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The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread


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Alright, I was driving my mom's 2003 Galant and it started smoking. Took it to the shop, had the radiator cap, thermostat with gsk, valve cover gsk set, and cool rec cap replaced. Coolant was flushed. Well, I just got it back and was driving it around to make sure it would be ok to drive (thermostat meter in the car is broken so can't tell how hot things are getting and that was going to cost another 176 in labor that I didn't have right now) and the service engine light came on. I thouhgt it might be low on oil, so bought some oil and poured it in . Light is still on, slight burning smell, but very very faint, and that's only after I lifted up the hood. Car sputtered going up hills. So I'm wondering, what is wrong? Should I take it back into the shop?

Also, when at a stop light, the car rattles a good bit, unless I put it in neutral. Thanks for the help guys, just trying to make sure this car is good to go.

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Alright, I was driving my mom's 2003 Galant and it started smoking. Took it to the shop, had the radiator cap, thermostat with gsk, valve cover gsk set, and cool rec cap replaced. Coolant was flushed. Well, I just got it back and was driving it around to make sure it would be ok to drive (thermostat meter in the car is broken so can't tell how hot things are getting and that was going to cost another 176 in labor that I didn't have right now) and the service engine light came on. I thouhgt it might be low on oil, so bought some oil and poured it in . Light is still on, slight burning smell, but very very faint, and that's only after I lifted up the hood. Car sputtered going up hills. So I'm wondering, what is wrong? Should I take it back into the shop?

Also, when at a stop light, the car rattles a good bit, unless I put it in neutral. Thanks for the help guys, just trying to make sure this car is good to go.

Was the car actually low on oil when you added and how much did you add?

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Yeah it was low on oil because the shop didn't do an oil change like I thought they would. Picked up one of those little oil bottles at the nearest Exxon and poured it in, it was pretty low. The mechanic told me it had a slight leak and that it would need an oil change soon and some oil. Thanks brah, for letting me drive the car off the lot instead of just going ahead and changing the oil and charging me.

---------- Post added February-7th-2013 at 12:20 AM ----------

I'm just afraid of the car being severely screwed up and it not being diagnosed correctly, sort of like the Wizards and Skins training staffs.

---------- Post added February-7th-2013 at 12:24 AM ----------

Also, was afraid the car wasn't going to make it home.

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I'd bring it back to the shop that performed the work, tell them that it is running poorly and the check engine light is on. Explain that it wasn't in this condition before the work was performed. Ask if they would be willing to recheck the work done to make sure that something wasn't missed that could be causing your current condition.

A good shop would be willing to make sure that the customer's car isn't messed up at their hands. It's possible that they did something inadvertently while working on your car that caused it. It's possible that they didn't and this new running condition is something new (and coincidental) is happening. Either way, I'd assume that the shop would be willing to make sure that there isn't something that is a result of the work they just did.

I wouldn't accuse them of any wrong doing, but I would see if they would be nice enough to have another look for you.

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Blew a head gasket on my K-5. 350 w/ TBI.

I'm going to have to clean up the top end before I put it back together. (its an 87 and NO work has been done that we can see - all stock). What do you guys use to clean engine parts? We usually use gasoline, but I want to use something else as I'm older and really don't want my hands to be jacked up (again). Was thinking mineral oil or something like that, but I don't know anything about other products.

I appreciate any and all responses.

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Blew a head gasket on my K-5. 350 w/ TBI.

I'm going to have to clean up the top end before I put it back together. (its an 87 and NO work has been done that we can see - all stock). What do you guys use to clean engine parts? We usually use gasoline, but I want to use something else as I'm older and really don't want my hands to be jacked up (again). Was thinking mineral oil or something like that, but I don't know anything about other products.

I appreciate any and all responses.

If the head gasket blew are you having the head checked for warping at a machine shop (or yourself with a straight edge)? If so the machine shop should be able to get it spotless in their hot tank for not much coin.

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So my 2005 Infiniti G35x started making a high pitch squeal upon starting especially when it has cooled (after I leave work or home in the morning). The car squeals for a minute then it behaves normally during my general commute. I've heard other cars do this but I have no idea what is causing the high pitch squeal. Taking it to the dealer next week i just want to know what I can expect. I assume its a belt of some sort but not really sure.

Edited by Warpath11
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So my 2005 Infiniti G35x started making a high pitch squeal upon starting especially when it has cooled (after I leave work or home in the morning). The car squeals for a minute then it behaves normally during my general commute. I've heard other cars do this but I have no idea what is causing the high pitch squeal. Taking it to the dealer next week i just want to know what I can expect. I assume its a belt of some sort but not really sure.

I would assume it's something as simple as a belt being old and stretched but it could be something else like a belt tensioner as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, my '99 Monte Carlo's "service engine soon" light comes on/goes off. My mechanic is a GM muscle car specialist, and he got it to go off, but 2-3 days later it came on again. It's been recently completely overhauled, so we're all ?????.

Thought I'd ask ya'll before I take her to the shop again. Thanks.

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most common if it is running well is a loose gas cap or a o2 sensor

it can even happen as a result of some of the gas they are selling now

have him run a code if it stays on

We have to have emissions testing yearly to renew tags, and they test it...it always passes, and I've had to replace the one in my Saturn to get it to pass.

But the gas cap on the MC is the original one, so I'll start there. Thanks.

...a locking one is probably in order in my neighborhood, now that I think about it, lol

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Anyone happen to know where the camshaft position sensor is located at on a 1997 mercury cougar? any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_is_the_camshaft_position_sensor_on_a_1997_Cougar_4.6L_V8

depends on the engine

http://www.justanswer.com/car/0p97t-1997-mercury-cougar-4-6-v8-does-it-crankshaft-sensor.html

Edited by twa
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most common if it is running well is a loose gas cap or a o2 sensor

it can even happen as a result of some of the gas they are selling now

have him run a code if it stays on

I have a Rodeo as a 2nd vehicle, and that is currently happening. Pretty much everything on there is fairly new. Just got a new fuel pump, and the light came right back on a few days after getting it out of the shop. I never knew about the 02 sensor or the type f gas you get possibly setting it off, but I think it may be a bad cap, because when I go to the gas station to fill it up, and tighten the cap, the check engine light (as well as the ABS light) go off, but a couple days later, they'll both come back on.

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Great thread. So I have a 1999 Ford Ranger I'm trying to sell and not trying to put much money back into it because it's got 155k miles and was only my dump truck. So long story longer, everyone who has been test driving it will go about 5 miles and the temperature gauge shoots up to hot and then comes back down to normal. It only does this once, and nothing seems wrong. I looked on Ranger forums and most think it's a thermostat. Is that most likely what's wrong? If so, how much is that repair normally? I don't even want to do the repair stuff, just want to get rid of the truck and knock some money off for any little problems.

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A thermostat is easy to change out(subject to Murphys law),parts less than $10

could be a lower hose collapsing or a airpocket, but most likely the thermostat

---------- Post added February-19th-2013 at 02:55 PM ----------

the check engine light (as well as the ABS light) go off, but a couple days later, they'll both come back on.

The cap,nor filling it up, should not have anything to do with the ABS light....odd

does it go off after the truck sits?

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The cap,nor filling it up, should not have anything to do with the ABS light....odd

does it go off after the truck sits?

Well that was mainly to do with the check engine light, but as for the ABS light, yeah. When I get in the truck and crank it up, the lights not on, but after driving it around for awhile, it'll come on. Occasionally, my "Power Drive" and "Winter Drive" lights will come on and off too.

Edited by Mr. Sinister
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I got a 93 Chevy S10 4 cylinder.

Sometimes it has no power maintaining high rates of speed and it sputters a bit around the 45 to 55mph range on the speedometer. Some days it hits speeds and is able to maintain or even accelerate normally. Sometimes I notice that there is a lag, and if I'm paying close attention, I can feel it 'correct itself', then it produces normal power for the rest of the trip. When the power is lagging, I can barely get to 55 with the pedal all the way down (going up slight uphill on highways). I changed the PCV valve, spark plugs, put some cleaning juice in for the injectors already. Anything else I should look at replacing or checking out. I do not ever get a check engine light.

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replace the fuel filter between the tank and engine, could be plug wires breaking down(misting them with water while running should show any arching)

could be the screen on the fuel pump or a fuel pressure relay,but the filter or wires are more likely

Edited by twa
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