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Archive for the 'repairs' Category

Auto Report… it’s running again

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

So for the last month or so my 1995 Mustang GT has not been running well. It started running rough and then it wouldn’t start. We have an extra car so I didn’t have to take it to get fixed. I decided I wanted to fix it myself.

I did some searches on the Internet and I found a list of things that could be wrong. I believe (based on experience) that if I take my car to one of the local mechanics it will cost me between $350 and $500. It just seems like no matter what is wrong it always costs in that range. I believe I can replace everything on the list for between $350 and $500. The only problem is that I don’t know how.

Working on cars is hard and frustrating. It’s also rewarding and valuable.

So one common issue is the MAF sensor. Apparently they get dirty and sometimes they go bad. We found instructions on how to clean the MAF sensor. We followed the instructions and whoala the car fired right up.

So I took the kids to track practice and it was great. Then on the way back it died while I was driving… which sucked. The boys and I pushed it off of the road into a parking lot. Some guy tried to help… he found some little stick and somehow checked for fuel. He reported that there was plenty of fuel. We called Melissa because I figured we could clean the MAF sensor again and it would start, so I could get it home. When Melissa got there it started right up again.

So I drove it home and it wouldn’t start the next day. The next thing we were going to do was change something called a TFI Module. The module costs around $60 and I quit my job so I figured it was a good time to learn how to change my spark plugs. I have always had a hard time changing spark plugs.

I have 8 spark plugs. Removing each one of them is a unique adventure. They are all on different parts on the motor and each on represents and uniquely frustrating experience. The when you consider that it’s really easy to do serious damage to your car when removing the spark plugs (in more ways than one)… well let’s just say it’s a hard thing to do the first few times.

So Melissa and I spent about 10 days slowly figuring it out. The first challenge was to disconnect the wires from the plug. That’s not easy. Well it is easy once you get the hang of it, but it took a while to get the hang of. They are on there really tight and it’s hard to get leverage on them. We eventually got the hang of it and yanked all eight wires (boots) off.

Then we had to use compressed air to spray stuff off of the plugs, because stuff can easily fall into the cylinder and then… game over.

Then we took a spark plug out. We found the easiest one and used it to get a gauge on home much force it would take.

Then the next day we took all eight out and put the wires back on.

My battery was good and dead from sitting for a couple of weeks. I put it on a trickle chargers.

This morning I unplugged it and I turned the key. The engine ROARED to life and I mean ROARED. I drove it around the block and I parked it again. Then I turned the key and it started right up.

Melissa and I are going to turn in some paperwork for my new job and then try to make parking arrangements (I have to pay for parking now) and when I get home I will give it another try.

I think we have it fixed now. I will let you know if I have to fix anything else.

Update on the car

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

So last week I reported that I fixed my car. We cleaned the MAF Sensor and it started up. The next morning it was a no go. We decided the clean the MAF Sensor again and it was filthy again. The we took a look at the air filter and it was very dirty. We replaced it and cleaned the MAF Sensor. It started up again. Then this morning it had a very hard time starting. It finally did start.

I am letting it run for a while. I don’t really trust it right now.

Hopefully that fixed it, but if not I will update.

We fixed my Mustang!!!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

So this morning I decided I was going to run out and get a coke (we don’t keep any in the house). The car would not start.

It’s a 1994 Ford Mustang GT convertible. It has been unbelievably reliable.

The engine would turn over and it would act like it was going to start but then it would die. Sometimes I would get a bunch of smoke out of it.

So I did some research online and I found some suggestions. The first step was to see if there was a spark and yes there was. Then I was supposed to clean the MAF Sensor. We bought some MAF Sensor cleaner (9 bucks). It took us about 10 minutes.

It worked like a charm and the car is running a lot better now.

The Convertible Top Man

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Back in mid February I had the top replaced on my Mustang.  I looked for a while and I found this guy http://theconvertibletopman.com/

He did a great job.  He came to my house and replaced the top in about 4 hours for $800.

My car almost looks brand new and it has that new car smell again.

Busted out window on my convertable

Monday, February 15th, 2010

We broke the window in my car out by mistake. A lacrosse stick got wedged between the window and the seat and while the top was going down it busted.

It was going to cost $1000 to have the window replaced. It’s going to cost $1200 for a new top. So we’re going to go with a new top.

Mr. Sparky makes good…

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

A week or two ago one of our circuits had a problem.  Mr. Sparky came out and fixed it for about $300.  The electrician wired one of the light switches backwards (up was off and down was on).  Melissa called Mr. Sparky and the guy came right back out and fixed it.  He had had a great attitude and fixed it in 5 minutes.  No charge.

Great job Mr. Sparky.

Mister Sparkey Went To The House Today

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Mister Sparkey went to the house to fix the ground hot reversed issue.  After about two hours he figured out that one of our lights had a short on the inside.

The guy was seemed very knowledgeable, patient, and respectful.  So far we are very satisfied with the service.  I was told that one of the switches in my son’s room is now reversed and switches on while it’s in the off position.  Melissa says she’s going to call them to see if the guy can come back out to fix the issue.

The total cost was about $350 dollars.  We seem to need Mister Sparkey to come out about once every six months for a different circuit.  I guess that shouldn’t be a big surprise considering the house is about 30 years old.  So if you’re considering buying a 30+ year old house you probably should budget about $700 a year for electrical repairs.

I tried really hard to fix this myself, but in the end I felt like the most important thing was to pay a professional in the interest of safety.

We need an electrician

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

We have a circuit that is partially working.  The circuit works up to the first outlet in Rod’s room.  All of the outlets after the first outlet read “Hot/GRD reversed” on our tester.

It’s very weird.  The Voltage between the Ground and Neutral reads as 120V.  The Voltage between the Ground and Hot reads as 120 V.  The Voltage between the Hot and Neutral reads as 0V.

We replaced all of the outlets but that didn’t work.  Called Mr. Sparky and they are scheduled to come by on Wednesday.  I will let everyone know how it goes.  I hope it’s not too many dollars.