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Old 02-17-2001, 02:47 PM
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Lebenz Lebenz is offline
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
The fortunes of the long distance traveler

Larry, thanks for the response.

Now your comments make sense. My folks had a non-MB which they used almost exclusively for commuting between Seattle and Portland (OR). They put over 90K miles on this vehicle and never even had to replace the tires! They sold it, bought another (new) one and did the same thing again! If you get (or have) to commute long distances, on average roads, in my experience, the vehicle goes very long time/distances without even minor headaches. A POS vehicle is another story, of course. Anyway, that’s a reasonable trade for spending 3-5 hours per session in a car… Hope yer back side is holding up as well as yer cars.

Conversely, another relative of mine buys a new Honda car every 2 to 3 years. She drives about 2 miles to work 5 to 6 days per week. Every car she’s had for the last 10 or so years has needed at least one new muffler and battery between new vehicles.

Machines tend to be obnoxiously consistent in their behavior given a set of consistent circumstances. In the examples above longer use periods at hiway speeds tend to yield much lower maintenance needs than shorter and in-town use periods.

My case is a lot different than yours in that I drive in and through Seattle an average of 4 to 5 days a week and, in addition, this time of year (november til may), drive 2 or more 160 mile rt sessions per week to a ski resort, plus several up to 1,200 or so mile round trips to other ski resorts (I log a little under 12K miles per year traveling back and forth to ski, and about that much in town and related). The combination of in-city and blasting up and down mountain roads makes for high maintenance as is demonstrated by the life cycles of my vehicles brakes, tires, tail pipe, suspension and other systems, to say nothing about the effects of about 60-90 miles per week over mountain roads sprinkled with fresh gravel the front, wheel wells, and side panels of the vehicle (btw mud flaps really reduce the hammering the panels take!) I have been doing this routine for about 25 years (some years I didn’t have the money to ski much), and in a lot of vehicles, and none stand up terribly well to it. This time of year I go through about 1 set of wiper blades every 2 months! I can’t say if in-city or mountain roads are worse.

Anyway, what the car is subject to on a regular basis largely determines the frequency and type of services it will need. According to my friends at the local dealer, every model year of every MB vehicle has several predictable maintenance issues. These are called pattern failures. Sooner or later they’ll show up. But you are a fortunate person in that your driving needs probably put more strain on your lumbar region than on your car!


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