Actually no! The major difference between cylinder heads for engines designed for leaded and no lead fuel is valve seat hardness. To make a proper no-lead fuel engine the valve seats must be hardened to resist recession. This did not universally happen at GM until 1973.

If you think about it valve seats take a real beating in all engines. As the valves are pulled shut by the valve springs they bang against the valve seats. To visualize this, strike the anvil portion of your bench vise with a steel hammer. You will hear a distinct metal on metal ringing sound as the hammer hits the vise and you will see a tiny dent in the anvil where the hammer struck. For comparison take an old lead wheel weight and position it on top of the spot where you hit your vise and hit the lead weight with the same hammer. This time you’ll hear a dull thud rather than a metal on metal clang. This time there will be no dent in the vise either. Read More

Weather turns and tires

No matter where you live this could be the El Nino winter for the history books. North south east and west the weather people are calling for more snow, more rain and colder temperatures. Of course not all conditions for everyone but probably something not nice and possibly dangerous for just about every part of the country. So now would be the time to prepare for what lies ahead. Even though it may not materialize for some or all of us in my world it is far better to be prepared and not need it than not be prepared and need it.

So let’s start with one of the most important parts of cars when the weather turns; tires! What you need for tires will depend on the type of weather you get where you live. If you get snow or even a lot of days where the temperature is at freezing or below you probably need winter tires. Yes the temperature is as important as snow and ice because temperature causes huge changes in the way tires grip the pavement. So if you call winter tires “snow tires”, don’t. They aren’t snow tires, they are winter tires and they are designed to do a lot more than help you get moving in snow. The other thing with winter tires is they may be highly beneficial even where there is zero snowfall. The rubber in tires is a complex concoction of rubber and other chemicals blended to make the tire grip, wear well, shed water, ride smooth, etc. But no one tire can do everything the best so most tires are designed to do all things in a middling manner. Not great at anything and usually not terrible at anything except cold weather traction. Read More

Winter storage for your car

The days are getting grayer, the hours of sunlight are waning and that means it’s getting closer to time to give our toys a rest. A long winter’s nap as it were. If you have a car you don’t drive in the winter it will soon be time to prep it for its nap.

There are two types of winter storage: first is where you still drive the car on nice days and second where you don’t drive it at all until spring. If you simply don’t drive the car as much things are much simpler. Begin by keeping the fuel tank full and treating the fuel with a stabilizer like Sta Bil, Stor and Start or similar products. We like BG Products Ethanol Defender kit. Good places to find many of your storage products are marine and farm supply stores as both are involved with seasonal equipment. Read More

These showing what a technician has to do to replace the A/C Evaporator.

This vehicle was a 2007  Dodge Magnum RT.

Smooth Ride

Complaints about cars shaking at speed have increased ten- fold in the last few years mostly due to new suspension designs. Today tires wheels and suspensions are designed to work as an integrated system. But this only works when tire and wheel assemblies are perfectly round and roll smoothly. So tires must be properly balanced and must not have excessive rolling resistance. If a tire has a hard spot in its tread it will never roll smoothly no matter how many times it’s balanced.

The secret to making a tire roll smoothly is offsetting the imperfections in the tire to the imperfections in the wheel using a process called match mounting. Never heard of it? Neither have many technicians. Match mounting involves rotating the tire on the wheel so the high or heavy spot of the tire is matched to the low or light spot of the wheel. This requires a balancing machine that measures these factors and checks for stiff spots in the tire’s tread. The machine tells the technician how to rotate the tire around the wheel for smoothest ride.

So before spending money on an old-school run-of- the-mill wheel-balancing job remember you’ll get a smoother ride if you seek out a high-tech hunter road force balancer.

Stay tuned we’ll be right back.

Clean Cars

You’ll feel better about driving a clean car plus good looking cars are always worth more money. Part of what makes a car feel old is the general layer of crud that builds up over time. Let the car go too long and it may be nearly impossible to make it look good again. It’s fun to watch someone as they see their cruddy car for the first time after it has been detailed. Some drivers don’t even recognize their own car because it looks so different cleaned up. Read More

Be Seen

As daylight gets shorter it’s more important that your car can be seen so all its lights must work properly. Checking takes two people and some distance. Stand back from the car about fifty feet while a helper operates the lights. The distance is so you can see differences in brightness that isn’t visible up close. If one light is less bright than its companion check the bulb to make sure it’s the proper type. Many bulbs will physically interchange but the watts of light they produce is different. Read More

Power To Weight

When buying a car most drivers look for more power but they rarely consider two even more iportant performance factors. Just buying horsepower doesn’t guarantee a great feeling or performing car. More important are — – power to weight ratio and torque. Power to weight ratio has a huge effect on how a car performs. Read More

Q.  I’m working on my C5 year 2000. Check engine light came on diagnosed with MAF sensor, having trouble removing on air filter section. Any Ideals

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My transmission will not stay in overdrive.

Q.  My transmission will not stay in overdrive. It has gotten more sensitive over time. Originally it would kick out of overdrive with fast acceleration or by using rocker switch. Is there an adjustment for this?

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