Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 10, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: How often should shocks and struts be changed?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — •••

MARK FROM PHILADELPHIA: My indicator gauge on my ‘04 Mazda Tribute does not indicate that the engine is hot. However, it smells hot after I’ve been driving for a short time, and I see a little smoke coming from under the hood. What would be causing this?

TOM: The smell could be a result of a coolant leak, oil leak, or transmission fluid leak burning on a hot exhaust. In short, lots of things could cause this condition. Get it into a shop and have it checked out immediately.

Cars tell us when they have a problem; we just have to pay attention. Mark’s car is expressing symptoms of a leak. So how do we track it down?

• Check fluid levels: Smoke from under the hood is a key symptom. First, check all the fluid levels (oil, transmission, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid). If any of the fluids are dramatically low, start the diagnostics there. Get the car up on a lift and check underneath for engine oil, coolant, or transmission oil leakage. The leak may evade you. If this is the case, there are lots of tests you can perform to track down the source.

• Cooling system test: The best way to find a leak in the cooling system is a pressure test. The goal of the test is to force a leak at the weakest point in the system. Air pressure is applied to the cooling system with an air pump or regulated source (make sure to keep pressure below 14 PSI to avoid causing more damage). If there’s a leak in the radiator, water pump, gasket, or a hose, it will show up under pressure. Sometimes a system will lose pressure but it will not display an external leak. This tells you that there’s probably a leak internally, such as a blown head gasket or cracked/warped cylinder head.

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Columns
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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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  • 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.

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  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

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  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

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  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

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  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

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  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

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  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

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