A FAMILIAR BUT SAD STORY...............................
It's been a good car. You don't have to do much besides put gas in it. Then one day TRAGEDY STRIKES!!!
One day your car breaks down, and it couldn't be at a worse time. Then the cruelest cut of all! The mechanic at the auto repair shop you go to says it's going to cost hundreds of dollars to fix your car...HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS YOU DON'T HAVE!
DON'T LET IT BE YOU! WATCH OUT FOR THE CAR KILLERS!
The modern car should last well in excess of 100,000 miles, with mileages of more than 250,000 being common. This is mileage without MAJOR drivetrain repairs, like an engine or transmission overhaul.
There are a number of parts which do not last as long, however. Knowing what these parts are and when they are likely to fail, check them regularly, and then fix them before they leave you stranded! This can save you big bucks! Avoid Car Killers!
The point is, BEWARE THE CAR KILLERS!
All of the above parts will fail before 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Their bearings, brushes, rubber parts, etc. just don't last that long. I can't tell you which one will go out first. I can guarantee you this: By the time you hit 10 years or 100,000 miles, you will have one of these engine accessories fail. By the time you hit 200,000 miles you will have replaced all 4 of these engine accessories. Check out the highlighted links above to find out how to check these 4 vital engine parts.
But you're not safe yet! Here's more killers!
Many cars have a timing belt. If it breaks it can destroy your engine in certain cars. Engine timing belts should be replaced every 50,000 miles. They break any time after 60,000 miles or 7 years. They rarely last 100,000 miles. Some newer cars recommend a 100,000 mile replacement on timing belts. Trouble is an engine like that often has a water pump driven by the belt. The water pump fails, so does the belt, and there goes the engine! Bad CV JOINTS on front wheel drive cars won't destroy your engine, but they're expensive to replace. CV joints have rubber boots which keep the grease in them and keep dirt out. These boots are supposed to be replaced and new grease put in the CV joint every 50,000 miles. If you do this, the axles should last 150,000 plus miles with 50,000 mile services. (this would be about every time you do the front brakesor set of tires.) In addition it's important to check the 4 rubber boots regularly, especiallly before a long trip. They'll destroy themselves fairly rapidly, they will start making a clicking noise on turns, and then you have to replace the axles!
Most of the time you see a car on the side of the road it's because of something made of rubber. Rubber (like your tires, belts, and hoses) wear out with time and mileage. Something made of rubber that is over 10 years old is likely to be bad no matter how much it's used. THESE ARE THE BIG CAR KILLERS!
Engine radiator hoses as well as the often ignored heater and bypass hoses can fail after 50,000 miles. This can overheat your engine, causing serious damage: especially in this day of aluminum engine parts!
The engine thermostat can stick shut and overheat an engine. If you ever blow a hose or get the engine hot, the thermostat can be damaged. It works for a while then sticks shut, overheating the engine again. It's not a bad idea to replace the thermostat whenever you replace the water pump or when you change all the hoses.
Transmission cooler lines, especially flexible rubber ones, can leak , as well as many other vital seals and gaskets. It's a good idea to look for leaks and discover their source. Also notice any loss of fluids when you CHECK YOUR FLUIDS MONTHLY OR EVERY 1000 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!
A CAR HEART ATTACK! A REAL KILLER!!!
When that oil pressure light goes on, shut the engine off. Your engine can run with that light on about as long as you can live without a heartbeat. An exception is if you are slamming on brakes hard or cornering fast. In that case, stay off the gas. If the light goes off quickly, continue on, take it easy, and add oil AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
When your TEMPERATURE light comes on,it's not as urgent as the oil light, but almost. A modern engine won't tolerate much overheating. Turning on the heater can provide additional cooling in an emergency. (Your heater is just a small radiator under the dash.) A stop to let your car cool off and check out the problem can save you a lot of expense (like a new engine expense!).
LISTEN TO YOUR CAR!
Any new squeals, taps, knocks, or rattles might be a warning sign. My Noise Library
has .wav sound files of car and engine noises. A new noise may be a new engine or other problem.
Thank you for visiting the ECONOMECHANIX WEB SITE. Please feel free to comment. We also serve the surrounding communities of Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, and Newberry! Gainesville has been my home since 1974, and I've loved Gvl and the Gators since I came here in the fall of 1974 to attend the University of Florida. I loved it so much I stayed and opened my car repair business. Originally it was out of the back of a 1963 Chevrolet wagon, but in 1977 a fellow mechanic and I opened an auto repair shop with actual walls, etc. I stayed in the same location for 26 years, and recently moved my operation to property I bought 15 miles east of Gainesville. I am doing most all the repairs myself now, having reduced my overhead from $1500 per month to practically nothing. I do work by appointment only. I mostly work only on my established customers cars, but I will occasionally take on new clients. E-mail me and I will either make arrangements to look at your car, or I will recommend you to someone who will.
George G. Scott, Jr.
ABS: Anti-Lock Brake Systems
ADVANCE: Car ignition timing
ALTERNATORS and Car Battery
BATTERIES: Auto, Car or Truck
BELTS AND HOSES
BODY AND BUMPER REPAIRS
BRAKE REPAIRS: Car or Truck
CARBURETORS:Car & Truck
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
CLEANING: Engine Cleaning
CLUTCH REPAIRS: Car & Truck
COMPRESSION: Car Engine
COMPUTER CAR CONTROLS
CV JOINT OR CV AXLES
ENGINES: Car & Truck
FUEL AIR MIXTURE
FUEL INJECTION: Car & Truck
FUEL PUMPS: Car & Truck
GAGES AND "IDIOT LIGHTS"
GASKETS AND SEALS
GLASS: WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
HEADS & HEAD GASKET
HOSES AND BELTS
"IDIOT LIGHTS" AND GAGES
IGNITION TIMING: Car & Truck
AUTO JACKS: lifting cars safely
LEAN "Car runs lean"
LIGHTS: WARNING OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Limp Home Mode
NO START: Car Won't Start
OIL: What's right for your car?
OIL LIGHT ON OR GAGE LOW
RADIATORS: Car and Truck
RICH: Car runs rich
SEALS AND GASKETS
SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT
STARTERS: Auto, Truck
TIMING: IGNITION TIMING
TIMING BELT & TIMING CHAIN
WARNING LIGHTS OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
WATER PUMP REPAIR
WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS