Category Archives: Tips

Selling Your Car

There’s typically a 10-20 percent difference between what a dealer will give you for your old car or truck as a trade-in — and what you could probably sell it for yourself.The downside, of course, is that you have to sell it yourself. And that means dealing with off-hour phone calls, interacting with strangers — some of whom may be sketchier than the people you sometimes see on Jerry Springer — as well as the attendant paperwork hassles.But the process will go easier — and you’ll be happier at the end of it all — if you adhere to a few basic rules: News source: AOL Autos Don’t drive around with a “for sale” sign (and your home phone number) taped to the car — This can encourage crimes of opportunity, i.e., no-good-niks spot you (especially if you are a woman) in the car and target you. Place an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper instead; this way, you can screen people over the phone; if someone sounds weird or gives you the creeps, you can always just tell them the car has been sold.*Only agree to meet with prospective buyers someplace safe and public — Your work, for example. For the same reasons mentioned above, try to avoid having strangers come to your home. You should also specify in your ad acceptable times to call — and times after which you do not wish to be called.* Describe the car objectively — revealing known flaws (if any) as well as providing relevant documents such as service work invoices, etc. If the car has a bad transmission of needs brakes — inform prospective buyers. Paying fair is not only the right thing to do — it pretty much eliminates any worry about an irate “sucker” tracking you down later to get even. If the car has any defect or problem that could make it hazardous to operate, do not allow unsuspecting people to operate the vehicle. You should have any such problems fixed before you put the “for sale” ad in the paper — or indicate in the ad that the vehicle is not currently in operable condition.Car Shopping?Educate yourself before buying a car:More Used Car Buying Tips Best Deals in April Buying Tips: Negotiating Prices * Ask to see a driver’s license and proof of insurance before you let a buyer drive the car — and make absolutely sure the driver is at least 18-years-old. Never, ever allow an unattended minor to drive your vehicle; if they wreck or damage it, the under-18 driver may not be legally responsible. Insist a parent be present before allowing a test drive. Also be aware that if the driver is uninsured, you could get left holding the bag in the event an accident happens during the test drive. Be sure to write down the prospective buyer’s DL info — and make sure the person matches the description before turning over the keys. *Don’t sign or turn over the title and keys until you’ve got payment in full in cash or its equivalent; no personal checks. Draw up a simple bill of sale stating the make/model/year of the vehicle, the mileage, sellers and buyer’s names, the sale price — and that the vehicle is sold “as is.” This last is important to protect you in case the buyer later claims the car had some unknown problem or subsequently broke down — and wants his money back.* Be sure to remove your license plate(s) from the vehicle before the buyer drives away. If you don’t and the buyer leaves the plates on, you could be liable for traffic tickets, etc. that are tied into the plate number — and to you. Immediately notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (and your insurance carrier) that the vehicle has been sold; this way, you want to be charged for registration fees/property taxes and/or insurance premiums that no longer apply. You may even be eligible for a pro rata discount if you prepaid any of these fees for the full calendar year.

Tire Ratings

Definition: On the sidewall of every tire is information about tire size, maximum load rating, maximum inflation pressure, tire construction (See Radial Tire) and performance standards. Treadwear is a comparative rating of how long the tire will last compared to other tires. The higher the number, the longer the predicted life of the tread. A tire with a 200 rating should go twice as many miles as one with a 100 rating.Related Terms – Aspect Ratio- Radial Runout- Radial Tire- Speed rating- Wheel AlignmentThe numbers do not correspond to a fixed mileage figure because there are so many variables that affect the life of the tread (maintaining the correct inflation pressure is one of the most important). The traction rating is a measure of the tires ability to stop on wet pavement. An “A” is the best rating, “B” is average, and “C” is the lowest acceptable rating. The temperature rating is an indication of how cool the tire runs as highway speeds. Again, an “A” is the best while “C” is the lowest acceptable rating. Performance tires also carry a speed rating: “H” rated tires are good for speeds up to 130 mph, and “V” rated tires are certified for speeds above 130 mph. News source: About Auto Repair Old System:205/60VR15 New System:205/60R1591V 205 = Section width in millimeters 205 = Section width in millimeters 60 = Aspect ratio 60 = Aspect ratio V = Speed rating (unlimited V) R = Radial construction R = Radial construction 15 = Rim diameter in inches 15 = Rim diameter in inches 91 = Load index* V = Speed symbol (limited V)* Note: Always consult the manufacturer for the maximum speed of Unlimited V and Z tires. Speed rating is identified as a part of the tire’s sizing or service description (see above). * In the latest attempt to standardize tire designations, all ratings except unlimited VR and ZR incorporate the speed symbol and load index as the tire’s service description. “ZR” Rated TiresWhen “ZR” appears in the size designation with the service description, the maximum speed is as indicated by the service description.Tire Designation Maximum Speed P275/40ZR17 93W 270 km/h (168 mph) P275/40ZR17 93Y 300 km/h (186 mph) For tires having a maximum speed capability above 240 km/h (149 mph), a “ZR” may appear in the size designation. For tires having a maximum speed capability above 300 km/h (186 mph), a “ZR” must appear in the size designation. Consult tire manufacturer for maximum speed when there is no service description.Speed Symbols SpeedSymbol Speed(km/h) Speed(mph) SpeedSymbol Speed(km/h) Speed(mph) A1 5 3 K 110 68 A2 10 6 L 120 75 A3 15 9 M 130 81 A4 20 12 N 140 87 A5 25 16 P 150 94 A6 30 19 Q 160 100 A7 35 22 R 170 106 A8 40 25 S 180 112 B 50 31 T 190 118 C 60 37 U 200 124 D 65 40 H 210 130 E 70 43 V* above 210 above 130 F 80 50 V 240 149 G 90 56 W 270 168 J 100 62 Y 300 186 above 300 above 186 * For Unlimited V tires without the Service Description, the speed category is over 210 km/h (130 mph).

Spotting a flood damaged car

A record number of cars have been affected by recent hurricanes. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates that Hurricane Katrina alone may have damaged as many as 400,000 cars. Unfortunately, many of those vehicles may be finding their way to a used-car lot near you. That means that many car buyers may unknowingly buy a vehicle that has hidden water-related problems. Flood damage may be hard to spot, but it can permeate the vehicle and cause ongoing problems for the rest of the car’s service life. Flood damage can ruin electronics, contaminate lubricants, and threaten mechanical systems, often without leaving outward signs. It can take months for incipient corrosion to find its way to the car’s computer systems or air-bag controllers. Mold and mildew is another major problem. Even after soggy seats and carpets dry out, the lingering smell may never go away completely. News source: Most flood-damaged vehicles will be written off by insurance companies. Once it’s declared a total loss, a car is supposed to get a new title, called a salvage title. Such titles, depending on the state, are usually either plainly marked or “branded” with the word “salvage” or “flood,” or obscurely marked, with a coded letter or number. They are then typically sold at a “salvage” auction to junkyards and vehicle rebuilders, who may resell them. This practice is legal, as long as the flood damage is disclosed to buyers on the title, say experts at, a Web site that tracks vehicle histories and sells reports to consumers online. But some flood-damaged vehicles will make their way back onto the used-car market, rebuilt and disguised as ordinary used cars with clean titles. State Farm Insurance recently settled a $40 million lawsuit after it was disclosed that the insurer had dumped almost 30,000 totaled cars at auction without retitling them as salvage vehicles. In addition, local mechanics who buy vehicles privately and resell them might not generate a paper trail indicating that a vehicle has been flooded. Some cars may not even have a title, so be wary. “We’d be naive to think that the system can handle (this many cars),” says Larry Gamache, a spokesman for Carfax. For now, Carfax reports include an alert notifying consumers of any car that was last registered in an area declared a flood-emergency zone by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reports are available online at [url”> or from Experian at [url”> for $19.99. Such vehicle-history reports can alert you to some types of problems, but they are no guarantee that a vehicle has no hidden problems. That’s why it is important to get any used car inspected by a trusted independent mechanic before you buy it. Fortunately, cars damaged by the New Orleans floods should be easier to spot than other flood-damaged cars, says Paul Taylor, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association. The brackish water from Lake Pontchartrain, which flooded New Orleans, will cause rust very quickly. How to spot a flood-damaged car Here are some quick checks that you can perform yourself: Look under the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy. Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed–not generally a part of normal maintenance. Inspect the lights. Lights are expensive to replace, and a water line may still show on the lens or the reflector. Inspect the car in difficult-to-clean places, such as the gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Water-borne mud and debris may still cling in these places. Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels where it couldn’t naturally settle from the air. Look at the heads of any unpainted, exposed screws under the dashboard. Any unpainted metal in cars flooded in New Orleans will probably already show signs of rust. Check the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottoms of doors. If they look as if they have been removed recently, it might have been done to drain floodwater. If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see if there is a water mark on the inside of it.

Six Rules for Savvy Car Shopping

Shopping for a new car doesn’t have to be a stressful (or wallet-draining) experience. Just be sure you follow the rules:1. Shop when you don’t have toThe best way to get a great deal on a new vehicle is to avoid being in the position of having to replace the one you’ve got because it just broke down and it’s beyond fixing (or you just don’t want to put any more money into it). Desperation rarely results in a good deal — for the buyer, anyhow. Smart shoppers anticipate the need for a new vehicle — and begin looking at what’s available long before they actually need a new car.2. Shop for money firstUnless you are buying outright, you should think about financing (and interest rates) before you think about what color to get. Many buyers forget that the cost of money is just as important to the bottom line as the purchase price of the car itself. If you end up with a less-than-favorable loan, whatever you saved “up front” on the sticker price can easily be lost over the course of the loan period if you sign up for a loan that’s got a higher rate than you could have/should have paid. Check with several potential lenders — including credit unions, banks and the automakers’ captive financing arms (GMAC, etc.) — then shop for the car. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time instead of two things at once — and will know you got the best deal you could have gotten on at least one of them. News source: 3. Compare incentivesTo jump-start sales, many automakers will offer various incentives (cash back, “customer loyalty” discounts, special financing deals, etc.) that can be worth as much as several thousand dollars off the purchase price of a new vehicle. If you’re considering two otherwise similar (but different brand) vehicles, the availability of one or more incentives on one of them could be all the incentive you need to make the choice between them. You can also use incentives on one brand as a negotiating point on the purchase of another. Point out to the salesman that you could buy brand “x” for $2,000 off the sticker because of the incentives being offered by the manufacturer and ask him if there’s anything he can do to make his brand more cost competitive — such as tossing in a no-cost extended warranty or free oil changes for two years, etc.4. Know what you’re buyingMost models of new cars (and trucks, SUVs and minivans, too) come in several trim levels, with your choice of engines, transmissions, safety equipment and other features. You should always know at least as much about your next car as the salesman does — so you don’t get pushed into buying things you don’t really need or end up with one that lacks some things you end up wishing you had bought — and so you can talk about the car knowledgeably with the salesman. Information is readily available (see the automakers’ web sites and read as many expert reviews as you can find, etc.). You should also take a thorough test drive of at least two hours’ duration before buying — to make sure the vehicle is comfortable and there are no design problems (such as excessive blind spots, uncomfortable seats, noisy engine/hard to shift transmission, etc.) that you might hate to have to live with if you actually owned the car. You may save yourself a big headache — and a lot of money, too.5. Know how much your old car’s worthA big mistake made by many buyers is to focus on the new car (and its price ) while forgetting to know just exactly what their old one’s worth. It doesn’t do you much good if you save $2,000 on the new one but lose an equivalent amount on your trade-in. While the exact value of every used car is vehicle-specific (because unlike a brand-new car, there are almost always significant differences in condition, equipment, mileage and so on when it comes to used vehicles) you can still get a very solid “ballpark” idea by checking current trade-in/re-sale prices for cars like yours in the classified ads section of your local paper and trade guides such as Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealer Association’s used car price books. You can adjust the value up or down for things like higher-than-normal mileage, excellent (or just average) condition — and so on. Be aware that there is a difference of about 10 percent in retail vs. wholesale prices. “Retail” refers to what the used car would be advertised for by a private seller or dealer; “wholesale” refers to the offer the dealer would make you for the car as a trade — with the difference reflecting his profit margin (as well as the costs involved in cleaning up and otherwise “prepping” the vehicle for re-sale.And finally…6. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeveGetting emotional about a new car or truck is fine, once you get home. But while you’re shopping, you’ll almost certainly do better if you can remain as aloof and detached as Mr. Spock. Never betray more than casual interest in a car; salesmen react to emotional buyers like sharks react to blood in the water. If you feel your heart might get ahead of your head, bring a spouse (or a good friend) along to keep you out of trouble. You should convey a “take it or leave” it impression — and the more convincing your performance, the more likely you’ll drive home a deal instead of paying more than you probably should have.

Understanding Automatic Transmissions

HOW THEY WORK: The modern automatic transmission is based around planetary gears. A set of planetary gears consists of a sun gear in the center, 3 or more planet gears meshed with and encircling the sun gear, and a ring gear with teeth on the inside, encircling the planet gears. The speeds are obtained by holding one of the three gears, applying power to another, and taking power off the third. For example: hold the ring gear, turn the sun gear, get reverse off the planetary gears. Hold the planetary gears, turn the sun gear, and get a forward gear ratio off the ring gear.Automatic transmissions have one or more sets of planetary gears which are stopped by clutches and bands to get all the speeds and reverse.A band circles a drum and looks almost like a western style leather belt , but made of sheet metal covered with composite material. A hydraulic piston tightens this around the drum to stop a planetary gear element. Clutches have two types of elements: steel plates and composition on steel discs. The steel plates have splines (“teeth”) on the outside. The composition clutch material circular plates have splines on the inside. Usually several (often 6 or so of each) steels and composition discs are stacked together, increasing the “area” of the clutch pack. A hydraulic piston presses these together to hold a planetary element. News source: Econofix The first auto transmissions had one set of planetaries and had 2 forward speeds. The later 3 speed transmissions had 2 sets of planetaries, and the 4 speed transmissions had 3 sets. I recently rebuilt a Chrysler front wheel drive transaxle, and they were getting 4 forward speeds using only 2 sets of planetaries! A clever design, but it had a VERY complex set of servos to accomplish this! WHAT CONTROLS THEM?For the newer cars, the answer is simple! (Imagine that!) THE COMPUTER CONTROLS IT, taking in consideration your speed, throttle position, engine load, and other factors! Little solenoids supply fluid to those pistons and shift the tranny!For older (and many new) cars the answer is more complex. They have a “hydraulic computer” which compares hydraulic pressures versus spring pressures and applys and releases pistons to control the planetaries.The simplest ones shift using two inputs: throttle position, and governor pressure. A link goes from the gas pedal to the transmission. It moves a valve in the tranny. The more you press the pedal, the more it moves the valve, and the higher the THROTTLE VALVE PRESSURE is.The governor has two weights which are opposed by two springs. As the transmission spins, centrifugal force moves these weights outward against the spring pressure.The shift valves actually route fluid to the various hydraulic pistons (called servos) which operate the bands and clutches. Throttle valve pressure opposes governor pressure, delaying the shift when you’re “floorboarded”. When governor pressure gets high enough, the shift valve overcomes its spring pressure and shifts to the next higher gear.HOW THEY FAILThe actual clutches and bands usually last as long as the rubber seals in the servos. As soon as the pistons (servos) start to leak, the clutch elements fail rapidly. A “slipping” will be felt, or a “flare” where it slips when it first goes into gear then links up.It’s important to keep fluid in your transmission at all times. This is the main thing, especially newer vehicles. Transmission cooler lines are a big source of leaks. Check them and check your fluid regularly! FLUID AND FILTER CHANGESIt used to be GM recommended no fluid change until 100,000 miles!!! They don’t say that anymore, although many people DO go that long and longer without a change. As with many things, READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL!!!When in doubt, change the fluid at 50,000 miles. ALSO: Look at your fluid! when you check it, it should be a pink color. If it’s brown, change it. If it’s nice and pink, you probably don’t need to change it. They don’t make the transmissions as tough as they used to, and an inexpensive fluid change can avoid or postpone a very expensive rebuild!!!

Recommended Home Air Conditioner Maintenance

I realize this posting does not really fit in the “Cars & Trucks Section.” Yes, it’s a little funky. This is to keep everything a little weird. Consider it a free bonus, covering secrets of the trade. However, I thought many Cars & Trucks do-it-yourselfers would find it of particular interest. There’s a lot of money and aggravation to be saved by following these recommendations. HVAC information for the do-it-yourselfer is hard to come by–it’s a protected turf. Many HVAC companies intentionally use “proprietary” parts, with no cross-reference to other brands. This is a key part of their strategy to prevent competition. Proprietary parts, licensing, part distribution control, and lack of DIY servicing information is how the industry protects itself. News source: Askme Help desk 1. Ensure outdoor condenser unit is level in both directions.2. Pour 8 parts water to 1 part bleach down the evaporator coil drain pipe 4 times per year, to prevent mold from developing.3. Replace air filter monthly. This prevents dust buildup on the evaporator coils, which interferes with proper airflow and can cause icing problems.4. Clean outdoor condenser coils in early April of each year with a garden hose. Remove front and side condenser coil covers and gently hose away dirt, grass, and debris. Straighten any bent fins with a fin comb. Don’t cut the grass around the condenser unit, while it is running.5. Remove high voltage cover plate and clean area of dirt, fire ants, and spiders each year. Fire ants and spider webs are dielectric and can prevent the contactor from working. Examine wiring for burning and capacitors (on single phase current units) for leakage and swelling. In order to check condenser capacitance, all wires must be removed first. Spread fire ant chemicals around condenser unit to keep ants from globulating on the contactor. They are attracted to 60 Hz current. Spray connectors with WD-40, making sure not to get any on the contactor’s contacts.6. Oil both condenser fan motor ports with 15 drops of ISO 32 (10 wt.) turbine oil each year. A 4 oz. Zoomspout Oiler from ACE Hardware costs $1.65. The finest synthetic lubricants, which I use, are Mobil SHC 624 and Amsoil RCH05. 7. Replace contactors (relay) proactively every 6 years. This is at the heart of properly maintaining an air conditioner and is the most overlooked preventive maintenance step. Some HVAC technicians will recommend replacing the whole outside condenser unit ($1,500), when only the contactor ($15) needs replacing. When contactor points open and close, they become pitted. As the cross-sectional area of the points gets cut in half, the resistance goes up by a square function (four fold). [Remember the formula for calculating the area of a circle = pi x r (squared)”> This results in the compressor motor becoming starved for electricity, which causes it to work less efficiently and can burn it up. Method: While the old contactor is still mounted, “crack loose” the four 5/16″ hex-head bolts securing the main “line” and “load” wires. Using a 5/16″ nut driver, remove the two hex-head mounting bolts to the old contactor, mount the new contactor, and then replace wire-for-wire from the old contactor to the new contactor. Use a pair of needle nose pliers and a small screwdriver to assist you in removing and replacing wires. Sit on a chair and take your time, while you perform this task.In some areas of the country, HVAC supply houses won’t sell to you, unless you work in the industry. It’s a different story online. Here’s what contactors look like:[url”> the contactor you are interested in; then, click the small picture you see to the right for the contactor’s specifications.Here is a very useful contactor cross-reference chart:[url”>…pg_112_113.pdf8. Replace digital thermostat alkaline batteries every 2 years. Low batteries can play havoc with the thermostat and cause dangerous inadvertent Locked Rotor Amperage that can damage contactors and compressor motors. Ensure your thermostat has an anti-short cycle feature, which can save your unit when the power goes off and then slams back on.9. Obtain documentation on your air conditioner, while you can. Wiring diagrams and functional unit part lists are often in a plastic bag behind the high voltage cover to the condenser unit. It’s invaluable data that will be destroyed by weather, if you don’t get to it first. Keep the original in the house and replace a copy in the condenser unit. Record the data on the metal tag on the condenser unit–a lot of valuable data is even embedded in the model number;e.g., TTP036C100A2. Since there are 12,000 BTUs per ton, digits 5 and 6 tell us that this is a 3-ton unit.10. Check system cooling. As long as the temperature differential between the air coming out of the air duct closest to the furnace and the air return duct is at least 15 degrees Fahrenheit, then the freon level is probably fine. An additional check is to feel the large, low pressure, insulated return line to the compressor–it should feel cool and have condensation on it.11. Obtain a Fluke Model 16 HVAC digital multi-meter to check capacitors, temperatures, and other items. It also happens to be about the best DMM for diagnosing automotive electrical systems. A properly maintained air conditioner should last 25 to 30 years. 12. Remove filter and vacuum the air return area, which is underneath or leads into the furnace. On most units, this can be accomplished by removing the return air vent and vacuuming the inside area. This will increase air flow, by substantially reducing the amount of dust and lint that will be trapped by the filter. Finally, take your vacuum and/or air compressor and blow all dust away from the blower motor vents. Dust will collect and interfere with the proper cooling of the blower motor. It also can be a fire hazard.13. Wax your condenser unit, when you wax your car.Turn the thermostat OFF, pull AC disconnect to condenser unit, and turn off furnace breaker (power to contactor coil) before performing any work. Use non-contact voltage meter to verify power is off. Finally, use a large plastic handle screwdriver between contactor and ground to confirm power is off.

Jump Starting

The first thing you want to remember when jump-starting a car is that a slight possibility of explosion does exist. This is because hydrogen gas–which forms as a battery discharges and loses its fluid–is flammable, and a spark from the battery cables could, theoretically, set it off. We emphasize slight because the gas would have to be fairly dense around the battery for this to happen. This is unlikely unless the battery has been sitting for a long time and little or no air circulation has occurred in the area, but it is possible. That said, I should add that in the last 15 years I have performed at least 50 “jumps” on various automobiles (you see, I used to own a lot of Chrysler muscle cars) and have never had a problem. One of the keys to avoiding the big bang is to hook up your jumper cables in the proper order. Follow along and we’ll show you how. News source: Step OnePark the booster vehicle close to the one that needs to be jumped, but not so close that the vehicles are touching in any way. You’ll want to use a good set of jumper cables with thick wire and clean clamps. As you are hooking up the jumper cables, make sure they don’t dangle into either engine compartment where they could get caught on moving parts (belts, fan, etc.). Turn off the ignition of both vehicles, set the parking brakes, and make sure that they are in either “Park” or “Neutral” depending on whether the vehicles have an automatic or manual transmission. Also, turn off all accessories like lights, radio and, if the vehicles are in a safe area, the hazard flashers. Step Two Begin the process by clamping one of the positive jumper cable ends (red) to the positive battery terminal (labeled with a “+” on the battery) of the dead vehicle. Be sure the connection is strong with the clamp securely “biting” onto the battery terminal. Step Three Connect the other end of the positive cable (red) to the positive battery terminal on the booster vehicle (again, confirm that a “+” is next to the battery terminal). If the terminals are corroded on either vehicle, you may have to scrape them with an abrasive such as steel wool to achieve a solid connection. Step Four Connect the negative cable end (black) to the negative battery terminal on the booster car (marked with a “-“). Finally, attach the other end of the negative cable to an unpainted metal surface on the engine of the dead car. Find an unpainted bolt or bracket that is as far from the dead battery as possible. This will provide a solid ground while further reducing the possibility of igniting any hydrogen gas. Step Five Make a final check to confirm that the jumper cables are not near any moving engine parts, and start the booster car. Let it idle for several minutes, depending on the state of the dead battery. If the dead battery is new and was drained by the lights being left on an extended period of time, it will probably start immediately. If it is an old battery or it has sat for a long time (more than a month) it will probably take awhile to charge it sufficently. Step Six Start the dead vehicle and let the two vehicles idle for a few minutes. If the dead vehicle refuses to start, don’t keep trying or you might damage the starter. If there is the possibility of additional problems, like a lack of fuel, don’t continue trying to start the dead vehicle until the other problem(s) are solved. Step SevenOnce the dead vehicle is started and running smoothly, disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were connected. As you disconnect them, be careful not to let the dangling cables fall into the engine compartments or touch each other. Step EightDrive the revived car to somewhere safe and secure before shutting off the engine. Depending on the battery’s condition, it might need to be jumped the next time it is started. To properly charge the battery, attach it to a certified battery charger and leave it connected for at least 12 hours. You can also take it to an automotive repair shop for complete charging. Driving the car for an extended period can also charge the battery, but this should be done only if the other two options aren’t available. A vehicle’s alternator is primarily designed to maintain a battery, not charge it from a complete drain

ABS Problems

Several topics about ABS and pad replacement. It is essential that the hoses be blocked and the pressure relieved with the bleeder screw when pressing the caliper back into the bore. If this is not performed correctly it allows the gunk(from the seal) to enter the ABS system this usually presents itself as a ABS lite that wont turn off or it feels as if there is air in the system. A flush may cure the problem but it usually require serious and expensive repair or replacement of some ABS componets. Be cautios what you use to block the hose there are plastic pliers that clamp that work the best and they are not that expensive just be sure you do not damage the hose.Also any time I do a brake repair I replace the fluid, simply run fluid through the system until it runs clear no need to apply pressure just keep the MC full for all 4 wheels also on GM rear disc carefully inspect the slider bolts they are usually frozen as no one uses there emerg brake.

Honda idle speed adj

Idle speed adjustment is not straightforward. The idle adjusting screw is located on the end of the throttle body and is often “leaded in,” to prevent people from fiddling with it. Take a small screwdriver and dig it out. Also, locate the blue tachometer wire, which goes to the distributor. Actually, it is connected to the igniter inside the distributor. The tachometer wire is buried, with a protective rubber cover over it, in a cluster of wires near the clutch master cylinder reservoir. Take a small screwdriver and carefully pry the connector from the rubber cover, using the small hole provided for this purpose. 1. Start the engine and warm it up to normal operating temperature. 2. Turn engine off and connect the tachometer to the blue tachometer wire.3. Disconnect the 2P connector from the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve.4. Start the engine with the accelerator pedal slightly depressed. Stabilize the rpm at 1000, then slowly release the pedal until the engine idles.5. Check idle in a no-load condition; i.e., headlights, blower fan, rear defogger, radiator fan, and air conditioning turned OFF. Adjust “Initial Idle Speed” to 450 rpm, by turning the idle adjusting screw.6. Turn the ignition switch OFF.7. Reconnect the 2P connector to the IAC valve, then remove BACK UP (7.5 A) fuse in the under-hood fuse/relay box for 10 seconds to reset the ECM. Make sure to record any radio codes first.8. Restart and idle the engine in a no-load condition for one minute. Verify that the “Final Idle Speed” is around 700 rpm. News source: AskMe

Misc tips

A bout with the flu gave me a few days to catch up on my reading and found a few interesting factsFuel pump power draw should be 10 amps per 10# of pressure finally someone put this in writing.Also a majority of pump failures are caused by the brushes start jumping off the armature and cause the connection to break the spring completes the connection for a short period but eventually burns off. This explains why if you get a lab scope that looks like a sic opera it is the brush jumping and leads to eventually failure.Many of the new voltmeters can not perform voltage drop tests due to the method of reading more prevalent on the cheaper models(more on this later have to do some research)Short trips that do not sufficient warm up the engine will cause rust buildup in the injectors when using ethanol fuel. Are there any decent major fuels out there any more I use BP(AMOCO Silver) but I am having doubts about that. Crew ChiefPS several Emails and phone calls told me I should also add if the draw is low it could be a worn pump so then check the pressure and volume.A short cut to check the fuel system is to unhook the FPR and snap open the throttle the pressure should drop 1 1/2 # anymore and you have a problemPS Hope to do more of this but wont wait for a flu bug