Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wasted Time

I know I need a sign like this for my garage, I think I spend more time cleaning however. It is a shame how we tend to clean our work space and then get it all dirty again. Although a clean and tidy space allows you to be more productive, but a dirty one makes you look busy, I always said never bring your car to a spotless repair center they don’t have any business so they clean.


Ethanol is a cleaning agent and is harmful to your engine and its components. It will do considerable damage to your lawnmower, snowblower and any small engine. We are forced to use it in our vehicles and in 10% by volume it will not do a lot of harm. The problem comes when that is increased and I don’t think todays fuels are closely regulated and many times we buy a higher percentage.

The clean fuel program is pushing for a 15% and I feel that is too high and will cause harm. Time will tell how it all works out with the new administration. If you must use ethanol blended fuels in a small engine I recommend the addition of Sea Foam in the fuel.

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Emergency kits

If you received a road side emergency kit for Xmas here are a few facts. Most are a great help during a roadside emergency, the expensive are of course a bigger help, but anything is better than nothing.

I don’t see road side flares as a good idea, you store them in a warm trunk for who knows how long and will they work and if they do for how long.

The booster cables in many kits are worthless they are of such small gauge wire there is no power left when it gets to the battery. A good set is expensive but worth it when you need them, they should be a minimum of 16 – 18 feet long and heavy enough to supply power.

Duct tape or I prefer gorilla tape is a must for any kit as are a few basic tools and a first aid kit. There are several list on line and also kits are available but I would make up my own to your own set of skills and needs in an emergency.

Here again buy what you can afford, I know it is tough to spend money just to have it sit in storage until needed but trust me you will be glad you did when you need the kit.

Road side kits and emergency survival kits are a separate kit and the needs are different but in conjunction with each other they can be a life saver. A post later on home evacuation kits.


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.