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Monthly Archives: December 2011

When the Wheels Come Off

From time to time we see vehicles at the side of the road resting on the steering and suspension with a wheel missing. It looks terrible, but in most cases it is not as bad as it looks. Wheels can come off for a number of reasons, but the most common is that the lug nuts holding the wheel in place are not properly tightened. Those lug nuts have a specified tightness, called a torque specification, to which they are to be tightened. Most of us use a special wrench (torque wrench) which measures how tight the nut has been placed to hold the wheel. Some people use what is known as a torque stick that fits on the end of a wrench and accomplishes the same thing. Either way, it is important that whenever a wheel is removed for any reason, it should be torqued down rather than being just randomly having the lug nuts wrenched on. There are a number of reasons a car or truck should have the lug nuts torqued. Most important, is safety. If the nuts are not tight enough, they can come unscrewed an ... read more

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Hello Winter! But what about our trusty steeds? I have some tips that you may find helpful in this really cold weather. When starting a really cold car or truck, turn on the defroster right away and let it gradually heat up the windshield as the engine warms the coolant. This will prevent small chips and dings from becoming huge cracks. Make sure the antifreeze in your vehicle is good to -37F which is the equivalent of a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. You can purchase a 50/50 mix these days at all places that sell antifreeze, from NAPA, Carquest, to The Zone (Autozone), O’Reilly Auto Parts (Formerly Checker), Kmart, Target or Walmart. Be careful when adding that antifreeze to a hot engine, do it slowly. Keeping your tank filled or with a substantial amount of gasoline will prevent gas line freeze ups by keeping small amounts of water that accumulate in the tank on the bottom of the tank. Make sure your spark plugs are clean or new so that you will get a full spark on the ... read more

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