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SoxFan1
I think this would be a nice resource for people who have questions about cars, repairs, maintenance, etc.

So here's my story. The last month or so, my car has been making this low, grinding noise under the hood. It isn't loud, but the engine doesn't sound as smooth when idling and accelerating as it used to, still runs fine though. So yesterday, I'm at a red light and the guy in the car next to me looks over and yells into my window, "you've got a bad idler pulley." It caught me off guard, so I said "WHAT!?" and repeated that I have a bad idler pulley, hence the noise under the hood. He even told me it cost $12 at AutoZone. I said thanks and he pulled off when the light turned green. Did some research and it seems to make sense. Anyone know how much it costs to replace the idler pulley? It's a 96 Lincoln Mark VIII.
farmteam
QUOTE (SoxFan1 @ Apr 4, 2012 -> 02:24 PM) *
I think this would be a nice resource for people who have questions about cars, repairs, maintenance, etc.

So here's my story. The last month or so, my car has been making this low, grinding noise under the hood. It isn't loud, but the engine doesn't sound as smooth when idling and accelerating as it used to, still runs fine though. So yesterday, I'm at a red light and the guy in the car next to me looks over and yells into my window, "you've got a bad idler pulley." It caught me off guard, so I said "WHAT!?" and repeated that I have a bad idler pulley, hence the noise under the hood. He even told me it cost $12 at AutoZone. I said thanks and he pulled off when the light turned green. Did some research and it seems to make sense. Anyone know how much it costs to replace the idler pulley? It's a 96 Lincoln Mark VIII.


Wow. That's a nice guy right there.
Iwritecode
I donít know the answer for the OP but Iíll add my own story in here.

I have a 2003 Grand Prix and the brake lights quit working in it one day. I replaced all the bulbs and it didnít help. The turn signals worked, the backup lights worked and the running lights worked. The only brake light that worked was the one in the back window.

Also my hazard button was stuck. I researched it and found that both problems were related and it was a pretty common problem for that car, but I never found a way to fix it.

So I took it in and it turned out the entire turn signal lever had to be replaced. Since it controls so many different things (wipers, turn signals, cruise control) it wasnít a cheap part to replace. It ended up costing me $700 for the part plus the labor.

After I took it home I found out that the cruise control no longer worked. So I took it back in assuming either the switch they put in was bad or it wasnít hooked up right.

They called and said the switch was fine but it was the cruise control module that wasnít working.

Iím debating on taking it to another shop to get a second opinion. Iím just not sure itís worth the trouble since Iíve passed the car onto my daughter and I doubt sheíll be using the cruise control all that much
StrangeSox
If the cruise control was working previously and stopped working after they swapped the steering wheel controls assembly, it seems like they messed something up.
elamins
Just bought a new 2012 Kia Rio. Now I'm not a car person by any means but even I can see something is wrong here. It is listed at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway. So I drove the car about 18 miles over 3 days ( it was a relaxing period for me) anyway my gas range in the car went from 298mi down to 254. Im no genius but that math doesnt make sense. Oh and I also had the eco drive on which is supposed to help save gas. Any ideas on why it would be that far off?
G&T
QUOTE (elamins @ Apr 14, 2012 -> 04:06 PM) *
Just bought a new 2012 Kia Rio. Now I'm not a car person by any means but even I can see something is wrong here. It is listed at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway. So I drove the car about 18 miles over 3 days ( it was a relaxing period for me) anyway my gas range in the car went from 298mi down to 254. Im no genius but that math doesnt make sense. Oh and I also had the eco drive on which is supposed to help save gas. Any ideas on why it would be that far off?


First, thats a really small gas tank. Second, the range is based on how you drive. My CR-V will do the same thing. The range will improve on the highway.
Brian
My Focus does that but always evens out. It goes up when I park and start the car later. Not an exact science. I usually fill up when it gets down to 20
elamins
The 298 wasnt at the full tank ill drive around some more and see how it goes. Just seems like for every mile I drive like 5 come off the range
Balta1701
Are you really aggressive on the accelerator/brake? Are you driving a lot in a downtown area where you're stuck at a ton of stoplights, accelerating, and decelerating a lot?

A lot of engines do take time to work themselves "into shape" if you will, moving parts adjusting to each other with time and getting small bits of production residue/metal out of the way, so that could play into it too, but if you're burning through a full gallon of gas in 18 miles, I'd guess driving style or number of stoplights plays into it.

At worst, if I was driving around in Downtown Pasadena for groceries only with my Civic, no highway driving, I'd wind up around 20-23 miles per gallon because there were so many stoplights, and it's rated at ~40.
3E8
QUOTE (elamins @ Apr 14, 2012 -> 03:06 PM) *
Just bought a new 2012 Kia Rio. Now I'm not a car person by any means but even I can see something is wrong here. It is listed at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway. So I drove the car about 18 miles over 3 days ( it was a relaxing period for me) anyway my gas range in the car went from 298mi down to 254. Im no genius but that math doesnt make sense. Oh and I also had the eco drive on which is supposed to help save gas. Any ideas on why it would be that far off?

I've found the digital gas range indicators are not very precise. On a full tank of gas, my range always goes to a number 50 miles above anything I've ever gotten on one tank of gas. Best to just reset your mileage gauge next time you fill up, then divide your total miles traveled on that tank by the number of gallons you pump on your following trip to the gas station. If that number is significantly off from the listed fuel efficiency, you may have a problem.
Iwritecode
QUOTE (elamins @ Apr 14, 2012 -> 03:06 PM) *
Just bought a new 2012 Kia Rio. Now I'm not a car person by any means but even I can see something is wrong here. It is listed at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway. So I drove the car about 18 miles over 3 days ( it was a relaxing period for me) anyway my gas range in the car went from 298mi down to 254. Im no genius but that math doesnt make sense. Oh and I also had the eco drive on which is supposed to help save gas. Any ideas on why it would be that far off?


I'm pretty sure it figures that based on your MPG. So if you filled it up and were getting 38 MPG, it's going to calculate your range based on that. If you drive it for a few days and you drop to 33 MPG for whatever reason, it's going to re-calculate on the fly.

I've noticed with mine it always starts around 422 when I fill up. But it doesn't always match my odometer mile for mile since I do a lot of highway driving. As my MPGs start to creep up, it may only take off a mile for every 2 or 3 actual miles I drive.

I'm guessing you do a lot of stop-and-go city driving.
iamshack
QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Apr 14, 2012 -> 02:56 PM) *
Are you really aggressive on the accelerator/brake? Are you driving a lot in a downtown area where you're stuck at a ton of stoplights, accelerating, and decelerating a lot?

A lot of engines do take time to work themselves "into shape" if you will, moving parts adjusting to each other with time and getting small bits of production residue/metal out of the way, so that could play into it too, but if you're burning through a full gallon of gas in 18 miles, I'd guess driving style or number of stoplights plays into it.

At worst, if I was driving around in Downtown Pasadena for groceries only with my Civic, no highway driving, I'd wind up around 20-23 miles per gallon because there were so many stoplights, and it's rated at ~40.

I think it's going to take quite a few tanks of gas for the engine to get broken-in...give it a few thousand miles...
StrangeSox
EPA estimates are also just that--estimates.

This article has a pretty in-depth review of how they actually test the cars:
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-t...stimates-page-3

SoxFan1
QUOTE (SoxFan1 @ Apr 4, 2012 -> 02:24 PM) *
I think this would be a nice resource for people who have questions about cars, repairs, maintenance, etc.

So here's my story. The last month or so, my car has been making this low, grinding noise under the hood. It isn't loud, but the engine doesn't sound as smooth when idling and accelerating as it used to, still runs fine though. So yesterday, I'm at a red light and the guy in the car next to me looks over and yells into my window, "you've got a bad idler pulley." It caught me off guard, so I said "WHAT!?" and repeated that I have a bad idler pulley, hence the noise under the hood. He even told me it cost $12 at AutoZone. I said thanks and he pulled off when the light turned green. Did some research and it seems to make sense. Anyone know how much it costs to replace the idler pulley? It's a 96 Lincoln Mark VIII.

Well, this worked out well. Was at the drive-thru at McDonalds today when the belt popped off. Don't know how I was able to make it home. Lost power steering and everything. Gotta get it fixed now.

s***ty.
Middle Buffalo
QUOTE (SoxFan1 @ Apr 19, 2012 -> 10:32 AM) *
Well, this worked out well. Was at the drive-thru at McDonalds today when the belt popped off. Don't know how I was able to make it home. Lost power steering and everything. Gotta get it fixed now.

s***ty.

That wasn't the first, and it won't be the last belt that pops after a trip through the McDonald's drive-thru.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (SoxFan1 @ Apr 19, 2012 -> 12:32 PM) *
Well, this worked out well. Was at the drive-thru at McDonalds today when the belt popped off. Don't know how I was able to make it home. Lost power steering and everything. Gotta get it fixed now.

s***ty.


Is the pully broken too? If it is, that job is a b**** to do yourself.
SoxFan1
QUOTE (Middle Buffalo @ Apr 19, 2012 -> 12:45 PM) *
That wasn't the first, and it won't be the last belt that pops after a trip through the McDonald's drive-thru.

Well, 1, I went for breakfast, and 2, I haven't had fast food since like January.
Middle Buffalo
QUOTE (SoxFan1 @ Apr 19, 2012 -> 11:16 AM) *
Well, 1, I went for breakfast, and 2, I haven't had fast food since like January.

My comment wasn't pointed at you, just McDonald's patrons in general. And it was a joke.
SoxFan1
QUOTE (Middle Buffalo @ Apr 19, 2012 -> 01:25 PM) *
My comment wasn't pointed at you, just McDonald's patrons in general. And it was a joke.

Gotcha. My apologies.
SoxFan1
Awesome. Had the car towed, new idler pulley, serpentine belt, and the water pump broke. $300.
SoxFan1
My car randomly began overheating today. I drove from Chicago to Rockford without any problems. After settling into my new place, I made a quick trip to the grocery store. For some reason, it began to overheat, and smoke started coming from the coolant reservoir from under the hood on the way home. I pull into my parking spot, turn the car off, and when I get out, I see coolant leaking from the bottom. Well, when I pop open the hood to see what was going on, the coolant is gushing out from underneath the radiator cap. I have never seen this before in my life. It hasn't been overheating at all since I replaced the water pumps all those months ago.

Anyone have any ideas on what it could be?
knightni
Thermostat broken?
IlliniKrush
Calling all car people.

Have a car that's been sitting in a garage for 1.5 years and hasn't been started. Trying to sell it and get it up and running without spending a ridiculous amount doing so.

Got the car jumped, let it run on it's own for a while (maybe 10 mins) with the cables off. Pressed the gas, car shut off immediately. Wouldn't start back up on its own. Jumped the car again, let it sit for a few minutes, started to drive it, and slowly it essentially started to shut itself down - lights started turning off, etc. Car wouldn't start on its own again.

Is this a battery issue? Alternator issue? Is there an easy way to test this?

Or, could it be that there is bad gas in there (less than 1/4 tank) and that's causing things to malfunction?

I asked a few others and the first thought was to get a few gallons of good gas in there and try that before having it towed somewhere and diagnosing from there.

If anyone has any advice it's much appreciated.
StrangeSox
Probably the battery. You can bring it to Autozone or equivalent and they'll test it for free.

Gas could be bad, too, but if it's starting up and running that's probably not the problem.
KyYlE23
If the lights are going out and it is essentially powering down, then it is probably either the alternator or the battery. The battery just might not be holding a charge anymore because it has been sitting so long.

Is the alternator on top of the engine? If it is easily accessed you can remove it and take it to autozone and have them test it for you. You might want to get that tested first, because if you get a new battery and the alternator is shot, you might end up taking a drive and having the car die on you when the battery goes dead due to the alternator.


If it was bad gas, your car would be kicking and sputtering and you would probably smell gas. You can get an additive to put in your gas that should help with that, an octane booster/fuel line cleaner/fuel injector cleaner
DrunkBomber
Im pretty sure thats the battery.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Jan 21, 2013 -> 04:15 PM) *
Probably the battery. You can bring it to Autozone or equivalent and they'll test it for free.

Gas could be bad, too, but if it's starting up and running that's probably not the problem.


This. Pull the battery out and get it tested. If the battery is good, it is the alternator.
DukeNukeEm
Check these (in order):

1. Serp Belt
2. Battery
3. Alternator

The first two are easily DIY-able.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (DukeNukeEm @ Jan 21, 2013 -> 05:03 PM) *
Check these (in order):

1. Serp Belt
2. Battery
3. Alternator

The first two are easily DIY-able.


alternator could be easy depending on the type of car you have and where it is located.
knightni
Bad gas may be an issue as well if you didn't use a stabilizer. You may just have sucked crap right into your carburetor by starting it.
Iwritecode
QUOTE (DukeNukeEm @ Jan 21, 2013 -> 05:03 PM) *
Check these (in order):

1. Serp Belt


Most cars today won't even start if the belt is broken.
KyYlE23
QUOTE (Iwritecode @ Jan 22, 2013 -> 12:28 PM) *
Most cars today won't even start if the belt is broken.


Plus, if your belt is going, that is something you will hear. Usually from a mile away
RockRaines
Stupid ass TPMS wouldnt reset today until I drove it up and down the highway.
Rowand44
QUOTE (IlliniKrush @ Jan 21, 2013 -> 04:10 PM) *
Calling all car people.

Have a car that's been sitting in a garage for 1.5 years and hasn't been started. Trying to sell it and get it up and running without spending a ridiculous amount doing so.

Got the car jumped, let it run on it's own for a while (maybe 10 mins) with the cables off. Pressed the gas, car shut off immediately. Wouldn't start back up on its own. Jumped the car again, let it sit for a few minutes, started to drive it, and slowly it essentially started to shut itself down - lights started turning off, etc. Car wouldn't start on its own again.

Is this a battery issue? Alternator issue? Is there an easy way to test this?

Or, could it be that there is bad gas in there (less than 1/4 tank) and that's causing things to malfunction?

I asked a few others and the first thought was to get a few gallons of good gas in there and try that before having it towed somewhere and diagnosing from there.

If anyone has any advice it's much appreciated.

Speaking of car issues...did you ever get our free beer from dude 7 years ago?!?!?!?
IlliniKrush
No, never replied to my emails. That was just us being Good Samaritans while scaring the s*** out of our families.
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