27th Apr 2013, 03:01
I don't use dressings on belts as it makes it worse with cold weather squeals. I changed the serpentine belt and idlers at 50k with factory GM belts. The squeal returned. So I went with the grooved Gatorback belts.
As far as maintenance, it's possible to work on cars if you go online and YouTube repairs. You can buy an electric lift kit for a garage today for 2k. You still have brakes and other wear repairs that can be done as well. Scanners for home use are also not overly expensive. I bought 02 sockets, as I have one or more of 4 02 sensors on my car that needs replaced. I just bought the sockets at Harbor Freight.
29th Apr 2013, 16:28
There are lots of repairs that can be done by owners, but with the incredible reliability of modern American cars, most people trade well before any repairs are needed. Absolutely nothing at all should be required before 100,000 miles, and little if any before 200,000.
A mechanic friend and I were talking last week about how the new high-quality ceramic brake linings used in American cars can easily last 200,000 miles, and most hoses and belts will last that long as well. Since the early 90's, none of our cars has ever required anything at all, other than tires and batteries.
4th Jan 2016, 11:10
I have a Ford Edge and have had numerous brake issues. You have to also consider where you live with heavy traffic and terrain. I live in an area with steep hills. Even my driveway is steep. If I lived in a rural area such as in southern NJ, it's totally flat with little traffic. If I bought a manual trans, typically there is less brake wear.
Also driving habits; if you tailgate or do fast stop starts. Heavy winters with road salt. If you tow etc. I am lucky to make 60k on a set of brakes. I am not an auto mechanic, but you have to look at the individual car case by case.