The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 June 2004

Fluid dynamics

Sandy, my battered (no thanks to spring hailstorms) Mazda sedan, got her 30,000-mile fluid replacements today, only 2276 miles late, and she got a clean bill of health from the techs, which is always nice, especially since she's only about three-fourths paid for.

And while the tab — $431 — might seem stiff, I look upon it as cheap insurance; after all, we're about to hit the road for four thousand miles, and the last thing I need is to be sidetracked by some sort of system failure, especially now that the warranty (3 years) has expired.

My maintenance schedule, in some regards, is more extensive than that recommended by the manufacturer; there is no way, for instance, that I'm going to keep the same batch of coolant for 50,000 miles, no matter what color it is.

Of course, when this really starts to get expensive is at 60,000 miles, when in addition to everything that was done today, I get to change out the timing belt. (Unless, of course, I've somehow managed to relocate to California or to parts of the Northeast, where the same timing belt magically retains its tension and its teeth for a full 105,000 miles, the result, I assume, of the stroke of the governor's pen rather than any actual engineering.)

Posted at 8:42 PM to Driver's Seat


Screw that. I get regular oil and filter changes only. Every now and then I fork over some money for replacing the air filter or clean out the diff. Other than that, forget it.

Posted by: Ravenwood at 12:47 PM on 25 June 2004

Unfortunately for me, I drive a vehicle that doesn't thrive on neglect, and while its reliability is considered decent, maybe a little better than that — Consumer Reports has been generous with the red dots lately — the cost of service is no better than average and the cost of parts would embarrass the Pentagon.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:42 PM on 25 June 2004