Marie Louise – Maintenance in 2017

Can you own a classic Peugeot with almost zero technical skills?
Yes you can, especially when it is in good driving condition or when you have at least a membership to roadside assistance to feel more secure while driving. But maintenance is key.

But what if it is not entirely in good driving condition or you just do not know?  
Then it is still possible but you need to budget your (expected) repair work as well.

So with this and upcoming maintenance and repair blogs I want to give you some better insight in costs I made on this beautiful hobby, so you can decide if this can also be a fun and affordable hobby for you (as a non-technical person).

Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on where you live. In Europe costs of spare parts are a bit comparable and for outsourced work the price highly depends on if you go to a professional garage, a local handy man or if you know a technical person who is willing to help you out.

First maintenance and improvement work after I bought the car

I bought Marie Louise in July 2017 after a test drive of 10 minute without any knowledge on the technical status or status of the body work. Since it was love at first sight, I just wanted to own and drive it and so it happened, the car was delivered on a trailer to my home the week after.

Tip number 1: When buying a classic car always bring an expert with you, who can better assess the status of the car or him/her knowing the specific pain points of the brand and type to watch for. Another option is to ask if you can have it inspected at a local garage before you decide to buy it to get better insight in potential future costs.


26 July 2017 – Technical inspection at P.B. Automotive in Voorschoten 

Fortunately the engine started and was therefore in driving condition to go to a local garage for a technical inspection, the verdict:

Most importantly a hard bottom! Here and there some surface rust, but according to the mechanic this was a matter of using a wire brush for cleaning and then protection it with anti-rust. Also some bolts, nuts were found with surface rust, so quite easy to do for someone with two left hands 

The brakes, still reasonable showing around 70% of breaking power

Main concerns:

  • The tires are very old (From 1985) and dried out, on the rear only 2 mm of profile
  • A broken steering house cover (rubber) on the left front
  • A worn wheel bearing on the same side
  • Clutch plate or release bearing is worn and up for replacement (this will be costly for sure)
  • Engine does not run well, the mechanic could think of various reasons for spark plugs, clogged filter, valve adjustment, timing (early ignition), etc.

Costs: €65


18 August 2017 – Adjustment of valves and ignition   

I saw an advertisement of a classic coach online, somebody who can do the work or even better:

Instruct you how to do it and let you do the work your self so you can slowly learn things. Since the engine was not running smoothly we started with the basic maintenance principles.

Tip number 2: Adjusting the valves is something you do with a cool engine (not run for at least 6 hours) and should be part of your yearly maintenance for sure.

Values needed:
Inlet valves        (on the left site of the cylinder head)    – 0.10 mm
Outlet valves     (on the right site of the cylinder head) – 0.20 mm

After that we went to the ignition, which ignites also in the 1-3-4-2 order. The ignition needs to be on 8° or 10°  before the highest point of cylinder one is reached. I will post an instruction blog on both handlings in a later stage.

But these are costs you don’t have to make any more if you understand the principle

Potential costs (I just replaced them all and kept the old ones for spare):

  • €10 – Contact points:                 
  • €10 – Condensator:                               
  • €25 – Distribution rotor + cap
  • €10 – 4 spark plugs                                    

Costs: €55 (For all the replaced parts)
Costs: €70 (For the lesson, work and traveling allowance)

06 September 2017 – Replacement of all liquids and filters.

Tip number three: With my current knowledge I would have done this on day 1, basically something I preventively do every 1-2 years now depending on the amount of mileage travelled. If the car has a known maintenance history you might skip this if recently done. Also by default replace the copper rings of the outlet plugs you unscrew.

Potential Costs (I just replaced all below, since maintenance history is unknown): €161

€30 – Engine and gear oil (20W50)
€28 – Cardan oil rear axle       
€22 – Coolant fluid (10L)
€07 – Brake fluid                                      
€07 – Greese tube

€17 – Oil filter                                  
€15 – Air filter
€06 – Petrol Filter                                              
€10 – Valve cover gasket                       
€01 – Carter gasket                     
€15 – 6x Oil plug
€03 – 6x Copper ring for oil plug

Brake fluid is hygroscopic so attracts water. If you do not replace this every 2-3 years it can result in rusted break cylinders, especially when not driving for a while (e.g. winterstop).

I bought a bit more expensive coolant fluid, which is organic which is more friendly for gaskets, hoses and good for our aluminum cylinder head. (Replaced every 5 years).

So on average around €95 per year if you replace the cardan oil rear axle and braking fluid every 2 years. The oil plugs are a one time investment off course.

Tip number four: Be carefull with replacing the oil in the cardan of your back axle since there are two types of oil and these do not mix well. Will post about this soon


15 September 2017 – Replacement of oil plug and oil of the gearbox

Unfortunatly I had 1 oil plug in the gearbox which was mutilated in such a way I could not get it loose. At the time my tool collection was still limited and a poor floor jack gave limited space under the car so it needed to outsource.

Price is including the oil, to expensive for sure. Now that all plugs are replaced opening them during yearly or bi-yearly maintenance will be easy. Do replace the copper ring each oil change.

Costs: €65

20 October 2017 – Meguiar’s 5 Step Car Care Wash Cycle

See the instruction blogCosts: €40 on materials

So total (preventive) maintenance costs made during 2017: €450

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