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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The garage's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, June 12th, 2011
4:04 pm
Referred by TQC!
DIYers I need your help! My SO bought a 1994 popup camper and we (he) needs to strip the rooftop and reseal it. As is it has some minor water damage but nothing too bad, so hopefully resealing it should do (theoretically there is no mold). He's pulling the silicone & putty off with a plastic scraper but some of it won't come up.

If we use Goo Gone or WD40 to help lift the leftover, will it keep a Rhino Liner or Cool Seal from adhering when we recoat the roof?

Anyone, anyone?

x-post to saucyhelp & thequestionclub
Monday, January 10th, 2011
8:26 pm
2003 Ranger FX4. 4.0L V6, auto tranny

Problem #1
Starting back before Christmas, I was noticing what I thought was a hiccup when cruising down the road at a steady speed. It felt as though the ass end of the truck had been hit, or hopped. Sometimes it was mild. Sometimes it was pretty harsh with an audible 'clunk'. It'd only do this when the outdoor temp was below 20F.

I changed the plugs and wires. I cleaned the MAF and IAC. Nothing changed the problem. I went and pulled codes with what Advance Auto has (cheap reader). No codes were found. While talking to the guys, it was mentioned that possibly it's the transmission, and that a fluid and filter change are much needed (I had planned on doing this anyway, I was just hoping for some better weather, ie. Spring time), but this problem is forcing my hand.

Problem #2
Tonight on my way home, I was stopped at a light and felt as though the truck was trying to surge. When I got home (a couple miles away), I played around with it in the driveway a bit. When I shifted from drive or reverse to neutral or park, the idle would drop to 400-500 rpm, and it seemed as though the truck was about to stall out. If I hit the gas, it'd drop back to an idle around 700.

I pulled the IAC and cleaned that tonight, as well as changing the engine oil. After I finished that, I played around with the shifting a bit. This is what I found when I shifted:

1 or 2 --> N/P, no change.
D or R --> N/P, idle dropped.

It almost seems as though the transmission is hanging up and not fully disengaging. Does this sound at all plausible? I know that without changing the fluid and filter, it's hard to pinpoint anything, but is there anything else I should try looking for?

I'm also wondering if both problems are actually just 1 problem, and that the fluid and filter change will take care of it (I hope).

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Current Mood: frustrated
Sunday, December 5th, 2010
2:22 pm
I've got an 03 Ranger with the 4.0 V6. Yesterday, I noticed a slight hiccup on my way down to my parents' house. It happened a couple more times on the way home. Today, I took about a 3 hour drive (round trip), and it happened probably a dozen or so times during that trip.

-Split second hiccup
-I don't hear anything when it happens
-It's intermittent, and I haven't been able to come up with any pattern to it.
-I only notice it over 50 mph
-Accelerates and runs fine
-No apparent change in engine RPM (doesn't last long enough to see)
-Not cruise control related, happens when I'm using the cruise or not

I've got a touch over 96,000 miles, and as far as I know still the original plugs. I plan to replace plugs and wires as I know they should be done, and I'm also finding people being able to fix it with that.

I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas as to what it could be.
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
10:40 am
used car buying?
i desperately need a vehicle so i took this guy that swore he knew about cars to an auto auction. not sure that is true. seems like he just wanted me to take him on a date cause i paid for everything and he didnt do much other than try to get his hands on me. anyhow, he mentioned that there were sounds he was looking for and i wasnt taking notes at the time, then when i realized the trip was a bust and id be going alone on the next one and asked him again what the noises were he acted like he forgot... so now im asking you!

what sounds or signs should i avoid in choosing a used car? by the way, we can turn them on and switch gears but cant actually drive them. thanks!
Monday, October 11th, 2010
12:50 am
painting facilities?
How much should one pay for access to a painting facility/room? (i.e. a room/garage big enough to paint a large vehicle with appropriate exhaust fan system, and heating lamps specifically for said painting?)

Besides painting cars, trucks, etc. what might one do with such a room? (creative ideas welcome.)

What sort of additional equipment might one get besides the obvious air compressor/painting sprayer, masks and respirators to make best use of such a facility?


Anybody local to the Philadelphia area who may want to go in on using/renting such a facility feel free to drop me a note/respond here.
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
10:07 pm
Okay--so, I finally had my slave and master cylinders replaced last month. Also had my oil changed.

I then took my car up to Auto Zone and had everything tested. Starter, alternator and battery came back fine, but it came up I had an exhaust leak. I figured no big deal.

Well, now my car sounds MISERABLE. I commute 80 miles round trip per day for work.

By the time I get home, my car sounds like an insanely loud helicopter, seemingly from my driver's side. Additionally, there is a ticking sound when I accelerate and just general loud noise if my foot is at all accelerating or lets off of the accelerator (i.e. -- only kind of quiet when I am consistently maintaining speed). Also have noticed terrible fumes of CO (carbon monoxide). I drive a 1995 Ford Escort LX 5-speed just to refresh.

The chopper sound scared me so much I was convinced my car was just going to crap out altogether.

Well, I had a variety of opinions and all seemed like possibilities after research--exhaust manifold, exhaust donut, stuck lifter, etc.

But, through internet research, I am thinking it sounds more like the headers, but when I took it into the car shop this morning, they told me it was the manifold. But when the CAR WARMS UP mind you, it just gets worse and worse as far as sound goes. And they told me they can't see the crack but are sure when they pull it out they will.

At first, I was thinking it sounded like the donut but the shop told me no. I even accelerated my engine and saw the smoke come up (aka, the leak), and it came from up front, near my radiator area.

And yes, I am going to get it repaired ASAP so I don't risk any valve damage hopefully, but I am just wanting to make sure I am repairing the right thing.

What are your thoughts? I might have to go get a second opinion. Auto Zone has a manifold for $82. The shop wants $190 for it. Big surprise I guess.

I also have started losing antifreeze out of nowhere but am sure this is unrelated but am fearful now my water pump is going out. Happened to my 1996. My head gasket is fine I am assuming as no antifreeze is in my oil.

It is so embarrassing to drive! And as expected with an exhaust leak, my gas mileage has decreased. I filled up Friday and got 40 mpg. I filled up today, a mere 5 days later, and am at 30 mpgs!!! No difference either--I had no a/c on during both tanks of gas and traveled interstate miles.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
10:20 am
Ok, that was fun
I'm going to show my ignorance here, but I wanted to share in case someone else didn't realize this either:

When replacing disc brakes, before removing the caliper, use a screwdriver (or however many pistons your calipers have) to work the pistons back to fully compressed. If your calipers have more than one piston, be sure to compress both at the same time, otherwise you'll just push the compressed one back out.

This worked amazingly last night. I've always fought with caliper pistons in trying to get them compressed. Never again will it be a problem!
Monday, July 19th, 2010
12:25 am
ATTN: car lovers with a .edu email address
Amazon is offering a free 1 year subscription to Amazon Prime (Which usually costs $79 a year. Perks include free 2 day shipping, and $3.99 overnight shipping): http://amzn.to/bSH8jP (url shortened with bit.ly)

This is being marketed towards college students but all you need is a valid .edu email address, so teachers and alumni might be able to benefit from this too (though the Terms of Service does say they have the right to ask for proof that you are a current student).

I apologize if you have already heard about this amazing deal. I just want to help spread the word on this before they stop offering it. I am not an employee of Amazon, nor do I gain anything from people signing up for this service.
Monday, July 5th, 2010
3:00 am

I have a car question. I drive a 1995 Ford Escort LX which just rolled over 156K last week.

The past three days, my car (which is a manual transmission) will not engage into any gear until it warms up. I can't even force it into gear if I wanted to. I have never had any issues with it until these past 3 days.

I called a few places around, and a lot of them concluded it was probably the clutch (which I highly doubt--has not been slipping at all and still feels relatively tight) or some other mechanical issue.

Friends and family members have concluded it is probably my synchronizer or my gear oil needs changed--and researching synchronizers, it seems as if only one or two gears would not engage rather than all of them. The fluid would make sense as when the car warms up, the fluid would rise and my computer would then allow my car to engage into gear because it registers the fluid level. But I have no idea. I have also read things via the internet that make it sound like it could be air in the clutch lines or the slave cylinder.

I am just looking for any opinions, hopefully somewhat well informed. I want to try to diagnose the problem before I go to the shop and shell out a lot of money. I am thinking along the lines of a fluid issue as well, but this didn't come up too common during my research so I am not sure. And I know that 90 weight gear oil is obviously thick, so for it to leak would be a bit weird, but my car is also 15 years old and might not have ever had it changed or added.

Any advice or comments greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
6:04 pm
s-10 woes
don't buy a chevy. this is my third one that hasn't been able to pass an inspection after the first year of ownership.

i have a 2000 s-10. i just recently replaced the fuel tank, fill neck, 3 fuel lines, 2 brake lines, rear calipers. my check engine light is still on as a catalyst leak. i now have a mystery coolant leak. once a month i have to fill the reservoir. i never see fluid on the ground whenever i park. i smell it. i have no residue on my windshield or coolant on my passenger floor.

are there any test for these issues i should ask for specifically when i take it in. i've done everything i can and need someone with the right machinery to help me find this leak.

also, when i turn my heat on on colder days, my blower screeches and doesn't blow at full capacity. should the fans be lubricated? is the motor bad? what can i do?
Saturday, November 21st, 2009
12:55 pm
1991 subaru legacy issues
Hi everyone! I've been having some weird problems with my car, and I was wondering if maybe anyone here might know what is going on... it's a manual 91 Subaru Legacy.

Recently, it somehow got an air bubble inside the lines in the engine. It randomly started overheating, but then would almost immediately cool back down once turned off. We never allowed it to completely overheat, had it towed and that's when they found and vaccuumed out the air bubble. Ran fine for another 1000 miles or so.

Now, it's starting to act like it's getting another bubble, though the symptoms aren't as severe as before. It has randomly overheated once more, but cooled back down and then was able to drive the 10 miles to get home. On the way home from that incident, it started to overheat again, but cooled itself back down without being pulled over (probably 30 seconds of temperature rising, then it fell again).

It's vibrating like crazy, having occassional trouble idling smoothly, and seems unable to go over 40mph. The heater at one point started blowing cold air, but now it works again without us having done anything.

Any ideas? If it's another air bubble, any clue why it's getting air in there?

Thanks very much for any help!
Saturday, October 17th, 2009
3:26 pm
engine..? Issues
X-Posted a little.. hope you don't have to read it too many times.

Hey guys, having a little bit of an issue with my car, and was hoping someone here has some insight for me.

I have a 2003 Nissan Sentra, se-r spec v, 6 speed, etc. etc.;

Occasionally going down the interstate, my car will give a  little jerk, and i'll see my tachometer drop for a sec,  or sometimes it will just drop to 0 for a while.  Starting a couple days ago,  I started getting a lot of vibration, and the engine / exhaust sounds like it's caming.  It's very jerky when i drive in any gear, almost like it wants to stall out until i'm above 2000 rpm, then it's pretty smooth.  It's not doing it constantly, and sometimes it runs smooth, like nothing is wrong.  This all makes me think it's a transmission issue, but when it's jerky it doesn't matter if it's in gear or not, just sitting in neutral will make the car vibrate, but the tach needle isn't popping up and down, it's sitting even at idle around 800 - 900.
Monday, May 18th, 2009
10:25 am
I've found my next car.

Monday, April 6th, 2009
9:39 pm
Left front wheel bearing.

I own an 03 Ranger, FX4 Level II, 4.0L V6, 4WD.

On my way home tonight, my truck started making a horrendous noise. It sounded like a combination of a squeak and a grinding, and I could feel it through the floor boards. I slowed down and tried to diagnose it a bit. Here's what I found:

-It only happened when I turned left. The noise went away when going straight or turning right.
-It didn't make any noise when pulling into a parking space (turning left) at sub 30mph speeds.
-I jacked up the front left wheel (where I thought the sound was coming from) and spun it, and didn't hear anything abnormal, and it rotated freely.
-I pulled the wheel off and spun it, and checked the dust shield on the back of the rotor: nothing.

I drove the rest of the way home after taking a few laps around the parking lot, and a short trip down the road and back, with only minor noises. On the ride home, I drove part expressway at 60mph without a single problem. The noise didn't come back until around 30mph.

Anyone have any thoughts on what this might be?
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
9:59 pm
OT: movie recommendation
this is off topic, but i figured that the movie is so good that you guys wouldnt really mind. i think i saw the best movie ever. i'm pretty sure i did.

i saw the movie 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil' at sxsw (with a bunch of amazing bands... and the guys from anvil came out to do a Q&A!) it comes out april 10 (yay! i was first to see it!!!). it was basically incredible and the real life spinal tap. there's more stuff at anvilmovie.com that clip above is the trailer... which is too good to be true.
Saturday, March 21st, 2009
7:07 pm
I don't know much about cars, but a lot of my friends do. Each of them tell me something different.

In the engine, the section of it where you put in the oil, on the front of that is a plastic cover. Whatever is underneath that cover is making really loud grinding/rattling sounds.

Also, it slugs down when i try to accelerate, and will rev up really fast after. I don't know what this is about either.

BTW, its a mazda MPV, 1989
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
10:31 pm
Check engine light reader.
I've owned y car less than a year and my check engine light has come on for the third time. It's a 2004 Chevy Epica. The first time it came on it was the O2 sensor, so I had that replaced. The second time it came on it was the same thing so I just had it turned off and it's been a good 5 months since then, and it's back on. Now instead of paying $100 every time it comes on to get a mechanic to figure out the code and shut it off, I want to buy one myself. Is there a certain thing to look for when buying one. I saw this one on ebay but since I'm not savvy about this stuff at all I need help. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Car-Scanner-OBD2-EOBDII-CHECK-ENGINE-LIGHT-CODE-READER_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a15Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem400036874337QQitemZ400036874337QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools 
It seems cheap but if it's going to work the same way I'm excited. Also, are codes different from cars made in the US vs. cars made in Canada?

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
7:28 pm
5:20 pm
It's not the battery, it's not the starter...
Probably time to just get a new car but that's not really an option right now. My 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE-1 won't start again. It worked just fine on Tuesday night but on Wednesday morning when I went to leave for work it wouldn't start - and I'll preface that by saying that it was plugged in all night and it has been any where from the high minus teens to low minus 30's Celsius (so 1 to -22 Fahrenheit) lately. The battery is fine, the starter spins but it doesn't seem to be catching. The spark plugs, spark plug wires and battery are all relatively new (less than a year old) and the fuel and air filters have also been recently replaced. I do have gas in the tank (about half a tank) and have tried both boosting the car (even though I didn't think it was necessary since the battery is working - but my dad insisted I atleast try) and I tried putting a bottle of gas line anti-freeze in and that didn't work either. Then I read online about this car's problems with the passlock system so I tried the 10 minute trick where you leave the key in the on position for 10 minutes, then turn it off, and then try starting the car. Still nothing. Any more perspectives on what could be going on? I've been without a car for a few days now and would really like to be able to do somethings around town tomorrow because with these temperatures plus the wind chill we're having it's way too cold to walk. I was supposed to be taking it in to get a Command Start installed on it but it kind of seems useless when the car won't start to begin with - any ideas on whether a Command Start system might actually bypass the seemingly mysterious starting issues I'm having?

Current Mood: annoyed
Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
11:29 pm
A question for those whove had accidents
I hope this is ok, I've recently been in an accident. It was in a parking lot so it's a 50/50 no fault accident, no matter who hit who. I'm looking at about $2000+ worth of fixing to my Epica.  I'm just wondering... the other party will be going through her insurance to fix her car, which will cause her insurance company to let mine know about the accident, and my involvement... how much do insurance rates usually go up. I'm going to be going through mine to fix my car also since my rates are going to go up anyway because of this, I'm just wondering if anyone who has been in an accident, where they're at fault or not, how much do insurance rates usually go up. It's my first accident, but I"m considered a new driver (under 25), and I've only been on my own insurance policy for 3 months. (clean record  under my mom for about a year and a half).
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