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Thread: Cheap and easy preventative maintenance ideas?

  1. #1
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    Cheap and easy preventative maintenance ideas?

    Now that I'm finally caught up on repairs I'm looking to do some preventative, proactive maintenance on my P5 as winter is closing in and I will only have this one car so it needs to stay reliable. I'm looking for some cheap, quick and easy things to change out so that I won't have to worry about again. For example, the little PCV valve on top of the valve cover is an important part but it's like $12 to replace and it takes 5 minutes, and I can rule out that as a possible cause for future issues. what are some other valves and sensors that notoriously fail but are easy fixes ?

  2. #2
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    The purge control solenoid valve has crapped out for a lot of people and they're 10~20 bucks online but normally people wait for for sensors and valves to crap out before replacing them as they can be expensive.

    Cleaning or replacing your EGR (with a Canadian one) and IAC can help but they are expensive.

    If you want to winterize your car so you don't have to deal with it in the middle of winter, then here's a list of things you could do while the weather is still nice...

    Cake your rear wheel wells with grease to help stop rust.

    Undercoat your car.

    Replace your air filter.

    Change your engine oil and filter.

    Check or change your transmission oil or fluid.

    Grease or oil your door hinges.

    Spray silicone spray on your door seals to help keep them from sticking when they freeze.

    Replace your sparkplugs.

    Flush (bleed) your brake and clutch fluid.

    Replace your fuel filter.

    Replace your drive belts.

    Drain and flush your engine coolant.

    Check your battery fluid,.. Add distilled water if necessary.

    Adjust your parking brake.

    Check your power steering fluid.

    Get a grease needle and fill all your suspension boots with grease.

    Check your driveshaft dust boots.

    Check your tire pressure and put on your snow tires if you've got them.

    Get some new headlight and other bulbs and keep them in your car.

    Keep your gas tank closer to full to help prevent condensation and buy you time if you're stuck in a snowstorm.

    Spray some silicone spray on the seals of your windows to help keep them from freezing shut.

    Keep some Seafoam in your car and put a shot in with every fill up.

    Get some under coating spray and spray your electrical connectors to help keep corrosion and water out.
    Last edited by pcb; 09-28-2018 at 04:56 PM.
    The Diagram Dude

  3. #3
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    thanks man, you're always so helpful on this forum. I have done most of that stuff already so I guess we think alike. I thought about the undercoating thing. I have some rust along where the side skirts connect to the body, like where you jack up the car. although the lip where you place the jack is still solid. other than that there is very little rust on the car. I thought of spraying the undercarriage with some sort of rubberized coating, which might have the added benefit of reducing road noise, but i don't know lol

    Purge Control Solenoid... is that the thing on top of the intake manifold with the green and white connectors? (Because I ordered a new one, had a code P0660 thrown)


    oh and I'm one of those people who never lets their gas tank get below 1/2 lol. I remember when I first picked it up from the used car shop it was almost on E. The fuel light wasn't on but i'm sure it was close. I was paranoid the whole time haha

  4. #4
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post
    I thought of spraying the undercarriage with some sort of rubberized coating, which might have the added benefit of reducing road noise, but i don't know lol
    I wouldn't do that, if the car was new with no rust then it's probably a good idea but if you spray that on any rust it will seal in moisture and it will never dry out and the rust will creep.
    It's like a coat of paint.

    Go with a rubber and plastic safe (probably synthetic) oily type spray.

    This is what I use.





    This stuff may only be available in Canada but I'm sure there's something similar in the US.

    Fluid Film is good too but it has lanolin in it which might not be good for rubber.
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  5. #5
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post

    Purge Control Solenoid... is that the thing on top of the intake manifold with the green and white connectors? (Because I ordered a new one, had a code P0660 thrown)
    No, that's the VICS solenoid valve.

    I mean this one.
    If it sticks open it acts like a vacuum leak.



    PS.. If your car is burning oil then I believe the EGR and IAC are more likely to clog up and stick because of the oily exhaust..
    The EGR especially because it's that dirty/oily exhaust running through it and gumming it up.

    There could be carbonising goo in all the vacuum valves.
    Last edited by pcb; 09-28-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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  6. #6
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    PS...
    If you order from Rockauto, you can throw in a whole bunch of extra stuff for real cheap with little or no extra shipping charge.
    Things like wiper blades, sparkplugs, bulbs, oil filters (get the one for the 626), air filters, PCV valves, etc. etc...

    This is my box of goodies..
    I'm running low.. It's time to get more.

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  7. #7
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post
    . For example, the little PCV valve on top of the valve cover is an important part but it's like $12 to replace ...
    This is Canadian dollars, you guys pay about 85.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    This is Canadian dollars, you guys pay about 85.

    I was about to say.. $12 for a PCV valve is a bit steep.
    Bout a dollar and a 2 minute job.

    pcb covered basically everything tho, dude is a protege5 encyclopedia.

  9. #9
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    One thing I forgot was the coils.
    I replaced mine years ago after finding out how much of a problem they can be so I keep my old ones in the trunk in case my car goes crazy.
    The old ones were working when I changed them and you can swap them out in a couple of minutes on the side of the road if you have to.
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  10. #10
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    oh yeah, coils I changed when i first got the car because I had a misfire which actually turned out to be a power steering pressure switch gone bad (go figure)
    well I guess it wasn't a true misfire but the idle was messed up. so i got new coils, wires and plugs, and i kept the old ones too "just in case"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    No, that's the VICS solenoid valve.

    I mean this one.
    If it sticks open it acts like a vacuum leak.



    PS.. If your car is burning oil then I believe the EGR and IAC are more likely to clog up and stick because of the oily exhaust..
    The EGR especially because it's that dirty/oily exhaust running through it and gumming it up.

    There could be carbonising goo in all the vacuum valves.
    I am amazed that this car does not burn a drop of oil. granted it only has 81k, but it's 16 years old, and it runs like brand new.

  12. #12
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post
    I am amazed that this car does not burn a drop of oil. granted it only has 81k, but it's 16 years old, and it runs like brand new.
    I think you should consider putting seafoam in your engine oil.
    It will get rid of any sludge and really help keep your oil rings from seizing.

    If your engine keeps running clean without any oil burning, I'm convinced it helps to prevent all kinds of issues like a burned out cat or fouled O2 sensors etc. ect.
    Last edited by pcb; 09-29-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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  13. #13
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    If your car is in great condition and running great, you should consider getting your car professionally undercoated.
    I go to Krown here in Canada every year and they drill holes in the pillars and doors and tailgate etc. so they can get their spray wands up inside to get to the metal inside.

    Rust always starts on the inside then bubbles out to the outside.





    (a picture after $2 worth of nail polish...)



    PS.. You can unbolt your gas cap cover and take into the paint isle of your local hardware store (or the nail polish isle at Dollarama ) to color match a paint.

    I'm having a hard time getting A3E classic red,.. It's not available anymore. (except from speciality shops for big $)
    Last edited by pcb; 09-29-2018 at 02:23 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    I'm having a hard time getting A3E classic red,.. It's not available anymore. (except from speciality shops for big $)
    FYI - Plasti Dip read matches classic red very well. When I had a red P5 all the exterior parts that were plastic (rear wing, bumpers, sideskirts, side mirrors) had clearing clearcoat. I used red plasti dip and then sprayed plasti dip gloss over it. It was very difficult to tell at > 10 ft.
    13 Fit | 09 Ody | 09 Miata | 07 Mazda 3 | 03 Protege5 | 02 Protege

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post


    Have you tried Corrosion X HD? How does the Rust Free compare?
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