Cleaning Battery Posts PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I have heard about ‘cleaning your battery’ posts. Can you please explain this process?



Dear Tom,

Okie dokie, I will explain the importance of keeping your battery posts clean and clear of acid corrosion in order to keep your battery as healthy as possible.

It is essential that your battery posts stay clear of corrosion in order to keep your vehicle running properly. There are some traditional ways and one trick of the trade that will amaze you.

You can use that old wire brush tool that our granddaddies used or you can grab a can of anti-corrosion spray; spray a little bit of it on the battery post; let it sit for a few seconds; then rinse it off with a bit of water.

You can also use my favorite way… pour a tad bit of cola onto the battery posts until it eats the corrosion away; then rinse the cola off with a bit of water. The carbonation within the cola literally eats the corrosion off of the posts.

Remember that if your car is having a hard time starting, it may just be that there’s some corrosion on the battery posts; if this is the case then clean them properly by using one of the 3 methods that we have talked about today; then try starting your car.

Thanks for writing in,

1995 Jeep Cherokee Maintenance PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I was searching repair for a 1995 Jeep Cherokee Country 4.0 4x4, straight 6. I haven't been keeping up on maintenance as of late.

The problem: I turn the ignition on; engine idles for up to 10 minutes; then dies. It is followed by a ticking coming from under the valve cover and it slows down in a few minutes until it is completely gone. I replaced plugs, wires, distributor cap, and fuel filter (looked like the original, just rusty). I was researching the cause of this and so far, I have found what they are calling valve lagging. Is there any way to repair it at home, or add something to the running engine to de-gum the valves as I need to change the oil anyway? I am willing to work on it myself if possible.

I am now a fan of yours regardless of the answer.



Dear Alon,

You need to get your hands on a can of reslone to help with your valve lagging. So before you go in to replace your lifters, put a quart of the reslone in it and drive it for about a week/approximately 150 miles to see if this stops the lifters from ticking. If this does not work, you will need to replace the lifters. You may end up wanting to invest in another Jeep and retire this ole guy.

Thanks for writing in and being a fan… smiles!

Tune-Up and its Benefits PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Can you please inform me on what all happens during a tune-up and what are the benefits of having this performed on your car?

Thanks for your time,


Dear Jamie,

I always equate a tune-up on your car to having a health check-up on your body. It is amazing to me how many of us want the appearance of our bodies to look great just like we want the exterior of our car to look bright and shiny but we tend to forget the most important part and that is our interior/our innards. Without a good operational interior, our cars and bodies would not last very long before petering out!
When you take your car in for a tune-up, you can expect them to put in new spark plugs and spark plug wires, replace any worn-out belts and/or hoses, give it an oil change and new oil filter, switch out the filthy air filter for a new shiny one, adjust the valves and – if necessary – the timing, replace the fuel filter, add water to the battery, if need be, and clean the battery posts if corroded, check all the fluid levels and replenish them, or flush and replace, if necessary.

So, to answer your question about the process of a tune-up being worth it or not and a smart decision… you’re darn right, it is!

Proper maintenance of your vehicle is a must to promote longevity and performance; our cars are typically the second largest thing that we invest in; so you NEED to protect that investment! Have a tune-up performed on your car approximately every 2 years or every 30 thousand miles, whichever comes first. When my friends and I go out, we call it getting Texas dolled up; so make sure to have your car’s engine also Texas dolled up!

Drive safe!

Choosing Adequate Maintenance Service PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Is it important to take my car to a high end dealership when performing simple maintenance procedures, or can a Jiffy Lube or business like it adequately provide these routine services?


Dear Keith,

Good question! I have been asked this question so many times. First of all, the chain stores that do tune-ups and oil changes are just fine for your car's maintenance; however, if you have a luxury vehicle such as a BMW, Mercedes, or Jaguar that require your car to be serviced at recommended mileage intervals, you may wish to remain with your dealership. The dealer will stamp your service book when these service appointments are performed on your car, and I would recommend taking your car to the dealer, especially if it is still under factory or extended warranty. The reason I say this is to maximize the resale value of your vehicle.

When you decide to sell that car and the buyer wants to make sure all of the mileage-based recommended service procedures have been performed, they will want to take a look at the books and records that belong to your car. If each required mileage-based service is properly documented by the stamp in the service book by the dealer, then you will have greater likelihood of convincing the potential buyer that your car is worth the extra money you are asking.

The last thing you want to happen is the postponement of being able to buy that dream car of yours because you are having difficulty selling your current vehicle.

Self-Servicing 2008 Sentra PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

My wife just bought a new 2008 Sentra with the CVT transmission. While she was waiting to pick up her new car, the salesman told her that the fluid level should be adjusted by a Nissan Service Center only. Being 60+ yrs old and having been around cars and trucks most all of life (shade tree), this sounds more like “let’s tell her this and she won’t know any better” type deal to get her to bring her car only to Nissan. I am no mechanic in today’s terms, but I’m pretty sure I can check fluid levels and if needed, add the correct amount. Haven’t had any problems doing this with my 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck or my 1990 Ford F150. The problem is the wife and convincing her that Nissan is not the only one that can check and adjust the fluid level. Please give me your thoughts.

PS: I had a 1958 Buick with one of these CV type of trannies. No problems even for an 18-yr-old who drove a car hard, if you get my drift. Keep your columns coming!


Dear Tom,

Oh boy, for the life of me, I will never understand how drivers day in and day out on a regular basis are convinced of taking their car to the dealer for all of the required service.

I would recommend that you do let the dealer check and service this tranny being as the dipsticks on the Nissan models with the CVT tranny require a unique tool in order to release the dipstick. The CVT tranny also requires a special tranny fluid like the NS-2, because if you add the wrong fluid, you are looking at damaging that tranny.

As far as all of the other fluids under the hood, you need to show your wife that you are more than capable of being her manly man and get to replenishing!

Speaking of the resale value on certain luxury cars, I do however always suggest that if you own something like a Beamer that has regular service intervals and a book that gets stamped by the dealer when those services are performed that you do take it to the dealer. Because when it comes time for the owner to sell it, they are going to grab a larger audience and get the total value out of the car if they do show that the book has been stamped by the dealer.

Oh, and I do catch your drift regarding those wild 18-year-old drivers… If I remember correctly, I fit into that category back in the day… wink wink!

Thanks for writing in! I hope that this helps out and I will for sure keep my columns heading at you!

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