I have a 2004 ford freestar. They replaced the rotors,pads,tires ect..
I replaced the power steering hoses..
while driving at higher speeds (over 80kms on the freeway) I hear this high pitched squeal sound coming from the front end. It doesnt do it when I drive under 60km p/h or when I stop, just when I go really fast.
My hubby thought it might be a belt, but I dont know..
It could be a belt, but you would hear it at upper RPMs as the van goes through the gears and gets up to speed. It could be the air vibrating some of the body work, if something is loose in the front end. Does the van click when turning sharp left or right? A bad CV joint could be the culprit, but it would be a very loud whining. I would have a mechanic look at it ASAP since at high speeds things happen fast and if its a CV joint, you dont want to chance it.
Posted: 11th August 2009 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body, Suspension
It’s getting to be that time of year, time to break out the Halloween costumes and get ready for the cooler weather. Now is the time to start thinking about your car and what it needs to survive the bitter cold of winter.
The most critical and often overlooked part of your vehicle is the cooling system. Without the proper protection, your coolant can freeze in the winter temperatures and destroy your engine. The coolant in your engine is a mixture of water and anti-freeze, which is supposed to lower the freezing point of the coolant. If the ratio of water to anti-freeze is wrong, the coolant mixture will freeze. Since water is one of those goofy liquids that actually expands as is freezes, it can exert extreme forces on your engine and actually crack the engine block. You can check your coolantâ€™s freeze point with a simple tool called a Ball-Type Tester. You suck up a little bit of coolant into the instrument and count the number of balls that float. Then using the legend on the tool, you can determine the freezing point. There are also testing strips available, which you dip into the coolant similar to a pregnancy test to check the freezing point. If your coolant is more than 2 years old or you have over 30,000 miles it should be changed regardless of the freezing point.
The last thing to check on your engine is the fuel system. A bottle of gas line anti-freeze should be run through the system before the first flake of snow falls. The gas line anti-freeze will absorb any residual moisture in the system and keep it from freezing your fuel lines. Water can get into your fuel tank from a bad batch of gasoline at your favorite gas station or a faulty gas cap.
Once your engine is protected, you should turn your attention to your tires. Check the tread depth and pressures before wintertime hits. The pressure in your tires can drop as the temperatures plummet. If your tires are getting worn, I would suggest replacing them to get the best traction in the winter months. You may even want to consider getting an inexpensive set of steel wheels with dedicated snow tires for the winter months. All-Season tires do every season well, but none of them excellent. By running a set of winter tires, you will get the best winter traction possible and keep your car on the road where it belongs.
Your paint will also need some protection from all the salt and chemicals on the road. Make sure wash your car well, and then apply a liberal coat of wax over the entire car. You can also wax your wheels if you have aluminum wheels, which will help to stop pitting and keep the wheels clean. The biggest mistake I see people make when washing a car is to not rinse their wash mitt or sponge, or rinsing it in the wash bucket. Make sure you rinse off the sponge or mitt outside the bucket with your hose. This will keep the dirt that you just wiped off the car from becoming sandpaper and you clean the rest of your car.
A good first aid kit is valuable any time of year, but what else should you have in your trunk? A good ice scraper, bag of salt or sand for traction and a blanket incase you are stranded and need to keep warm are all vital. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, extra weight in the trunk will help with traction. A bag of cement or sand can give you the needed traction in the winter months.
Good luck and safe driving,
Posted: 4th October 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body, Cooling, Site News
Brown speckles began appearing all over my white yukon. The dealer said rail
dust, fix with claybar treatment, $300 thank you! The spots started to come
back within 2 weeks. The GM dealer now does a tap dance and with lot of BS.
Who can I take this vehicle too to find out what is really happening to
this paint job. No other cars where I park this car are similarily
I am guessing you are in the mid-atlantic region. I too have seen the little black spots on my car. My spots looked like little balls of tar and you can scratch the tops of the ball off, but a small spot still remains which is hard to remove? Is this what you are seeing? If it is, you problem is not rail dust, but Artillery Fungus ! Yes I said fungus. In the mid-atlantic region there has been a real problem with this little known fungus which shoots a sticky liquid from it’s insides up to a couple of feet away. The wind can then carry them even further. They grow in rotting wood and mulch. It may not be from your place of business, but rather from your house, or even the gas station you may visit every morning for coffee. (if they have mulch around)
For more information, Dr. Donald D. Davis of Penn State is currently doing research on this annoying fungus http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/d/d/ddd2/
My method of removing the spores is this… I wash the car first, then use bug and tar remover with a 100% cotton towel, as to not scratch the paint. This works well with spores that have not been on the vehicle for a long time. Older spores need to be removed with a clay bar, as your dealer did the first time. You can purchase a clay bar kit in most auto parts stores, under the Mothers brand. A word of caution with the clay bar, keep folding it over, exposing new clay, to prevent built up dirt from scratching your paint. It’s a great way to clean your car, but if not used properly, it becomes like sand paper. I have also had limited success with latex paint remover sold under the M-22 label, but I do not believe this is sold anymore.
To prevent the spores from coming back, you can try to re-mulch the area that you park next to, or replace the mulch with stones as I did at my business.
Posted: 19th August 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body, Car Care
My new 2006 G6 was left under a pecan tree while I was on vacation for 2
weeks.Â Upon returning I quickly washed it off, but now have brown spots
all over the finish.Â What can be done to remove the brown spots?
I would try bug and tar remover first.Â Make sure to use a 100% cotton towel and make sure it’s clean.Â You want to avoid grinding any dirt into the finish.Â If that does not remove it, I would try a clay bar.Â Most auto parts stores carry Mothers Clay bar, which should get your spots off.Â Again, be cautious with the clay bar… read the directions and knead/fold the clay often to prevent dirt trapped in the clay bar from becoming like sandpaper.
Posted: 19th August 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body, Car Care
I found your blog very useful… I bought a new car last week and unfortunately scratched it on a pole in the apt parking garage. The scratch, some a little deep, are just above the rear right wheel. A little bit, 1/4 inch, extends into the door/bumber. I went to several auto body shops and their estimate range from about $300 to $1000. The one that I’ve been recommended is about $750 and I’m leaning towards that since they seem to do good job. Am I being over charged? I feel if I go to the $300 one I’ll get a crappy job. The mgr explained the big job is the painting and blending it into the rest of the car. When they paint it, would it be noticeable after several yrs when the color starts fading?
Since the car is fairly new, the paints should age about the same, so years from now when the paint starts fading, you should not see a difference. I would go with the shop you trust, it is not an easy job matching the paint. While computers make it easier to match the paint, there is still a human making the final judgement. Even the weather conditions can effect the final color, so going with someone you trust is very important. Without seeing the damage, I can not say if you are being overcharged, but it sounds about right for a scratch that big.
Posted: 18th August 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body