Make an estimate on how long my car will last



Common sense: you give someone a pair of shoes and they kick rocks all day, and the other person treads carefully in an office environment: which pair of shoes would last longer?


You are lucky to have all that sludge under the valve cover. That’s what is holding the engine together and keeps the car running :slight_smile:


Two years ago people were saying " it’s not going to last…on borrowed time" lol

Still runs pretty well.


I don’t see any rust hole, just a big rusty spot on the spring tower. It still looks mechanically sound. Sure, a little anti-rust coating will not hurt…As for the engine sludge, it contains carbon but it’s a mixture of depleted motor oil and combustion blow-by…Leave it alone…Change you oil every 3000 miles and don’t worry about it… Drive it until it will drive no more…It might be worth $20 to put it up on a lift and give the undercarriage a good inspection, see just how bad the rust really is…Give the steel brake fluid tubes a good look…


I think they’re pointing out the rust crack here:

Not yet in the critical area but not likely to get better…


One good pothole away from hearing an agonizing crack…


My first Chevrolet Vega had a little more rust than that, I could open the hood and see both of the front tires. An awful car is better than walking.


Agonizing crack from what?

I guess I should tread carefully :arrow_right: million s of potholes in my area…


Your vehicle is of the unibody type, meaning that it does not have a frame, and instead relies on the integrity of the entire structure underlying the external bodywork for its strength. For every bit of rust that you can see there is a huge amount more rust that is not visible to the naked eye, and that rust compromises the structural integrity of the vehicle.

So, whether you are involved in a collision, or whether your car takes a pounding from bad pavement, that compromised structural integrity will fail at some point. For your sake, I hope that it doesn’t take place before you can replace this vehicle.


I used seafoam and Lucas oil stabilizer a few years ago.

Don’t use this against me but did put in 10w40 oil once ( it requires 5w30 )

Nevertheless, there are still no noticeable signs of dying , drives decent and starts everytime!


I estimate your car will last between another 5 to 500.000 miles


Are you using the thicker oil because it was burning or leaking oil? Was it losing oil pressure? What climate do you live in? Cold or warm? You might try going back to a 5W30 or even a 5W40 if you insist on a thicker oil. I run a Rotella T6 5W40 synthetic in my outdoor lawn equipment that mostly calls for 10W30 and this cleans out the guts of the engines real quick. Rotella is diesel rated so has lots of detergents to clean out that sludge. This is probably what I would do rather than buy an engine flush. You might change the oil sooner than later, like within 100 miles, the first time you put this oil in. Change the filter as well.

I think we all agree this car is on its last legs. The rust has made it unsafe and depending on the state, it might not pass inspection the next time around.


An additional comment here. Longevity is an ECONOMIC as well as a technical function. In India and many developing countries your car would have a lot to of life left in it. In Cuba with economic embargos and lack of funds, old US cars last forever because they are CONTINUOUSLY BEING REBUILT! A 1954 Chevy is considered a better car than a used 5 year old Russian car!

In the US with stiff safety standards and high labor costs, a car will bite the dust for economic reasons as a rule. There was no civilian car production in the US from after 1942 till 1946. Repair shops had a field day since people thought twice before scrapping a car and used car prices went through the roof.


Even after WW II ended, used cars frequently sold for as much as new cars simply because there was such a shortage of new iron. And, that included used cars that had suffered a scrape or two.


That is true, my grandnother was offered more in 1946 for her 1941 Studebaker Landcruiser Commander than she paid for it in 1941. She didn’t sell it though, she drove it until 1956.


What about using a rust converter?


It simply is not economically practical to try to save a non collector car from rust once the rust gets a good hold. Especially with a unibody car, you have no frame to attach new parts to.


April 19, 2019, my estimate.


Just inserted one-third of a can of sea foam into the oil crankcase mileage
250 289


Or it’s an attribute to my dedication to maintenance.

Those pictures of the engine were prior to oil change.