Thursday, August 26th, 2021



This is an old story and it’s rehashed all of the time, but it’s a new time and all of the rules have changed.
The good news is that getting a new lease on life on your existing vehicle can start no matter what stage of its life it’s in.

vintage auto Why do we need to keep our car running for 20 years? Well, the sorry truth is that because we as a country have decided to allow a hostile and destructive country to produce all of the world’s semiconductor production and sales.

As a result, we have thousands of vehicles that cannot be sold because they cannot be finished. Thus, the new car inventory is quickly diminishing. Likewise, replacement parts are becoming more and more difficult to find and the prices of said parts are climbing to the moon. A small indication of this phenomenon is the fact that cooling system hoses, that once adorned the walls of small service stations are now often days and weeks out. That is if they are available.

Depending on the age and mileage of your vehicle is the true starting point of your quest of keeping your vehicles running forever. It is a real misnomer thinking that if you have a car that has extremely low mileage that it never needs preventive maintenance. This cannot be more wrong. A vehicle that has extraordinarily low mileage can sometimes be more apt to break down than a vehicle that has been used in a more aggressive fashion. Think of it as we do of our bodies, use it or lose it.

oil changeEvery car comes with its own instruction booklet or bible as I like to describe it. It’s called the owner’s manual. Once a thirty-page booklet that was found and ignored in the glove box has now become hundreds of pages thick and many times multiple volumes. In this book under maintenance is the scheduled maintenance charts. These charts are the lifeblood of your vehicle. If you notice the schedules are usually written by time and mileage. As all industry’s goal in life is to confuse and mislead the public, these charts appear to be grouped by time and mileage at the same time, when in all actuality it should be written as time or mileage whichever comes first.

The mainstay of all preventive maintenance schedules is the oil duration schedules. While as in most of us oldsters, the 3000 mile or 3 months duration pops into mind. With the advent of better metallurgy and oil composition, it soon became 3 months or 5000 miles. With the introduction of synthetic oil, the range has increased to 10,000 miles or once a year. The newest vehicles now do not even have dipsticks to check your oil levels and the oil service duration has become “when the change oil lamp comes on”. How foolish is it that do Doctors tell you not to breathe in until you turn blue?

So here is the skinny in a few paragraphs for keeping a car viable for 20 years.

  1. Change your oil every 5000-7500 miles or every 6 months if you are using mineral or semi-synthetic blend oils.
  2. If your vehicle demands synthetic oil to run change it every 7500-9500 miles or every 9 months. If you are fortunate to have an oil dipstick to check your oil levels, do it weekly if not read the bible and find out how to monitor your oil levels via the electronics in the vehicle.
  3. engine cooling system Rotate your tires every time you change your oil. This will allow you to see the wear patterns and examine your brakes at the same time.
  4. Replace your brake fluid every 2 years regardless of mileage. This will protect your calipers and brake hoses.
  5. Replace your power steering fluid at the same time. This will save you thousands in rack repairs.
  6. Replace your automatic transmission fluid every 35,000-40,000 miles and the filter every 60,000 miles and while you’re at it, replace and flush the cooling system.
  7. Last of all replace all of the belts and hoses every 9 years or 90,000 miles.

Learn to enjoy your car as it will last you a long time.