Tips for a automobile

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by 41south, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    If a vehicle won't start now it sure won't later, I know a few tricks to keep them ready to roll.

    I keep the little solar chargers on our two spare vehicles over time, clocks, radios, charging system drain, or just sitting will drain a battery, the charger eliminates this problem.

    If a battery is not a sealed unit, I drop a teaspoon of epsom salts in each cell once a year, then hook a trickle charger to it for two days, this helps keep the plates clean and drops the bad junk to the bottom of the cells. I have replaced the acid, in a weak battery after doing this, then used the battery for some time, instead of buying a new one. It doesn't always save a buying a battery, but it's worth a try.

    I keep two 50 cal ammo cans in each auto, stocked with battery cable ends, tire plugging kit, enough wrenches to change battery cables, two complete valve stems to fit the auto, fuses, some pliers, screwdrivers, small hammer, 12 feet of wire, some hose clamps, enough heater hose to by pass the heater core, a test light, roll of black tape and a few wiring connectors. I also keep a 12 volt air compressor in each auto, and a tow strap.

    If I am traveling, I carry two gallons of 50/50 antifreeze water mixed.

    In the diesels I carry two sets of fuel filters, and a gallon jug of fuel to fill the filters with, I rotate the fuel into the tank every three months.

    In my shop, I have enough oil and air filters to service my two diesels twice and I keep engine oil, trans fluid, gear oil and antifreeze to service my autos and tractors when needed.
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Make sure the battery top is clean. Batteries can discharge across the top if they're dirty or wet (usually from "gassing" due to overcharging).

  3. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    Mosquitomountainman, as many times as I got my *** chewed for letting too much float dust get on batteries in the mines, I should have thought of that too. But I am glad you did.
  4. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    IF your diesels take spin on filters sometimes it is easier to make a sealing cap to thread into the ends and fill them with diesel and 25% fuel conditioner, and just rotate them at filter change , saves needing to fill filters on the side of the road in the cold when the fuel station attendant assured you that all of the pumps were winter diesel.:beercheer:
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Everytime I wash the vehicle, I pop the hood and make sure to give the engine-bay a good rinsing-down with particular attention given to the top of the battery to remove road-salt / grime and the fenders get a good hot-waxing, the inside of the hood also gets a good washing to make sure that there is no oil-build-up on it ...

    All just part of maintaining a vehicle, eh?
  6. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    I forgot some things I carry, a few sheet metal screws, some small lag bolts, up to 7/16 inch and a couple tubes of silicone.

    We have used screws and silicone in heavy truck tires for years, when they wouldn't hold a plug. They might still leak some, but we have been able to get trucks in to the shop many times like this. One never did leak, wore the tire out, plugged with a 7/16 lag bolt and silicone.
  7. RoadRash

    RoadRash Member

    The silicone also works as gasket, just allow to dry.
    I also keep a roll of that black stretchy plumbers tape has held a rad hose till I get home. And a cheap multi meter in tool kit!
    When I had my deisel truck for our cooler days in Ontario a small can of ether!
    L8R RR
  8. 41south

    41south Well-Known Member

    If you are concerned about TSHTF, stock up some oil, belts, filters, grease, axle oils, spark plugs, PCV valve, air filters, U-joints, spare water pump, some different thicknesses of gasket paper, and a tiny ball peen hammer to peck out a gasket with. If you have a 4x4 pinion seals are a must to have on hand.

    I don't go nuts about it, but a hundred bucks of spares, that are consumables anyway, goes a long way.

    I have used the paper from a cigarette carton to make thermostat housing gaskets. Also the paper from a box pack of smokes can be used in place of a feeler gauge to set point gaps on old Chevy engines.

    If you store gas, try to get non ethanol, it stores better and non ethanol gas has more energy than ethanol. I learned this racing, when you switch a car to alcohol, it takes double the jet size in carbs, double the pump size to make the same HP, and twice the fuel tank size to make the same passes down the track. Also alcohol is tough on seals, gaskets and pumps, it takes special parts to run alcohol, the advantages of alky is, it runs cooler, will produce more power and is more consistent in racing engines.

    I use marine grade stabilizer in the gas I store, it just seems to work better.