Under Valve cover, new to me beater car

Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,343
Location
socal
I just bought this 03 Pontiac vibe, from and old dude, had all maint records, mainly oil changes from an Indy shop, brand new tires and front breaks, good paint except for the bumpers. I decided to do the following today, replace:
- valve cover gasket w new felpro, the old gasket crumbled and it leaked, sprayed the cover w purple power, and took a wire brush to clean as best I could without taking all day. It’s bad.
- spark plugs w NKGs
- drain & fill transmission w maxlife, decided not to do the filter at this time. The pan is bone dry, no leaks.
- motor oil, out; bulk 5w30 / classic ac Delco filter...in ST HM syn 10w30, ST filter. Old oil was about 9 months old w approx 1100 miles on it per the oil change sticker on the windshield.
- the chain tensioner o ring
- coolant, out: purple colored coolant, flushed w distilled until clear, in: Prestone 10 year concentrate (approx 40%) w distilled water (approx 60%)
- air filter, out: fram, in: STP red
- cabin filter, out unknown, in STP
- drain & fill power steering
- cleaned the TB as it was gunky
- cleaned the MAF
- cleaned the PCV valve as it was gunky
- clean, vacuum the interior, took my portable cleaner and shampoo’d the seats as they were dirty.
- tomorrow I wash the exterior.
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Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
10,019
Location
California
If that’s anything like most Corollas or Prii, it’s gonna burn oil. The 1ZZ-FE is notorious for drinking oil.

I’d start using a oil with cleaning properties.
Also, looks like Bay Area to me. 😛
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
2,642
Location
WA
How many miles on the car?

is that varnish accumulation being 2003 plus "gunky" pcv? Looks like not much sludge. No?
 

barkingspider

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,343
Location
socal
No sludge, just heavy varnish. That’s why I only cleaned the cover. I’ve seen much better and worse at vehicles this age and miles (155k miles). I’ve had cars w this engine in the past and I’m not worried about burning oil. I took it out for a short drive up the coast and back (I’m in Huntington Beach) and it runs good, smooth idle, etc. Picked up the car for $2800 and parts were less than $100. A full day of labor. I think I did good. I plan to use High mileage syn 5/10w30, whatever brand is less expensive or on sale ( mainly ST or Kirkland) at 5k OCI.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
279
Location
Charlotte, NC
Nicely done. Feels good, doesn't it? I mean, to do all of that work and then stand back and admire it when you are done. To feel that sense of accomplishment.
I think that you'll be in good shape for a long time to come.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
13,715
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Those Vibes were made at NUMMI at Fremont; I toured the plant twice (Now it cranks out Teslas).
That car will serve you for many years.
Cheap registration, insurance, good gas mileage. What's not to like?
Keep her alive!
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
2,588
Location
south dakota
Looks great. I had an 03 Toyota Corolla many years ago and sold it with 225,000 miles and it ran like new. They were all highway miles. Your days work gave you another 100,000 miles out of that car with regular maintenance. The car looks very nice. I don't think the internals look too bad either.
 
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