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Powder Springs, GA
I've heard it both ways, mostly that they need to be replaced by someone trying to sell me an expensive new set. My car-nut buddy says they're fine, never need replacing. But my truck seems to sit a little lower on the driver's side (I'm not THAT heavy, only 175 lbs!) and the suspension seems to squeak sometimes going over the bump into my driveway. What's the deal?
It had been around 5,000 miles since I had it changed at a shop, and after I put the 5 quarts in that the manual suggested, it read way above full on the dipstick. My car-repair nut friend thinks I have the wrong dipstick, possibly I got a 4-cyl dipstick for a 6-cyl engine? But that doesn't explain the missing 2 quarts of oil. The truck isn't burning it, there would be a black cloud following me, and I park every night in my driveway and would spot a leak immediately, but there's none. Ideas??
I've mistakenly trusted various shops with changing my oil and checking my fluids, but recently noticed a leak in my radiator, so I bought the part and asked a friend to help. While swapping in the new radiator, my friend disconnected the hose that runs from the transmission to the radiator (I didn't know it did this, I'm not much of a car guy) and he smelled a bit of the fluid that dripped out, around 1/2 cup. He said it smelled bad, burnt. After the job was done, I started the truck to move it and immediately knew something was wrong. The transmission felt like it was grinding. I shut it off and we checked the fluid level - it didn't register on the dipstick. We added 3 quarts, and it finally showed on the bottom of the stick, but my friend advised against adding too much, saying it might make a bad problem worse faster. Now it works, but I can feel it slipping a bit. Am I totally hosed? Should I replace the thing or try rebuilding it? Truck has 203,000 miles and I was hoping to keep it a couple more years. Time to replace the entire truck? I'd rather have a manual transmission, does it make sense to switch now?
I've found that my jiggling the emergency brake handle it will sometimes turn off for a brief time, therefore it must be a problem with the switch under the dash at the bracket. My solution was to place a small piece of black electrical tape over the light on the dash. Problem SOLVED! I've never failed emissions, and have over 200,000 miles on the truck and have had it over 8 years.