Category Archives: Voices from the Garage

These are my vocalisations of things in and around the Garage.

15 reasons why cars are less trouble than women

  1.  Go means go, stop means stop, left means left, right means right. Nothing is implied.
  2.  It’s perfectly fine to have more than one.
  3. The tire bill is considerably less than a woman’s shoe bill.
  4.  Aside from the fuel tank, its weight does not change.
  5.  If you don’t like it anymore, you can sell it and get another. (Without going through hell)
  6. If you take good care of it, it’ll look the same as the day you got it.
  7. Too change it, you don’t have to talk to it, you just MODIFY it.
  8. Even a LARGE heavy one, can look sexy. You can have fun inside it and no one will think you’re weird.
  9. You can redress it with a new body kit for less than the cost of a wedding dress.
  10. You can give it accessories whenever you feel like it, irrespective of birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  11. It never asks questions about it’s rear.
  12. The airbags are not just for decoration, they save your life.
  13. Regardless of the time of day, season, day of the month, it is ready to give you a ride when you want it.
  14. Every year, it only asks for new oil, not jewellery.
  15. Ever now and then, you’ll be able to drive a friend’s one, without any guilt.

NOTE: These are just observations! I still like women but these observations make sense of why guys like cars. Just sayin! BzeroB

Trying to cure a nagging ignition stutter

65 Mustang Coupe
65 Mustang Coupe

My 65 Mustang has developed an annoying ignition stutter

Over the last couple of months I have been fighting a new problem that has appeared on the 65. It is what appears to be a stutter, or misfire, at speed. It is real worrisome when cruising at freeway speeds when you can feel it missing a lot. And has made me a bit nervous to take it out on long runs. I need to fix that!

At first we thought it might be a fuel delivery issue. We replaced the carb with another and no net effect. Starts way better but other than that it still stutters. The next thought was that the aging Pertronix ignition unit was a possible culprit. I went ahead and got another rebuilt points distributor and dropped it in. Timing is stable so I don’t see any issues with timing gears and the such. We will be taking it out for a couple of spins to verify that all is still the same.

I will be doing a simple compression test in the next few days to substantiate what I believe may be some burned or stuck valves. I am not sure but this is a definite possibility.  If the head is wounded I will get it reworked. With 80K it may be time to get it done. We shall see.

My 06 HHR

Why my HHR recall is worrysome to me

My 06 HHR
My 06 HHR

I am still waiting on the repair parts

But in the mean time I am driving it on a limited basis. I never had any issues with the ignition since I got it new in 06. But I don’t see any reason to dance with the devil at this time.

Why Every Driver Should Care About The GM Ignition RecallBy Kate Cox April 21, 2014

The massive ongoing recall of General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches (and the dozen years the company spent not issuing a recall) has made headlines, launched lawsuits, angered legislators, but many consumers who don’t own a recalled car have shrugged and said, “Glad I don’t drive one of them.”

Whole Article

Although I am entitled to a free loaner until it gets repaired I haven’t pursued it

Court To Decide If Recalled GM Cars Should Remain Parked Pending Repairs
By Chris Morran March 27, 2014

Earlier this week, plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against General Motors over the ongoing ignition-related recall of more than a million cars asked the court to issue an injunction that would compel GM to urge drivers to stop driving these vehicles until the repairs. Today it was announced that both sides will get to argue their position before the court on April 4. Whole Article

Despite the court ruling that they aren’t required to park the cars they are allowing customers a courtesy car until it is repaired.

Court Denies Bid To Keep Recalled GM Cars Off Road By Chris Morran April 17, 2014

A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has put the brakes on an attempt to compel General Motors to tell owners of recalled vehicles to keep their cars parked pending repairs. Whole Article

I guess I will wait till they call me and get it all done . I will feel a bit better when it is done. Unfortunately my opinion of GM is a bit weakened at this time.

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Car repair basics and common sense

Sometimes we need a tap on the shoulder to remind us to pay attention. Car repairs are no different. Here is a list of handy stuff to remember when you are considering car repairs.

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Sometimes stolen cars do get found

Stolen car crashes into cabs on Beacon Street
Stolen car crashes into cabs on Beacon Street (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

And it takes a while but they do get found

Sadly many don’t end up this way. And these two incidents are a shining example of the fact that they are being sent overseas! And that is a trend that has been going on for years.

The first newsworthy recovery happened right here in Detroit.

DETROIT - A Volkswagen Beetle that was reported stolen from Tennessee in the 1970s has been found in Detroit. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers in Detroit found the 1965 Beetle during a document check on Jan. 30 as it was being shipped from Michigan to Finland. READ MORE

The other incident involves a 57 Chevy, a highly prized vehicle. Both by car fans and car thieves.

A ’57 Bel Air is one of the world’s most prized collector’s cars. This one was stolen from Wilson’s place in Clearlake Oaks not just once but twice in the early 1980s.

Wilson, who’s 65 and battling cancer, had long before quit hoping to see it again when, about three weeks back, a California Highway Patrol investigator named Mike Maleta phoned him from Southern California. READ MORE

Some times good things happen. While being excellent outcomes it raises a red flag for me in a couple of ways. But in both incidents you start to question the many opportunities over the years where the same information that FOUND and identified the cars as stolen was also available when they changed hands multiple times in various jurisdictions. And nobody caught it then.

With that said I still have faith in the system. Kimda. Maybe. Sorta. It does make me a bit more protective of my “toys” but I can only hope that this is the outcome for more of these prized possessions.

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Just how complicated is an oil change?

English: SIGONELLA, Sicily (July 1, 2009) Avia...

It’s not really. Unfortunately we get lazy and that’s when you get minimum wage goofies involved.

That’s when it can go completely sideways

As many of you know, changing the oil in what could be a daily beater, your prized possession or a mediocre family car, is not that complicated. Messy? Maybe. But definitely not complicated. The simplified version involves getting the vehicle up in the air, unscrewing the drain plug, draining the old oil out, replacing the drain plug and filling it back up with new oil. Pretty straight forward. Right? It should not be a traumatic experience at all.

You may notice that I used the words SHOULD NOT in that sentence. The reason for this is this. Not all of us are capable of changing our own oil and other fluids. And sometimes the circumstances make it a problem. This is where the local service centers get involved. They are more than happy to do this for a fee. Not really sinister at all. And there are a whole bunch of these quick service facilities littering the local landscape. The problem here is that in most cases the person actually doing the service is usually a minimum age, part time, young know-it-all that doesn’t have a clue. And even more alarming is that the car they are working on may be a $100 beater or a $80K Mercedes. Either way this could get ugly real fast if it is not done right.

NOTE Before we go any farther you may want to check out my blog entry – Walmart Oil Change goes wrong

The simple act of unscrewing the drain plug is by itself not the problem. It’s the screwing it back in that gets them all jacked up! Here’s where they get confused. First off it needs to be threaded back in correctly! I say it again, Correctly. With a new gasket. That means by hand to start. Finish with a hand wrench. The correct size hand wrench. Not cross threaded. And not with power tools! This is critical because many of the new oil pans are now aluminum or other soft metals that don’t take nicely to being over-torqued. The threads will be stripped in a heartbeat if you use power tools. It is because of this lack of knowledge not likely that the car I brought in in operational condition should now, all of a sudden, have the oil plug “develop a leak” or even “fall out”! Could it be a problem? You betcha! Ignorant gorillas under the car tightening the pan plug is the problem.

My advice here is if the vehicle has a non-steel pan pay close attention to where you take it for an oil change. You really need to know and trust your service provider. The cheapest is usually not the best choice.

A critical sidebar to this simple act of changing the oil is changing the oil filter. It goes hand in hand. And here to things can get silly really quick if you don’t pay attention. Just like the oil plug, unscrewing the oil filter by nature is no biggie. Usually the hardest part is getting your hand and the tool in a position to do so. Beyond that it is a similar scenario of screw the old one off and screw  the new one on. This screwing the new one on is where the unknowing neophyte gets it all wrong. First you a supposed to put some oil on the sealing ring so it seats nicely and doesn’t grab. Next is screwed down to contact plus a quarter turn.  Not two more turns! I can safely say those of us that do our own changes have, at one time or another, encountered a jammed filter. It was screwed on so tight it either left the base plate stuck to the seat after having the housing stripped away or  the ole “stab it with a screwdriver” removal technique was employed  in order to get it started. And of course, no one seems to know how it got that way. Most incidents are immediately after a trip to the quick service facility. Gee! What are the odds? Pretty good actually!

The re-emergence of the insert/canister style oil filter has created it’s own monsters with the handling of the filter housings or covers. Once again the wrong tools and techniques could be fatal to your engine. Caution is the keyword here.

My advice is the same here. You gotta know who is under your car for stuff like this. And if you don’t consider yourself warned. It has always amazed me that oil change business owners continually populate their staff with unskilled goofies knowing that if it goes sideways because of them the owner is responsible. Apparently they are avid gamblers.

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I am Incredible!

Brian Williams – Thanx for stopping by!

It really sucks when people take notes!

Retail auto parts is always an enlightening experience. The other day was no exception. Actually it was an extraordinary day. I gotta say that in this case I was awestruck. I was so overwhelmed that I was speechless. Well for a minute at least.

Let me lay it out for you

I am Incredible!
I am Incredible!

I had the “pleasure” of dealing with a Mr. Brian Williams and his friend on a spark plug transaction. What started out as a simple transaction involving some spark plugs for a 4.6 liter Ford mod motor turned into a very loud and boisterous enlightenment by Mr. Williams that because I work in a parts store as a clerk I don’t have any idea what I am talking about. Now I have been berated before in this, and other businesses , so I don’t let it get under my skin.  He added that my 61 years have no bearing on what I know! Just another old guy in a parts store. And to make it real I was informed that not only is Mr. Williams an ASE certified mechanic for 25 years, he was personally taught engine building by Austin Coil, the NHRA tuner for John Force! And that Mr. Williams is the record holder at both Milan Dragway in Milan, MI AND, let me repeat that, AND Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk,OH! His own amazing vehicle has 15,000 HP! Yes! He said his 15,000 HP car does 4.2 seconds in the quarter mile! I am truly in awe of Mr Williams and this vehicle. That’s incredible! Incredible I tell you! This get get my attention!

On to the aftermath

I was so amazed that I could not really say anything. Well, kinda till he hit the door. At that point I had a hard time breathing! Why you ask? Because I was laughing so hard it hurt! There is no description that can make this exchange anything more than just frickin incredible. At that point I was so amazed that I decided to do some simple fact checking. Yep! That’s what I did! Here are the results. Ain’t technology a kick in the butt!?

  • ASE certified Mechanic for 25 years” – I’m gonna give him this one! Could be. He is the right age. Haven’t checked the database yet.
  • Personally taught engine building by Austin Coil” – My gut feeling here is probably not! Maybe saw a video by him but that’s about it. Could be, but once again I vote NO!
  • Record holder at Milan Dragway” – Must be using an alias of some sort because they never heard of him! Ever!
  • Record holder at Summit Raceway Park” – Could be using another alias here too because they never heard of him either!
  • 15,000 Horsepower” – not sure on this one. Could be. But it seems that Bill Miller, owner of Bill Miller Engineering (BME) in Carson City, Nevada can only get 8,000 horsepower from his. He must be doing it wrong! I need to hook him up with Brian!
  • “4.2 seconds” – Brian must not be too good a tuner ’cause the guys with only 7000 horses are getting 3.85′s out of theirs at Pomona! His car should be doing 3.2′s if my math is correct!

In Conclusion

This is just my opinion, remember that! Here are some simple observations that I would like to offer up. Brian, if you are going to get on a rant you may want to at least make it believable! And Brian if you are going to start spouting off about how frickin awesome you are you may want to make it credible. Especially if there are numbers of people in the immediate vicinity that heard all the info you gave out. And when it is all said and done, well, in this case Brian you are the asshat not me! I really do look forward to seeing you again. Really I do! I really really am!

Come see me again soon

So Brian if you read this stop by the store I would like to chat further with you. Really! Just ask for Bob! The OLD guy behind the counter.

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What the heck is a “Cargasm”!

The Gospel According to Bob reads like this.

Car-gasm [verb] – pronounced Khar-ghazim The feeling a gearhead gets from working for a whole year to  become a working piece in the mix of a million people and 50,000 cars. Also see Ohrghazim.  The same thing only for boats! Best I can do ,Folks!

Did I really say that? Actually, Yes, I did!

Now I know what you are asking, Exactly is a “cargasm” and how can I get one! Good question. Well, let me premise this with an excerpt from a blog article written by The Detroit Bureau about the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Here is the clip

“This is car-gasm,” laughs Bob Motter, of Oak Park, Michigan, who is already out on the Wednesday night before the official Cruise in a ’67 Mustang complete with a pair of giant fuzzy dice he carries in a luggage rack on the back deck.

“We never expected this,” gapes Motter, one of the members of the original Dream Cruise steering committee, back in 1995.  “It was supposed to be a one-time fundraiser, but our plans went sidewise” In this case, in a positive direction”

This is where I may need to explain. I was accosted on the street by a photographer and an editor for The Detroit Bureau after they saw my car cruising around and managed to hunt me down in the cruise melee.

It was actually a very great time having my picture taken and being asked for my comments on the whole Dream Cruise phenomenon. I guess I just blurted it out during the interview. And I guess I didn’t consider the possibility of it being quoted and attributed to me! Well, it was and I did!

Fred and Friend enjoying the “Cargasm”

Looking back on the whole scenario all I can say is that I was kind of surprised that they walked by a couple of wicked radical customs to see me and Fred! And the result was very gratifying. I am not a glory hound by any means just an ordinary [kinda] guy who likes cars, a lot. And actually Fred was the first photo shot by the way. I am thrilled to get any press.

But in this case you could just say it was “CARGASMIC“!

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