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Old 10-08-2012, 02:12 PM   #181
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Well, think about where you live...........I doubt you are removing road salt and nasty stuff like that.......
Yes, same as Nords, I have been spoiled with our arid climate. In fact, used cars in the SW have the best body integrity.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #182
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You won't notice any difference the first time you do it. But when the car is 10 years old and all your friends are trading in their cars because the door hinges are stuck/rusted/squeaking and yours operates like a new car, you'll be thankful. As I said, I drive a 2002 Honda CRV...and although the mileage is very low (76,000), you won't find another one at this age that feels as much like a new car as mine does. If you want to do it every two years, that's fine. If you wait until they squeak, it's too late...that means they are already either rusting or are worn.
I guess my point is that 99% of car owners want to own their cars as long as possible in exchange for a minimum investment of parts & labor. In my case we buy 'em used (2-6 years old) and drive them into the ground for at least a decade.

Our '90 Honda lasted for well over a decade with us, and we saw it on the road as recently as 2008. As good as the car looked from the outside inside, at the 13-year point the engine & A/C went through several thousand dollars of repairs in a matter of months. This was despite regular maintenance & monitoring of those components. Not much you can do with starter motors, ECUs, A/C evaporator cores, the sneaky cracked distributor cap, and other components but to replace them. At that point nobody cares how fine the car looks & feels if it's sitting by the side of the road while you're walking. For the third or fourth time.

If I knew that the critical components were going to last for 25 years then maybe I'd take better care of the non-critical components. I've never had a problem with a worn door hinge or a finish or most of the subjects in this thread. It's always been some engine component whose repair cost is a substantial fraction of the car's resale value.

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1) Whether you have rust without waxing will depend heavily on what the weather is like where you live, whether you park outside, and so on. 2) It's not just about rust, it's also about grime that will "scratch" your paint when anyone rubs against it, sit on it, or even wash it (it's best to first thoroughly gently rinse a car before washing it to get all the large loose pieces of debris off that could scratch it when you finally take a rag to it). 3) Fading/scratched/dull paint will decrease the value of the car when you sell it.
Again, after owning a car for a decade I don't know whether the resale price is worth all those hours of wax-on-wax-off. If the resale price for a great finish is a thousand bucks higher, is it worth more than minimum wage in the hours of labor? Not if I have my daughter doing the work, sure, but I'd rather be surfing.

I would hope that the person who's always washing and waxing their ride is smart enough to garage it indoors to begin with. Otherwise if I couldn't afford indoor storage then maybe I shouldn't be buying a high-priced high-care vehicle to begin with. If it had to sit outside 24/7 (especially in Hawaii sunshine & salt air) then I think I'd rather own a car that's been painted with non-skid. By the time my daughter washes ours, she usually needs a wax comb... or a putty knife.

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Me too! I've yet to see brake pads last that long, but they have gotten better. Of course it depends on how you drive. If you live 1 block from the highway in Boston, and work 1 block from the highway in San Diego...you could drive a lot of miles before needing brakes.
Hybrids with regenerative braking (through the electric motor generator) usually don't clamp the pads until the last few feet of travel. On our Prius the pads don't engage until below 6 MPH or unless the brake pedal is stomped on hard enough to trigger the ABS. The multi-function display also encourages the driver to "gamify" their starts & stops for minimal accelerator & brake use. Our brake pads survived over two years of teen driving with no visible wear.

As much as I can appreciate the wisdom of maintaining before repairing, I'd have to say that the average vehicle owner's time & money is better spent on avoiding maintenance until it's necessary. And if it's not going to kill the car then maybe it's not even necessary.

I'm glad nobody's put out 500 words on upholstery maintenance. My philosophy in that area can be summed up in two words: "seat covers".
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:08 PM   #183
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Another seasonal cold weather tip: Apply (and buff off) vehicle wax to the inside surfaces where the door seals meet the bodywork. This helps the seals "slip" into place better and reduces road noise, and the big value is that it reduces the chance that ice will "glue" the seal to the doorframe and prevent the door from opening.
When you say door seals, I presume you are talking about the rubber gasket, right? Could you suggest this wax on Amazon?
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:36 PM   #184
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Oh, and automatic trans cars are harder on brakes than manual trans cars. Why? Well, at a traffic light you have to (ok, well you don't HAVE to, but most people do) keep your foot on the brake or the car moves forward...thus you are keeping heat in the rotors. With a manual trans, you can (at least on a flat road), take your foot off the brake when you stop, thus the rotors cool more/quicker....reducing brake wear.
Totally stupid question but what if I put it in Park gear in the light?

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Battery voltage should be around 12.7 or so when the car is not running, and typically is around 14.2 when it is running.
Should the voltage reduce if the battery is up for replacement?

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8. Each year, spray the following with some sort of liquid lubricant…I prefer one with PTFE…which is Teflon. To avoid making a mess, hold a paper towel behind the item as you spray where possible. Make sure you get it on the parts that move…sometimes it’s not obvious. The door hinges (at the front of the doors) and latches (at the rear part of the door), trunk hinges and latch, fuel filler door latch, hood hinges and latch.
Can you elaborate on specific product. Google gives truck loads with PTFE.

I actually have question(s) on how do you clean dirt from greasy areas, like hinges and stuff you mentioned. Is there any way that I can remove it as much as I can using some kind of spray and re-spray the grease? if yes, do you have recommendation for the products?

On Engine cleaning. The engine under the hood is pretty dirty. The other day, I watched a video on YouTube that advertised some spray from Maguir's. The guy said, just spray and wipe it off. I am not too sure thats a wise thing to do.

Finally, under the car cleaning. We use tons of salt in winter (NE) and I am sure all our cars get messed up underneath. Although there is a protective coating, how long it is going to last? I am not really worried about the winter but when it warms up, that is the time when rusting will start. How smart is the idea of cleaning the car underneath with lawn sprinkler?


BTW, on starting car with the app, new Chevy Cruze has it.

Absolutely great thread. Thank you. Have you considered participating in Open Car Project? They just released their first car.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #185
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When you say door seals, I presume you are talking about the rubber gasket, right? Could you suggest this wax on Amazon?
Yes, the rubber door gasket. As far as which wax, for this purpose I'd say any cheap wax would do well--Turtle Wax, etc. I put on a few coats when I do this.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #186
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That's a great tip...do you have a link for how to program? I'll have to pass this one along.
Free Keyless Remote Fob Entry programming instructions, procedures for all automotive vehicles Have loads of links.
When they say 'remote transmitter' in the instructions, that means the keyless entry fob, right?

Any idea how much locksmiths usually charge to cut the keys? Our neighborhood is notorious for higher charges for everything, so good if I have an idea.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:33 AM   #187
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I have a friend who works with Mercedes-Benz, an auto engineer. His job is to test the vehicles and their performance. I don't know technical details of his job. He suggested me to use only Amsoil (for any vehicle, mine is 2006 Sentra). Presumably, that is sold under their own brand. Do you agree?
And change it only once a year, that too because of the water issues accumulated in the year. (Honestly, did not understand this part)

Great thread BTW, keep them coming. Looking forward to it.
I've heard many racers use Amsoil, but I have no personal experience with it.

As far as the water issues...I detailed that in one of my earlier posts and I agree.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:38 AM   #188
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If I knew that the critical components were going to last for 25 years then maybe I'd take better care of the non-critical components. I've never had a problem with a worn door hinge or a finish or most of the subjects in this thread. It's always been some engine component whose repair cost is a substantial fraction of the car's resale value.
I did mention how to keep your steering pump from being overworked, that's a major component.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:39 AM   #189
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9. In the winter, let’s say you go into work at 8 AM. The weather forecast said there would be snow or ice that day. If you’re smart, you’ll “fold” your windshield wipers out so they are not touching the windshield…similar to what you do when you clean your windshield. Then, when you come out at 5 PM to a bunch of ice and snow, you accomplish two things. 1) you can easily scrape or brush the snow/ice off. 2) If you start the wipers by accident, they won’t be stuck to the window and tear up the motor.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #190
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9. In the winter, let’s say you go into work at 8 AM. The weather forecast said there would be snow or ice that day. If you’re smart, you’ll “fold” your windshield wipers out so they are not touching the windshield…similar to what you do when you clean your windshield. Then, when you come out at 5 PM to a bunch of ice and snow, you accomplish two things. 1) you can easily scrape or brush the snow/ice off. 2) If you start the wipers by accident, they won’t be stuck to the window and tear up the motor.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #191
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10. Using premium fuel in a car not designed for it is a waste of money. It will not make your car run better, it will not keep the engine cleaner, and it will not give you improved fuel economy. Only use premium if your car manual recommends it…and if so…ALWAYS use it. If your car is not required to use premium, you won’t HURT your car by using it, but it does no good and wastes your valuable income. Premium fuel allows cars to use higher compression ratios and spark advances to produce more power…so some cars are designed for it. (Footnote: there are a few RARE cases when using premium will help a car run better…but they are so rare I won’t spend time on that here.)
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:49 AM   #192
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5. Once a year, spray a towel with Armor All or similar, and wipe gently all weatherstripping around windows, trunk hatch, etc…this will keep them supple for years longer than otherwise.
Which Armor all product do you recommend? Actually, I was just planning to use car soap to clean up those rubber seals, Bad idea?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #193
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When you say door seals, I presume you are talking about the rubber gasket, right? Could you suggest this wax on Amazon?
He's referring to the metal against which the rubber seal meets.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #194
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Totally stupid question but what if I put it in Park gear in the light?
Not a stupid question at all. That would accomplish the same thing, so yes that's fine to do if you want to go to that much trouble.


Should the voltage reduce if the battery is up for replacement?
Usually not. There are exceptions. Batteries are 12 volts...they have 6 cells with 2 volts per cell. Sometimes you have a "dead cell", so in that case yes, it would be lower. But normally the voltage will still stay high. Now, I will say this...if you measure the battery voltage while cranking, then the voltage will drop more quickly...which sometimes you can hear as slower cranking. Typically a battery won't give much warning because the various environmental factors change so much. For example, if you start the car during the morning in your garage at 45 degrees in winter, it will start fine, but later that day out in the snow at 25 degrees it won't start. That 20 degrees of temp drop can make the difference on a marginal battery.

Can you elaborate on specific product. Google gives truck loads with PTFE.
I've used the below with no issues, although just about anything will work fine.
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=spray...82&tx=33&ty=75

I actually have question(s) on how do you clean dirt from greasy areas, like hinges and stuff you mentioned. Is there any way that I can remove it as much as I can using some kind of spray and re-spray the grease? if yes, do you have recommendation for the products?
I've only done this on show cars, and I use soapy water and a toothbrush.

On Engine cleaning. The engine under the hood is pretty dirty. The other day, I watched a video on YouTube that advertised some spray from Maguir's. The guy said, just spray and wipe it off. I am not too sure thats a wise thing to do.
Never tried it.

Finally, under the car cleaning. We use tons of salt in winter (NE) and I am sure all our cars get messed up underneath. Although there is a protective coating, how long it is going to last? I am not really worried about the winter but when it warms up, that is the time when rusting will start. How smart is the idea of cleaning the car underneath with lawn sprinkler?
Which protective coating are you talking about? The underbodies of cars are sprayed with a variety of things in different places. Some parts are painted, some have a thick sound deadening, and some (such as the differential on my 2007 Mustang) have nothing at all. Rust does not require warm temperatures...it can happen just as easily in cold temps. You must have an oxidizing metal, moisture, and air.

I don't know about the sprinkler idea...just don't do it if the temps will drop below 32F.


BTW, on starting car with the app, new Chevy Cruze has it.

Absolutely great thread. Thank you. Have you considered participating in Open Car Project? They just released their first car.Don't know what that is, but I don't have much time for too much of anything at the moment lol.
See above.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #195
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Which Armor all product do you recommend? Actually, I was just planning to use car soap to clean up those rubber seals, Bad idea?
Car soap won't hurt them, but it doesn't have any conditioners so it won't extend the life.
Armor All original.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #196
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I did mention how to keep your steering pump from being overworked, that's a major component.
I think the biggest improvement in our steering pump overload condition... was sending our daughter to college.

For some reason she's much more attuned to the problem in her 13-year-old beater CR-V than she ever was in our Prius. It seems to be related to who's paying for the repairs.

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10. Using premium fuel in a car not designed for it is a waste of money. It will not make your car run better, it will not keep the engine cleaner, and it will not give you improved fuel economy. Only use premium if your car manual recommends it…and if so…ALWAYS use it. If your car is not required to use premium, you won’t HURT your car by using it, but it does no good and wastes your valuable income. Premium fuel allows cars to use higher compression ratios and spark advances to produce more power…so some cars are designed for it. (Footnote: there are a few RARE cases when using premium will help a car run better…but they are so rare I won’t spend time on that here.)
This is just one data point, so it may not apply to other vehicles.

When I was driving an '81 Mazda GLC hatchback, I usually put the cheapest/lowest octane rating gas in it that I could find. Messing with different octane ratings made little or no difference to the MPG. Yes, I kept track and checked the data.

After college, when I started commuting up & down the East Coast with all my possessions stacked in the back, I tried the experiment again. Much to my surprise the MPG was 10% better with premium fuel. It was more expensive, but it actually worked out to less money per mile. Although a full load in that car hammered its mileage, premium gas made a difference worth paying for.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:03 PM   #197
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Yes, we've moved through three materials in brake pads...in order...




Oh, and automatic trans cars are harder on brakes than manual trans cars. Why? Well, at a traffic light you have to (ok, well you don't HAVE to, but most people do) keep your foot on the brake or the car moves forward...thus you are keeping heat in the rotors. With a manual trans, you can (at least on a flat road), take your foot off the brake when you stop, thus the rotors cool more/quicker....reducing brake wear.
Note that to increase the mileage (since leaving the transmission in gear sitting at a lite takes some fuel, vehicles like my 2011 Cruze drop into neutral if you are stopped and put have your foot on the brake, much like one would do with a manual transmission)
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:24 PM   #198
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I think the biggest improvement in our steering pump overload condition... was sending our daughter to college.

For some reason she's much more attuned to the problem in her 13-year-old beater CR-V than she ever was in our Prius. It seems to be related to who's paying for the repairs.


This is just one data point, so it may not apply to other vehicles.

When I was driving an '81 Mazda GLC hatchback, I usually put the cheapest/lowest octane rating gas in it that I could find. Messing with different octane ratings made little or no difference to the MPG. Yes, I kept track and checked the data.

After college, when I started commuting up & down the East Coast with all my possessions stacked in the back, I tried the experiment again. Much to my surprise the MPG was 10% better with premium fuel. It was more expensive, but it actually worked out to less money per mile. Although a full load in that car hammered its mileage, premium gas made a difference worth paying for.
You can believe that if you like.

You seem to want to argue with almost everything I say. I'm not sure what I've done to warrant that from you. If you think all my posts here are unimportant or wrong, feel free to ignore this thread.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #199
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Note that to increase the mileage (since leaving the transmission in gear sitting at a lite takes some fuel, vehicles like my 2011 Cruze drop into neutral if you are stopped and put have your foot on the brake, much like one would do with a manual transmission)
I didn't know that...it's great they're coming up with some new ideas like that. Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:32 PM   #200
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You can believe that if you like.
You seem to want to argue with almost everything I say. I'm not sure what I've done to warrant that from you. If you think all my posts here are unimportant or wrong, feel free to ignore this thread.
Hey, it's just one car and one data point. But it's valid.

You might find it hard to believe that a nuclear-trained geek would be logging miles and gas purchases to calculate his cost per mile, but I think most of this board's members have seen enough of that behavior to accept it.

You and I operate vehicles at very different levels of skill and effort. You're doing a great thread here, and I think it's interesting.

If you want a bunch of sycophantic responses, though, then I fear you've come to the wrong discussion board.
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