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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-23-10, 03:05 PM   #1
kgriffioen
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Car still needs some TLC once in a while

I've been commuting by bike for about 2 years now and only use my car on the bad weather days. I thought that I had better do a bit of maint on the thing so I brought it to the oil change place and discovered that I hadn't been there since 12/8/08!! Good thing that I had only put 6 or 7 thousand miles on it in that time frame but still, I shouldn't neglect it that much. So I got the oil changed, new filter, and ran it thru the car wash (It hadn't been washed since that time either except by the rain)

It should be good for a nother year or so!!

Its still a nice ride, 2001 VW Passat with a 5 speed manual transmission. Its fun to drive, but the bike is more fun.
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Old 08-23-10, 03:20 PM   #2
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My beater hasn't been washed by anything other than rainshowers for 5 years, except for window cleaner on the windshield.
I change the oil once a year, clean the air filter, and check the rest of the fluid levels. It's nice having a low-cost maint. schedule when you ride more miles per year than you drive, isn't it?
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Old 08-23-10, 03:29 PM   #3
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My beater hasn't been washed by anything other than rainshowers for 5 years, except for window cleaner on the windshield.
I change the oil once a year, clean the air filter, and check the rest of the fluid levels. It's nice having a low-cost maint. schedule when you ride more miles per year than you drive, isn't it?
Amen to that! Sounds like my maintenance routine, both from before and after I started bike commuting, since before the bike I took public transportaion. My wife's car is newer, gets better gas mileage, and has working A/C, so that's the one we normally take for road trips, etc., especially in the summer. I take the recycling in my beater car, b/c sometimes that's the only use it gets for a week or two.

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Old 08-23-10, 03:38 PM   #4
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I found that mice had gotten into my car. I completely tore apart the dash and HVAC ducts. I found the nest and 2 dead baby mice corpses in the blower fan. I cleaned it all out and put dryer sheets everywhere. Someone told me that the dryer sheets will keep them out. Hopefully it will work and no more get in.
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Old 08-23-10, 05:03 PM   #5
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Yes it's great not to have to maintain the car as much, but what's not fair is that I still got to bring it I'm for s smog check every two year though I only driven 6k mikes on it. Not right when other has driven 24+k and I still have to pay the same charge for the check and smog certificate at 6k
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Old 08-23-10, 06:15 PM   #6
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Yes it's great not to have to maintain the car as much, but what's not fair is that I still got to bring it I'm for s smog check every two year though I only driven 6k mikes on it. Not right when other has driven 24+k and I still have to pay the same charge for the check and smog certificate at 6k
You could move to Sunny Indiana! No smog checks here! Plenty of coal-fired power generating plants, too.
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Old 08-23-10, 06:28 PM   #7
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I just got back from a road trip to Lubbock, where the temps were sizzling, and had to remove a thick coat of bug guts. That stuff is toxic! Even though we favor bikes, take care of that car. It is an asset.

FWIW, if anyone needs help removing dead bugs from 70 mph+ impacts, use old used dryer sheets and hot water. Abrasive enough to remove the bugs, won't scratch the paint.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:18 AM   #8
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That's an interesting suggestion for the bugs. I'll have to try it next time I wash my wife's car. If you saw my car, you'd know that scratching the paint is the least of my worries cosmetically!
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Old 08-24-10, 11:34 AM   #9
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I just got back from a road trip to Lubbock, where the temps were sizzling, and had to remove a thick coat of bug guts. That stuff is toxic! Even though we favor bikes, take care of that car. It is an asset.

FWIW, if anyone needs help removing dead bugs from 70 mph+ impacts, use old used dryer sheets and hot water. Abrasive enough to remove the bugs, won't scratch the paint.
But clearly you only passed through Lubbock...because we don't even bother to clean the guts off! At some point going 70+ on the wide open highway, the west Texas wind & dust just scrape them right off...along with all the wax and lacquer on your vehicle. Proud to be below 25 mph on two wheels
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