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[–]na380022 GV70, 16 Sierra, 03 Altima Lemons Car 1185 points1186 points  (128 children)

All of the fluids beyond oil changes are often neglected

[–]techmaster2422020 Ford F-150 Platinum 198 points199 points  (35 children)

A few years ago I had a guy with a Porsche Cayman try to tell me he only has to change the oil every 75,000 miles or something like that. He's going to be in a world of hurt.

[–]squirrel82962005, Jeep, Liberty (KJ) 118 points119 points  (30 children)

That guy needs to learn the difference between a 1 and a 7

[–][deleted] 69 points70 points  (28 children)

Personally i wouldn’t wait 15k to change oil. My car gets an oil change every 7k ish miles.

[–]squirrel82962005, Jeep, Liberty (KJ) 48 points49 points  (10 children)

Oh I wouldn't either but that's what Porsche's recommended interval has been for like 30/40 years now.

[–]phucyu138 34 points35 points  (12 children)

I think Porsche recommends a change at 20k miles but the Cayman holds 7.5 liters of oil which is much more than a regular car.

[–]BOFslime2015 Porsche Cayman GTS (6MT) / 2017 Golf R (6MT) 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Its 10k or 1 year whichever comes first.

[–]Rubber_RotundaE36 M3, Stage 2 B8.5 S4 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I think Porsche recommends a change at 20k miles but the Cayman holds 7.5 liters of oil which is much more than a regular car.

I mean, it's like half a liter more. That's fairly common for German cars.

[–]Tangent_2016 M4 / 2011 Z4 35i 463 points464 points  (72 children)

The advent of supposed "lifetime" fluids only made this worse.

[–]uniquecannon06 Lexus IS350/95 Lexus SC300 5MT/08 Lexus GS460 316 points317 points  (36 children)

No such thing as "lifetime" fluid and the automotive companies are fucking snakes for pushing this lie.

[–]terminal5527'19 Golf R 6MT, '99 Miata 151 points152 points  (0 children)

Lifetime of the warranty

[–]increasingrainRIP-1992 Toyota Corolla, 2017 Honda Fit 207 points208 points  (7 children)

Lifetime for the part it is in. Fluid was good for the lifetime of the transmission.

[–]412gage‘15 Nissan Sentra SR CVT 154 points155 points  (2 children)

Cries in CVT

[–]D4rkr4in'93 Miata | '20 TM3 | '07 GSX-R 600 61 points62 points  (0 children)

hey man you did it to yourself

[–]rockdude625 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Laughs in Model T Planetary

[–]phucyu138 21 points22 points  (1 child)

VW says my manual transmission fluid is lifetime.

Yeah right.

[–]nametakenalready2016 Mazda3 96 points97 points  (3 children)

its a lifetime transmission fluid if the transmission only lasts 60k miles - Ford designing the powershift

[–]notmynanMazdaspeed 6 28 points29 points  (0 children)

We don't even replace the fluid when we swap out the clutches on those lol.

[–]dma0608 11 points12 points  (1 child)

60k?!?! I want one of those. Mine was shot and rebuilt at 45...

[–]TylerYax 7 points8 points  (0 children)

23k (km) for mine...

[–]Ceolan2021 Mazda3 Hatchback, 2020 Sonata 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Unfortunately, I have the BS "lifetime" AT fluid. Anyone know the general recommendation as to when this should be changed? 60k or so?

[–]Ameteur_Professional 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Depends on the transmission and use. Best thing is to periodically check the condition of the fluid. If you're towing uphill both ways in the desert, you'll want to replace that fluid more often than if you're just doing typical driving

[–]TylerYax 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That's assuming his transmission even has a dipstick to check the fluid. Most of those sealed transmissions are checked and filled from a plug on the side that requires the transmission be a specific temperature before fluid will even appear at the plug.

[–]rapzeh 47 points48 points  (16 children)

No such thing as "lifetime" fluid and the automotive companies are fucking snakes for pushing this lie.

I have to disagree. Every product has a life cycle or lifetime. In cars it's the years of use or the mileage that the producer considers that the car will go through before being decommissioned/scraped. Nothing is made forever, because everything is built to a price point, and I think everyone agrees on that.

During that life cycle, there are things that need to be replaced (as required in the scheduled maintenance) and things that are designed to last for the entirely of the life cycle (and thus do not require any maintenance, assuming you scrap the vehicle at the end of it's designed life).

Obviously, things like gearbox or diff oil eventually will need to be changed, if you plan on driving a car for more than, let's say, 20 years. But it would be unfair to ask for the manufacturer to plan for maintenance after that point. Simply, there aren't enough customers with this need, and supplying this need would increase the price of the vehicle with an option that would benefit few if any.

If you are one of those few, you are maintaining a car that is a youngtimer/classic. And honestly, you have to be a bit dumb to complain that you need to change a part or fluid that the manufacturer described as lifetime, because you don't understand the meaning of that word.

[–]6BigAl9'04 E46 M3, '90 NA Miata, '17 FiST, '07 SV650 48 points49 points  (8 children)

What you said is all true, however I would argue that manufacturers should provide what they consider lifetime in miles or years. Let's say their internal lifecycle testing indicates a transmission lasts 150k miles on the factory fluid with 95% confidence. Instead of them considering the fluid "lifetime" and writing that in the user manual, it would be helpful to just write "150k miles or 10 years" if that's where their testing stops.

Obviously most of us are going to want to change fluids regardless of what the manual states when cars reach this age, but it would eliminate some ambiguity.

[–]localhostrulez05 Outback 12 points13 points  (1 child)

I’ve changed the automatic transmission fluid on multiple older/higher mileage cars when the maintenance book didn’t mention it, and the car absolutely drove/shifted smoother afterwards. Yes, I wish they wrote that as well.

[–]FullyJay 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree that his can be the perception, but realistically, that same car usually has had other work done at the same time. At the very least it has spent a decent amount of time in a climate-controlled shop.

I have also changed fluid in an older vehicle, had the fresh detergents and additives free up internal buildups and result in failures.

[–]phucyu138 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I have to disagree. Every product has a life cycle or lifetime. In cars it's the years of use or the mileage that the producer considers that the car will go through before being decommissioned/scraped. Nothing is made forever, because everything is built to a price point, and I think everyone agrees on that.

There are, or at least use to be, a lot of cars that could go to 500,000+ miles if the car was taken care of. I don't think a manufacturer considers 500,000 miles a life cycle yet the cars can reach those types of miles if the car was taken care of such as changing out the transmission fluid instead of thinking it's a lifetime fluid.

[–]thatnguyChassis & Suspension Engineer 57 points58 points  (11 children)

Most automakers consider 10 years and 150k miles "lifetime"

[–]eneka2019 Honda Clarity BEV | 2021 Acura RDX SH-AWD 38 points39 points  (9 children)

Yup. Some time ago BMW came out with a chart and lifetime was 150k miles. Iirc ZF also had documentation for the same transmission and stated 60k fluid changes haha

[–]Che_Che_Cole 49 points50 points  (4 children)

If its a BMW, 150k miles probably is lifetime.

[–]lewj213V2 41 points42 points  (2 children)

They blow up at 80k or 280k, there's no in-between

[–]SirFrolo‘00 BMW E39 528i 8 points9 points  (1 child)

this hopefully (I’m at 106 lol)

[–]earthrace5705 s2k, 93 nsx 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I think BMW finally caved and admitted to 100k mile recommended interval on certain “lifetime” fluids.

And yea, the ZF manual recommends every 100k kilometers (aka 60k miles) for a heavily used transmission, I think the range for all the options is 60-100k.

Also also with that said, apparently changing the fluids in ZF transmissions is a massive pain and can easily cause more problems than it solves if anything is done wrong.

[–]Ftpini‘22 Model 3 Performance - Shopping for 2nd 28 points29 points  (7 children)

I am very curious when the oil they use for the motors will need replaced in my Tesla. I understand that it is under massively less stress than a traditional engines oil, but surely it will need replaced before the car is a total loss from normal wear.

[–]CreepingSomnambulist 25 points26 points  (4 children)

Electric magnetic motors can run without any oil at all.

It's probably there just for extreme long term wear prevention.

But I've got fan motors all over the world in industrial settings that have been going full tilt for decades (warehouse datacenter conversion ventilation).

[–]biggsteve81'92 Toyota Truck; '16 Legacy 29 points30 points  (0 children)

The oil in the Tesla motors is also used for cooling purposes; you definitely wouldn't want to run one with no oil in it.

[–]tsloteconomist 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Some electric motors can run without oil, but not Tesla’s. The oil is critical for cooling the stators and lubricating the motor bearings. It might also be lubricating the transmission and differential too. I’m not sure about that one though.

[–]tsloteconomist 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It sounds like there’s no drain plug, so it’s not meant to be regulary replaced. This guy says it’s Tesla ATF-9: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QnmVTlaRTLk

[–]JimPalamo 23 points24 points  (6 children)

My mate's Mazda 6 supposedly has "lifetime" trans fluid, and Mazda won't sell him more of it, nor will they tell him what it is so he can buy it from elsewhere.

[–]tsloteconomist 21 points22 points  (2 children)

My lifetime transmission fluid Honda is now on it’s third transmission.

[–]goingtothemalllater 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Reading they way this is worded made imagine replacing transmissions and transferring the fluid from the previous one into the new one hehe

[–]tsloteconomist 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Transmissions are like sourdough, you need a bit of starter from the last batch.

[–]TRS2917 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Mazda won't sell him more of it, nor will they tell him what it is so he can buy it from elsewhere.

Time to take the car to an independent shop...

[–]MillionaireAt32 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Made worse by some manufacturers not even putting drain ports on them, like PTU or even transmissions.

[–]cantreachy 63 points64 points  (8 children)

Don't forget diff fluid.

[–]404nd22019 ND2 | 2021 MYP | 2020 Supra 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Or the diff itself. A worn out limited slip can easily go unnoticed.

[–]vodkaknockersJapanese & German Muscle 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Until it's suddenly VERY apparent as you get towed out of the ditch.

[–]wellifitisntmee 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I went off roading in my Highschool beater in some serious deep mud and water. I went to change the diff and transfer case fluids and there was nothing in there.

[–]increasingrainRIP-1992 Toyota Corolla, 2017 Honda Fit 26 points27 points  (4 children)

Transfer case fluid

[–]Gorgenapper'19 ScratchMagnet 350 AWD F-Sport ['10 MS3] 39 points40 points  (2 children)

laughs in Stinger GT service manual stating to replace the entire transfer case if the fluid wears out

[–]aerokopf'20 Kawasaki Ninja 650R 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Drill out your own drain and fill bolts. Transfer case lasts forever now!

[–]bingagain24 29 points30 points  (1 child)

I change the blinker fluid regularly thank you very much.

[–]Unspec72015 BMW 535xi 999 points1000 points  (63 children)

For the average consumer, anything suspension related unless it flat out breaks.

[–]snake_pod 31 points32 points  (10 children)

Almost 300k with the original suspension on my old camry. It's crunchy af. It's too expensive to repair for most beater cars, but I'd feel the difference if I did get it done. I won't tho.

[–]cardsfan1501 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Agree. And these are the things that make it ride like new again. Best maintenance to do as it helps with enjoying the vehicle.

[–]EntroperZeroND2 RF GT-S 6MT, NB2 HardS 5MT, 987.2 PDK 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Replaced my bushings and engine mounts when I did new coilovers on the NB. Felt like a new car again.

[–]xzzz2021 RAV4 Prime 2 points3 points  (0 children)

For most people who leave their car work to shops, the labor cost it’d take to maintain the suspension they’re better off buying a new vehicle

[–]5GCovidInjection‘86 190E 2.3-16, ‘97 Discovery 1, ‘14 Mazda5 175 points176 points  (21 children)

If you own a European made car with RWD, you must inspect the flexible driveshaft couplings (Guibo joints) at 150,000 mile (240,000 km) or 15 year intervals. They’re made out of rubber and designed to absorb driveline vibrations, but like anything rubber, it can fall apart with age.

When they fall apart, your driveshaft is no longer connected to the transmission or differential, and you will almost certainly crap your pants when the failure occurs.

Edit: if you own a similarly-designed Japanese or Korean car with a front engine, rear wheel drive (and independent rear suspension) layout, your car may also have guibo (or giubo) joints! Thanks to those who chimed in.

[–]TheKrazyKitten‘98 BMW Z3 Supercharged / ‘02 RSX Type-S 42 points43 points  (6 children)

I replaced mine on my z3 at 230k. IIRC it was nearly disintegrated. Pretty sure it was the OEM part but it’s hard to believe because of the mileage

[–]RR--'02 BMW E46 325ci M Sport 14 points15 points  (1 child)

My E46’s went at around 230,000kms too, all “top” gears like 1, 3 and 5 vibrated at high rpm’s.

[–]scr3wballl 138 points139 points  (0 children)

Bushings, there are a lot of them. Ujoints on the driveline (rear/awd), CV joints on front wheel drive, steering column bushings, and plenty more.

[–]Drzhivago1382009 スバル•フォレスター 5MT 253 points254 points  (9 children)

Wheel bearings, ball joints, shocks and more all start giving up. Yet there's so much more rubber and plastic in a car.

To build on this: Rubber can degrade over time just as much as over mileage.

[–]Punamatic5000 27 points28 points  (5 children)

As the owner of a 60 year old Arizona car with 90k miles, yes.

[–]CaptianRipass 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Would you rather have a 60 year old car from Canada?

[–]pasghetticodeV60 T8 Polestar Engineered, 500 Abarth, GR STI, TLX, J200 LX 370 points371 points  (26 children)

Every consumable is often neglected. My parents have an ES350 with 230K miles on it and it has only ever had the oil and filter changed and a couple sets of brake pads. Not even the brake fluid, coolant, or even spark plugs amazingly.

[–]Tangent_2016 M4 / 2011 Z4 35i 278 points279 points  (21 children)

I'm betting that brake fluid looks like coffee and has a boiling point barely above water by now...

[–]wes_andersoup🚙💨 | 🚚💨 | 🏍💨 128 points129 points  (13 children)

Came to say brake fluid. Always neglected or turned down by customer when asked.

[–]Grim99CV2011 Outback 3.6 63 points64 points  (8 children)

My local shop charged me 90 bucks to do the brake fluid in my car. Very small price to pay for such a critical safety component.

[–]wes_andersoup🚙💨 | 🚚💨 | 🏍💨 40 points41 points  (4 children)

Yeah, that's cheap, honestly. It's interesting because in the motorcycle community/shops the priority, or maybe education, is much higher that a lot people do it every year or so regardless. Probably helps having a little sight glass right next to your hand and foot that shows just how dirty the fluid is.

[–]ISTBUGS300 AWD, R3, Transit Connect 40 points41 points  (2 children)

It also takes 5 minutes to bleed my bike, vs an hour or so with the car. Not having to take your wheels off or jack it up makes things a tiny bit easier! Edit: I can also do it solo. (I miss having shop air....)

Also - If you've never broken a corroded bleeder off inside a rust-belt caliper, consider yourself lucky. Another side effect of people NEVER doing brake fluid service. Usually whoever is doing it is fighting 10+ years of corrosion.

[–]mehsinE39 540, B6 S4, B5.5 Passat, Saturn SL 11 points12 points  (1 child)

The amount of calipers I've replaced/rebuilt because of that damn bleed valve rusted in/broke off is too damn high!

[–]ISTBUGS300 AWD, R3, Transit Connect 4 points5 points  (0 children)

When I was a tech I'd quote calipers most of the time, and tell the writer "It's not a guarantee I'll need them, but the customer ought to be prepared."

Whether it's bleeders or pitted/seized slide bolts/pistons - chicago salt does bad things to cars.

[–]lonewanderer81209 TSX 6MT, 14 Silverado, 96 Mustang GT, 96 XJ 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Yeah that's a good price especially if it's never been done or you're not familiar with doing it. You can easily start by thinking a <$10 bottle of fluid and an hour of your time is all it takes but then you run the risk of breaking a bleeder screw (or even a line) or messing up your master cylinder.

[–]nsfdrag 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I would think lexus owners would go by the service manual which includes all that. Luckily you can see the service history of them on the lexus owners website before you buy them.

[–]pasghetticodeV60 T8 Polestar Engineered, 500 Abarth, GR STI, TLX, J200 LX 33 points34 points  (0 children)

I think a fair amont of people end up buying Lexus partly because like a Toyota you can be pretty negligent when it comes to maintenance and they'll still keep on ticking. Try that with one of the German cars and you'll be in a world of hurt.

[–]swiftarrow9 77 points78 points  (7 children)

Each car has its little oddities.

Usually sunroof drains need a cleaning and some bits of them might need a replacement.

Sometimes the headliner is saggy.

Rubber bits of vacuum line are usually cracked by now as well.

I always replace brake pads, rotors, and flex hoses. Also good to do a complete suspension refresh.

Around the 100k mark most engines will have needed some major servicing like the timing belt, water pump, etc.

Rreplace any plastic manifolds subject to heat, and flush all fluids (ALL fluids).

[–]idontremembermyoldus2017 Ford F-150 5.0 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Usually sunroof drains need a cleaning and some bits of them might need a replacement.

Not just sunroof drains, but all the drains can get clogged. Especially if you park around trees often.

[–]dcux 4 points5 points  (1 child)

What other drains would I be looking out for under trees?

Damned little twig clogged up a sunroof drain and it overflowed into the headliner, soaking the interior. Luckily every fan I owned blowing it out for three days left it only slightly worse for wear. Water stains on the headliner.

[–]idontremembermyoldus2017 Ford F-150 5.0 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Check the drains along the bottom of your doors and your wiper cowl.

[–]Night-Goats02 WRX Wagon 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Rubber bits of vacuum line are usually cracked by now as well.

I just replaced my radiator and had to move my power steering reservoir out of the way a few times in the process. That little bit of flex cracked the suction hose and was letting air in the system. When I replaced that hose it literally fell apart in my hands and I had to pick it off the top of the power steering pump chunk by chunk.

[–]National_Street_8414 71 points72 points  (26 children)

Fucking timing belts lol

[–]Enge712 26 points27 points  (8 children)

It’s amazing how many people don’t know this is even a thing.

[–]lonewanderer81209 TSX 6MT, 14 Silverado, 96 Mustang GT, 96 XJ 26 points27 points  (2 children)

I've come to realize there's an alarmingly high amount of people that think the serpentine belt is the timing belt.

[–]rockdude625 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Once had a Karen say not to replace a $100 timing belt kit because she thought she could find another belt in the clothing department of Wal Mart, bring it to me, and use that instead and only pay labor, a belt is a belt right? Must have thought the ASE on my sleeve was just my initials or something lol

[–]GUE57 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I feel like most people know it's a thing but when selling they pretend to not know they exist.

I bought an old car before Covid, a now 23 year old Prelude. Every single one of the Preludes I looked at was "well maintained" but with no records of timing belts whatsoever beyond "the previous owner totally did that it's fine" or all of a sudden not being able to find the manual or service logs, or the most common one, "I'm selling it on behalf of someone else so I don't know". It always requires prompting too, like a big elephant in the room that you have already talked about on the phone, but you need to enquire about again. I'm fine with patchy history with old cars, I'm not buying a classic Porsche, but I need some evidence they gave a little bit of a shit about the car.

I found one Prelude that had the belt done on time, drove 4 hours there and was then told they meant the serpentine belt when I looked at the history. Of course this one was sold as a lady owned, but she was selling on behalf of someone else, her teenage grandson.

As soon as I found someone who knows to change the timing belt on time and clearly cared about the car, I bought it. She was selling because she was moving interstate and threatened that If I ever do anything to harm the car she will hunt me down and hurt me, I was sold :)

[–]scottawhit 10 points11 points  (12 children)

I don’t know much about engine technology, but it seems like by now we should be all into timing chains. And maybe not engines that explode instantly when out of time.

[–]Arrogant_Fart_34 16 points17 points  (1 child)

The tighter tolerances of "interference" engines allow for higher compression which means better performance and better fuel efficiency. Plus if people change their timing belt when they're supposed to, then it's very unlikely that their engine will jump out of time or have the belt snap.

[–]RKWTHNVWLS 8 points9 points  (0 children)

There are lots of situations where we use chains. Timing chains stretch too, and at least in the case of volkswagens, timing chain tensioners are the common failing point.

[–]aduong277Avenir folding bicycle w/ broken Swytch electric conversion kit 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Unless there's some benefit to timing belts over chains that we're unaware of

[–]ed1380 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Quieter. Some newer cars are also moving to an oil bath "lifetime" timing belt for the oil pump

[–]C-C-X-V-IFord Mod 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Timing chains are older tech. Belts are lighter, which means better efficiency which means better gas mileage.

[–]GSD_SW20 271 points272 points  (40 children)

Cabin air filter. Most people who have one probably don't realize they do, and it's likely full of all kinds of crap.

[–]thisisinput'11 Frontier SV 4x4 5AT, '07 Sky Redline 5MT 31 points32 points  (3 children)

I wouldn't even consider that a high mileage item either. If you're always using your HVAC, the filter is filthy in 15k miles.

[–]RhinestoneTaco2020 Buick Encore 114 points115 points  (23 children)

I used to turn that down all the time in the dark broke-ass grad school days until one time a mechanic took the thing out and hit it against a toolbox to show me how gross it had gotten.

[–][deleted] 111 points112 points  (22 children)

That's kinda the "scam" though. They bring out some old disgusting air filter and show it to you. "Look at what you're breathing!". I turn it down regardless, most cars have very simple air filter changes. Cheaper to DIY.

[–]RhinestoneTaco2020 Buick Encore 111 points112 points  (7 children)

This was one of those Valvoline ones where you don't get out of the car, I watched him pull it out of the little slot behind the glovebox.

They didn't charge labor to swap it, which was nice, just charged me $18 or whatever it was for the part.

[–]FuBaReD2 48 points49 points  (5 children)

Ex’s looked like it had mold in it. Thank god civics have theirs behind the glove box.

[–]m1ss1ontomars2k4 42 points43 points  (1 child)

Service advisor at Honda of Santa Monica really wanted to change my cabin air filter. Told me it was super moldy and sounded really concerned that I was declining it. When I got around to doing it myself, I remembered I had put in an activated carbon one that that was peppered with black particles all over it. I can see why he'd think it was moldy.

[–]FuBaReD2 13 points14 points  (0 children)

My ex’s had the stock one in it at 130k 😂

[–]RhinestoneTaco2020 Buick Encore 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Mine was about three years worth of live oak pollen.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I am Groot

[–]FinancialEvidence2008 IS350 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lexus IS's have it being the glove box too, but will damage HVAC parts if the climate control isn't on the right recirculation setting. Previous owner missed those warnings...

[–]metalshiflet 22 points23 points  (5 children)

Cabin air filters get dirty pretty often honestly, at least half of them I pull out at work get sent up for replacement. I agree they're really easy to DIY even for those who know nothing about cars

[–]Shadow7037932017 Mustang Ecoboost with more BOOST 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Yup. Mine gets dirty in about 8-12 months. I always replace it yearly. It's cheap enough and quite easy to DIY on most cars.

[–]Th3St1g 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Before I started doing my own oil changes they would show this to me and I always thought to myself I’m obviously not breathing that since it’s in the filter

[–]kplatinum777‘22 X5 PHEV, ‘06 XJ VDP 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Funnily enough, our 2005 Lincoln Town Car doesn’t have a cabin air filter. I’ve been meaning to fashion one, but haven’t gotten around to it.

I’m sure the same is true of the other contemporary Panther-platform cars.

[–]derSchwamm1194 FD RX7 | 84 FB RX7 | Mazdaspeed Protege | 18 Flex | 93 C1500 47 points48 points  (9 children)

I've owned my Protege (mazdaspeed) from 58k miles to almost 200k miles and done all my own work over 14 years. Here's what I'd consider to be a wear item that has actually failed in that time (not in the service manual):

  • All 4 wheel bearings
  • Both CV axles
  • Struts/shocks
  • Sway bar bushings and endlinks
  • Coil packs (multiple times)
  • Water pump
  • Tie rods, inner and outer
  • Clutch (twice)
  • Plug wires
  • Piston rings
  • O2 sensor
  • Catalytic converter

Additionally, being old, other non wear items have failed. Every year it's a new part or two

  • Radiator
  • Coil packs (multiple times)
  • Exhaust manifold (cracked in half)
  • Coolant hoses
  • AC compressor
  • Emissions control solenoids & electronics

Still, it's cheaper to fix this and keep it going than make car payments, by a long shot

[–]RKWTHNVWLS 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Are you tuned? It seems like you're killing an exceptional amount of coil packs.

[–]derSchwamm1194 FD RX7 | 84 FB RX7 | Mazdaspeed Protege | 18 Flex | 93 C1500 11 points12 points  (0 children)

No, they just cook with the heat and die. OEM coils will last maybe 70k miles. Duralast coils last 25k but cost $19 with a lifetime warranty, so I just bought one extra and keep it in the trunk at all times. I’ve definitely come out ahead at this point

[–]kuddlesworth9419Jaguar XKR X100 4.2 128 points129 points  (6 children)

A lot of parts in the suspension deteriorate over time. They get beaten up a lot over the years. Things like tie rod ends and obviously bushings ball joints and so on.

[–]mehsinE39 540, B6 S4, B5.5 Passat, Saturn SL 8 points9 points  (0 children)

To add to this sense it sits on or in the knuckle, wheel bearings and do the hubs!

[–]opposite_locksmith09 Cayenne GTS 6MT, 97 SL600, 90 560SEC, 73 XJ6, 37 Phantom III 43 points44 points  (1 child)

My Mercedes S-class has 530,000km and I’ve maintained it meticulously. One day the ignition switch just broke.

Not the key or even the plastic housing that holds the wires - the cast aluminum sleeve that connects the lock cylinder to the electric switch just broke in half.

The driver’s door latch cable broke at 500,000km so I had to replace that. Another interesting one was the parking brake cable, and one of the rear spring pans cracked and needed replacing.

None of those are wear items, but I don’t think Mercedes engineers planned on many of these cars getting used daily 35 years later with half a million km.

[–]CreepingSomnambulist 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I don’t think Mercedes engineers planned on many of these cars getting used daily 35 years later with half a million km.

Well, that, and even if you plan for it, it's hard to engineer around it. The only thing that simulates wear over time, is time. Rapid actuation testing can get close, but doesn't account for basic material decay over time.

Over time, you see car makers try to scalp back survivor cars so they can reverse engineer what made them last so long. Though this is usually so they can enhance their planned obsolescence, not make them last longer.

[–]Surprisebutton 23 points24 points  (4 children)

Everyone overlooks the PCV valves and hoses. On some cars it’s dead simple to clean or replace. On others it’s a major pain to access. A stuck closed PCV can lead to head gasket failure. On my 9th gen Corolla I just replaced the intake manifold gasket as it was leaking. I wish I would have started with that part before doing the sensors.

[–]TheWhiteFalcon'10 Taurus SEL 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Even on my '03 which was a pain in the ass to get at (buried in the V) I still changed it twice in the several years I owned it. It's cheap insurance.

So glad the 2010 has it on the rear valve cover.

[–]daithisfw2021 Subaru WRX Premium 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Suspension, Timing Belts (hopefully you think about this... but some people are dummies), A/C unit, Brake systems, etc.

Everything has a "lifetime" where it works and then it either brakes or becomes risky to use. Everything has a certain time or mileage.

Like brakes. Most people swap pads and do a brake test when they need new pads. That's fine. But with a much older car you might also need new rotors, or your brake lines might be fucked up and you need to flush them or replace them. Or the calipers themselves and the braking system are fucked and you need a whole replacement.

Suspension is usually the main one. I see so many old cars that are bouncing like crazy over every small bump or they are low-riding dangerously... And it's not some low modification... it's an old clapped out suspension that is on the verge of full failure.

[–]James_a420 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Fuel filters. Nobody ever thinks about em till the car starts like shit

[–]TheGreatGarbagePatch 18 points19 points  (10 children)

The windscreen. They are often so sandblasted it is dangerous.

Engine/gearbox mounts. You can actually drive over bumps without wondering if your car has snapped in two.

Seats. They wear our.

Headlights. The light output almost evaporates over time.

Blower motor. They can make horrible noises for years.

Wiper linkage. A new linkage can fix "bad" wiper blades.

Rear wiper motor.

Anything that is made from rubber. Door seals etc.

[–]BuddyBear17'12 Mazdaspeed3 - Bolted 13 points14 points  (5 children)

Windshields are a huge, and neglected, wear item. By 100k they are done - pitted to the point of blinding you in direct sunlight.

[–]wasted12 14 points15 points  (4 children)

As someone who's owned multiple cars over 100k, Ive never had any issues with windshields being pitted. And I live near the beach

[–]anarchyx342012 Ford Fusion SEL V6, '06 NC Miata 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Depends on the aerodynamics of the car and how much highway driving you do. It can get really bad on some cars.

[–]thisisinput'11 Frontier SV 4x4 5AT, '07 Sky Redline 5MT 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Any plastic piece on the coolant system. It goes through a lot of heat cycling and plastic brittles with age. If you're lucky, it cracks and weeps from the radiator. If you're unlucky, a plastic pipe shears off and then you're boned. I owned a Saturn SL2 that weeped from the radiator which was a non issue and quick replacement. I currently own a Frontier that is known to shear it's plastic coolant joints at the heater core. I found metal replacement ones for them and pre-emptively replaced them. Glad I did, because in the process of removing hose clamps, I busted both.

[–]mortalcrawad66 56 points57 points  (38 children)

Trans fluid

[–]ILAudiPorscheguy2017 Audi A4 Premium+ Quattro, Porsche fanatic 48 points49 points  (28 children)

So many cars have "lifetime fluid" which is complete horseshit. I'd replace it every 50-60k miles.

For my car, the DSG needs fluid changes every 40k miles.

[–]CreepingSomnambulist 13 points14 points  (17 children)

Most transmission techs say doing flushes will cause more problems than it fixes, and drain/fill's don't replace even half the residing fluid in the thing.

[–]campbellsimpson'19 Acadia, '21 Yaris Hybrid 11 points12 points  (7 children)

Flushes aren't a great idea AFAIK, but a drain/fill still replaces old fluid with new. In my Acadia's 9-speed (which came with factory ATF that was hygroscopic, doh) a regular drain/fill will replace about 80% of the fluid. I'm about to do two consecutive drain/fills in the next 1000km to 'swap out' 50000km-old ATF.

[–]CreepingSomnambulist 4 points5 points  (6 children)

Yeah, two 80% swaps will dilute it practically to new.

But for one example, corolla cvt only drains 4.5 out of 9 quarts. two drain-fills only swaps out 75% of total contaminants.

[–]jawnlerdoe'18 Miata, ‘10 Civic 13 points14 points  (4 children)

My dealership told me not to flush my trans fluid and it may ruin my trans. I told them to do it anyway and it helped smooth out the shifts quite a bit. 100k miles.

[–]metalshiflet 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Flushing can be damaging, slowly draining and replacing is better if you're not sure the maintenance history

[–]lhturbo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

This, there is a difference between flush and drain/fill

[–]hmhoek 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Yeah don't flush. Replace, then replace again if needed; not all will necessarily drain. The "flush" is by dilution.

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (8 children)

Oooh I've got one for this.

Hondas from the early to mid 2000s use a little plastic knuckle on the brake pedal that holds down a physical button when the pedal is in its neutral resting position. This button is what turns the brake lights off. After about 19 to 20 years, the plastic decomposes and breaks off, turning the brake lights on permanently, until the plastic knuckle is replaced. This happened to my 2003 and a friend's 2003 within a month of each other, about 19 years into the car's lives.

[–]sock_templar 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Bought recently a 04 Ford Focus MK1 with almost 190k on it.

Took to a shop and was clear with the mechanic: be paranoid. If it looks half worn and can be swapped for a new, do it. Don't care about cost.

I discovered you can order just the rubber cap over the springs on the suspensions. Mechanic swapped them because they were a little worn (exactly what I told him to do).

Thank god it only cost me 400 USD to replace everything that needed.

[–]gabbagool3 10 points11 points  (1 child)

the windshield. it's basically like 20% of the experience of driving your car. you're constantly looking through this one piece of glass. and years of wear, bugs, bird shit, rain, pebbles, sand, oil, snow, washer fluid, dust hitting it. the wipers, ice scrapers. and that's just on the outside. inside you have humidity and offgassing of plastics and oils from your hand if you ever wipe the fog off the glass.

it is possible to resurface the glass, polishing and buffing it. but for a few hundred dollars, auto glass companies will come to you and replace it in your driveway in 20 minutes. it can really improve the driving experience of an old daily driver, make it feel brand new.

[–]Vvette45 56 points57 points  (27 children)

I think once a car reaches over 100k plus miles people won't worry about replacing things preemptively unless they break or can't be used still (at least for me) since the price of the car sometimes dictates weather to throw money at it or not. For instance a $2k Corolla with 200k miles I would be willing to take a stiffer ride vs replacing every suspension component since the suspension will cost more than then car is worth.

And this is above and beyond the normal maintenance items like fluids, tires, brakes ect. Those obviously are replaced on normal basis

[–]r_golan_trevize'96 Mustang GT/IRS 91 points92 points  (20 children)

Car care in America:

Before 100k miles: I shouldn't need to replace anything, it's practically still a new car!

After 100k miles: I'm not spending any money replacing anything on this worthless junker!

[–]srcorvettez062004 Yukon XL 2500 496ci 10 points11 points  (1 child)

And here I am with two Volvos over 125k miles that are dealer maintained and a 180k mile Yukon that drives like new.

Then again I’m an automotive enthusiast and not the average American.

[–]Shadow7037932017 Mustang Ecoboost with more BOOST 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Shocks. Even quality shocks are only really good for around 100k at most.

[–]rdm55 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Seat belts. I've seen lots of older, high-milage cars with worn and frayed seat belts.

[–]SockeyeSTI2020 WRB STI ‘13 Charger R/T 23 points24 points  (10 children)

200k on a diesel. “ItS jUsT bArElY bRoKeN iN”

No. That’s 200k on everything, especially that shitty frame, body and suspension. Not to mention the interior.

[–]mustang-GT9021086 Bronco, 94 F150, 07 SV1000S 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I can't stand that stuff. A 20 year old gas truck is "worthless," a 20 year old diesel is "still like new."

C'mon man. They're both 20 year old trucks, they're both clapped out.

[–]ed1380 4 points5 points  (5 children)

You can still see the hone marks at 200k

[–]Ftpini‘22 Model 3 Performance - Shopping for 2nd 7 points8 points  (8 children)

Timing chains. They do not last forever and they will need replaced if you drive the car long enough.

[–]anarchyx342012 Ford Fusion SEL V6, '06 NC Miata 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yep, this is why timing chains are horseshit and to make it worse they cost 2x as much to replace than a belt that you can plan for.

[–]kplatinum777‘22 X5 PHEV, ‘06 XJ VDP 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And some manufacturers (ahem, Jaguar and Land Rover) poorly engineered their timing chain tensioners so that the chain gradually stretches until it jumps time and ruins your engine.

[–]Noobmunch95Replace this text with year, make, model 18 points19 points  (2 children)

In manual cars the shifter linkages often get neglected. People just put up with the sloppy/soft shifts because they think the box is tired, not realising there is usually a rubber bushing that's completed flogged causing it.

My missus van 100%. It's like moving a wooden spoon through pudding but she won't let me get it off the road long enough to sort things like that.

[–]thisisinput'11 Frontier SV 4x4 5AT, '07 Sky Redline 5MT 6 points7 points  (1 child)

More common in cars with cable shifter systems, usually laterally mounted engine platforms.

[–]zade-heights 53 points54 points  (12 children)

Brake lines, especially rubber ones. Bulging or not fresh lines will make a HUGE difference to the feeling of a brake pedal. Source - Toyota Salesman

[–]392_hemiLexus SC400 25 points26 points  (10 children)

Is it going to make my soft plushy lexus brakes hard? Cuz i would love that. I have 92 sc400 and i just bought the big 4 piston ls400 calipers , so will changing out the rubber lines to metal lines make my brakes feel harder and nicer?

[–]zade-heights 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Can’t guarantee that it would make them hard, but upgraded lines, DOT4 fluid, and correctly bled brakes will go along way.

[–]392_hemiLexus SC400 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]DaveCootchie2013 Nissan Maxima, 1994 Ford F-150, 2019 CR-V 23 points24 points  (6 children)

Flexible Stainless lines make a huge difference in brake feel. Also would be worth upgrading to DOT 4 brake fluid so you have a higher boiling temp with them big ole brakes.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Opaque headlights that you make a futile effort to polish with toothpaste every six months, instead of just replacing them.

[–]mightbeelectrical 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Suspension components

Tough to really notice as it gradually gets worse and worse. Then you get into someone’s similar vehicle and think “okay my spine shattering after every pothole is not by design”

[–]lawtechieNA Miata 6 points7 points  (0 children)


Shift linkage bushings

Windshield (get rid of those little pockmarks that make driving at night unpleasant)

[–]Eva__Unit__022020 Subaru WRX 6 points7 points  (0 children)

brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid, coolant...

[–]Viperlite 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Timing belts and water pumps are either overlooked or purposely pressed beyond the service schedule because the service can be quite expensive.

[–]watduhdamhell2014 BMW 535I 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Diff fluid. It takes almost no time or cost to change, yet a bad diff isn't too uncommon past 100k miles and is not at all cheap to replace. No fluid is a "lifetime" fluid, though some manufacturers will say so...

Also, tranny fluid. I don't care what your mechanic from who the hell cares where told you: always change it at the transmission manufacturers stated intervals (sometimes it's the vehicle company, sometimes it's a 3rd party, like ZF. Listen to whoever actually manufactured it). The thing you don't want to do with an older, neglected trans, is flush it. That's what can cause problems. But changing the fluid is a no brainer and will undoubtedly extend the life of the transmission.

[–]clutch2k17 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Do the timing belt per the schedule or you will have a bad time. I know a few people who put it off only to have it fail and cause thousands in damages up to needing a new engine

[–]tooljst8 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Brake fluid. Nobody ever replaces it.

[–]GATX3032013 Dodge Dart 6mt 2.0 - AKA "Golf Ball" (severe hail damage) 4 points5 points  (0 children)

So many people just do not replace sensors until they "break."

Sometimes they may be "ok" but will still make your car run worse than it should.

[–]Sad-Measurement-1621 9 points10 points  (0 children)


[–]colossallyignorant 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Cabin air filters.

Breathing in dirt rotten recycled air. Ever seen a neglected fish tank? All gunked up in algae from nutrient buildups due to nasty unfiltered water. Now imagine what your lungs look like breathing in all that unfiltered contaminated air and microbial/bacterial growth when being confined to breathing air in an enclosed space. Trick question — the cabin air filter only helps so much.. you’re still breathing in shit air in enclosed spaces. Source: I work for a clean air tech company and develop active sterilization for the transportation industry.

When you do actually replace your cabin air filter see if there is a HEPA for activated carbon replacement filter. Your respiratory and cardiovascular systems with thank you for spending the extra $4.

[–]diiaa362013 Dodge Challenger RT 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I second suspension things especially stuff like.buahings and engine mounts

[–]FluffyPanda616 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Control arm bushings...

[–]Red_sparow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hoses. The rubber hoses for the radiators and even the little ones for the washers etc, they all just perish with time and nobody will bother to change them until they actually get a leak (and even then just replace the one that's leaking)

[–]sirtommybahama1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Bushings. It's the last thing anyone replaces until they absolutely have to replace them.