March 16, 2015

How quickly we forget

Several older customers of mine, in recent months, have bought a much older vehicle with a carburetor because they miss the "old" machine and it's looks.

I have had basically the same report from each of them, "This engine doesn't start very well in the morning."

I have reminded them they are not driving a fuel injected vehicle.  "Remember to pump the foot feed while cranking the engine.  Then stay with the car for about 5 minutes and nurse it until it stays running on it's own."

In the "old days", if the engine was in good shape, and the carburetor was tuned properly, you would pump the gas pedal once all the way to the floor, let it up, then push it halfway to the floor and crank the engine.  The engine should then start and run and you could let up on the pedal.  It would run at a higher speed for about 5 minutes and then you could pump the gas again and let it up, and the engine would idle down to the right speed.

We have all forgotten warming up that cold engine on some January morning.  Now we pick up our remote starter on our key chain by the coffee maker, point it out the window at the car, and push the button.  Our car starts and we think nothing about it but keep eating breakfast.


  1. It is interesting to see how far we have come in advancement of vehicles. As a busy college student sometimes I forget to heat up my car because I would be in a rush for class. This never ends well. Are there other ways to heat my car besides turning it on for a few minutes? auto repair services

    1. Yes. There is one good way to do it but you would need an electrical outlet close to where the vehicle is parked. You could have a "block heater" installed in the engine. On cold winter nights before you turn in for the night, plug the block heater into the outlet. Up north where I grew up, some institutions would have outlets at every parking place. Drive to work, plug in the block heater, go to work 8 hours when the weather is below zero, but your car would start at the end of the day, and get warmer faster than starting from -10 degrees. If you are only driving several blocks or just a mile or two it is hard on your vehicle in cold or warm weather because the vehicle never gets a chance to warm up good and get a good exercise. If you are driving enough miles to warm the engine up good it does not hurt the engine to start and run it without warming it up.

  2. This is really funny! I restore cars a lot, and I still forget to warm it up. I like your tip in the comment section about warming up the car without leaving it running. That sometimes isn't feasible if you're in the garage.