Routine maintenance keeps this old Olds running

Updated: April 1, 2011

In today’s troubled economy, people are holding on to their vehicles longer and longer. But as the number on the odometer rises, increased maintenance becomes an issue.

One driver, Libertyville resident Phil Brown, has racked up more than 300,000 miles on his 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser SL wagon.

Recently, Brown took his Olds into the Jiffy Lube in Libertyville for its 100th oil change. The math shows that he been religious about changing the oil every 3,000 miles.

For the past three or four years, Brown has driven more than 80 miles a day in the car and attributes its longevity to regular preventive care.

“You can liken routine maintenance to flossing your teeth: You don’t notice the difference right away, but over time you’ll see the results,” he said.

Brown bought the car new 21 years ago for around $14,000. He bought it on the same day he and his wife bought their house. He said his real estate broker suggested he take out a bigger mortgage. “Get a little more and buy yourself a car,” the agent told him.

Other maintenance on the car has been “the usual stuff — a new alternator three times, new tires — just normal maintenance issues. Things happen when they happen,” he said.

He had to get a new gas tank about 10,000 miles ago because the old one rusted out, and the heating core was replaced, but the power train, from engine to transmission to wheels, are intact.

The Olds has always been kept in his garage so the finish is in very good condition, Brown said, although he has had the car repainted every three years.

In comparison to safety features in newer cars, Brown said the Olds has no air bags, just the basic head rests and across-the-chest belts. “The main safety issue is the driver,” he said.

Regarding emission control testing, Brown said, “They don’t ask for it anymore. This one is exempt.” He said that in the past, the car always passed.

“The quite attractive thing about this particular brand of station wagon that you can totally flip the rear hatch open upwards, but if you want, you can just open the window, so if you want you can have some plywood or lumber stick out the back.”

There are no empty aluminum cans or fast-food wrappers on the floor, Brown said, “We have no garbage, wouldn’t do it. There’s not much there, just a Kleenex box and a road map.”

Asked what kind of car he would buy when the Olds needs to be replaced, Brown said, “It has to be American made. I have this secret longing for a 2001 or 2002 Thunderbird.

“I have a pact that I want to see at least 400,000 on the car. The last place this car will end up is in the Olds museum in Lansing, Michigan.”

Article source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>