2006 Chevy Trailblazer, Washable Air Filters? PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I am considering going to one of the high dollar permanent and washable air filters for my 2006 Chevy Trailblazer 4.2 six cylinder. Your thoughts re: possible horsepower increase and whether there is any value in doing this. What is the "lifetime" of this type of air filter?

Thanks for your great column.


Dear Robert,

The washable air filters such as K&N or Fram are money saving filters if you service your filter on a regular basis. You will also notice close to a 10% savings in fuel economy if you keep your filter serviced. Saving on the cost of filters is also a plus by figuring the cost of cleaning it yourself verses buying a new filter every 10 thousand miles.

It will pay for its self within 3-5 filter services in most cases.

Thanks for writing in,


Go the Extra Mile PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Do you think synthetic oil (such as Mobil 1) can last 10,000 miles in between oil changes if you also use extended mileage oil filters?

Thank you,


Dear Albert,

I would say that you should be good to go with 10,000 miles between the changes. However, make sure that you do go the extra mile and use the extended mileage oil filters.

Take care of your ride and it will take care of you!

Thanks for writing in,


1999 ranger V6 only getting 14 MPG PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,


1999 ranger V6 auto new tune up plugs wires erg valve and erg position sensor now no check engine lite or any thing on computer check i only get 14 mpg what else could be wrong engine does not smoke any color runs good approx 70,000 miles no engine.


Thank you



Dear John,


With a full tune up in order to achieve the best gas mileage possible you should start by installing a new air filter or in some cases filters; change the oil and oil filter, replace the fuel filter, check the timing, check the condition of the belts and hoses and replace if need be, check all fluids and replenish, adjust the valves if need be, check the condition of the distributor cap and rotor and replace if need be, with a manual transmission adjust the clutch, service your battery, and install new plugs and wires. 

In addition to all of these items you need to make sure that you have the proper air pressure in all 4 tires, take the excessive thousand lbs out of the bed of your truck that you tote around, make sure that you are using the right grade of oil and avoid any excessive idling while waiting in line at your favorite fast food drive through.

The TSB pertaining to your Ford fuel economy simply states that after all of the customers that complained to Ford about not getting the suggested miles per gallon Ford does not guarantee the exact MPG that they state that your Ford Ranger should be getting. 

You are one of a ton of customers that are angry with the lack of gas mileage/poor gas mileage in their Ford Ranger.  Sorry that I can not wave a magic wand in order to help you achieve that gas mileage that you really should be getting.


Thanks for writing in and I hope that this helps out.


Filter and plug recommendation PDF Print E-mail
Dear Barbara,        
I have two questions.
(1) I have used K&N air filters in the past and always thought I got better performance and better mileage. (on Ford and Chevy V8's.)  Now with a 6 cylinder, 4 liter Jaguar and a V8, 4 liter Jaguar would I think the same thing?
(2) I see Pulstar Pulse Plugs advertising quoting almost 10% better gas mileage on some cars. Is this possible with my two cars.
I'm pleased with the Hwy mileage on the 6 cylinder and the town mileage is OK. The V8 Hwy mileage is OK but town mileage is not that good.
Would either one of these products help my overall mileage?
Thanking you in advance for your help.
Ray Weeks,
The Woodlands, TX
Dear Ray,
I love K&N air filters and I would recommend them for any ride that you have sitting in your garage!
The Pulstar Pulse Plugs will most likely work but I do not think that you will see the gains that you are looking for.
The gains that you hear of do not just come from plugs alone but they come from a number of tune-up parts that where changed at the same time. 
For example…a diet pill does not work without exercise!
My opinion…cost verses benefit…not worth it.
Thanks for writing in,
Mazda Protege cabin air filter PDF Print E-mail
Dear Barbara,
I enjoyed seeing you on Great Day Houston. What was the diagnostic tool shown at the beginning of the show? Where do you plug it in? Also concerning my air conditioning unit, does my model car come with an interior cabin filter? Does it need to be changed? Thank you.
1998 Mazda Protégé
Dear Mazda owner,
Thanks for watching Great Day Houston on Wednesday May 13th! The diagnostic tool that I spoke about is by CarMD. This gadget is a must have if you want to keep up with the going-ons within your car. You plug it into your port that is located underneath the steering wheel on the left hand side. You can order one at
Your make and model of Mazda does not have a cabin air filter.
Thanks for writing in,
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