Copyright 2013,14,15,2016 Tim Siewert
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Regular maintenance of your vehicle will greatly extend the life of the vehicle. I bought a brand new car in 1992; a Metro. When brand new, that car got 60 miles to the gallon. I religiously and regularly changed the oil/filter in that car every 3K miles. Consequently, that car lasted me 302,000 miles and over 18 years. The total purchase price of that car amortized over the 18+ years I owned it was less than $32.00 per month. Even when the ’92 Metro was no longer drivable due to too much rust, I scraped it out myself and saved many of the useable parts, including the engine/transmission, for an identical ’94 Metro (that I paid $900 for) that I am now driving.
When changing the oil and filter in a vehicle it is customary for most mechanics to spread a little oil on the gasket of the new filter before installation. Instead of oil I recommend using grease. Grease insures a better seal of the new gasket and does not dissipate like oil. I also use grease regularly for another maintenance procedure; tire rotation. I spread grease on the wheel lug-nut studs before putting the tire back on when I rotate my tires. This insures that the lug-nuts do not get rusted on the studs facilitating ease of removal. Nothing is more infuriating than not being able to get all the lug-nuts off when you have a flat tire because of a rusted-on lug-nut. I also tighten the lug-nuts by hand when I rotate my tires; regularly rotating the tires and tightening by hand insures the nuts will be easily removable in the eventuality of a flat tire. I still change the oil/filter in my car every 3000 miles and rotate the tires every other oil change.
I keep a log in a notebook that lives in the car to keep track of oil changes and other maintenance done on the car. I have set up the log book with mileage, dates and what was done; including gas purchases. The present Metro gets 45-50 miles per gallon and has 175,000 miles on it; 80,000 of which I have put on it. I recently installed the spare transmission from the ’92 in the ’94 because the original transmission was no longer serviceable. Even with 302,000+ miles on the transmission from the ’92 original Metro it still runs like new.
In the fall of ’14, I painted the ’94 Metro. I painted it OD green with a brush and roller; total cost $15.00.
I have a tactical Metro.
AUTO MECHANIC HINTS
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