Monthly Archives: March 2012

A shameless plug (Part II)

When assessing the need for an oil plug or pan repair, we often offer to show the customer the situation in the shop. One time the customer wanted to pop the plug loose himself as he cussed a little. We let him, and he got a big grin on his face as it popped loose. At that point he was OK with us moving forward with the repair. Some customers want to go back to the previous oil change shop and have them fix the damage. I can say that nearly every time we have fixed the problem by simply chasing the threads and using a new drain plug. I can think of about five times in 10 years where we needed to replace a sheet metal drain pan and this happens mostly on older Hondas. In one case with an expensive aluminum pan we removed the pan, welded the aluminum back up and redrilled and threaded a new hole. In another case we acquired a used oil pan from a salvage yard. Due to issues with keeping the hole centered, we don’t recommend trying to cut bigger threads in place. That techniq ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

A shameless plug (Part I)

Our AAA regional representative recently engaged New Concept Auto Service and some other local shops in a conversation about policies regarding cross-threaded oil pan drain plugs. A cross-threaded drain plug is when the threads on the plug and pan are not aligned, causing a bad fit. It just gets worse as it is tightened. It seems like such a minuscule part to create such a firestorm of policy, but keep in mind one tiny leaking plug can drain a whole pan of oil and create need for a multi-thousand-dollar engine repair or replacement. There are several scenarios for assessing a damaged oil pan or drain plug threads, including the rare instance of a drain plug cross-thread. Other times the drain plug is over-tightened and has pulled or damaged the threads on the plug and requires a new plug. In this instance, if the pan threads are only slightly damaged they may only need to be chased or rethreaded. Sometimes the pan has to be replaced or over-drilled if possible. And sometimes the head ... read more

Lending you our ear

Lending you our ear

I love noises and cars, so I drive as many as I can. The brain and its ability to recall information is amazing. Once you hear the same type of car noise three or four times, it gets registered in a database deep inside your head. Pretty soon you begin to recognize a familiar noise from a car as it drives by on the street. Suddenly you will find yourself standing on a sidewalk, mumbling “lower ball joint.” A good noise technician uses a combination of logic, common sense and experience. As Overland Park’s “go-to source for auto repair,” our New Concept techs have all three! Logic comes into play when you have to diagnose the noise by process of elimination. Common sense is required when you begin to over think the noise. Experience comes from driving lots of different cars under different conditions. We also have a secret weapon–an electronic device called a Mechanics Ear that does an incredible job locating the source of various car noises. The device consists of a tr ... read more

Categories:

Noise Diagnosis
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