Car Update

Car update.  So far we have put 21, 000 miles on the truck.  Out of these we have over two thousand miles on dirt roads (roads that have never seen any pavement).   The miles on roads that were paved once in the last 30 years are significant but unknown.  I suppose this is the majority of roads in Central America (and the section of the Alaska Highway in northern BC, which is absolutely abysmal).

The damage so far:

  • Oil changes:
    • Mobile 1, synthetic 5W30
      • Distance: 7.5K miles
      • Jiffy Lube, Anchorage, Alaska
      • Comment:  Relatively good road conditions in Alaska and northern Canada.  The temperature was also moderate: 10C to 20C.  This allowed for a fully synthetic with high mileage on it.
    • Mobile 1, synthetic 5W30
      • Distance: 7.5K miles
      • Jiffy Lube, Long Beach, California
      • Comment:  The majority of these miles were in the US and Mexico in November and December.  With low average temperature this oil was appropriate.  The second part of the trip was between Belize and Costa Rica.  We did not hit too many hot places but we did a lot of steep and bad roads.
    • Motor Peak Performance 20W50, 50% synthetic
      • Distance: 3K miles
      • Toyota dealership (Purdy Motor), San Jose, Costa Rica
      • Comment:  The dealership recommended higher viscosity oil based on the mileage on the car (182K).  I decided to go with it since the driving conditions around here are much tougher (hot, humid, dusty and very long steep roads). The car can use more frequent oil changes.
  • Breaks:
    • Front breaks (Leon, Nicaragua)
    • Rear breaks (San Jose, Costa Rica)
    • Break fluid flush (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  • Suspension:
    • Front right wheel bearings (Leon, Nicaragua)
    • Front shocks (San Jose, Costa Rica)
    • Steering system flush (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  • Windshield:
    • Boy, is that baby cracked!

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