Dec 202018

Winter Driving

Is it advisable to warm up a vehicle prior to driving it in very cold winter conditions? I would like to know the pros and cons of this including whether driving a vehicle in the cold without warming it up first is hard on it mechanically or could cause potential damage. Please apply to all vehicles made within the last 15-20 years.

Warm up a vehicle prior to driving it in very cold winter conditions?

Yes. I would advise allowing the vehicle to warm under VERY cold conditions. That being said, the vehicle manufacturers have put in place many sensors on the vehicle that allow for not warming it prior to driving. These sensors calculate the temperature and fluctuate the demand influenced on the vehicle. This allows for uninterrupted performance in hot or cold weather. 1995 – 2000 are not quite as good as the newer vehicle operating systems but are adequate none the less.

Metal expands, aluminum expands at a different rate than cast iron. But as long as there is enough lubrication at the friction points of the engine, little to no harm is done. It takes a long time for a properly lubricated engine to show signs of damage. On the other hand, the transmission will render more damage under different climate conditions than the engine. However the later model cars are manufactured using synthetic lubrication in the transmissions now that help. So the weakest point in the car is the transmission under any weather condition.

Mechanical parts will perform their best in the engine and transmission once warmed to normal operating temperatures. The damage that will occur is almost immeasurable in short term.

Pros and Cons of warming your vehicle in cold temperatures


  • The engine oil will lubricate at its best once warmed
  • The vehicle will be nice and comfy warm
  • Windshield will be defrosted if applicable
  • Windshield wipers will perform better


  • The windshield will most likely have frost on it making it difficult to see
  • Not optimal for engine lubrication
  • Fuel consumption
  • Exhaust fumes, especially when vehicle is parked in a garage

What others have to say about warming the vehicle in cold weather

“The oil is the lifeblood of the engine,” Joseph Henmueller, president and COO of Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association, said.

Henmueller suggested that cars should idle one to two minutes before driving in cold weather. When temperatures drop to freezing, or when it’s cold enough that windshields will frost over, the oil needs to warm up before it can move smoothly throughout the car.

“Fluids get thicker when it is cold, so to lubricate properly they need 60 to 120 seconds of the engine running,” he said.

Without properly letting the engine run, Henmueller said, you may be cutting your engine’s life short.

Experts at Penzoil have a different theory.

Technical Advisor Shanna Simmons said it is a myth that engines need to idle on a cold winter day.

“While it does take longer for motor oil to pump in extreme cold temperatures, we are talking milliseconds, not minutes,” she said. “Your engine will warm up the oil much faster when driving at full speed — not to mention idling wastes gas.”

The Environmental Protection Agency lines up with those who say warming up your car is not only not helpful but is wasteful.

Both the EPA and say a car should not idle for more than 30 seconds at a time. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective. Idling for 30 seconds actually uses more fuel than restarting the car.

Oct 112018

Save at the Pump

These days with the Economy driving Prices up the consumer needs to watch every penny. In Some households we are seeing the amount of money being spent on gas becoming greater than the house payment.

Luckily for us the fuel retailers are offering incentives to those who frequent there fueling stations. For example, you can pick up a speedy rewards card form Speedway or a U-Drive Card from United Dairy Farmers. How it saves you money is up to you. If you add a carwash at UDF, they will instantly knock off $.10 per gallon of gas. Buy 2 gallon of milk and they add the discount. But some ice cream get a discount added. All your discounts can be accumulated and used at your next purchase at the pump.

So just for buying the things you already buy anyway, they are saying thank you at the gas pump. Its nice to be able to save some money anyway you can and when you already are buying gas, why not save some there too. So take advantage of these offers and you will save money at the pump.

No Sign Up Fees

  • Earn every time you use the card
  • No annual fees
  • Points and discounts accumulate

Example Card Image:

gas card

Oct 112018

Jump starting a car

The time will come if it hasn’t already that you will need to jump start your car. Knowing the best way to jump start your car can be very useful and save you time. You Will need to make sure all the battery connections are clean so your jumper cables can make a good connection. You can use a wire brush or the if you have some hot coffee or tea handy, pour it on. This will eliminate the majority if any corrosion around the area. Now your ready to attach the jumper cables and in a specific order.

  1. Attach one red cable to the positive of the dead battery
  2. Connect the other end of that same cable to the positive of the good battery
  3. Attach one black cable to the negative of the good battery
  4. Connect the other end of the black cable to a good ground in the engine compartment of the dead battery. Clip it to a strut tower bolt, frame or alternator bracket.

jump start a car

Things you might need when jump starting a car

  • Eye protection
  • Rubber gloves
  • A hand towel or rag
  • Wire brush
  • Hot water or coffee
  • Jumper cables
Oct 112018

Buying Used Car

Thinking about buying a used car? Here are 10 things you might want to know before making your purchase..

  1. What year is the vehicle
  2. Does it have a clear title, no leans on it
  3. Does it have a salvage title
  4. Is there a check engine light on
  5. Are there any leaks
  6. Is there anything that doesn’t work
  7. How does it run, stop and steer
  8. What condition are the tires in
  9. Does the air conditioning work
  10. Do the windshield wipers work

These are a few things that can cost you a significant amount of money if they are in need of repair. Not all these items will keep the car from going down the road today, but how much do you want to spend in the future. Better yet, how much do you have to spend when it breaks in two weeks.

Look it over

Look it over very carefully. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t be shy about asking to have your mechanic look at the car. If the seller starts acting like he can’t have anyone but you look at it, there is probably a good reason to steer clear of this one.

Lets take our time and test drive it further than just around the block. Make sure you get the engine up to operating temperature. Check the windows go up and down ( average price of a window regulator replacement is around $250). Check the brakes for pulsation when stopping. Make sure the car isn’t pulling to one side or the other. Roll the windows down and listen for any mysterious noises. Make certain you know what you are about to spend your hard earned money on.

We all know its hard not to jump at the chance to have that bright red Mustang that you came across that is much cheaper than you expected, but odds are… there is a reason it is so cheap. So find out what it is and then decide if you can live with it or afford to fix the issue. You should be able to enjoy buying a used car once you know what to look for.

Oct 112018

Hidden Fees

Think about the last time you had to take your car in for a repair or routine service. Did you ask for an exact amount you could write the check for when you picked up your car before you authorized the repair? Did you go in with a coupon that said $14.95 oil change, Only to be charged much more when it was time to pay? This happens more often than you think.

You go to pay and find an extra fee from “Environmental Disposal Fee”, “Shop Supplies”, “Mechanics Tax”, “Thumb Tax” to some other made up “Miscellaneous Fee” to make you feel like the shop had to charge you for this extra fees.

The next time you go in for a service and have a coupon, look at the fine print for disposal fees and extras. You might decide the shop you’ve been going to is as up front about things as you thought. Make them put in writing the total amount you will have to pay when you return to pick up your car. This should help you avoid any Hidden Fees or Charges. And who knows, might even save you a buck or two along with avoiding unnecessary grief.

Example Coupon Image:
oil change coupon

Fees or Extras to Look Out For

  • Shop Supplies
  • Environmental Disposal Fees
  • Disposal Fees
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mechanics Tax
  • Thumb Tax

Air Conditioning Condenser Seat Ibiza 1.2 2014

 Auto Repair Articles, Auto Repair Questions  Comments Off on Air Conditioning Condenser Seat Ibiza 1.2 2014
Jun 232017

2014 Seat Ibiza

Replace Air Conditioning Condenser

How long does it take to remove and replace the air conditioning condenser? I was a mechanic for 9 years. And I understand that I will need to take the car to garage to get the gas refilled.

I do not currently have access to that information. Is the Seat Ibiza similar to any other vehicles? This might allow me to cross reference them?

On other compact cars it typically takes around 2 hours. Does include front bumper cover removal. Does not include the recharge time.

air conditioning condenser

Air Conditioning Condenser Replacement

  1. Recover the refrigerant.
  2. Remove the air cleaner assembly.
  3. Disconnect the radiator inlet and outlet hoses from the radiator.
  4. Remove the engine coolant fan.

1. Air Conditioning Compressor and Condenser Hose Nut (Qty: 1)


Disconnect the air conditioning compressor and condenser hose from the A/C condenser.
Tighten: 10 Y (89 lb in)

2. Air Conditioning Evaporator Hose Assembly Nut to Air Conditioning Condenser (Qty: 1)


Disconnect the air conditioning evaporator hose assembly from the A/C condenser.
Tighten: 10 Y (89 lb in)

3. Radiator Support Mounting Bolt (Qty: 4)

Tip: Rotate the radiator support to tilt the radiator when removing the condenser.
Tighten: 22 Y (16 lb ft)

4. Air Conditioning Condenser

Jun 232017

1997 Buick Lesabre

Do fuel injected cars vapor lock?

After I have been driving my car for a while and I turn the car off, when I go to start my car again it wont start. It’s as if my car is vapor locking (but I didn’t think fuel injection cars can do that or can they?) It’s 114* temp gauge is normal, I have 3/4 tank of gas, my oil gauge is right below 40. I’m guessing either my fuel pump and or fuel filter.

We have created a wonderful no start diagnostic chart to help assist in such an occasion. You will need to determine what the engine is not getting when it is trying to start. A quick test would be to spray some starting fluid in the air filter to see if it tries to run. If it does, then you know it is fuel related for sure.

Vapor Lock

Yes fuel injected engines can vapor lock. It might not be as common as in the old days but non the less it can and does occur. Vapor lock is just air trapped inside the fuel system. Simply removing the gas cap would releive the situation if this is what is happening.

Mar 112017

4 Things an engine needs in order to runMy 2000 Saturn SL2 will crank but wont turn over. I changed fuel pump and filter, crank sensor, ETC sensor, starter, spark plugs are good. A few months ago we changed the ignition coil. Why wont this car start?


4 Things an Engine Needs in order to Run

  1. Spark
  2. Fuel – fuel pressure and fuel injector pulse
  3. Compression
  4. Timing – All of the above at the right time

Knowing the 4 things an engine needs in order to run lets us know what to look for. Or better yet look for whats missing. If you know you have spark you may try spraying starter fluid in the air filter. If the engine tries to run on the starter fluid you know the problem is fuel related. And now you can concentrate on the problem system. When the engine doesn’t want to start on starting fluid the next step would be to confirm no spark at the spark plugs.

Engine still won’t start

I have created a handy no start diagnostic chart for just such an occasion.

Check Engine Light On

Of course if the check engine light is on it would be a benefit to know why. For your vehicle though a scan tool will be needed.



Mar 082017

adjust transmission bands

How do you adjust transmission bands?

Adjust Transmission Bands

Since the band adjuster has a lock-nut it will need to be removed. You will need two wrenches in order to loosen the lock-nut from the band adjuster. Loosen the lock nut off about 4 turns. Now you are able to adjust the band. Spray a bit of WD-40 on the band adjuster to make it easier to turn. Once adjusted make certain to tighten the lock-nut. Repeat on additional bands if needed.

Hydra-Matic Transmission Band Adjustment

Not all transmissions have band adjustments. No band adjustments are necessary or possible on Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions; they use clutches instead of bands.

Ford C-6 Only Intermediate Band Adjustment

  1. Raise the truck on a hoist or jackstands.
  2. Clean all dirt away from the band adjusting screw. Remove and discard the locknut.
  3. Install a new locknut and tighten the adjusting screw to 10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm).
  4. Back off the adjusting screw exactly 1 1 ⁄ 2 turns.
  5. Hold the adjusting screw from turning and tighten the locknut to 35–40 ft. lbs. (47–54 Nm).
  6. Remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.


Automatic Transmission Band Adjustments
Transmission Low Band
Powerglide Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 4 Turns Counterclockwise
 *No external band adjustments on TH350, TH400, 2004R, 700R4.
Transmission Intermediate Band
C6 Tighten to 120 in/lbs
Back Off 4 Turns Counterclockwise
Transmission Intermediate Band  Low-Reverse Band
C4 Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 3/4 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 3 Turns Counterclockwise
C4 w/ Trans-Brake  Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 1/2 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
 *No external band adjustments on AOD.
Transmission Intermediate Band  Low-Reverse Band 

904 StreetFighter® 
Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
Single Wrap Band: Tighten 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 3 1/4 Turns Counterclockwise
Double Wrap Band: Tighten 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 4 Turns Counterclockwise
727 StreetFighter® Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 1/2 Turns Counterclockwise
904, Full Manual Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
727, Full Manual Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 72 in/lbs,
Back Off 2 Turns Counterclockwise
904 w/ Trans-Brake Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 3/4 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 1/2 Turns Counterclockwise
727 w/ Trans-Brake Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 3/4 Turns Counterclockwise
Tighten to 120 in/lbs,
Back Off 1 1/2 Turns Counterclockwise
Jun 022016

2002 Chevy SilveradoWhen my 2002 Cheverolet Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LS is moving the front end rattle badly. When i put in 4wd the rattle is quite a bit quieter however the 4wd does not engage it just makes a clicking sound.  I Know the front end is out of alignment and needs to be realigned , but the rattle noise and 4wd malfunction is new. What could be the problem or problems?


There are many possibilities when it comes to a rattle noise or any noise for that mater. Could be something loose or worn. A hub bearing assembly going out could be at fault. Maybe an axle-shaft or universal joint going bad. Could be internal in the front differential. Possible 4WD actuator issue.

Rattle in front end

Front Drive Axle Description and Operation

Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle Description and Operation

The Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle consist of the following components:

    • Differential Carrier Housing
    • Differential Assembly
    • Output Shafts (Left and Right Side)
    • Inner Axle Shaft Housing
    • Inner Axle Shaft (Right Side)
    • Clutch Fork
    • Clutch Fork Sleeve
    • Electric Motor Actuator

The front axle on Selectable Four Wheel Drive model vehicles uses a central disconnect feature in order to engage and disengage the front axle. When the driver engages the 4WD system, the Transfer Case Control Module sends a signal to the electric motor actuator to energize and extend the plunger inside. The extended plunger moves the clutch fork and clutch fork sleeve across the inner axle shaft and the clutch fork shaft and locks the two shafts together. The locking of the two shafts allows the axle to operate in the same manner as a semi-floating rear axle. A propeller shaft connects the transfer case to the front axle. The differential carrier assembly uses a conventional ring and pinion gear set to transmit the driving force of the engine to the wheels. The open differential allows the wheels to turn at different rates of speed while the axle continues to transmit the driving force. This prevents tire scuffing when going around corners and premature wear on internal axle parts. The ring and pinion set and the differential are contained within the carrier. The axle identification number is located on top of the differential carrier assembly or on a label on the bottom of the right half of differential carrier assembly. The drive axles are completely flexible assemblies consisting of inner and outer constant velocity CV joints protected by thermoplastic boots and connected by a wheel drive shaft.

Full-Time Four Wheel Drive (F4WD) Front Axle Description and Operation

The Full-Time Four Wheel Drive (F4WD) Front Axle consist of the following components:

    • Differential Carrier Housing
    • Differential Assembly
    • Output Shaft (Left Side)
    • Inner Axle Shaft Housing
    • Inner Axle Shaft (Right Side)

The front axle on Full-Time Four Wheel Drive model vehicles does not have a central disconnect feature in order to engage and disengage the front axle. The left and right axle shafts are connected directly to the differential case assembly. This allows the axle shafts and the propeller shaft to spin continuously. The transfer case controls the amount of torque applied to the front axle. The remaining components are the same as the selectable four wheel drive axle.