Tag: How To

By on December 18, 2013

messkicks

Oil changes.

Should they be done every 3000 miles? 5000 miles? 10,000 miles?

Or should you pay a premium and go for that ultra-long marathon of 15,000 miles with the right oil and filter combination?

Those of us who drive our cars for quite a while are usually focused on mileage above all else. But what about those vehicles that we rarely drive?

Should the Sunday drivers and infrequent haulers of rubbish be given the same regimen?

What about using time as a yardstick instead? 6 months… 1 year… 2 years?

Everyone thinks the answer is different. But for most vehicles, it’s the same.

(Read More…)

By on April 19, 2013

 

The car business can be a pain for three distinct reasons.

The first comes from the cars that you sell. Botched repairs. Unhappy customers. Surprises that just seem to spring up and bite you in the ass. I can deal with that.

The second comes from people in the industry. Employees and contractors with productivity issues. The unending myriad of regulations and paperwork. Continuing ed classes with little relevance to reality. I can deal with that too.

What I can’t deal with is…

(Read More…)

By on February 25, 2013

Late night conversation with Kreindler, “Hey Steve! Do you know what one of our top articles of all-time is?”

“The one where Bertel put a sex toy on the front of the page?”

“Hah! No, the one about changing your oil.”

“Really?! Well if Yahoo (recent!) and Jalopnik (recent!) want to feature my work, I guess I should throw my old stomping grounds a bone.”

(Read More…)

By on August 22, 2012


Congratulations!!! And my condolences.

You have just bought yourself a vehicle that may be worth more dead than alive.

Did you follow my car buying advice? Of course not! You wanted cheap to the extreme and now you got it. Bald tires. Doors that may be lovably ‘scrunched’ just a little bit thanks to those pesky inanimate objects. But hey, at least the ashtray still works.

Now you just have to figure out what to do with it?

(Read More…)

By on April 7, 2011


As the 1966 Dodge A100 Hell Project progresses (slowly), I’m finally at the point at which T-shirts and towels draped over the trashed seats— nuked by over a decade of outdoor storage in the Colorado sun— no longer cut it. It’s time to fix ‘em up! (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2011


The A100 Hell Project really isn’t very hellish, since the van is rust-free and still has most of its tough-to-find trim parts. However, the list of really irritating minor problems that must be solved to bring a project vehicle up to real-world-enjoyable status is always long. One of the most maddening was the busted window latch on one of the right-side windows. Chrysler changed the design on this latch— which probably cost about 14 cents per unit new— in the late 1960s, which means they’re very rare in junkyards, and nobody seems to be selling them on eBay. Snow and rain were getting in, the window clattered while driving, and anyone who wanted to rummage in the van for crack-exchangeable valuables could reach right in and pop the side door lock. What to do? (Read More…)

By on February 23, 2011


What does it take to win the Heroic Fix trophy at the heroism-heavy Southern Discomfort 24 Hours of LeMons? Frantic engine swaps are a dime a dozen in LeMons racing, but what happens when the replacement engine goes bad? (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2010


When we last saw the A100 Hell Project, I’d junkyard-engineered a new gas pedal as part of my “get this thing on the road as quickly and cheaply as possible” initiative. The lack of headlights, due to a corroded-by-12-idle-years switch, was the next big annoyance I needed to tackle. (Read More…)

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