|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||
Automania/Repair & Maintenance
AUTO QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR WEEK 29
by Bob Hagin
Q. I have a 1976 Chevrolet Caprice Landau and am the original owner. The car is in excellent condition inside and out and has not been involved an any accidents. The reason is that I do not drive on the freeway, I only go golfing at courses close to home and do my grocery shopping locally and have hair appointments at local shops. Being a widow makes decision making very difficult. My question regards keeping the car. Should I keep the car and have a diagnostic check done to see if everything is in good condition? On the other hand, I wonder if I should buy a newer and more up-to-date car? Many people ask me if I want to sell my car. The car passed the smog check but it uses a lot of gas.
A. Although your old Chevrolet is in good shape and no doubt has a lot
of miles left on it, age takes it's toll. Things go wrong over a period
of time so I suggest that you have it checked out at a diagnostic center
such as those operated by the various auto clubs. They're not in the
business of doing repairs so your pretty sure of getting the unvarnished
truth. If you still feel comfortable with the car and the cost of
supporting its appetite for gasoline isn't a problem, keep it. On the
other hand, a new car can be therapeutic. New cars are very different
and much easier to drive than your old- timer. But if you haven't bought
a car since 1976, be ready for the modern syndrome know as "Sticker
Shock." New cars cost more than many of us paid for our first homes.
A. The first thing to do is to remove the battery and turn it in on a
new one. Clean the battery box, install the new battery and clean the
cable ends. Drain the gas tank and refill it with fresh fuel then drain
the oil, change the oil filter, remove the spark plugs and ground the
primary side of the coil. Squirt a little oil into each of the
cylinders, remove the fuel line to the carburetor, attach a few feet of
flexible fuel line to the tube from the fuel pump and stick the end into
a catch-can. Spin the engine over on the battery and you can check the
operation of the starter, the action of the fuel pump, the condition of
the secondary side of the ignition system and build up oil pressure
without starting the engine "dry." Replace the fuel filter, reattach
everything, check the brake fluid level and pray that it starts. Have
the coolant, brake fluid and the automatic transmission fluid and filter
changed and put some miles on it close to home. The Blue Book says your
XR-7 is worth about $5000 plus maybe 10 percent more for low mileage.
A. The pressure given on the side of a tire give the maximum cold operating pressure, not the suggested pressure. That's up to the auto maker and he give the pressures that give the best ride. It's not unsafe to go above 35 psi but it tends to wear out the middle of the tread. I like to run tire pressures about five pounds higher than the factory recommendations because it makes the vehicle handle better.
Want more information? Search the web!
Search The Auto Channel!