Dave: Good morning everyone and welcome to Bumper to Bumper Radio. I am Dave Riccio, here alongside me is Matt Allen and we are your KTAR car guys, heard every Saturday from 11 to noon right here on 92.3, At Bumper to Bumper Radio, we are helping you, the motoring public, have a better overall car experience. If you’ve got car questions, we’ve got answers, so we encourage you to give us a call at 602-277-5827, 602-277-KTAR You can also text us if you’re shy at 411923. Anything you got going on at an auto shop or as we’re talkin’ about a topic in regard to your car, you wanna call in? Give us a call. Today on the Bumper To Bumper Road Map, we got some Fact- Fact or Fiction?, we’re taking your calls, and is your car ready for summer? Top Ten Tips for your Car for Summer. I can’t say that ten times fast over.
Matt: (Laughs) Yeah, try that little tongue twister there, the Top Ten Tips, huh Dave?
Matt: Uh, the first tip I’m gonna say, you know, you’ve heard the term, uh “Rubber-” “Where the rubber meets the road.” and what I’m already startin’ to see on my daily drive up the 51, there’s a car in front of you and *Hoo!* all of a sudden they’re swervin’ and you’re like “What are they doin’?” Well, they’re, there’s a tire carcass in the road because we’re already starting to see, see tires comin’ apart on cars. We’re just, you know, what did we dip into the high 90s one day this week? Or the past week? And, uh, I think-
Dave: That is, that is the number one thing.
Matt: Yeah, that, that’s it, that’s the number one thing that’s gonna, it is a safety issue, it’s gonna inconvenience you, leave you stranded on the side of the road, you name it.
Dave: Nothing good happens on the side of the road with a flat tire. Nothing good. I wrote a, I wrote a blog on KTAR.com about, you know, “Can you boil an egg on a sidewalk?” You know, they’re a little crispy when you get some of those, uh, asphalt grinds in ’em, they’re not too bad, but you gotta realize those, those temperatures on the cement are 150, 170 degrees and that’s just rubber. And rubber is what’s gonna come apart when it comes to summertime. So, that’s the number one thing to stay off the side of the road. You’re takin’ a road trip? Hey, you know, we’re drivin’ to San Diego in July, tires have got to be on your mind and I’d rather buy ’em now. I always buy everything out of season. Don’t buy tires at the height of the season in July.
Matt: (Laughs) I don’t know that there, I mean, it’s not like back East or the Midwest or somewhere where their seasons are changin’ so much and you’ve gotta go get your snow tires. I don’t know that there’s necessarily a tire season in Phoenix, but I- when you need tires is when you need tires, regardless of the season. So, how do we know when we need them Dave? What, what are the things that, that we’re going to check? What-
Dave: Well, tread depth and we’re lookin’ for even tread depth because, you know, if you only see the outside edge of the tire, it’s not telling you the whole story. So if you’re lookin’ at your front tires, you wanna go ahead and turn the steering wheel all the way out to the right, so you can see the tread all the way across. Tread depth, you know, you can use Abraham Lincoln’s penny, that’s what we used to use. But that’s out cuz we drive twice as fast as we used to so-
Matt: Did Abraham Lincoln have a penny?
Dave: Yeah he did. He’s on the penny.
Matt: He’s on the penny, but you know, did he actually have? Do we have a penny of his?
Dave: I think we do.
Matt: (Laughs) Ok
Dave: So, you, you would use a penny to check the tread depth, but now we’re using quarters.
Matt: So, what we’re doin’, what you’re talkin’ about Dave, is we’re gonna take a quarter now, it used to be a penny, but you take the top of the, well I don’t, it’s round so it isn’t, there isn’t a top of the quarter.
Dave: The top of the head.
Matt: The top of the head, you’re gonna put that down in the deepest part of the tread on the tire. And if you can see the top of the President’s head, you’re in, you’re in the right range, you need tires.
Dave: It’s time.
Matt: Yeah, if you see-yeah
Dave: It’s time.
Matt: the top of the head. And that’s around 3/32 of an inch of tread depth. You look at, in between the treads and there’s a smooth bar, a tread bar sporadically throughout the tire. And if that’s smooth with the tire, you’re, you’re done. You’re past time. That’s 2/32 of an inch and, and a tire is completely shot at that point.
Dave: Well, the other thing is, the torture test of summer is gonna tax a tire that is old. People do not realize that, you know, Twinkies, they can get away with bein’ on the shelf for ten years, they’re still gonna taste the same. (Matt laughs) But, tires at 5-6 years, whether they’ve got a lot of miles on them or not, they’re goin’ bad. They’ve just been in the environment and they’ve got a shelf life.
Matt: Yeah, we had a caller last week talk about their tires. Remember Dave? He was talkin’ about, “I’ve only had this tire on the car for so long and, and it blew and it did all this damage to the tire.” Then when we started talking more, he had had that tire in the garage for 5 years, maybe he got a special on it, or, or something. And, and I don’t think that worked out so well in hindsight. But like we talked about last week, there’s a Born On Date, just like you Budweiser. (Both laugh) Right on the side of the tire, it says DOT and then it’s got some serial numbers that have to do with, that are specific to the manufacturer and what plant and such that the tire was made in.
Dave: Four digits by themselves that we’re lookin’ for.
Matt: At the very end. So for example, I don’t know what week of the, uh, year we’re in right now, somewhere around the 14th week, possibly. So the four- so if you had a tire that said 1414, that would be the 14th week of 2014 that that tire was manufactured. So now, if you have a tire that was manufactured sometime in 2008 or 2009 on your car, you should really be looking at that. Now, just because it’s that old doesn’t mean the tire’s bad. Maybe this tire was on the car in Connecticut for the last 4 years and it wasn’t exposed to direct sunlight or anything like that. So, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about that, but that’s a good indicator as to the life of the tire and should you think about replacing it.
Dave: Yeah and they’re not that bad, I see these billboards 4 tires for 100 bucks. (Matt laughs) You just go down and pick up a set of tires. You can get 4 tires every week.
Matt: I, I don’t think so.
Dave: You don’t think so? I mean, a good, a good pair of shoes cost you 100 bucks. Put that into perspective of buying tires. If you’re gonna buy tires, let’s buy a good tire. You know, it doesn’t have to be the top of the line, but just a good, quality name brand tire. I saw a tire the other day, it was called a Linglong. (Both laugh) That was the name on the side of the tire. Now, you can figure out where it was made.
Matt: Well, a lot of ’em are made there, but when there’s just, uh, yeah, that’s a
Dave: A Linglong.
Matt: Yeah, you can tell a lot about a Linglong.
Dave: (Laughs) Well, the other thing is, you know, tires are gonna be the number one thing you’re gonna run into in summer, that’s gonna put you on the side of the road and wreck your day. You’re gonna be all dressed up in a tuxedo headed to a wedding and your tire’s gonna blow. You don’t want that to happen. The other thing that’s gonna happen, you’re gonna be in that same tuxedo going to another big event and your radiator’s gonna blow.
Matt: (Laughing) Right after you change the tire. You make it 100 yards down the freeway and the radiator.
Dave: Radiator’s gonna pop and this is gonna, you know, the tire’s gonna make a bad day, the radiator poppin’ may make a bad budget for the year because it’s gonna- If your radiator pops and your car overheats and you warp a head gasket or ruin an engine, well, you went from a minor expense of havin’ a new radiator put in to a big expense that’s gonna wreck my budget for the year. And it’s not sumthin’ you’re gonna be plannin’ on. So, we really, really wanna pay attention to that cooling system. Just yesterday Matt, you had a car in your shop where it overheated and the guy needs an engine.
Matt: Yeah, well, he had a nice little car, a 2006, so we’re not talkin’ about old cars.
Dave: New model year.
Matt: Yeah, it’s a modern car, if you will. Hyundai Tiburon and the car, the radiator blew, blew up. The top plastic tank of the radiator cracked, lost the coolant. Now, that can happen any time, but I bet if we rewound 45 days, 60 days ago and that car was in a service center or in a shop for maintenance, we might’ve started to see some buildup around the neck of the radiator or around the top seam.
Matt: So that’s what we’re lookin’ at when you, when you get the car into the shop. But it’s not only the radiator, let’s talk about the cooling system as a whole. There’s a lot of components to it, there’s belts that are gonna drive the water pump to, to circulate the water, that’re gonna drive the alternator to keep the battery charged, that’s part of the system. We’re gonna have the hoses, you have upper hoses, lower hose on the radiator, maybe some heater hoses, throttle body hoses. Uhhh, I don’t know that, I mean, we’re gonna be checking those things and then we’ve got the major component of the radiator itself.
Dave: I-I’m thinkin’, I’m a consumer and I’m listening to this and I’m down at Virginia Auto Service and they say, “Hey, come look at your car, you see this green crust growin’ up around your radiator?” As a consumer, I don’t know if that’s good or bad. So, you guys need some baseline expectations for how long these things last. And you were saying before we started talking, because it’s gonna be all rubber components or plastic components. They’re gonna fail when you get to the torturous end of summer. And, belts and hoses, we need to start thinkin’ about ’em at 8 years old and 80,000 miles. That’s kinda the time frame, that’s when we’re startin’ to pay attention to them. So, in the back of your mind, when you’re at the auto shop, if you got 25,000 miles on your car, 45,000 miles on your car and they’re tellin’ you you need belts and hoses.
Dave: Ehh, time for you know, go to bumpertobumperradio.com and find a new shop.
Matt: Time, time for a second opinion. Now, unless they’re able to take you out and demonstrate to you, “Look around this clamp or where this, uh, this particular gasket-”
Dave: Yeah, there, there, there could be a reason why.
Matt: Yeah, and that 8/80, uh, barometer if you will, comes from Gates Corporation. They’re one of the largest manufacturers of belts and hoses and pulleys and systems for automotive. And they make them for Mercedes, Volkswagen, General Motors.
Dave: They’re an original equipment supplier.
Matt: Yeah, for, for everybody. Uh, but, it used to be, you know, in the ’70s, ’80s, even early ’90s when we were still servicing the cars in the ’70s and ’80s, uh, you know I used to work in the south Scotsdale area and you had the people that would come in religiously, “My car, it’s been 5 years, I need all new belts and hoses.” That-
Dave: That day’s gone.
Matt: That day is gone. It can be so cost prohibitive now to just go ahead and blanket lay it and just replace all the hoses and it doesn’t make sense. And that’s why when you’re- you need that relationship with the shop to talk to you about, “We’re gonna do this one because” for example, “this is where the hot water always comes out of the thermostat and we see this one fail. But these throttle body hoses?”
Dave: “Mmm, not such a big deal.”
Matt: “We’re not gonna do that, but the way to prevent all this from happening, I mean, inevitably we’re gonna replace a belt or a hose or something, but Preventative Maintenance. Let’s watch it and monitor it and maintain it before it has a problem.”
Dave: Well, we’ve got open lines at 602-277-5827 602-277-KTAR, you can also text us at 411923, you’re listening to Matt and Dave on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
(Music: Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley / Radio Announcer: “Bumper To Bumper on Newstalk 92.3 KTAR”)
Dave: Well, welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio. I am Dave Riccio, here along with Matt Allen and we are helping you have a better overall car repair experience. If you’ve got car questions, we’ve got car answers, or at least we’ll make some up. (Matt laughs) So, we talk about the minimum expectation. I’m gonna answer this quick and then we’re gonna go to some phone calls. Minimum expectation as far as belts and hoses. When are we startin’ to think belts and hoses might be something we wanna start to monitor? And you know, our rule was 8/80, I wouldn’t just 8/80 go replace them all. I don’t think that needs to happen.
Dave: No, we don’t want that. But that’s kinda the, sort of, the time frame and the life cycle of your vehicle where it should be something in the back of your mind. The radiators, we kinda say last, ten years? And, in the old days, you could take a radiator out and you could route it out and you could have it all resealed up and whatnot. In the old days, they were very rebuildable. In the later model cars, they have plastic tanks and the plastic eventually just deteriorates with the heat and it cracks. So, you can still repair a radiator that has a plastic tank on it, but it’s less frequent and the price of these radiators has come down so much that it’s cheaper many times just to replace the radiator.
Matt: Oh yeah, you, it used to be when you fixed ’em, you’d have a radiator that has two plastic tanks. One tank blows off the radiator, and, and, so you you spend all this money to repair the radiator, but you, now you’ve got, really you’ve only got a half good radiator. So, um, so that-that’s why we don’t do that. But, the other thing Dave, is whenever I see a car maybe with 80 or 90,000 miles on it that does have a bad radiator? What do I always see when I see a bad radiator? Dirty coolant.
Matt: We see these cars, again, we talked about the marketing department of the manufacturer and the reality of, of where the rubber meets the road, if you will. The cooling systems are not, that coolant, they say it’s lifetime or 100,000, in the reality, especially in Arizona, it is not making it and there’s a couple things that contribute to that. When we’re at work on cars in my shop, we don’t open the radiator cap when it’s a newer car. You don’t want the oxygen and the other air getting into that system. It’s a sealed system. We don’t want any contaminants. And the last thing you need is the guy at the lube shop takin’ the hose and putting water in it. You can’t do that ‘cuz you’ve got the hardness and the impurities in the water. We use distilled water in every radiator, in every cooling system service we do. So, just getting the wrong fluid and not having it serviced frequently enough. Spend an extra 150 bucks, have the cooling system serviced at 50,000 instead of 100,000 and you probably won’t buy a radiator.
Dave: It’s gonna save you-
Dave: It’s gonna save you money in the long run. And that coolant gets acidic over time.
Dave: So it starts out, you know it’s pretty friendly, but as time goes on, if you were to test the pH on that coolant, when it starts gettin’ acidic it doesn’t react well and these, these, these are all aluminum core radiators. So it starts to eat that stuff away and, aluminum blocks, aluminum intake. All that stuff. So, you get aggressive engine coolant and we don’t want aggressive coolant. So, radiator services are not a bad idea and it should happen at 50,000 miles, not at 100,000 miles.
Matt: And with a new radiator cap, a pressure cap is so very important as well.
Dave: Well, up first this segment, we are gonna go with Henry. Looks like he’s in Gilbert and he’s got a 1999 Ford Mustang. Go ahead Henry, you are on Bumper To Bumper Radio. Henry: Thank you guys, thanks for takin’ my call. What I have is, uh, I bought this car bra-brand new and uh, it’s got 40 sumthin’ thousand miles on it. Uh, we were originally up in Michigan, so it got put away every, every fall in October and didn’t come out until May, so needless to say it’s pretty pristine. Uh the question I have, or the problem I’m having with it now is, apparently, something on the security system, on the factory security system, you put the key in, it flashes the light and sometimes it’ll start and sometimes it won’t. If I change keys, sometimes it’ll start and sometimes it won’t. And what I’d like to do is to actually, uh, I know back from my days in the radio shop business, we had people in there that could use computers and get in and turn those features on and off in the computer for the security side. And I’m just wondering if there’s any after market places that’ll do that or do I need to take it back to the Ford dealership?
Matt: Hmmmm…. Dave, I, you know, I, I don’t think that you can circumvent the factory security system. I, I’m not sure, we-
Dave: I, I think it’s hard where it is, isn’t that part of the body control module that covers that?
Matt: Yeah, I am pretty sure it’s, it’s part of the body control module, so there’s no necessarily a separate security system on the car. GM calls it a pass lock system and there’s a, there’s a chip in the key, there’s a receiver up under, near the ignition switch or in the steering column area that’s receiving that signal, sending that back to the body control module, which is deciphering the code and then allowing the computer to either apply, uh, power to the fuel injectors, power to the fuel pump, uh, power to the starter, whatever strategy they’re using to, to allow the car to start or, for that matter, not to start. So I’m not so sure that, that, there’s no just program you type in and, and..
Dave: And bypass it. ’99’s a little older too. The more modern the car, the more programming and changes that we can make. I, I call ’em, cars are just getting smarter, you know? So I, I look at a car 15 years ago, it’s just not that smart. But, you know, ’99’s not super old, it’s OBD too, but I, I’m thinkin’ it’s kinda hard wired in. I’ve got a buddy who’s got a key taped underneath his, his column, it’s, the key’s not working, but he needs the chip so- (Laughs)
Dave: -his other key can work. That’s how he does it.
Matt: Yeah, I, I, you know, I- Sometimes a locksmith is good at figuring that stuff out.
Dave: Right, uh-huh.
Matt: I mean, at my shop, we have the Ford Factory IDS. We have the same tool that the dealer has and I am not aware of any way to go in there and just turn off a security system.
Dave: Well, I know when we replace computers a lot of times for, for issues, we do have to have, usually we have a locksmith come out at our shop ‘cuz we don’t have one of those fancy Ford scanners like you people (Matt laughs) and, uh, and he’ll come out and just program those keys so that th-the computer will recognize that new key, you know? It’s not a new key, but it’s a new computer. It has to be, has to be married to the keys.
Matt: Yeah. And then sometimes those can be difficult to fix. You’ve got, there’s gonna be maybe some codes set. We can go in and look at the switch, the receivers, there could be a number of different things.
Dave: Well, I’m gonna go with a text here from Joe ‘cuz it starts with, “Hey guys, love the show.” I gotta answer this one. My car is a 2006 Mazda3 with 60,000 miles. Does it, uh, is it time for belts, hoses, mileage?” And I think that’s what we were lookin’ at as far as “Hey, we wanna start lookin’ at it at 8 years and 80,000 miles.” Start lookin’ at ’em, you know, it doesn’t mean they need to be replaced. You wanna start lookin’ at ’em. 60,000 miles the car is uh, 6-8 years old. Now we wanna start, you know, squeezin’ the hoses, when you squeeze the radiator hose, you can tell how good it is, you know? If it’s really crunchy, that’s a problem. You know? It means it’s kinda breakin’ up or it’s deteriorated on the inside. So you don’t want crunchy, that’s a good sign. If it’s gooey, that’s also a good sign that it’s time for hoses. You want a nice supple hose, that’s the word (Both laugh)
Dave: Supple hose. That’s the word I’m gonna use.
Matt: Well, and, and on that Mazda, I’m just lookin’ at that, 60,000 miles, so I’m thinkin’ in my head, “What does this car need at 60,000?” Now, I’m not lookin’ at the Owner’s Manual, I’m not sure if that car has a timing belt or not. A 2006, that might be a 60,000 mile timing belt, it might be a 90,000 mile timing belt. Uh, so we’re gonna, cooling system service? I bet on that Mazda it tells you 100,000. I would be flushing my radiator, flushing the cooling system before the start of summer now. That doesn’t mean do it next summer. That’s gonna be good for another 60,000 miles. Put a radiator cap on it. Some of the other things you might be lookin’ at are, are maybe some fuel injector cleaning services. Well, the belts might be time where, where they’re cracking and maybe they’re not gonna make it as long as the timing belt. But those are conversations the shop should be having with you when you have your car checked.
Dave: There’s a reason big manufacturers like to test cars out in Arizona, that’s why we got proving grounds cuz it’s so stinkin’ hot here. You know, if it lives in Arizona, it’s gonna live in the rest of the country. So when we come back we’ve got a couple people on the line. You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Matt: Welcome back to Bumper to Bumper Radio, I’m Matt Allen, along with Dave Riccio and as always, 11:00 on Saturdays, we’re talkin’ cars for an hour. So if you have any questions, problems, anything you wanna know about your car, just give us a call at 602-277-5827, 602-277-KTAR and for the shy types or the, or the people that don’t wanna call in, you can text us at 411923 and we’ll use that as a, as a topic or answer your question on the air. So, Dave?
Dave: Today we are talkin’ about the torture test on your car of summer and if it’s gonna break down, it’s gonna break down in the summer. We’re a month away from seein’ carcasses of tires layin’ on the road and people with the hood up and the smoke pourin’ out, scratchin’ their head, you know. Sometimes I wonder why people lift the hood.
Matt: (Laughs) I know. You know? They’re on the side of the road, the car breaks down, it won’t start, they lift the hood and they just, they just stare. And, uh, you know, I think actually before I knew much about cars, I’ve had that sensation. “What, what are we lookin’ at?”
Matt: I know a lot, at least I think I do (Both laugh) and, and the last thing I’m gonna do when my car breaks down is get out and look at anything.
Dave: Get out and look under the hood.
Matt: (Laughs) No. It’s just not gonna work ‘cuz there’s not much you can fix.
Dave: Not much you can fix on the side of the road and this is a warning, warning, warning. You pop the hood ‘cuz the car’s steaming and overheating. The first, you know, inkling people do is, “Let’s pop off the radiator cap and see if it’s got water in there.” Don’t do it unless you wanna be scalded.
Matt: It’s kinda like at the restaurant, “Hey, don’t, this is a hot plate. Be careful.” What’s the first thing you-?
Dave: Touch it right away. Mexican food, why can’t you get Mexican food on a cold plate? I have no idea.
Matt: I don’t want any food on a cold plate.
Dave: Can I order my food on a cold plate, please? ‘Cuz I don’t wanna burn my hand. ‘Cuz I will touch it.
Matt: No thank you. No thank you at all. And you know Dave, we’re talkin’ about the tire carcasses, the belts, the hoses, all these different things that can go wrong. And when my customers are talkin’ to me about these things, maybe we’re talkin’ in January and we’re just startin’ to be cautious. My barometer, if you will, is if there’s something that is on your car that you’ve been putting off or thinking about or contemplating, if it’s 100 degrees out, as soon as we have our first 100 degree day, you need a head check. Check your car, make sure that there’s nothing outstanding that might leave you broken down and talk to your shop. Is there some- what happens if I wait? Do we end up like the guy we talked about from yesterday with that Hyundai with the blown head gasket? He took a perfectly good car and now it needs arguably $3,000 worth of work.
Dave: Wrecked his Christmas.
Matt: Yeah. (Both laugh) Yeah, so 100 degrees is my limit. We need to have some more discussions how- once it reaches that point.
Dave: Well, we’ve got open lines at 602-277-5827 and we’ve got text at 411923 We’ve got Harlon, Jeff, and Judy. Go ahead Harlon, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Harlon: Hi guys, I just got a quick question about, actually, it-it’s a 2010 Nissan Titan. It’s the Luxury Edition. I’m just in the process of buying it. The, the Fidelity Extended Bumper to Bumper Warranty, will that basically cover everything bumper to bumper?
Dave: Mmmm, I like the term “Bumper to Bumper, Radio”
Harlon: I know, I thought you would. (Dave laughs) That’s why I emphasized it a little bit. (Laughs)
Dave: I am, uh, I like to read those warranties before- You, you’re, are you contemplating purchasing the warranty?
Harlon: Well, we have it, we’re in the process of the paperwork and, uh, my wife read some things on it and it just kind of threw up some red flags. Like, uh, I think she said that, uh, it can only, it might, it’s up to them if it’s manufacturer parts or, or, you know, some things like that.
Dave: How much is the warranty?
Harlon: I think we paid roughly around $3,000 for it.
Dave: For the warranty?
Harlon: Yeah, and, and it’s got 30- 39,000 miles on it, so it’s still got some drive train. But, it’s a fully loaded vehicle, I want everything covered if I can get it.
Dave: Right, right. And those, I have mixed emotions about those warranties, you know? I have a lot of negative emotions toward ’em, but you know there are some that I really see that work well for the consumer, whereas, it was a good investment. Um, and then I see some where it was a horrible investment.
Harlon: Well, if I make it through, you know, the next 60,000 miles and I have no issues, well at least I wasn’t worried about havin’ issues for 60,000 miles.
Matt: Right. Well, the best way to look at those is they’re an insurance policy. And, and I look at ’em, they’re a lot like health insurance too. They’re gonna cover most of the problem, they’re not always gonna cover everything. They don’t always cover fluids, they don’t cover taxes, um, they may or may not cover diagnostics. But the difference in the two warranties too, you say you want everything covered. Well, there’s some that cover, they just say, “We cover everything and unless it’s specifically excluded, it’s covered.” That’s the kind of policy you want. The policies that list exactly what is covered, that’s not the good policy to have because there’s so many outs to get out of covering those items. So, they’re just a crapshoot sometimes.
Dave: Right, there’s some good ones and there’s some fly by night. So, if there’s any of you out there that are considering buying a car and lookin’ at that warranty, do your research on the warranty company. ‘Cuz I’ve seen those where it doesn’t work out at all. It’s a fly by night deal. Someone’s callin’ you on the phone and wanting to sell you an extended warranty, I’m gettin’ nervous about it. But if you’re in there and you’re lookin’ at purchasing it, you gotta realize that the car does have a factory 3 or 36. Or it may have a drive train warranty that goes to 100,000 miles for the major components. So, you may be buying yourself double coverage that you don’t need. So you can wait ’till the factory warranty runs out.
Matt: Just before the factory.
Dave: Just before the factory warranty runs out and that when you and that’s when you wanna purchase those things. Otherwise you’re buying a warranty that’s they’re gonna say, “Oh, it covers you for 100,000 miles.” Well, the first 100,000 miles are already under factory with the drive train warranty anyway. 8 years, 80,000 miles is gonna cover the catalytic converter. There are some things that have longer warranty versus just a 3 year/36 bumper to bumper.
Matt: And check with your insurance companies as well. I know Geico has a good mechanical breakdown policy that you add for just a few bucks a month.
Dave: Thanks so much for the call Harlon. We are gonna go with Judy in Peoria on a 2005 Dodge Caravan. Go ahead Judy, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Judy: Yes, my question has to do with the different, difference in the coolants. I recently took, um, my Dodge Caravan to the dealership and they obviously noticed that it originally had green coolant and it was when I had the oil change, they added red coolant. And they told me that there would be an interaction between the two coolants. And one of the things I was there to have them do was flush the cooling system and they indicated that there was some type of reaction between the differences in the coolants and they had to do additional flushing on the system. And I just wonder if that was really necessary or- because the fact that they added the red coolant said they’d never heard of such a thing.
Matt: I think it’s partially accurate, there, there’s, it’s not like you’re gonna mix water and cement and all of a sudden you’ve got a blob in your, in your, uh, in your radiator now. It used to be we had basically two coolants, if you will, we could, we had your standard conventional green and then GM came out with red Dexcool. And, and it used to, so you had two colors and it used to be that you had red or green. Toyota had red too, so there may be some people out there listening, “Well, my Toyota had red in the 1980s.” Yes, it did, that was just red, the same type of coolant as the green. The colors used to make a difference, but now it, the colors really don’t have anything to do with the type of coolant. So, it probably made sense that they had to do some, maybe some additional flushing if the system got dirty, really, really dirty. We used to see cars with Dexcool and they, it was like mud. We called it Dexcool Death. It was just, just, muddy, nasty, dirty cooling system. And that was partially just because of people opening the cap when they shouldn’t, using hard water, maybe mixing coolants. I’m a big believer in putting back in exactly what came from the factory. There’s companies that make what they call “chameleon coolant” that covers all of them.
Dave: Red, blue, fuschia. (Both laugh) Covers all the colors. Well, the right way, if you do have a cooling system that has got this, you know, Dexcool Death or whatever you call it. The right way to flush it out is remove that thermostat housing and they actually make fittings for auto shops that they can inject water and air into the system and just flush everything out. Go ahead and put a new thermostat, put it all back together, and then add the right mix of coolant and distilled water. And get you back to the, back to the baseline of where it should be. So, maybe this dealership isn’t feeling comfortable with the coolant and they wanna take that extra step and do that extra flushing.
Matt: Yeah, and, and they wanna get it out because you gotta remember, now that they flush it, now they own it.
Matt: They’ve taken over custody, they were the last ones to touch it, and the only way that they can control and guarantee that their work is gonna be good and the next shop’s not gonna be talkin’ about how bad of a job they did. (Dave laughs)
Matt: And you gotta get it all cleaned out. And again with the colors, we used to, it used to make a difference. I’ve got blue in my shop for Mercedes and, and, uh, BMW, but that is not the same blue as the Honda blue. It’s a different type of coolant. So don’t, the color could be a guideline maybe, but don’t rely strictly on the colors.
Dave: Well, thanks so much for the call Judy. I think it applies to everybody for a little education on how your cooling system works. We are gonna go with Ed in Surprise. He has a 2012 Jeep Liberty. Go ahead Ed, you are on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Ed: Ok, ahem, excuse me, I have a, a tire situation and about 50 miles an hour, between 20, uh, 50 and 55, I have a terrible change. So I took it back to the dealership. Well, it has 22,000 or um, 23,000 miles on the jeep. I took it back to the dealer he says, “It’s your tires.” It has Goodyear tires on it and they were all cut. Now, I rotated the tires every 5,000 miles, like I’m supposed to. Why would those tires cut like that?
Matt: Well, the first thing I’m thinkin’ is maybe if you, if it was rotated, if they were constantly rotated like they should, there’s something going on with the suspension. Maybe you’ve got a car that’s just out of alignment. 2012’s a little early for shocks and struts.
Dave: Yeah, 25,000 miles, you’ve rotated it every 5,000 miles, it’s not a rotation issue. But you know, those of you listening, we actually have tires that actually drive the vehicle and they have, they’re under torque and then we have free spinning tires. Free spinning tires will develop a cupping, uh, ‘cuz just the way they kinda hop and ride down the road. So when we rotate tires, that’s what we wanna do, we wanna move the free spinners to the drive tires and the drive tires and go back and forth, so we don’t develop a cupping or a noisy tire. But I’m thinkin’, you know, we could be toed out a little bit, toed in a little bit, where the car is driving pigeon-toed down the road or driving- what’s the other thing of pigeon-toed?
Matt: Toed out? I don’t-
Dave: Toed out?
Matt: I don’t know whatever it is, just toed out.
Dave: (Laughs) Walkin’ funky down the road and that’s gonna create a feathered wear in those tires, and, and that can happen pretty quick. It’s a fairly new vehicle, but maybe, I’ve seen new vehicles come out of the factory off the lot with the alignment way off.
Matt: Well, and you hear us talkin’ to people talkin’ about doin’ an alignment on the car and I’ve talked about it before Dave, You know, I refer to the colors red and green, we all have computerized alignment equipment now. So you, you hook everything up and, and these, really, I hate to say it, but the aligning machines are designed for dumb people. (Dave laughs) So, you, all you have to do is hook it up-
Dave: So, you use one.
Matt: And if you can make the measurement all go into the green, then, according to the manufacturer, this, it’s in spec and it’s good. That is very, very far from the truth. I can put a car on my alignment rack and I can make every number in the green, so to speak, which means pass. And go drive that car down the road and it’s gonna drive horrible, it’s gonna pull, it’s not gonna go straight. It’s gonna wear the tires. So it’s a lot more than just making it green, we’ve gotta get the specs close, we’re lookin’ for, uh, uh, the difference, maybe, between camber and caster. We’re, we’re lookin’ for how, how it’s gonna make the tire operate on, on the roads. So, it’s, uh, there’s a lot more to it than just turning the numbers and makin’ the, makin’ the colors turn green.
Dave: Making it go green. Well, we’ve got some texts here we gotta take a look at. We’ve got a text here, a gentleman has a vehicle that has 175,000 miles and he’s wondering if he should service the transmission and if he does, should he reuse the fluid? Cuz he wants to change the filter.
Matt:…I wasn’t payin’ attention. (Laughs)
Dave: You weren’t payin’ attention?
Matt: I, I was, I was, I was reading.
Dave: (Laughs) That’s, there, there’s a lot of things going on here. But that is the most common question that we get is transmission service. “What should I do, should I not reuse the fluid, should I reuse the fluid?” You should go get a relationship with a mechanic, uh, technician that can talk you through that. Someone that works closely with a transmission shop, or just go make a relationship with a transmission shop, and they will guide you as far as, “Do I service my transmission, don’t I service my transmission?” The problem that I find as a transmission shop is there is so many bad expectations out there or bad information. But, servicing a transmission is a good idea unless it has a problem. If it has a problem, you’re just gonna kick it over the edge. So, don’t mess with it.
Matt: (Laughs) Right?
Dave: Run it ’till it blows.
Matt: And why wouldn’t you put new fluid that doesn’t make sense to me. Although I see some of these transmission shop ads for $9.99 transmission check, where they’re gonna remove the pan and replace the filter? They never include the new fluid. That doesn’t make sense to me.
Dave: What? What? What? What? (Both laugh)
Matt: Dave, what are you doing? You’re fallin-
Dave: It’s time for Fact or Fiction? Alright, we’re gonna go to break. When we come back, we got a Fact or Fiction? in relation to hot summer and keepin’ your car cool. You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper Radio.
(Music: Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley / Radio Announcer: “Bumper To Bumper on Newstalk 92.3 KTAR”)
Dave: Well, welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio. I am Dave Riccio, here along with Matt Allen and we are talkin’ about gettin’ your car ready for summertime. It’s a brutal time for your car. I think your car just cruises for the spring and fall and really, the stuff happens in the extreme temperatures. And I always say if you go to an auto shop in July? We are so busy that, uh, it’s not the best time you wanna get your car in the shop to get it fixed. If you come in the spring, oh man, we just roll out the red carpet. (Laughs) Because, because, it’s, it’s different, it’s a different pace for us. So, spring and fall are gonna be the lighter months for us so it is a good time to get your car into the shop. And if you’re lookin’ for a good shop, bumpertobumperradio.com If you’ve already got a great shop, don’t go anywhere else, stick with ’em, that’s an important relationship that you just need, you need somewhere you can take your car and just trust and you don’t have to worry, “Are they makin, givin’ me bad information? Or are they selling me something I don’t need? Are they overzealous? Are they gonna put the right kind of coolant in my car? Do they know what they’re doing?” So, we need to get to that Fact or Fiction? My Fact or Fiction? for the day, and I’ve heard this, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my car’s runnin’ hot or overheating. Fact or Fiction? I can turn the heater on to cool my car off. Fact or Fiction? I think I gotcha on this one.
Matt: (Laughs) You think you got me, huh Dave? Well, ok, so, I can turn the car on to cool my car down.
Dave: Turn, no, the car is already on.
Matt: Alright, turn the, turn the heater-
Dave: The heater on.
Matt: Well, it’s certainly not gonna cool it off inside, but, uh Dave, I know the answer. It is Fact, that will work in some cases. And, and (Laughs) I’ve got some experience doin’ it I used to have a 280Z and I used to go back and forth to Pasadena for school. (Dave laughs) And I remember driving across the desert the desert, thing’s overheatin’, just get the, put the heater on full blast and essentially what you have, your heater, there’s a mini radiator underneath the dashboard, it’s called the heater core. And it’s a heat exchanger. So, if the car is running hot and burning up in the summertime, and you just don’t have any options, it’s either a) get off the side of the road or to help get it cooled down. Turn that heater on full blast and that will start exchanging some of the heat out of the engine. It’s gonna burn you outta the car. (Dave laughs.) But I guess sweatin’ a little bit is a lot better than having the engine burn up. It might just make the difference. Doesn’t mean you can turn it on and just drive forever and, “I’m not gonna overheat ‘cuz I got my heater on.”
Dave: And let’s talk about that, burning up the engine. The last thing you wanna do if your car is overheating is, is drive it to the shop. Don’t drive it to the shop and turn the heater on, I mean, you can get away with that and you’re Matt and you’re poor and you can’t afford a real car. (Matt laughs) Uh, but, but really, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna overheat that engine, warp that head, and cause ourselves bigger issues. The problem is if you see smoke comin’ outta your car and maybe your temperature gauge is not up and it’s steam and it’s that, that coolanty smell.
Matt: Uh, eww.
Dave: That we love so much. Um, you wanna just pull over.
Matt: Yeah, well, that’s just like again, we’ll go back to the gentleman who was towed into the shop yesterday. Actually, he actually drove in. He said, “You know, it got hot, it smoked.” When it’s, it’s actually steam, it steamed up underneath the hood. He goes, “And it was hot, but then it cooled down and when I drove it that last 15 miles, it didn’t overheat.”
Dave: (Laughs) Nooooo
Matt: And what’s happening is there’s a temperature sensor, but that temperature sensor needs to be covered in,
Dave: The water.
Matt: The liquid, of the water of the cooling system. If it’s just, I mean, if you, I, l, like I explained to him yesterday, you put a, a pan on the, on the stove top and just turn the flame on, no water in it. Stick your finger down in the pan, don’t touch the bottom of the pan. Just stick in the area that it would be in if there were water. Yeah, it’s gonna get a little warm, but it’s not gonna fry your finger, ok? That’s the same as that temperature sensor, it’s stickin’ out into a water passage, but it’s got no water flowing across it, so it’s not gonna read that the car is hot.
Dave: It’s not gonna tell you it’s hot.
Matt: Meanwhile, you’re melting that thing down. It’s Chernobyl in there. (Dave laughs)
Matt: So, now you take that same pot of water, or pot and fill it with water and then go stick your finger in it, you’re gonna melt the tip of your finger off.
Dave: The question is always something like this, “Well, should I drive it in?” Nooooo! Just get it towed in. That’s what you have your towing insurance. Call your insurance company, 15 bucks a year, they’ll give you towing and it comes with so many tows and so many miles. We’re gonna go to a text here on a 200- I have a 2007 Camry that a puff of blue smoke on initial startup in the mornings. She’s been, he or she’s been told it’s the wrong oil that’s being used. Puff of blue smoke only in the morning, wrong oil, what do you think?
Matt: Nah, I, I-
Dave: I call Fiction.
Matt: (Laughs) Yeah, I guess I do call Fiction on that. Uh, it, it’s probably got a valve stem seal or something-
Dave: Valve stem, yup.
Matt: leaking now or a little bit of oil’s getting into the combustion chamber and you fire it off and it gives that first puff of blue smoke in the morning. Mehh.
Dave: And there are, I mean there are oils that maybe address that valve seal problem. I could see that possibly, an oil that maybe-
Matt: It doesn’t make, if you’re using the wrong oil, that’s, what you’re talking about Dave is the high mileage oils. And that doesn’t mean that you get to drive more miles on an oil change, those mean that a car or an engine that has higher mileage on it, maybe they start to burn a little oil, maybe they have some seepage. And they’ve got some chemistry added to that oil that will just start to make, if there’s a seal or something’s that’s hardened and causing a leak, or, or allowing it to burn. It’ll just soften it just enough to maybe mitigate that some.
Dave: Well, the next one I have, I have a 2007 Honda Fit, when I start backing up, it makes a noise but forward, no noise.
Matt: That’s that reverse buzzer. Eh, eh, eh. (Dave laughs) Is that what we’re talking about?
Dave: That’s, that’s, that’s whatever you just ran over that’s making noise. (Both laugh) But, uh, you know, my Honda Element, every morning, I put it in reverse and I back outta the driveway and I get a click in the driveway backing out, I go forward, no click. And, you know, and I haven’t, but I haven’t really tried to figure it out.
Matt: Well, is it the, it could, could be the brake pads. They, they’re gonna-
Dave: They seize overnight?
Matt: Well, they’re gonna move slightly.
Matt: in the, in their holders, so they make some contact with the road and there’s just ever so slight amount of movement, you get a click possibly when they’re going backwards. Uh, it’s not uncommon for brakes to squeak on the car first thing backin’ up. If it does that once or twice, no need to run in for a brake job typically, it’s just-
Dave: Right, I, I wouldn’t worry about it. The thing I, I tell people, sometimes they wanna fix every, every little detail on their car and you know, when they come to the transmission shop they say, “Well, it does this every now and then.” And I say, “Well, you know it’s, it’s getting older, you know? I don’t get up outta bed as quickly as I used to, you know? But it doesn’t mean, it shouldn’t mean I’m dead, it just means I’m gettin’ a little, little older.” So cars are gonna develop some idiosyncrasies, a little noise here, a little noise there. We just need to find out what’s an important noise we wanna look out for. So, thanks Briana for doin’ a great job in there. Thanks for joining us. If you’re lookin’ for a great shop to start a relationship with, bumpertobumperradio.com Remember to never text and drive and next week, more tips for summer.