Yes, the year 2000 was the year from hell as far as my cars went.
The 240D engine let go in February, I bought a parts car for it and pulled the engine from the parts car and put it in the 240D as an interim engine. My son came home during the summer and I let him start driving it, that had me down to the Vette and the 300E which has always been dirt reliable.
You can't drive the Vette anywhere without something going wrong with it. So many little things happen to it, I can't even remember what problems I was having with it. Oh yeah, the Vehicle Speed Sensor went out on it and that was hard to find. Another sensor problem of some sort, and then the clutch soft line that GM put within about 2" of the front catalytic converter melted, talk about brilliant engineering.
Anyway, I was driving the Vette because the head corroded between water jacket and number six cylinder. At the time I was going to Europe every few weeks for a week or two at a time, so the 300E stayed down for a long time while everything else was breaking.
About this same time, my daughters diesel started giving some horrible vibration problems, which was mostly the motor mounts as it turned out.
Now to get to the "masking" of the problems I've had with my 300E. I don't think I have "masked" anything about this car. I gave the repair history earlier in this thread; rotors, cylinder head, climate control pushbutton unit. This car has just not had any other repairs.
I have changed the oil and filter religiously every 3,333 miles or so, basically three times in 10,000 miles. When I'm driving it, I drive it 180 miles per day. Of that 180 is typically about 20 miles freeway driving, 100 miles wide two lane with a lot of full throttle passing and 40 miles of narrow paved farm to market road, most always that portion of the drive is in the dark.
I don't poke along, but I don't drive at a race pace all the time either. On the wide two lane the cruise control is usually set at a little over 75 unless I am passing which is often, on the farm to market it is set on about 60 when possible and on the freeway I rarely have the cruise control set. There are the occasional stoplight to stoplight trips that are not part of my routine.
The weather is dry a lot of the time, but in the winter and spring we have a lot of rain. The weather element here that is toughest on a car is the 100 degree heat from late June through September.
Actually, other than fuel change religion, I have probably not maintained this car as well as the next guy would. I am ashamed to say that I have yet to change the lubricant in the transmission or rear axle. I have flushed the brakes once. I plan on doing all these when warmer weather hits.
The only other thing that MAY have an effect on my longevity is that I constantly listen and feel a car. Over the years I've dealt with many more repairs on my wifes cars than my own, because I don't drive hers every day, so I don't have a feel for what needs attention.
I'm still a little puzzled that anyone is doubtful or curious why I have so little problems. I'm shocked that one of these cars doesn't prove relatively trouble free if paid just a little bit of attention.
Like I said before, my fear is the air conditioner. Mine is still R12 and has given no problem. I'm sure this will not continue forever.
Then at the very end of last year my daughters car was giving fits. I ended up doing a valve job on it and messing with about everything that has to do with starting a diesel, I think I have found the last of what was giving problems.
The only good car thing that happened in 2000 was that I was afoot when returning from Europe in late September and I bought my C240, it's a great car. I will be glad when the nasty weather and rain stops so I can drive it more. Since I got the 300E running, it is my bad weather or dirty road car. It's almost fun to drive as the C.
Have a great weekend,