Top Five Ways to Make Your Car Run Forever


Though we may set out to keep a car forever, not everyone will have the persistence — and luck — of Irv Gordon, a man who holds the world record for having driven his 1966 Volvo P1800 for nearly 3 million miles. You can, however, greatly extend the life of your vehicle, while simultaneously reducing the possibility of mechanical mishaps. The following five items are basic and can apply to any vehicle. 1. Follow Your Vehicle's Service Schedule: This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still too many car owners out there who pay little or no attention

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By lowndes
on 03/09/13
7:22 AM PST

I have a comment that NO ONE else has, and NO ONE believes, either!! I always keep the oil level one quart ABOVE the full mark on the dipstick. People will tell me that this will "blow the seals" and other such things. My reply is the I am currently driving a 2001 Ford Taurus with the standard 3.0 V6 and over 400,000 miles. Id does not burn or leak oil, never been "worked on", other than water pumps, power steering pumps, alternators. The transmission was rebuilt at 150,000, but it's a Ford. My previous cars, all using the same "one over full" were '72 Ford Econoline - 220,000 miles; '76 VW Diesel Rabbit - 240,000 miles; '78 VW Diesel Rabbit - 260,000 miles; '89 VW Quantum Turbo Diesel - 270,000 miles; '92 Ford Taurus SHO - 220,000 miles. Also, my wife's '95 Camry - 173,000 miles, but she is retired now and doesn't drive much. All of these vehicles were purchased used with 40-60,000 miles already on them. I have ALL the fuel receipts with the mileage at fillup on each back to '68, and the motel bills, too!! None of these engines ever had any work, other than the water pumps, etc. and none of them burned oil. The main reason I have been doing this is for the GAS MILEAGE improvement I get. It has been in the 8-10% increase range. The only reason I can come up with is that the cylinder walls get more "splash" lubrication and there is less internal friction. I change the oil and filter at 5K myself. So, does anyone else have any ideas or similar experience??

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By carguy1964
on 03/09/13
5:16 PM PST

The reason you do an oil change at the proper interval even though you are adding oil frequently is because you replace the filter which will eventually become clogged and limit the flow of oil to critical engine components. Clean oil does no good if it is not distributed properly to all the internally lubricated parts.

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By carguy1964
on 03/09/13
5:17 PM PST

The reason you do an oil change at the proper interval even though you are adding oil frequently is because you replace the filter which will eventually become clogged and limit the flow of oil to critical engine components. Clean oil does no good if it is not distributed properly to all the internally lubricated parts.

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By caseyjones2
on 03/15/13
1:42 PM PST

The comment by Saint9903 is not entirely crazy. Here is what I was told by the Lubrication Engineers at Borg-Warner, who designed parts of the pumps that pump the oil in the Alaska Pipeline: When the metal in your engine is new and young, including the rings, it is strong and elastic (as opposed to brittle). To break in an engine, first baby it and vary speed for 200 miles or so, then change out the oil. For the next few hundred miles, keep varying the speed, and, be sure to run it as hard and hot and high-rpm as you will ever run it. The rings will expand and carve out their channels in the cylinders that will last the life of the engine. If you exceed those limits later in the engine life, the rings will be too brittle, and instead of carving out a larger path, they will chip and flake and your engine will start burning oil. Since I was told this, I have had four new cars, and none has ever burned enough oil to top-off between changes, nor any (internal) engine problems.

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By joemaize
on 04/17/13
7:04 AM PST

Why change oil if it burns/leaks 1-2 quarts a week? To get rid of the acids and other harmful chemicals that build up inside the crankcase.

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By aprilia1
on 04/22/13
1:09 PM PST

# 1 Don't let your wife drive it.

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By bpeebles
on 05/01/13
11:14 AM PST

Is it obvious to anyone else that this photo shows oil-level which is OVERFILLED above the safe area? This is a good way to blow a seal in the engine. The oil-level should be BETWEEN the upper and lower markings in the 'safe' area.

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By bpeebles
on 05/01/13
11:18 AM PST

Oh - and for the folks suggesting that oil must meet API specs (American Petroleum Institute) You are thinking about a single country too much. Asian vehicles often need JASO certification on their oil and European vehicles (like my Diesel volkswagen that gets 56 MPG) REQUIRES special oil that the API does not even recognize nor test for.

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By samwallace
on 05/06/13
7:07 AM PST

Two words: synthetic oil

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By theshark1
on 05/08/13
10:06 AM PST

I service my car when due approx every 5k. I change the coolant,brake p/s, every 30k. All my cars have over a 200k and run great. I do not rent a car to go on long trips I take my own vehicles because I know they are dependable. I see the listings of other people commenting on lack of service is better and I think they are fooling themselves and others. Cars and trucks are still a mechanical machine which require maintenance on a regular basis. Oil and lubes now days have improve tenfold within the last 10-15 years. Technology is here and I use that technology on my vehicles. It use to be call snake oil in the past and there are still some out there. But additives do work and porolong the life of engine and transmissions etc. Car dealers want vehicles to wear out to sell you another one, service depts want your vehicle to last as long as possible and safely without buying a new vehicle every 7-10 years. So you do homework and decide how you want to spend your money. If you like new cars every 3-5 years don't service them. If you want to save money keep what you have and maintain it! Its cheeper to keeper. Happy motoring!

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