Rant: People that don't take care of their vehicles

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by shovenose, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. shovenose

    shovenose Well-Known Member

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    Everybody gives me hard time for being "hard on transmissions" in that I am a fairly agressive, impatient driver. But, at the end of the day, I don't beat on my vehicles when cold, and I've got a lot more tame over the last few years after killing three 4L60Es, so now I'm very good to my vehicles.

    But, despite driving hard, I'm one thing, and that's a maintenance freak. If something's not perfect, I fix it, and most of the time when I buy a used vehicle I do a complete tune up and fluid service if it's dirty. I check the oil on a regular basis. When I do repairs, I try to use high quality parts, not the cheapest stuff available. Full synthetic oil, quality filters, etc. Just had to change the alternator and I decided to replace the (original) belt while I had it off and I spent extra on the Gates instead of the cheap one. It needs brakes and I'm going to spend more on quality parts because quite frankly I don't want to do it again next year and I want it to be perfect. The transmission, it's getting drain-and-filled with genuine Motorcraft Mercon V fluid because I don't like the unlicensed Valvoline "Mercon V" fluid I used originally.

    But, I know so many people that don't maintain their stuff and the only time the vehicle gets any attention is when it leaves them stranded, and then only the bare minimum is done to get it running with the absolutely cheapest parts available. My ex, for example, the poor Envoy needs a lot of work and he's not going to do any of it until the day I will get a phone call from him that "I'm stuck on the side of the road and the truck is broken what do I do". Hell it's been on the same cheap oil and filter for like 10K now. 7 quarts of new Full synthetic oil and a Wix filter are sitting at his house, but no, he's not going to take me up on my offer to change it for free or take it to the shop and spend $20 to have it done. The same mismatched bald tires are still on it. The brake caliper still sticks. All the other fluids are way overdue for changing (admittedly I should have done them under my ownership but I figured I'd have time to do it later). The new blower motor resistor is still sitting in the box somewhere in the car and in the meantime half the speeds don't work. There's still an unsolved stumble off idle that needs to be troubleshooted and resolved. The passenger side door panel apparently fell off in the mean time. but as long as the truck goes from point a to point b he doesn't give a shit.

    And at work at the auto parts store and I see this kind of stuff every day. Their interiors are filthy, they are only there because "why is the oil light on when i had my oil changed last year?" and their oil is 2-3 quarts low and their engines sound awful because this isn't the first time they have run it low. They tell me their check engine light is on and why is that, well in California we can't scan their codes for them but I tell them, just take it to a shop and have them take a look, it could be something cheap and simple, or it could be important. They tell me they aren't going to take it in because the car drives. While it is not my car so I don't really care I try to tell them it could decrease their fuel economy to have the check engine light on. Sometimes then they are like oh, it might be worth taking it in then...

    This is all ridiculous because for most people their car is their most expensive (or second most expensive) possession that they rely on every single day to get to work.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, this whole thing really pisses me off. Feel free to share your stories of people you know not taking care of their cars!
     
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  2. northcreek

    northcreek Well-Known Member

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    Wow!... somebody missed their nap today :Zzzz:
     
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  3. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    Hence the reason why he's your ex!
     
  4. Reprise

    Reprise Silver Supporter

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    I can relate... I used to be that person when I was just coming of age, and couldn't really afford to do all the things to my beater cars, or was busy with 'life'. After I had been working a couple of years out of school, I learned the value of preventative maintenance real quick.

    But my real story concerns my wife, when we first started dating. At the time, she had a 2nd-gen Toyoduh Rav-4. How I hated that vehicle...small (as it was designed for the Japanese / Asian market, where cars are taxed by size), crap ergonomics, an even crappier stereo, and the worst of all, a gutless engine that could not get out of its own way if it had to, and wasn't what you'd call fuel efficient for it's size.

    Anyway, she calls me out of the blue one day, and says...
    "my oil light is on."
    "Oh, the 'change your oil light? I can take care of that for you"
    "No - the red light in the shape of an oil can"

    After telling her to shut the engine off, immediately, I came over and drove her the rest of the way home - then went back to her vehicle.

    Check the oil level - wasn't even visible on the dipstick. IIRC, it took 3qts just to see it appear on the stick. Got it to her house, and it definitely didn't sound good.

    Took it to the mechanic the next day... "yeah, looks like you need a new engine... $5K" At this point, she's sh!tting the proverbial brick.

    I ask the guy...can you drop the pan and take a look? I was thinking the pickup screen might have been clogged. Sure enough, that's what it was. New bill: $400 and change, and the motor was purring again. Now I'm her hero.

    Mech tells her... "get rid of the car as quick as you can." So we stop at the Honda dealer, and get her into her first Element - designed for US consumers - and she loves it. I love it. She never bought anything except a Honda for the rest of her life. And I maintained all of our vehicles from that point on. Of course, with any Honda under 100K or so, you're only having to worry about fluid / filter changes & wear items like brake pads & tires. But I'm anal enough to use a torque wrench to tighten the oil drain plug, as the OP alluded to.

    Now, with the wife at rest, and me being older & heavier, I have parts stocked up for the Voy, but they take awhile to get installed. That being said, except for my rear washer pump, *everything* works on my Envoy, I wouldn't hesitate to take it across the country - *with* a trailer in tow, and it's in better shape than when I bought it (and it wasn't in bad shape to start with). Since it's mostly a tow / haul vehicle, I don't worry too much about clutter in the interior - but I'd go anywhere with it, without hesitation.

    Now that winter has finally broke, it's time to fire up the compressor and start putting in my new front end parts. And then my tune. And then a new serpentine & alternator (mine is fine right now, but won't be after I put the next item in, which is an amp / speakers to go with my HU).

    Moral of the story...there are two kinds of women...those who take care of their cars...and those who are happy to let someone else do it for them (sorry, ladies, but it's true.) Didn't bother me to do it...I always had a nice meal waiting for me when I was done with her vehicles.
     
  5. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    My son is like that right now. He's away from home at college. He had a reasonably well running Honda Accord but wasn't taking care of it. He dumped it and got a 2003 Sierra. Not the most economic vehicle but he's turned into a redneck so. To his credit, he got it fixed up to pass safety but to avoid passing the e-test, he Changed his address to his "new" home that doesn't have them. For the longest time, he needed a thermostat. I told him to change it because it uses more gas and would killed the cat. Yeah, yeah. Well, winter comes around and it's cold in North Bay. No heat of course. Now he has to change it in the cold. I told him! Had a wheel bearing that was making noise. Told him to change it. Yeah yeah. Eventually it fails completely and forced to buy a hub locally for $250 instead of $70 on Amazon. He also blew the rear diff. Probably never checked the oil.

    And guess who has to pay?
     
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  6. Mounce

    Mounce Silver Supporter

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    Papa bear had to step up with the dough I'm sure.

    I think it starts with the raising, if you don't teach 'em how to maintain a vehicle then they'll know no different unless they're so inclined to learn themselves (which is easy as sin thanks to places like this). Not to mention they'll have no sense of value on the deal until they start paying for it, that's when some learn to take care of their stuff, others never learn.

    I was raised working on cars, like most here, and that's what my job is based off of now. We never had a lot of money when I was young so it was priority to care for our stuff because buying another or having to put it in a shop was no option. Thusly, maintenance was pounded into my head from the start, quickly followed by hands on learning of how to work on stuff.

    I can understand having to hire out your mechanical work and oil changes etc, so be it, but at least know how to check your own fluids and keep them topped off.
     
  7. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    How'd you manage to kill 3 4l60s? :biggrin:

    All kidding aside I'm starting to get lazy. Truck has been losing coolant for a few months now but I have yet to track down the problem. Granted I don't feel like replacing a radiator in 30 degree weather. Motor mounts are pretty much trash now so I have to do that too. I've had a bushing set for almost two years but my problem with that is I need the truck too much to have it sit for a few days. I still keep an eye an everything but I'm waiting for the day the overflow tank empties. Also the boat was supposed to get a valve adjustment after break in so that was at 20 hours of runtime. We're at 600 now... it doesn't clatter or anything though it just sucks pulling the valve cover because you have to pull all of the linkages and then when it goes back together you have to adjust the shift throw and it's just annoying.
     
  8. Redbeard

    Redbeard Well-Known Member

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    And about 10 years ago I receive a call from my niece. She was about 18 - 20 years old. This same niece liked to brag in high school doing so well in mechanics class and learning so much. (to stick up for her a little bit, she didn't have a father in the household) BUT back to this phone call. Uncle, she says, the truck I just purchased is making a knocking sound. (So you purchased a truck without an mechanically inclined adult? Yep, of course! ) Probably she didn't want me to make lots of fun on her purchasing a Ford truck truth be told. But she drives her used ford over to my house telling me she doesn't understand why it's making all this racket. So I ask her if she checked the oil. No was her answer. By now my face is as red as my beard and furious. There was NO OIL touching the dipstick. FIVE quarts later it was to the add line. The manual only showed holding 6 qts. That year she spent in mechanics class didn't seem that much was retained! damn. Here's Your Sign.
     
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  9. shovenose

    shovenose Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, a year in mechanic's class and she didn't check the darn oil if it's knocking? How dumb is that! I guess common sense is uncommon now :biggrin:
     
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  10. HARDTRAILZ

    HARDTRAILZ Moderator

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    And a place would hire her as a mechanic or a parts store will...its why I do not use either.
     
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  11. $ Khalid ! 9130

    $ Khalid ! 9130 Well-Known Member

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    Beautifully said there.
     
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  12. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    That's what frustrates me. I always taught them "do it once, do it right" and to maintain them. My younger son is better but the older one in college is just bad. Just a bad procrastinator. Could have learned that from me but not for cars though :biggrin:.
     
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  13. northcreek

    northcreek Well-Known Member

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    That's funny, my youngest son (unlike his older brother) is mechanically-declined.
    When I chastised him for being low on oil, he said I was wrong because the gauge on the dash was showing half full.:2thumbsup:
     
  14. shovenose

    shovenose Well-Known Member

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    And now the f***ing registration is expiring. Does he not realize how many cars have been junked in California due to only one reason and that being very quickly expensively compounding late registration fees? Ugh
     

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