Ask A Car Expert. Vol. 1

Ask A Car Expert. Vol. 1

FAM strives to be your one stop shop for all things internet and most things manly. But you don’t have to be an internet nerd nor a man to need help with your ride from time to time. So allow us to introduce you to our Car Expert as they (lets not gender assume) answer some questions posed by our very own message board community. (The questions are in plain font and the Car Expert’s answers are in bold).

Put a new battery in my old ’98 Infiniti I30 and late last night I went out and my back lights were on and they wouldn’t turn off.

CE: You have shorted out the Brake light Switch? They are generally around $20.00, and the part is located right behind the brake pedal.

How long can I go between oil changes? Seems like 3k is just a scam.

CE: This question is relative to the type of vehicle the oil is being used in, as well as the brand of oil chosen. A full synthetic will buy you as many as 15,000 miles in some models. I typically use a partial synthetic and change it between 6,000 to 7,500 miles.

Thoughts on flushing transmission fluids at 100K miles? I’ve heard its a good thing to do from some people, but it also opens up a window for unnecessary contamination. Also, please give thoughts on a flush vs. a fluid drain and fill.

CE: This is a great way to develop a transmission problem. Most transmissions hold 11 or so quarts of fluid. 7-8 of those quarts remain in the torque converter so simply draining whats in the pan, and replacing the filter is fine. However if you go to a place that has a machine that will suck all the fluid out, and then replace it with new fluid you are asking for trouble. The clutches in a transmission to some degree need metal flakes to shift properly. All brand new fluid will cause the older unit to slip 9 times out of 10. If you don’t have a problem, leave it alone.

How in the FUCK am I supposed to ride or die in a Geo Storm?

CE: It has to be the GSI model.

The previous owner always got synthetic oil changes since 2011, but I’ve been doing standard for the last 3 years. Am I fucking up?

Depends on the quality of the standard you are choosing. A really good brand, and frequent changes won’t hurt it. However it sounds like your truck had a taste of the good life, and now has to drink Milwaukee’s best.

Which side is my gas tank on? I can never remember

CE: With only the given information, the only advice I will offer is to ask your husband.

2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7L. The truck won’t start on occasion. Will start 50 days in a row then on day 51 (some random day) it will not start. But if I wait 15 minutes after trying, it starts right up. Do you think it’s a fuel issue whether it’s the pump or a sensor? Talk to me goose.

Does it just spin over and over, or does it not try to turn over? Answer this in the comment section and I will get back with you.

Actually I have an A/C issue I can’t nail down.

Was working intermittently, so I attributed that to a failing compressor clutch solenoid. Had that replaced, and it worked for a day. Then the freon level dropped. I recharged, but still no cooling. Had it checked for leaks at the shop, they replaced the Schrader (sp?) Valves. Current condition is compressor will cut on, freon level is good, but no cooling.

CE: Grab your AC lines under the hood with engine running and air on. If one is warm, and one is cool, your AC is functioning correctly under the hood. So the next step is to look at the interior components. Without knowing what type of vehicle you have I will just throw a guess out here. If under hood is doing what I mentioned above then it will likely be your blend door actuator. It’s under the dash and basically just turns a door that changes whether Cold or Hot air is allowed into the cab of the vehicle.

2002 Chevy Trailblazer, tailgate will randomly just not lock. I can hear the lock in the tailgate trying to do something but then it’ll be fixed for a couple days and stop working again.

CE: Not uncommon for power latches to go bad. Yours is in the process. Just pull the interior trim panel off and you will see where the latch hooks to the striker. Inspect the latch to make sure one its jaws has not gotten bent. If it looks intact, buy a used for around 25-35 bucks and swap it.

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