Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for August, 2012

96 millenia s

questions for the regs in here (long time lurker):

i’m about to buy a 96 mazda millenia s
original owner–meticulous adherence to service schedule
garaged at home and at work
zero body defects, interior or exterior
owner has all records of everything done
largest mechanical fix was a right front cv joint

my only concern is the miller 2.5, cost of parts, and potential for problems
later based on what some of you have seen in your shops.

my 91 929 just died, and this millenia looks like a great replacement.
should i close this deal?


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expansion valve 2000 dodge durango

How do I change the expansion valve in a 2000 Dodge Durango? Where is
it located?

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UPDATED: Q RE: GM 4×4 "wax motors" and when they were replaced with somethingbetter…

The plot thickens… It seems my truck (’97 K3500, 10,000 GVWR, build
5/97) was built with the new actuator setup. Probably explains why I
never had a problem with it before. Unfortunately that also means the
the schematics in the ’97 factory manual set (ordered at the same time
as the truck) are incorrect for my truck and not too helpful in
troubleshooting the current problem.

I’ve noted that the time relay (12182086) looks like it had a meltdown
of sorts. Pulling the cover on it I see that there is a power transistor
(MOSFET I think) that seems to have become very toasty to the point of
it melting into the plastic baseplate and just about desoldering itself
from the PCB.

Without the correct schematic it’s difficult to test and isolate whether
this time relay meltdown is the cause of the problem or the result of a
problem downstream with the actuator or transfer case syncro.

If someone has the correct schematic they could point me to, post
somewhere or email me (remove .DOH.) I’d appreciate it. It would be nice
if they had updated the factory manuals (GMT/97-CK-1 / GMT/97-CK-2)


        Pete C.

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Sat Nav / GPS advice

Greetings all

I’m getting quite annoyed trying to work out which GPS to get. I’m
finding it hard to get decent comparison sites – even CNET is pretty
shit imho…

So far, I’ve narrowed it down to:
TomTom One XL
– like the size
– like the price
– lacks text to speech
– not sure about the speed camera alerts etc, but I presume I can just
d/l the appropriate POI?
– well supported internationally

TomTom 910
– like features
– expensive
– ugly

Garmin Nuvi 660
– like features
– looks good
– expensive, but not an issue
– might not be as supported (with custom POIs) as Tomtom

RoadAngel 7000
– Aussie only I think
– therefore potentially not well supported
– reasonable size
– is a bit expensive

So… ??? Overall, I think I am swaying towards the Garmin – but I
like TomToms (as a brand) better…

My needs/wants: I don’t care about hard drive/mp3 capabilities. My
main wants are size, gps functionality, gps/poi features…

Any other suggestions?


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1998 Ford Escort radiator fan

Getting a whirring/jingling noise coming from the fan. It’s working
fine, no play and nothing appears to be loose or broken but is this an
indication of worn bearings or something that will sooner or later put
it out of order? Cooling system and a/c are in good shape with
radiator replaced about a year ago.

Bill in Vancouver

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10 to 25% better MPG, with 2 or 3 ounces of Acetone per 10 gals of gas

Acetone is available at autoparts stores, walgreens, walmarts, etc,
and costs only 10 to 15 cents per ounce. Everyone who cares about air
pollution and the high cost of gasoline should know about this.

Acetone in Fuels: Significantly Improved Mileage:

This article about acetone (CH3COCH3) probably draws conclusions that
Big Oil  and the  American Car Manufacturers  and others do NOT want
you to know. They suffer from unlimited corporate GREED. They want bad
mileage. The worse, the better as far as they are concerned. Acetone
is a vaporization additive rather than a fuel additive per se. It is
successful in very tiny amounts from about one part per 5000 to one
part per 500. Mileage seems to taper off while HC emissions actually
are greatly reduced with too much acetone. The peak gain in mileage
comes between .03 of one-percent and .20  of one-percent acetone,
depending on the actual vehicle which may be running gasoline or
diesel. Note .781 cc per liter  or .78 parts per 1000  or  one part
per 1280 are the same as one ounce per 10 gallons. Acetone operates on
the unburned portion of the fuel to gain added vaporization and
improved combustion efficiency.

above was excerpted from:

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Buick – the information, purchase, resources, news, descriptions…

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Turn Signal Flasher R&R

Where is the turn signal flasher for a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Classic

I need to R&R because it works for a few blinks or many as it desires
and quits. happens to both right and left. Turn off and back on and it
will blink again for ? times.



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Brake bleeder kit

So I was at Harbor Freight today and picked up this brake bleeding kit for

On further inspection it seems to be a gizmo that produces vacuum using
shop air. However, the bottle on the left and the clips shown seem to be
a clever gizmo for keeping the master cylinder reservoir filled while
vacuum-bleeding the brakes. I’m tempted to keep the kit just for this
gizmo, unless someone knows an equally clever gizmo for keeping the
reservoir full while vacuum bleeding.

                Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.
                     That’s why stereo has two channels.

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