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Old 10-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #161
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Methinks all that engine grime will end up on the ground somewhere, sometime later anyway. Except for the little bit of the extra degreaser solvent that one uses for cleaning, of course.

And all that is still minuscule compared to the oil and tar in the zillion tons of asphalt that we spread on the ground each year.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:07 PM   #162
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So... is this wrong?, Crazy? A useless effort?... and have I been lucky not to have caused some major damage?
Whaddya think?
I've never cleaned an engine in my life. This way when the fluids start leaking from something, they leave tracks in the dirt/grease which greatly simplifies the detection & troubleshooting.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:37 AM   #163
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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.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #164
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What about when minimal miles are put on a car? Say only 10k per year. Would you change the oil every 3 or 6 months? Thanks!
I would do it once a year at minimum, but if you're driving 10k, you may need to do it every 6 months. I'm surprised that 10k miles is considered "minimal"...I only drive 7,500/year in my daily driver, 2,500/year in my Mustang, and 500/year in my Camaro, and my mother in law only drives 500/year.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:44 AM   #165
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Another thread inspired this tip. It worked on DW's newer Ford, on other makes YMMV.

Don't wait until you lose a key to get a spare. You can buy an uncut chip-key for < $30. Have it cut (<$10) and program it yourself. The Interweb has 'how to' instructions. On Fords you need two working keys to do this.

If you wait until you lose one it may cost from slightly under $100 to $400 depending on who does it.
That's a great tip...do you have a link for how to program? I'll have to pass this one along.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:49 AM   #166
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Throwing out a new question...
Background... Back in 1959, in a Sears manager training program, I worked for a week in Automotive (garage)... Whenever any "under the hood" work was being done, (that store only)... the mechanics would steam clean the entire engine compartment, (with the owner's permission) Even the ancient old buggies came out shiny clean, and the thought was, cleaner engine lasts longer.

I have been washing the engine compartment of my cars, ever since then... Now, I spray Greased Lightning over the entire engine, frame, and the insulation under the hood.... and then use the hose to wash off the grease and dirt. My 15 to 17 year old cars look showroom clean under the hood.

In all of these years, I have never had a problem with starting, short circuits, or anything else that could be attributable to this "washing". After washing, I usually apply some "dressing" to the plastic parts, just for aesthetics.

So... is this wrong?, Crazy? A useless effort?... and have I been lucky not to have caused some major damage?

One thing I notice... on the times when a mechanic looks under the hood... he seems pretty happy to be working on a clean engine. It makes it a cleaner proposition for me, when checking the fluids, filters etc.

Whaddya think?
I've done this on many of my cars. On older cars, you do have to be very careful, as many of the items were not sealed. For example, distributor caps and spark plug wires...and you will have issues starting afterwards if you're not careful.

I would recommend running/driving the car afterwards to get all the water dried off...otherwise you could get some rust, particularly on the pulleys, which will then cause squeaks.

I don't think it will make the engine last any longer, but it sure helps identify where problems are, such as oil leaks, bulging hoses, etc....which is why I do it on my daily driver. On my show cars, of course, I do it all manually with a toothbrush.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #167
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I did not know that mechanics routinely cleaned engines back then (before my time). However, I have always done that as a periodic maintenance on my cars. Not showroom clean, but I keep the engines clean enough that if they leak oil or coolant, I would be able to tell. And because I do work on my cars, that's less grease on my hands.

But, but, but, there have been two occasions where the water spraying caused me trouble. I usually start up the engines after cleaning for the heat to dry up the water, sometimes after I blow-dry them too with a compressor air hose. That was when I discovered that the engine ran rough. Arghh...

In one occasion, the water got into a connector that had its protective boot busted. The water caused a current leakage between its connector terminals (a temperature sensor, if I recalled correctly), and messed up the engine controller. Finding the cause was tough (a day or two), but fixing it was of course easy. This was about 20 years ago.

On the second occasion, the water evaporated from the engine heat, then recondensed inside the distributor cap. On this front-wheel drive car, the distributor cap was between the engine and the firewall and under the intake manifold, which meant that it could only be accessed from under the car. Arghh... That also took me a day or two to locate the cause. This incidence was about 15 years ago.

Do I still clean my engines? Yes, I still do. As you can see, the above incidences were traumatic enough for me to remember up to today, but I guess I am just OCD about this.
Good post...this points out some of the watch outs...I posted mine above before reading this and you can see I mention a couple similar things that I bolded.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:53 AM   #168
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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.

just bumping this since I posted so many things in between lol.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #169
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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.
I've only done it on Fords and a Mazda. Other makes will require a google search.

Quote:
For remote entry:
1.) Gather all your remotes, b/c you're programming a brand new code to the remotes
2.) Make sure all doors and liftgate/window are completely shut
3.) Place your key into the ignition then cycle it from "off" to "on" 8 times, ending on the "On" position, if this is done correctly, the doors locks should lock then unlock.
4.) After the "lock confirmation," press any button on the remote. Once you did that, the door locks should lock, then unlock. Continue this with the rest of the remotes.
5.) Turn the ignition off and try the remotes out. If one of them doesn't work, repeat steps 1-4.

Remember that you can only program up to 4 remotes.
A new key can be programmed as described at How to Program a Ford Transponder Chip Key | eHow.com

For integrated key & remote locks: Replacement Keys, Coding Your Keypad & Lost Keys | Official Ford Owner Site
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #170
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I've only done it on Fords and a Mazda. Other makes will require a google search.

A new key can be programmed as described at How to Program a Ford Transponder Chip Key | eHow.com

For integrated key & remote locks: Replacement Keys, Coding Your Keypad & Lost Keys | Official Ford Owner Site
Great, thanks. I have a Ford with such a key.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #171
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I'd be careful shooting a direct stream of water/steam into the engine compartment. I've cleaned mine before, I use some spray on engine cleaner/degreaser then just gently rinse off. Also use old plastic bags to wrapup and tape/seal things like the alternator, fuse box, air filter etc.

Here's a link to tutorial from popular mechanics that covers most of it.

Engine Cleaning DIY Tips How to Clean an Engine Pictures - Popular Mechanics
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #172
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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.
just bumping this since I posted so many things in between lol.
You sure work hard on the equipment. Can you tell whether it's actually necessary, or does it just make the owner feel better for having done it?

This reminds me of Navy maintenance systems where we used to dismantle a seawater pump every two or three years just to inspect and replace parts that had a history of wearing out. You veterans know that the mere act of dismantling the pump caused more chaos, confusion, and disruption than any of the failed parts would have caused. Then there was the thrill of getting it back together, to say nothing of the expense of fixing everything else you accidentally broke along the way.

So during the '90s the Navy moved to "performance monitoring". Instead of tearing apart a pump to see what might be breaking, its performance was tested: max pressure output, max volume output, transducer readings on various bearings, other signs of impending trouble. Lo & behold, when you don't have to fix a pump until it's breaking then it goes longer between teardowns, it lasts longer overall, and you do a lot less work. I can't remember ever having a seawater pump seize up on us, even when the harbor water was filthy enough to clog the suction.

So why lubricate all of those hinges & latches every year? Why not two years, or five, or 6.237, or just wait until they start making noise?

Another case in point: "washing" a car. I haven't washed a car since our daughter was tall enough to reach the roof on her own. Our cars get washed once a year: on Mother's Day and Father's Day. When she graduates from college, I suspect that's going to stop. I think our 2006 Prius has been waxed once in four years. It's seen more surf wax on its roof than car wax.

Yet I haven't had anything rust out on me since my first car, a 1981 Mazda GLC, started getting roof rot in the 1990s. (Ironically that car got washed a lot.) Today's car coatings seem pretty advanced, and I can't tell that washing & waxing make a difference. Let alone Family Handyman advising having a special car soap and a separate rinse bucket for the wash mitt.

I can see the wisdom of hosing off road salt or clumps of dirt/tar. But even there I'm skeptical that it needs doing as frequently as advised.

I'm encouraged by the trend toward 10,000-15,000-mile oil changes. I like the idea of 30,000-mile air filters, 100,000-mile spark plugs, 100,000-mile radiator coolant, and brake pads that only need inspecting every 100,000 miles.

If you want to have a showroom-ready car, that's a passion. To keep a car alive if it was built before the 1990s, it's probably a necessity. But before I do most of this maintenance on a modern vehicle, I'd want to know how it improves the performance of the car or prolongs its life. I bet most of the time the difference is insignificant.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #173
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I'd be careful shooting a direct stream of water/steam into the engine compartment. I've cleaned mine before, I use some spray on engine cleaner/degreaser then just gently rinse off. Also use old plastic bags to wrapup and tape/seal things like the alternator, fuse box, air filter etc.

Here's a link to tutorial from popular mechanics that covers most of it.

Engine Cleaning DIY Tips How to Clean an Engine Pictures - Popular Mechanics
Good article, thanks for posting. I will add that when you clean a battery like that, you should either wear gloves...or wash your hands in baking soda and water immediately after cleaning anything related to the battery. That acid is very strong, and will harm clothes and your skin. Even the trace amounts found in the rust in the battery tray can eat through clothing if you get it on there and don't clean it right away.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:16 PM   #174
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You sure work hard on the equipment. Can you tell whether it's actually necessary, or does it just make the owner feel better for having done it?
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.

So why lubricate all of those hinges & latches every year? Why not two years, or five, or 6.237, or just wait until they start making noise?
See above

Another case in point: "washing" a car. I haven't washed a car since our daughter was tall enough to reach the roof on her own. Our cars get washed once a year: on Mother's Day and Father's Day. When she graduates from college, I suspect that's going to stop. I think our 2006 Prius has been waxed once in four years. It's seen more surf wax on its roof than car wax.
As for washing, I have a few comments. 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. I do agree it's lots of work, and if you don't think the payback is there for you...then you shouldn't do it...to each his/her own. I'll have to see if I can get photos of the scratches on my Honda door handle areas before I do the buffing I'm planning soon.


Yet I haven't had anything rust out on me since my first car, a 1981 Mazda GLC, started getting roof rot in the 1990s. (Ironically that car got washed a lot.) Today's car coatings seem pretty advanced, and I can't tell that washing & waxing make a difference. Let alone Family Handyman advising having a special car soap and a separate rinse bucket for the wash mitt.
I agree that the special soaps/buckets are more for the serious car show guys like two of my cars. Family Handyman has to sell magazines, and do so by taking things to the nth degree sometimes.

I can see the wisdom of hosing off road salt or clumps of dirt/tar. But even there I'm skeptical that it needs doing as frequently as advised.
See above

I'm encouraged by the trend toward 10,000-15,000-mile oil changes. I like the idea of 30,000-mile air filters, 100,000-mile spark plugs, 100,000-mile radiator coolant, and brake pads that only need inspecting every 100,000 miles.
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.

If you want to have a showroom-ready car, that's a passion. To keep a car alive if it was built before the 1990s, it's probably a necessity. But before I do most of this maintenance on a modern vehicle, I'd want to know how it improves the performance of the car or prolongs its life. I bet most of the time the difference is insignificant. Everyone here can judge for themselves....I'll have to see if I can post some photos of my Honda. For me it's worth it, although admittedly I don't use a separate rinse bucket and claybar for my Honda.

See other comments above in bold.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:09 PM   #175
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I stopped "loving" my cars a long time ago. Even back when I did, I never pampered them that much. And now, I am just too old and tired to care.

For example, I wash my cars about once every four months, mainly to rinse off the dirt when the cars look bad, no waxing.

Still, I pay attention to how they drive, and try to identify any new noise, etc... About the only things I do religiously are to change the engine oil, usually about 8K miles with synthetic, top off various fluids, check coolant, tire pressures, etc... I do not want to get stranded on the road.

I am sure that more care would result in my cars lasting longer, but hey, because I do not love them, an LBYM guy needs some reasons to get a new car once every 15 years or so, right?

PS. One thing is certain. New cars are built a heck of a lot better than in the old days. I can't recall how many times I was stranded on the road, and had to go get a new rebuilt water pump to install, by the road side. Remember those cast iron water pumps for big V8s that sat between the two engine heads, and the pump shaft was also the radiator fan shaft? Compared to that, when I replaced the timing belt in my car at 100K miles, I also replaced the water pump as it was under the same cover. The pump still looked pretty good though I replaced it just in case.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #176
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2. Used to be you needed to change oil every 3,000 miles…not today. ....
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.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #177
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If a bird splats on your car, remove the droppings immediately. I use a moistened cotton cloth if I am home, or a wet kleenex if I don't have a cotton cloth available on the road.
I usually take a cup of plain water and pour it on the dropping to soften it, then use the kleenex in a gathering together from the edges motion. I do not rub the dropping residue off until it is just a thin layer.

Blasted birds!
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:51 PM   #178
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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?
AMSOIL is high end synthetic. They make all types of lubricants and are highly regarded. Also they specifically promote extended oil change intervals with their products.

here is their site...

AMSOIL - Synthetic Oil, Motor and Engine Oil, Lubricants, Air Filters, Oil Filters and Greases
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #179
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You sure work hard on the equipment. Can you tell whether it's actually necessary, or does it just make the owner feel better for having done it?

This reminds me of Navy maintenance systems where we used to dismantle a seawater pump every two or three years just to inspect and replace parts that had a history of wearing out. You veterans know that the mere act of dismantling the pump caused more chaos, confusion, and disruption than any of the failed parts would have caused. Then there was the thrill of getting it back together, to say nothing of the expense of fixing everything else you accidentally broke along the way.

So during the '90s the Navy moved to "performance monitoring". Instead of tearing apart a pump to see what might be breaking, its performance was tested: max pressure output, max volume output, transducer readings on various bearings, other signs of impending trouble. Lo & behold, when you don't have to fix a pump until it's breaking then it goes longer between teardowns, it lasts longer overall, and you do a lot less work. I can't remember ever having a seawater pump seize up on us, even when the harbor water was filthy enough to clog the suction.

So why lubricate all of those hinges & latches every year? Why not two years, or five, or 6.237, or just wait until they start making noise?

Another case in point: "washing" a car. I haven't washed a car since our daughter was tall enough to reach the roof on her own. Our cars get washed once a year: on Mother's Day and Father's Day. When she graduates from college, I suspect that's going to stop. I think our 2006 Prius has been waxed once in four years. It's seen more surf wax on its roof than car wax.

Yet I haven't had anything rust out on me since my first car, a 1981 Mazda GLC, started getting roof rot in the 1990s. (Ironically that car got washed a lot.) Today's car coatings seem pretty advanced, and I can't tell that washing & waxing make a difference. Let alone Family Handyman advising having a special car soap and a separate rinse bucket for the wash mitt.

I can see the wisdom of hosing off road salt or clumps of dirt/tar. But even there I'm skeptical that it needs doing as frequently as advised.

I'm encouraged by the trend toward 10,000-15,000-mile oil changes. I like the idea of 30,000-mile air filters, 100,000-mile spark plugs, 100,000-mile radiator coolant, and brake pads that only need inspecting every 100,000 miles.

If you want to have a showroom-ready car, that's a passion. To keep a car alive if it was built before the 1990s, it's probably a necessity. But before I do most of this maintenance on a modern vehicle, I'd want to know how it improves the performance of the car or prolongs its life. I bet most of the time the difference is insignificant.
Well, think about where you live...........I doubt you are removing road salt and nasty stuff like that.......
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:09 PM   #180
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AMSOIL is high end synthetic. They make all types of lubricants and are highly regarded. Also they specifically promote extended oil change intervals with their products.

here is their site...

AMSOIL - Synthetic Oil, Motor and Engine Oil, Lubricants, Air Filters, Oil Filters and Greases
And the oil is pretty darn expensive. I think you can do about 4 oil changes for the price of ne of the Amsoil changes........
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