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Old 10-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Good point!

The Electronic Body Control Module in my corvette could be caused by a corroded ground or corroded connector. I was getting sporadic warnings on the dash, but continuous warnings after the most recent car wash. So I'm going to check connections first. Also going to try to check battery voltage - the module needs full battery voltage to,operate properly. So I'm going to try these 2 things before I yank out the module.
Battery voltage should be around 12.7 or so when the car is not running, and typically is around 14.2 when it is running.

Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #82
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Oh, and automatic trans cars are harder on brakes than manual trans cars. Why? Well, at a traffic light you have to (ok, well you don't HAVE to, but most people do) keep your foot on the brake or the car moves forward...thus you are keeping heat in the rotors. With a manual trans, you can (at least on a flat road), take your foot off the brake when you stop, thus the rotors cool more/quicker....reducing brake wear.

I did brake jobs for about 8-9 years...averaged 2 jobs/day...and on average a manual trans car would go about 20% further on a set of brakes based on what I saw.
Although I would rather drive a stick shift car I do have an automatic at this point. Mostly because DW likes to jump into my car when she has to move hers and she can't drive stick. Anyway, I have always had a habit of putting my car in neutral at a stop light. I always thought that this would not only give the brakes a chance to cool but also stop some wear in the transmission and also give it a chance to cool a bit.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #83
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Sweet cars. Thanks for the pix Finance Dave.

My only tip is to keep your car a long time (assuming it's not too expensive to keep it going). We have two Hondas, one is 15 years old, the other is 11 years old, and they are solid, reliable, cheap transportation. Only carry collision and comprehensive since the cars have a low book value. My son is a mechanic and does most of the maintenance on the cars for us (brakes, oil, filters, etc.) We don't change the timing belt or water pump ourselves. 15 year old is on its second new timing belt/water pump (every 7 years). Those are our daily drivers. For my midlife crisis car I have a Porsche Cayman....I love the muscle cars but I also love my baby Porsche.
My everyday car is a 2002 Honda CRV. I live in a small town, so don't drive many miles...it has 75,000 miles on it. It's been a great car, although I did have a few items to fix this year...but as of the past month it's been running like a brand new car.

This year I've:
1) Put a new belt on the engine...the old one was rusty and glazed...squealing
2) Re-set the valves. Although Honda says you never need to do this, I did because I heard some slight valve ticking (wife swears she couldn't hear it...but us gearheads are tuned into every noise). I was discouraged when I found the intakes were only off by .002" on average, and the exhausts only .003"...as this did not seem far enough off to cause any noise...but I re-set them anyway and reassembled. I was astonished how much quieter the car is.
3) Had a popping noise going over small curbs. Turned out it was a shaft in the seat adjustment mechanism...took the seat out and made a tiny shim to fit, fixed it.
4) I had a severe rattling noise under the car...sounded like exhaust. Sure enough, the converter heat sheild is a double-layer steel cover that's spot welded in 4 corners, and one had broken. I could have welded it back...but I don't have a welder...and the rest of it was rusting...so I bought a new one. Now it's quiet as can be.
5) Brake pedal felt "sticky"...squirted some teflon lube around where the pedal goes into the booster under the dash...problem fixed.

Total in parts for the above was around $350. Labor time was about 10 hours...mostly the valve job...which is a bit involved. But, hopefully I'm good for another 1-2 years except for oil changes, wax jobs, etc.


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Old 10-01-2012, 11:01 PM   #84
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Sweet cars. Thanks for the pix Finance Dave.

My only tip is to keep your car a long time (assuming it's not too expensive to keep it going). We have two Hondas, one is 15 years old, the other is 11 years old, and they are solid, reliable, cheap transportation. Only carry collision and comprehensive since the cars have a low book value. My son is a mechanic and does most of the maintenance on the cars for us (brakes, oil, filters, etc.) We don't change the timing belt or water pump ourselves. 15 year old is on its second new timing belt/water pump (every 7 years). Those are our daily drivers. For my midlife crisis car I have a Porsche Cayman....I love the muscle cars but I also love my baby Porsche.
Never driven a Caymen, but I drove MANY Porsches back in the mid '80s (it's a long story), and the 911 from those days was one of the sweetest cars I've ever driven.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:03 PM   #85
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With an older/higher mileage car there's going to be more blow-by past the rings and that means more combustion by-products building up in the oil (whether it's synthetic or not). I'm not driving as much anymore, so I change the oil in my well-used Camry in the fall (to 5W30) and in the spring (to 10W40). Plain 'ol conventional Castrol. I'm changing it at about 3K miles or less, but oil and filters are fairly cheap and engine work is expensive. New oil gets me all the other additives (antirust, antisludging/detergent, lubricity, etc) that can be especially important in a car that isn't run very much and is often used for short trips so the engine may not get up to optimum temps.
Ah, using different viscosities based on the temperatures...a man after my heart.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:18 PM   #86
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The oil sits in an oil pan on the car. The oil pan has some oil, but also has air in it. As you know, air contains moisture, also called humidity. When temperatures change, that humidity settles out and condenses into water, which then gets in the oil. It's not a lot of water, but enough to cause problems over time.

Now, if you don't drive the car, that's a bit different....I'd be ok with leaving the oil in there quite some time, just be sure to change it before (or very soon after) you start driving it.
Thanks for the info. I read this before and I think I am getting to understand this a little better.

Any suggestions on how to protect the paint? I know use wax, but all wax are not created equal. I don't know if people here have testimonials of what they use.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:27 PM   #87
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Another driving habit item: It you've got a manual transmission, reduce clutch "slip" as much as practical--firmly and quickly depress the clutch, shift gears, and release pressure on the clutch pedal rapidly (as rapidly as possible consistent with a smooth ride). And for heaven's sake, use the brake and never slip the clutch to keep the car in position on a hill while waiting for the traffic light to change. Sometimes you'll see a driver doing this, the car oscillating to and fro ever so slightly as the driver keeps the engine revved and varies pressure on the clutch pedal to keep the car from rolling back. That's a driver who will soon learn a very expensive lesson about the cost of a new clutch. Ten seconds of doing this wears the clutch as much as thousands of miles of normal driving.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #88
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Are you saying that you mentioned clunking in a forum and every response was stabilizer links? I find that difficult to believe, as there are numerous things that can cause clunking in a front suspension...which is why I made the comment about sorting through all the opinions to find one that fixes your issue. In your case, you're more technical than most...and can do this on your own...but many are not so knowledgeable about all things mechanical.
Like this forum, any question on a brand specific forum gets a variety of answers, but tends toward a consensus. Also some posters are obviously more knowledgeable, judging by the content of their posts.

In this case, the vehicle only had 32,000 miles, so the question was, "What component in the front suspension is subject to early failure?" Numerous posters shared having their stabilizer links fail early. A search of the forum found additional old posts about clunking that ended with "I replaced the stabilizer links and it fixed it". I crawled underneath, exercised the stabilizer links and found one to be sloppy. Without that direction, I'd have had to check a lot of other components before I found the culprit.

So, my point is that a forum of users leverages collective brand / model specific experience to direct you to a likely solution and a second most likely solution, etc. You still need to exercise due diligence to find your real problem.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #89
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Like this forum, any question on a brand specific forum gets a variety of answers, but tends toward a consensus. Also some posters are obviously more knowledgeable, judging by the content of their posts.

In this case, the vehicle only had 32,000 miles, so the question was, "What component in the front suspension is subject to early failure?" Numerous posters shared having their stabilizer links fail early. A search of the forum found additional old posts about clunking that ended with "I replaced the stabilizer links and it fixed it". I crawled underneath, exercised the stabilizer links and found one to be sloppy. Without that direction, I'd have had to check a lot of other components before I found the culprit.

So, my point is that a forum of users leverages collective brand / model specific experience to direct you to a likely solution and a second most likely solution, etc. You still need to exercise due diligence to find your real problem.
Thanks for clarifying...the "due diligence" is what I was describing when I said you had to sort through the various responses to find the one that works for you. Luckily, stabilizer links are inexpensive and easy to fix.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #90
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6. If you live in a climate that sees extreme temps, use different oils in summer compared to winter. I live in southern Indiana…so I use 10W-40 in summer and 5W-30 in winter (yours may vary…I recommend using what your manual says in the winter, but going one number higher in the summer on both of the numbers…which is what I do as you can see in my example). The first number (the one with the W after it) is the thickness of the oil when cold, and the second number is the thickness when warm. Using a “thinner” oil in winter makes starting easier and using a “thicker” oil in summer provides better engine protection.

Why don’t the manufacturer’s advise this? Because there’s no way they could create a clear enough guidance to handle the myriad of environmental conditions in the US…and also because one of the key reasons they select an oil is to pass CAFE fuel economy tests…so they use the thinnest oil they can while still providing adequate (perhaps not the best…but adequate) protection.
Note - There are some people who disagree with me on this point, saying you should stick with the mfg recommendations.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:46 AM   #91
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Thanks for starting the thread , Dave. You may find it to be a full time job, as moderator. Appreciate your even handed replies.

On motor oil... some "narrow minded" thoughts:
When I was in the retail business, our buyer for motor oil made a statement to the effect that "brand names" for normal car driving habits, were basically the same as generics, and that the price differential was not warranted.

That was years ago. His point was that Government Standards for viscosity and chemical composition for all brands with the same SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), API rating were essentially equal in performance. The current API rating is SN for car and truck oils... Requirements that this rating (API) be on the front label have been dropped, so it may be necessary to look on the back of the oil bottle to find it.

When motor oil was $.50/qt, it didn't make much difference. The price is now many times that. Since my car requires 6 qts., the difference between $1.50 and $3.50/qt., is substantial... Add to that the difference between a no-name filter and a brand filter and my home oil change goes from $11 to $24.

I realize that there may be some dryer or detergent differences, but with normal driving, I'd prefer to keep the extra $13 in my pocket. Am frugal.

This link to wiki's motor oil info Motor oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gives more info than anyone needs to know, but for car buffs, should be interesting.

Excerpt:
Quote:
The North American habit of having oil changed in the engine every 3000 miles has its roots if past far ago, when the API SC, CB oils were the norm. Those had reserve alkalinity and buffering ability only sourced from the bulk mass of the fresh base stock and offered very, very little in terms of surface protection in corrosion or mechanical resistance. With better lubricants in the beginning of the 1980s, in Europe longer service intervals became the norm, with 10000 km in standard car use as the typical value in the 1990. Many service technicians still recommend 3000 or 5000 miles service intervals in the conservative North American market, as it suits them as a source of revenue and also there is less of a need to provide top quality lubricants.
I realize that many feel that an oil change @ $25 - $30 is cheap protection for a $6000 engine, but after 60 years of driving haven't ever had a problem caused by motor oil.

BTW... the part about "recycled" oil is interesting.

I stay away from discussing this with my friends, as it brings up violent defenses of Quaker, Castrol, Pennzoil, or Valvoline etc. Ain't it great that there is so much interest in the subject?
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:02 PM   #92
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My everyday car is a 2002 Honda CRV. I live in a small town, so don't drive many miles...it has 75,000 miles on it. It's been a great car, although I did have a few items to fix this year...but as of the past month it's been running like a brand new car.
I had some reservations when our daughter locked onto a '99 CR-V with 160K miles, but I have to admit that they seem to hold up well. Perfect beater hauler for a college student who puts almost as many miles on her bicycle.

The hard part is helping her decide whether to spend the big bucks on replacing the timing belt and at least one of the wheel bearings. The automatic transmission's not very happy about automatically shifting into overdrive, either, but it gets there if she eases up on the gas for a second.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:34 PM   #93
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…and also because one of the key reasons they select an oil is to pass CAFE fuel economy tests…so they use the thinnest oil they can while still providing adequate (perhaps not the best…but adequate) protection.
Yes, I'm highly suspicious of Honda's recommendation of 0W-20 oil year-round for our new CR-V. I wish there were some hard facts on oil viscosity vs. motor wear in these modern vehicles. I'm just having a hard time believing that oil this thin will provide the required film thickness to reduce metal-to-metal contact and wear when temps are high. Honda's interests and mine may not be aligned on this issue: They want/need high gas mileage and for the engine to last at least as long as most people expect (say 150K miles). On the other hand, I'd gladly give up that 0.5 MPG to give the engine the best shot possible of reaching 250K without major expenses.
Until the powertrain warranty is up I'll use the oil they recommend, after that I'll go with something a bit heavier, esp in the summer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:50 PM   #94
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I had some reservations when our daughter locked onto a '99 CR-V with 160K miles, but I have to admit that they seem to hold up well. Perfect beater hauler for a college student who puts almost as many miles on her bicycle.

The hard part is helping her decide whether to spend the big bucks on replacing the timing belt and at least one of the wheel bearings. The automatic transmission's not very happy about automatically shifting into overdrive, either, but it gets there if she eases up on the gas for a second.
IMO any car with 160k miles is going to have some issues...that doesn't sound too bad Nords. Mine only has 75k miles. I do tend to fix things long before they become a real "problem" though, as evidenced by my posts above.

I could have skipped replacing the heat sheild on the converter...but then some day, next summer, when I park in a dry grass field and come back to a major blaze...I may regret it.

My Honda is a manual trans. I've been very happy with it. I have a lot of hobbies and so on that require something akin to a truck, but I need four seats for adults too...and this car gives it to me at a reasonable price.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:52 PM   #95
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Yes, I'm highly suspicious of Honda's recommendation of 0W-20 oil year-round for our new CR-V. I wish there were some hard facts on oil viscosity vs. motor wear in these modern vehicles. I'm just having a hard time believing that oil this thin will provide the required film thickness to reduce metal-to-metal contact and wear when temps are high. Honda's interests and mine may not be aligned on this issue: They want/need high gas mileage and for the engine to last at least as long as most people expect (say 150K miles). On the other hand, I'd gladly give up that 0.5 MPG to give the engine the best shot possible of reaching 250K without major expenses.
Until the powertrain warranty is up I'll use the oil they recommend, after that I'll go with something a bit heavier, esp in the summer.
+1, although I go to a thinner oil even before the warranty expires lol. Yes, could put me in jeopardy if anything goes wrong...but they can only deny such a claim if the oil I'm using is what caused the failure or at least contributed to it...which I think in most cases could be easily defended. They do have deep pockets though...and in the end we'll never know.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:54 PM   #96
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Thanks for starting the thread , Dave. You may find it to be a full time job, as moderator.
I have enough full time jobs already lol. And this group is pretty opinionated, so there's no way I could claim to moderate what goes on in this thread.

I just tell what I think and let you all make your own decisions. At least I stated my qualifications to back up my views...hopefully that helps lend some credibility.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:57 PM   #97
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I had some reservations when our daughter locked onto a '99 CR-V with 160K miles...

The hard part is helping her decide whether to spend the big bucks on replacing the timing belt and at least one of the wheel bearings.
I am not aware of any vehicle with a recommended timing belt replacement interval longer than about 100K miles. If the previous owner took good care of the car, it should have been replaced already. Many engines are of the interference type, and when a belt breaks and causes the pistons to hit and bend the valves and ruin the valve guides, the repair cost may approach the value of the used car.

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Yes, I'm highly suspicious of Honda's recommendation of 0W-20 oil year-round for our new CR-V...

Until the powertrain warranty is up I'll use the oil they recommend, after that I'll go with something a bit heavier, esp in the summer.
+1. But if the thin oil caused some premature wear, the effect while the car is under warranty would be irreversible, and caused shorter engine life even after you have switched to heavier oil later.

Here in the SW with the summer up to 120F, and the winter at most at freezing, I used to run 10W30 year round. With my newer cars, I have gone as low as 5W30, but no lower.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #98
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Thanks for starting the thread , Dave. You may find it to be a full time job, as moderator. Appreciate your even handed replies.

On motor oil... some "narrow minded" thoughts:
When I was in the retail business, our buyer for motor oil made a statement to the effect that "brand names" for normal car driving habits, were basically the same as generics, and that the price differential was not warranted.

That was years ago. His point was that Government Standards for viscosity and chemical composition for all brands with the same SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), API rating were essentially equal in performance. The current API rating is SN for car and truck oils... Requirements that this rating (API) be on the front label have been dropped, so it may be necessary to look on the back of the oil bottle to find it.

When motor oil was $.50/qt, it didn't make much difference. The price is now many times that. Since my car requires 6 qts., the difference between $1.50 and $3.50/qt., is substantial... Add to that the difference between a no-name filter and a brand filter and my home oil change goes from $11 to $24.

I realize that there may be some dryer or detergent differences, but with normal driving, I'd prefer to keep the extra $13 in my pocket. Am frugal.

This link to wiki's motor oil info Motor oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gives more info than anyone needs to know, but for car buffs, should be interesting.

Excerpt:


I realize that many feel that an oil change @ $25 - $30 is cheap protection for a $6000 engine, but after 60 years of driving haven't ever had a problem caused by motor oil.

BTW... the part about "recycled" oil is interesting.

I stay away from discussing this with my friends, as it brings up violent defenses of Quaker, Castrol, Pennzoil, or Valvoline etc. Ain't it great that there is so much interest in the subject?
Note that for the newer cars you begin to run into a synthetic oil recomendation, in particular for cars with turbochargers (since that gets really hot and the oil has to lube the rotor). Anyway if the car needs synthetic oil then you are looking at $75 oil changes.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #99
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I had some reservations when our daughter locked onto a '99 CR-V with 160K miles, but I have to admit that they seem to hold up well. Perfect beater hauler for a college student who puts almost as many miles on her bicycle.

The hard part is helping her decide whether to spend the big bucks on replacing the timing belt and at least one of the wheel bearings. The automatic transmission's not very happy about automatically shifting into overdrive, either, but it gets there if she eases up on the gas for a second.

Wow... just brought back a memory I had forgotten... I had a 65 Galaxy 500 that had a 3 speed auto.... well, second gear decided to go out... never did take it in to find out why as I had no money.... but, you could get up to about 35 to 45 in first, let off the gas and it would shift into 3rd... then mash it to get where you wanted... since there was no second, it would not downshift until you were going slow(er)....
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #100
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For northern climate.

DW complained about no heat in her 2004 Buick.
Has one of them there fancy automatic climate control with a digital them there display/setting. Unlike what I was used to in my old pickup with a lever on the dash for hot or not.

These fancy systems have servo driven flappers (thingies that direct air in various directions and proportions).

A quick check to make sure coolant is at proper level, it was. Started engine, opened garage door, set temperature manually to max. It allows setting of 90F. A sharp application of fist to heater box, and voila 2 minutes after starting engine warm air out of vents.

The flappers get stuck in the summer from non-heating mode in the cold air intake position, the servo motor is unable overpower the stuck mode, ergo cold air.

One happy DW at the moment, hot air works wonders. Physically and in the BS departments as well. And it does not make her butt look too big
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