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location United States
age 31
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen Jan 18 '13 at 19:19

Aug
13
answered Most important preventive maintenance for high-mileage car?
Aug
13
answered Determining how many miles can be covered on full tank
Aug
10
comment Car starts fine after sitting for half a day but has trouble immediately after being driven
Yeah, I track my mileage on every tank as it is often a good indicator of "somethings wrong" if it changes wildly with no good reason. The belt was already like that when I bought the car, I was just doing it for good measure, afterwards I saw my average go up about 2 MPG.
Aug
10
answered Car starts fine after sitting for half a day but has trouble immediately after being driven
Aug
10
comment Car starts fine after sitting for half a day but has trouble immediately after being driven
You should provide information on any service besides the thermostat that has been done recently. Oil, spark plugs, wires, battery, fuel filter, distributor, etc. Since it has been sitting, we can't assume you have done these items in recent times and they could be affecting operation.
Aug
9
answered 2004 Mazda 3 - clank when shifting into reverse
Aug
8
comment Is there any way to determine when a water pump will fail?
Also, you may not completely fail and just skip a couple teeth on the belt. My engine was like that (although I think it was dealer error on install as the belt was in good shape), I was off by 2 teeth on one gear. After correcting, I've recorded about a 2 MPG increase (from 20-21 to 22-23 MPG) on my car which pays for the parts after about 6 months (did the work myself so no labor).
Aug
8
comment Is there any way to determine when a water pump will fail?
@Brian, a little searching around sounds as if Toyota has both, just depends on the engine. My answer was more to the generic cover all. Yes, if you find that you have a non-interference engine you could push it but still doesn't seem like a good idea. It is only every 60-100k miles and is costly to do, so you are better planning ahead for it instead of having to pony up the cash the moment it lets loose.
Aug
8
comment Is there any way to determine when a water pump will fail?
As Bob mentioned, Timing Belt and Water Pump should be done together. Timing Belt you can't wait till it breaks, you have to do it as preventative maintenance so you don't mess up your engine (bent/broken valves). The water pump is going to be right there in the middle of all the timing belt work, so why not spend the extra $50-100 to replace it then instead of paying hours and hours of labor when it starts failing. Plus, good luck replacing the water pump without getting coolant on the timing belt, which then you are supposed to replace the belt.
Aug
3
revised What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?
i was a bit comma crazy
Aug
3
comment Bent radiator fins — how many is too many?
Anti-Freeze has poor thermal transfer properties compared to water so the straight anti-freeze would definitely be an issue. Getting 50/50 mix in your reservoir doesn't mean your system is at the proper ratio and you haven't flushed, so I'd agree with Rory and say flush it (with an actual flushing agent, not just empty and refill. The bottle will give you the steps but its essentially empty, run with flush, empty, run with water, empty, fill with 50/50).
Aug
3
comment Bent radiator fins — how many is too many?
There is only a filler cap on the radiator, not the condensor. I'm referring to the front shot you posted with the bent fins though. On my car, from under the hood you can tell you are looking at the radiator, the hoses are running right into it. When you look through the front bumper, you think you are looking at the radiator, but the condensor is mounted in front of it.
Aug
3
revised What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?
more detail
Aug
3
comment Bent radiator fins — how many is too many?
Also, that may not be your radiator actually, it could be your A/C Condensor which looks just like a radiator but can be mounted in front of the radiator.
Aug
3
comment Bent radiator fins — how many is too many?
What did you do that you thought took care of the issue? If you flushed and refilled the radiator, you could have created a blockage in the radiator if it didn't fully flush, gotten some air pockets trapped, refilled with improper coolant mix (should be 50/50 water/anti-freeze typically, more anti-freeze will make it not cool as well, more water will have a lower boiling point and may boil it out).
Aug
3
answered What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?
Aug
2
awarded  Mortarboard
Aug
2
comment Car enthusiast beginner kit
Most AutoZone/O'Reilly/etc parts aren't their own brands but OEM equivalent manufacturers. For the most part, they are good and are built to match OEM Specifications.
Aug
2
answered Where can I go to do basic work on my vehicle?
Aug
2
answered Where can I go to do basic work on my vehicle?