Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Windshield wiper streaks

Windshield wiper streaks — How to fix Windshield wipers streak for one of three reasons; either the rubber squeegee portion is worn or cracked, the wiper blade frame is bent or damaged, or the wiper arm pivot is rusted Wiper streaks caused by worn rubber squeegee The rubber portion of the wiper blade is designed to squeegee water off your windshield. To do that, it’s formed with a sharp edge. But over time and use, that sharp edge can wear down due to road grit on the windshield. Or, it … Read More

PCV delete

PCV delete — pros and cons What is a PCV system? PCV stands for positive crankcase ventilation. The system consists of a PCV valve and tubing. The PCV valve has a metered orifice and a one-way check valve. It’s usually mounted in a valve cover. The hose then runs to the intake. It’s designed to use intake manifold vacuum to suck crankcase blow-by gasses out of the crankcase and burn them in the engine. The one-way check valve is designed to prevent a crankcase explosion in the event of a … Read More

Kirkland Signature Synthetic Motor Oil

Kirkland Signature Synthetic Motor Oil — is it any good? Yes, Kirkland Signature Synthetic Motor Oil is a very good budget priced product from Costco. The product appears to be blended by Warren Oil Company a large independent oil blender. What is an oil blender? Not all big motor oil brands are made oil refiners. Valvoline, for example, does not operate a refinery yet they’re a major seller of synthetic motor oil. A blender purchases their base oil on the open market from one or more refineries and then adds … Read More

AC only works while driving

AC only works while driving — 4 common causes by Tim Miller — Guest Post Ever wondered why your car’s AC stops cooling when your vehicle isn’t moving? This might occur every time you are at a red light or even when you park with the engine running. If you’ve been experiencing this, this article is for you. I explore all the potential reasons for this problem and go on to give the solutions. Four possible reasons  your vehicle’s AC doesn’t cool when you’re stopped • Faulty condenser fans that … Read More

New tire break-in period

Tire break in period— why they need a break in period Tires are made with multiple components, including different types of rubber, steel and fabric. The components are assembled and then put under high pressure inside a mold where hot steam is injected to bond the materials together and vulcanize the rubber. To aid in the tire’s release from the mold, the mold is pre-treated with a slippery release agent and that slippery material sticks to the outer surface of the tire. That release agent must wear off the tire … Read More

Idling versus restarting

Idling versus restarting your engine — it’s wasteful and costs you more This question has been around for a long time and there are lots of myths and just plain bad advice about which uses more fuel; idling or restarting your engine. So let’s get to the facts. Starting a cold engine uses a lot of fuel When you turn the key to start a cold engine, the vehicle computer looks at these sensors: engine coolant temperature, ambient temperature sensor, the mass airflow sensor or manifold absolute pressure sensor. With … Read More

Why rotate tires?

Rotate tires — why you should ignore the idiots who say don’t rotate tires The idiots who maintain that you shouldn’t rotate your tires use a financial reason to justify their insane advice. They argue that if you add up all the tire rotation charges you would have saved by not rotating your tires, you could have paid about half the cost of a new set of tires. Let’s take a look at that faulty reasoning. You buy a set of tires rated with a treadwear expectancy of 50,000 miles. … Read More

Best brake pads for trucks

Best brake pads for trucks — ceramic or semi-metallic? Ceramic brake pads are standard equipment on almost 70% of all new cars and CUVs. Ceramic brake pads offer lots of advantages, but are they the best choice for your large SUV or pickup truck? Maybe not. Let’s look a the differences. Ceramic brake pads versus semi-metallic brake pads What is a semi-metallic brake pad? In addition to normal friction materials, semi-metallic brake pads usually contain between 30-70% metal content to create and dissipate heat. The metals used are usually iron … Read More

Ceramic brake pads

Ceramic brake pads — Pros and cons The majority of cars and CUV come equipped with ceramic brake pads. Carmakers choose ceramic brake pads because they’re quiet, easy on the rotors and create less brake dust. But that doesn’t mean they’re the best brake pads. Adherent versus abrasive brake friction material Ceramic brake pads use ADHERENT friction technology. That means the brake friction material deposits a film on the rotor for film-on-film braking. Adherent friction provides good stopping power when cold but have less fade resistance than semi-metallic brake pads … Read More

Lock lubricant — what to use, what to avoid

Lock lubricant — How to lubricate a lock cylinder Lubricating the lock cylinders on your car is the best way to avoid freezing and lock cylinder sticking. There’s lots of bad advice out there regarding lock lubricants so let’s start out with which lubricants you shouldn’t use. Lock lubricants you should never use WD-40 is not a good lock lubricant People use it because they have it around the house. But it’s just a general purpose lubricant and if you shoot it into your lock, it will work for a … Read More

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