Springfield

The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread

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Ok, there is indeed a leak somewhere having to deal with my radiator. I noticed a leak under my car with a big pool of water (poured a gallon of water in today). Got coolant last week and it was gone within 3 days. Anyway, I looked under the car and noticed that the water seems to be trickling down from a big hose underneath my car. Anyone know what hose that is? It isn't the hose that is in the front of my jeep that connects to the radiator cap. Anyway, it seems to be coming from that hose. I guess I'll take it to the shop tomorrow. Hopefully the damage isn't too bad on the car and for my wallet.

Sounds like your lower radiator hose is leaking. Could be something dripping onto the hose and then down to the ground though. If it is the lower radiator hose, I'd just replace both upper and lower hoses, it makes more sense.

Good luck to you.

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I had to replace the back axel seal and brakes, along with the 'stuff' that goes along with that. (don't ya love the "non mechanic" way of putting things?

I finally found out why my truck was making noise up front, and it's not the steering or struts...the ball bearings.

My sister asked why I don't just go buy a new car since has been costing some large chunks of money recently. I guess it's cause I love this truck and don't mind the maintenance that it takes after 134K miles....

thoughts anyone?

Bearings make sense.

As far as buying a new car. I'd approach it in a cost vs. benefit type of way. Does it cost you more to keep your current car on the road (including the hassle) than it would to buy a new car that isn't likely to have as many problems?

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Sounds like your lower radiator hose is leaking. Could be something dripping onto the hose and then down to the ground though. If it is the lower radiator hose, I'd just replace both upper and lower hoses, it makes more sense.

Good luck to you.

Thanks. Yeah when I'd wipe away the hose, a trail of water would start up once again. I didn't have a flashlight so I wasn't able to identify the source, but I'm almost positive (and hopeful) that it is the lower radiator hose. I really hope it isn't the radiator. So replacing a hose should probably cost 30? How much would you charge for labor?

Edited by BayouBrave86

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Thanks. Yeah when I'd wipe away the hose, a trail of water would start up once again. I didn't have a flashlight so I wasn't able to identify the source, but I'm almost positive (and hopeful) that it is the lower radiator hose. I really hope it isn't the radiator. So replacing a hose should probably cost 30? How much would you charge for labor?

It could also just be the hose clamp as well.

As far as pricing goes, it's hard to say. The labor to replace both of the radiator hoses (upper and lower) is probably about .8 of an hour. That means that for whatever the shops hourly labor rate is, multiply that by .8 and you have the labor cost to replace the hose. Up here in Springfield that the labor would probably cost about $70 or so for both hoses.

The hoses are probably about $20 or so each. Add in taxes and environmental fees and you have your out the door cost. Labor, parts and taxes change everywhere but $30 for just the lower the hose, performed at a shop, seems unusually low to me.

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How hard and what. if any, special tools are required to replaced the rt front ball joint on a '00 Nissan Frontier, 4wd?

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How hard and what. if any, special tools are required to replaced the rt front ball joint on a '00 Nissan Frontier, 4wd?

It's "doable"...

You'll need a hammer, pry bar, wrenches and possibly some sort of press to get the new ball joint in.

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Is that an upper or lower ball joint?

SS, with a ball joint, that would be installed in a wishbone. Is your advice with the wishbone removed from the vehicle?

Personally, I wouldn't mess with steering components without the proper tools and equipment. There's too much involved for the unskilled, and even though it may look like it's installed correctly, who suffers the consequences if that part fails? I doubt insurance would cover it.

Steering and suspension (and, to a lesser extent, brakes) - get it done by someone who does it for a living.

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thanks for the replies. although I do a lot of my own work, I'm thinking I may be better off to write the check on this one.

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Steering and suspension (and, to a lesser extent, brakes) - get it done by someone who does it for a living.

I agree with this. If you have a question or can't be confident in your own work, it's probably better to have somebody qualified do it.

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To be honest ldysknzfn... It sounds like you need to replace the ignition wires. I'd buy some and throw them on. It's not hard to do and the wires are probably only $50 or so. One way to tell if the wires are bad. Spray them with a squirt bottle while the car isn't missing. If it starts to miss after you spray them, it's very likely the wires.

Cheap thing to try before you go taking it into a shop and paying for check out.

Sorry so long getting back to you SS on this but I just got the work done yesterday..(had to wait for cash and for the dude to get a commitmentless day). In the mean time, my thermostat went bad w/the temp gauge just going up & down..never overheating but close....so...the guy that did this for me did a pretty good job. He replaced the valve cover gasket and those lil "donuts" that go around the bolts that hold the valve cover in place(I paid close attention and I think I could have done this...but now I know that I can..very simple). That took care of the oil on the plugs therefore the car is running much smoother...he also replace the thermostat and thermostat gasket...and there was a housing gasket that he tried to replace but had a bear of a time getting it to fit correctly. Every time he replace the housing w/that gasket on, the gasket flared out and when he put the screws in place the gasket would "squeeze" outside of the housing and it would obviously leak. We went to several auto parts stores trying to get a gasket like the one he removed but they were all just a bit thicker than the one he removed from the car. We noticed that the housing was "notched" in 3 places but the notches didn't necessarily line up w/anything on the motor...so he filed down the notches and put it on that way....worked well..but when the engine cooled there was a slow leak as I found out this morning. I went in search of the same type of gasket and think I may have found one..but not sure. He's going to the junk yard and look for a replacement housing(which is plastic btw) and is going to replace the one currently on there. He wasn't comfortable w/filing the notches and thought it should not have been that difficult to replace the thermostat..(took us from 11am to about 5pm trying to stop the leakage. He finally got it to where he thought I could get home & back w/o problems..and I did. The gauge never went above half way and it didn't fluctuate back & forth. He didn't think the ignition wires needed replacing and it did run much better w/o the oil on the plugs. I didn't get the compression test...he felt it wasn't necessary. If it goes back to running crappy again..I will get that done.

Thanks for all of your help and advice and patience. Happy motoring!

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It appears that there is no room to pull the pitman arm off because of no clearance to the front crossmember. Am I really going to have to remove the steering box in order to do this on my '99 bravada (blazer)? :mad:

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DC you should be able to unbolt it and tilt it,using one bolt to hold it in place afterwards.

It's a pain

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I have a couple questions...

#1How much should a fuel pump cost for a Winstar mini van? A friends went out, but thinks her mechanic is charging way too much. I think in the $450 range for parts/labor.

#2- 91 Ford explorer. How much would it cost for an oil change w/ new filter, replace the wiper motor (the part was free, so just labor on that) and to flush/refil the transmission fluid?

Just trying to see if this mechanic is charging way too much, or is fair.

Thanks guys!

hello there I'm a mechanic the cost on the fuel pump fix sounds reasonable.You have to drop the gas tank to install the unit so it takes about 2-3 hours to install.

I would be more concerned about the quality of the fuel pump installed if it came from advance auto or some where like that not good. I'm big on installing quality parts and if the cost of the pump was high ask them where they got it from?Cheap pump and you could be sitting on the side of the road again broke down.

oil change depends on the area 27 to 40 dollars is the norm.

wiper motor i would say 1 hour to 1.5 hour to install.

trans flush if over 100,000 miles i would recommend replacing the filter with the flush will cost more but the results are better. lucky for you a 91 windstar does not require synthetic fluid because that stuff is expensive

Edited by skinpride1

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thanks twa, did you tilt it forward toward the front bumper?

Don't recall,whichever way gives ya access:silly:

Oh,and make certain the steering wheel does not turn while the shaft is disconnected(should be locked in place if the key is out)

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Thanks for all of your help and advice and patience. Happy motoring!

Glad to hear that you got it fixed and it was (relatively) painless.

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Oh,and make certain the steering wheel does not turn while the shaft is disconnected(should be locked in place if the key is out)

Excellent advice right there. :)

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Glad to hear that you got it fixed and it was (relatively) painless.

Yep..painless for the most part...still can't get that leak fixed...the dude was working on his truck today so he didn't get around to another day of mine...can't say I blame him...we didn't intend to spend the day together on yesterday..lol. I'm sure he had a hard time explaining who I was to his mechanic buddies...:D.

Anyhoo...I may just attempt to put in the new thermostat housing gasket myself since I watched him replace it...I think I can pull it off...plus I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last nite :silly: (umm...no I didn't..lol). The leak is small and very slow...but I have a gallon of water in my trunk just in case..and I'll keep a close eye on it. I may have to go to the Ford place for the gasket..but you wouldn't think something like that would require a specialty part...but I'm no mechanic..:D:silly:

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Awright -

My 18 yr old daughter has a '99 Toyota Corolla. Over the past month or so, it doesn't want to start. Dash lights up and then when you turn the key we hear a single click, and then the dash lights go out.

Repeat - same thing.

It'll start eventually, but sometimes it takes fifteen tries. It's always worse in the morning. Generally works fine after the initial daily start.

Sometimes you can hear the starter - it will grab the fly wheel and turn it just a half a turn or so, then stop. This makes me think the battery was under charged.

I put a voltage meter on the battery and it read 12 volts exactly. I thought maybe it should read closer to 13 and a half volts. So I ended up buying a new battery. Installed it.

Next morning, same exact thing. I mean exactly. No difference at all.

****.

What do you think?

Thanks

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Awright -

My 18 yr old daughter has a '99 Toyota Corolla. Over the past month or so, it doesn't want to start. Dash lights up and then when you turn the key we hear a single click, and then the dash lights go out.

Repeat - same thing.

It'll start eventually, but sometimes it takes fifteen tries. It's always worse in the morning. Generally works fine after the initial daily start.

Sometimes you can hear the starter - it will grab the fly wheel and turn it just a half a turn or so, then stop. This makes me think the battery was under charged.

I put a voltage meter on the battery and it read 12 volts exactly. I thought maybe it should read closer to 13 and a half volts. So I ended up buying a new battery. Installed it.

Next morning, same exact thing. I mean exactly. No difference at all.

****.

What do you think?

Thanks

My thoughts...

I think that the starter is going bad. It sounds like the starter is drawing an excessive amount of amperage from the battery, explaining the lights going out. The "single click" is a fairly standard failure as far as starters are concerned.

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Starter +1

Go to a wrecking yard and pick up a similar starter, install it, and see what happens.

Just make sure you disconnect the battery when doing so.

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My thoughts...

I think that the starter is going bad. It sounds like the starter is drawing an excessive amount of amperage from the battery, explaining the lights going out. The "single click" is a fairly standard failure as far as starters are concerned.

Starter +1

Go to a wrecking yard and pick up a similar starter, install it, and see what happens.

Just make sure you disconnect the battery when doing so.

Yeah, I think you're right.

I'll double check the new battery and make sure it's ok.

It seems to me it can't be the relay.

I've never put in a starter in a little tiny japanese car before. I bet it would be a PITA.

Thanks guys. :cheers:

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Corrosion inside the cable can cause that as well.

Look at the connections and the insulation around them(swelling)

You can have the starter bench tested free at most parts stores before replacing it.

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Yeah, I think you're right.

I'll double check the new battery and make sure it's ok.

It seems to me it can't be the relay.

I've never put in a starter in a little tiny japanese car before. I bet it would be a PITA.

Thanks guys. :cheers:

Replacing the starter on those cars is easier than you would think. That one may be on the back of the engine. I can't recall.

Corrosion inside the cable can cause that as well.

Look at the connections and the insulation around them(swelling)

You can have the starter bench tested free at most parts stores before replacing it.

I bet it's the starter. Just sayin'. :)

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I bet it's the starter. Just sayin'. :)

Yeah,sure take the easy choice:silly:

No votes for a separated post on the battery?

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