Monthly Archives: June 2016

When is enough, enough?

When is enough, enough?

Q. When is enough, enough? How much has to be wrong with a car before you decide it's time to let it go? A. This is a decision only you can make because anything can be fixed -- all it costs is money. Hypothetically now, what if a $3,000 engine would put a car in like-new condition; would it be worth it? A question you can ask yourself is, what if this car was advertised for sale for $3,000 with a new, perfect engine? Would that be a good deal? In many cases you could not go out and buy a good used car for the amount of money needed to put your current paid-for car in "like new" condition. There are instances though where you may have let the car go to a point where there are multiple problems, when you can find a nice car in better shape for less than what it would cost to repair yours. Let's say it has an engine problem and it needs brakes, tires, a catalytic converter, shocks and struts, a steering rack and the body is all beat up. Guess what? Enough is probabl ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

What happens if I use the wrong type of fuel for my vehicle?

What happens if I use the wrong type of fuel for my vehicle?

Q. If the manufacturer says a vehicle needs premium fuel, what happens if you use mid-grade or regular? A. The car will run on regular, but it has been designed to run on the higher octane fuel. The simplest way to describe this is in order for it to run on regular gas, the computer will need to detune the engine a bit, sacrificing performance and fuel economy. As a result, you will probably burn more fuel and gain nothing in cost savings -- and your car will not run optimally. If your car calls for premium fuel, you should put premium fuel in it, and if your car does not call for premium fuel there is no advantage to you using it

Categories:

fuel

Tags:

gas , fuel

Rising temperatures change tire pressure

Rising temperatures change tire pressure

Q. I put air in my tires yesterday and had all the tires at the same pressure. My question is that if the tires are in direct sunlight, will that increase tire pressure? I have two tires that were in the shade and two tires in the sun. The tires that were in the shade were the same pressure that I had filled them up with. The two tires in the shade were 1½ pounds heavier. Is that because of the sun hitting the tires? A. Temperature has a big effect on the air pressure in tires, so what happened to you makes sense. The sun heated up the tires on that side of the car and the tire pressure went up. When you check the tire pressure you always want to set it first thing in the morning to the cold tire pressure, as the day warms up the tire pressure will go up. Tires have to be checked periodically, especially when we go through a change of season, which we'll be doing soon. As colder weather sets in, you could see the tire pressure drop by as much as 5 pounds per square inch ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Tags:

Tires

Don't neglect your timing belt!

Don't neglect your timing belt!

We had a VW Passat in the shop this week on which it appears the client forgot to replace the timing belt at the recommended interval. The car is in perfect condition otherwise and all of the other maintenance items had been taken care of. The original belt went over 190,000 miles, well beyond its recommended life, before it broke. When the belt broke it left the customer stranded on the highway at night, but worse than that, it did significant damage to an otherwise perfectly good engine. We had to remove the cylinder head to have all the bent valves replaced along with the normal items you would replace with a timing belt. The long and short of it is what would have been a several-hundred-dollar maintenance service turned into a several-thousand-dollar engine repair. If your car has a timing belt, check the mileage against the recommended service interval for your car and be sure to perform this service on time. Not doing sot can be very inconvenient, not to mention expensive

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