Car Maintenance Concerns

My wife and I both have cars that are over 100,000 miles. My car is a 2014 Subaru Impreza purchased in August of 2014 that now has 114,500 miles on it with 300 miles of test drives on it at the time. My wife has 105,000 miles on her 2012 Nissan Rogue purchased in January of 2016 with 36,000 miles on it.

Needless to say, we’ve done a lot of driving. I went to the Subaru dealership to have my transaxle fluid changed at 75,000 miles and was planning to have it changed at 125,000 miles or approximately 6 months from now (in October or November). I change the synthetic oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, typically 5,500 to 6,500 miles and I try to get Top Tier gas everytime I fill up the vehicle, though sometimes I mistakenly go to 7-11 or some off-brand that doesn’t sell Top Tier (aka Costco, BP, Exxon). I drive in a lot of stop and go driving and sometimes accelerate too fast from a red light and sometimes allow my speed to drop before hitting the accelerator (not the best driver). Despite having regular washes, I have a rust scratch on the roof (about 2 years old) and a pin-size rust spot (1 year old) on the car’s hood as well. I also made the mistake of not replacing all four tires of the AWD vehicle, but now have the tires within 6 months of each other. I plan to replace all 4 at 160,000 miles. There are about six other spots that are bubbling on the white paint. My wife says she takes “care” of her car. My outside of the car and the interior look like hell (got duct tape on the floor) as I have a hole in the floor mat and just began to have somewhat of the car floor scraped off. I had a 156,000 mile Chevy Fred Flintstone car (complete 2003 rust bucket in 2014) that was the reason why I bought a new car, a 2014 Subaru.

My wife hasn’t changed her transaxle fluid since she’s owned the car, thus it has never been changed. She also doesn’t put her emergency brake on though we have a flat parking lot. I noticed it might be slipping; she notices nothing. I haven’t noticed it slip in at least a couple of weeks, but I was wondering if I should change it or if I will have to worry about I told you so from her where I have the Nissan dealership change the transaxle fluid and than have an issue (aka have to replace it) shortly thereafter. She had a Jeep that lasted till 171,000 miles and had leaks everywhere. Her exterior looks perfect, though she hasn’t had a car wash in 10 months - so incredibly jealous.

If I do my own car wash, do you have suggestions? I was thinking of using Dawn and a microfiber cloth though sometimes I don’t know if I have white paint coming off or if that’s the suds of the Dawn.

Any dish washing detergent is bad for automotive paint.
What does this mean: “sometimes allow my speed to drop before hitting the accelerator”? That’s normal, red light, let speed drop, green light, back on accelerator.

Actually Costco, BP, and Exxon are all Top Tier…

Thanks for the tips, Purebred.

I mean that if I am on a highway, I let my foot off the accelerator and sometimes realize I am at 65mph before I go back up to 80mph. I also sometimes gun the accelerator when making a turn or after the light turns green, which is why I use the severe driving guidelines for changing my oil.

What is a good product to use to wash your car safely? Thanks so much!

I think you should have the fluid exchanged. If it goes bad afterward, it was going to go bad anyway. If she tries the “I told you so” garbage, ask her why she failed to have her car properly serviced for 70,000 miles. :wink:

Not putting the e-brake on isn’t going to damage the transmission. The parking pawl is perfectly capable of holding the car in place without damage, especially on a flat surface. The e-brake is a backup on the off chance the pawl fails or the transmission fails to actually go into park.

I use Meguiars Gold Class car wash on the cars I care about. The one I don’t care about just doesn’t get washed unless it rains. :wink:

Seems like you would have worried about that a long time ago . Go to the Auto Geek site and they have all kinds of videos showing how to clean and detail a vehicle.

Speed dropping from 80 to 65 - Cruise Control and where do you live that has 80 MPH speed limits ?

I usually take it to a car wash instead. I get annoyed if I have dirt on it after going thru a car wash - which is why I use one I know well. A couple of times and thankfully I mean no more than 3 times have I been stupid enough to use dishwasher liquid. I live in Maryland and I’m speaking about Route 70.

We have 70 mph speed limits and I am usually in the passing lane going 80 mph. On highways that are 55 mph, I try to go 65mph and at 65 mph, I try to go 75 mph or the flow of traffic.

You might rejuvenate you finish with a good waxing, then only use car wash soap. Any brand, Turtle Wax, Maguiars, etc. Dawn strips the finish.
As far as the 65 then back to 80, I try to use my cruise control whenever possible. I was riding with a friend, thought her car had a problem, then I saw she was constantly up-down on the accelerator, but at 1-2 MPH increments, very uncomfortable.
As far as your maintenance schedule, IMHO, you’re doing right.

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Thanks so much! I appreciate all the advice.

I have 1/2 gallon of Turtle wax car wash that I am too cheap to throw out but Idon’t use it because I dislike it so much. I am using Blue Coral car wash that is great.

As far as preserving the finish, I’ve always used a dilute sol’n of Ajax Orange dishwashing liquid in warm water when washing my vehicles. Just a single squirt in a 2 gallon bucket of warm water. Never had any problem. I don’t wash them very often, maybe once every two months, but I do hose them off once a week with the garden hose to get rid of accumulated dust. I wax them twice a year using a fast on fast off product. Last fall I used a poduct called “Nu Finish”, which is a sealer, not a wax, and it did an excellent job at repelling water, but not quite as good at repelling small scratches as a wax. I just recently waxed them both using the standard easy-on, easy-off Turtle wax product. It’s a sort of paste in a can. Corolla is 27 years old, finish nearly like new. Truck is older and lived in Colorado for 10+ years, so finish isn’t like new, but still original paint, and in pretty good shape in most body areas.

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Dish soap isn’t bad but it is good at removing wax. It isn’t vinegar but car wash soap should be better. Don’t change anything that you are doing. Your cars won’t get much for trade-in value so don’t worry about little rust spots. You know your used car hasn’t been flooded out or driven like a minivan / Corvette.They are valuable to you.

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I use Meguires car wash too. The thing with the rust bubbles is that the rust underneath is 5-10 times larger that what you see. My wife wouldn’t know what a transaxle is let alone when to service it so I take care of all that. The dealer says every 30,000 along with the transmission and also the differential.

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Going to digress and reminisce a little.
The old enamel (?) and acrylic lacquer paint of the 50s to the 70s that was oxidized could be brought back to life with the old Kit Wax, a paste cleaner wax. High school buddy bought a 57 Chevy that was oxidized to the point of looking pink. The two of us spent an hour using Kit, he then had a beautiful bright cherry red Belair.

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My arms and hands are still sore from “Blue Coralling” my 64 Volkswagen bug and that was in the sixties!

The innocent looking Blue Coral kit came as a 2-part product, a polish/cleaner, and a wax.

The Sea Blue VW was a bit faded (long before fancy enamels and 2 or 3 stage finishes) and I thought I’d shine it up. I remember the Blue Coral being pricey, but it sure wasn’t easy to use when applied by hand methods.

Although it was a very small car, the cleaning and polishing took a lot of effort and turned several white rags blue. The wax went on fairly easily, but it took much effort to buff it off, almost like rubbing a candle on the surface and trying to wipe it off.

It looked great when I finished, but it was the first and the last time I did that. I’m sure glad that automotive paint has improved so greatly.

Yes, used Blue Coral—ONCE, Kit brand was so easy.

It sounds like you are taking care of the mechanicals OK except I don’t see anything about the cooling system. Subaru calls for a coolant change at 11 years or 110k miles so you are due. Just drain and fill, do not flush, especially do not use a chemical flush in this engine. If you do a drain and fill you will leave a little of the sealant behind in the coolant that is trapped and that will help to keep your head gaskets from leaking.

I would recommend that you find a detailing shop or body shop that will address those rust spots without doing a complete sand and paint. They should remove only the paint necessary to remove the rust, then treat the exposed metal with phosphoric acid and then an etching primer. Finish with spot painting as small an area as possible.

Then either they or you could wax the car with a cross-linked polymer wax like Meguires Gold or Mothers Synthetic. These waxes last much longer than Carnuba based waxes.

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Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out one that helped me with my bumper about 16 months ago when I hit a cone and did about $3,400 in damage. I had some OEM parts and some after-market so the bill came to about $2,350. The all after-market parts was about $1,600 if I remember correctly. I was foolish to file a claim; had to pay about $1,624 ($1,000 ded + $295 in preexisting grille damage + $350 OEM parts upgrade) and the insurance company paid an additional $721. Should’ve gotten 3 estimates not 2. Getting that $721 in coverage was not worth using up the accident forgiveness on Geico policy.

Thanks. I’ll look into that. I like drain and fills, hate flushes or fluid exchanges because I like preventive maintenance and not to do actual damage to the car. Seen parents do flush then have all sorts of engine or transmission trouble. Yes flushes remove more of the liquid, but it’s not my cup of tea.

If your wife hasnt ever changed the transaxle fluid then its just a matter of time before the CVT craps the bed. Nissan’s cvt’s are generally not the most reliable things and surprised it hasnt bit the dust yet .

If you are going to wash it just go to the parts store and buy car wash , its only 5 or 6 dollars .