Monthly Archives: December 2012

Snowdrift savvy

Snowdrift savvy

I consider myself a bit of an expert in dealing with snowdrifts. In western Kansas where I grew up, the wind always blows from the south-southwest. When you get three inches of snow, combined with the low humidity, you also get three-foot snow drifts. We are also likely to experience conditions like this in Overland Park in the next couple months. After helping countless stranded autos get out of the ditch, these are some great pointers I can swear by: Take a cell phone with you and keep an extra charger in the car. Keep an emergency kit with you, including a blanket, gloves and an extra coat. A small shovel and a bag of sand may also prove to be handy. A real treat would be a tow rope with metal hooks on each end. Don’t by a cheap one—you will get what you pay for. Keep your gas tank at least half full through the snow season. Consider joining a roadside service like AAA. If there is a big snowstorm, many people will also be calling them, so you may need to be ... read more

What to buy the gearhead on your list

What to buy the gearhead on your list

What do you buy a gearhead/auto technician/mechanic for Christmas? If the guy is young, buy him tools. If he is seasoned, buy him gift certificates for tools like Snap On, MAC Tools or Matco Tools. If he is old, buy him a massage. I asked my Overland Park auto techs recently what would interest them and here is a Christmas list from them. 1. An engine block coffee table like this one seen on the BBC show Top Gear. Engine block table Overland Park, KS 2. A wall clock that looks either like a large gear or has seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt on it. 3. A “Rat Fink” t-shirt. The kind that depicts the popular Rat Rod. 4. Oh yes, when tailgating at the biannual NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Kansas Speedway, who could be without a Hot Rod Grill. This is basically a reproduction, small block Chevy that doubles as a gas grill, complete with smoking Zoomie headers and a temperature gauge. Hot rod grill Overland Park, KS 5. An audible torque wre ... read more

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Seasonal Advice

Electrical diagnosis requires a good listener

Electrical diagnosis requires a good listener

Recently we had a new customer drop of his Overland Park Acura with an electrical issue. Intermittently, the radio lights would go out and the radio/interior light fuse would blow. It did not seem to be related to driving over bumps or turning anything on or off. The customer would replace the fuse, go to work in the morning and find by the time he got home after dark, the lights were out. He had purchased a package of fuses and kept replacing them until it became too much of a hassle. Initially he took the car to another Kansas City auto shop where they found some frayed wires in the driver’s door jamb. The wires were repaired, but the problem persisted. Thinking it may be the radio, he took his car to a stereo shop where they completely disconnected the radio again to no avail. The stereo shop, which we do a bit of business with, referred him to us. I really enjoy tackling these types of electrical issues. They are sometimes a challenge, but if we follow our step-by-step proce ... read more

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