Car just hit 105,000 miles. What are the top five maintenance activities should do?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Drew Bethel, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I have a '97 Pontiac Sunfire GT - stick shift (5 speed). Had the dex-cool flushed out of the radiator 18 months ago and have just been been doing regular oil changes and tire rotations only.

    I'm looking for the top five things I must consider doing in the next few months to keep my baby purring like a kitten. I'm thinking about changing the spark plugs and spark plug wires...gas filter...but hey, I'm no mechanic.
     
  2. Johnny Mo

    Johnny Mo Agent

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    Timing belt/chain
    Main Seal/Rear Seal
    Clutch, pilot bearing
    Fuel Filter(s)
    Check Suspension components
     
  3. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    If you've never changed your trasmission fluid, that would be high up on the list as well.
     
  4. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Get your ball joints checked for play.
     
  5. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Also, be sure to check the alternator on your car. My last car, a '95 Buick Century, went for six years until it died out due to a failing alternator, and when I traded it in, it was up to over 130,000 miles. Make sure that the alternator is working, or you'll wind up shelling out major bucks to have it fixed.

    The brakes and shock absorbers are also good to keep checked properly in order to keep your car running smoothly. And also make sure to have the tires on your car rotated regularly.

    These are additional things that will help your car last longer.
     
  6. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    another addition: clean your throttle body. Over time, it gets gunked up with carbon and restricts airflow which slows down performance. Chances are that the fuel injectors are located in the throttle body....those should be cleaned too.
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    May be time to check the valves.

    If theres the word "filter" attached to it, it may be time to change it

    Get those nasty carpets/seats steam cleaned

    And check everything for leaks..may want to flush your power steering & brakes
     
  8. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Somebody already mentioned it, but not stridently enough...

    TIMING CHAIN, TIMING CHAIN, TIMING CHAIN!!!!

    (If it has a timing belt as opposed to a chain, It's even MORE urgent)
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i always get that mixed up.

    i know one just causes your car to stop with no harm. the other (i'm assuming the belt) causes things to suddenly fly through your hood???
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    What does your car's maintenance schedule suggest (should be in the manual)?
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Ted,
    The camshaft on an engine operates the valves. It is driven by the crankshaft (to which the pistons are attached) by either a belt or chain in the case of engines on which the camshaft(s) are located above the valves, or sometimes by gears in the case of engines on which the valves are operated by pushrods by a camshaft located down in the engine block.

    If the drive between the crank and cam is interrupted by a broken chain, belt, or gear, the pistons will continue to go up and down for a while but the valves will not.

    If the engine is designed so that the valves that are immobile and in the open position protrude into the combustion chamber far enough to be hit by the tops of the pistons, the valves will be bent and the tops of the pistons probably broken or damaged. This results in huge repair bills. Such an engine is called an "interference" design.

    Many engines with belt driven cams are "non-interference" meaning such conflict does not occur. In these if the belt breaks the engine stops but no damage occurs, you just get it towed in and a new belt installed. Most Toyota 4 cylinders with belt driven cams are "non-interference". Hondas are not non-interference, major damage usually occurs as a result of broken timing belts.

    Most cars with chain driven cams are also "interference".

    There is a factory recommended replacement interval for timing belts but not for chains. This is because typically belts give no warning before breaking, so periodic replacement is done as a preventative measure.

    Chains on the other hand most always give plenty of warning before breaking in the form of unusual rattly noises from the front of the engine, especially on cold startups during the few seconds it takes for oil pressure to come up.

    A well designed and built engine given good maintenance can go 200k miles or more without needing a timing chain replacement. The 4 cylinder engines used by Toyota in it's pickup trucks is an example of a chain driven cam design on which with proper maintenance the chain should last several hundred thousand miles. I'm sure there are many others just as good, but as a Toyota dealership mechanic Toyota is just what I have the most knowledge of.
     
  12. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    1) timing belt
    2) alternator
    3) water pump
    4) transmission
    5) carburetor/fuel injection system
    -starter
    -brake system
    -tuneup/rotor replacement
    -fuel pump
    -catalytic converter
    -exhaust system
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  14. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    i know one just causes your car to stop with no harm. the other (i'm assuming the belt) causes things to suddenly fly through your hood???


    Both pretty much cause things to suddenly fly through your hood, only one type is made of steel like a Bicycle Chain(the "Chain") which lasts longer (100-120K miles is a good rule of thumb) and is LESS prone to fall apart, and the other type is made of hard rubber (the "Belt") which is pretty much guaranteed to shred into a thousand pieces the day before you've scheduled an apointment to replace it, or every 30,000 miles... whichever comes first.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    great expo steve ... as usual, thanks!
     

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