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#380983 - 08/01/12 09:20 AM Checkup on old/new vehicle
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
I recently inherited a 2004 Nissan pickup with 18K miles. It was bought in 2006 with 16K miles and, since then, just used for 5 mile round trips to the dump.

Yesterday I replaced the original tires even though they had lots of tread. I was concerned about dry rot, and figured that the truck was going to need replacement tires within it's lifetime anyway, so why not do it now? It also got an oil change. I believe it didn't have one since maybe 2006 or 2007.

I'll plan on bringing it to a trusted mechanic, but in the meantime, what else should I be looking to check / replace that might go bad based on a calendar and not on miles driven?
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#380984 - 08/01/12 09:32 AM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5801
Loc: Some random location
Wipers, Coolant hoses, bulbs, battery and terminal ends.

Thermostat maybe. They are cheap, so I'd just replace it at the same time I replace the hoses.

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#380985 - 08/01/12 09:49 AM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Holbrook, MA
The exhaust may be rotting from the inside out due to the short trips and the spark plugs may be fouled for the same reason.
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#380986 - 08/01/12 10:13 AM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4010
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Mark, to save a little money, consider purchasing retreaded tires. I'd also check the filters.
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#380988 - 08/01/12 10:18 AM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4010
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
This is a good guide for regular maintenance every three months, six months and year.
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#380992 - 08/01/12 11:45 AM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Gary Vose Sr Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/17/12
Posts: 302
Loc: Casa Grande, AZ
Change the transmission fluid and screens, and have the rear deferential checked out.
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#380997 - 08/01/12 12:21 PM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Mark, i guess i could give you a litany of items that should be checked, which would possibly cost more than you are willing to spend... Do you DIY any vehicle work? I do my own wrenching, so i don't know the cost of most of what i am including in my list because do it myself.

Where was the vehicle stored when it was not being driven? If it was in a garage, then it will likely be in a better condition than if not... If you want to post some photos of the below items your not sure about.. Others you can check on your own without paying someone.

On the short list, suspension, rubber components (like Brian said check the coolant hoses, belts ect).. Bushings and ball joints, as well as brake lines and power steering lines, pay special attention to the connection to the power steering reservoir, this is a common failure point. It is possible that the rubber could be rotting due to lack of use.. (you can check the bushings/coolant hoses/belts yourself for dry rot)

I would also pull the valve cover to check for buildup, again due to lack of use/improper use.. in a 5 mile trip the oil in the sump will never get to a normal operating temperature, and can gum up the valve train. Also, you may need a new valve cover gasket as well, if the gasket is leaking, then you mechanic should check the valve train, since he has to take the valve cover off to replace the gasket... he should be looking for sludge/carbon buildup in the head.

Get a compression test done, this will verify your valve rings, as well as your drive train, if you have low compression numbers then something may be going on. this should cost about 100$


Personally, i would replace ALL fluids in the truck.. Everything, transmission, differential, coolant, brake, steering... I would also replace EVERY filter as well. fuel, and air filter should be the ones left as i'm sure you put a new oil filter in when you did the last oil change.

I would also pull the thermostat, and check for build up.. This will cost you a new gasket +labor... Or just put a new thermostat in.. It may be possible that the trucks coolant never got up to normal operating temperature either, depending on how quickly that truck heats up.

Run some injector cleaner though the system... Lucas is a good brand.



To give you a view on my perspective you can look at the below thread if you like.
http://www.m42club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12099



I hope this helps Mark, if i think of anything else i will add it... Richard may have some input as well.

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#380998 - 08/01/12 12:26 PM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5801
Loc: Some random location
That reminds me. Ages past, whenever I had shifting problems with an automatic transmission, I would always take it to a repair shop and pay "out the nose" for a rebuild.

The past 10 years, or so, I just take it to a place like Jiffy Lube, or whatever, and have them change the transmission fluid. So far that's worked 100% for me. About $80-100. Much cheaper.

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#380999 - 08/01/12 12:34 PM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Dude, you've got the wrong mechanics if they just subbed out your tranny when the fluid was low.
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#381000 - 08/01/12 12:36 PM Re: Checkup on old/new vehicle [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Joe_in_SC Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 307
Loc: Charleston, SC
As an aside, 2004 is not that old. If the body is sound, it's definitely worth investing some money in maintenance. I'd consider taking it on a road trip occasionally for 50-100 miles. Letting it sit and/or taking only short trips can cause internal problems like rust, corrosion and seizing up.

I concur with basic tune up advice like plugs, fluids, belts, hoses and filters. I think a thorough inspection of the other rubber parts would be money well spent. Replacement is probably not necessary unless there is an obvious problem. If the truck has been in NH all its life, check the undercarriage for rust.
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