Monthly Archives: April 2016

You could be taking a financial risk extending the life of your antifreeze

You could be taking a financial risk extending the life of your antifreeze

Q. My comments and questions are about antifreeze. Some say it lasts two to three years when you buy a car new. Some say you can extend that to five years or 150,000 miles. Then others recommend a heavy-duty extender to 400,000 miles. I need help here. I have been taking care of my cars since I was 16, back in 1962. I have learned throughout the years, while living through antifreeze shortages, that you can extend the life safely. I have extended it in my 1998 I30T Infiniti with the standard ethylene glycol antifreeze. I know they have made antifreeze improvements over the years, making it last to 150,000 miles. What I do is add rust inhibitor every-other year. The car currently has 220,000 miles, and the antifreeze was changed at 200,000 miles when the car was 14 years old. I am now doing the same thing in my new 2007 M35x Infiniti. It has 80,000 miles and I have just begun adding rust inhibitor every two years. I do the same thing to my wife's 2008 RX350 Lexus. I started doing ... read more

Categories:

Antifreeze

Vacation time is more than what is in the suitcase

Vacation time is more than what is in the suitcase

It’s spring vacation time and families are preparing to head out on the open road. While you’re packing, don’t forget something much more important - a car that’s ready to take on hundreds of miles you’ll put it through. Check the following before you take off. 1. Fluids. Check the oil and all the other fluids under the hood as well. Your car can’t function if your oil is so old. Also, make sure there IS oil. Let it run dry and you’ll lock up your engine because they require clean oil to function properly. 2. Battery. Make sure yours has plenty of life, fluid, and the terminals aren’t corroded. If your battery is more than 5 years old you may want to replace it. 3. Brakes. You don’t want to think about what might happen if your brakes fail. Get ‘em checked. 4. Belts and hoses. If they’re old or cracked, you’re in for a breakdown soon. 5. Cooling system.  Make sure the cooling system is full and the anti ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Most likely your Diagnosis code is only a starting point

Most likely your Diagnosis code is only a starting point

Q. I have a 2007 Camry that has a "check engine" warning light on. I took it to one of the parts stores and they told me the code was for an oxygen sensor, which I bought. I installed the sensor and cleared the codes but the light came back on. I'm a little frustrated because now I have spent money and time and still have the problem. Any ideas? A. First off, you have learned a valuable lesson with a fairly inexpensive part. You cannot make a diagnostic decision based on a code alone. This is why the so-called "free diagnostics" that some of the parts stores offer is a bit misleading. I like to make the analogy that a code will generally tell you what aisle of the supermarket where you can find an item, but it does not tell you what shelf it is on. It takes a skilled diagnostic technician armed with the code, the right tools and the proper information to get to the bottom of most DTC's (diagnostic trouble codes). With these codes, there is research to be ... read more

Be on the lookout, pothole season is upon us.

Be on the lookout, pothole season is upon us.

If you haven't noticed yet, pothole season is definitely upon us! If you haven't hit one, you may before too long. We have had several folks come into the shop with tires and wheels damaged so badly they had to be replaced. If you are unlucky enough to bang into one of these bad boys -- and you always know if you do, make sure you get things looked over by your shop to be sure nothing is damaged. If you hit a pothole that's deep enough to damage a wheel, you could possibly damage other components of the suspension, as well. Sometimes an alignment is all it will take to get you back in shape and back on the road. We will also need to be just as careful in parking lots because many of them are disintegrating before our eyes. My shop in Crystal Lake was a victim of this before we resurfaced it. The parking lot started to show problems with the first thaw and proceeded to crumble as the weather continues to warm up. The other thing to be watchful for are potholes filled wit ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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