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Discussion Starter #1
Since I am a double ASE Master Certified Mechanic (was, gave it up when I slipped a disk in my back from being a heavy equip mech. as well) Heavy Equip Master Mechanic, and Automotive Master Mechanic. I am very proud of those cause I was 22 when I finished both of them and was one in 5000 mechanics in the US in 94 when I finished them.

So I will give my 3 cents. Enforcer has a good plan.

The bottom line is to drive relatively conservative for the first 1500 miles or so, using different speeds along the way. Never driving a constant speed for longer than 5 min or so.

Then start to drive a little more aggresively, full throttle take offs, passing people, getting rpm's up there for a short period of time.
Then continue to drive this way and enforcers way until the 3500 mile mark. Then do an oil change.
After that you can pretty much drive whatever way you choice.
Do not do an oil change prior to 3500 miles. As the oil needs to "Set" as well. It changes with the heat and everything else in an engine and sets up with it. This is my personal opinion, not a proven fact.
I also wouldn't use synthetic oil until after 3500 miles, which to me is the end of the break in period.
I would also recommend getting a K&N air filter to allow for more air intake into the engine. This helps in numerous ways, to include keeping the valve train cleaner by having better combustion with more air. It will also pay for itself by the savings in gas over the long run.

As far as changing oil with synthetic and timing. I would change the oil at the recommened levels as far as your manual goes regardless of what the oil says. Unless you want to have to deal with the dealer when something happens to your enginen and they blame it on you waiting to change your oil every 5000 miles, when they said to do it every 3750. I would also change the filter ever time as well. Some people don't believe it or not. I use Mobil 1 due to my knowledge of what I have seen inside torn apart engines with the other different oils out there. Mobil 1 just seems to be the best, and longest tested in my opinion.
I would also recommend changing the transmission fluid in this vehicle exactly as prescribed due to the CVT.
I would also have a brake system flush and refill either every 2 years or whatever the manufacturer recommends. Brake fluid by its make up, attracts water. Which is not good for your abs system. It also gets dirty. Which will harm the pistons in your ABS unit and other brake parts. ABS units are outrageously expensive. So the cost of doing brake fluid flushes will pay for itself if you never have to replace an ABS unit.

Also, tire pressure is a BIG thing. I would check it at least once a month. It affects tire wear as well as other things like gas mileage. And more than you would think. I would also invest in a digital tire pressure gauge to get an accurate reading. Using the ones provided on the tire pressure filler is a questimation at best.
Rotating tires either every oil change or every other oil change, front to back, due to most new tires being steel belted. This will save in the longevity of the tires very much. ALWAYS make sure they use a TORQUE wrench to reinstall your lug nuts so your rotors do not get bent by having uneven tension no the lug nuts.

As far as fuel, I would run 89 or above due to the high compression of this particular engine. It will save you in the long run. Even running 91 would be best. Also adding fuel injector cleaner every couple of fill ups will help keep things clean inside the cylinders, as well as the injectors. NEVER buy it from the gas station. Pick it up at Wal-mart and always keep a few on hand in the trunk hidden carrier.

I also am a very big advocate of using RainX. It works wonders on your windows. It is like waxing your windows, I guess would be the best way to describe it. With my Porsche, I never had to use the wipers, cause the Rainx would keep the rain beaded and blow right off the window. I also use RainX wipers, and RainX wiper fluid to always keep the windows clean and ready to bead up and blow off all the rain.

Lastly, if you live in a state or area where you get snow, I would keep a tow strap, a good one, they have em' at Wal-Mart, they are yellow with hooks on both ends. I would buy the 30ft. This will ensure you can help someone who is stuck and pull them out. The longer distance of the tow strap will ensure you can be far enough away to be on a decent surface to pull them out, and you can always make it shorter by double looping it.
I would also keep any other type of survival, ect. gear in your truck in case something happens and you are in the middle of nowhere. Oh ALMOST FORGOT, Wal-Mart also has this fuel transfer pump thing, where you put one end in your tank and tthe longer end in your favorite new buddies tank. It has a bulb on ita, and all you do is pump the bulb and it will transfer fuel for you, if you run out. It saves a lot of time and trouble if your run out of gas, or on the other hand if someone else runs out of gas. No taking them to the gas station, buying a fuel tank, filling it up, driving them back, ect. Just plug it into both your tanks, pump the bulb and they will have enough fuel to get to a station to get more. And they only cost $1.99 for these things. They are a life saver for you, or someone else if you are out of fuel.


These are just my feelings and opinions from the knowledge I gained while being a mechanic. Some may be right on, some may need a little adjusting, and some may thing some things are off. Any corrections or conflicting ideas are welcome and are really what a message board is for.

Preventative maintanance is the key to keeping your SUV running good and keeping the costs low when it comes time for repairs.


I hope some of these ideas help at least one person out there, then they were worth typing.

These are just things I have learned over the years that I felt are worth sharing.

Chez
 

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Booster Cables, but if you do, know how to use them safely and check and double check and triple check what you're connecting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good idea Jaak, I forgot to add those.

When connecting them just remember to connect the ground to the car with the bad battery on a piece of metal(non painted, good ground) on the vehicle and not on the battery. This will prevent the gases from a discharged battery from causing issues.

Also, an extra belt isn't a bad idea. Just in case you are on a road trip and your belt goes out. They also have temp. resizeable belts you can also keep in your car to help others if they are stranded and one of their belts go out.

I am the type of person that always likes to stop and help others in distress. There is nothing worse than being stuck on the highway and not having the things necessary to get you car going again, or noboby stopping to help.

That reminds me, I also always keep a Leatherman or Multitool, a small tool kit, and a maglite with me at all times as well.
Water is never a bad idea either. For someones radiator, or yours, or to drink in case you get stuck somewhere. Duck tape is a must as well. For those radiator hoses that blow, or for a variety of other things. Among them - taping your wifes mouth shut when she won't stop yelling at you for not doing this or that, or doing this or that too much, or pretty much blaming you for whatever act of god happens to your vehicle and she wants to blame you instead of saying "things happen", lets figure a way to work this out.

This sounds like a lot, but when you put it all together, it really isn't a ll that much. And believe me, the ONE time you use ANY of the items you will thank yourself for having the foresight to have them. And if you don't have them, you will be kicking yourself wishing you would have made a little "help me, help someone else kit".

Chez

In some vehicles this isn't possible or practical to carry too many items. In our second car I carry a couple items at the most just due to space. Although since it is a sports car, I do carry a 30ft. tow rope in the winter, just in case we spin out of control and end up needed to get towed out. That way we have the tools, all we need is someone with a truck to pull up and we are set. NEVER leave it up to the guys with the trucks to have the stuff to hel p you out when you are stuck!!!
 

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Chez, here's the procedure I use, although it's been a while since I've had to boost a car...

First I identify the +ve connection on both vehicles. I try to find a good indication, as sometimes vehicles aren't well marked on this.

Then the first cable goes from +ve to +ve. The benefit of this, is since the vehicles are isolated from each other, if you slip and accidentally touch metal somewhere (which is grounded to the -ve) it doesn't matter, as it's not yet connected.

The second cable, I put on the "dead" car first. Since this is the vehicle with a problem, I like to connect it first, as there's no sparks yet, and vehicles with problems could have gas fumes hanging around.

Then I make the last -ve connection on a metal part of the engine that's sturdy enough to take it, such as the alternator hanger. Again, this is when the sparks will fly and you want to keep that away from a gassing battery.

Since I'm not a mechanic, I'd like to hear your opinion on this, to see if it makes sense! I've been doing it that way for about 25 years now... I hope it's right!:p
 

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I have a really cool set of fool-proof jumper cables my dad gave me years ago for Christmas. They have the standard +/- battery terminal clamps at both ends, but the cable splits apart in the middle via a heavy duty connector, isolating the two ends. There are LEDs on each connector to show the clamps are connected correctly to each battery.

To use them, you disconnect the middle connector, clamp each end to their respective terminals on the dead and jump batteries (checking to make sure the LED's are lit to show a proper connection), then reconnect the middle connector. Any sparks occur safely, far from either battery. The cable wires themselves are heavy gauge, too. I've had it for years and it works great. Here's what they look like:

http://www.drivingcomfort.com/index.cfm?fa=p&pid=229&cid=54&sc=6241

I store them right next to the spare tire so they doesn't take-up room in the shallow storage tray above the spare.

I also carry an wide array of bungie cords for tying stuff in the hatch area using the tie-down points. I hate things bouncing or sliding around during stop-n-go driving, plus, driving is much safer when things are secured. I always keep a couple bungies attached in an 'X' pattern across the hatch floor for a quick tie down (there are two tie down points up where the middle seats fold down).

And, just in case I get stuck in an area without cell phone coverage, I carry a walkie-talkie style CB with batteries and accessory socket adapter. It fits in the lower compartment of the center console.

Instead of carrying a spare belt (I'm not sure how many there are on the MO), a pair of pantyhose really works as a spare belt! It happened to me in a different car many years ago. My alternator/water pump belt broke and I remembered reading about the pantyhose trick in a car magazine. I politely asked my date if she wouldn't mind giving up hers. I won't get into the details of how I got them (LOL), but the pantyhose did work. It probably won't work to replace a serpentine belt, but it does work when only two or three pulleys need to be connected. Oh, and don't expect it to last too long either. Just make sure (to you guys) that your 'significant other' knows why you have a pair of pantyhose tucked away in your MO or she may get the wrong idea!!

There are also emergency drive belts that come split (which makes it easier to install), and can be adjusted to fit almost any situation (I've never tried one, though). JCWhitney.com may carry them (what DON'T they carry?).

A waterproof tarp is also handy in case you have to haul anything messy (like 20 bags of potting soil or a flat tire), or need a kneeling pad when you have to change a flat or get under the vehicle. Even a fairly large one folds small enough to fit next to the spare (I use it to wrap the jumper cables to keep them from knocking around).

By the way, be careful with tow cables or straps, especially if they have metal hooks at the ends. Be sure to attach the ends VERY securely before towing. If they should snap free during the tow, they can fly back damaging your vehicle, or worse, hit a human (OUCH!!). I saw it happen one time and it went right through the rear window of the tow vehicle after bouncing off the trunk lid!!

Anybody ever use that "emergency fuel" they sell? It comes in plastic bottle. It is supposed to be safe to carry but can be used in a pinch in case you run dry. It's probably mostly alcohol and I wonder what havoc that could cause in your fuel system.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah Jaak, that is what I was saying, you got it.

I will put it in layman's to make sure everyone gets it.

Connect both positives to both batteries first.
Then the negative to the good vehicle. Then the negative to the bad vehicle away from the battery on a piece of metal that is a good ground.
The reason you do not connect the negative to the bad vehicle first and then to your vehicle negative post is that your battery ALSO has some fumes(Hydrogen gas) around it.
From what I learned in all my training that this is one of the safest ways. Their are others of course, and as long as they are from a reputable source, then they aren't wrong, just a different way of doing things.
I have been tought others ways myself. But feel this is the best, safest way of doing it, and easy to remember.
90% of the time if you did it wrong it wouldn't cause a problem. It is the 10% when the battery literally blows up and shoots acid that is the problem!!!.

Chez


Edit - After writing this, I figured there must be a web source that can describe it, with pictures so nobody has any questions. So I found one to help out in case there are any questions.



Jump start directionsJump start directions


I must say this is a great thread. I think it is a great idea to share ideas on things to carry in your vehicle to help yourself, but especially others while being in vehicle. I almost forgot the MOST IMPORTANT ONE TO CARRY
A FIRE EXTINGUISHER
 

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For the record.... A golf ball box (dozen size) fits nicely in the compartment over the spare tire. I filled one with pliers, a crescent wrench, tire gage, ties, matches, scissors and other assorted tiny stuff. I used a small rag to top it off and eliminate any rattles. I have another box in there as well. It's full of golf balls.

When I first saw that compartment, I thought "what a waste". Boy, was I wrong. Off the top of my head, I have in there... A towel, 2 long bungees, A Big Maglight, An Ice Scraper, cargo net (thanks Homer), shimmy and two golf ball boxes <see above>. And there's still room! Plus, I'm thinking it's a great spot to hide cash! (All I need to do now, is to find enough loot to hide)

:roadtrip:
 

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Any ideas on where to put the extinguisher? It's a great idea, but I don't want to just stuff it in with the spare tire compartment in case I need it quickly.

I saw someone that mounted theirs on the driver side A pillar (not on a MO), if you can believe it. It was fairly small (and therefore pretty useless if you ask me), but still. It was only for looks, I'm sure. Can you imagine that coming loose in an accident? OUCH!
 

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Plan on getting an extinguisher this week end. I'm looking at mounting it on the cross bar uner the front of the passenger seat.

Don't forget a good 1st aid kit with several pair of gloves. Keep mine with a large flashlight and a rain suit in the left rear secret compartment. ( small flashlight is in center console)
 

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No jumper cables. I had a good set, but left them in my old Maxima when I sold it... i wrap them around the spare time.

The thing I've used the most, is the tire repair kit. I've pulled screws out of my tires 3 times, once from my grilfriends and once I used it on a co-workers in the office. It cost like $5.00 and well, well worth the money.

The blue thing is a tire pump i plug into the cigerate lighter.

I also keep my tools, a first aid kit, a plain white plastic shopping bag, towel, tylenol, cargo net, tire pressure gauge, a funnel and a flashlight.
 

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