Dave: Good morning everyone and welcome to Bumper to Bumper Radio. I am Dave Riccio, here along with Matt Allen and I thought today we’d beMat talking about the big bad summer being around the corner but man it is like, a little bit chilly, little bit windy, little bit rainy. It’s not reminiscent of spring or summer. At Bumper to Bumper Radio, we’re 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 And, you can also text us at 411923 So today on the Bumper to Bumper Roadmap, little bit of Fact or Fiction. We’re always taking your texts and phone calls. And is your car ready for the Big Bad Summer? And the first thing that comes to mind, and I like, is the first thing that came to mind last week, was radiators, but this week, it’s batteries. That’s the first thing that comes to mind.
Matt: Well, there’s, radiators are a big one, Dave, and you saw a car this week like we talked about overheated, blown up with a damaged engine because a radiator popped in the car.
Dave: 75,000 miles on that car.
Matt: Yeah, the one we-
Dave: That’s it.
Matt: Well, what it had was 70,000. So, batteries, but your battery isn’t gonna make it to 70,000, I don’t think. Now is the time of year when we really wanna start thinking of batteries. You know, I used to live back east in Virginia of all places, imagine that, Virginia Auto Service, Virginia, dunno how that worked.
Dave: Just one of those things.
Matt: But, it was the first time it got really cold, the first reason was it was October where we, where a lot of cars had bad batteries and well, now it’s June or July when you get the the first 100 degree day the battery’s *Booop* Humpty-Dumpty falls, you know, gets knocked off the wall there and he’s dead now.
Dave: Well I think of this when I think about of batteries: Are you gonna choose when you buy your battery or are you gonna leave it up to Murphy to choose when you get a battery?
Dave: And, and, and we can pretty much tell and predict how long, or not how long your battery is gonna last, well we know how long a battery’s gonna last. A good battery, look, I don’t care how good the battery is, you can have the best battery and-
Matt: What are we gonna call a good battery?A “top-tier battery”?
Dave: Ok, yeah.
Matt: We’ll coin that phrase.
Dave: “Top-tier” Like the gas stations. Matt” “Top tier.”
Dave: A good quality battery will last 28 to 36 months and I don’t care if you buy the very best one, now if you buy the worst one, or the “El Cheapo,” it’s gonna maybe be…
Dave: 18 months.
Matt: You’d be lucky to get, uh 12 or 18 months out of it. And there might be some other consequences of havin’ that Mr. Cheap battery in there too. So what can we do to make that battery last more, or at least last the 28-36 months or stretch it out a little bit longer?
Dave: Well, like you say, I’m from the Midwest and a battery? Should last five years. I’m not really from the Midwest, I’m from here and I know they don’t last five years. But, in this torturous summer, that’s what you can expect so you buy a good battery every 24-36 months is what we’re sayin’. So, that may be every third spring you go in and purchase a battery. That way, you get to choose when you buy a battery versus the side of the road tellin’ you when to get a new battery.
Matt: Well, you’re gonna be proactive about it because that is one of a handful things on the car that are very common and very likely to leave you stuck on the side of the road or cause other damage to the car. And I’ve seen other damage, if the battery is weak the alternator’s getting worked harder. Uh, now a cheap battery or an older battery that’s maybe vibrated around cuz it’s not secures properly could start leaking acid and cause other problems.
Dave: Well, I’m wondering how can I tell I’m gonna have a bad battery before it happens? Do they always go out just like a light bulb or do they give us some warning? And I would venture to say a lot of times they give us warning but if we’re not that perceptive about it, if we’re not really paying attention to what it sounds like when my car starts, or what the shop said, “Hey, ya kinda got an old battery.” Well, if we’re ignoring that, it is gonna go out like a light bulb, but many times they go out, “just like a light bulb” that’s the perception of people.
Matt: Yeah, I’d say about, well and I’d say about half the time or maybe a little bit-
Dave: I mean, here we go with makin’ up statistics, right? 70% of ’em are made up just before they’re given.
Matt: Just like that one, right?
Dave: Oh yeah.
Matt: Well, so you can go out and you might notice your car just has a little different sound when it started. So like you said Dave, if you’re not really in touch with your “inner car”, (Both laugh) then you may not notice that. But, just a slightly slower cranking over of the engine, maybe it doesn’t catch right away and then sometimes, you just go out, I’ve gone out to a car in the parking lot, a customer brings her car in for an oil change, I walked out, hit the key, Boom!, the battery blows up.
Dave: They don’t blow up.
Dave: They’re not bombs.
Matt: They can be. They can be, especially if you get a spark near one jump-starting the car or something. But no, they can just, they’ll just go bad sometimes. So that’s why I know a lot of the Bumper to Bumper shops, I know we do at my shop, we test the battery of your car every single time the battery of the car comes in for a service. We wanna catch that because we don’t want you
1) having to make an impulse decision or impulse buy buying a battery from a roadside battery schleper (Both laugh) uh, that, you know, uh sell uh, uh, “The Battery Van,” if you will or the, the guy on the side of the road or the road service people. Uh, so we wanna catch you before you have a problem, it’s not gonna be convenient when it happens, and a lot of our regular customers overtime already have our batteries in their car, so if we can catch that while still in the warranty per-, period, it’s a win.
Dave: Yeah, they win cuz they don’t have to pay for it.
Matt: Yes exactly.
Dave: I see, I see these batteries that have a 72 month warranty, what you mean they only last two years? You get a 72 month warranty.
Matt: Well, it’s marketing, right?
Dave: Yeah. It is.
Matt: And, and there’s some degree of- the way, I mean, I guess you could have good, better, best is maybe how they should market them? Because a 50- let’s just, I’ll make up the numbers. We’ll have a, uh, 50 month battery might have I don’t know, 500 cold cranking amps and we’re talking about the same size. So batteries phave sizes that are different numbers, they’re called a BCI size, so we’ll just take a 24 series battery, that’s a common, fits your Hondas, fits your Nissans, a lot of cars are top toast- top post terminals. So the 50 month might be 500 cold cranking amps, the 70 month might be 700 cold cranking amps, and the 90 month, and again, I’m just making these numbers up for example, might be 900 cold cranking amps. Well, you don’t necessarily need that cool cranking amp, so it’s not the best idea to always buy quote “the best battery” because it may not be the best thing for your car. You need to make sure you have the cranking amps that your car needs and you have a good warranty, but you don’t need that, that best battery that has all the extra cells and play turning packed in it. Sometimes those-
Dave: Well the problem with that is that we only have so big a spot where we can put the battery, so if we’re gonna get a battery and we’re gonna increase the cold cranking amps by 30%, we only have the same size box. The plates get really close together and we’re really tryin’ to shoehorn this battery together to give us that cold cranking amp rating, but it doesn’t necessarily give you a better longevity.
Matt: Right, and the plates are closer together and in the heat they warp and that system will have more propensity to short out so…
Dave: Well, with the, the biggest problem with batteries that I see is that they come into or shopping and we’re diagnosing an “electrical problem” or “transmission issue” and we test every battery that comes through the door because the car’s electronic, it has all kinds of little modules and communication going on and we start there, sounds like the simplest thing, but you fix cars with “bad batteries” even though they produce, even thought they start the car, but they’re just below the threshold of a good battery.
Dave: So, in our car, it learns the way you drive, it learns the way the engine is wearing, learns the way the transmission’s wearing, it learns all these things and if it goes brain-dead every time you start the car, all that memory is lost and the car has to relearn again. So it’s never performing well because it’s always starting fresh, but not fresh in a good way, it’s starting fresh like it doesn’t know anything about you or your engine.
Matt: Well, and we’ve seen, I’ve seen plenty of cars in my shop with check engine lights on and you get these weird problems, it’s always the one that you’d kinda, “Oh, it starts fine. It cranks over. This is a a newer car or a newer battery.” And you just get your lunch eaten and then you think, “Did I check that battery?” So the tech’ll go back and check the battery and it comes back with a bad cell or a weak whatever, low state of charge and, and I mean funky problems as a result of the battery.
Dave: It shows-
Matt: Those are just the weird ones, there’s other things that a cheap battery or a leaky battery, other things that can happen.
Dave: Well, when we come back we’ve got open lines, it’s 602-277-5827 602-277-KTAR And we’re gonna teach you, if the battery light comes on do you have a bad battery and what that means. You’re listening to Dave and Matt on Bumper to Bumper Radio.
(Music: Drive My Car – The Beatles)
Dave: Well, welcome back to Bumper to Bumper Radio. I am Dave Riccio, here along with Matt Allen and this show is about you and your car experience. People are just scratching their heads when it comes to cars, they don’t know anything about cars, and they hate goin’ to the shop because it’s just not their arena of expertise and all they care about is, “I just you know, I know it’s gonna cost money. I know I gotta pay for it, but I just don’t wanna get ripped off.” So, that’s what we’re here for. We’re telling you some expectations so you can feel a lot more comfortable with that nerve-wracking crummy experience that happens every summer when your battery goes bad.
Matt: Well and we wanna teach you how to ask the right questions and how to respond when you’re, when you’re told you need something and to make sure you’re really getting what you need. Maybe, a lot of these cases we talk about you don’t get enough of what you need, everyone’s trying to do things on the cheap.
Matt: And, and they’re afraid to talk about doing the job “the right way.”
Matt: And I always refer back to your, Da- thing, Dave with, uh, you know, gettin’ the window put in your house. Always a low bid and what’s the guy say? He gives the lowest bid, but then you ask him the other question. “How much to do it better?”
Dave: “Well in that-” Or no, “How much to do it right? “Well, in that case, oh gosh, I think I would, uh probably use a lintel instead of rebar.” “You know, this is my only house, man, of course I wanna do it right. I know you wanna be low bid and you wanna get the job.” So, if there’s questions that you have on your mind and that we have not covered, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 602-277-5827 602-277-KTAR And up first this segna- segment, we’re gonna go with looks like, uh, Fred in Mesa, uh “Difference for radio repair” I’m not dumb, but I’m not-
Matt: Well, you have to learn to read first Dave, it’s “Reference for a radio repair.” (Both laugh)
Dave: Well, I’m looking at a monitor that’s about 10 feet away from me. I’m really not that blond.
Matt: Ok. Fred, what can we help you with today?
Fred: Oh, I’m sorry, I’m looking for somebody that can fix my radio.
Matt: What kind of-
Dave: Do you wanna fix your factory radio or is this a-
Fred: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a factory radio on a 1988 Honda Accord.
Matt: Hoo, Fred, you know I don’t- Dave, what do you think? I mean, I don’t know that there’s anybody that’s really gonna fix that radio. You might have a hard time finding somebody to fix a radio from an ’88 Accord. You might be able to find I dunno, find one in a salvage yard, but I would think unless there’s some really specific reason that you want uh, the factory radio in your ’88 Accord, I would think a good stereo shop. Dave, who’s the guy that you use? Sounds Good To Me?
Dave: In Tempe, Sounds Good To Me, they’re fantastic and you can get an aftermarket radio that you know, you’re gonna have to learn some new knobs and doohickeys, but at the end of the day, you’re gonna be happier with the replacement than trying to fix this old one. And a salvage yard would be a way to go after it.
Matt Yeah, cuz you’re gonna get a CD player, you might have a, uh, a USB connection, you might be able to connect your snar- smartphone to it that way. Your ’88 probably has a tape deck. (Both laugh) You know, so maybe you have a, still have a large collection of tapes that you wanna listen to and that would be reason to maybe keep the factory one.
Dave: Keep the old one. So, I have a text here, it says, “What kinda oil should I put in my car? 10W-30, or 5W-20? And, uh I text him back, “Well, what kinda car you got?” He’s got a 2004 Honda Accord. What kinda oil should he be usin’ in that?
Matt: I’m gonna say, uh, probably of, of those two choices I think heard you say 5-20. If you had to pick between one of those two, I’m gonna say it’s 5-20. The car probably calls for 5-30. The other thing that you’ll find is, you open your owner’s manual and you’ll find a, a chart that shows the temperature range and probably 10-30 would work fine too. But I think I’d stick with the 5-30 or a 5-20. And on most newer cars, if you open the hood, look right on the oil cap. It says right there what to use.
Dave: I think people are under the fact that they think, “Well, I can do something different. It’s Arizona, it’s hot, I can run a little thicker oil, it’s gonna be better for my car.” The engineers at Honda took all that into account. So I’m gonna believe what they say and I’m gonna run 5-20 if it says 5-20 on the cap. I could probably get away with puttin’ 10-30 in it, but is it gonna do any better? Why not just use what they’re saying? So, you can always default. For anybody out there, don’t think we’re gonna do anything different or great to our car by using a different oil viscosity. Put in there what went through R&D and what the manufacturers talked about.
Matt: Yeah, if anything, maybe something lighter might help with fuel economy and, and such, but it’s, it’s not gonna be a big enough thing. We can do a whole show about oil, right?
Dave: Oh yeah and we, we are gonna be doin’ one soon, so tune in there. 60 2-277-5827 602-277-KTAR And I’ve got another text here and let me see if I can read this right, cuz I’m, you know, I’m a little illiterate this morning. “Battery connectors at battery always turn gray on my 1998 Malibu. What can I do?” Gray battery cables.
Matt: Well, it, that’s gonna be a side post connection I’m 99% certain, we can’t remember every one of these off the top of our head.
Dave: He made that up, I’m 100% sure it’s a side post unless someone changed it.
Matt: It’s a side post battery and it should have, the positive is obviously red, the negative is black. So I think what you’re talking about when it’s turning gray? You might have some acid leaking out of the battery and then going down and burning those connections? I don’t know that it would make them turn gray, but that’s all I can think of. And, and ,I know that AC Delco, that’s the battery we sell. I think that’s the best battery. They used to have a problem where they would leak acid out the side terminal, out the positive cable and corrode but that’s been fixed, years and years ago. But that’s a problem is- and that’s one of the things with a, a visual inspection of the battery that leaks and I’m not saying a punctured hole or broken, but even the vented type that leak, those can cause lots of other problems.
Dave: Well, before the break I mentioned the battery light. It’s a red light, it looks like a battery, it’s a square box with two little posts on top of it. And, can I, does that mean, if that red light comes on, does that mean I have a bad battery? And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a bad battery, but usually that’s more of what I would call a charge light.
Matt: Yeah, it’s just a generic light. It’s just to tell you an indicator. Everybody can look at that picture and know that that means “Battery,” which then is “Electrical system.” We could put a picture of an alternator on the dash, but most people wouldn’t- (Both laugh)
Dave: They wouldn’t relate to an alternator.
Matt: Yeah, they don’t know what that necessarily looks like. So now when you see that light on your dash that has “Battery,” chances are it’s not the battery, it’s probably an electrical issue with the- with an alternator charging issue, regulator, or a diode in the alternator that’s bad. Now you may have a battery on its way out now as a result of that, but, uh, yeah, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a, have a bad battery just because the light is on.
Dave: Well thanks for the text, we’re gonna go with Lenmore in Phoenix on a 1997 Civic. Go ahead, you’re on Bumper to Bumper Radio.
Lenore: Hello, my, I uh, have a ’97 Civic Honda and I, uh, my engine light came on, but uh, somebody told me that it, it, it could be my uh, my umm, gas cap. So, you know, we checked that and the light went off, but I, um, you know, I’m going to need a battery, uh, I wanna know the price of the battery and where you’re located, so I can bring my car over there?
Matt: Lenore, where in Phoenix are you?
Lenore: I’m at 1, um, 38, uh, 30, North Black Canyon Highway.
Matt: Ok, so-
Lenore: 14830, yeah.
Matt: 14830, so that’s uh, around Tom, between Thomas and McDowell area?
Lenore: No, no, I’m, I’m over here, right off of Greenway.
Matt: Ok, so I-17 and Greenway. The first answer I’ll give you is the closest Bumper to Bumper Radio shop to you and if you wanna find a shop in your area, go to bumpertobumperradio.com But for you Lenore, you’re gonna wanna go to Kurt’s Auto and Kurt’s Auto is on 22nd Avenue and Bell Road right in that area, on the north side of the road. As far as the cost of a battery, a good quality battery? And I’m talkin’ bout most cars, I’m not talkin’ about your BMW or higher end luxury car, anything like that, but your typical import or domestic car, you’re gonna probably spend between $150 and $185 for good quality battery installed. And, uh, you know, when they’re installed too, we need to make sure that the shop is cleaning the battery tray well, making sure that all the holders, the J hooks, the wedges, they’re in and they’re supposed to secure that battery in place. You need to make sure that is all there cuz that’s all gonna help that battery last longer and, and , uh, keep your car’s value and keep it operatin’ the way it should be.
Dave: Well, she said something about check engine light and the gas cap thing, we’re gonna talk about that when we come back and we’ve got Anthony and Ray, and open lines. It’s 602-277-5827, 602-277-KTAR You’re listenin’ to Bumper to Bumper Radio.
(Music: Low Rider – War)
(Music: Low Rider – War)
(Music: Low Rider – War)
Matt: I just had to let that play a little bit longer Dave. So welcome back to Bumper to Bumper Radio, I’m Matt Allen, he’s Dave Riccio and as always we’re here on Saturdays from 11 to noon to hea- well, we’re here to help you with your car. The show is really here for you, the consumer, the driver out there in the, in the Phoenix area, or wherever these airwaves reach to. So if you ever have any questions or any topics that you want to hear us talk about, you can get a hold of us by calling the show 602-277-5827, that’s 602-277-KTAR You can always text us at 411923 and uh, we’ll, we’ll try to answer your question the best we can. You can send us, uh email if you have, uh, topics that you want us to talk about and we’re, we’re always looking for feedback. We’ve got a couple callers: Anthony, Ray, and Zack that we’re gonna get to. But, uh Dave, talk about what we’re here to do, what-
Dave: Well, for those of you that don’t tune in to us on a regular basis, maybe this is the first time you’ve heard the show, uh, Matt and I both are in the automotive repair business. Matt owns Virginia Auto Service which is on Virginia and..
Matt: 7th Street
Dave: 7th Street and Virginia.
Matt: Just south of Thomas.
Dave: Just south of Thomas. I own a transmission shop which is in Tempe: Tri-City Transmission. But, we are part of a network of great automotive shops that you can find at bumpertobumperradio.com And I mentioned earlier, the biggest concern of people are, “I just don’t wanna get ripped off.” And the best way not to get ripped off is to find a good shop, to get a relationship with them and to stick with them and give them some benefit of the doubt, but also you can ask questions and just make sure you guys are communicating well. It’s a relationship and it’s not someone you wanna go to, you know, what I call an orphan customer, you go to this shop, then you go to that shop, and the other shop. If you’re an orphan and you wanna find a good shop: bumpertobumperradio.com
Matt: And, and, as far as what we try to do when we’re helping you with your questions: I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, got 26+ years experience working on cars, and no, I don’t work on cars every day now, but I’m actively involved in my shop. So, wh-when we’re helping you, this is the same kind of conversation we might have as if you were standing across our counter. We’re gonna find out that little bit of information from you and talk to you where we might go with that inspection or diagnosis of your car, but then oftentimes you might call and have a question that relates specifically to your Honda or to your Chevy, but the system on that car is very in common with multiple other cars, so we’re gonna try and broaden that to help you have a good understanding of how that particular system might apply to your Chevy or your Ford or your Corvette or your BMW or whatever it is ‘cuz a lot of these things, a lot of these components and systems are all on all the cars. It’s just there are different strategies and they’re designed a little bit differently-
Dave: So we could talk through concepts, but we’re not looking at the-the owner’s you know, the manual, the technical manual right here. So we can talk through the concepts and then broaden it out so everybody can say, “Ok, that’s probably what’s on my car,” so they understand what’s there.
Matt: And it helps you have a better understanding when your shop, your service advisor, your technician, or when you’re having that interaction at the service counter. You just may have a better understanding of how things work and, and, and we always encourage you to ask questions.
Dave: Well. we got a board full of calls, so up first this segment, we’re gonna go with Anthony in Surprise and I can’t see from here but I know he’s got an F 150. Go ahead Anthony, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Anthony: Hey guys, uh, great show. I listen to ya every Saturday. I need some expert advice, I’ve got an ’09 F150, 4 wheel drive. I did a leveling kit in the front about 2 1/2″ and I went with a much larger tire. My question to you is: Would you recommend that I uh, reprogram the computer for shift points or do you see will I have any kind of problems in the future with the powertrain? Um, just kinda wanna get your opinion on that.
Dave: How much larger are those tires? You know, some people go with a bigger, bigger wheel and a smaller side wall or do we actually, is the diameter of the tire much bigger?
Anthony: Ok, well, the stock size which the vehicle’s programmed for there’s like a 2- I wanna say a 275 70 r17 and I went up to a 285 75 r18. So, it went up to like a 34 1/2, almost a 35 ” tire.
Matt: Well, I would, I don’t know specifically on the Ford, I know on the General Motors trucks ‘cuz I had, when I had my Duramax, it was lifted. We could go in and we could put in the exact size of the tire. I-I’m pretty sure the Ford is the same way ‘cuz there’s always gonna be options for tire sizes and I think it’s important to do that. I don’t know that not doing it is gonna cause you problems necessarily, but it could affect strategies and shift point, the speedometer is not gonna be right. The odometer’s not gonna be right. So depending on that math that I can’t do in my head, (Dave laughs) you can be off 10%, so you might be reporting low miles on your car, which maybe not be a bad thing, I guess?
Dave: Yeah, that’s how I get the mileage down (Both laugh)
Matt: But you might, uh, you know, you might add miles to the car. Maybe it’s just a couple percent, it it may be a negligible amount, but I would want to have it is as accurate as it could be.
Dave: Well, the two things the transmission is gonna look at, the two main inputs, I mean it takes input from everything, but the two main inputs is throttle position and your your mile per hour. So we know mile per hour’s off, so that in the mapping in the computer it’s not gonna be the ideal, uh efficiency and horsepower, all the things that the transmission is supposed to do. So I would definitely update it and there’s, you know, you can find a good shop at bumpertobumperradio.com There is a lot of shops that have that Ford Software and can go ahead and make that change for ya. We’re gonna go with Ray in Avondale on a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup. Go ahead Ray, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Ray: Hey guys, I just wanna get your opinion on something. So I’ve got this truck, I’ve had it since new. I want to keep it only for another year and a half, ’till I can afford a payment on a new one. Anywho, uh, three years ago, it developed a coolant leak. It started abruptly, all of a sudden and, uh, it has not gotten any worse in three years and, and I’m talkin’, maybe, maybe a half a cup a month, it drips.
Matt: Where does, where does it drip? Do you know where it’s coming from?
Ray: Yes, I did take it to one of your, uh, recommended shops, uh, they wanted $1000 to fix it. They said it’s coming from, what they believe, is the timing chain cover.
Ray: Uh, and he also, he didn’t want me to leave the shop without at least sellin’ me a little, a radiator cap. He said, “Your cap is holding no pressure at all.”
Ray: And so, what I’m wonderin’ is you know, is it- should I go ahead and spend the money? Uh, you know, fix all that, just to. ,just to get it by? Or am I hurting anything, not keeping that system under pressure? You know, I’m thinkin’ if I put a new cap in and the pressure’s good, maybe it’s gonna blow out even more.
Matt: Well that, that’s kinda what I was thinkin’, but you know I, maybe you’re not hurting anything right now, but the chances of hurting something are, are, are there, they’re pretty well. So I see, or I can envision, coolant leaking out, you’re losin’ a little bit, probably got some crust buildup and some nastiness on, around the timing cover. And what that could be doing, it could be corroding the aluminum, the aluminum cover against the, against the engine block. Not sure of all the different metals and how that particular engine stacks up there on the front. The other risk that you have is, is it failing all the way and, and, uh you just have a catastrophic loss of coolant, you overheat the car, and now you’ve got a pile of nuts and bolts. The other thing that could happen is that coolant leak could gon the other way and leak into the oil of the car and you’re not gonna see that dripping on the ground and you’re gonna, and you could wash down the, you know, water out the oil and, and wipe out the, uh, the main bearings in the engine. So it’s just, man, it- that’s a tough balancing act there.
Dave: Well, the car- the car is gonna be fixed at some point, so whether that’s the next owner, you have to do something with this vehicle. In other words, you’re gonna get another vehicle, so you may be trading this one in, you may be selling it outright. Does it do anyhing to the value of the car if I go ahead and fix it? Well maybe, you know, you wanna sell a car that’s- that’s in good shape. Uh, is it gonna make the car a whole lot more valuable? No, a ca- a truck like that, you know, lotta years, lotta of miles on it. It’s, it’s maybe it’s a $3500 truck, if I spend $1000, is the value gonna go up?
Matt: Well maybe not-
Dave: Lil’ bit, but you’re gonna have a clean conscious when you sell it too.
Matt: You’ll have a clean conscience and it may make it easier to sell. Is it gonna make the value go up? Maybe not. Is it gonna help it retain value? Maybe so. Now, I suspect the other thing that, you know, $1000, that’s, you know, if someone says to me, “Oh, they wanted 1,000 bucks to replace the timing cover gasket.” That’s probably not the whole story. ‘Cuz I know, if that was at my shop, if we’re gonna take that effort to go in there and take the timing cover off, we’ve already taken off your water pump, we took off the lower hose, we took off the upper radiator hose, now we’re gonna pull the timing cover off, we’ve got the timing chain right there. So we’re probably gonna, at Virginia Auto Service, we’re probably gonna make an estimate to do: upper and lower hose, thermostat, timing cover gasket, timing chain, and we’re gonna take care and do a thorough whole job. That’s the difference. You might be able to find somebody for 2, 3 hundred bucks to take it apart and slap a new gasket in there. But have you done a really good job for yourself?
Dave: Correct. Well, hey, Ray, we really appreciate the phone call. We are gonna go with Zach in Phoenix on a 2005 Toyota 4runner. Go ahead Zach, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio. Zach: Hey, I got an easy one for you guys. I’m gettin’ ready to uh, shop for a new car battery. I need to know the best brand ‘cuz there’s sooo many out there.
Matt: Well, that’s, uh, pretty easy, I guess. I’m gonna go with AC Delco. That’s the battery I like, that’s the battery I’ve sold for nearly 20 years at my shop. They, they don’t leak acid, uh their maintenance-free, they have a good life. I know the ones that we sell, they’ve changed the warranties on ’em, they have a 30 month free replacement period, so any time, no questions asked in that 30 months, you get a new one. After that, they’ve pretty much done away with the prorations, it’s an administrative nightmare. That’s a great battery. Interstate batteries are good.
Dave: Interstate Batteries, that’s what we sell at our shop, but they offer two grades, they offer the, the one that’s a two year free replacement and then they offer the one that’s a 1 year free replacement. So again, I would call the, the 2 year one a “top-tier” battery, so it’s a good battery. You’re gonna get your 28-36 months out of it. And same thing with any of these good namebrand batteries, where you’re “buying up” in there, ‘cuz a lot of times they’ll offer kind of a good, or better, and best, and you pi- you pick the one that you want.
Matt: Yeah, go with the higher two-thirds when you have the choice. The, the days of a $59 battery are, are pretty much over. There’s so much to risk by putting a, a,a cheap battery or, or have an experience with, with a bad battery.
Dave: Well I, we’ve got some phone calls and a couple open lines at 602-277-5827, but we do have a text here about a 2004 Toyota Tacoma and he’s getting a white battery discharge around the cable connector. Matt, how can he get rid of this white discharge? (Both laugh)
Matt: Well, uh, see the doctor? See the car doctor. No, probably what’s happening, and I’m, I’m maybe seeing little snowflakes, little white snowflakes up on top of the battery? And that’s just acid on top of the battery and it will cause a parasitic draw across the top of the- across the battery. So it’s very important to occasionally clean the battery. You can mix up baking soda and water and put that around there to neutralize the acid. You wanna keep the terminals clean, you want to keep the top of the battery clean, the tray down below. Uh, the gentleman who was just callin’ with the 4runner, we used to see 4runners and pickups, there’s an aluminum air conditioning line that runs right below the battery- the battery. You get a cheap battery that leaks acid, it attacks that aluminum and now we’ve got an air conditioning problem because we saved 50 bucks on a battery.
Dave: It’s time for Fact or Fiction I don’t know remember what our Fact or Fiction was for the day, but I’m gonna go with sumthin’ quick. “Leaving the tail gate down on my truck-”
Matt: Oh, Dave, this-
Dave: Yeah, he doesn’t like my Fact or Fiction. “Leaving the tail gate down on a truck will give me better gas mileage.”
Dave: You know your dad did it and you know your grampa did it, you know everybody did it.
Matt: That’s, I guess, uh, you know, I think there’s a Mythbuthers-busters about that, it’s fiction.
Dave: It’s fiction?
Matt: Let’s get to a real one that applies today (Dave laughs) instead of this tail gate garbage.
Dave: Ok, what do you got?
Matt: This nonsense. “Changing my battery can make my car run bad.”
Dave: Absolutely that is fact. I notice that when the car has a brand new battery, we’ve disconnected it, we turn- talked about all those learned values that are in the computer, that are now gone? Well the ca-car has to go to school again and learn, you know, all the adjustments on the engine and on the transmission.
Matt: Yeah and we even see other funky things like the windows don’t auto roll down and up and all kinds of craziness. So batteries are intricate and just can cause weird things.
Dave: You’re listening to Matt and Dave on Bumper To Bumper Radio and we’ll be back.
Matt: Alrighty, welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio. I’m Matt Allen, he’s Dave Riccio and we are here helping you with your car. Today we’re talking about batteries and getting ready for big bad summer although I see some blue skies out there now, i was hopin; for the, for the day to stay cool and dark and dreary and rainy maybe because it is uh, this 100 degrees is right around the corner.
Dave: And that’s when your battery’s gonna die, so if you’ve been puttin’ it off and you know your battery is 3 years old and you’re gonna buy one, whether you want to or not. do you buy it when you choose or do you buy it when Murphy chooses for you? And Murphy’s gonna choose it for you when you’re all dressed, got a tuxedo on and stopped off to grab a little soda on your way over to the, uh, reception-
Matt: Wedding or whatever. Little road soda? (Laughs)
Dave: And, you know, then you gotta get a jump start and jump start is never good.
Matt: Well, Dave I see that our first caller that we were gonna take, Renee just dropped off. So, Renee, on your Jetta, if you have a question you need some help with, uh, I don’t think we’ll be able to get to you if you call back. We wish you wouldnt’ve dropped off, but if you have a question we can help you with send us an email at bumpertobumperradio.com and I’ll be sure to get it right away and help you with your car.
Dave: Well, let’s go with George in Mesa on a 1999 Ford F250. Go ahead George, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio. George: Thanks for taking the call guys. This is not a battery question, but it is electrical, um, the wipers on my board just will, all of a sudden, start to move without even being asked to. They do it intermittently and uh, just at a whim and I don’t know how to get it stopped.
Matt: Do you ask them nicely to stop? (Both laugh)
George: I do occasionally, yes.
Matt: And they still don’t, uh-
George: Sometimes I ask them not so nicely. (Matt laughs)
Dave: Well, I know the answer to that Matt, because uh, that’s one of those gremlins and we do have a guy that performs automotive exorcist. Is he on the Bumper To Bumper wh- network? Can we put him up there yet?
Matt: No, not yet. (Both laugh)
Matt: Well, I, I think, uh, what we’re gonna find there, George, I would have to start by looking at a wiring diagram and, and see what components are in the system and how that’s controlled. But my first guess is gonna be a multi-function switch, which is the turn signal switch, the wiper switch, and cruise control, well, not cruise control on a Ford, but whatever that, whatever’s up there on the colomn on those levers, that switch could be bad. There are chances of the wiper motor itself shorting out, I think they’re pretty slim. Possibly a real air control switch that is activated by the multi-function switch. But it takes lookin’ at the road map. We need to look at the map, or in this case, the wiring diagram and see how that system works and then we’ll go to tell where the power or the ground or whatever is causing that to come on is, is coming from. But still it’s probably gonna be just a good educated guess. Try catchin’ that one, how’s that for an intermittent problem to figure out?
Matt: Not fun.
Dave: F250s, do those have problems with catching on fire and all that stuff or-?
Matt: No, that’s the, that’s the brake, uh
Dave: Ignition switches? search in a break
Dave: Brake switch?
Matt: The brake switch, yeah, yeah, so-
Dave: Well, thanks so much for the call George. I’m gonna go with this text here. This car uh, looks like a 1994 Bonneville that has been parked for 8 years and it hasn’t been turned over at all. So, toted it to the tire shop, four new tires, got a battery. What else should be checked and replaced? I’m thinking that fuel is sludge. What do you think?
Matt: Well, I, (sighs) The fuel is probably nasty but, if you haven’t gone and got the tires yet, before you make too much of an investment in the car, I would hope that the shop might be able to just air up the tires that you have, let’s get some decent, clean fuel in there, depending on how nasty that is, the shop would just have to make a judgment call at the time, we can tell here on the air. You might be able to add some good fuel to the car. You might have to, maybe just run the fuel pump and get what’s in there out. You maybe add a couple gallons to mix it and blend it through.
Dave: Dilute it down.
Matt: Get the thing started up for a few minutes, get it hot, change the oil and let’s just see ‘cuz I’m thinkin’ during these 8 years that it was sitting there, the cooling system could be rotting. And, what I’d hate to have you do is go spend 4 or 5 hundred dollars, $600, puttin’ tires, battery, oil change into it and then find out that that particular car, which ha-has a propensity to leak intake manifold gaskets and everything, make sure that there’s, that you’ve got a good foundation before you go hanging other stuff on there and make sure that the investment is right. Get a full inspection done on the car so that we know what we’re dealing with first.
Dave: That was pretty good. I think I learned something from that. (Laughs) Thanks so much for the call, or the text. We’re gonna go with Mike in Mesa on a 2004 GMC Sierra. Go ahead Mike, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Mike: Hi there, um, well I got a, I got a problem with my truck. I kind of have an idea what it’s, what it is. I was just kinda looking for a confirmation and maybe a ballpark price to fix it. But uh, what my truck does is um, when I start it in the morning, the oil pressure is really low, like so low that it actually starts ringing at me that the oil pressure’s low. I give it some gas, the oil pressure goes up, I, you know. And then, uh, you know, once I drive it for a little bit, I guess once the oil heats up, then I, it has no problem staying at the pressure it needs to be. But until it warms up, when I come to stop lights or stop signs, things of that sort, then the oil pressure starts dropping down again.
Mike: Would that be the pump?
Matt: Well, what do you think it is? You said you had a pretty good-
Mike: Well, that’s why I was asking would that be the pump? Do I need to replace the pump and how much would I be looking at in, uh, for my truck?
Matt: Ok, well, I don’t think it’s the pump. We see a, I mean, does that have the 5-3 engine in it?
Matt: Yeah. Ok, that has a pick up tube from the oil pump that goes down into the sump of the engine and we see on those a lot, the oil, the uh, there’s a O ring where the pickup tube attaches to the oil pump and that O ring can can harden and rot and it allows it to suck in air right there. So a couple things that we do on the, the Chevy or GMC trucks, I’ve seen my techs doing, to, to confirm that, is we’ll jack up the car, we’ll overfill the oil and maybe even lift the car in a manner, and I don’t know if it’s the left side or the right side or up or down in the front or the rear, but we’ll tilt that engine to try and submerse where that O ring is normally in air, we’ll try and get that covered in oil so it can’t suck air and see if that solves the problem. That’s what I’m thinking it is. Now as far as the oil pump, I hate to guess on the price ‘cuz I know, I’m pretty sure I know on that one, it’s not the one, it’s not the old style, where you pull the oil pan down and the pump is right there. This oil pump, I believe, is driven off the crankshaft off the front of the engine. They’re a little spendy to replace.
Dave: Little spendy.
Dave: Well, a lot of times we get these oil pressure questions, the first thing you usually say, not today you didn’t, so I don’t know why. I don’t know why today is different but lets verify that we got a, really got a pressure problem.
Dave: You know, because do we trust the gauge? Do we trust the light? Do we trust the chime? Many times it’s just a matter of we’ve got a, a bad sending sensor that’s not telling us we got enough pressure and once you, once you build a little bit of pressure, it goes away.
Dave: So, what, what you’re saying or what we’re talking about is you need to take the oil pressure sending it out of the engine. We’re gonna replace it with a mechanical gauge. We’re gonna go from a cold warm up all the way through a hot cycle and read what the mechanical pressure is first to verify that we’ve got that and then depending on what we find there, we’ll change course the right way.
Matt: Well, we really appreciate you joining us. We appreciate your phone calls and texts and Briana just gets better runnin’ the dials every week for the show so thank you so much. If you’re lookin’ for a great shop to start a relationship with – bumpertobumperradio.com I’m Matt and Dave and we’ll see you next week.