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The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread


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  • 3 weeks later...

My wife's 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee has cut off twice now while driving, once while making a turn and another while sitting at a stoplight.  When I google it, the main response seems to be a faulty crank shaft sensor.  Does that sound right to the experts on here?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The garage we use changed ownership and they don't have a record if my Honda Pilot got a transmission fluid changed. It's at 175k miles now. Planned to run it into the ground. 
 

is the rule that don't change transmission fluid if you've never changed it, still in effect? Can't find anything definitive on the webs. 
 

Transmission fluid was changed when the car was <100k miles. 

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On 7/13/2020 at 6:54 PM, bushwack said:

My wife's 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee has cut off twice now while driving, once while making a turn and another while sitting at a stoplight.  When I google it, the main response seems to be a faulty crank shaft sensor.  Does that sound right to the experts on here?

 

Surely you've had it fixed by now but that's the first thing that comes to mind when you posted they symptom. When they fail, they will cut off randomly and not leave any codes in the PCM to perform diagnostics on. Further, they can be difficult to trace because they have to be "failed" in order to trace it. Lots of times the car just starts right back up.

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28 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

The garage we use changed ownership and they don't have a record if my Honda Pilot got a transmission fluid changed. It's at 175k miles now. Planned to run it into the ground. 
 

is the rule that don't change transmission fluid if you've never changed it, still in effect? Can't find anything definitive on the webs. 
 

Transmission fluid was changed when the car was <100k miles. 

 

My two cents:

 

When a car starts to get high on mileage like that, I view it as a cost vs benefit analysis. Realistically, how long can you keep that vehicle? At 175k miles things will start to break that you can't predict. At some point the cost to keep repairing these things, no matter how small, will mount up. Soon enough the cost to repair these things will outweigh the value of the vehicle. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't fix it, but it becomes harder and harder to justify doing so. Even the best of vehicles (Honda Pilot is one) will start to degrade heavily near or over 200k miles.

 

There is no risk in flushing transmission fluid, no matter how poor the condition is, as long as the transmission is OK internally. What you don't know at 175k is exactly how fit the transmission is internally. You might flush it and keep it clean and working well for another 50k or so. You might flush it to find out that something was going wrong inside and flushing it just exacerbated the problem... boom new transmission. So as far as the transmission flush question: There is no risk in flushing a normally operating transmission no matter how many miles it has on it. Would you stop changing the oil on your car cause it has too many miles on it? Same thing with the transmission.

 

Generally speaking, "running it into the ground" means putting little to no money into the car and when it dies it dies. That $250-300 for a transmission flush could be saved for a down payment on a new car or part of a car payment. Does it make sense to flush something out to extend the life of your 175k vehicle for another couple months, I can't answer that.

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4 hours ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

Oh, sorry...2001 Saturn


Saturn is a GM product so you would think that it’s AC Delco but I believe that NGK is the factory plug for that car. I would not, under any circumstances, use Bosch with that car.

 

(Always stick with the same plug that was originally equipped with the vehicle)

Edited by Springfield
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20 minutes ago, Springfield said:


Saturn is a GM product so you would think that it’s AC Delco but I believe that NGK is the factory plug for that car. I would not, under any circumstances, use Bosch with that car.

 

(Always stick with the same plug that was originally equipped with the vehicle)

 

I'm grateful you told me that. Because I always assumed that when owner's manuals advise only to stay with their original brand products, that it was motivated by money, and promoting their own brand-related products.

But if you're saying to stick with the same brand, there must be a very good mechanical reason for that. So I'm glad I didn't venture into another product that could have caused harm to the car. Thanks !

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52 minutes ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

I'm grateful you told me that. Because I always assumed that when owner's manuals advise only to stay with their original brand products, that it was motivated by money, and promoting their own brand-related products.

But if you're saying to stick with the same brand, there must be a very good mechanical reason for that. So I'm glad I didn't venture into another product that could have caused harm to the car. Thanks !


Ive only seem “off brand” spark plugs cause problems aside from a few rare circumstances.

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3 hours ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

I'm grateful you told me that. Because I always assumed that when owner's manuals advise only to stay with their original brand products, that it was motivated by money, and promoting their own brand-related products.

But if you're saying to stick with the same brand, there must be a very good mechanical reason for that. So I'm glad I didn't venture into another product that could have caused harm to the car. Thanks !

 

A long time ago (35 years) when I didn't know and used other brands (they were cheaper) it caused starting issues and sometimes misfire too. As soon as I put the manufacturer recommended plug the problem was solved. I worked in a garage for a while while I was in high school and learned that you stick with the plugs the car came with. The manufacture knows what works best with their engine. 

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10 hours ago, Springfield said:


Saturn is a GM product so you would think that it’s AC Delco but I believe that NGK is the factory plug for that car. I would not, under any circumstances, use Bosch with that car.

 

(Always stick with the same plug that was originally equipped with the vehicle)

I had Bosch platinums in my '99 Saturn SC-1... and that car was magic. Stick shift, I miss it. (Moon roof started leaking & we had 2 other vehicles, so we let it go.) 

Clearly an anomaly, I specified those plugs because my best friend's dad told me to...but lesson learned here. 👍

 

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43 minutes ago, skinsmarydu said:

I had Bosch platinums in my '99 Saturn SC-1... and that car was magic. Stick shift, I miss it. (Moon roof started leaking & we had 2 other vehicles, so we let it go.) 

Clearly an anomaly, I specified those plugs because my best friend's dad told me to...but lesson learned here. 👍

 

If the engineers I work with are a gauge, I think nowadays the tolerances in parts are tailored specifically to how a machine is designed. Decades ago, cars may have been more forgiving in terms of accepting after market parts. 
 

cars today are way more intimidating to work on because of the electronics involved. 

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Just now, Elessar78 said:

If the engineers I work with are a gauge, I think nowadays the tolerances in parts are tailored specifically to how a machine is designed. Decades ago, cars may have been more forgiving in terms of accepting after market parts. 
 

cars today are way more intimidating to work on because of the electronics involved. 

Oh, trust me, I know. Now that my husband is gone, I've gotten more under the hood than I've been in 20 years. 

Changed the oil and filters in both vehicles by myself just a couple weeks ago. Buying everything was harder, dude was trying to sell me everything. I'm in sales, so I get it...but don't treat me like I'm a moron just because I'm female. I have a passion for my rides, and I treat them well. Even put RainX wiper blades on the truck by myself. 

/rant 

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:58 AM, Springfield said:

 

My two cents:

 

When a car starts to get high on mileage like that, I view it as a cost vs benefit analysis. Realistically, how long can you keep that vehicle? At 175k miles things will start to break that you can't predict. At some point the cost to keep repairing these things, no matter how small, will mount up. Soon enough the cost to repair these things will outweigh the value of the vehicle. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't fix it, but it becomes harder and harder to justify doing so. Even the best of vehicles (Honda Pilot is one) will start to degrade heavily near or over 200k miles.

 

There is no risk in flushing transmission fluid, no matter how poor the condition is, as long as the transmission is OK internally. What you don't know at 175k is exactly how fit the transmission is internally. You might flush it and keep it clean and working well for another 50k or so. You might flush it to find out that something was going wrong inside and flushing it just exacerbated the problem... boom new transmission. So as far as the transmission flush question: There is no risk in flushing a normally operating transmission no matter how many miles it has on it. Would you stop changing the oil on your car cause it has too many miles on it? Same thing with the transmission.

 

Generally speaking, "running it into the ground" means putting little to no money into the car and when it dies it dies. That $250-300 for a transmission flush could be saved for a down payment on a new car or part of a car payment. Does it make sense to flush something out to extend the life of your 175k vehicle for another couple months, I can't answer that.

 

I would definitely invest a few bucks in a Honda with 175,000 miles, I've got a Civic with 231,000 and I just replaced the serpentine belt.  I would not recommend a flush, as the injections can loosen particles into the transmission. The recommendation I have always heard for older cars is to simply drop the pan and do a transmission fluid change as you would an oil change.  

Edited by Darrell Green Fan
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^^^Easily. My vehicles are 16 & 21 years old. Anything beats a payment & higher insurance...and I have 2 awesome mechanic buddies who are both GM specialists (one restores old Buicks for shows). 

Like Clark Howard said, Imma drive the wheels off...then put new wheels on & drive some more. 

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15 hours ago, skinsmarydu said:

^^^Easily. My vehicles are 16 & 21 years old. Anything beats a payment & higher insurance...and I have 2 awesome mechanic buddies who are both GM specialists (one restores old Buicks for shows). 

Like Clark Howard said, Imma drive the wheels off...then put new wheels on & drive some more. 

 

Add Triple A, or even AAA Plus, and you're set ! 🙂

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:48 AM, Springfield said:

 

Surely you've had it fixed by now but that's the first thing that comes to mind when you posted they symptom. When they fail, they will cut off randomly and not leave any codes in the PCM to perform diagnostics on. Further, they can be difficult to trace because they have to be "failed" in order to trace it. Lots of times the car just starts right back up.

Yeah, I took it in a couple of weeks ago, and the tech replaced the crank shaft sensor using his knowledge because there was not definitive way to say what was causing the Jeep to cut off.  He also reset the check engine light and so far the Jeep hasn't cut off, and the check engine light still is off.

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40 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

Here's an odd question, the ceiling fabric on my Pilot is starting to sag. Can that be replaced? Where do I even go for that—I feel like a regular garage wouldn't do that type of interior work.


Nah. Body shop or some sort of interior specialist would be your go-to.

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51 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

Here's an odd question, the ceiling fabric on my Pilot is starting to sag. Can that be replaced? Where do I even go for that—I feel like a regular garage wouldn't do that type of interior work.

 

Get a ceiling fabric spray/glue from your local auto parts store. 

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  • 2 months later...

Not sure if this is the right place for this but here it goes. 

 

My brother just bought a 2015 4 cylinder mustang with 80k from a dealership in manassas. Paid $20k, it's for his daughter. 

Daughter had the car for less than a month and put under 2k miles on it when the engine blew. Unfortunately, he bought the car "as is" so we're pretty sure he's screwed and will have to pay to replace the engine. But I wanted double check with my guys on here and see if there's any course of action he can take. 

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3 hours ago, BALLz said:

Not sure if this is the right place for this but here it goes. 

 

My brother just bought a 2015 4 cylinder mustang with 80k from a dealership in manassas. Paid $20k, it's for his daughter. 

Daughter had the car for less than a month and put under 2k miles on it when the engine blew. Unfortunately, he bought the car "as is" so we're pretty sure he's screwed and will have to pay to replace the engine. But I wanted double check with my guys on here and see if there's any course of action he can take. 

 

With AS IS there is nothing he can do. Now I would get those extended car warranty (Google car warranty) and hopefully they won't ask a lot questions and then wait a week and file a claim. Sure it is devious but that is all I can think of.

 

I am however surprised the engine blew. What was the cause or what happened to the engine? Timing belt? 

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