Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd March 2009, 09:51   #1
BHPian
 
High Torque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Hyderabad D.C
Posts: 35
Thanked: Once
Post Running Forever

Improvements in technology, build quality and metallurgy mean that cars are living longer and longer. And it's not just Japanese or the Korean cars, Domestic and Europeans are giving reliable service up to, and well past, 150,000kms.With proper care and feeding, virtually any car can be kept running as long as the owner wants to keep it. Here are few guidelines to keeping your car alive well into six-figure territory.

Buy a good car to begin with. Though Japanese cars are generally the most reliable, don't dismiss American cars their quality is improving. European cars are generally the most expensive to fix. If you're shopping, talk to owners of similar cars about their experiences.

Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. If your car has a "maintenance minder", use that as a guideline for service, but be sure to double-check your owner's manual as some items need to be replaced based on time rather than mileage. Don't forget the timing belt! Most cars need to have the timing belt replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 kms. It's not cheap, but it’s far less expensive than the damage it causes if it breaks.

Do your homework. Many cars have known problems that tend to pop up under certain circumstances or after enough mileage/time. Most makes and models have Web sites and forums devoted to them and we have "TEAM-BHP" which is a goldmine of information. Knowing your car is prone to a given problem isn't necessarily cause to get rid of it; it just allows you to be prepared and it's always advisable to keep saving some money for emergency repairs, especially when the bill shoot up to 25-30k

Be aware. Be on the lookout for new noises, strange smells or anything that just doesn’t feel right. If something seems amiss, talk to your mechanic or service center. Don't let them tell you "that's normal”. If you've been driving your car long enough, you know best what normal is.

Ask a friend to drive. Every two or three months, ask a friend to take you for a drive in your own car. Some problems appear or increase so gradually that you may not even notice them, but they'll stick out like a sore thumb to someone less familiar. And by riding along in the passenger's seat, you may spot something you missed while preoccupied with driving.

Fix everything as soon as it breaks. If you're going to keep your car as long as possible, you have to want to keep it as long as possible. Don't ignore seemingly unimportant problems like broken trim bits, torn upholstery, or electrical glitches. Little annoyances tend to add up and can begin to erode your love affair with your old car.

Use quality replacement parts. Whether or not to use genuine manufacturer parts is open to debate, but don't just opt for the least expensive parts you can find. Discuss options with your mechanic. If a non-wearing part is damaged, consider buying a used replacemeny, you’ll get manufacturer quality at a more affordable price.

Keep it clean. Paint does more than make your car look good; it protects the materials underneath. Wash your car regularly. When water no longer beads on the paint, wax it, FIGHT RUST!!

Drive gently. There's no need to baby your car; in fact, a little foot-to-the-floor acceleration every once in a while is a good thing, but driving like a wannabe Michael Schumacher in his Formula 1 Ferrari isn't good for your car (or your nerves).

Gloat! If you enjoy the surprised looks people give you when you tell them your car has 150,000kms on it, wait until you see their faces at 200,000. If people chide you about your old wheels, chide them about their car payments and higher insurance rates. Keeping your car as long as possible saves you hundreds of dollars per month; keeping it in good repair minimizes the environmental impact by.
High Torque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 13:04   #2
BHPian
 
siddartha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: bangalore
Posts: 671
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

hundreds of dollars per month?
siddartha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 13:13   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: CA, US
Posts: 59
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

I have driven and seen quite a few Japanese cars (2 Mazdas, Toyota and Honda - 1 each) that were more than 15 years old and more than 100,000 miles on odo to be driven for another 30,000 before being sold. The only maintenance was to change the oil and filters regularly. Compared to that my 7 years old Rover was showing its age.
VooDoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 13:38   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,881
Thanked: 9,692 Times
Default

Jap cars are over-engineered - ie ball joints are bigger than euro cars. That +skillful cost cutting, low overheads as a result of high volumes means they can provide reliable value
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 19:55   #5
BHPian
 
High Torque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Hyderabad D.C
Posts: 35
Thanked: Once
Question

Hey Ajmat, I've lived in AbuDhabi fo a very long time and have similar experience like VooDoo.Something which always tickles my mind is, when everybody takes european automobiles as an example of enginering and strength then why is that Japanese and Korean models last longer.

IMO if the volumes are high then the quality of value should technically dip..sorry if im being.


Siddartha: Dude sorry for the typo was typing this in midst of another conversation with a colleague.
High Torque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 21:35   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 366
Thanked: Once
Default

Quote:
Don't forget the timing belt! Most cars need to have the timing belt replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 kms. It's not cheap, but it’s far less expensive than the damage it causes if it breaks.
to add to this: don't forget the water pump. these 2 are done together and the consequences of not doing them in both cases are expensive.
silver_shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2009, 22:00   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N.A
Posts: 6,834
Thanked: 1,503 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Torque View Post
Hey Ajmat, I've lived in AbuDhabi fo a very long time and have similar experience like VooDoo.Something which always tickles my mind is, when everybody takes european automobiles as an example of enginering and strength then why is that Japanese and Korean models last longer.
Same experience in various other countries. The Japs just go on and on and on, so do the Americans but they require more replacements as age catches up (though their spares are very cheap - even when compared to the Japs).
Steeroid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2009, 16:12   #8
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,728
Thanked: 88,974 Times
Default

Great thread, High Torque!

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Torque View Post
Buy a good car to begin with.
Smart suggestion. Common sense, yet overlooked by many.

Quote:
don't dismiss American cars their quality is improving.
Improving yes, but nowhere near the Japs. Or even the Koreans (read = Hyundai) in terms of reliability.

Quote:
European cars are generally the most expensive to fix.
The thing about European cars is that they age well, and last very long. My 4 year old 50,000+ km 220 looks fantastic, interiors are like new and the car doesn't have a rattle. Everything feels "tight". However, the Germans - in their quest to justify premium prices - have loaded too many electronics & gizmos onto their cars. Couple that with high costs instrinsic to Germany & their attempts at minimising the same (pressure on suppliers etc.), reliability is poor.

The repair costs of a new age German car, once its crosses 50 - 75K kms, can cause heart burn.

Related discussion (Your definition of Build Quality)

Quote:
Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.
Absolutely. As their cars get older, owners typically care less about strict maintenance schedules. A classic example of penny wise & pound foolish. Keeping a car in the pink of health is crucial to its reliable & efficient functioning.

Related thread (Maintain the car yourself. A service checklist)

Quote:
Little annoyances tend to add up and can begin to erode your love affair with your old car.
Agreed. Another point I'd add to your guidelines is finding the right service center / aftermarket mechanic. The guy working on your car can make all the difference to its reliability. Or lack of. Knowledge, ability to solve a problem first-time around, honesty and attention to detail are top priorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
The Japs just go on and on and on, so do the Americans but they require more replacements as age catches up (though their spares are very cheap - even when compared to the Japs).
The way I'd look at it is that the quality of Jap spares is much higher, they are more durable too. That's why the higher cost to begin with.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2009, 08:25   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North America
Posts: 960
Thanked: 3 Times
Default

I own a Japanese car which was made in Japan (and not assembled in North America), and every time I need OEM parts, I need to order them from Japan.

Every mechanic I've been to has praised the car's reliability and build quality, and there are little things I've noticed which make a lot of difference to me.
Like the panel gaps on my Mitsubishi are much narrower than my landlord's Toyota Matrix (Japanese manufacturer but made in North America) and miles better than most of the domestics out there. Also the interior quality and design is way better than similarly priced cars.

Having said that, there is only so much abuse Japanese and Korean cars can take compared to their American or European counterparts. In my case, I went through 3 front wheel bearings in 4 months because of the harsh road and weather conditions in Northern Alberta, with -40 C weather and salt and gravel on the road all the time. Sure it gave me decent gas mileage and there were no other issues (yet!), but my co-workers driving domestic and European cars had no such problems at all.

This is where European and American engineering comes in. Japanese cars are great only if you operate them in their recommended environment. Any deviation and you'll start seeing the consequences.

That's why you see most of the American cars here in extreme cold conditions (-35 to -40) starting up without any trouble while Japanese cars need a block heater to be able to crank the cold engine.
sujaylahiri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2009, 00:54   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
vivekiny2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: cincinnati, jabalpur,chennai
Posts: 1,241
Thanked: 163 Times
Default

just came across this while checking block heaters (Sujay triggered it): here In praise of the lowly block heater - MetroMPG.com

Leave it to the engineers at Toyota to implement the most unique, clever and complicated method of pre-heating an engine.


Toyota Prius' 3 liter capacity coolant 'thermos' aids cold starts. (Collision damaged car shown under repair - source.) In the latest generation (2004+) Prius, hot coolant is pumped from the cooling system into a 3 liter insulated thermos-style reservoir at shutdown, where it apparently stays hot overnight, and warm up to 3 days later.
vivekiny2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2009, 12:56   #11
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,728
Thanked: 88,974 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
Having said that, there is only so much abuse Japanese and Korean cars can take compared to their American or European counterparts. In my case, I went through 3 front wheel bearings
All I can say is that one shouldn't use Mitsubishi as a benchmark for Japanese quality.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th March 2009, 06:10   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North America
Posts: 960
Thanked: 3 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
All I can say is that one shouldn't use Mitsubishi as a benchmark for Japanese quality.
I wasn't.

My buddy's Honda Civic has the same wheel bearing problem, and a search on the internet would yield more results for Japanese (and Korean) cars.

Also my co-worker's Kia Rio and 2008 Accord V6 and another one's 2008 Camry will not start without a block heater under -20 C. Whereas domestic owners (Jeep TJ, Ford Fusion, Pontiac Sunfire) have had no such problems.
sujaylahiri is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Road My Home Forever... Roadinc Travelogues 295 3rd December 2017 20:57
The Road My Home Forever... Roadinc Introduce yourself 5 19th August 2010 20:03
Alto 1.1 Vxi - WIP Forever - 52,500km arpandiv Long-Term Ownership Reviews 27 4th August 2009 10:59


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:25.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks