Hooniverse Asks: What Automotive Regiment Do You Simply Not Believe?

oil change
When a car maker tells you that your new ride has a “sealed for life” transmission do you roll your eyes and respond with “Yeah, sure it does”? How about maintenance schedules that recommend 10,000 miles between oil changes? Sure that lowers the hassle factor of owning a car but that still sounds kind of sketchy to me.
On the flip side of the equation, do you religiously add something like Techtron to your gas tank every other fill-up as the bottle suggests? If you’re already getting your gas from Chevron which promotes that additive, is it still recommended?
There are a lot of auto-related regiments that many of us dutifully follow, usually because the owner’s manual or some guy on YouTube tells us to. Since you’re not a bunch of mindless lemmings, which of these recommended regiments do you think is nothing more than a bunch of hooey?
Image: ColonialGMC

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  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    100k spark plugs.
    My driveway installation /= factory installation. Correspondingly, the plugs in the van really need replacing now, at 174k. It would probably help the barely-noticable-but-still-there-dammit low-rpm stumble it has when it’s cold.
    It could probably also use a valve adjustment, but while the missus was more than happy to let me pop the valve cover off of the Merc and adjust its 10 valves, she’s curiously reluctant to let me fiddle with the valves of the family hauler. Even when I told her the job is many hundreds of dollars at a shop because it’s so time-consuming. She just decided we’d live with the 2mpg overall the van has lost since new.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      I still have a full set of 8, brand-new, in the box, platinum plugs for a 1997 5.9L Magnum. I meant to install them at the 60,000 mile mark per the owners’ manual maintenance schedule. I sold that truck 11 years ago and it had 120,000 miles on it with no noticeable difference in performance.

      1. Alff Avatar

        By 2002, the service interval for plugs in that engine had grown to 100K. I let mine go to 120K, at which point it ran poorly.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          And that is why 4th gen V-8 F-bodies are disappearing at a fast rate. To change the rear two plugs requires that the engine be dropped out the bottom of the unibody to reach the plugs.

          1. Alff Avatar

            This is my pet peeve about changing plugs in my Subaru. Engine must be lifted off mounts to change rears…every 30K. In the beginning it was a real PITA but I can do it now in 5-10 minutes.

          2. cap'n fast Avatar
            cap’n fast

            i would rather crush a subi than change the plugs. makes them somewhat more accessible and easier to set the valve lash after the lifters do their 100k collapse thing.

  2. CruisinTime Avatar

    * ( regimen)

  3. Batshitbox Avatar

    I really do change my full synthetic oil every 10,000 miles, or once a year which is usually sooner. I also replace the filter, which they claim can last 20,000 or something ridiculous. I also splurged for the multi-electrode, platinum plated spark plugs. 40,000 miles later, things are going smoothly.
    I’ve never rotated my tires. Not because I don’t believe in it. Until now I’ve never owned 4 new tires long enough to need to.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Does anyone ever change oil without changing the filter? A bit like putting new bed sheets on, but then one doesn’t bother to shower after digging a trench in the nuclear waste ground next door.

      1. Sean McMillan Avatar
        Sean McMillan

        I did one time, because I had bashed my knuckles one too many times trying to get the damn thing off and was ready for a drink. Found my other filter wrench before the next oil change and it went smoother.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      I don’t believe in rotating tires. I replace my tires 2 at a time anyway, so I currently replace the front tires more often than the rears. Rotating would just mean that I’d have to replace all 4 at the same time, at an interval midway between my current front and rear replacements. And if you need to rotate left to right, I’d recommend an alignment, not a rotation.

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      I’ve found that my tyres get rotated when I drive the car. 🙂

      1. Batshitbox Avatar

        Right! The ones on the right side rotate clockwise, and the ones on the left side rotate counterclockwise, so they balance themselves out. Why mess with that?

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Exactly! If it aint broke etc.

  4. Alff Avatar

    Real world experience showed that the recommended 7500 miles between conventional oil changes in turbo Subarus was ill-advised. Given the potential for catastrophic failure, I’m glad I never believed it.

    1. cap'n fast Avatar
      cap’n fast

      benz and the 10K mobil one fiasco comes to mind. good oil-i still use it- but benz owners think the hood is sealed shut for their pleasure. benz warrantied a lot of engines…

  5. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    The longest I’ve had a daily driver is about 10 years and 150,000 miles. I follow the factory recommendations. Oil pump failed on that truck, but everything was clean inside, so I think it was just crappy Chevy parts.

  6. nanoop Avatar

    Oil brand recommendations, such as Mobil 1 is best for Porsche. Also “transaxle oil” sounds snake-y.

  7. JayP Avatar

    Brake fluid in the Mustang – every other event which is about 3 months.
    Brake fluid in everything else – eventually.

    1. 1slowvw Avatar

      Isn’t it considered a flush every time a line or hose springs a leak and needs replacing?

      1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        I had a VW Bus that leaked & used enough oil that there was little point in ever doing a complete change. It’s not like those strainers do much.

  8. P161911 Avatar

    Automatic transmission fluid changes, either do it regularly and religiously or don’t do it. After a certain point it is the crud that is keeping everything in place, change the fluid and you are asking for trouble. Dad’s MK VII went 250k on the original fluid, the Trailblazer is at 167k on the original.

    1. Ayreonaut Avatar

      I had a jeep cherokee at 296000 on original trans fluid, and one of my current ones has 235000 on original fluid as well.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      Agree. I’ve seen many ATs that die immediately following a fluid flush/replacement.

  9. Lokki Avatar

    I guess I’m a sucker for printed schedules and advertising. I use gas with techron religiously. I change my brake fluid and antifreeze every two years as my masters in Munich dictate. I don’t change my oil at less than 7500 mile intervals… I tried platinum plugs in my old carbureted Alfa but my Alfa mechanic took them out and threw them away when I had to car in for some other service. He wouldn’t even let me pay for the NGK’s he replaced them with. He gets pretty opinionated about some things

  10. MattC Avatar

    I religiously change my oil in my Honda Hybrid (at the 15% light). I also change the CVT fluid every other oil change (Honda does make it ridiculously easy to do , loosen 4 bolts from a little trap door on the under engine plate , take out about 3 qts/clean the magnetic plug, and add 3 qts). I also changed the plugs per schedule for my wife’s older CR-V and wondered why (the plugs had 110k on them and looked brand new)
    However, I am awful at rotating tires (I finally did mine after about 40k on the set).
    My beater truck (mid 90’s Ranger): I change the oil at every 5k and did a partial automatic transmission fluid change(via a fluid extractor). I have not done the full filter change because it requires dropping the pan and associated mess that goes with it.

  11. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

    I’ve gone with the factory specified 10,000 mile oil change intervals on the Volkswagen. It was expensive enough with the unplanned maintenance to make me not want to spend more on additional changes. But as it’s gotten over 100,000 miles on the odometer, I’m considering going to 5,000 mile changes. Nothing’s gone terribly wrong in a few months and it’s making me paranoid. Better to protect the engine more now that it’s getting up there in age.

  12. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan


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