I'm a music-lovin' mom who does her best not to take life too seriously. I have 2 beautiful children who inherited my warped sense of humor. Yea, it was bound to happen.
Dad's a retired Colonel, so I've lived all over the place and I can tell you that there is no place like the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast, and you can try but chances are y'all will never rid yourselves of me.
In my spare time I write bad poetry, play the worst guitar you ever heard, read trashy romance novels vorasciously, love puzzles, am a self-confessed sci-fi geek and a card-carrying G.R.I.T. (Girl Raised In the South, in case you didn't know about us).
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Though we may set out to keep a car forever, not everyone will have the persistence — and luck — of Irv Gordon, a man who holds the world record for having driven his 1966 Volvo P1800 for nearly 3 million miles. You can, however, greatly extend the life of your vehicle, while simultaneously reducing the possibility of mechanical mishaps. The following five items are basic and can
1. Follow Your Vehicle's Service Schedule: This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still too many car owners out there who pay little or no attention to the vehicle maintenance schedule as laid out in the owner's manual. "I follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, not the dealer's," says Gordon. "They built the car, so they ought to know what's best for the car." Not following the maintenance schedule is particularly inexcusable in late-model cars that have oil life monitoring systems that automatically determine the best time for an
2. Check Fluids
3. Go Easy During Start-up: You might have heard this from someone who fires up his car and immediately floors it: "It helps warm it up." Wrong. A cold engine — meaning one that's been sitting for more than five hours — will have little or no oil left on the moving parts. It's all seeped down into the oil pan. It only takes a few seconds after start-up for the oil pump to adequately lubricate an engine. During those few seconds, you should keep engine rpm down to a minimum. Give the engine at least 30 seconds before popping it in gear and driving off. Give it a little more time if it has sat for more than 24 hours.
4. Listen for Odd Noises: Turn off the radio once in a while and listen for any odd noises, both at idle and when under way. Here are a few examples: A clicking noise when you are driving could be a nail stuck in a tire. A slight scraping noise when you come to a stop could mean the brake pads have worn down to the warning indicator, and this could mean it's time for new brake pads. A grinding or metal-on-metal scraping sound could mean a bushing is destroyed or needs to be replaced. If you cannot pinpoint the source of the noise, take the car to your mechanic to get a more informed opinion.
5. Drive Calmly: Take it easy on the car when you drive it. "Go easy on the brakes and don't drive it too hard," says Gordon. The occasional full-throttle acceleration or panic stop isn't going to hurt anything, but a constant Ricky Roadracer attitude will reduce your car's road time and add to its downtime.
The same easy-does-it attitude applies to shifting gears, too. Make sure the car is completely stopped before shifting into reverse, and be sure you're stopped before going back to a forward gear. That will avoid stress on the transmission components. If you need more incentive for calm driving, how about money in your pocket? Edmunds editors tested the tips and found that having a calm driving style improved fuel economy by about 35 percent.
Don't Panic Over Wear-and-Tear
These simple steps can be applied to just about any vehicle, and will help you take a proactive approach to maintaining your vehicle. But don't be discouraged when things start to break down. Parts wear out on every car, even those with excellent reputations for reliability. In almost all cases, it is cheaper to fix your car than to replace it.
These are our five tips for keeping your car running forever, but what is Irv Gordon's secret to reaching nearly 3 million miles? Drive the car like you love it. We couldn't agree more.