Twenty ways to spend too much;

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I'm guilty on two accounts: where's the slammer?? [LOL!] I change my antifreeze every year to a year & half as it's the old green stuff in all 3 of my older vehicles. I'm also guilty of changing oil every 3-4k in an engine that's known for having clogged lifters if not changed frequently enough; my diesel however goes to 7,500 miles before I drop it - it's used for strictly highway use.
 
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That article's antifreeze advice is a misleading crock o' bull. Antifreeze's ability to protect against freezing does NOT wear out over time as the article implies - a hydrometer is no good at indicating when it's time to replace the coolant. A hydrometer only indicates the relative density of ethylene glycol - which in a well maintained system will be very stable for quite awhile. (Topping up repeatedly with straight water when the level falls will result in gradual loss of freezeup and corrosion protection, though - and that would be reflected through hydrometer readings.) What "wears out" in antifreeze is corrosion protection - and precious little at that what with current extended life antifreeze products. (Take "green-snot-o'-death" vs. "death-cool" diatribes over to the coolant discussions, please. [Wink] )
 
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ryansride, I don't think so. Maybe in some cars, but when the A/C compressor engages in a 4-cyl car, you really know it. --- Bror Jace
 
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"If you seldom drive your car, go by the calendar rather than your odometer. Twice a year changes are the minimum." That sounds like too often and a waste of money. "Treat yourself to new wipers (it’s easiest to buy the whole blade, not the refill) once a year." Now there's a waste of money. "Or it may be that ominous “check engine” light itself that’s failed, not your alternator." And that doesn't even make sense.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ryansride2017: Doesn't your air conditioner compressor turn on whenever you use the defroster?
Depends on how the controls are set up. On some cars, like old Ford Escort, the compressor doesn't come on, regardless of defrost being selected, unless you push the AC button. The same controls also allow you to run defrost in recirculate mode, which results in the windows steaming up. The newer Ford Escort comes with more idiot-proof controls. These automatically select fresh air and turn on the compressor when defrost is selected.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Tosh: "If you seldom drive your car, go by the calendar rather than your odometer. Twice a year changes are the minimum." That sounds like too often and a waste of money. "Treat yourself to new wipers (it’s easiest to buy the whole blade, not the refill) once a year." Now there's a waste of money. "Or it may be that ominous “check engine” light itself that’s failed, not your alternator." And that doesn't even make sense.
The first is correct as most US or japaneese cars require oil changes at least every 6 months based on time, check your manual. The second is correct for people keeping cars outdors in tropical or subtropical conditions. UV destroys rubber. The third is weird endeed. But this article makes a lot of sense. I wish everyone had that much common sense!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ryansride2017: "But you also should keep your cooling system happy by running the air conditioner every few weeks in winter to keep it lubricated, checking for puddles underneath the car and replacing belts and hoses before they dry and crack." I get confused when this is so widely recommended. Doesn't your air conditioner compressor turn on whenever you use the defroster? Makes the whole recommendation useless since you use the defroster in the winter and whenever it rains in the summer time.
Suppose you're in a climate that never sees a frost but gets fairly comfortable in the winter?
 
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On most modern fords the a/c compressor runs on every setting except VENT or floor IT EVEN RUNS ON THE VENT/FLOOR SETTING just not vent only or floor only. I would much prefer the NON-idiot proof controls where u can select the vent position. Select outside or recycled air and select A/C operation
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Ray H: That article's antifreeze advice is a misleading crock o' bull. Antifreeze's ability to protect against freezing does NOT wear out over time as the article implies - a hydrometer is no good at indicating when it's time to replace the coolant. A hydrometer only indicates the relative density of ethylene glycol - which in a well maintained system will be very stable for quite awhile. (Topping up repeatedly with straight water when the level falls will result in gradual loss of freezeup and corrosion protection, though - and that would be reflected through hydrometer readings.) What "wears out" in antifreeze is corrosion protection - and precious little at that what with current extended life antifreeze products. (Take "green-snot-o'-death" vs. "death-cool" diatribes over to the coolant discussions, please. [Wink] )
Correct. Antifreeze does not lose its freeze/boil protection as it ages. However, GM has mentioned now, for years, that if the solution is at the proper concentration, there's a good chance that the inhibitor package in DexCool is still functional given its robusity. The OAT technology in DexCool is not sacrificial so the coolant will last a very long time, much longer than the recommended five years. This is probably why VW's G-12+ and PEAK's Global coolant are both considered lifetime fill, as these coolants could quite easily last > 10 years.
 
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I'm sure I spend too much money maintaining my vehicles but they run well and I enjoy working in them. To each his own. On a side note, I sold my '99 S-10 to the first person who looked at it, for asking price, because I had taken good care of it and had detailed records.
 
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quote:
Premium gas instead of regular. Buy the cheapest gasoline that doesn’t make your car engine knock. All octane does is prevent knock; a grade higher than the maker of your car recommends is not a “treat.”
This is true for most vehicles on the road, but it seems foolish to recommend it for all vehicles. While most modern cars have knock sensors to detect knock and retard timing, owners of forced induction or high static compression ratio engines will certainly be able to notice a difference in the way the engine behaves on higher octane fuel.
 
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Well I guess I will try starting with 87 octane in my Ferrari Enzo and see if it knocks, I mean MSN must know the low down on compression ratios and tuning for each individual car!
 
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The setup in the old Chevy Malibu is pretty interesting: It has separate switches (actually push buttons) for A/C and recirc. But when you select defrost, it automatically cancels recirc (if it was selected) and turns on A/C. It always cancels recirc whenever you restart the car (of course it remembers the A/C on/off setting) I guess the rationale is that if the car has been sitting under the hot sun then A/C with fresh air is the fastest way to cool the car down.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by White850T5: high static compression ratio engines
What's high? The Ecotec is 10:1 and GM recommends 87 octane for it.
 
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"But you also should keep your cooling system happy by running the air conditioner every few weeks in winter to keep it lubricated, checking for puddles underneath the car and replacing belts and hoses before they dry and crack." I get confused when this is so widely recommended. Doesn't your air conditioner compressor turn on whenever you use the defroster? Makes the whole recommendation useless since you use the defroster in the winter and whenever it rains in the summer time.
 
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That would be interesting. My observation is that both Ford and GM do not often specify premium for engines. Edit: According to fueleconomy.gov, 2.4L Ecotec is specified for premium in the Cobalt but not in the G6. I have no idea what the difference is.
 
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I know on Chryslers the AC compresser engages when using defrost. My brother pushed the defrost button on his Dodge pick up truck in the fall when it was 40 degrees, the compressor blew up and black gook was all over the engine compartment. The truck was 3 months old.
 
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