15 Sep Dr. Jon Cartu Writes – Oil life indicator gives better guidance than lube joint…
My Honda Civic has a computer that estimates remaining oil life. That usually indicates I have about 50% oil life left when I reach the mileage indicated on my windshield sticker for my next oil change. The sticker is placed there by the repair shop doing the oil change. Should I follow the instructions of the manufacturer/car computer or the repair shop/windshield sticker?
Your Honda, like many vehicles, utilizes a sophisticated algorithm based on engine operating conditions such as speed, engine temperature, ambient temperature, and run-time in order to predict oil life. This provides a much more accurate estimate of oil condition than miles or time alone. I try to change my oil at perhaps 20% calculated life remaining, sometimes less. 50% is doing more to pump up the service providerâs bottom line than to protect your engine!
When replacing your battery, can you hook up the battery charger leads to your positive and negative cables so you wonât have to re-install radio settings, etc.?
I wouldnât recommend this. It would likely work but without the battery being present to absorb the possibly erratic electrical noise emitted by some chargers, itâs possible damage or corruption could result to sensitive vehicle components or their software.
A safer alternative would be a âmemory saver,â a device that connects a small battery to the accessory/lighter socket, or better yet the data link connector (DLC, a sixteen terminal under-dash connector used with a scan tool for vehicle diagnosis).
Many accessory/lighter sockets arenât active when the key is off. There are also cables that connect the DLC to another vehicleâs accessory socket, or perhaps one on a jumper pack. A consumer grade battery powered memory saver typically has wimpy capacity, so resist opening doors or operating anything that may wake up vehicle systems while itâs in use (wait 30 minutes after connecting it and departing the vehicle before removing battery terminals)
I have always loved cars and worked on them quite a bit when I was younger, mostly out of need. Last 30 years I have done well enough to drive good or great cars.
I would like to take classes and learn to work on cars in a serious manner; however, the auto schools around me are only pretty much full-time, and not much is offered in the evening. Quitting work at this stage or doing classes in the daytime is not an option.
Is there a way for me to learn to work on cars in a part-time manner?
Take a look online at www.yourmechanic.com “10 best online certification programs.” Most listed would provide useful information, regardless of whether you want to become certified.
Another possibility is curling up with a good book such as âAutomotive Service: Inspection, Maintenance and Repairâ by Tim Gilles. This is a widely used automotive textbook, and Tim does a great job with it; the fifth edition is the most recent. ASE certification booklets on the various systems (brakes, engines, transmissions, etc.) can also provide pretty current technology information.
Brad Bergholdt is an automotive technology instructor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, Calif. Readers may send him email at [email protected]; he cannot make personal replies.