This reminds me of my first car, an older Ford Galaxie 500. It was in fantastic shape mechanically because my dad had just put a new 289 V-8 engine in it for me — free! I loved that car and drove it thousands of miles the first year and a half.
One day I noticed a little smoke following me down the freeway. I watched for a few days and sure enough, my new engine was smoking!
I described the problem to Dad, who immediately asked:
“Have you checked the oil?”
“Oh yeah,” I said, “it’s a couple quarts low… but it’s not making that ‘clicking’ noise or anything yet. I was gonna put in at least a quart next payday.”
Under Dad’s questioning I admitted that, faced with some cash flow problems, I hadn’t changed the oil in nine months.
“Well son, you have ruined your engine. We talked about maintenance. I told you how often to change your oil, right? RIGHT!!!!!!???”
I paid for the new engine this time. And I learned the most valuable lesson about regular maintenance: Doing is far less expensive than not doing.