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Old 10-23-2012, 07:24 AM   #281
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P.S. I only have about 6 topics remaining in my "library". If there's something else you'd like me to talk about, say so and I'll address if it's a topic I know something about.

I was considering a list of trivia points about cars...sort of a list of little known facts.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:34 AM   #282
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P.S. I only have about 6 topics remaining in my "library". If there's something else you'd like me to talk about, say so and I'll address if it's a topic I know something about.

I was considering a list of trivia points about cars...sort of a list of little known facts.
I'd like to hear more about brakes - it is probably one of your remaining topics. Turn rotors or just replace? How to tell a good new rotor from a bad one. Ceramic vs organic pads. How to keep calipers sliding properly on pins. Change brake fluid and on what interval? Interpreting pad wear.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #283
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I'd like to hear more about brakes - it is probably one of your remaining topics. Turn rotors or just replace? How to tell a good new rotor from a bad one. Ceramic vs organic pads. How to keep calipers sliding properly on pins. Change brake fluid and on what interval? Interpreting pad wear.
ok I'll add it to the list. That'll be one of the longer topics and keep in mind if you're messing with brakes, you're messing with your ability to stop a 3,500 pound vehicle.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #284
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I'd like to hear more about brakes - it is probably one of your remaining topics. Turn rotors or just replace? How to tell a good new rotor from a bad one. Ceramic vs organic pads. How to keep calipers sliding properly on pins. Change brake fluid and on what interval? Interpreting pad wear.
Wow, after looking at your list a bit more...are you studying to be an auto tech? lol.

It will be difficult to describe all that without a full photo writeup. My Honda CRV will need brakes next spring if you're willing to wait.

Seriously though...I'll give you something before that...just realize there are a thousand small details difficult to explain in a forum.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #285
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17. Advice for taking your car to a shop? Don’t ever tell a technician what you want fixed on your car. Their job is to diagnose and fix a symptom.

Wrong: “Please align my car…it needs it.”

Right: “My car has a vibration at 55 mph…can you fix that for me please?”

If you tell the mechanic what to do, and he/she does it, and your symptom remains, you have no one to blame but yourself. Instead of saying “I need a brake job”, say “My brakes are squealing each time I press the pedal, can you look at it and tell me what I need?” See the difference? It’s not always the case that squealing brakes mean you need a brake job…and you may end up spending money unnecessarily.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #286
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ok I'll add it to the list. That'll be one of the longer topics and keep in mind if you're messing with brakes, you're messing with your ability to stop a 3,500 pound vehicle.
Whether you do the work yourself or have it done, you still need to make informed decisions. Is the cheap repair shop giving you Chinese rotors that will warp right away? Should you agree to a brake flush or are you being ripped off? What all tasks should be included in a good brake job - are they just replacing pads and not doing the complete procedure? How do you know if you got good pads?

Saving money on repairs is also about making good choices, as all repairs and replacement parts are not of the same quality.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:35 PM   #287
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Whether you do the work yourself or have it done, you still need to make informed decisions. Is the cheap repair shop giving you Chinese rotors that will warp right away? Should you agree to a brake flush or are you being ripped off? What all tasks should be included in a good brake job - are they just replacing pads and not doing the complete procedure? How do you know if you got good pads?

Saving money on repairs is also about making good choices, as all repairs and replacement parts are not of the same quality.
I'll be sure to include those things.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #288
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17. Advice for taking your car to a shop? Don’t ever tell a technician what you want fixed on your car. Their job is to diagnose and fix a symptom.

Wrong: “Please align my car…it needs it.”

Right: “My car has a vibration at 55 mph…can you fix that for me please?”

If you tell the mechanic what to do, and he/she does it, and your symptom remains, you have no one to blame but yourself. Instead of saying “I need a brake job”, say “My brakes are squealing each time I press the pedal, can you look at it and tell me what I need?” See the difference? It’s not always the case that squealing brakes mean you need a brake job…and you may end up spending money unnecessarily.
Excellent suggestion! Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:22 PM   #289
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Getting ready to take the 2001 Suburban on a 3,000 mi round trip, so took it to the shop and asked out trusted mechanic to make sure it's road worthy.

He recommended replacing the brakes as they are showing wear - 60% on the front, 70% on the back. This will be the first brake job the vehicle has had - I know, 'cuz we 've owned it since it was new.

The vehicle just passed 268,000 miles.

Told him to replace with factory originals, as we're trying to reach 500,000 miles.

So my input on how to save money is get a good vehicle, drive gently, and be VERY lucky
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #290
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Here's a question for you. I live in New England and the road crews typically apply salt to the roads. Some people have their undercarriages coated with oil to prevent rust. I have never done this and it has never been a problem, however I recently moved and am now on a dirt road and noticed that my truck is starting to exhibit signs of undercarriage rust. I'm considering having my car (2008 Subaru) undercoated. What do you think? Good idea or waste of money (costs ~$50-70 once a year or every other year)
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #291
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This one is for the mechanically inclined…and I don’t think a shop would ever do this for you. When you buy a brand new or used car…take a tiny drill bit (perhaps 1/32”), and drill a tiny “weep” hole in the lower edge of the back part of the muffler casing.
Over time you’ll see a small black line running down from this hole…this is the water condensation carrying soot out…and this is normal…it means the hole is working.
I've seen that on the original muffler on our '97 Altima. Thanks. Now I'll have to see if it's on our Priuses.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:59 PM   #292
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Does electricity leak out the exhaust?
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:29 PM   #293
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Whether you do the work yourself or have it done, you still need to make informed decisions. Is the cheap repair shop giving you Chinese rotors that will warp right away? Should you agree to a brake flush or are you being ripped off? What all tasks should be included in a good brake job - are they just replacing pads and not doing the complete procedure? How do you know if you got good pads?

Saving money on repairs is also about making good choices, as all repairs and replacement parts are not of the same quality.
I can't agree more. I do my own repairs. However, by doing my own, I take responsibility for the quality of the parts. Quality varies. If you can't figure the quality of the parts are you sure you trust your labour?

While I think (for most people) finding a good honest shop is a geat idea, I'm not sure it will happen. Let me rephrase that, they are there but hard to find. I've always been able to do my own repairs. I've always been willing to do them if necessary. Mostly it has been necessary. YMMV

This is a bit of an opinionated post from someone who can and does do it himself. You may not have the time, skills or place to do it. If you can, do. It saves a lot. If you can't, don't try. You may end up dead.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #294
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I think the key to doing your own repairs is knowing when you are over your head (or the repair requires an expensive special tool that you don't have) and then turning to a pro.

+1 on the suggestion if you have an issue and take it to the shop to describe the symptoms/problem and not steer the shop as to what repairs are needed.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #295
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I think the key to doing your own repairs is knowing when you are over your head (or the repair requires an expensive special tool that you don't have) and then turning to a pro.
..........
I agree, but was recently surprised by how easy it is to borrow specialized tools. I paid $350 to have an inner tie rod replaced. When the one on the other side went bad, I bought a brand name part for $35 on Amazon and borrowed an inner tie rod tool from the auto parts store (free) and changed out the part in 45 minutes. I will still need an $80 alignment, but the savings were significant.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #296
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Someone told me that using "better" gas with less ethynol (Shell, BP, Citgo) would improve gas mileage. I would love to hear some opinions........
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:47 AM   #297
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IIRC ethanol does produce less energy than gasoline, so an ethanol blend would get lower mileage than pure gasoline. However, the key question is whether benefit of the increase in mileage exceeds the higher cost of pure gasoline compared to an ethanol blend.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:00 PM   #298
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Getting ready to take the 2001 Suburban on a 3,000 mi round trip, so took it to the shop and asked out trusted mechanic to make sure it's road worthy.

He recommended replacing the brakes as they are showing wear - 60% on the front, 70% on the back. This will be the first brake job the vehicle has had - I know, 'cuz we 've owned it since it was new.

The vehicle just passed 268,000 miles.

Told him to replace with factory originals, as we're trying to reach 500,000 miles.

So my input on how to save money is get a good vehicle, drive gently, and be VERY lucky
Come on! you got to account for all the shoe leather you went thru dragging your feet instead of using your brakes!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #299
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I am willing to bet that I will never need to replace the brakes in my motorhome. As it is driven mostly outside of cities and with speed maintained as constant as possible for better gas mileage, its brakes are used much less than in normal cars.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by EllisWyatt View Post
Getting ready to take the 2001 Suburban on a 3,000 mi round trip, so took it to the shop and asked out trusted mechanic to make sure it's road worthy.

He recommended replacing the brakes as they are showing wear - 60% on the front, 70% on the back. This will be the first brake job the vehicle has had - I know, 'cuz we 've owned it since it was new.

The vehicle just passed 268,000 miles.

Told him to replace with factory originals, as we're trying to reach 500,000 miles.

So my input on how to save money is get a good vehicle, drive gently, and be VERY lucky

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Come on! you got to account for all the shoe leather you went thru dragging your feet instead of using your brakes!

I've never heard of 268,000 miles on a set of brakes. Even with a high % of highway, and downshifting, that's a lot.

So why get them replaced at 60%/70% worn? Even with a 10% buffer, an added 20% wear would get you another 53,000 miles. Your 3,000 mile trip is nothing.

-ERD50
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