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Tech Stuff


Engine sealing tips: How to avoid problems from annoying leaks to devastating damage

Sealing an engine involves several concerns, including the containment of combustion pressure, preventing coolant and oil from entering the combustion process, and preventing oil, coolant and vacuum from leaking out of the engine. Theoretically this should be a straightforward process, but if performed incorrectly without attention to detail, problems can range from annoying leaks to devastating internal engine damage.


Brake pad copper content: Material will be phased out over a 15-year period

Brakes have been around for as long as the wheel. The original friction material was probably Fred Flintstone’s feet. Romans saved their sandals by using wooden blocks pressed against the wheels of their chariots.


Fuel trim: How it works and how to make it work for you

When diagnosing a check-engine light or drivability issue, you can learn a lot by looking at fuel trim data on a scan tool. Fuel trim can be affected by just about anything between the air filter and the muffler, including sensors, injectors, ignition, EGR, the engine’s mechanical condition and even the crankcase ventilation system. Fuel trim numbers alone won’t provide a complete diagnosis, but if you know what to look for, those numbers can lead you in the right direction.


OBD-II Mode 6: Making it part of your diagnostic arsenal

Mode 6 has been around for many years now. Technicians have often not made much use of it because they find it confusing and often not that informative.


What to look for in outside contractors

Your shop may service just about anything under the sun, or you may specialize in specific types of service or certain vehicle makes. Regardless of your shop’s capabilities, there may be times when you need to farm out work to an outside vendor. A good example is engine repair or rebuilding.


Tool review: Mac Tools’ digital torque wrench model TWM265IDA

This review covers Mac Tools’ 1/4-inch drive digital torque wrench, model TWM265IDA. Three additional digital torque wrenches are also available, all with torque value selections in in.-lbs., ft.-lbs., Nm and kg.cm.


Engine pre-oiling: A critical procedure for any fresh engine

A customer’s engine represents a major investment. Regardless of whether the engine is new (a factory replacement engine), a freshly rebuilt engine, or an engine that has been stored for an extended period, it can be quickly damaged if the bearings and friction related components are not properly lubricated prior to firing the engine for the first time.


Thread chasing: Restoring male or female fastener threads

Whenever you’re faced with dirty or slightly burred female threads (cylinder head threaded holes in a block, spark plug holes in a head, etc.), you may be tempted to grab an appropriate size cutting tap to clean up the threads. The correct choice is to use a “chaser” tap. A cutting tap is designed to create new threads, whereas a chaser tap is designed to clean, re-form and restore existing threads.


Time- and money-saving tips from technicians

When servicing or rebuilding a GM LS engine (which includes the LQ series), cast iron or aluminum blocks, be aware that there are two versions of cylinder head bolts, based on the design of the specific block.


Engine oil change intervals

  In a recent editorial, I commented about the validity of extended oil change intervals that are commonly promoted today by auto makers (ASP September/October 2014 issue). My intent was to provide my own opinion, and not to promote the increased sale of oil (read the editorial in our digital edition on www.autoserviceprofessional.com). This topic has obviously hit a nerve among our readers. Following are just a few of the letters we’ve received regarding this subject.- Ed.

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