Hitting Curbs and Potholes

Winter brings more hazards for driving. The freeze/thaw cycle wreaks havoc on pavement, causing cracks and potholes to form, which can cause big problems with today’s low profile tires. The snow and slick conditions also make it easier to slide into a curb and damage your tire, wheel, or worse.

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Opinion: Customer Declined Service

Fixing cars is a business. That means we have to make money. Often that means we have to try to sell work to the customer besides what they came in for. This can lead to mechanics getting a bad rap and being accused of selling unnecessary work, but I think most mechanics are honest and what they try to sell you is what your car really needs. Unfortunately for us, a lot of times the customers decline the extra work. I understand. They came in to get work done, planned on spending a certain amount, and may not have the money to get the extra work done.

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My Truck: Burnt Out Starter Solenoid

I recently purchased a 1990 Ford F-250 for cheap, and as expected, it’s been an ongoing project. On a recent Saturday I was in a Walmart parking lot picking up a toolbox locker from Craigslist, and when I went to leave, my battery wasn’t strong enough to start the engine, and the starter wouldn’t stop trying to start it. First I thought it was the jury-rigged push-button start that was stuck, but that wasn’t it. The only other option was that the starter solenoid had gotten stuck in the on position. I was able to get a jump start from somebody, but had to figure out how to turn off the stuck solenoid.

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Opinion: Following Directions or Intuition

This is a question I don’t think there’s a definite answer for. When performing a repair, should you take the time to look up and follow the instructions, or should you just follow your intuition? A lot of the time I like to look up the directions, because sometimes my intuition leads me wrong and I end up taking apart more stuff than I have to. On the other hand, sometimes following the repair manual leads to taking apart more stuff than I have to because it doesn’t know about shortcuts that you can take, so sometimes you need a balance of the two.

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Toyota Oil Filter Wrench

I worked on Toyotas for almost two years, but now I work on Hondas. Despite this, I still use my Toyota oil filter wrench almost daily.

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My Car: Plans for 2018

It’s a new year! I didn’t do so well at accomplishing my goals for my car last year, but this year I think I can do it. Here’s what I have planned.

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My Car: 2017 Report Card

Early in the year I posted a list of the repairs, modifications, and activities I wanted to accomplish with my 97 Honda Civic during 2017.

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