machine

Van happy

The minivan is getting 23 MPG again, same as when new. It had gotten as low as 16 MPG in the last year, then went to 18 MPG when I ran two bottles of fuel injector cleaner through it a month ago. Last week I dumped half a can of Seafoam into the crankcase and ran it about 80 miles; it has 120K on it and I figured there was plenty of sludge and gum built up in there. I then did an oil change, switching to full synthetic, and then drove to Chicago and back. The Seafoam treatment seems to have done wonders, the engine is far quieter than it's been in years. The full synthetic probably doesn't hurt either and I'm hoping it will keep the engine from getting sludged up.

I also (nearly) completely rebuilt the rear brakes earlier this week. The hand brake is now working again for the first time in years and the brakes are more responsive than they've been since that tow truck driver towed it 15 miles with the handbrake on years ago. The only thing I didn't replace back there was the right hand side hydraulic cylinder, because it didn't really need replacing (the left one did) and the hydraulic line and the two bolts were very stubborn and I decided to just skip it until it actually needs replacement.

I switched the Malibu to full synthetic at its oil change in May as well. There's so little difference in price anymore, and the Taurus had a significant repair and I think its final demise (for us anyway) caused by extremely sludgy oil (a result of being driven on short trips almost all the time) I figure it can't hurt.
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