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Amadhatter53

Germantown, MD

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Question Asked: 

I've continuously been adding coolant to my car and every time I look back in it I see there is a gray/beige sludge-like substance on the cap and in the tank. What could be leaking in to cause this? Oil has been suggested to me, and if that's it, how costly is it to repair a leak like that? Another thing: Jiffy Lube charges $80 for a coolant flush, and Aamco charges $170. Is there any reason to take it to Aamco and pay more than twice what Jiffy Lube charges?


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Question Asked: 

The temperature gauge on my 2000 Chevy Malibu LS (3.1L V6)started going up very high, and sometimes into the red and the light would come on. However, the car is DEFINITELY NOT OVERHEATING. It has gotten to the point where the gauge is always at 75% or so, and goes up into the red and back down as I drive. Occasionally when this happens, the car will just shut off, however turns right back on. In addition: - No heat will come out of the vents - I am loosing coolant somehow. It's not leaking out of the tank, but some of the hoses have a sticky film on them. - There is a beige color sludge-like goo in the coolant tank. I don't have a lot of money and everyone I talk to tells me the problem is something different. I need to get this repaired but I need to know what needs repairing and how much it should cost. If you need any other information please just ask, and I can also show you pictures of inside the coolant tank and the location of the hoses that have the film on them. Thank you so much in advance, Jeff


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Question Answered: 

I'm not a mechanic but I've had this happen before. If your car is blowing air out of the vents, but over time it has gotten less and less cool when you use the A/C then you're probably just low on refrigerant. It's a $15 fix from any auto parts store that you can usually do yourself. If you have it done by a shop they might charge you up to $100. In my case I did have to pay a shop $80 to do it because the inlet valve for the refrigerant was too far inside for me to get to. Good luck.


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Everything is working fine when I plug a little device used for music into the power port (the second cigarette lighter). It turns on but I don't have time to fuss with it. A minute later I notice it's turned off. I check my main cigarette lighter and it isn't working either. Then I realize that worst of all there is no air coming from any of my vents! I try turning the knob off and moving it 1 through 5, but no air is coming out at all. Not hot or cold. When I press the button for A/C, the indicator lights up and I can hear the engine working a little harder the way it normally does when the A/C is turned on but still no air from the vents. The indicator lights for the buttons to switch from outside air to inside air also seems to light up. JUST NO AIR FLOW & CIGARETTE LIGHTERS DON'T WORK. I figured it was just a fuse so I checked them all (except the larger, gray, square ones - I don't know how to check those) and they were all fine. There haven't been any symptoms that this system was having trouble, it just stopped working exactly as I described. And of course this happens when it's 100 degrees outside every day. PLEASE HELP! I absolutely can NOT afford to just take it to just blindly take it to a shop It seems weird to me because I thought the cigarette lighters were different systems than the HVAC, but what do I know? I just pray it is an easy fix and not a major part replacement with a lot of labor involved. Thank you!!!!


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Question Asked: 

I drive my car no at the most 50 miles a month, and have only driven it 5,000 miles in the past 5 years (the car has 93k miles total). Because I hardly ever drive it, I rarely have any maintenance done until a problem shows itself. I very rarely change the oil but use synthetic when I do. Any time I have had anything done I ask them to look at all systems, but the only real maintenance I have had done is have had the front brakes replaced. I did not complete the 90k mileage service because the list of things they do is all "Check", and it costs $200-300 and it seems they don't much of anything (also every mechanic seems to try and charge me for stuff I don't need). I only get about 14 miles to the gallon, but all my driving is short, city trips with a lot of rapid acceleration. I would be concerned to take the car on any long trip, but I would like to feel confident that if I want to drive a long car trip that I won't have a serious problem. So, I have two questions: 1) Should I have the 90k service completed? 2) What maintenance's are the most important that I should consider? 3) Is the "penny test" for the tire tread legitimate? Thanks so much for any help you can give me. I am disabled, which is why I don't drive much and don't have a lot of money for car maintenance.


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Question Asked: 

I am buying a 2007 Ford Focus ZX4 SE today and it has power locks and OEM alarm system. The dealer doesn't have any remotes for it, however I assumed that if it has an alarm PLUS power locks it must have keyless entry. I have transmitters from my 2003 Ford Taurus and according to the Ford website should work on the Focus. However when I tried to program the remote to the car, it didn't work. What I need to know is what is more likely: 1) It's more likely or possible the car does not have a keyless entry system 2) It should definitely have keyless entry and if the correct transmitter will not work, there may be something wrong with the keyless entry system within the vehicle. THANK YOU!


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Question Asked: 

I realized there was something wrong with my A/C this summer because the flow was so weak; the reason was because my car was pumping air out of EVERY vent; upper, lower, and windshield. I tried replacing the Heating & A/C control that is in the dash, but that did nothing. The heat and A/C do work, but the control to direct where the air should go isn't working, so like I said it just goes out everywhere. Someone told me it sounds like the "doors" on the "air handler box", but I don't know what that means! Is this the problem, or could it be something else? One thing I know it isn't is the blower motor, because someone already checked that. Can someone explain to me: 1) What I should tell the mechanic 2) How much it SHOULD cost to repair since mechanics are always ripping me off. 3) How I can make sure the mechanic doesn't up sell me on more replacement (if any) parts than I need? Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!!!


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Question Asked: 

I don't drive my car much so problems can start from lack of use. A few weeks ago my car started to make sounds that can best be described as moaning; it sounds a lot like a walrus. At first it only occurred at low speeds (10mph or less). The noise seems to occur more often when turning. As I've driven it more I have heard the noise a little bit at higher speeds, but usually only when turning, like an a highway off ramp. Believe it or not when I took it to a mechanic it wouldn't make the noise at all! It rarely occurs at all when driving straight at 30mph+. In addition, the noise usually stops if I apply the brakes. It's unlike any noise I've ever heard before. No squeaking, screeching, rumbling, knocking, grinding etc., nor does it seem to interfere with the vehicles performance. I can't tell if it's coming from the front or back, or even left or right side. But it is LOUD, and I'm worried it will leave me stranded on the side of the road if I don't take care of it. The problem is I have no idea what it is! Lastly, and this is only a guess, but as LOUD as the noise is, I get the feeling people outside the vehicle don't hear it as much as I do inside. ANY thoughts or ideas from anyone would be greatly appreciated. If anyone does know what it is, I'd also be grateful if you could tell me how much I SHOULD pay to have it fixed so I'm not taken. Thanks so much!


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Question Answered: 

Your A/C needs recharging. An amateur can to it by themself by getting a recharging kit from a part store for like $30. If you take it to a mechanic, they'll charge you at least $100. But when you're A/C won't blow cold air anymore, it needs recharging.


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Question Asked: 

I recently had my A/C rechanged since it wasn't cold anymore. That fixed the cold problem, but now the A/C doesn't blow very hard. I have two questions: 1) How involved a problem is this; i.e., can a mechanic fix this on the side, or do I have to bring it into the shop? 2) Which part is it, and roughly how much should this cost? Thank so much, Jeff


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