Basic Auto maintenance

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beeman, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    "For want of a nail the shoe was lost"

    Those that know the whole saying will understand the importance of maintaining one of their most important tools that give them self reliance. Just because it's not "broken" at the moment doesn't mean it doesn't need checking and maintaining. After over 30 years of repairing vehicles it's gotten to the point where most maintenance plans require a tow truck. If you truly want to be more self reliant learn more about your vehicle and what it takes to maintain it.
    Start with reading and understanding your owners manual BEFORE you do anything. Be careful about listening to old wives tales or old mechanics tales about what to do to your car, you can cause more damage than good. Beware of the mechanic that "knows everything about every car". There is no such person in todays world. After reading your manual progress to checking the very basics needed for operation. Learn how to check your oil level, transmission fluid level, brake fluid, power steering fluid,washer fluid,and coolant level. Learn what the proper inflation pressure for your vehicles tires are and check them as part of your regular maintenance check. Check ALL of your lights as part of your maintenance check. Keep records of when you check and any variations you find when checking. If you suspect something wrong or have a question just ask, but be sure to get good information.

    This is not just a rant, it is an offer of advice. This advice could save you thousands of dollars in repairs on a vehicle today. If you don't believe it just call a good shop and get a price of replacement of an engine or transmission on your vehicle.



    Now that the weather has turned cold I hope it's not too late to remind people to check the protection level of your antifreeze. I've seen many vehicles damaged because of an unexpected extreme cold snap. If you are unsure of yourself or uneasy in any way of doing this yourself have someone competent check it for you. Also KNOW what antifreeze belogs in your vehicle so you don't contaminate the system by adding the wrong type. Manufacturers started changing formulation over 10 years ago so be sure!

    Got questions?,ask away. I'm sure that there are many on this board that can give you the correct answer.
     
  2. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    Very good advice Beeman. BTW, what city or town are you near? I'm not far from Turtletown TN myself.

    Bob
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I'm between Knoxville and Kingsport.

    I've given clinics on vehicle maintenance in the past. Almost every question asked during the clinics could be answered by looking in the owners manual. Most vehicle repair can be avoided with vehicle maintenance, especially breakdowns. Usually if you retrace the problem to it's root cause it can be related to failure to maintain. Another thing that happens is vehicle owners and most mechanics tend to treat the symptom and not the disease. This usually causes compound problems furthur down the road.
    I earned my keep as a diagnostician more than a general parts replacer mechanic. Unfortunately for back yarders and professionals the level of equipment and information base is very high and expensive. This is the reason most resort to parts replacement diagnostics.
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I just let my Wife take care of it.Comes under Housework. :haha: :haha:

    big rockpile
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...................I , spent the whole mornin' under my 77 f250 , 4x4 , truck greasing all the ujoints and checking the power steering modification . I've been working on this old truck for the last 3 years and it has come along way from the condition that I found it in . My $$ assessment of the Work that still needs to be done to get it to where I would like to have it is as follows , (1) rearch all leaf spring packs and add a 5 leaf overload set of leafs to the back axle = $ 750 ,(2)changeout 4:11 gearsets to 3:73 and replace all seals and bearings = $1300 to 1500 depending , (3)recover front seat = $200 . Actually , it can be driven as is for along time as it has a brand new engine with about 3,000 miles and lots of other improvements have been made . So , I'll just take my time and keep it as a backup if my diesel dies on me . Actually , it is alot of fun to drive albeit alittle loud with dual exhaust . fordy.. :)
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Fordy,
    Your estimate for springs seems very high. If I were you I would look for another truck and get a pair of differentials with the right gearing. That would also save you money.
     
  7. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Also Fordy ill bet you could trade out even with some one wanting 4:11 gearing.I sure see alot of people wanting them.Considering yours are in good shape that is.
    Might check in on some of the 4x4 forums.There many of them.
    Ouch 4:11's at todays gas prices must suck bad.Unless your running 44inch tires.
     
  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .....................I'm running 265\75\R16 radials . One of the first things i did on this truck was to completely overhaul the brake system and Replace the old Ball joints . It gets about 8 mpg and the diesel about 17 or so . I have a brand new Dana-Spicer , Trak Lok Posi unit that will eventually get installed when I decide what course I'm going to take on the Axle(s) overhaul . I , am NOT , qualified to setup the "GNashing" of the gear teeth in an axle so this will be a situation whereby I pay a well qualified person to do both axles . A person has to be crazy to invest money in these old trucks but it gets in your blood and once you get started it's almost impossible to stop . Everybody has a "Harley" of some sort that they like to work on , mine just happens to be a full size flatbed model . Plus ,when these old trucks are rehabed they are a tremendous asset in terms of the work that they can perform . For driving on a daily basis they are just too expensive to operate , unless your drive to work is less than 10 miles each way .
    ...............The first order of business is to get the springs rearched and the bushings replaced , then I'll have a work truck instead of a garage truck . Anyway , I could go on forever about old trucks . ..fordy... :eek: :)
     
  9. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL rockpile, you sound too much like my dh! I have learned to do lots of auto maintainance and although it's not exactly under "housework" here I do check and top off fluid levels in my van by myself. Whenever dh is doing routine stuff like oil changes I am the assistant and my smaller fingers have helped pull sparkplugs and replace plug wires in tight spaces, not to mention brake jobs, belt replacements, tractor repairs, etc.
     
  10. jacksun

    jacksun Active Member

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  11. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where Kingsport is. Have you heard of Madisonville? That's where the old timer lives that I bought the waxworm infested Nuc from. :no:

    We had a guy living in a camper on our property for over a year that claimed to have worked as a mechanic for many years. We gave him a place to stay and groceries to eat in exchange for helping out around the farm.

    He was a true parts changer, couldn't diagnose even the simplest of troubles. I tried teaching him how to work on vehicles with sensors and ECMs. His favorite solution to every problem was to recommend ripping out the electronics and going with a carb and points distributor. :no:

    He decided he no longer wanted to be here, because we wouldn't pay him for doing oil changes, which was about all he was good at. One day while we were in town grocery shopping, he broke in our house, loaded up his station wagon with tools and electronics, and split. When the cops finally caught up with him in another state and dragged him back to stand trial, he said "we owed him" for all of the "expert labor" he did on our vehicles. :haha:

    Bob
     
  12. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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