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This would not be the result that I would be hoping for.
Looks like the driver abandoned ship!
I never once, even once, thought about doing a bad lip sync of Taylor Swift's hit "Shake it off!" Though it seems that many, many, other people succumbed (sadly) to that desire.
"Shake down miles" refers to the period that follows after a major rebuild or repair has been completed.
It also pertains to vehicle that has been recommissioned, that is, placed back into service after a long period of inactivity. The term recommissioned is used on the Jaguar forum by our British members. I like it. It has that nautical sound to it, apropos to the Brits, who once ruled the waves.
In my case, it's more like just putting some miles down to see what kind of existing problems continue, or new ones that pop up.
It's a time to evaluate the condition of your machine and to start to build some confidence in it's reliability.
No car is anything but a big toy if you are not confident to drive it.
Obviously, no used, older machine can be considered to be completely reliable.
We are dealing in probabilities.
|We've all seen "Dirty Harry."|
As Clint Eastwood said in his immortal role as Inspector Harry Callahan, "Do you feel lucky?"
You've got to find a way to take luck out of the equation.
You've got to stack the odds in your favor.
Several years ago I posted a checklist that would help you to determine if your old car could be considered a daily driver. This was posted on September 6th. 2014. (Hard to believe that I've been blogging for so long!)
I'll admit now that my phrasing was very much influenced by Jeff Foxworthy's comedy riff, "If you do----- blank, then you might be a red neck." Either way, it just set up a series of conditions that you would expose your car to, and if it performs successfully, then "You might have a daily driver!"
Anything can happen to any car. Even brand new cars. That's what the original warranty is for.
Generally, most new cars never experience a debilitating failure in their early years.
Though many may experience them after the warranty period has expired!
Old cars are worn cars, but nor necessarily "worn out" old cars. Regular maintenance is meant to extend their useful lives and keep the attentive owner apprised of his vehicle's condition.
Many common maladies make themselves known gradually, leaving plenty of time to make the necessary replacements and repairs. In other words, you've got to pay attention.
One of the kids at work once described how the oil light came on in the old Dodge Neon that he had gotten from his Father in Law. When he checked the dipstick he found that no oil was registering on it!
He asked me how that could that happen. I told him that old cars burn and leak oil and that they are likely not going to make it to a normal oil change interval before the level is dangerously low. I told him that he should check the oil every fuel fill up. Oh! He said. He never knew that.
Of course I do know better, so I have no excuse.
I'm keeping an eye out for oil and other fluid leaks, listening for strange engine noises, monitoring imminent overheating and paying strict attention to how the engine is running and how well the transmission and brakes are working.
As I stated once before, you should never start out on a trip with a car with known issues.
So my job right now is to drive the car as much as I can. Driving to work is a good distance, only 11 miles each way.
Of course you have to have some basic confidence that your car is going to make it to work on time, it's one thing to have a problem on the way home. That would be bad enough, but getting to work late, or even worse not getting to work at all, kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. You're not saving any money that way.
|How to fit a tow truck in your wallet.|
So, how should you start this process?
I recommend just going for it. Just pay attention and stop the car (!!!!) if problems develop.
In any risky endeavor you need to have a back up plan.
My ultimate back up plan is my extended range AAA towing insurance. I have four free 100 mile tows each year. My wife and Daughter both have four tows also. Those tows can be strung together if necessary. This can provide great peace of mind.
I had to use my extended tows when my four year old F150 broke down on the way home from Las Vegas. The a/c compressor seized up just north of Santa Maria. My first tow carried me from Santa Maria to Gilroy. The second tow got me all the way home. I was glad to have the insurance and the provided tows, but riding with my Wife in a tow truck for a couple of hundred miles isn't anyone's idea of fun!
This was with a truck that I had purchased brand new. It was just a bit out of warranty. The repair; replacement of the compressor, condenser and evaporator cost me 1,500 dollars. So having a new or nearly new vehicle isn't a way to completely eliminate the risk.
We're talking about probabilities.
As I mentioned in a previous posting, just getting over the novelty of driving the car is a major hurdle.
That can only be cured by familiarity. No matter how fantastic any car is, it is just a machine intended to be used as transportation.