acidic and ate the gasket. Can't say he's right but he said he replaced ALL fluids every 3-5 years. An aside, what does an A/M head gasket cost? Well, A/M Britain offered him one for ~C$2200. One of the "car guys" pointed out to him the engine in his car was Jaguar. The local Jag dealer brought one in for ~C$190. For a typical Ford/Chev/whatever it would have been ~C$30. Still want an exotic car?

Of course, with cars, YMMV.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:09 AM   #26
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There are things you should do that aren't listed in the owners manual. You see the results in cars that have low mileage per year. Mostly change your fluids occasionally. Examples.

1) I have a Mustang bought new in Nov. 2004. Now has about 65K miles and I did the brakes a couple of months ago. Decided to flush the brake fluid. It was opaque and discolored. Probably full of H2O. Cost (since I did it myself), maybe $10.
2) This made me think of anti-freeze. Drained and refilled it. It was discolored. Don't know if it would be a problem but I might have spent $30. Cheap compared to:
3) A friend has an A/M DB7 from the 90's. It had about 30K miles on it when it died in a small city about 1K miles from home. He didn't want a local guy to touch it and paid to have it shipped home. Here, a bunch of "car guys" including a very experienced British mechanic got into it (how often have you worked on an Aston Martin?). The head gasket was blown. Fixed it. The mechanic suggested that time, not miles, degraded the anti-freeze to the point it got acidic and ate the gasket. Can't say he's right but he said he replaced ALL fluids every 3-5 years. An aside, what does an A/M head gasket cost? Well, A/M Britain offered him one for ~C$2200. One of the "car guys" pointed out to him the engine in his car was Jaguar. The local Jag dealer brought one in for ~C$190. For a typical Ford/Chev/whatever it would have been ~C$30. Still want an exotic car?

Of course, with cars, YMMV.
Good story on the Aston! I have had a few British cars over the years. Ones that stick in my head are a 1968 MGB roadster (college car) with the famous Lucas 6 Volt system and a early 70's Jensen Healey, which was a car I would have to push home every once in a while.

Modern cooling system fluids are much more stable than the old days of straight ethylene glycol use and are formulated for longevity. Not saying you shouldn't be prudent here, but just be cautious.
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