It’s Spring time and you’re itching to go for a fun drive in your DeLorean!
You may have winterized your car if you live in the colder climates, or just parked the car to avoid the rainy season. Regardless, before you start driving your beautiful stainless steel car, even casually, make sure you check a few critical maintenance items. The basics include checking the condition of your tires, engine oil, radiator water, automatic transmission or clutch fluid, brake fluid, fan belts and exterior lights
Some of us drive our cars continuously, others only on special occasions and some DeLoreans are held back to be low mileage examples of the perfect DeLorean. Most cars that are driven frequently are serviced on a regular basis. We all understand the penalties of neglecting routine service on a daily driver. It is the DeLoreans that don’t see much time on the road that often get neglected, as it is easy to lose track of the time between service events. In my first 10 years of ownership, my focus was on maintaining a driving rate of 1000 miles per year. This resulted in the battery frequently discharging below the charge required to start the car and water accumulation in the fuel. An embarrassing start for a hot date!
Even slight use of some engine fluids starts the process of deterioration. For example, standard oils last about 3000 miles, but today’s high grade synthetic oils can last up to 8,000 miles. Depending on what lubricants and fuel you are using, even minimal driving of your DeLorean can bring the motor oil to an ‘exhausted and dirty’ state in a year. Therefore, it is recommended to replace your motor oil once per year even if you have not driven a lot. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your radiator fluid every 2 years, spark plugs generally last 50 to 75k miles, transmission fluid will perform well for 30k miles. As brake fluid is hydroscopic, manufacturers of this material recommend replacing the brake fluid every one to two years. Other items to consider for the low mileage cars are fuel stabilizers to keep your gas from ‘souring’ and complete fuel system cleaners to keep your injectors clean and the fuel free of water. It makes sense to change your air and oil filters when you change your oil as dirty filters make other parts of your engine work harder.
The attached charts come from a well-known DeLorean service center in the mid-1980s. Though the performance of engine oils and other auto care products sold today are greatly improved, the charts will give you a good idea of what needs to be looked at least once per year. If you have specific questions, please ask your local mechanic. We want to see your DeLorean on the road, not on the side…
Happy motoring to you and your friends!
Drivin’ the DeLorean Dream…
DOA Membership Director