What should I work on next


#1

I have a 2003 Impala with a little over 125,000 on it. I got the car back in Dec of 2014. Since getting it I have had the back brakes replaced, and had the tie rods/ball joints and rack/pinion replaced/fixed. I am wanting to do some “general” age related work done on the car over the winter. Below is a list of the things I thought given the age of the car and not knowing last time these issues were addressed I might want to have done on the car. My question is all have been checked and none are in the “danger” mode but given age of car and mileage figure better to have done before it goes bad then waiting.

Option 1: Replace all Belts/Hoses
Option 2. Drain and replace Antifreeze
Option 3: Begin replace of tires

Those are the top 3, of those what order should they be in and am I missing possibly anything? Brakes are good as I replaced rear back this summer and new were put on front just prior to me buying the car by the dealership. Overall car runs great outside of the stupid security issue from time to time.


#2

Uh, yeah, if it hasn’t been done the antifreeze needs changing but do the hoses and coolant change all at the same time. Not sure what you mean by beginning to change tires but you either need to do it or not. Kinda like being part pregnant. Replace all four at the same time for best results. Other items, wax, tune up, filters, battery, etc.


#3

Timing chain on that car I think, not a belt that requires a change, so on your list, I would start with Option 3 unless the car won’t see snow.


#4

You should get a coolant tester, they are only about $3. Look for two things, the concentration (freeze protection level) and clarity. If it is near 50% and clear, then start on the tires, and as recommended, do all 4 at the same time.

If the coolant is cloudy or weak, well below 50% concentration, then do that first. If the coolant is really cloudy or muddy looking, change your hoses at the same time.


#5

Just put a new battery in about a month or so back. Tires are fine, but within a year they should start to be replaced, I don’t like to wait till there is baldness showing. I plan on replacing them in pairs, do 2 then 2 others.


#6

Not sure what my car has timing belt wise, I know my previous car a Kia mini van it was a belt and costs over $750 to have replaced. Hopefully the impala’s not as expensive.


#7

Replace all four tires at once. Car will be unpredictable in slippery conditions if you don’t.
I had a front wheel drive Olds once and replaced the front tires (they pull the car, so are most important, right?)
Was going down a we curvy road one day, and the back end just slid right out from under me.
Did a 180 on a skinny two lane road. Luckily, there wasn’t any oncoming traffic, or it would’ve been really bad.
I’ve never replaced tires in pairs since.


#8

Yeah I argue this ad nauseum. Folks think that not replacing something before it is totally worn is saving money. Maybe but it really is only delaying the eventual expense. Waiting a year or two more to replace an aging battery? What has been saved? A few dollars a month if you amortize the expense. So buying two tires now and two later saves what? Just delaying the purchase a little longer but really in the long run not saving much. Plus you are always out of sinc with two tires more worn than the other two. Replacing all four gives better handling, allows normal rotations, and saves another trip to the tire shop. Plus the way they change designs all the time, you have no assurance of getting a matching pair of tires the second time around.


#9

Well actually you can’t spend what you don’t have, and also I have never in my entire life of owning a car (going on now 35 years) I have never replaced all four times at one time, nor has anyone in my family or friends. To replace all four on my car I am looking at close to $500, that is a lot of money. Now I can lay out $250 say now and come Feb or March have the monies saved back up to get the other two. Also I have never in my life of owning a car had the same four tires on my car that matched and at no time did it impact the handling in any way. Sure if I had the $500 laying around then maybe, but I don’t.


#10

If the tires have a year on them, put away $250 now and then add that to the $250 you may have in Feb and do all 4 at the same time. Just because you’ve never done 4 tires at once, doesn’t mean you should continue that practice. Those 4 black rubber thingies are them most important part of your car. Brakes don’t work and cars can’t corner without good tires. They are the only things keeping you from sliding off the road, bashing into a solid object or a kid running across the road. I can’t stress the importance of good tires enough.

As far as your list, all 4 tires, belts, and then anti-freeze AND hoses at the same time…

You don’t have a timing belt. No Impala ever had a timing belt.


#11

$500 for set of tires isn’t much these days. When my car needs new tires, it’s going to cost around $1000-$1200 depending which ones I go with, and they’ll last maybe 25k-30k miles. Tires for my 20 year old pickup cost about $1000 a set. And if I want redline tires for the Triumph it would cost around $900-$1000.

@Mustangman is absolutely correct, having a set of quality tires on your car is hugely important.


#12

Has the trans fluid and filter ever been serviced? If you want to check the fluid condition of the rear differential that is one thought, I usually get it done around 150 k if it still looks good. Hopefully with the brakes the fluid was a complete change. I ended up buying fluid for the diff from the dealer, $36 a quart I think as at the local auto parts they sold a tube of something or other that needed to get added and the net price at the end was not significantly different enough for me to take a chance on other than oem.


#13

Yeah agree $500 is pretty cheap-maybe Walmart. I paid over $600 for the Generals on the Pontiac and that was a few years ago. The Michelins on the Acura were $1300 but I got a $100 gift card back. Comes a point when you gotta increase the car maintenance account.


#14

Those are all good things to do at this car’s age. Good for you. Beyond that, one of the best things a diy’er can do for their car is change the oil and filter. So if that’s due, add that to the list. When doing that job, since the car is already up in the air, that’s good time while the oil drains to crawl underneath and inspect for anything unusual happening, like the under engine air shield is coming loose from it’s moorings, broken exhaust hangers, signs of oil or cooling system leaks, etc. Clean and inspect the CV boots too, if applicable. The cleaner they are the longer they will last, as road grit on the surface is what wears them out quickly. I use only soap and water for that. Or I just wipe them clean with a paper towel best I can. Don’t spray the CV boots with any kind of petroleum based product, as it will weaken the boot material. Ask me how I know? … lol …

That’s also a good time to lube the door hinges, and shop-vac any debris from that area just underneath the windshield.


#15

Okay, maybe to some $500 is pretty cheap, that is $125 per tire, I have never in my life paid more then that for any tire I have ever put on any of my cars. I want just a basic tire, no frills, nothing great and that is what I always go with and have never had an issue. I don’t and never have had a “car maintenance account”. When I have a few extra dollars and something needs addressed on the car I get the work done.


#16

I was assuming you meant $500 all-in, like including mounting/balancing, disposal, taxes, etc. If you’re just talking about the cost of the tire. Then yeah, you can get a a fine tire for $125 a piece for that vehicle.


#17

I agree with the others. Get the coolant done, but you should get the hoses done at the same time because it would suck if you got the coolant done and then a hose blew and dumped all of that new coolant.

Tires: Tires are expensive now. I experienced severe sticker shock at the $1,000+ tire bill for my car, because I used to think spending $500 was expensive. If you have a Costco membership, they tend to have decent prices and the road hazard warranty is free with them. It’s not going to save you hundreds, but it will get you free insurance against future damage that would cost you even more money.


#18

Just because you’ve gotten away with mismatched tires so far doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You asked for our opinion and you’re hearing that it’s safest to have four matching tires, whether you like it or not.


#19

I looked at several web sites and found several all season tires at much lower prices than expected. I just have trouble with some of the OP’s statements. Such as having never known friends or family that bought 4 tires at once. I even saw one that would put 4 tires on this vehicle for just over $300.00. Even purchasing 4 take offs because someone wanted better performance tires would be better than a 2 tire at a time deal.


#20

Sorry but no one in my family ever put four new tires on a car at a single time, hell in my family I know of many times we would just replace the worse one and just replace 1 at a time. I have always done the 2 at a time, putting the two new ones on the rear and putting the best two on the car up front. The car I bought back in 2010 had four different tires on it, all in good condition, but four totally different brands.