Keeping It On The Road

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Most of us would like our vehicles to last a long time – and cost us as little money as possible during that time. Here are a few tips toward that end:old car 1

* If your vehicle has a manual transmission, the first time you start the car in the morning – especially if it’s a cold morning – select neutral after starting the engine, gently release the clutch and let the car idle for about 30 seconds before driving off.

This isn’t about warming up the engine (that’s no longer necessary, unless the car is very old and has a carburetor rather than fuel injection). It’s about circulating gear oil inside the transmission.

With the clutch out and engine running, the transmission is physically connected to the engine; but being in neutral, the car’s not moving. However, inside the transmission, the gears inside are spinning. This spreads lube all over the moving parts before the car begins to move – without putting any real load on them. It also helps to warm up the gear oil, which can get thick sitting overnight (if it’s a cold night) which can make shifting gears a bit harder until everything warms up as well as possibly increasing wear and tear.manual transmission pic

Letting the car “idle” for 30 seconds or so when you first start up in the morning is a costless, painless way to help your manual transmission last as long as the car does.

FYI: Some late model manual transmissions use automatic transmission fluid (ATF) rather than gear oil. The ATF is thinner (less viscous; flows more readily when cold) so “warming it up” is less an issue, but there is still a benefit in terms of making sure the transmission’s internals are thoroughly coated before driving off.

* Do not let either brake or clutch fluid age like fine wine.brake fluid 1

Pop the hood of your car and take a look at the two fluid reservoirs located (usually) on the driver’s side of the firewall. Well, there’ll be two of them if your vehicle has a manual transmission; if it has an automatic there will be just the one. But whether you’ve got one or two, they both use the same hydraulic fluid (generally referred to as brake fluid) and it’s imperative that it not be allowed to “mellow” from its new-condition clear/light yellowish to dark brown blackish. If, that is, you prefer to avoid expensive brake work (master cylinder, ABS components, calipers) and also expensive transmission work.

All modern vehicles with manual transmissions have hydraulically assisted clutches, to make engaging the clutch easier (and also to extend the life of the clutch). But if the hydraulic circuit fails – which usually means a bad slave cylinder – it can make the car undriveable because it’s no longer possible to engage/disengage gears smoothly (or at all). And – here’s where it gets mean – replacing the slave cylinder can, in some cases, mean pulling the transmission.slave cylinder pic

This is how $8 or so not spent on fresh fluid becomes an $800 repair.

Same – or similar – goes for the brakes (which, again, use the same hydraulic fluid). Dirty/degraded fluid can send the master cylinder and ABS pump to the junk parts heap years before their time.

The general rule is: Change the fluid in both circuits every 2-3 years, but the best policy is to check under the hood once a year – and when you see the fluid going from clear-yellow to dark brown, change it (or have it changed) regardless of the time/mileage interval.

This is one of those instances where spending a little now will most definitely save you a great deal later.

* Run your air conditioning in the winter.

Do this, if you like being cool in the summer. Turning the AC on will cause refrigerant and lubricant to be circulated through the system – which is supposed to be a sealed (closed) system. But if seals become leaky – because of months of not being doused with lubricating oil, then your refrigerant – the stuff that gives you cool air – can escape. Which means, come summer, your system’s running low on refrigerant – and you’ll be running hot.AC pic

If you’ve had to deal with AC system service lately, you’ll know how expensive even a basic fill-‘er-up can be. Because the law requires that before any automotive AC  system can be topped off with fresh refrigerant, any leaks must be fixed. The refrigerant is deemed an environmental hazard. This is also why, incidentally,  only “qualified” AC techs – with the approved equipment – are legally allowed to work on automotive AC systems. And they don’t work cheap.

Some good news: You don’t have to freeze yourself to avoid a dried out AC system.  You can adjust the temperature to a comfortable setting; so long as the “AC” light is on, the compressor is cycling and the refrigerant/oil is circulating. Also, if you use the defrost setting, the AC ought to come on, too. The reason why? To dehumidify and so clear the windshield faster. Cars with automatic climate control do this automatically. But if you have manual AC there will typically have a knob or button that must be manually rotated or depressed to turn the AC on.

Either way, be sure to do it at least once or twice a month during the winter months, and let it run for about five minutes each time.

* WD-40 metal brake/fuel lines.rusty lines 1

One thing that’s changed – dramatically – over the past 30 years is the useful life of the typical car engine. 150,000 miles is ordinary – whereas in the ’70s that would have been considered exceptional. The catch is that other parts of the car often don’t hold up in tandem.

Often, small parts that can cost big money – and cause big hassles.

Personal (and unfortunately, true) story: I had a ’98 model year pickup with about 130,000 miles. I bought it used about ten years ago; its former owner had used it for snow plow work.

The engine still ran like new. Original clutch. The paint still sparkled. But underneath… all the brake lines, all the fuel lines were severely rusted. Six years of snow-plow duty will do that to a truck.

One day, when I went to start the truck, I immediately smelled gas – and found it was spraying arterially from a weak point that had become a hole in the metal fuel line that fed into the fuel tank. To get at it in order to fix it required removing the gas tank – no small job (and no small bill if I’d had to pay someone to do it) and then replacing the line, which turned out out to be part of an expensive “assembly” (more about this here.) As I looked around at the undercarriage, I realized other lines would soon need to be replaced for the same reason (you don’t want a brake line to bust while you’re descending a 9 percent grade).WD40 1

But the bottom line was that rust had eaten at the truck’s guts such that I could expect constant problems. And because the rust was so bad, even removing the old parts had become problematic in that bolts and attachment points were beyond tools. Things would have to be cut and spliced from now on. Time to say good-bye.

So I sold the truck – which (as far as its engine and transmission were concerned) probably still had another 100k of life left.

You can decrease the odds of such problems by spraying down metal lines (especially where they screw into components; for instance, the brake lines that screw into each brake caliper) with a water dispersant/protectant such as WD-40. Do it regularly (twice year) from new and your lines will probably not give you trouble for the life of the car.

Which ought to help you squeeze as much life (and miles) as possible out of the rest of the car.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Off topic Eric but will you be doing an article on EDRs that I’ve heard are supposed to be in all 2015 cars and trucks. What are these? Can they be disabled?

    • The NHTSA was going to mandate EDR’s over a decade ago if manufacturers didn’t voluntarily install them. The trend was already going that way and I doubt any vehicle sold in the US this year is without one.

      As far as defeating one, they’re tied into the whole vehicle and in big rigs, into the engine management system(this is often the reason you see a brand new truck on the side of the road with a mobile mechanic on site, trying to fix the ECM which is so closely tied to the EDR that a fluke reading will shut down the engine). From what I’ve seen, the same rig that has one event that shuts it down is much more likely to have it happen again.

      Here’s what is said about big rig EDR’s.
      Most EDRs in heavy trucks are part of the engine electronic control module (ECM), which controls fuel injection timing and other functions in modern heavy-duty diesel engines.[citation needed] The EDR functions are different for different engine manufacturers, but most recognize engine events such as sudden stops, low oil pressure, or coolant loss.[citation needed] Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar Inc., Mercedes-Benz, Mack Trucks, and Cummins engines are among those that may contain this function. When a fault-related event occurs, the data is written to memory. When an event triggered by a reduction in wheel speed is sensed, the data that is written to memory can include almost two minutes of data about vehicle speed, brake application, clutch application, and cruise control status. The data can be downloaded later using the computer software and cables for the specific engine involved. These software tools often allow monitoring of the driver hours of service, fuel economy, idle time, average travel speeds, and other information related to the maintenance and operation of the vehicle.

      Some EDRs only keep track of the car’s speed along its length and not the speed going sideways.[citation needed] Analysts generally look at the momentum, energy, and crush damage, and then compare their speed estimates to the number coming out of the EDR to create a complete view of the accident.[1]

      I recently got into a Volvo semi tractor that was running fine when stopped but wouldn’t start. The EDR had determined it was one gallon low on coolant and would not let it start without being topped off and reset. I said some dirty words I won’t print here. Volvo’s suck because of lack of gauges, not even having any that deal with the electrical system.

      With a fuel pressure gauge, a pyrometer and a turbo boost gauge I can remember what each should be showing at a given time in relation to the others and fairly well know exactly what might be wrong with an engine. There are operators and there are “drivers” and Volvo is a great nanny for “drivers”. It sucks when you know what you’re doing though.

  2. Regarding the brake fluid, whenever I change the oil, I use a syringe and draw fluid out of the master cylinder. Be careful not to draw too much as to introduce any air into the system. This way, I replace a small amount 4x per year. (That might be equivalent to the amount of fluid in the entire system.) This has treated me well over the years.

    • tom, I agree. I stick the hose from my wash down gun into one, suck it all out into a gallon jug and then refill the MC with new fluid.

      BTW, I use brake fluid, clutch fluid and all those other kinds of “fluids” in their specific locations. Maybe there’s no difference between brake and hydraulic clutch fluid but I wouldn’t count on it. Power steering fluid is probably covered by transmission fluid specs but it’s not the exact same thing. I don’t know what the specifics are but having all these fluids on hand is fine for me.

      I certainly don’t use the same engine oil in everything and feel the same about all the other lubricants. To be honest, I found what I consider to be the Holy Grail of fluid applications on the Amsoil site. I believe it but won’t argue it. C’est la vie…..it goes to show you never can tell.

      • Every Hydraulic clutch I’ve dealt with used brake fluid. On my present two hydraulic clutch cars the reservoir is shared.

        No way to bleed the clutch slave on the ’12 because it’s in the bell housing and because it is there it gets clutch dust into the system. Not a ford thing, happens with GM too. The problems it causes were discovered in solved by Corvette people long before Ford adopted this IMO stupid design. Now pulling out the fluid and refilling the MC is a must.

        • BrentP, you’re probably right but I use hydraulic clutch fluid in a clutch and brake fluid in brakes. My old Chevy pickup’s slave cylinder was inside the bell-housing, the safest place for it, but it had a bleeder accessible from outside, had two bolts that held it in. I never figured a way to bleed it without someone pushing the clutch pedal. You could get close but close wasn’t good enough to get the complete disengagement you needed. At times I wished for an adjustment but that’s a recipe for clutch failure for many people. My wife cussed that truck because you had to have the clutch pedal almost dead against the firewall to activate the switch on the starter circuit and her foot was screwed, plated and generally non-flexing. I”m sure it did hurt her but it kept her from automatically using it. I really hate to share a vehicle.

          Everybody gets in my truck and tells me it looks like new. Most people feel the need to remove some of the debris in my wife’s car before getting in. I kept her car clean inside and out until the last few years and just got disgusted with no help from her. Just throw everything you don’t need in the floor doesn’t work for me. I clean the windshield, back glass, door glass and mirrors before I drive it and generally before I ride in it. She can have bugs so well baked on I’ll use steel wool to clean the windshield.

          Seems like that’s the order of the day for almost everyone these days though. I rarely get in a company pickup or big rig without cleaning all the glass since it is inevitably filthy.

  3. I suggest strong consideration be given to using synthetic fluids in the crankcase, transmission & differential (my ’95 Acura Legend AT FWD had all three, longitudinal layout), IF one is able to make the switch prior to 100k miles. Also, a fuel additive used every 7.5k miles helps keep the fuel injectors nice-n-clean.

    Although anecdotal, here in MD I’ve been using these products since 1988 on (4) Honda autos & had trouble-free results, aside from the financial pinch when I buy the synthetics. Mobil 1 motor oil isn’t as pricey as others (e.g. Royal Purple, Redline, Amsoil), when bought in 5-qt containers at Wally World. And shelling out extra money for 1 qt of Redline gear oil every 75k miles & a can of fuel additive every 7.5k miles isn’t that much of a stretch, over the long haul. Cheers.

    • While I dont have doubts about the benefits of synthetic oils, and they are better than conventional petroleum based lubricants in every respect, I question the payoff. How many of us have ever had any wear-out, or failure due to lubrication or oil? (Assuming you keep reasonably on top of these things as a maintenance item). My ’02 Chevy S-10 lost a valve guide at 136k miles, but was that/is that attributed to *conventional* oil use? Could this have been avoided with synthetics? I serioiusly doubt it. I just dont see the value of the synthetics.

      • Hi Tom,

        The answer, I think, is: It depends.

        I’d put nothing less than the highest quality synthetic in my sport bike engines, which routinely see 10,000-plus RPM; also my antique muscle car (because blocks and cranks that haven’t been cast in 40 years are getting hard to find; better not to break the stuff you’ve got).

        But for an ordinary A to B transportation unit? A good quality conventional oil is probably just fine. With one caveat: Temperature extremes. If you operate in a very cold climate (or a very hot one) synthetics do confer a noticeable benefit: Easier cold starts and faster warm-ups in the winter – and objectively (per tests) superior protection in the heat of summer, which ought to mean lower wear and tear.

        And: Synthetic gear lubes noticeably improve the operating characteristics of manual gearboxes and axles… especially in the cold!

        • Use full synthetic oil.

          The impurities present in conventional oil break down, and decrease power and efficiency, especially in modern engines. That gunk will decrease performance and longevity of the engine directly, or indirectly.

          More importantly, it’ll protect your engine during a critical failure. If someone forgets to put an oil cap on, and you drive 10 miles before realizing that your oil has percolated out. Synthetics coat engine parts better. You’d be amazed at how long you can drive with little oil coating parts, using synthetic. My personal testimony if from when a head gasket failed, and blew most of my oil into the atmosphere in the middle of no where. I was able to drive 100 miles on 3 cylinders because of Mobil 1. Conventional oil would have left my engine seized, and me at the mercy of a tow truck driver, who wanted to rip me off.

          – The Liberty Disciple

      • The benefits of synthetic are not just less wear and tear. Synthetic oil should also increase your fuel mileage a little bit. Granted it wont be much, maybe a few tenths of a mile per gallon. However over a long interval, like an oil change interval, it adds up. Synthetic oil also helps with cold starting. I have noticed that my car cranks over better with synthetic oil. Where I live, it got down to 10 degrees below zero last week. My car started right up. Many other cars didn’t. And finally, synthetic oil does allow a longer oil change interval. My 2012 Chevy Impala has the driver’s information center. According to that, I do not have to change the oil for about 7,000 to 7,500 miles. If I let it go that long, it comes out of the engine almost as clean as what it went in. Of course for an oil change interval that long, it is important to use a high quality oil filter with the high quality oil. I use Vavoline syn-tech oil and a top of the line Fram oil filter. Over the long term I think using synthetic oil is actually cheaper between the slightly improved fuel economy and the longer oil change interval. It also is less hassle. I drive 35 miles to work each way to work 5 or 6 days a week. If I used cheaper oil, I would have to change it every 3,000 miles. Or about every 6 weeks. With synthetic oil, I only have to do it 3 or 4 times a year.

        • I have a 1982 Mercedes 240D with over 400,000 miles. The engine has never been touched, beyond the normal valve adjustments which I do myself every 15,000 miles or so. Synthetic oil is cheap insurance. I change oil (synthetic) with the seasons, 4 times per year, regardless of miles driven. This has worked well for me…

        • toldev, you can access oil filter data on the Amsoil site. They test them all so you can see which ones are best(not Fram). Of course they sell their own and their new nano-tech filters do a very good job. I had run out of Amsoil 0W-30 and didn’t realize it. Since my wife’s car uses a bit of oil, I had to buy some Mobil 1 since there are no Amsoil dealers near me. It’s officially time to change oil in my view since I have mixed what I deem an inferior oil with a superior one. I’m about to order more filters and oil, both Amsoil products.

          Not everything about filters is cut and dried and some filters do, in effect, as good a job filtering air as the Amsoil but last I looked, none of them were cleanable.

          Still, their site is a good source to determine what brand filter to use.

          If your oil looks as good coming out as going in, you’re probably not getting the full life from it. I think it’s worth it every once in a while to have an analysis done to determine how many miles your oil can be used with full protection.

          • I checked out Amsoil’s website. Their oil filters do appear to be a bit better than what i have been using. And, if I buy a case at a time, a few bucks cheaper than what i have been paying.

            I probably have been changing the oil a bit more often than what I need to. The car is covered by GM’s 5 year 100,000 mile drive train warranty. I think I probably have to keep changing it as soon as the light comes on to preserve the warranty.

      • Regarding the question: are synlubes worth the extra money outlaid when bought? I emphatically say yes because In addition to the wear-n-tear benefits, drain intervals can safely be extended (every 7.5k miles, in my case) and there are further savings that come from better MPG’s. For example, here is MD, my ’01 Honda Accord, 4 cyl, MT, over 7 years & 85k miles, has averaged 33-34 MPG in the winter months & 34-35 MPG with a 70/30 highway/city driving mix. The EPA rated this car 31/25 MPG highway/city. To be fair I also keep an extra 4-5 psi in the tires and usually take it easy on the gas pedal.

      • Just a note of clarification Tom in that synthetics are still petroleum-based. The rearranging of the molecular structure is what makes them synthetic.

    • Robert, I’ve switched vehicles to synthetic closing in on 200K and had nothing but good results, one of them being, less oil usage except for one Tahoe which I think would have stopped using oil if it had been kept on the same synthetic. The guy switched it to Mobil 1 since the first round of Amsoil made it use some oil whereas it didn’t before and didn’t on Mobil 1. That’s the only vehicle I switched that didn’t use less oil using Amsoil. I like what the oil gauge shows in the heat and cold both with Amsoil.

      I think some would question my changing oil pans for much larger ones on most vehicles I own and also adding bypass filters to not only increase filtering efficiency but to increase the oil reserve.

      Back before Tx had a pig behind every bush, I used to run hundreds of miles sometimes at steady speeds of up to 120mph. That’s hell on oil and you can see it in oil usage when more sedate driving doesn’t cause oil usage in that same vehicle. Synthetics will keep the oil pressure higher than petroleum based oils on these really hard runs and also show a cooler temp on coolant.

      I really like synthetics when it comes to matting a diesel to pull a load too large to really speed with.

      Anchar, I’m with you on that. I was about to post same. A can of lithium spray on grease should be in everybody’s garage if not in a vehicle toolbox.

  4. Most modern cars automatically cycle the air conditioning compressor in the “defrost” mode. It is still a good idea to run the A/C from time to time…

  5. I remember Peter Egan of Cycle World magazine reflecting on the old British bikes he owned versus the more modern Honda 750 CB. The British bikes wore out quickly, but were easily rebuildable. The newer Japanese bikes were far more durable, but when they failed they were far more expensive to fix. At that time Honda even ran its cams right on the head’s bare metal–no bearings.

    Which is preferable? The older American way, of course. You could fix an older American car without a two-year degree in auto mechanics, and yet they mostly proved durable. If you could ignore the rust, even our fleet of Edsels would run and run, and were cheap to fix.

    • Hi Ross,

      Yup!

      Incidentally, this is why I am mostly a Kaw man. Ever take apart an old Zed? They magnificently overbuilt that puppy. Unless you run one deliberately without oil it is damned hurt to hurt ’em.

      • It’s often how they did it in the old days Eric. I’m sure they used blocks, gears, cranks etc. suitable for the Z 1000 but used different heads and pistons for Z 750’s etc.

        These days it’s more about saving weight so overboring a 750 to 1000 isn’t possible because the crank and gearbox needs to be changed too. Different capacity engines have become more specialised.

        • Hi Rev,

          Yup!

          The Z1’s engine was so overbuilt it can take extreme abuse – which is why these ancient engines are still used in drag bikes.

          I’ve never managed to break one. Worst thing that happened was slop in the timing chain, which happens after about 75k of hard riding!

  6. For the under areas and rusty areas on my blazer, I use spray on lithium grease- way better than wd40. I only use wd for tight areas where the lithium grease cannot get to by means of reflected splash or running down into a crevice. I also use brush on u-joint grease for certain small areas that really need a good coat

    • For vehicles rusted underneath, frame, lines, and all, I put used transmission fluid in a spray gun and wet everything with it. It stops the rust very effectively and looks better, too. It stays on a long, long, time, as water does not wash it off. I noticed one time, while working under a very old, severely rusted car, that there was a trail of clean, unrusted metal, from front to rear, which was where the engine had been leaking oil. Will it cause rubber bushings to deteriorate? Only if they are natural rubber. I think they are neoprene, unless the vehicle is ancient.

      Spraying undercoating on top of rust is a bad idea. The rust continues and the undercoating keeps the moisture in, as soon as there is any void at all that it can enter. I have peeled undercoating off, only to find a nasty hole all the way through the frame. It is better to wet the surface rust with oil — it penetrates and stops the rusting process.

  7. Nice pick for the photo of a “long lasting” car. My late great uncle owned a Mercedes like the one pictured and he got his money’s “worth” out of it. Bought it new (may have been diesel too) and except for the last two years of his life drove it for over a million miles. Yes, a million miles.

    Granted he basically had the car rebuilt twice over the many years he owned it (and had a body shop work on the panels every couple of years). But it was maintenance (ok, a lot of maintenance) that kept it on the road as long as it did. I am guessing he could have bought a normal car or two for what he spent on that one car. But he really liked it.

    I think it still had the original engine block at the end, the transmission had been replaced at least twice. He only got a new one when he got t-boned by some clover running a red light (thankfully my great aunt was not in the car, as the passenger side was smashed in). It bent the frame so he couldn’t rebuild it the third time. Sad when you think of it, It should have gone to a Mercedes museum rather then a junkyard. Drove it (everyday) over 30 years.

    I think another point about keeping a car a long time is to have a garage to park it in every night. Even more so if you live in a cold climate, though heat can kill a car pretty fast too. Keeping a car out of the weather when your not using it, is, I think one of the easiest ways to keep a car longer. Even a garage that is not much more then a shack.

    My neighbor has never allowed rain to fall on his Corvette (it only gets wet when he washes it), and the finish (its a 2000) still looks brand new. Granted that one tip isn’t possible for a everyday car.

  8. WD40, while being recommended here for it’s actual purpose is probably not the best. It certainly wouldn’t work where I live. I use grease. Critical areas like brake line fittings I’ll glob grease on it. dirt sticks to the grease surface and the result is moisture free environment for the fittings and bleed screws inside. It’s a bit messy that’s for sure, but it works well.

    Another thing to do is go on rust patrol under the car, scrap/sand/wire brush any rust and paint. Nip it in the bud. If found soon enough just about any decent paint for steel will do the job. The tougher and more anti-rust the better though. But even a quick spray with engine enamel will last a while.

  9. Nice tip about cold start idling in neutral for 30 seconds.

    But now I’m going to have to re-program my deeply embedded start up routine. 😉

  10. Last year I test-drove 3 Toyota 4-Runners (close cousins to the Lexus GX I ended up with). Of the three, one had massive rust underneath. Turns out that it was a Wisconsin vehicle, and the sales lot owner had bought it at auction.

    This was an immediate “no-sale” for me. Not only did I not want to have to deal with all that rust (which never ever stops spreading, once it starts), but none of the local Texas mechanics have any experience with it, either. So getting repairs done would have been difficult.

    He probably found someone to buy it off him. Probably to someone who didn’t know any better.

    • The upper mid west. Probably the worst place to buy cars from. They salt the crap out of the roads there. I live in Wisconsin for a few years and one time I was driving. There was no snow and it wasn’t snowing at the time. The road was turning white. After about a mile I caught up to the salt truck. It was so thick it looked like a dusting of snow.

      • Northeast ain’t much better.
        When I moved from upstate NY to Iowa I went by way of my (then) inlaws in TX and bought a junkyard car to transplant the engine and tranny from my NY car (5yo) into.

      • Wisconsin–hoo boy. That’s in the northern tier of states, yet its people act as if snow is an immoral insult. When I lived in Milwaukee, every time it snowed–from dusting to blizzard–the city would coat its roads from curb to curb with salt. My old but rust-free Utah van was devoured in six years with that crap. I’ve never seen anything like the excessive loons in that state when it comes to snow.

        • The state of Michigan is like that too. Last week I was driving north on interstate 75 through Detroit. There was a 2 car accident on the Rouge River bridge. Apparently one vehicle had slid on ice and struck the other. The Michigan state highway patrol was at the accident scene and had apparently called salt trucks. The bridge was still hazardous. Not because of the ice, but because the salt trucks had spread so much salt that going down the interstate was like driving on loose gravel. The funny thing is that the salt trucks were continuing to spread even more salt.

      • Yeah: I bought a 97 Mercury Mountaineer that had a very clean engine bay, meaning it did not leak any oil, but was rusty damn near everywhere. Since I am OCD @ oil leaks, I did not notice anything on the rust. Shoulda passed on buying the car…. oh well. So now every repair job (the first time) is a PITA. Crossing fingers, I hope to get another 4yrs out of the car.

    • I live in Pa. and five years ago I flew to Texas and hooked up with my old friend who runs car auctions. He scouted me out a low mileage P-71 and I drove it back to Pa. I paid $3500 for a 2003. It was driven by liquor control officer. (;>)
      Like brand new. A superb vehicle.

        • When I’m buying Taxi’s, I look for Arizona/Texas vehicles first. Any of the western states are fine, even when they get snow. They don’t use much salt and some like Idaho use a a chemical mixed with salt, just within the past 10 years. It seems it is corrosive, but not near as corrosive as straight salt.

          I wish it was like years ago. If it’s snowing, slow down or crash. Now the salt/chemical gives people a false sense of security, so they speed up……and crash. Some of the dumb shits leave their cruise control on. They will be headed north from where it’s 35 degrees. All of the sudden it drops to 30 and there are 10 cars off the road in 4-5 miles.

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