Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 15, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Top 10 car maintenance mistakes technicians say do most damage

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — • Not changing fuel and air filters: Air and fuel filters get clogged with dirt over time. If the air filter gets clogged it can result in increased fuel consumption and poor performance. Too much gas into the engine fouls the sparkplugs and a viscous cycle takes over. Leave a fuel filter in too long and high pressure-resistance sets up causing the fuel pump to overwork and wear out prematurely.

• Having unqualified shops service your vehicle: This one usually goes along with the statement: “But he’s cheaper than the rest of the shops or dealer!” Yes, he very well might be cheaper. Why such a price discrepancy? Well it has to do with the fact that the cheaper shop usually doesn’t have the hi-tech equipment to track down the problem. No training on repair operations. No information systems such as Alldata or Mitchell 1. All these things translate into a repair that’s fixed right the first time and lasts twice as long as the shop that uses cheap parts.

• Using generic aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-quality parts: Contrary to popular belief: all parts are not created equal. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts cost more because they are made better than cheap offshore knock-off parts. Oftentimes the cheap parts fail long before the OEM or quality part. Additionally, cheap parts tend to not match factory specs, resulting in abnormalities in the system they are a part of. Remember, you get what you pay for.

• Trying to service your own high-tech vehicle: I get e-mail every day from well-meaning listeners who tried to fix their own car with no knowledge, tools or info systems at their disposal. They usually send me a laundry list of parts as long as their arm that they replaced in their effort to rectify their problem. Then when I tell them to take the car to a repair shop for diagnostics, they loudly exclaim: “Absolutely not! That’s a rip-off!” yet when I point out to them that they spent hundreds of dollars on unnecessary parts to solve their problem to no avail, they fall silent.

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Columns
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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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