Monthly Car Care Blog

June 22, 2019

Overheating?

You are out on a summer drive.  It might be a vacation, or just cruising to the store in another town to pick up something, and the engine temperature gauge starts to slowly climb to the "H".

#1 Pull over right away and turn off the engine.  Don't wait to do this.

#2 Open the hood(bonnet) and let the engine cool off for 1/2 hour.

#3 Check to see if you have enough coolant in the engine.  Refer to your owner's manual.

#4 If low, add coolant slowly until full. Check for leaking coolant while doing this.

#5 If no leaks were visible(no coolant running onto the ground), start the engine.

#6 Let the engine warm up(A/C off).  If the temperature gauge does not go past the normal mark,
     start driving.

#7 If the temperature starts to rise again, and you turned on the air conditioner, turn it off and see if         the engine temperature stabilizes in the normal range.  If it goes back to normal, you can keep             driving as long as you don't turn the a/c back on.

#8 If the temperature keeps rising, even with the a/c off, turn on the heater to full hot and open the
     windows.  Note: If the temperature stabilizes you can keep driving but watch the gauge.

#9 With the a/c off, and the heater on full, if the temperature of the engine still does not stabilize,
     turn off the car and repeat from #2.  If you have lost a significant amount of coolant again, try
     to limp to a service shop without overheating it, or call a wrecker.

#10 Under no circumstances, do not drive, if the temperature gauge is in the hot zone.  However,
     if you are escaping from East Germany, to West Germany, it is permissible(an interesting
     story from a customer years ago).  Remind me to tell it sometime.   

   




June 1, 2019

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning

All this humid weather in Kansas is creating a very common problem that is easy to fix.

Water in your fuel tank.

A customer will call me and report their engine is running badly, the check engine light is flashing, or just after they filled with fuel, the engine "jerks", etc.

The first thing I suggest:  Put two bottles of gas line antifreeze in the fuel tank, run it for at least 20 miles, and see if it clears up.

I know, I know, "take two aspirin and call me in the morning."  But, try it first before you have a shop spend a bunch of your money on diagnostics and repairs you don't need.

Here is my over-the-counter speech:

     When a weather front comes through, the high pressure, moisture laden air, gets sucked down the vent tubes for the underground tanks at the convenience store.  The moisture in the air condenses on the walls of the tank, runs down to the bottom(because it is heavier than fuel), and builds up until the alarm goes off in the store to have the contaminated water removed.  The water does not always get removed right away so the water builds up to the point of the fuel suction tube that puts fuel in your vehicle, and you pump a mixture of water and fuel into your tank.  Depending how long the water was left to build up, determines how much water you pump into your tank.  So, once-a-month, put at least one bottle of gas line antifreeze in your fuel tank.  It combines with the water molecules and moves them through as a fuel instead of water.  Thus, preventing engine troubles that seem serious.

Now please understand that the fuel tank in your vehicle condenses moisture as well, naturally.  But moist weather conditions aggravate the normal.  Also letting your vehicle sit around for several weeks without driving it causes more condensation than normal in your vehicle's tank.

So use gas line antifreeze all year round at least once-a-month.  Save yourself repair bills you don't need.

"Take two aspirin and call me in the morning."