If you knew then ..what you know now ......

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Sep 28, 2002
Alrighty ...now that we're all seasoned BITOG vetrans ...let's ponder the following.

If you had to do it all over again ..what would you do differently?? I'm getting a long block for my minivan and, although I will have a factory 36/36 warranty on it, don't feel the paranoia that most of us do with a totally new vehicle.

Let's see what our "grouping" is on this shotgun question. What would you do? Bypass right from the get go? Coolant filters? VSOT?

Let's see what comes to mind here
My old 90 K2500HD that my cousin still drives,over 320,000,M1 10w30 every 5k,tune ups and that's it,other than tires,batteries,brakes etc...Treat it like ya want to be treated and all is good...

I would change one thing,I would've started hoarding way way way earlier!!!
If, since I began driving in '88, I had known what I know now, I would have:

1. Had me Father show me how to change oil & transmission fluid by myself, instead of having to pay someone to do it.

2. Changed the oil & filters regularly in my badly neglected '83 Monte Carlo & '90 Mazda MX6. It ought to be a crime the way I treated those engines.
I would never have used a FRAM filter...

I would have changed the transmission fluid earlier, even though I'm still ahead of the manual's recommendation...
For me it was 1969.

1. Not used Fram

2. Not shunned "gas station" brands, like Chevron, in favor of more expensive Castrol, Pennzoil and Valvoline.
The only thing I would have done different is go longer on some oils....AND ringed the neck of the guy I bought my turbo from for ruining 2 turbos and gunking up the engine on dino oils for the first years of the car's life. But I did get an OK deal and this is how I discovered Amsoil.

Once I had the engine semi-clean and new turbo and lines installed 10K intervals were a breeze on synthetic. I hate to say it in this forum and the owner's manual didn't forbid it, - dino oil is directly responsible for my being here. You guys SHOULD be grateful for dino!
I definently would have NOT let my stupid sister drive my truck.....800 dollars later....
Would have gotten all the little "bugs" fixed as they appeared on my 90 Cutlass Ciera and kept it even longer than the 200K miles I had on it when I sold it.
Not married my ex-wife.

Not used Mobil 1 in the minivan she traded in at 50K miles on an 04 New Bettle to look cool for her affair partner. (Yeah, ouch)

Instead of getting married and taking care of her, bought myself a Boxster S
I would have used a good synthetic oil and fluids from the first service interval. Would have made the need to replace my engine in my 87 Volvo 745 at 282K and my Turbo at 247K miles unnecessary. I could have saved money and time doing 5K OCI's instead of 3K dino OCI's. Other than that I wouldn't change a thing on the service of my cars.
1.Not drained M1 after 3k miles in my old saab for fear it was a sludger. Now I have one and realize what a gem my last one was.

2. Not wrecked my old saab

3. Not sold my 1982 BMW 320i and especially not to a kid who blew up the indestructable M10 engine after 6 months because he had "no idea that all that water coming out that hose would cause that!"

4.Never bought that 94 Ford Probe

5. Would have used Redline from day 1 in my newer saab since it appears to be finally removing some of the tougher deposits under the valve cover...after 2 weeks....
I would probably have gone to a trade school for auto mechanics and not pursued a liberal arts degree. Hey kids, if you think you want to work on cars, find a way to get your fingers dirty while still in high school. You will need a tough spine. Surrounding me were a lot of societal pressures, e.g. "you're smart, you shouldn't be a mechanic" that in hindsight were rather snobbish of those in my sphere of influence.

My choices in cars have all proven serviceable. Buying used and reselling every couple years shows me more variety than many people get. One mazda truck was rustier than I would have liked. Not only was the frame swiss cheese but fastener heads loved to snap off.

I check all my work obsessively and haven't had a catastrophic mechanical failure, knock on wood.
C'mon, now! Somebody has to be willing to admit to "Slick 50"! Anybody?

(You know, that's interesting... the same guy who told me that Fram filters were no good six years ago also told me that Slick 50 worked great. I only took his advice on the Fram filters and stopped buying them. I took a "wait and see" on the Slick 50. So I did something right.
Regrets for me: buying a car with the 3.1L GM. Doh! (Still getting around to doing a UOA). Also, not changing the transmission fluid. It isn't really that hard! Amazing when you think about it; those not "in the know" will change their oil every 3,000 miles but neglect their transmission until it explodes. Makes no sense.
I would have been using M1/HDEO blends from my earliest days of oil changing on the family cars, and all my cars and trucks and other engines. 3K OCI's on dino have caused me much misery to this day. 3K OCI on dino was too often in some cases, and didn't even come close to working in many other cases.
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