The only major problem I had on the Grand Marque was replacing an ignition unit on one of the cylinders. The diagnostic service was going to be a couple hundred at the dealer's service department, so I went to their own lube center. The technician could only tell which cylinder was the problem but not the details. He could also clear the fault from the memory with their generic diagnostic unit. So we swapped ignition units between two cylinders, and the problem cleared for a few minutes. When it came back the diagnostic said it was now the other cylinder that had a problem. Enough proof for us, so I had the ignition unit replaced. Labour cost less than an oil change, and there was no "diagnostic" charge. But I was a regular customer of theirs. I changed my oil every month (4000 miles) and transmission fluid every year (50,000 miles). Other than brakes, tires, wipers etc. as needed there wasn't much else to do. Mine was a commuter, but the cabbies I talked to when I bought it were right. Change the oil and fluids regularly and they expected half a million miles on a transmission, and a million on the engine. If we didn't use salt on our roads I could see making a million miles, but the body is what is going now. My son and his buddies in college plan to have a birthday party for the car when it reaches half a million miles. Any excuse for a party works in college....
Well, oxigenated fuels are usually additivated by some compounds that contain oxygen, but are not only alcohols: the most used are MTBE (Methyl Tert Butyl Ether), followed by TAME (Ter Amyl Ether), wich are ethers, not alcohols; and for years, their addition to gasoline made the so called "reformulated fuels". Grossly overrrated, they had some nasty effects, but were much touted as the thing to go by inept, "green" (and ignorant) politicians.
It is true that alcohols tend to eat most elastomers and rubbers, requiring special materials for gaskets, but ethers do that too. Ethanol is even slightly corrosive to some metals, as is Methanol.
My OLD,OLD Ford Falcon, 1967 vintage, reached more than a million kilometers before I decided to retire it permanently. It was a true Daily Driver for more than 30 years, no less.
It is true that it required maintenance, but it was very easy for me to do everything to it easily and I had plenty of space to do that. A transistorized module took care of the breaker points (which then lasted more than 10 years with a little lubrication (once a year or so). Sparkplugs lasted for 20,000 km a set, but were VERY easy to reach and change, plus provided a good picture of the running conditions inside the cylinders. The carburetor needed a complete tear down about yearly, but it was child's play provided you followed the very clear diagrams contained in the Holley gasket set boxes. I could easily had converted to fuel injection, but I felt I was able to maintain the carb in top notch. Surely many things have improved, but quality and durability have not, neither serviceability. Today's automotive "engineers" (a true insult to the profession!) should be put to work on their own mess: I've seen a Ford Turbo V-10 which required complete cabin removal (yes, removal) just to be able to reach one of the turbochargers, and it wasn't a compact sports car, but a large pick-up truck! So much for progress and good design!
I would disagree with this. Years ago we purchased a new 1986 Dodge van. The parting words from the salesman as we left were "Don't put gasoline with ethanol in this vehicle." A few years later California mandated "oxygenated" fuels to reduce air polution. "Oxygenated" = ethanol. It ate the seals right out of the carb and I had raw gasoline flowing over the top of the engine. Fortunately, no fire. Did California offer to pay for the rebuild of the carb with ethanol resistant gaskets? Are you kidding?
"Any vehicle"? I consider airplanes "vehicles" and ethanol in gasoline for aircraft is absolutely forbidden. For the same reason as why it was bad for my 1986 Dodge van. The rubber components of the fuel system would react poorly. Very poorly. Some planes have approval to use motor gas instead of 100LL, but you have to make sure it is ethanol free motor gas that you use.
Points made about newer cars requiring less routine maintenance are correct. My old cars needed a tune-up every 12,000 miles or so. I've got about 188,000 miles on my 1999 Jeep Wrangler and I think it is getting ready for its 2nd set of plugs. :-) In this respect, these are the good old days.
I agree AJ2X, and I don't miss the old car servicing one bit. My 69 Galaxy made it to 120k; which was good in those days. My son now has my 2000 Grand Marque with 490k on it. My new truck doesn't change the transmission fluid until 150k. It's a sealed unit and you never open it!
My guess on the PCV elbow failure is that an environmental regulation has impacted the plastic or additives available. Unfortunately the alternatives are not identical in performance. My pool has a 6 year old liner. The installer expects it to far outlast what he installs today. Not because the new liners are cheaply made, but because the UV stabilizers in my liner are not available any more, due to a new environmental regulation. If the liners came from China they probably would have the older (and better performing) stabilizers.....
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