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Discussion Starter #1

Modern vehicles are expensive, but one way to avoid headaches and purchasing a new ride is by properly maintaining your existing car or truck. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Not only can regular maintenance save you money but it can also prevent unexpected mechanical failures. Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. Keeping up with your vehicle’s needs is critical to a happy ownership experience and fortunately there’s quite a bit the average motorist can do to keep their ride running in tip-top shape.
Read more about the 13 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly at

3,037 Posts
Good Advice, might I add:

Lubricating Door Latches
I use white lithium grease, like the O.M. states, I still get the popping and clunks on the latches. NOT that the critical pin hinge isn't lubricated well, but the spring and detent device is making the popping and clunks. I find spraying down the spring and detent on the door with WD-40 (or your choice a light liquid oil spray) gets rid of the pops and clunks.

Replacing Spark-Plug Wires (if equipped)
Some commanders do have spark plug wires. People do NOT realize these wires/cables do NOT have solid metal wire in them, if they did, the 10's of thousands of volts running down them would create so much electromagnetic signals, NOT only would the radio get nothing but spark plug noise, the rest of the electronics controlling the motor would get stray signals and screw up the computer operation of the motor. These cables have carbon impregnated latex in the center as the conductor, it is one long flexible resister to cut down the electromagnetic signals given off. The carbon impregnated latex degrades and burns out with use and time. You can check them with an ohm meter to make sure they are good, or just replace them periodically to keep the ignition running in tip top shape.

Fuel Filter
This used to be a common item to replace on vehicles, and it was needed, because the U.S. gasoline supply used to be unreliable and sometimes slightly contaminated, NOT to mention the fuel system were NOT sealed up like they used to be, so dirt and water could make its way into the fuel tank. Today, the fuel system is sealed up like a drum and fuel supply is high quality. The manufacturers are installing the fuel filters internal to the fuel pumps, intended to last the life the vehicle, and they are vey difficult and costly to change out. I have changed fuel filters/fuel pumps and opened tanks on late model cars. They were spotless inside, I've cut open the filter I replaced, spotless inside. So its possible a fuel filter could be clogged up on a modern car, but NOT likely on most, personally I would NOT go to the extreme effort and cost of replacing a fuel filter on a modern car, if it is hard to do, cause very likely it won't be needed.

Coolant Flush
A perfectly acceptable coolant flush is just fill the system with fresh water and run it and drain, maybe repeat if you haven't gotten all the old coolant out. You don't need to do reverse flow flushing, or add harsh chemicals are acids to flush the coolant system. Those things could damage the cooling system.

Of course, some cooling systems that were neglected may have scaling or deposits and these measure might be necessary. So do it if you see signs it needed. But if your cooling system appears and is working properly, and you're just replacing the coolant as part of proper periodic maintenance, just flush it water, by just adding water until you get all the old coolant out.

Remember, the Commander uses HOAT anti-freeze, either get if from the Dealer or use Zerex G-05. Many of the aftermarket anti-freezes that make all sorts of claims but doesn't identify what type of anti-freeze it is, are OAT anti-freezes and are NOT for Commanders, and can cause problems if you mix it with HOAT, despite what they claim.

Mixing it with distilled water is smart, tap water often has a lot dissolved minerals in it, and those minerals are NOT good for the cooling system, they could form solids and scale the cooling system. In fact distilled water is cheap enough, that I also use it to flush the cooling system, so any left over water mixed with the new anti-freeze is distilled.
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