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Unread 05-21-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Default New Car! Want to keep great care of it!

Yesterday I became the proud owner of a 2005 Acura! The interior is in SUPERIOR shape and it passed a 150 point inspection with flying colors (I have a family member that works at the car dealership I bought it from). I didn't get the $1380, 27000 mile warantee because it would up the payments just enough that I couldn't really afford it each month. So not only do I want to be able to keep the interior in amazing shape but I also want to keep this car in fantastic running condition. I know the basics (regular oil change, rotate tires when you have an oil change, etc) but what else can I do to keep this car in great shape? Also how often should I bring it to the car wash? How do I prevent rust? Lastly, what can I do to keep the interior in amazing condition?

It has leather interior

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Unread 05-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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1: Rotate tires every third or fourth oil change. Unless your front end is six kinds of screwed up or something's bent you shouldn't need to rotate them every change.

2: Timing belts. Do them. Change it now unless you can 100% prove it's still well within its service life. Honda absolutely loves building interference engines and you're going to have a very bad day if you break a belt.

3: Prioritize the mechanical bits. A timing belt is a more important task than repairing a minor rip in the seat or a rattley trim panel. Trim can wait, mechanical parts can't.

4: DO NOT use ArmorAll. Just clean it with a mix of dish soap + water and a wrag or paper towel. ArmorAll dries the plastic out and makes the plastic absolutely reliant on frequent reapplications to last for any length of time, not to mention the shine looks terrible.

5: If you live where salt is used rust is unavoidable. You can slow it down by keeping a good undercoating on it, but it will rust. Don't concern yourself with surface rust on brake rotor hats, either, that's meaningless and entirely normal for literally every car ever made with steel disc brakes.

6: Wash it when it needs to be washed, not on a solid schedule. Sometimes it may go 6 months without needing a bath, sometimes you might go two weeks between washings.

7: Use the parking brake any time you park it. Yes, automatics can hold cars still. Yes, engines can do so as well through a manual box left in gear. But it's not advised to use either, they're emergency backups at best.

8: Don't forget to lubricate the chassis and body joints. A lot of people do, then wonder why the door squeaks and the suspension bushings are shredded six years after the car was built.
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1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 05-21-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Mike gave you some good advice there I can concur with everything, but the rotations. Rotate and balance every oil change make sure to cross rotate also. If the place says to do front to back rotations leave and never come back, unless you have directional tires then your screwed. Check the alignment at least every 10K. Keep your undehood clean just like the inside and outside. check your manufacturer maint schedule know it and follow it. Try to do fluids and filters 20% sooner then the guide says except the timing belt thats fine for up to 6 years no longer regardless of mileage unless your at the mileage before then it's due at the mileage. Use a good Synthetic oil and always use the weight listed by the manufacturer.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Great advice everyone thank you I will be honest I know next to nothing about cars haha! So I have a few questions.

When learning to drive my grandmother always taught me to be conscious of RPMs. I notice that with careful driving on average my RPMs stay between 2 and 3 depending on the speed (my old '01 Buick Regal I could drive on the highway at 70 without going over 2 RPMs). I then noticed that when I put the car in neutral the RPMs lower to just below 1 (which in my mind means saving gas!) So during my travels today every time I was either coasting or coming to a stop I would put the car in neutral until I needed to gain speed (then obviously put it into drive). Will this really save me enough gas to make a difference? Does it help my engine at all?

Secondly, when I bought the car the engine was (and still is) spotless! I was amazed. How do I keep it just as clean as when I bought it?

Lastly, I see a D3 on my shifting panel (I know wrong terminology!) I figured that is my overdrive? If/when should I use this?

Thank you so much I am sure there will be more questions to come

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Unread 05-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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Coasting is not only illegal but it's dangerous. If you have to accelerate quickly to get out of the way of another car you won't be prepared.

You aren't saving any gas by coasting in neutral, you are actually using MORE gas when you coast. The fuel injection system turns off the fuel injectors when you are coasting, no gas is used. If you slip it into neutral the fuel injectors cannot turn off because the engine would stall.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Good to know!

Since I have NO idea what fuel injectors are, does anyone know of a good website that kind of explains the basics of car mechanics? I've always wanted to know more than I do know anyways.

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Unread 05-23-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Your fuel needs three things to run. An air fuel mixture, compression, and a spark to ignite the whole works.

The spark will always occur under normal circumstances, as will compression.

Injectors are the bits that shoot the fuel into the motor, in layman's terms.

When your engine is coasting, it's producing no power, it's merely turning over, and actually slowing you down because of the extra load of turning over. Rather than just idling, engines completely cut the injectors. This means that when you're in gear but not on the gas pedal, you are essentially using zero fuel.

On the flipside, if you shift into neutral, your engine is for all intents and purposes disconnected from the wheels. You can rev the engine up and down without affecting the car's speed. As opposed to before when the wheels were forcing the motor to turn over, now they're disconnected, so to keep from dying it has to keep the injectors firing, therefore using fuel.

It's kind of an old myth from when cars didn't use fuel injectors, and used carburetors instead, which were ALWAYS putting fuel into the engine if it was turned over, you couldn't turn them off at all.

I know of a great website! It's this one. Ask away
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Unread 05-24-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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How do I clean my engine?

What is D3 on my stick shift? When (if ever) should I use D3?

Is it more beneficial to the car engine to slow down my shifting into lower gears than using the break when able to?

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Unread 05-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpyrks View Post
Will this really save me enough gas to make a difference?
Not really.
Quote:
Does it help my engine at all?
Not really. Might wear the gearbox out faster though, automatics don't really like shifting into/out of gear while on the roll.
Quote:

Lastly, I see a D3 on my shifting panel (I know wrong terminology!) I figured that is my overdrive? If/when should I use this?
Overdrive mode should stay engaged unless you're on snow/ice or going down a long hill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Car Guy View Post
Coasting is not only illegal but it's dangerous. If you have to accelerate quickly to get out of the way of another car you won't be prepared.
....it's not illegal here. What kind of bonkers legislation makes it illegal to pop it into neutral?
Quote:
If you slip it into neutral the fuel injectors cannot turn off because the engine would stall.
They can't turn all of 'em off with an automatic for the same reason anyway. Automatics don't put much power back into the engine through the wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpyrks View Post
How do I clean my engine?
Keep up on the maintenance and the part that matters will be spotless. Worry not about random gunk on the side of the block, that is meaningless, you want the inside of the engine to stay clean.

Quote:

What is D3 on my stick shift?
You don't have a stickshift . 'Tis a shifter. Stick shift refers to manual gearboxes, shifter refers to the control you use to boss the gearbox around regardless of what kind of box it is.

As far as what it is...most automatics have various settings to grant a semblance of control over the box to the driver. Our explorer has the following settings:

P
R
N
D
D2
D1

There's also an OD button on the end of the shifter stalk. PRND are self-explanatory, but for the rest:

D2: This forces the gearbox to only choose between first and second gear.

D1: This forces the gearbox to ONLY operate in first gear. It will not upshift. Ever. It will sit there and bounce off the rev limiter, but not even think about grabbing second.

OD button: This enables/disables the overdrive system. I'm not entirely sure what all is going on in the software side, but I do know that it kicks out of fifth gear and disables the locking converter if I turn it off. It also seems to be much more aggressive about downshifting, kicking down waaaay higher up the tach than normal. I usually tap this button going down hills to get engine braking out of it.


Your car has D3...it's just like D2, but it also allows the use of third gear. The gearbox behaves like a three speed. I would only see it being useful in a commuter car if you're going down a long mountain grade on the interstate or something.

Quote:
When (if ever) should I use D3?
Most days just use D and R where applicable. When to select other settings:

Going down a long hill? Turn Overdrive off, if that's not an option pop it into D3. This will give you some engine braking, not as good as a manual would give but it will hold your speed steady and free your brakes up for emergencies.

On snow/ice? D1. If the gearbox wants to shift up you're going too fast.

Towing/hauling a large load? Not really applicable to your car, towing with an Acura is a good way to destroy the gearbox, but in off chance you do have a pickup/SUV with a load to drive pop it out of overdrive.


Is it more beneficial to the car engine to slow down my shifting into lower gears than using the break when able to?[/QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpyrks View Post

When learning to drive my grandmother always taught me to be conscious of RPMs. I notice that with careful driving on average my RPMs stay between 2 and 3 depending on the speed (my old '01 Buick Regal I could drive on the highway at 70 without going over 2 RPMs).

That's good advice when driving standard, but with an automatic the computer will handle that for you. The computer will read engine load, where you've got the throttle opened to, a few other odds and ends, and decide from those things what RPM to bang the next gear in at. So don't worry too much about where the tach goes. If you do you're just gonna end up yelling at your car when it makes gear change choices that don't seem to fit any sort of earth-based logic.

Instead just relax and cruise around. Gentle onto and off of the pedals. You don't need to chirp the tires on every green and you don't need to maintain the speed limit until the last second every red. It may annoy the peeps behind me that I don't drag launch every green and brake check every red, but driving in that relaxed manner makes a huge difference with my own fuel economy. Iinstead of 10-12 city I get 14-16 city. May not sound like much but it's the difference between able to and not able to afford feeding the old beast.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

Last edited by Kenny McCormick; 05-24-2013 at 07:54 PM.

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Unread 05-24-2013, 11:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpyrks View Post
How do I clean my engine?

What is D3 on my stick shift? When (if ever) should I use D3?

Is it more beneficial to the car engine to slow down my shifting into lower gears than using the break when able to?
1) If you feel so inclined, first make sure it's not leaking from anywhere. Then go ahead with your chosen cleaner (I'm not well versed on the best products for cleaning motors, someone should be around here). Careful around electric bits.

D3 keeps the transmission from shifting into its highest gear. Realistically, you probably never need to use it on your vehicle.

I do'nt really understand your last question.
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