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Old 10-01-2012, 08:38 AM   #41
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f. When you start your car after it’s sat out in very cold weather all day or night, do this. BEFORE you try to start it, turn on the headlights and wait 30 seconds. This gets electricity flowing through the battery and cables, slightly warming them. Then, shut off the headlights, and THEN start the car. This doesn’t make a huge difference, but when you need that tiny bit of extra “oomph” from your car battery, it will help.
I'll buy all the other tips, but this one's a stretch. Warming up the cables doesn't make starting easier, it makes it oh-so-slightly harder (there's more resistance in warmer cables than cooler ones--not very much, but more). And it may be true that the battery performs better when warm, but to the degree the battery warms up at all with electrical discharge, I'd much rather be using that discharge to crank the engine rather than heat up the filament in the headlamps. Getting a cold engine (with the accompanying thick oil) up to starting speed can be a chore for a weak battery. I'd hate to use up my few available electrons running the headlights.

Again, keep those tips coming.

Interior: Floor mats! Especially if you live in a place with snow, invest in high-quality floormats that will keep the ice and salt from your shoes from reaching the car's carpet.

Interior: Seat covers. Buy 'em as cheap protection against spills and wear. Your car's upholstery will look brand new when you remove and discard the nasty, worn covers every few years.

Interior: Sun shades. If you park your car outside, take a moment to slip these behind the windshield. It will protect the vinyl dashboard from cracking, reduce the temps experienced by all those high-dollar (and expensive to access/replace) electronics in your instrument panel, and slightly reduce the load on your car's AC in summer. I use them year-round.

Heater core/AC system: Periodically run the AC for a few minutes each month in the winter, this helps keep the seals in the (expensive) AC compressor in good shape. Similarly, run the heater for a few minutes each month in the summer. This flushes the heater core out with fresh coolant. Coolant has antirust additives, and the stuff sitting in the heater core over the summer can lose effectiveness. A rusted-out heater core is an expensive repair.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #42
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Breaking style - if you are decelerating and spot cracks/potholes let up and roll over them and continue decelerating after passing.

I also like to think that coming to a stop those last 4 to 8 feet ease into the stop preventing any favorite spot on the rotors.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:14 AM   #43
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2. Used to be you needed to change oil every 3,000 miles…not today. Today’s engines are made with much tighter tolerances and fuel systems that don’t dilute the oil with extra gasoline (older cars ran “rich”, meaning excess fuel was squirted in during operation…and this fuel would run down the sides of the cylinder walls, dilute the oil, and make it less effective). Check your owner’s manual, but most cars today can go at least 5,000 miles between changes, and if you drive under “ideal” conditions, then 7,500 would be ok. (Ideal conditions would be where temperatures are moderate…never gets real hot and never real cold, not dusty roads such as out in the country, and moderate to long trips…short trips of 0-2 miles are very hard on cars)
Good Tip. I actually religiously use a slight modification to this. I use Mobil 1 synthetic in ALL my cars. I do not change the oil for 15,000 miles BUT Change the Filter every time the lights come on to do so, or at the recommended time period/mile. Been doing this for eons with no issues.

PS. Always love to hear form Petrol Heads.

SWR
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:18 AM   #44
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We live in a hilly area and used to live at the top of a steep hill. When we lived at the top of the steep hill, we went through brakes more quickly than normal, so we learned to regularly downshift and use engine braking to reduce wear of pad and rotors. It seemed to help. DW was always concerned that while we were saving on brakes that we were wearing out the transmission but I think as long as were were not downshifting at too high a speed that the strain on the tranny shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:38 AM   #45
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Heater core/AC system: Periodically run the AC for a few minutes each month in the winter, this helps keep the seals in the (expensive) AC compressor in good shape. Similarly, run the heater for a few minutes each month in the summer. This flushes the heater core out with fresh coolant. Coolant has antirust additives, and the stuff sitting in the heater core over the summer can lose effectiveness. A rusted-out heater core is an expensive repair.
This is another good one I was going to mention later. And if you like, you can add a can of "water pump lubricant and rust inhibitor" after about 2-3 years on fresh anti-freeze...as the additives do degrade.

Warning: NEVER open a radiator after or during when a car is running. Either add the liquid in the overflow tank, or wait until the car sits overnight before opening the radiator cap. (I was in the hospital 30+ years ago related to this)
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:38 AM   #46
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Learn how to drive to prevent automatic transmission problems. This one is difficult to explain…so let me try this way. Imagine you are on a large highway at a traffic light with no other cars, and you are stopped. You start accelerating when the light turns green, and you’re in somewhat of a hurry…so you accelerate fairly hard (try it someplace safe). When the car shifts from first gear to second gear…you’ll get a “jolt” as it shifts. This “jolt” is caused by a “band” squeezing suddenly around a shaft in the transmission. The material on those bands wears over time. The harder that shift is, the faster those bands wear. Now, imagine that you do the same exercise, but this time, just when you sense the transmission is going to shift, you let up slightly on the gas pedal so that when the shift occurs, there is no “jolt”. This is much easier on a transmission. It sounds difficult…but once you get used to it, it will become habit. I’ve never once had an automatic transmission rebuilt, and I think it’s largely because I drive this way.

You learn something new every day.

I always thought that if the bands grab quicker there would be less wear. Back in the day I used to have shift kits put in my automatic cars to not only shift quicker but so there would be less wear. I guess I wasn't thinking straight.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #47
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We live in a hilly area and used to live at the top of a steep hill. When we lived at the top of the steep hill, we went through brakes more quickly than normal, so we learned to regularly downshift and use engine braking to reduce wear of pad and rotors. It seemed to help. DW was always concerned that while we were saving on brakes that we were wearing out the transmission but I think as long as were were not downshifting at too high a speed that the strain on the tranny shouldn't be a problem.
There has been much debate on this. I prefer to replace the brakes more often (Since I do my own...you're only talking about $30 to change), but you can find people on both sides of the argument.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:43 AM   #48
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We live in a hilly area and used to live at the top of a steep hill. When we lived at the top of the steep hill, we went through brakes more quickly than normal, so we learned to regularly downshift and use engine braking to reduce wear of pad and rotors. It seemed to help. DW was always concerned that while we were saving on brakes that we were wearing out the transmission but I think as long as were were not downshifting at too high a speed that the strain on the tranny shouldn't be a problem.
Someone in my shop class once asked this same question. The answer from the teacher was, "what cost more to repair? The brakes or the transmission?"
Using the transmission puts wear on it as using the brakes does.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:08 AM   #49
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We live in a hilly area and used to live at the top of a steep hill. When we lived at the top of the steep hill, we went through brakes more quickly than normal, so we learned to regularly downshift and use engine braking to reduce wear of pad and rotors. It seemed to help. DW was always concerned that while we were saving on brakes that we were wearing out the transmission but I think as long as were were not downshifting at too high a speed that the strain on the tranny shouldn't be a problem.
I think it depends somewhat on WHEN you downshift. I suppose ideally you would downshift BEFORE the need arises. If you have hit the brakes hard to slow enough to downshift, you might be defeating the purpose. I know on my Honda Odyssey, they recommend pulling a trailer with the tranny in drive, not overdrive. When we were in the mountains around Yellowstone, I used drive a lot. There is a button that lowers the gear from OD to drive and it was very useful.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #50
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I refused to rotate my tires (the front/back are different sizes ).....
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #51
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Here's a link to a short article on the 3000 mile change "myth"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/yo...anted=all&_r=0

Also for the "oil nerds" this a great site...

Bob Is The Oil Guy - Forums powered by UBB.threads™
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #52
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I refused to rotate my tires (the front/back are different sizes ).....
You could rotate them from side to side though.

Yes, even if they are radials. I know people used to say not to do this with radials, but that was in the early days of radials. Unless they are DIRECTIONAL tires...shown by some large arrows on the sidwall stating this.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #53
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Bought a 1986 MR2 Mark 1 for $15K and drove it for 18 years, in every imaginable weather except heavy snow (which it could not handle) and finally donated it. Only 120,000 miles - I felt cheated! Still, it hardly ever needed repairs until the end, when we learned that the suspension was badly rusted and the transmission was slipping. The charity took it anyway! I don't think they are taking beaters, nowadays.

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In 2004 I sold a 1989 Toyota MR2 that I had purchased brand new. I only drove the car in good weather…it only saw rain about 5 times in its life…occasionally I’d get caught in rain when on a trip. When I sold the car…it was 15 years old and only had 32,000 miles on it. I



Let's see how this goes...and if the mods think this belongs in another area, feel free to move it.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #54
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I was told the same thing when I had my MR2: Using the transmission as a brake is...ill-advised. (Although I seem to recall a stronger word was used). Brakes are designed for braking. Learn to downshift properly and braking will not be an issue.

A.

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Someone in my shop class once asked this same question. The answer from the teacher was, "what cost more to repair? The brakes or the transmission?"
Using the transmission puts wear on it as using the brakes does.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #55
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I'll buy all the other tips, but this one's a stretch. Warming up the cables doesn't make starting easier........
I've heard this one before, though I've never tried it. Supposedly exercising the battery raises the battery internal temperature (and available power) which more than offsets the electrical energy lost to the lights.

This would be a good one for myth busters.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #56
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Brakes are designed for braking. Learn to downshift properly and braking will not be an issue.
In normal driving, I don't think it matters that much. But when going down a 16% grade road in northern coastal California, it is so easy to burn out the brakes, unless you are in 1st gear. Yes, 1st gear, not 2nd, which still lets you go down way too fast on a twisty and narrow road.

I was fortunate to be not driving the motorhome towing the toad. I was driving the car to explore that twisty road that would let me take a shortcut across the Mendocino Forest. Ugh... That would be a major faux pas, if I were dumb enough to attempt that with the motorhome.

See the link below for the narrowest section of that road. I hope the link works.

Google Maps - Mountain View Road

PS. The steepest road I have taken the motorhome with the toad had a 10% grade. I was going up, and down too, in 1st gear, and the engine was screaming! But it would be better than burning out the brakes, which then fade and lose their stopping power. So many RV'ers make that mistake. One did even set the brakes AND the tires on fire, and was able to get to a runaway truck ramp to save her life. However, there are many narrow roads with no truck runaway ramps. Nope! Only a mountain on one side and a cliff on the other side.

PPS. If in a bind, I would be able to proceed very slowly with my 25' motorhome over the above road. But what would a 40-foot class A RV'er do, if he stumbles onto that road? There is absolutely no place to turn around. Heh heh heh...
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #57
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I'd say every 10k is sufficient, synthetic oil additives do tend to last longer. The exception would be if you don't drive it much.....I think I'd change it once a year at least regardless. Wow, 0W20 is very thin stuff!
Is there a reason why the oil need to be changed if you dont drive the car often? A 5000 mile oil thats in the car, Should that be changed if the car sat in the driveway? thanks
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #58
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Had a 69 Camaro SS ..Bought it used in 71' for $2100. It was stolen in 72. Lime green with the wide white stripes.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:27 PM   #59
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2. Used to be you needed to change oil every 3,000 miles…not today. Today’s engines are made with much tighter tolerances and fuel systems that don’t dilute the oil with extra gasoline (older cars ran “rich”, meaning excess fuel was squirted in during operation…and this fuel would run down the sides of the cylinder walls, dilute the oil, and make it less effective). Check your owner’s manual, but most cars today can go at least 5,000 miles between changes, and if you drive under “ideal” conditions, then 7,500 would be ok. (Ideal conditions would be where temperatures are moderate…never gets real hot and never real cold, not dusty roads such as out in the country, and moderate to long trips…short trips of 0-2 miles are very hard on cars)

GM vehicles have had since at least 99 an oil life monitor, that tells you when to change the oil, on my cruze it tells you the percent of oil life left as did my folks 99 Buick. My 2000 pickup just said to change the oil. With this then you just need to decide what percent to change at. (My first change was at 50% because I wanted the break in products out). I did notice that day long drives do not take as much off the oil life and daily trips. The cruze owners manual says to change at least once a year anyway.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #60
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f. When you start your car after it’s sat out in very cold weather all day or night, do this. BEFORE you try to start it, turn on the headlights and wait 30 seconds. This gets electricity flowing through the battery and cables, slightly warming them. Then, shut off the headlights, and THEN start the car. This doesn’t make a huge difference, but when you need that tiny bit of extra “oomph” from your car battery, it will help.


Help me with this one. Since cold wires have less resistance than warm wires, how would warming the wires get you extra "oomph" from your car battery?

The battery being warmer would help, but not the wires.

Or is there something else going on here?
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