Who Needs Maintenance

I’ve often made the comment about many people buying into lines of BS or not giving one whit about what’s going on under the hood of their car or even outside of it for that matter; other than washing it. My daughter has always wanted to know how car things work and how to do some things herself so I’m proud that she religiously keeps tabs on her car. She even changes her own oil and did a complete brake job under my guidance without my sticking a hand in there anywhere.

She’s a degreed accountant in an office with other female accountants and she was telling me a few things this evening about the maintenance habits, or lack of, by others in her office.

They think my daughter is misguided because she spends some time every other weekend checking fluids, tires, inspecting for leaks, belt condition, etc.

She was telling me this evening about some of the comments made by other women regarding their vehicles. The sampling includes…

Transmission fluid NEVER has to be changed. THEY say so…

I’ve been told my engine oil only has to be changed every 15k miles… (and they wonder why their 60k miles engine is burning it on a short hop commuter.)

I’ve been told my spark plugs are good for 200k miles…

And one of the most ludicrous ones of all.

I never worry about worn tires, tire pressure, or TPMS lights. I just drive a car until a tire blows out. I then call someone to come and get me and have the car towed…

(This from a woman who has experienced a blowout several times and has 2 very young children.)

Apparently the college curriculum never included Common Sense 101.

Transmission fluid NEVER has to be changed. THEY say so.....

Mine was shifting hard, which was bad for longevity, and changing the fluid smoothed it right out.

The blowout problem is downright criminal. Always nice to know there’s people like that sharing the road with me.

Congrats to your daughter and to you. Nobody develops common sense by themselves. She got it from watching her parents.

I should suggest, however, that to someone who understands something, it’s often puzzling why it isn’t obvious to everyone. I think some of that goes on with cars.

When I was young I was an outstanding artist. Some of my work was even exhibited at the Currier Art Gallery. I thought it was kind of ridiculous, because I thought everyone could do it. I drew countless caricatures and political cartoons in the Air Force and for some years after. I never pursued it because it came so easy that I thought anyone could do it. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood that most people simply couldn’t envision things. Similarly, I think many people simply don’t “get” cars.

And the exact same is true in the banking business.
My wife and I used to compare ‘‘here’s your sign’’ stories from work.
just like those ‘drive it till it breaks’’ car owners…
imagine for a moment the same mindset with one’s checking account.

'‘hey, I still have checks left so I MUST still have money !’'
and these days with the increased use of debit cards and the declining use of paper checks…my wife is sure glad she’s a nurse now and not banking.
…which brings up the subject…
the same is true at the doctors office too !

It so reminds me of the book zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. IMHO it boils down to 2 different philosophies, drive it till it breaks then get it fixed, maintain it so it does not break. Never the twain shall meet.

I was appalled when my daughter told me about the bad tire situation and urged her to try and get through to that woman about the dangers of a rollover. She’s not optimistic she can change a set behavior. She’s not only a danger to herself but others on the road and her own kids.

Slightly OT, but like mountainbike I was a bit of an artist when younger and dreamed of doing it professionally. I enjoyed cartooning and landscapes. Few make any money at it so the artiste dream got shunted aside when the reality hit home.
My wife has tried to get me to delve into it again but it just doesn’t work anymore. I suppose it’s the visual equivalent of writer’s block. I sit down with good intentions and just go blank which in turn just gets me POed and more determined to chuck it all… :frowning:

You’re spitting into the wind my friend. People either value their items and try to maintain them or they don’t. I wouldn’t bother trying to change any of those people.

I recently had a conversation with a customer. He noticed something leaking at the rear of one his work trucks. I found a leaky pinion seal and was asking him if he had the diff serviced anytime recently. His exact words were “You know how I am. I NEVER do preventive maintenance. Something breaks, I pay you to fix it, and we move on.”

In the case of a safety item, it’s always worth a try. Occasionally a “light goes on”. Rarely, I admit, but occasionally.

I agree that many just flat do not want to hear it even if it saves their lives. Parking on the edge of the lot of a grocery one evening as I usually do, I noted a very late model SUV one space over.As I got out of the car I noted that the sidewalls were being scrubbed away on both passenger side tires. Taking a look, I saw the driver’s side was right behind the others and “My child is an…” stickers all over the back glass.

When I came out some well-dressed lady was almost finished with loading her stuff so I politely made the suggestion that she might have the tire pressure checked due to the dangers of the sidewalls giving up.

She wasn’t downright rude but was a bit snippy in stating, “I just checked the tires last week thank you very much…”. A blind man could see they were all half flat and the last time the pressure was near normal was probably the day the vehicle rolled off of the assembly line.
At least I tried; probably to no avail.

You did the right thing in trying. I’m glad she’s not parallel parking MY car. I like my sidewalls. They keep the treads from banging on the rims.

“When I came out some well-dressed lady was almost finished with loading her stuff so I politely made the suggestion that she might have the tire pressure checked due to the dangers of the sidewalls giving up.”

I had a somewhat similar experience several years ago.
As I exited from my car in the office parking lot, I couldn’t help noticing that the right front tire on the car next to me was almost flat. Most likely it had no more than 12 lbs or so of air left in it. The tire also had the tell-tale signs of having been scrubbed along the curb many times because the sidewall was very badly chewed-up.

Because the driver of that car was also exiting from her car at that point, I decided to be the good Samaritan, and tell her about her almost flat tire. The woman reacted by asking me, “Why do you think it is flat?”

Trying hard to not be judgmental, I said something along the lines of, Well, there could be a nail in the tread, or you could have a defective valve, or it could be losing air because the sidewall is so badly chewed-up, so you really need to have this tire checked by a tire shop.

The woman–who obviously thought that any random stranger would know more about her car than she did–then asked me, “How would the sidewall get chewed-up?” I responded that it was because the tire had been scraped along curbs on many occasions. The woman (please note that I did not say “lady”) then began to SCREAM, “How DARE you accuse me of scraping my tire along the curb!”

At that point, I simply said “Have a nice day”, and walked away, as I have no need to engage in extended conversations with irrational people.

It’s always easier to listen to people who say your car does not need maintenance than to those who say what exactly it does need and which, of course involves money.

A few months ago I had to listen to someone who drove a $100,000 motorhome without changing the oil for over 30,000 miles and bragged that “it still ran”. I used to give this guy all my car magazines when he was a teenager, and he developed quite a bit of car knowledge.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with our office manager on a project in Nigeria. We were talking about the high incidence of AIDS in that country. Her response was: Its not a problem; I dont have it!

In all reality if folks subscribe to replacing vehicles every 4-6 years the philosophy holds water.

My sister in law drives a Honda Ody with 120k with original transmission fluid, timing belt and spark plugs. It runs okay still so why spend more then $30 or so dollars changing more then the oil in her eyes. She does a good job with buying new tires though.

My wife and her 4 sisters grew up driving $1000 1980’s-early 1990’s Japanese beaters prior with manual transmissions. So they know nothing different in terms of maintenance.

@VDCdriver, I’ve had a few people get a bit snippy over comments designed to possibly save their lives but never had anyone scream at me. Even then, it was all I could do to contain my temper and keep from calling them some very crude names along with the word “idiotic”.
Anymore, I seldom say anything no matter what.

A month or so ago while getting gas I noticed the left rear tire on a Chevy pickup on the other side of the pump was almost flat with the sidewall gone. The bed was piled halfway up the cab with what appeared to be half a ton of misc. iron things. I just kept my mouth shut…

ok4450 The only action I would have taken concerning the Chevy pickup with a bad tire would have been to ensure I did not end up behind it on the road. I discovered years ago that many people do not appreciate unsolicited advice.

sgtrock21, that was cured quickly. He went north and I went south. However, I always wonder about things like this and what, if anything, happened later.

Half a dozen years ago on I-35 I had the cruise set at 65 in a 70 and noticed an odd shape coming up behind me very quickly. As it got closer I saw it was a late 80s Cougar with the rear dragging the pavement and very nose high.

That car went by me at about 80 MPH with 4 young guys in it and who knows what in the trunk.
Both of the rear tires were the T-type space savers and it had Kansas plates. Up to that point they were pretty lucky… :frowning:

ok4450 Charles Darwin was so right on!!!

I think those guys were going the other way on the evolutionary scale.

They’re a heartbeat away from inching across the sand and back into the ocean… :slight_smile:

I see the low and bald tires here in Ga all the time. What I hate is when the tail/brake lights are completely out and I run up on them in the dark. I’ve even seen people driving at night in complete darkness with no headlights. We have no safety inspections in Ga only emissions and you can really tell.