In Goss’ Garage
by Pat Goss
If you have a late model car it probably has some very sophisticated safety features. Things like parking aids, blind spot monitoring, autonomous braking with pedestrian recognition, anti-lock braking, traffic signal recognition, adaptive high beam assist, lane keeping assist and maybe even radar cruise control.
These are all wonderful systems that can help you avoid accidents, but did you know that unless these systems work properly, they can give you false information and cause an accident. Not good but that begs the question, how do you keep them working properly? More to the point, how would they get out of calibration so they would lie to you? There are many ways, and you might be driving a car with a problem right now.
First you must consider how most of these systems work. Usually mounted under the plastic shield that surrounds the attachment of the inside rearview mirror is one or more cameras. These cameras look out at the white lines on the sides of the lanes and send a signal to the car’s computer telling it where you’re positioned within those lines. Or they look straight ahead and report on the things they see within your path. Some will be on one or both outside mirrors and look for vehicles in your blind spot and post a picture on your center video display.
Then come the radar sensors that are mounted in the grill or front bumper and the sonar type sensors mounted in the bumpers and lots more on some cars. All these cameras and sensors must know their position relative to the rest of the car to work properly. So, you get that crack in your windshield and it has to be replaced and guess what, the new windshield does not come with a camera. That means the camera or cameras mounted to the inside of the old windshield must be transferred to the new windshield.
Sounds simple enough but the cameras are mounted in plastic holders that may not be precisely glued to the inside of the new windshield. Because of allowable tolerances in manufacturing every time a windshield is replaced the calibration of the cameras has to be checked. On some cars the system will perform its own calibration but on most you will have to have the calibration done with a special machine. That machine is called an ADAS calibration machine. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Okay so ADAS must be calibrated after a new windshield has been installed but that’s not all. In most cases the systems will need calibration when the car has been involved in an accident or fender bender, often after bumper cover replacement and in some cases after outside mirror replacement and the list goes on.
The big thing here is that you need to be aware of the systems your car has and what services they may need and when they need those services. If you cut corners or the shop fixing your car cuts corners you could wind up with an unsafe vehicle.
Consider you have your windshield replaced and the ADAS calibration is not performed which could leave you with a lane keeping system that is out of calibration relative to the lane marking lines at the center and edge of the road. You have become accustomed to the system keeping you between the lines and now instead of doing that it steers you off the road. Or how about failure to calibrate your blind spot monitoring system? You’re on the Interstate moving along with traffic (literal interpretation, moving very fast) and need to make a lane change. Over the time you’ve owned your car you have become accustomed to the system warning you when there is a car in your blind spot but this time it doesn’t because it’s calibration is off. Any idea how bad the accident can be at high speed when you try to change lanes and the back quarter of your vehicle hits the front quarter of another vehicle. It’s an easy way for people to get very hurt or worse.
My point here is that all this new safety equipment is wonderful but there is a learning curve that goes with it and included in that learning curve should be an understanding of what systems you have and what questions to ask if your car needs repair.
If you would like to see an example of the equipment needed to calibrate ADAS systems, feel free to stop by our Lanham MD shop and we’ll be happy to show you our brand-new system.
Copywrite 03/22/2021 Pat Goss all rights reserved.
Dear Goss’ Garage Client:
We here at Goss’ Garage have spent days learning about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it’s impacting us all.
For Goss’ Garage, that means trying to understand how it affects our team, clients, and community, and then adjusting our operations to help keep everyone safe.
As conscientious citizens, we have one basic objective: keeping you, our team and our community safe. Safety is at the heart of our readiness planning. We know that many of you
have upcoming appointments with us and we want to ensure that you have a great and safe visit as usual.
At our shops, we have made several adjustments in response to the threat of COVID-19. Some of these may impact the way we interact with you and we ask for your patience and understanding
in this matter.
We are following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus.
We have increased our cleaning and disinfecting procedures and will be wiping down / disinfecting your steering wheel, door handle and arm rest after we finish your repair.
If our team seems less friendly than usual, it’s because we have asked our employees to practice social distancing and refrain from socially acceptable touching of any kind, including handshakes, for everyone’s safety.
If you don’t feel well or do not want to visit our shop unless necessary, you can always contact us by phone to discuss your car’s problem and we can determine the best course of action together.
You have the option to drop off your car without stepping foot into the shop. To take advantage of this, please complete our drop off form found in the night drop on the front of the building then call us (301-577-9200) and we’ll come to you in the lot, to accept your vehicle.
If you would feel more comfortable, until things settle down and everyone knows what the next best step is we will be happy to come to you and pick up your car and deliver it back to you after the work is complete. This is a no-charge service. We do have to restrict how far we can travel to come to you but call us at 301-577-9200 to see if you qualify and to schedule your work and free concierge pick up. Yes, special prices will still be in effect.
by Pat Goss
So you want some racy cross-drilled or slotted brake rotors? But do you really? After learning the pros and cons of glamour rotors
most drivers decide not to spend the extra money. The positives of slotted and cross drilled rotors are mostly great looks when the car
is standing still. They may also have some advantages at the track — but even that’s limited because slotted and drilled rotors have
more negatives then positives when used with modern ceramic based brake pads.
Specialty rotors do not make a car stop in a shorter distance because what actually controls how well a car stops is its tires. As long as
the brakes can lock up they’re doing all brakes can do. Drilled and slotted rotors may actually increase stopping distances because
they reduce the contact area between the pads and the rotor surface. More holes less rotor surface for the pads to grab. But do the
holes help dissipate heat? No!
The rotor is a metal heat sink that dissipates braking heat. Drill holes in the rotor and you reduce the amount of metal to absorb and
dissipate heat. More holes less heat transfer. Some say the holes create air cooling — WRONG! Metal transfers a lot more heat than
air. So — if you want the look buy drilled or slotted rotors but don’t buy them thinking your car will automatically stop better.
© Copyright 08/19/16 Pat Goss all rights reserved
Okay, I’ve done it again. I’ve pissed off a bunch of you self righteous, think you know it all car people! But then, I seem to have a knack for doing that lately. Like David who called my story about using the proper oil “pathetic”. He says and I quote “good, better and best. Are you kidding? If an engine block is made of iron you use conventional, if the block is aluminum you use synthetic.” That’s so utterly ridiculous that I thought it was a prank, but he was serious / called me pathetic. There actually are three general quality-levels of engine oil and they have nothing to do with what metal the engine is made of. Conventional which is good, synthetic blend which is better than conventional, and full synthetic which gives the best protection — good — better — best. Although he was totally wrong he was nasty and disrespectful. Oh well, then there were the folks who are in love with the oil that begins with “a-m” who showed all kinds of hate because i didn’t use a bottle of their oil. Hey “a-m” oil people do you really think nasty comments and threats will make me recommend your oil in the future? I guarantee it won’t!
Oh, and let’s not forget those nasty, non-thinking people who trashed my tire rotation video…what a mess. Seems i’m an idiot, moron, fool, fake, and a criminal. A criminal? Really? Come on folks, it’s just tire rotation! There is an old myth about tires that says you can’t switch a radial tire from one side of the car to the other side because the tire will turn in the opposite direction, which will cause it to blow out and possibly kill you. One nut-job even said I ought to be put in jail for endangering people’s lives. Anyway, about that myth, it started back in the seventies when Firestone had an issue with internal corrosion of the steel belts in one of their tire models. The belts corroded and ultimately caused tire failure. But, because rotating the tires did cause the already weakened belts to separate more quickly most people assumed rotation was the cause. Although this myth has been proven wrong time and time again it still lives on in the minds of drivers and technicians alike. But, it’s false and always has been false, it was a tire issue not a rotation issue. So, if you want to get the longest life out of your tires rotate them using the modified “x” pattern every six thousand to seventy-five hundred miles. On front wheel drive cars move the right rear to the left front, the left rear to the right front and the two fronts move to the back but on the same side of the car, the rear wheel drive pattern is reversed. No, this is not my idea it’s from the people who make tires. So, use your brain, think about it, if rotation causes huge numbers of tire failures and kills people do you really think tire manufacturers would recommend it? Yeah, didn’t think so. All this insanity begs two questions. Why is common sense no longer common and when did people become so damn mean and hateful? For more car tips, tricks and money saving ideas check out more of www.goss-garage.com.
© Copyright 03/16/17 Pat Goss all rights reserved,
Every week I get oil questions like, the guy who changes my oil says I should be using thicker oil in my car. I trust him, but I don’t know about this advice. What should I do? It seems far too many people who change oil know more than the engineers who design engines. These morons keep telling drivers to use thicker oil for better protection. But, better protection doesn’t come from thicker or thinner oil. It comes from the right oil the engine was designed to use.
Don’t be a moron and do it because two morons don’t make a genius. Changing oil, no matter how many times anyone does it, won’t magically morph them from oil changer to oil engineer or chemist. Nor will changing oil teach anyone the steps used in a refinery to change crude oil or synthetics into something that can protect the parts inside your engine. This means protection during cold starts, blazing hot days in traffic, and every situation in between. Sadly, changing oil will not make a tech into a metallurgist that can study the amount of expansion of engine parts as it heats up. Nope, changing oil or even repairing engines won’t give anyone the knowledge necessary to make recommendations to switch from the oil recommended by the manufacturer to something not recommended by the manufacturer.
The primary job of oil in an engine is to keep moving parts from touching one another. This is done by means of a thin film of oil in gaps between parts that keep them from touching. But, heres the rub, as engines have become more precise due to sophisticated computer controlled machining….the space or gap for this film of oil has become smaller.This means these engines need thinner oil to pass through those smaller gaps and still provide the film of oil necessary to keep parts from touching. Also, nearly all engines these days have variable valve timing which works off oil pressure. Changing to a thicker oil changes the pressure needed to move oil through the engine. That increase in oil pressure can confuse the car’s computer…which controls the variable valve timing leading to lowered performance, lower gas mileage, or in some cases even a check engine light. Bottom line, changing oil or repairing cars does not give anyone (myself included) the knowledge to determine if a change in oil thickness will be good/bad/indifferent for an engine.
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. The manufacturer has spent millions in testing and engineering to determine the right oil for your car. Did the person changing your oil spend millions of dollars to develop their suggestion or is it just mental fantasy or outdated wacko bull? Unless the vehicle manufacturer issues a bulletin telling you to do something different, always use the oil recommended in your owner’s manual. Very few people are smarter than the engineers who designed the engine and typically they won’t be changing your oil.
Just when I think i’ve seen it all, something more amazingly stupid comes along. Oh…Hell no…not politics, car stuff. Like the driver who hit a metal grate and gouged a pork-chop size slab of rubber out of a tire. The four inch by nearly half inch thick chunk was hanging by a small thread of rubber, and the tire’s inner steel belts were plainly visible behind the cut. Anyone could see the tire was totally unsafe to drive on.
It’s what we call a will-pop because, drive on it and it will pop. But, the not so smart driver apparently didn’t want to put on his spare, so a quick internet search found a solution. Yep glue, one of those super strong glues that look so good in commercials. But, they rarely work in real life. Why not glue it? In the commercial, two drops of the sticky stuff will lift an elephant. So, a whole tube…or ten should easily hold the tire together…or not! The tire quickly came apart. Fortunately, it blew out before the car reached any significant speed so no one was hurt.
Then there’s the car that came into the shop with a broken timing belt, and damaged engine. There was nylon material wound around the crankshaft pulley in such a way that it broke the car’s timing belt. Seems the owner had read that you can temporarily replace a broken fan belt with twisted and tied pantyhose. REALLY? How dumb can one person be? There are thousands of these lunatic ideas out there, so please folks…show you have more smarts than an inspired earthworm.
Not going racing, but want a more enjoyable car for commuting? Then concentrate on things that make you feel good, but use restraint. Huge horsepower for commuting makes zero sense, but a great sounding exhaust and intake system with nice tires and wheels would make most drivers feel better about their commute. But, make sure you buy a quality — legal exhaust system as you still have to pass emissions, plus you don’t ugly sound of mufflers that fall apart from vibration.
Speaking of sound, some cheap exhaust systems can be really annoying due to droning inside the car. Cold air intakes must not allow water to enter the engine and, on tire and wheel combinations, seriously consider tire profile. You see the bigger your wheel, the smaller the sidewall of the tires, and for a daily driver that can be a problem. If you drive in areas with rough roads or potholes, tires with very small sidewalls can lead to repeated tire and wheel failures. When a tire hits the edge of a bump or pothole, the tire has to compress to absorb all the force of the impact. This causes excessive energy to be transferred into the wheel, cracking or bending it. Those same forces can also pinch the tire, causing bubbles to form on the side of the tire. Some restraint when modifying a car prevents problems in the future.
I think there may be more fake stories about cars then politics. Myths like, buy a used car and all you’re getting is someone else’s problems. That’s pure garbage. I don’t know if that ever was true, but I do know it isn’t true today. Sure, some used cars are dogs, but many late model used cars are creampuffs due to leasing.
Lots of Drivers lease their new cars to get a lower payment or tax advantage. The typical lease is three years and comes with very strict requirements for maintenance and appearance care. When these cars are turned back in at the end of the lease, the great ones usually become certified pre-owned or C-P-O cars. CPO cars are generally good deals, because they’re thoroughly checked out. Someone else has also paid the big, or in many cases, huge initial depreciation hit for you! Plus, CPO’s have a warranty that may be better than the new car warranty. You also still save some money!
On a three year old luxury or near-luxury CPO, you might save twenty to forty percent or more compared to new. You can choose between paying less money or the same money and step up to a higher level of car. Of course, always get a Carfax vehicle history report, have any car checked from bumper to bumper by a qualified technician before you buy. But do it right, and you will be driving a car where someone else paid your initial depreciation for you. Now that’s smart!
Second location now open!
Easily located at 1101 State Route 3 (Click here for map) in Gambrills/Crofton, MD 21054.
ASE Master Technician Anthony Weber has partnered with Pat Goss, to bring Goss’ Garage to your area!
We’d love to see you, stop by and say hi and see the new shop firsthand!
Call 410-451-4677 (GOSS) to make your appointment
Thank you so much for being with us on this wonderful journey,
and for continuing to be part of Goss’ Garage.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Lately, our weather has been kinda goofy. Warm and raining during the day, then freezing over night. That cycle can create annoying car problems that might cause you to damage your car. Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts to help avoid costly damage.
Don’t ignore the rubber weather strip around your doors and windows. In rain then freeze cycles, water can get between the rubber and the body of the car…and then freeze! Then, when you are trying to open the door, it is frozen shut. So, you yank on the door to get it open, because you need to get to work. In the process, you damage the rubber or in many cases break the plastic (and now brittle) door handle. You can avoid both issues by using silicone lubricant on the rubber to keep it soft, and to keep ice from sticking to it.
Another disastrous thing many of you do is to use hot water to try to thaw frozen doors and windows. Not smart, because inside a modern car door are electronics that can be damaged by the thermal shock of hot water on cold parts. Another don’t do it is, heat a key to try to thaw a frozen lock. Even though the key may look like an ordinary key but it probably isn’t. This is because most keys today have electronic transponders embedded in them, and heating can kill the electronics. It’s best to prevent frozen locks by using graphite lock lubricant to keep moisture out. No moisture…No Freeze… No Issue! A bit of preparation can save a lot of cold morning grief!