Ford Tops Toyota with Fusion and Hybrids

2006 Ford Fusion photographed in USA. Category...

2006 Ford Fusion photographed in USA. Category:Ford Fusion (Americas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford has a lot of things to celebrate from 2013; they announced Monday their sales lead over Toyota on the Fusion and Hybrids.

Via Chicago Tribune, “Ford said Monday that U.S. sales for its main brand will surpass 2.4 million vehicles this year, as record demand for its Fusion sedan and hybrid models helps extend a lead over Toyota’s namesake line.

The Ford marque entered December ahead of Toyota by 388,825 cars and light trucks, heading for its fourth straight year as the top-selling U.S. auto brand. In 2012’s full-year tally, the margin was 322,521.”

Congrats to Ford, here’s hoping to a profitable 2014!


How to Test for a Dead Cell in Battery

battery charger

battery charger (Photo credit: Benimoto)

Car batteries have six individual cells. They all must work together to have the battery function correctly. Even one dead cell demands a battery replacement.

You can test for a dead cell fairly easily if you know what you’re doing. Always be careful of the sulfuric acid within a vehicle battery. When performing the test, wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. Keep the ventilation coming to avoid breathing any dangerous fumes.

  • Have a battery hydrometer handy. Since the best way to test for a dead cell is to check the specific gravity of each cell’s electrolyte fluid, you’ll need to compare its density to water.. Bottom line: a low specific gravity in one cell when compared to the others equals a dead cell.
  • Disconnect the battery cables and connect it to a battery charger. Charge it up to full.
  • After carefully removing the cell caps, insert the hydrometer tube into each cell.
  • Once the tube is full, read the specific gravity level. Battery cell fluid should ideally be 1.265, but older batteries may not meet this standard.
  • Read each cell’s specific gravity number. If you find one cell with a difference of more than 0.05, you’ve got a dead cell.

If you identify even one dead cell, replace the battery as soon as possible. This will avoid you becoming stranded–which always happens at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Is an EGR Delete Legal?

MTU Exhaust Gas Recirculation

MTU Exhaust Gas Recirculation (Photo credit: Tognum: MTU & MTU Onsite Energy)

Truckers have debated the pros and cons of deleting an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system for years. However, there is one overriding risky downside to this action.

Deleting any pollution control device, such as an EGR, is illegal. Not only locally illegal, but this is a federal crime. Should your state inspection also test for emissions, you will fail.

Do not dismiss this particular federal crime. The fines for deleting EGRs or other emission control devices are large, sometimes $10,000 or more. While it’s true fines of this magnitude are rare, you’ll enjoy little benefit, except some loss of engine efficiency, by deleting your EGR.

You also must keep your EGR cooler. Make sure it’s working, as some have a tendency to fail, sending a warning code to your truck’s computer. These can be expensive to replace.

While deleting EGR will not recirculate exhaust gases, making more space for clean air in your combustion chamber, is traditional wisdom. However, modern engines, both gasoline and diesel, are often unable to take advantage of this clean air to improve power and efficiency. You may actually endure reduced horse power.

Since the greatest supposed advantage becomes a neutral issue, the risk of illegally deleting EGR makes no reasonable sense.

How To Align the Steering in a Car

Steering Wheel

Steering Wheel (Photo credit: Marie Carter)

Aligning a steering wheel is important for proper driving. It keeps tire wear to a minimum, allows proper handling and response on the road, and it helps avoid accidents in tight turning. However, the process takes a few steps and some help to do correctly.

The actual position of a steering wheel doesn’t matter much. Where it is in relation to each front wheel position matters. First, have the wheels aligned properly at a shop. They can do this during an oil change. Next, check the car’s alignment going down the highway and letting the car drift a bit. If it drifts left or right pretty quick, then the alignment is leaning one way or the other. Note by mark where the steering wheel needs to be to drive straight.

Park the car on wheel ramps or elevated blocks as straight as possible and turn off the engine. Set the parking brake and emergency brake. Underneath both tie rods should be marked in current position before any changes are made. This makes it easier to reverse if needed. Then, the securing nut should be loosed and the tie rods adjusted by a 1/4 turn. To go left the driver’s side would be counter-clockwise and the passenger clockwise. Vice versa to lean more to the right. Re-tighten the securing nut firmly afterwards. Then take the car for a drive after pulling it off the ramps. Repeat the process until the alignment works for a straight drive.


Performing a Vehicle Fuel Pressure Test


pressure (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Testing the fuel pressure regulator is a good of knowing whether a vehicle is receiving the appropriate level of fuel or not. The test starts with raising the car hood and locating the test port on the fuel injection rail. Once found, the test port cap needs to be removed by twisting counter-clockwise. Then the fuel pressure gauge is screwed into the same port after the cap is place safely out of the way (don’t lose it or the car won’t run right).

The engine is then started up and left to run in idle. The pressure gauge should have a reading between 45 and 55 psi for normal pressure. That said, a throttle body injection system could read much lower, in the range of 15 to 18 psi instead. To be exactly sure, the given car model’s owner manual should have the correct reading specified for double-checking. The car will need work if the results are outside the normal range.

Based on the results, turn the engine off and remove the gauge. Re-insert the test port cap and tighten it clockwise. If the results are out of normal range, the regulator may be off or the test gauge may be bad. Produce the results for a mechanic to followup with a more thorough pressure test. If he gets the same results, the next step may require a vapor leak test in the fuel line system to see where the pressure is being lost.


How To Reseal an Oil Cooler

Radiator header tank, alternator, oil filter, ...

Radiator header tank, alternator, oil filter, fan, radiator (Photo credit: wbaiv)

Learning to reseal an oil cooler will save you money for now and in the future, since you won’t need to rely on a mechanic once you know how to do it yourself.

First of all, make sure you have all the tools and parts on-hand that you need to reseal an oil cooler, which include a metric socket, a metric combination wrench set, an oil drain pan, a floor jack or jack stands, a flathead screwdriver or dental pick and spare cleaning cloths.

The next thing you want to do is make sure you know where the oil cooler is in your car’s engine then place the automobile on jack stands or a floor jack. Remove the belly pan and disconnect the exhaust headers, using your socket, racket and combination wrenches. Remove the oil filter and disconnect the wires from the pressure-sending unit then use the thin, open-end wrench to remove the oil pressure-sending unit, and you will see the old oil cooler that you need to reseal.

Take out the old seal and replace it with the new seal, centering it onto the oil cooler unit then attach everything you disconnected during the initial phase of the process. Make sure you check the nut so the cooler seal is not shifted or pinched. Refill the car’s oil tank then check for leaks.

Pickup wars are coming

Light Truck on the Way to Lights On

Light Truck on the Way to Lights On (Photo credit: Phil’s 1stPix)

Dallas News has a great piece on the pickup sales war that’s building up due to the new release of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Dealerships are stocked with inventory and promotions are aplenty for the big December push.

From the article, ““In this market, I think, buyers are looking for a reason to buy a new truck, and deals can get them in the door,” said Jerry Reynolds, a former Ford dealer and host of the Car Pro Show on WBAP-AM (820) and KRLD-AM (1080) and in 21 other markets nationwide.”

Read more from Dallas News.