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RepairPal Blog:

Mechanic's Corner

Advice from experts concerning automotive parts, repairs, and services

Most every one, at one time or another has been told the “best” way to break-in the engine of your new car or light truck. Some say no break-in is necessary; others say push it hard from the very beginning, 500 mile break-in, 3000 mile brake-in – who is correct!

As times have changed engine technology and engine machining abilities have changed. As a result the recommend break-in procedure has changed with the times. Older cars required a longer break-in period (up to 3000 miles) than our newer cars. Because our new engines have better machined cylinder bores, higher tension piston rings and over all more precise build tolerances most manufactures advise only a very modest break-in period of 500 miles (check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations).

A/C not working? What is necessary to get to the bottom of what is wrong.

The first step in any diagnoses is to confirm the fault. Possibilities include: A/C not cold, abnormal noise, incorrect air flow, or poor air flow. Once the problem has be determined then diagnoses can begin. Is is quite possible to have more that one of these conditions present at the same tine. Here is a brief overview of each problem and some diagnostic procedures.

Checking your Air Conditioning system before the Summer heat!

When the temperatures rise so does Air Conditioning use and with that comes the expense of repairing an A/C system that is not functioning as it should. These repairs can be as minor as simply adding refrigerant (called 134A in most new cars) to restoring a system after a catastrophic compressor failure.

Whenever I get the chance to point something out that might help prevent a major repair, I try to provide that information to my local customers and my readers—wherever you are!

We have been replacing turbochargers pretty frequently lately, and for a while I thought it was just isolated to the 2005 models. That no longer seems to be the case. So, I have provided a few suggestions on how you can help prolong the life of your turbo and your Subaru engine.

We've been getting quite a few questions lately in our Q&A about people replacing their battery and then having all sorts of problems. I've added two informative articles about how to avoid these problems, and if you encounter them, how to address them.

The first article looks at some of the different modules and what can happen if power is lost - Memory Loss Associated with Battery Replacement

Now that winter is in full effect, questions have been pouring in from all over the country regarding heater performance issues. In the second installment of the RepairPal Diagnostic Series, we will be providing you with a diagnostic tool to help address heater performance problems, as well as A/C issues for all of you in South Florida!

If you are experiencing problems, print out the Heater and A/C Diagnostic Assistant worksheet below, fill it out and take it in to the repair shop and present it to the service writer, they will be impressed with your pro-active approach! If you have a request for a questionnaire that you would like to see in the future, please drop us a line at feedback@repairpal.com

Check Engine Lights...many of us have seen them, some have had the "privilege" of trying to get rid of them, and others choose to ignore them all together. No matter your approach, it's becoming more and more likely, due to state emissions regulations that you will have to address this warning light issue before you can pass your vehicle inspection, so it's important to address them properly.

We here at RepairPal have been working on providing information that addresses some of the most commonly seen reasons for the Check Engine Light to come on, and some of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems as well.

This is the latest in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience.

Missed the preceding post? Click here.

I have worked in the California Smog and Emissions Testing program for over 22 years.

I have worked in the Gold Shield Program, which helps to certify Gross Polluter vehicles (vehicles that fail their Emissions Inspection by a wide margin) since 1995.  Sometimes the Gold Shield Shops and Technicians that do this work do not get paid for all the time and work they put in when they are bringing an older vehicle, that may have high mileage, back into spec so it can pass an Emissions Test.  That said, there is a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you are cleaning the air and helping someone who usually does not have a lot of money.

This is the latest in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience.

Missed the preceding post? Click here.