Troubleshooting Car Air Conditioning Problems

Troubleshooting Car Air Conditioning Problems

Reader Question: My air conditioner is not cold enough at idle sitting at a stop sign, but gets colder when I get on the freeway. Is this a sign that my compressor is weak? Thank you, Bill Dear Bill, Let me explain in layman’s terms how the air conditioning (AC) system works and what could be happening to your car. This video also does a great job at showing and describing the different parts of a car A/C system. Watch it! Like your body, the air conditioning compressor…Continue Reading

Eastwood Plastic Resurfacer Review

Eastwood Plastic Resurfacer Review

Does the external hard plastic on your vehicle look old and faded? Can you even remember what color it USED to be? I have tried a handful of products that claim to restore the look and luster of hard automotive plastics and many of them just don’t last long enough or bring the color back strong enough to make it worth your time to use it. I did a Youtube video a while back on one product, Wipe New, you probably see their late night commercials on TV.…Continue Reading

Service Engine Soon Light On?

Service Engine Soon Light On?

Reader Question: Hello Austin, I recently had the “service engine soon” or “check engine soon” light come on in my Buick. Took it to my mechanic, and he said it was the EGR valve which he changed out for over $500. The light came on again within 24 hours and I took it back. He said he tightened the fittings, and said that the EGR computer may need to be replaced!??? Since then the “service engine light” has gone off and come back on several times. What is…Continue Reading

Where to Get an Oil Change

Where to Get an Oil Change

Reader Question: My mechanic wants me to take my car into his repair shop just for an oil change, but there is a quick lube right near my office that is much more convenient. Looks like the price is about the same. Is there any reason I should go out of my way to let him do it?   Sheila Hi Sheila, This is a great question, and I’ve got a great answer: Yes! There are a lot of variables to consider when scheduling a routine oil change, and…Continue Reading

How Much Should a Tune Up Cost?

How Much Should a Tune Up Cost?

MReader Question My car needed a tune-up so I called the dealership and a couple of local mechanics for prices. The dealer told me it would be four hours of labor plus parts, which could end up being pretty expensive unless they do a better job(?) One of the mechanics at another shop quoted a flat rate, but the other charged two hours of labor and parts. What is the best option and how do I know what I am getting for my money? Thanks, Tom P.  …Continue Reading

Should You Ask For Your Old Parts?

Should You Ask For Your Old Parts?

Several “mechanic exposes” in the news the last few years have offered this advice to consumers: Always ask your mechanic for the old parts he replaces when he repairs your car. So have you heard about this tactic and are following this advice? Do you feel protected from getting ripped off now? A few years ago I did an experiment that involved a new customer to my shop. She diligently asked me to keep her old parts before we started working on her car. (Thankfully she remembered to…Continue Reading

Should You Buy Used Car Parts at a Junkyard

Should You Buy Used Car Parts at a Junkyard

Reader Question Austin, I need a water pump for my BMW 325 I, and a new one is expensive for me, but a used one seems very cheap and within my budget. What is your opinion on used car parts? Thanks in advance, Chuck Dear Chuck, Welcome to the world of expensive European car repair. You do ask a good question though, and this is something most people really don’t give much consideration to. The salvage yard, or junk yard as they once were called, can be a…Continue Reading

Need Help Finding a Car Repair Shop?

Reader Question Austin, What should I be looking for when selecting a car repair shop? Pay attention to first impressions. Picture yourself on a first date. Imagine that you are a woman and are picked up for a date by a man whose hair is dirty, his shirt is torn, and his car looks like California after an earthquake. You’ve got an absolute slob on your hands. He had better be very entertaining, because that first impression is permanently implanted in your brain. You probably won’t have a good…Continue Reading

Car Radiator Flush – Will It Help?

Car Radiator Flush – Will It Help?

Reader Question I want to flush the radiator in my car, how do I do it and why should I? Thanks in advance, Mark W. The first question that comes to mind is WHY do you want to do this? Red flags go up in my head when customers ask me a “how do I…” question. Some people not only like to diagnose their car problems themselves, but they want to perform the operation as well. This can be a great thing, but only if the diagnosis was correct. If it was…Continue Reading

My Car is Leaking Brake Fluid

My Car is Leaking Brake Fluid

Reader Question Hi Austin, I was told I had a leak in my break seal on my Lexus GS300…what does this mean and what should I do about it? There is something causing my car to be leaking brake fluid. Thanks…great site! Arnold Hi there Arnold I assume you are having to add brake fluid to your vehicle on a regular basis and that your mechanic or someone told you you had a leak in the brake system. There are many places that can leak brake fluid, and…Continue Reading