Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 20, 2014

TOM'S CORNER: Winter gives way to spring in the car world

Niagara Gazette — This past winter was a particularly brutal one. Cars suffered all kinds of damage this year because of brutal winter weather conditions. The best place to begin looking at your car to get ready for spring is with the undercarriage:

Undercarriage damage

Have the vehicle closely inspected for undercarriage damage. Just to make it clear what we’re talking about here; any part of the car that is exposed to the roadway is considered undercarriage. Have the fuel, brake & emission system lines checked for damage. If during winter you ended up with a lit check engine light, you may have tore an emission system line from the underside of the car when you went over a frozen snowdrift. If a brake light is lit on the dash you may have torn a brake fluid line loose resulting in a hydraulic imbalance of the system. Emergency brake cables can freeze, causing the brakes to stay in the applied position wearing the brakes out, so have the e-brake brake cables checked for ease of movement and application. Repair/replace any questionable components. Electrical wiring closely affixed to the underside of the vehicle can be easily torn from their seats resulting in inaccurate fuel level readings, malfunctioning air ride systems, brake/turn signal/or running lights not lit and a host of other electrical gremlins poking their head up to the light of day. Diagnose and repair.

 

Steering system damage

On cars that have rack & pinion steering, tie rod ends are covered with a protective boot called a “Bellow.” These bellows look like an accordion to allow for left and right extension of the tie rods when turning corners. They protect the ball & socket joints that make up the tie rod systems. When the bellows tear, lubricant is lost, and the environmental elements are allowed in, which causes degradation of the joint/s. Over time, the ball & socket joints can separate resulting in loss of steering control. Replace any torn steering bellows. In vehicles with conventional steering systems, there are a lot more ball & socket joints to check along with protective rubber boots. Unfortunately, with torn boots on these types of systems, the whole tie rod end should be replaced. Additionally on conventional steering systems check idler and pitman arms for wear & replace any components that exhibit movement because this will wear tires and cause poor vehicle control.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page