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General maintenance.

 
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Old 15 Nov 2013, 10:53 am
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Location: Tulare, CA
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Default General maintenance.

2004 Limited Edition non-turbo PT Cruiser. Just over 96000 miles on it. It's currently inoperable due to what i believe is a timing belt issue, but what this post is regarding is what I should do and when to properly maintain the vehicle.

Cam and crankshaft sensor are new. Ignition coil are new. Spark plugs were replaced about a year ago. Because I do a lot of in-town driving, I replace my oil between 2500-3000 miles, usually whenever I realize it and I have the money.
Given my vehicle is fixed this evening with what you kind folks here and my new mechanic have tentatively diagnosed, I would have a new water pump and timing belt on it as of today.

From here on out, given my car is running anyway... What should I do to properly maintain my vehicle? What should I check, replace, fix up, etc... and when should I do it? I'm quite the n00b when it comes to vehicles, as I'm not mechanically savvy whatsoever, and I can think of no better place to ask than here.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 15 Nov 2013, 11:00 am
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Default Re: General maintenance.

While it's at the shop for the timing belt, the timing belt tensioner should be changed also. Have him look at the serpentine and alternator belt. If they've never been changed, now is a good time to have it done.

While it's up on the rack, have him check the front wheel bearings on both sides and the front suspension at all the joints for bulging/ripped rubber bushings.

You can switch to either synthetic or extended life oil and go to at least 5,000 miles between oil changes. A new oil filter each time the oil is changed.

Check for odd or un-even ware on the tires and rotate them every other oil change.
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Old 15 Nov 2013, 05:42 pm
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Default Re: General maintenance.

To add to Crewzin's list - were spark plug wires changed with the plugs? Should do that.
Automatic? Auto should have a flush every 50,000 miles and be sure only ATF+4 goes into it.
Don't overlook PCV valve, and change your air filter.
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Old 16 Nov 2013, 05:33 am
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Default Re: General maintenance.

Dragon; in addition to Crewzin's and Don's answers, check the lower control arm rear [vertical] bushings. It is a visual check --- see 'LCA question' in the suspension section. Keep an ear open for the radiator fan running at high speed ; Once you're used to hearing it, you miss the sound if it fails.

Learn the coolant recovery tank system. Check your oil and coolant at least monthly and all fluids before long trips. These are pretty good cars if they are maintained properly, but hard to work on for some engine parts.
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