My 2004 Saturn won’t start at times

Lisa’s question:

My 2004 Saturn won’t start at times. Then, all by itself, it will start and run normally. I’ve taken it to a couple mechanics, but it always starts for them and they say they can’t find anything wrong. HELP me, Please. “


Well, I’ve seen that more than once. Those dumb side post batterys that they use in some American cars (interesting that they don’t use them in most foreign cars) can wallow out inside and create a poor connection. SO, sometimes the car will start normal, and sometimes it won’t at all. Have the battery terminals removed and see if the threads on the battery and on the cable bolts are worn and not smooth anymore. If so, then replace the battery and the side terminal bolts that screw into the battery. I have never been a big fan of side post batterys for this reason: they often lose a tight connection from vibration inside the engine compartment. And you just don’t see this with top post batterys due to their much greater contact surface area between the battery terminal and the cables themselves. Sometimes an older design is better.

Running Diesel Engine With Vegetable Oil

Santiago’s question:

is it true that you can run a diesel engine on vegetable oil and a few drops of turpentine?”


Yes you can, but you don’t need the turpentine and you need to modify the diesel engine to use the vegetable oil. I just recently inspected a veggie oil GMC hippie bus at a Whole Foods Store. It had rows of huge filters, a pre heater to make the oil hot, AND a separate diesel only tank to start and shut the engine off. You can’t start an engine with vegetable oil, it won’t burn until the engine is already running. AND, you can’t shut off a diesel engine with vegetable oil inside it, because it will congeal like grease and clog everything up. SO, you must run the engine a little with regular diesel fuel before shutting the engine down to prevent this. Needless to say, this is a relatively complex set up, so don’t just go and pour vegetable oil into your diesel tank.

My 2005 Chevy Silverado AC Cutting Off Above 20MPH

Justin’s question:

My 2005 Silverado is driving me nuts in this heat. The ac blows great, until I get over twenty miles an hour, then it shuts right off. It could sit all day idling, and be cold as ice. But once I drive over twenty, wham, it stops blowing cold air. HELP!”


I’ve seen that happen before. They’ve had nothing but problems with the control heads for the AC and Heating system on those trucks. The one I fixed just needed a new control head, and they had plenty for sale at the dealer (since they break down so much.) Somehow the computer circuits inside the control head just break down a lot and then just turn the AC off. They can break at any time, but I have seen them cut off at certain speeds only in those trucks, which seems pretty weird but what do you expect with computers?

Car Braking Too Much Power Assist, Jerking Braking

Yuri’s question:

After extensive search I came across your site and decided to give it a try. I own this car for 7 year and never had a problem with braking. It was always precise. I see the red light or stop sign, I push the pedal depending on the speed and it always stopped where I knew it would stop. Lately, I noticed that with the same pressure on the pedal it stops about 10 feet earlier. Then I have to release pedal and push it again to make to the stop line. Besides, even at the low speed the car kind of pushes back heavily when it comes to a full stop. In other word, even I try to brake as soft as possible I’m getting a heavy push back which was never the case before. I don’t want to waste your time. I went to my mechanic who served my car all those years. Of course, the first thing he recommended to replace rear pads and rotors since they did have grooves. I did, but nothing changed even with brand new ones. He also checked calipers and said they work. Any suggestion? Thank you in advance.”


OK, you have a problem in the boost system of the car. It’s giving you too much power boost, causing the too fast braking and the vehicle to jerk when you do come to a stop. So, something is wrong with your power boost system, applying too much boost. Odds are the vacuum booster unit is going out and needs replacing, It’s not a really common Lexus problem, but it does happen occasionally.

New a/c compressor with receiver drier and the expansion valve

Louis’s question:

My mechanic tells me I need a new a/c compressor and in addition to that the receiver drier and the expansion valve. Why do these parts have to be changed if it’s just the compressor?”


OK, here’s why. If a compressor goes bad, it will often throw crud and possibly metal through the system. The expansion valve can collect this debris and then make the system not work after you put a new compressor on. The receiver drier also can collect this debris, AND anyway, EVERY single time an AC system is opened up, the receiver drier should be replaced because one of its duty is to dry the system of moisture. Once the system is opened up to replace a part, the drier collects all the moisture and is ruined. So, it should be replaced when even an AC hose is removed and replaced. Hope that explains it for you.

2000 New Beetle had the key broken off in the ignition

William’s question:

My 2000 New Beetle had the key broken off in the ignition. So I took it to a locksmith and they installed a new tumbler and keys. But, it won’t start now. It turns, but won’t start.”


Well, you’re dealing with a modern VW with an immobilizer system. They key has to match the immobilizer system, which was the case with your old broken key. But, the new key won’t work. You’ll need to find a mechanic with the ability to reprogram the system. BUT, in the time being, if you still have the old broken key, you can try using the new key to turn the ignition, and hold the old key next to the ignition switch by the side. This often will send enough signal to let the car start while you’re waiting to have the immobilizer system reprogrammed. Then you don’t have to tow it anywhere.

what is the best shocks available in the world?

Shahul’s question:

what is the best shocks available in the world?”


It depends upon the particular car you’re putting them on, and different companies makes shocks and struts for different makes. Bilsteins are among the best, if they make them for your model. Mikunis are excellant shocks for Japanese cars also.

1995 dodge neon front wheel bearing replacement

Harry’s question:

I have a 1995 dodge neon . and I really think i can change my own front wheel bearings. please If u have any help ..step by step .. i very much would like to know .. thank you . Trying to save the good ole dollar here.. thanks . Harry”


Here it comes: Taking off the struts and the tie rod ends and the drive axle and the ball joints is pretty simple. It involves just unbolting all the parts and moving them out of the way. BUT, getting the bearings out is a much harder endeavor. I usually advise people to just remove the hub themselves and then take it to a mechanic or machine shop with the special tools to press the old bearings out and the new ones in. BUT, if you want to know what’s involved, and what tools you’ll need, here goes: DISASSEMBLE All steps of the hub bearing removal from steering knuckle must be done using a hydraulic arbor press. Install bearing splitter tool No. P334 , or equivalent, on steering knuckle and hub/bearing assembly to support steering knuckle when pressing out bearing. Hub, Bearing & Steering Knuckle Supported For Removal Of Hub Position steering knuckle and hub/bearing assembly in vise, support by splitter tool No. P334 , or equivalent. Position driver tool No. 6644-2 , or equivalent, on small end of hub, then press hub from bearing. The one bearing race may come out with hub when hub is removed from bearing. Hub Bearing Removal Remove bearing splitter from steering knuckle, then place steering knuckle is press supported by press blocks. Place bearing driver tool No. MB-990799 , or equivalent, on outer race of hub bearing, then press hub bearing completely out of steering knuckle. Install bearing splitter tool No. P334 , or equivalent, on hub so it is between flange of hub and bearing race remaining on hub. Hub Bearing Race Removal Install assembly into press, then place driver tool on end of hub and press hub out of hub bearing race. ASSEMBLE Install new bearing into bore of steering knuckle so it is square with bore, then place steering knuckle in press with receiver tool No. C-4698-2 , or equivalent, supporting steering knuckle. Place driver tool No. 5052 , or equivalent, on outer race of hub, then press hub bearing into steering knuckle until it is fully bottom in bearing bore of steering knuckle. Install hub bearing retaining snap ring into groove in hub bearing bore of steering knuckle. Ensure snap ring is fully seated. Hub Bearing Installation Place steering knuckle with hub bearing installed in press with receiver tool No. MB-990799 , or equivalent, supporting inner race of hub bearing. Place hub into hub bearing ensuring it is square with bearing. Place driver tool No. 6522 , or equivalent, on front face of hub, then press hub into bearing until it bottoms in hub bearing.

Fuel Line Replacement for Rochester carb

Dave’s question:

Scotty I have a chevy powered motorhome 5.7 L V-8 4bbl carb, I recently bought a rebuilt Rochester carb for it, however the fuel inlet line is not in the same location and the original metal fuel line won;t thread in right because of a vac operated linkage in the way,the carb came with a short 3 inch stub line and a fitting,,I was told I could run a rubber fuel line to the outlet of the mechanical fuel pump about 25 inches away as long as I made sure the line does not rub or lay against a hot engine part,, do you think I would have a safety issue by doing this? thanks Dave”


NO, not as long as you use a rubber FUEL line. There are many rubber hoses you can buy, but you must use one made for carrying fuel (not vacuum pressure or oil or anything else.) Lines at auto parts stores are labelled so you can get the correct one. With a carburetor, your fuel inlet pressure is two or three pounds per square inch, so leakage won’t happen as long as you tighten the little stainless steel fuel clamps tightly. And on any fitting you have to screw in, put teflon tape on the threads BEFORE you screw the parts together. Then you won’t go down in flames from leaking gasoline.

2000 Honda Accordfailed the emissions code P1457

Lawrence’s question:

I have a 2000 Accord that failed the emissions test because the check engine light was on. It is code P1457. The mechanic said the “evap vent valve” was bad and replaced it. BUT, the light came back on. What should I try next?”


Well, you may not like this, but I’ve seen it happen before. The vent valves do go bad, but sometimes when they do go bad, they feed electricity back to the main computer and short that evap circuit out. I’ve fixed a couple accords like that and had to replace the main computer along with the vent valve. Those computers use very small amounts of electrical power so their circuits can’t really be fused for safety. So when a short occurs on something the computer operates, it can feed back to the computer quickly and fry the circuits inside that operate that function.