It's been a good car. You don't have to do much besides put gas in it. Then
one day TRAGEDY STRIKES!!!
One day it breaks down, and it couldn't be at a worse time. Then the cruelest
cut of all! The mechanic at the auto repair shop you go to says it's going to
cost hundreds of dollars to fix your car...HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS YOU DON'T HAVE!
DON'T LET IT BE YOU!
I once boasted that I'd never broken down in my car. As soon as I said it I
realized it was kind of a lie: the truth would have been I never had a breakdown
that SURPRISED ME! A good example is tires: I've run some bald and beautiful in
my time, and when one of them blows I can't really shake my fist at the sky.
I've let a leaky water pump slide too long and had to
pull over because the belt broke. The point is, I by no means broke down far
from home: these vehicles all failed very locally. Why? I knew they had problems
and would never venture far from home with any of them. I also know when to stop
when something breaks, so I'm only fixing the small problem: not a big problem
brought on by the small one! READ ON: YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!
The modern car should last well in excess of 100,000 miles, with mileages of
more than 250,000 being common. This is mileage without MAJOR drive train
There are a number of components which do not last as long, however. Knowing
what these components are and when they are likely to fail, and then fixing them
before they leave you stranded can save you big bucks!
There are 4 vital engine parts things which wear out way before the engine
does. Your water pump (unless you have an air cooled
car) can fail in two ways: the bearings can fail and
eventually either freeze up or throw the belt off. Or it's seals can fail and
leak engine coolant. The alternator which keeps the
battery charged and powers the electric stuff on the car can fail in a number of
ways. Your starter one day will start to drag,
click, or refuse to do anything at all! A fuel pump
can fail with little warning, and in some cases pump your crankcase full of
gasoline, destroying your engine and possibly starting a fire!
The point is, BEWARE THE CAR KILLERS!
All of the above parts will fail before 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Their
bearings, brushes, rubber parts, etc. just don't last that long. I can't tell
you which one will go out first. I can guarantee you this: By the time you hit
10 years or 100,000 miles, you will have one of these things fail. By the time
you hit 200,000 miles you will have replaced all 4 of them. Check out the
highlighted links above to find out how to check these 4 vital parts.
But you're not safe yet!
Many cars have a timing belt. If it breaks it can
destroy your motor in certain cars. Timing belts should be replaced every 50,000
miles. They break any time after 60,000 miles or 7 years. They rarely last
100,000 miles. Bad CV JOINTS on front wheel drive
cars won't destroy your engine, but they're expensive to replace. CV joints have
rubber boots which keep the grease in them and keep dirt out. These boots are
supposed to be replaced and new grease put in the CV joint every 50,000 miles.
If you do this, the axles should last 150,000 plus miles with 50,000 mile
services. (this would be about every time you do the front
brakes or set of tires.) In addition it's important to check the 4 rubber
boots regularly, especiallly before a long trip. They'll destroy themselves
fairly rapidly, they will start making a clicking noise on turns, and then you
have to replace the axles!
Most of the time you see a car on the side of the road it's because of
something made of rubber. Rubber (like your tires
and belts) wear out with time and mileage. Something made of rubber that is over
10 years old is likely to be bad no matter how much it's used. THESE ARE THE BIG
Radiator hoses as well as the often ignored heater
and bypass hoses can fail after 50,000 miles. This can overheat your engine,
causing serious damage: especially in this day of aluminum engine parts!
The thermostat can stick shut and overheat an
engine. If you ever blow a hose or get the engine hot, the thermostat can be
damaged. It works for a while then sticks shut, overheating the engine again.
It's not a bad idea to replace the thermostat whenever you replace the
water pump or when you change all
Transmission cooler lines, especially flexible rubber ones, can leak , as
well as many other vital seals and gaskets. It's a good idea to look for leaks
and discover their source. Also notice any loss of fluids when you CHECK YOUR
FLUIDS MONTHLY OR EVERY 1000 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!
A CAR HEART ATTACK!
When that oil pressure light goes on, shut the
engine off. Your engine can run with that light on about as long as you can live
without a heartbeat. An exception is if you are slamming on brakes hard or
cornering fast. In that case, stay off the gas. If the light goes off quickly,
continue on, take it easy, and add oil AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
When your TEMPERATURE light comes on,it's not as urgent as the oil light, but
almost. Turning on the heater can provide additional cooling. (Your heater is
just a small radiator under the dash.) A stop to let your car cool off and check
out the problem can save you a lot of expense.
LISTEN TO YOUR CAR!
Any new squeals, taps, knocks, or rattles might be a warning sign. Remember:
at Economechanix we'll always take time to ride around the block with you, look
under your hood, and see if we can spot something wrong.
|ExpoAutoParts.com Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved|