Codes and More Codes

Remember the good old days when you adjusted the carb or the vacuum break on the choke maybe bumped the timing up a toush. Now everything is electronic so you hook up a scanner or count light flashes to get a trouble code maybe use a lab scope to check burn time or KV of a plug wire if it has one or check a coil one for each cylinder.

I do think today’s engines run better with electronic controls. But getting a code is only the first step in repairing a problem. Code shows a bad MAP sensor so all you have to is replace the MAP sensor. WRONG it may be a leaking or plugged vacuum hose or a poor connection. When the counter guy says you need a MAP sensor to cure your problem remember it is his job to sell parts not to fix your problem.

Always use a trouble shooting tree to locate a problem and don’t skip a step because you kow it is OK or that never causes a problem. I have heard many a story from help lines that when they go there check list they find a skip was missed and that is the problem.

 

Highway VS Intown Miles

We have all seen the car for sale add “all highway miles” if this were always true the highways would be packed 24-7. True highway miles put less of a strain on a vehicle but I think it is the transmission that benefits the most. No shifting in and out of gear as in town and with lockup it is even less. In prior years it could be said that the even speed causes less engine wear and that is true but with 4 lane highways and greatly increased traffic there is an increase in changes of speed putting additional stress on the engine. However it is true that extended trips do put less strain on a vehicle.

Engines are designed to cruise at around 50 to 75. With the smaller engines this decreases some and remember don’t overdrive. All vehicles have an ideal cruising range some of the smaller engines this may be in the 60 MPH others may be higher.

One item that highway driving helps to decrease wear and tear is the brakes however a few panic stops from 70 MPH can decrease this in a hurry and also warp your brake rotors.

Rookie Winner At Michigan

For some time now I have been saying one of these young guns is going to win a race. Kyle Larson won at Michigan today and right behind him was Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney was third, loved to watch his dad David race the AMOCO outlaw car. I don’t think this will be the last win for a rookie this year as Chase Elliott, love that name, was second and except for a bad restart would have won, his second missed win this year. Austin Dillon finished 16 even with grandpa’s help I doubt if he will pull off a win this year.

Oils Which To Use

If you want to start a long discussion ask about what type of oil auto technicians prefer. The only thing that would bring up more discourse would be blond, brunette or redhead.

Every mechanic, technician or grease monkey, wonder how that name came to be, everyone will have a different preferred oil.

There are many different ones on the market, synthetic, semi synthetic and plain old oil. Also weights SAE 0-40, 10-40, 10-30 5-30 and of course straight grades 10 to 60. Many manufactures also have their own oil GM has a synthetic they almost demand using.

Years ago I worked on NP railroad trucks and cars and they used 10 weight year round and got mileage into the 100K out of their engines, now days 200K is not unusual.

Most techs would say to stay away from semi synthetic oils as they are only a small percentage of synthetic. I think most would choose synthetic, of course the brands would vary with the edge going to Mobil 1.I am sure most GM Techs would choose their new oil and they are correct. However sticking with the same oil is also important if you have a vehicle with some miles do not switch to synthetic as it could cause problems such as leaks and oil consumption.

The weight is usually determined by the vehicle manufactures recommendations. Many use 5-30 so the upper cylinder gets adequate lubrication.

Extended mileage is also a good choice for high mileage engine, I use this in my sunbird with 136K, I use Mobil in my LeBaron and Mobil 1 in my other 2 cars 5-30 in the Pontiac and 5-30 in the winter and 10-30 in the summer in my Dodge pickup. If I had a new GM I would use their new oil also I have considered switching from Mobil 1 as they have apparently changed there formula, but I don’t what I would switch to.mobil 1

Female Mechanics

woman tech

Females are becoming Technicians at a faster rate every day. About the time I retired this trend started. At first they did mostly interior, dash repairs and the like. No more now days they are doing all repairs and with vehicles becoming smaller and tighter to work on they have become an asset.

They also do excellent diagnostics, and with the modern car and truck having as many as 6 computers this is not an easy task. I am sure there are some problems from the good old boys of auto repair until they find themselves in a jam and they help them out. Of course there are also many excellent male technicians. I am sure some of the grease monkeys of years past would have a thing or 12 to say about this I am sure.

Dirty Shops Good or Bad

dirty shop

Trying to find a good repair shop is becoming harder to find. Where I live there are only 2 service stations still in operation.

How to choose a good honest repair shop. Of course talk to your friends and coworkers of course this is going to be mostly negative well because that’s how people are.

ASE certified is a good place to start and many think a clean shop is also a good indicator. I agree a shop should be clean but if it is too clean they have too much time on their hands or the equipment is just not being used, there is usually a good reason for this unless the shop is just opened.

Estimate are always necessary before the repairs are done and the final bill should always bee within 10% of the estimate also get your old parts back.

No that is not a picture of my garage

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