Ownership How Much Preventative Maintenance Is Too Much?

04:15  17 may  2018
04:15  17 may  2018 Source:   jalopnik.com

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a truck cake sitting on top of a car© Photo: Jeep Photos Credit David Tracy

Right now, I’m trying to get my 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle on the road, and I’m struggling to answer a question: How much preventative maintenance should I do? (Because this is getting expensive).

Over the past few days, I’ve been ruining my wallet by purchasing a metric crap-ton of replacement parts for my Golden Eagle, and that got me thinking: Should I even replace all these components?

This Jeep has been sitting for at least seven years based on the registration in the glovebox, which is why I decided to replace a number of wear items like the radiator hoses. Those were about $15 each. The top hose had already been chewed into by the A/C pulley, so I figured that—since I’m draining the cooling system anyway—I may as well do the bottom hose.

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The PM ( Preventative Maintenance ) contract says every 90 days. But how much maintenance is enough and how much is too much ?

How much is too much to spend on repairs? It's a question we've all had to ask at one point or another. In the next section, we'll look at why preventative maintenance saves you money in the long run.

a close up of an engine: This AMC 360 is getting lots of new cooling system components.© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. This AMC 360 is getting lots of new cooling system components.

And at that point, I thought I might as well do the water pump, since I don’t know when that was replaced, and I also am deathly afraid of overheating. That cost me about $35. I may as well throw a $7 thermostat in while I’m at it, and it’s always good to replace the radiator cap, since those are cheap, too at only $5. Plus, since the fan will have to come off to replace the water pump, I should probably put a new fan clutch in there. You know, because it’s not worth risking overheating, and it’s only another $25.

I should also replace the spark plugs, distributor cap, coil, rotor and wires, since those are relatively cheap, and they’re items that frequently go bad. Plus, I’ll snag an ignition module while I’m at it, since those are notorious for failing in full-size Jeeps. Last thing I want is to break down because I didn’t swap such cheap parts.

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There always seems to be the delicate balance between not enough maintenance and too much maintenance . The big question was ‘ how could that be?’ given the plane had undergone a significant preventative maintenance (PM) procedure just the day before.

How to Set Up a Preventive Maintenance Plan. A recent study from Jones Lang LaSalle found that on average preventive maintenance results in a 545% return on Some equipment is just too old and worn out, and reactive maintenance may actually be a more cost-efficient method in these cases.

As for the brakes, I know nothing about them, either. They work, but for how long? There are a number of rubber components in the brake system, which can all go bad over time. So I’m planning on swapping the hoses, wheel cylinders (those are only $9 a pop), calipers ($17 each) and maybe even the master cylinder ($19). I can probably afford these parts, but I cannot afford to have a brake failure.

  How Much Preventative Maintenance Is Too Much? © Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc.

Anyway, you can see why I’m conflicted: These costs add up quickly. But I don’t have the Jeep’s service history, and—especially with cooling system parts—not replacing the components seems like too high of a risk, and it’d also just be silly to keep the old parts in there since I’m in replacing the radiator hoses already.

But these ideas of “Peace of Mind” and “While you’re in there, you may as well replace...” are slippery slopes that are quickly putting me into the poor-house. On the other hand, once I have replaced all these components and replaced all the fluids and filters, I’ll be driving this thing with confidence, tackling long trips without worrying about breaking down, and I think there’s value in that.

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There always seems to be the delicate balance between not enough maintenance and too much maintenance . The big question was ' how could that be?' given the plane had undergone a significant preventative maintenance (PM) procedure just the day before.

So, washing is preventative maintenance . From what I have read, there seems to be a "rule of thumb" to wash your car every two weeks, depending on your environment. Those who live in dirtier environments more , others who garage their car and drive it little will obviously need to wash it less.

But my colleague Raphael doesn’t quite agree with my methodology.

a car parked on the side of a road© Photo: Volkswagen Photos Credit Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove — If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

Raphael: Swapping out wheel cylinders that aren’t even busted? Oh man. The optimism.

I understand this give-a-mouse-a-cookie approach to automotive ownership, but it’s one that I avoid as much as absolutely possible. If anything has been the enemy of my old car ownership, it has been actually trying to fix anything. More often than not, my attempts to repair my car ends up with me breaking it, or finding out that a different part is broken than I ever anticipated.

It’s not that I don’t like fixing my car. It’s not like I don’t think the parts of my car should be broken shouldn’t be fixed. It’s just that I’ve learned with an old enough car, every time I try to fix anything, I run the risk of breaking something that already sort of works. And that risk is usually greater than the possibility of making my old car better.

I swear, I was optimistic once. That was before the problems started.

a red stop sign sitting on the side of a road© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc.

Just last weekend I drove my car up to a friend’s shop to re-mount my rear shocks with proper spacers (from when I mis-mounted them the last time I put them on), only to find out that not only had I forgotten the spacers at home, but also that the car was running on one cylinder at idle, all four only under full load.

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read more . How can I reduce my heating costs in the winter? Make sure to schedule your preventative maintenance . Too much humidity makes you feel uncomfortable, usually making your home feel hot and sticky, requiring you to keep your thermostat lower, resulting in much higher utility bills.

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a car parked on the side of a road© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc.

I tried troubleshooting the ignition system, tightening the worryingly loose spark plugs and then replacing the plug wires only to end up with a car that ran on two at idle and three at full load. If anything, my car was worse than it was before I started.

I ended up calling it a day at about six in the evening, knowing that rain was coming in and night was imminent. Not a good time to really have to macgyver any potential roadside repair. I pootled home on either three or four cylinders without much issue and my car sits awaiting a complete new ignition system. With a Volkswagen, at least, that will cost me about five bucks and should take maybe an hour to swap over.

And that’s all sort of why I have a new, complete wiring harness sitting unused in a box. The wiring in my car might be wonky, but the car goes and stops and largely works. I can’t be sure that would still be true if I went through the trouble of pulling out all the still-kinda-ok wires along with all the bare, terrible, busted ones in the car at the moment.

I’ve stripped too many old threads to go down any kind of rabbit hole I don’t need to. Am I an idiot? Probably, but at least my car runs. Mostly.

Harley-Davidson Recalls 250,000 Bikes for Faulty Brakes .
So far 2018 isn’t off to a great start for Harley-Davidson.&nbsp;So far 2018 isn’t off to a great start for Harley-Davidson. On top of a steadily declining customer base, the announcement of the Kansas City plant closure, and the president’s recent metal tariffs, the MoCo has just issued a massive recall of roughly 250,000 motorcycles worldwide on account of a brake problem that can supposedly result in sudden failure. The recall affects the ABS on 2008 to 2011 model year Touring, CVO Touring, and VRSC machines. Sadly, this isn’t Harley-Davidson's first ABS recall in recent years.

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