Iridium Spark Plug
Can increased spark plug maintenance intervals put people out of work? We live in a changing world and sometimes we don’t realize what a big impact seemingly small changes have in our lives. When I got into the auto repair business there was plenty of work to go around. This has changed drastically over the last 2 decades. Maintenance intervals have increased and the car doesn’t need as much attention as it use to.
Today I’m going to talk about spark plug maintenance in particular but you could also add to the list of things that changed the automotive maintenance business, synthetic engine oil, extended life anti-freeze, new transmission technology requiring less fluid and filter changes and direct ignition systems that did away with the distributor cap and rotor.
But let’s talk about spark plugs. When you get right down to it a spark plug provides an electrical lightning bolt that ignites the air fuel mixture in the combustion chamber on command. Voltage surges supplied from the coil travel down spark plug wires to the correct plug. Continue reading
Actron 9580 snapshot scan tool
I get a few questions about using snapshot mode on automotive scanners. It is one of the features I use often when the diagnosis is getting complicated. It’s one of my favorite features of the tool because it can also be useful in pinpointing intermittent car problems that can be difficult to find using other reliable methods.
Let’s say you have an intermittent problem that is caused by a loose or corroded electrical connection to an automotive sensor. The problem turns on the check engine light or causes an issue when the vehicle hits a bump or slams a pothole in the road. The automotive scanner with a snapshot mode can provide data for diagnosis.
Information from the data stream can be reviewed right before and after the vehicle hits the bump or pothole. I have written some reviews of automotive scanners in several price ranges and a few of them are capable of taking these diagnostic snapshots of the data stream. When it comes to Diy auto mechanics it seems that this feature is underutilized.
The automotive computer is your friend Continue reading
Cadillac SRX Tires
There are lots of places to go to get answers to automobile tire questions. If you have just read that last sentence I’m hoping that I will get a chance to provide some information to you. As a certified master technician I know a lot about the subject. God I love writing about tires. The way the rubber smells when there freshly manufactured, the little nubs on the treads ( Sorry).
I also recently replaced the original equipment tires on my 2009 Cadillac SRX. Not only are the tires expensive but the vehicle only had about 27,000 miles. The whole ordeal was unexpected and expensive. On my vehicle the rear tires are a different size than the front ones. This prevents rotating them on a regular basis (thanks Cadillac). Due to weight distribution and the steering action of the front axle, tire rotation can actually reduce the overall wear therefore extending the life of the tread.
People often ask me including (very cheap) family members when should I replace tires. Continue reading
Big Block Working Engine Model
It’s no accident that I became a mechanic in the auto repair business. It all started with my first big block model engine project. My father bought me this kit when I was about 8 years old. He wanted me to learn how things worked. He thought that it would be an important life skill to be able to fix things including my own car when I was older.
My Mother tells people a different story. She says he pushed me into being a mechanic so he could get his cars fixed for free. Not sure if my Mom was right but it did work out that way. In fact I not only fix the cars of the entire family for parts cost only but I also replaced the engine in my Dads 26 foot boat. So it worked out well for him.
The same exact 1/4 scale big block model engines kit that dad bought me is still available today. I wrote a detailed review for the model engine kit by Revell for the you fix cars website if you’re interested in something like that. Note that it can be challenging to put together and is recommended for humans over the age of 12. Continue reading
Car Auction People
People who follow my websites have probably seen my articles on how to buy auction cars. I have written several posts on this subject primarily on Auto-Facts.org Since that location now has hundreds of pages of content the really good articles about the car auctions subject have gotten buried in the massive amounts of automotive information available there.
Friends and longtime followers are familiar with my history in the auto repair business but might forget when it comes to auctions I not only attend events, purchased automobiles but also my prior work experience as a management level employee for some of the larger companies.
Since I am familiar with all angles of the process and like to talk about the subject I decided to share some important tips on how to buy auction cars with visitors to the auto repair information blog. One of the most exciting things about auction day to me when I was buying cars was the very real chance to get a genuine bargain.
Auction car buyer beware
1987 Chevy Turbo Sprint
This past weekend I went to a local car show and saw a weird 80s car that an ex-girlfriend of mine owned. It was a 1987 Chevrolet turbo Sprint. This was her first new car and was one of only two years that you could buy an intercooled three cylinder engine in the 1600 pound car.
In 1987 intercooled turbochargers were brand-new to the car market and General Motors was installing them on the legendary Buick Grand National. Although regular turbochargers had been around and available on older GM cars the intercooled version was new automotive technology to us. It allowed for higher boost pressures and overall better performance due to intercooling.
When she let me drive the car I realized that this roller skate was something special. I wasn’t sure how special until a guy at work said my girlfriend’s car is faster than your girlfriend’s car. To a mechanic in the auto repair business this is a glove slap to the face. So I said oh yeah, how would you like to put your money where your mouth is. He said I’ll meet you at Atco Raceway for the Friday night Street night event and we’ll see whose girlfriend has the faster ride.
Weird 80s car drag races