Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Let’s Talk About What Ails Your Rides Right Now

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Let’s Talk About What Ails Your Rides Right Now

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Shifty McShifterson
Shifty McShifterson
1 month ago

I bought my current car, a 2007 Hyundai Elantra I named Lola, in 2018 with only 58k miles. Was in great shape and with the manual trans it was more fun than a barrel of buttered cheerleaders. Added Falken ZX960 tires on slightly-wider 7-spoke wheels.

At the moment, Lola needs the trans oil replaced (I’ll be using Red Line in the factory weight), front struts and rear shocks (KYB GR2 all around), and new headlights (the lenses are faded). Soon enough she’ll need a coolant drain/fill and spark plugs.

She’s a great little partner in crime that gets 30mpg on my daily commute.

Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley
1 month ago

Cosmetic bling – E63 headliner replacement, Viggen window tint removal.
Heart and soul task that requires a road trip – Viggen transmission rebuild.
Which one gets done first?

0l0id
0l0id
1 month ago

The most treeshade wrenching under the hood on my record was done last week when I installed a clever shrapnell catcher in the fuel system of the diesel motor under the hood of my car.

I own a 2012 Golf TDI, with just a click over 160,000 miles on the clock. I am acutely aware of its shortfalls, the pinnacle of which is of course the BOSCH CP4 fuel pump, which is a ticking time bomb that’ll make Schrodinger proud. For those uninitiated, the CP4 has a manufacturing flaw whereby under certain circumstances it can break off and eat a small aluminum part of itself, shredding it into tiny bits and sending aluminum dust through the entire fuel circuit from the gas tank to the cylinders.

The proper solution to this issue of course is to preemptively swap out the CP4 for an earlier and much sturdier model – the CP3. However, I’m neither equipped nor financially endowed enough, nor can I afford the downtime to do this, so Instead I’ve installed a failsafe which is Matt Whitbread’s CJAA bypass kit!

This involves cutting some fuel lines, installing some T-fittings, and a a diverter in the solenoid. Took me all of 2 hours or so. Prior to this the most involved maintenance operation I’ve done was changing spark plugs on a different car (obvi a petrol one) years ago.

The idea here is, should the CP4 choose to throw in the towel, the damage will be contained to a small part of the fuel system instead of taking out the whole thing and costing $10,000 in repairs.

Now there is no way of knowing whether the Schrodinger’s cat which is the aluminum part inside the pump is about to go or not – some blow up after 6,000 miles on the clock, most of them last for years – up to like a quarter million.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

What’s ailing me right now is if that guy in the topshot is dead?! Or sleeping or avoiding work? It doesn’t look like there’s any jack, jack stands or ramps so he’s right up against the undercarriage…ha ha just had to comment

Joke #119!
Joke #119!
1 month ago

Just got a new fuel filter and pump for my car. Drives great, no more random hesitations.
I still need to go into the driver door and replace the actuator so I can roll down the driver window. I’ve done that before.

Heater core sprung a leak a good 10 years ago, and I’m loathe to spend $3000, or perform the 170 steps x2 myself, to fix it since it is needed about ten days a year.

Need to install a new audio unit, one that will allow interface to my iPod. Current one is stuck on one FM radio station and one volume. Crutchfield gave me good instructions for the last one I installed.

FrontWillDrive
FrontWillDrive
1 month ago

Every one of my cars needs something, ranging in complexity from the daily (05 Acura RL) needing two tpms sensors, a wheel balance and a detailing job, to any of the other seven more project like cars, the 92 Lumina Z34 needs a small bit of rust repair and front sway bar bushings, the SC swapped 91 Riviera needs a transmission and master cylinder, the 88 Ciera needs the engine and transmission installed and wired (another S2 3800 swap), my 99 Tahoe needs door pins and bushings, and to install the carpet and seat upholstery I have for it, along with some paint work, and a front differential or at least a rebuild of it. The 03 Park Ave Ultra needs a coolant drain and fill, some paint love, and a major detailing including power washing the carpeting but is otherwise happy overall, the 92 SC SSE Bonneville I have needs a headliner and some paint on the rear end but otherwise is magical. The 02 SSEi I bought in spring still needs the cat-back replaced, stereo re-wired to factory amp, tires installed, and a thorough detailing job also.

I have a busy summer ahead of me, but it all sounds worse than it actually is, it’s all just time and money really.

Last edited 1 month ago by FrontWillDrive
Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

Just fixed this last week, but I’ll take the chance to grumble anyway: you can’t reset service indicators on a BMW bike yourself like a regular-ass human in anno domini 2024, so I had to buy a Bluetooth OBD tool (frustrating because I already have wired one) and a $30 app to pair with it and tell the computer that yes, I *did* change the oil.

Stupid thing doesn’t even tell you it’s just for want of an oil change. Instead it flashes a big warning over the entire screen: service needed (/overdue)! Have your motorcycle serviced at a specialist workshop!

I ended up spending $200 for this oil change. At least that should be the only one so expensive, and the Bluetooth OBD will be a neat party trick when I’m working on others’ cars.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

I got a cheap Bluetooth OBD thing to run the Dr. Prius app on my Prius v. It’s basically the only way to run an “assessment” of the hybrid battery health.

But yeah, I’m still waiting for opportunities to use it if it ever throws codes at me.

Ryan L
Ryan L
1 month ago

I have all the parts to do rotors, pads and suspension on all four corners of my 2005 Jeep Wk delivered from Rock Auto sitting in my living room. Unfortunately it keeps raining on the weekends. If we don’t get a dry weekend soon, my wife is gonna make me bring them to the garage lol.

I’m not all that excited about my prospects for getting that clevis bolt out though…likely need to rally a friend and a large pry bar and yank the front struts out without removing it. 19 yrs of rust will do that.

Oh well I got all summer to get it done so it will probably wait a bit.

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago

Always been intimidated by a/c systems; but with local shops unwilling to talk to me or just annoyed because I pulled in the parking lot, maybe this is the time for me to figure it out without putting any part of my body into a cryogenic lab. It’s a ’95 civic I bought last year. Following the process in the manual I found the circuitry works but the compressor leaks. Rock Auto compressor, drier, expansion valve, and orings are under $400. Looks like the prior owner put a new evaporator in at some time but I’m thinking: should I replace the condenser as well?

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago
Reply to  Geo Metro Mike

I’m a big “don’t mess with what works” adherent. If the compressor works, replace it and leave everything else intact. Good practice is to replace the drier if you’re cracking the system open, but otherwise just compressor and seals should do the trick. If any of the hoses are multi-piece design (like a hard line mated to a soft line as a single component), those can spring leaks. Good luck!

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago

Thanks! That ideology sounds good. The expansion valve is a little bit of a pain to get to and I figured it was replaced when the evaporator was. Don’t know why the locals don’t want the business. 10 years ago I took a civic in for a/c work and the mechanic commented how he liked civics because they’re easy to work on.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago
Reply to  Geo Metro Mike

I started going to an automotive HVAC specialist, and it was a great decision. If you can find one in your area, they’ll likely make quicker work of your issues than a generalist mechanic. I found that other mechanics didn’t want to touch R12 systems.

Trenton Abernathy
Trenton Abernathy
1 month ago

Late to the party, but I’m saving up to replace every rotor on my WRX. Took it in to have the 2 rear hub assemblies replaced and the mechanic noted on the work order “Brakes Shudder”. It was an understatement. I’ve been engine braking because using the actual brake pedal at 50 mph causes the whole car to shake. I can only imagine the rotors have the same geometry as a toasted tortilla.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

Do people still get rotors turned? It always seemed like the hassle of finding a machine shop was more trouble and likely cost than buying new ones, but maybe I’ve just always had cheap rotors.

Trenton Abernathy
Trenton Abernathy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Places around will certainly do it. For the effort and time, I figure the benefit of buying new rotors will outweigh the savings of having them refinished so they’re flat again. The OEM rotors aren’t particularly nice to begin with (they’re decent), but taking all 4 off, taking them to machine shop, and going without a vehicle for that period of time isn’t an option. I know I can spend a weekend afternoon replacing everything and drive out with a fully functional car and not have to worry about waiting for the shop, then reinstalling all the rotors.

Plus, I’ve priced it out on RockAuto and I know 4 sets of pads and 4 rotors will run me maybe $400 or so, and that’s a blow to my wallet that I’m willing to take.

Along with Martin, Dutch Gunderson, Lana and Sally Decker
Along with Martin, Dutch Gunderson, Lana and Sally Decker
1 month ago

Tires.

We are in Ireland for a family vacation, so this week my ride is a VW T-Cross, 100 horsepower of turbo 3-cylinder fun, and because it is an Enterprise rental car the worst tires, both in terms of brand and tread depth. Like my last Enterprise rental, a couple summers ago out in California, I have four different brands of tires (three of which I’ve never heard of:

LR – Goodyear Efficient Grip (Poland)
LF – Delinte (that’s it, no model, no other branding) (China)
RF – Austone Athena SP-701 (China)
RR – Barum Bravuris 5 HM (France)

And they’re all at or near the wear bars. But hey, at least I’m not likely to get arrested because Enterprise misplaced the car at the airport. My wife asked why we didn’t use Hertz, as her company has a deal with them, and so I explained some of the recent horror stories.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
1 month ago

Barum is fine enough.
Austone never heard before.
Delinte: there are people who says they are good, other says they are thing of people who can’t afford better brand tires. They have everything: from regrooved to run-flat, and usually way cheaper than other brands. A run-flat will cost half or less than a Continental or Pirelli. Personally, I believe it is fine on a cheap econobox (T-Cross, for European standards), but definetely not something that you should put on a Mercedes.
Also don’t like Goodyear. I avoid them at all cost. They were the cause for the only serious accident I ever had, so it is some kind of trauma.

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