Frankie’s Garage

Need a fix? Your Just In The Right Place

Auto Mechanic is the premier blog for car maintenance tutorial. Every article posted provides an inside look into basic and advanced troubleshooting. But unlike many sites who confuse visitors instead of helping, Auto Mechanic is the better choice. We make things simpler. From engine mounts to disc brake systems, read and learn about things that they won’t normally tell you in repair shops.

About the Author

Frankie D’ Antoni is a catalog writer for one of the biggest car manufacturers in the United States. Born and raised in a household of car mechanics, he now offers valuable online information via Auto Mechanic.

Contact

For article requests and comments, email Frankie at automechanic_frankie@yahoo.com

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30 Responses to Frankie’s Garage

  1. dk4 says:

    Have oldsmobile 88, replaced the front struts and all components surrounding (ball joints, tie rod ends, etc). One side is fine, the other has a negative camber (tilted inward towards engine). What causes this during the installation, and how do I align the strut properly when reinstalling new ones? I guess I got lucky on the first side. I installed the old strut coils on the new struts…
    Any advice appreciated…
    Thanks in advance!

  2. autofrankie says:

    Thanks dk4 for stopping by. Here’s what, my next post gonna all about struts and shocks.

  3. autofrankie says:

    Hello there dk4! It’s great to hear from you. Well, here are some of the stuff I can share with you. You need wheel alignment every time you change suspension components.You don’t need to be an expert to know this. Bring it to a computerized wheel alignment shop. It usually costs $50 for front wheels and 75-80$ for 4.

    Another option would be to do it the old fashion way. There was a shop years ago that made it with a special ruler. There was only 1 guy who knew how to do it. With no computer. you can try and do it on you own. It will take some attempts. In my shop, we had such ruler. I spent around 3 hours to do it. So, I gave up and brought it to a tire specialist who was able to finish the task in 20 minutes.

    So it’s all up to you now.

  4. if yuo can help me with this question, I’ll appreciate. I have a 1992 Grandmarkis with rear air shocks, I’ll like to know where is the air compressor and how to test it, Thank you

  5. Debbie says:

    2000 dodge dak truck, oil gauge bottom out. could this be oil pump or sending unit?
    Thanks Debbie

  6. autofrankie says:

    Carlos, I really couldn’t tell the exact location from memory. But I’ve looked it up in the Internet. Click on this link and it’ll show you the exact location on your Marquis. http://autorepair.about.com/library/images/bl246a-lib.htm

  7. autofrankie says:

    Debbie, its definitely the fuel sending unit. Basically, the fuel sending unit is used to measure the level of fuel in the tank. So if you’re pertaining on the oil gauge, better to check the sending unit.

  8. k2dac says:

    94 ford explorer xlt 4wd, how do you change the front right wheel bearings….

    Also What makes a rotor spin freely or smoothly on a vehicle?

  9. brett says:

    g.day just want to know is any coolant fine for a ef falcon thats been converted to gas . i have 10 litres of calibre type b already pre mixed would this be ok or do i have to mix more water with it. if so how much.your info would be greatly apecated .brett

  10. Nick Roberts says:

    Hi Frankie,

    Do you accept advertising? As an independent Amsoil dealer I’m looking for quality sites to form a business relationship with. Please let me know if you are willing to work with me. Take a look at my website here http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/1124190 and let me know if we can do something together.

    Nick Roberts

  11. stan says:

    1993 pontiac transport wiper motor works sometimes

  12. Joe says:

    My ford f-150 has a 4.6 v-8 that keeps misfiring on the #4 cylinder, I have replace the plug, coil-pack, fuel injector, is there something i am missing?

  13. autofrankie says:

    Hi Joe, sorry for the slight delay in answering your question. A misfiring engine cylinder could be caused by worn out engine parts, the wrong silencers or a faulty air cleaner. But most of the time, this problem is caused by a damaged fuel system. Another factor could be that you’re using the wrong fuel for your F150. Consider having a professional mechanic check your vehicle to determine which of these factors is affecting your engine’s performance.

    I’ll be tackling this problem in my next post. If you plan on diagnosing this auto problem on your own, then I highly suggest that you look for a technical manual and that you follow the diagnostic steps religiously. Manuals may differ depending on the type of vehicle you have.

  14. Joe says:

    no problem in the delay, i have been told the air intake sensor could be the problem, but after spending so much money and time, i am about to give up hope, i’ve wonder would a pro mechanic be able to solve the issue without trial and error of just changing parts till something worked?

  15. Joe says:

    also i did a compression test on the cylinders and the were good

  16. annie brown says:

    I have replaced my fuel pump an filter an still can not get fuel to the carberator canot figure it out please help my car is a 93 plymouth sundance four cilindor 2.5 engine pump is in the tank

  17. autofrankie says:

    Hi Annie Brown, how’s the condition of your carburetor? Are you still driving with your old carburetor, or did you have a new one installed? The state of your carburetor could be the reason behind your plymouth’s problems.

  18. Michael says:

    Hi, I have a question regarding a 2005 Ford Taurus SE with 51,000 miles. The engine started to make a horrid noise, pulled over and shut it off. Had it towed to a mechanic here in Atlanta, while they were looking at it the engine siezed. They thought a cylinder blew, but weren’t sure as they didn’t break the engine down. However, they were certain that something had broken in the engine. I contacted Ford and had it towed to one of thier dealers for them to evalute the engine so they could cover the enigine replacement if defective. My question is – has anyone ever heard of a 3 year old car with 51000 miles possibly blowing a cylinder?

  19. autofrankie says:

    Hi Michael, while I haven’t heard of something as specific as a 3-year old car with a blown cylinder, engine problems or defects in relatively new auto models aren’t completely unheard of. So how do you know if you’ve got a blown cylinder or cylinder head gasket in your hands? Well, if you noticed a loss of coolant, then it’s possible that you have a blown gasket between its waterways. When this happens, water seeps out as your engine begins to warm up. If you notice loss of water in your cooling system or water in your oil, then it means that the gasket blew up between your waterways and your oil. It’s possible that you’ve had a cracked cylinder head for a while now, and that might be the factor behind your engine malfunction. If the mechanics who inspected your vehicle thinks that it’s a blown cylinder, then there’s sure to be a good reason why they believe it’s a broken cylinder. You did the right thing when you contacted Ford and had your vehicle sent to one of their dealers. The reason why the mechanics from the garage didn’t break your engine open is because doing so could render your warranty null and void.

  20. ellastic says:

    hi. i have a question about my transmission. if i put the gear to drive or reverse it doesn’t run. but if i put it first on 2 and let it run for a while and shift to drive it runs in drive. what seems to be the problem? i ask a mechanic he told me maybe it’s just the filter to be change or do i have to get the transmission fixed? thanks

  21. autofrankie says:

    Hi Ellastic, are you able to shift to reverse after putting your gear into D 2? If yes, then there is a high probability that your problem has to do with a filthy filter. See, transmission fluid is required for you to be able to shift gears easily. If, however, you’re running with a clogged filter, then that should explain why you can’t activate your gears easily.

    I suggest you check for leaks as well. Since the mechanic will be opening your transmission to inspect it’s various parts, he/she will be able to point out what needs replacing. (Although I suggest you hang around so that you’ll see if the problem is as simple as a clogged filter or as complicated as needing a complete rebuild.)

    What other transmission problems are you experiencing? Do you have difficulties shifting from one gear to another or is it the activation of these gears that is bothering you?

  22. ellastic says:

    hi. thanks frankie. my only problem is when i shift to reverse it doesnt move. when running forward i just need to shift it to gear 2 and let it start to run then shift to d. if i come to a full stop i need to shift it back to 2 to make it run. it feels like shifting to n when i shift to r or d. the only gear that run is 2. what should i do? do i have to get the transmission filter change and fluid? by the way when i bought it 2 months ago the last owner told me he just replaced the transmission assembly. and when i test drive it, it runs really smooth. but after a month the problem starts. first when i shift to r i have to put more gas then it makes a loud noise and shakes the car. and now it doesnt run. thanks for the help.

  23. J Martinez says:

    Hello….I have a question. 1992 Chevy 1500 truck….just bought it used obviously. Everything works great, however there are times that when not pushing gas too much it feels like it is going to die and occasionally does die, but it only happens when just starting to drive from a stopped position or when slowing down to a near stop. Somebody mentioned carburator, timing or a dirty fuel filter. So being the easiest we changed the fuel filter, however that did not solve the problem…any suggestions?

  24. RD says:

    Hi, I have a question. I have a Niassan and it’s front wheel caps are turned blackish. Is there a possibility of some kind of leakage from engine? any advise ? thanks…

  25. autofrankie says:

    Hi RD, try examining the substance that’s coating your wheel caps. Is the leak actually ON the wheel caps and is it coming from your chassis? Black and oily fluid that’s leaking from your car is 9 times out of 10–engine oil. Try to determine if the fluid is oily and check under your car for other drops of blackish and oily fluid. If your parking space has these tell-tale drops, then yes, your car may be leaking engine oil.

    If the fluid on your wheel caps is clear and oily, but mixed with grime, then it may be a brake fluid problem. Inspect the fluid and identify where the leak is located to fix this problem.

  26. autofrankie says:

    Hello J Martinez, about your Chevy… actually there are a lot of factors that could lead to a stalling automobile. It basically involves three of your car’s numerous auto systems: the fuel delivery system (with your fuel filter, fuel pump, injector or carburetor), the engine system (meaning the engine’s actual parts), and the ignition system.

    To diagnose your auto problem, you’ll first have to figure out where the problem is coming from. If it’s fuel supply, then it would make sense why people would ask you to change your fuel filter or even your carburetor–it means that your engine’s not getting enough gas to move properly.

    But other factors that could cause frequent stalling also includes your spark plug wires , spark plugs, and your ignition coil. Before replacing any of these parts though, i suggest that you inspect each part for signs of damage first.

    Seriously saves you money and effort man. :)

  27. J Martinez says:

    we are going through checking each thing…and found that the spark plugs (after we changed them) look like oil is getting to them….does that mean the engine is shot or maybe just need the gasket replaced?

  28. autofrankie says:

    Hi J. Sorry for not replying sooner.

    Anyways, my last few blog posts have been dealing with possible causes behind common engine problems. I’m actually writing about stalling when idling. Since you’ve spotted a leak, it’s possible that all you need to do is replace your gasket. (The problem may have been worn spark plugs and oil leaks all along).

    As I said before, the problem with engine troubles is that most of the time, it’s usually not caused by a single unit. If you’ve checked your engine and ignition system’s different components, and that’s about the only problematic parts you’ve spotted, then hopefully that’s the end of your engine woes.

    But if there’s little improvement when it comes to your Chevy’s performance, I suggest you take your vehicle to the shop for a more detailed check. (DTC readings, inspecting the onboard engine computer…the unfortunately, more sophisticated stuff you can’t do unless you’ve got all the right equipment)

    Good luck man! Here’s to hoping new spark plugs and a gasket cures all! :)

  29. ricky says:

    when i went to look at the car we had to jump the car to start it but when we took them off it died.the people said it need a new altnator an battery .i buy the battery and altnator for it buy runs for about 30 minutes an dies.

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