Getting Your Pontiac Roadworthy
Based upon the results of last year’s survey answers, plus comments made during conversations with ETC members, we have come to a simple conclusion; many ETC members don’t have enough confidence in their cars to drive them more than a few miles from home, if at all. When we explore this issue with them, we are not hearing that their car is sitting in the garage waiting for an engine rebuild or other major operation. Primarily we hear that folks have issues with one system or another that leaves their car unreliable or even un-drivable to some extent. When you consider that our membership is spread all across the country, and any opportunity to participate in an Early Times event will require some amount of travel, having a reliable car is a necessity if you are ever to join in the fun!
Consider that next year’s Flathead Reunion is going to be held in the Green Mountains of Vermont. This will be a challenging trip for our core group of Flathead Reunion attendees coming from the mid-West, who obviously do not have any mountains in their part of the country! Andi and I have made this trip on more than one occasion in our ’53 Chieftain. We travel carefully and have not experienced any mechanical troubles. We will be leading the caravan from Ohio; and our group will have to deal with mountain driving to and from the event. Once there, traveling any distance from the host hotel entails mountain grades, plus the Friday road trip will keep to secondary roads as usual, which are still challenging but driven at lower speeds. We do not want to discourage anyone from making this trip, but the mountain grades will require that all of your mechanical systems be in good operating condition if you expect to avoid trouble.
Bearing this in mind, we are beginning a series of In the Garage articles with this issue that will highlight the essential mechanical systems of your car. Our intent is to guide you in getting your vehicle into road worthy condition and also build your confidence in driving it further and further from home. The ultimate goal is for you to actually enjoy (drive) you’re Pontiac more than you have in the past.
These articles will feature an overview of various systems or components; brakes, ignition, wheel bearings & seals, cooling system, etc. We do not plan to get model year specific, but rather to cover the basic information. We will be using 3 primary sources for the information we will present; owner’s guides, service manuals, and Pontiac training booklets. Hopefully, you already have the owner’s guide for your Pontiac, and possibly the factory shop manual, original or reprinted, specific to your vehicle. Pontiac training booklets can often be found on e-Bay or from any number of literature dealers. These bo