Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for September, 2012

2002 Dodge Intrepid pinging

I’ve got a 2002 Dodge Intrepid that is pinging way too much.  I’ve switched
to premium fuel and that helped a bit at first, but it is still pinging too
much.  Vehicle has 145K miles.

A mechanic who saw the car suggested that the combustion chamber has taken
on carbon and that has increased the compression ratio.

There really isn’t much to maintain on that engine.  The plugs are new; the
engine doesn’t have a distributor or wires; air filter is new.  I don’t
think there are any air/vacuum leaks as it idles smoothly.  Replacing the
plugs didn’t make any difference; try ones in a colder heat range? Does the
engine have a knock sensor?  Web searches seem to indicate that Dodge quit
using one in 2002.

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Let the sodomization begin…. $400 for a g-d battery???


I was preparing myself, with liberal applications of Preparation H, for
duplicating my Honda Fit keys.

Then I found out what the goddamm battery costs, which is little bigger than
a Harley Davidson battery–which makes sense, cuz Harley Davidson engines
are as big or bigger than the Fit engine.
I don’t think my local drugstore carries enough Prep H for this one.

So here’s the Q:
Are there cheap Sears or other replacements for these small batteries?

If not, I’m going to measure and find the smallest standard battery I can,
and *force* it in, even if I have to weld brackets, or use a sawzall, or run
wires from the back seat.
Fuck dis.

What a sodomization, $400 for a battery.
Indeed, economic assault & battery.

And, I believe, it’s just the beginning.

Mr. P.V.’d  (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY

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'76 Pacer exhaust problems

I have a ’76 Pacer with a 242.  My exhaust manifold is cracked and
warped.  My mechaninc is having a tough time finding a new manifold.
One option may be replacing it with a header.  Does anyone have any
thoughts on this?  A make and manufacturer?

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need opinion on economical van (Astro maybe?)

 I’m getting rid of my old G10. I want to drive cross country, and
12mpg’s isn’t going to cut it. I figure I should get 20 or better out
of an Astro (I am partial to Chevys). Was looking to get some
 I’m in NJ. If anyone in NJ or a neighboring state has a Astro for
sale, I could be interested. I’m looking for an older model. Cosmetics
means nothing, but something that should be able to make it to
 Were there any 6 cylinder full size models that could get 20mpg on
the highway?

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Subaru Wont Start after timing belt replacement

I have a 94 Subaru Legacy. 2.2 liter  The timing belt broke. I
replaced it.  I lined up marks and counted teeth.  I put it back
together.  It wont start.  I checked compression.  150 pounds on all
cylinders. I put on a timing light. It is firing about 90 degrees
before tdc!  What the heck.  I double checked the timing belt and
everything lines up.  With that much compression the belt must be on
right.  What about crank and camshaft sensors?  Would they produce
this kind of symptom?  I thought they mostly worked or no spark.  I
don’t have a clue.


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Evaluating a Used Car – DipStick (Oil) Reading

I’m looking at a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L with 57,000 miles. I
pulled the dipstick and the oil looked dark and smelled a bit cooked.
The vehicle had been taken in trade at a [Dodge] dealer. The salesman
showed me the shop work that had been performed on this vehicle to
ready it for resale. Among other things such as brakes and stabilizer
bushings, the engine oil and filter had been changed. The van had
about 50 miles on it since the oil change.

Although I put a deposit on the 2002, I am concerned about the care
that the engine was given by the previous owners.

Why would the oil be dark so quickly?

What inspections or tests can be performed to determine the overall
health of the engine?

When I change the oil in my current van (1994 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L
with 180,000 miles), the used oil is very dark, nearly black at 5,000
miles. The fresh oil is nearly clear and it takes a few hundred to a
thousand miles before the oil is dark again.

I also have a 1997 Corolla. I changed the oil last week and have
driven over 1,000 miles since the change. I check the oil level today
and the oil is still clean and clear!

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What's a Pinch Bar for?

Here’s a pic of a 14 inch long, half an inch in diameter, pinch bar:…

One end comes to a point and the other is flattened out like the end
of a un-split crow bar. The flattened-out end is bent maybe 30 degrees
from straight.

What is this tool used for? I realize you could use it as a general
pry tool but then what’s the point of the pointed end? You can’t use
it as a punch very well because the flattened end is off center and
like the blade of a large standard screwdriver – it doesn’t present a
good surface to strike.

So what’s the application where the pinch bar is the best tool to
use?  Is it used in front end (of an auto) work somehow?  And what’s
it supposed to "pinch"?

   (||)   Nehmo   (||)

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Infiniti QX4 1998 – Right headlight won't turn off

Recently I replaced the fuel filter, spark plugs and distributor.
After we put the new distributor on, the right head light stays on
anytime the car is running.  It turns on as soon as I start the car.
The left one only comes on when I turn the lights on.

Any idea why this is happening or how to fix it?  I tried
disconnecting the battery for awhile, but it did not work.  My 4WD
light also stays on all the time (while it’s not in 4wd).

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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