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Keeping Seatbelt Ding from Going Off PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I just purchased a 2002 F150 Lariat. I'm a Builder in a gated community who spends the majority of my time inside the truck in the community. I literally get in and out of the truck 100 times a day in the neighborhood. Every time I don't snap the seatbelt, that annoying ding goes off. I'm afraid to keep the seat belt in the snapped position all the time because I'm afraid I'll forget to put on the belt when I leave the neighborhood. Is there any other way to keep the sound from going off?



Dear Bryan,

Oh my gosh do I so know what you are experiencing! I personally do not have that annoying beep that seems to just get louder and more piercing every time it goes off in my Jeep. However, it seems to be my luck that every time I travel and rent a car as soon as I get into it, that beep welcomes me with a greeting that just won’t quit! UGH!

Back in my brokering days, my buddies and myself would get creative with the wire cutters, but I do not suggest that now.

Heads-up, if you try and pop the fuse out that controls the beeping sound, you also disable the airbags which in turn will make the airbag light on the dash illuminate and put you and your family in jeopardy by disabling the airbag system. There is also a distribution center underneath your dash where the dinger/chime is located. If you are diligent enough to locate this, all you will have to do is pull the dinger out of the distribution box.

I want to make it very clear that I do not suggest or endorse that you do anything to disable that dinging. I am just trying to answer your question to the best of my knowledge and ability. I just want to make it clear again that I do not encourage or recommend that you do anything to disable it.

Thanks for writing!

Camaro — Important Adjustments for Summer PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

What do I need to do to get my Camaro ready for the summer as it is soon approaching?



Dear Linda,

There are certain items in preparing your car for summer; there are adjustments and inspections that will need to be made pertaining to the season change.

If you have been using snow tires, swap them out with your regular tires, this will give you a quieter, smoother ride.

Check your tire pressure to make sure it is at the correct level, you may want to adjust it for the hotter operating conditions that we deal with in the summer; also having the proper air pressure will assure that you get better gas mileage, and that your tires last longer.

Inspect the belts and hoses and have them replaced if need be.

Inspect the wiper blades; replace them if they are worn out, and always make sure you have plenty of windshield wiper fluid; bugs are an increasing nuisance in the summer, and for safety, keep your windshield clean and clear of them.

Because our engine’s cooling system works harder in warmer weather, have the radiator and radiator hoses checked, and maintain a proper level of engine coolant—a 50% water 50% antifreeze is a good mixture to maintain.

Of course check all of your fluids yourself or have them checked by a qualified mechanic, and remember to always have your oil changed every 3000 miles.

Please take time to make the inspections and adjustments that are necessary to assure a safer ride for you and others drivers on the road, and of course, keeping your cars mechanical health and condition as good as possible.

Thanks for writing in,

Gas Mileage for 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I have read a few of your articles and am impressed with your work. I was hoping you may be able to offer me some advice. I have completed a full body-off restoration of my grandfather's 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup.

I have been playing with the timing advance trying to get optimum gas mileage without hurting the pistons and overheating the exhaust valves. My engine is a 235 I6 from a 1955 model. My timing is currently advanced 15 degrees from TDC and I get about 19 MPG highway. Would it be more beneficial to my wallet to advance the timing even further and switch to a higher octane, stay where it's at, or retard the timing?

I would greatly appreciate any knowledge you might be able to share with me about this and any other gas saving tips. I have already switched to a higher ratio ring gear and pinion as well as add a Spectre Performance air intake system. Hope you can find the time to reply.

Thanks a bunch!

Dear Chevy owner,

The 19 MPG is actually really good for this make and model heavy truck that you have. You need to put the timing where it is supposed to be and add an octane boost or try different octanes of gas to see which gets you the best gas mileage, and then while playing with the timing, I will suggest that you do not set your timing anymore than 2 to 4 degrees off of the factory specs.

You may also want to dig around on the internet and try and find some gurus that specialize in classic makes and models like yours and see what else they could suggest to you. Thanks for writing in and good luck with that 1951sweet ride!

You are very welcome.

Keyless Remote Entry Device’s Function PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I just had to replace the battery in my Ford Taurus and now, for some reason, the keyless remote entry device does not work. I also changed the battery in the remote device but still no improvement. To your knowledge, is there something in the Taurus that requires resetting to reactive the remote keyless entry? I hesitate to take the car to a Ford garage because they previously charged me $95.00 just for a second "normal" replacement key.

Any help would be appreciated.


Dear Tom,

Unfortunately Ford does have you by the ying-yang. You will have to pay for an hour of labor every time your battery is disconnected because it deprograms the remote. I wish I could be of more help with some ole trick of the trade, but in this case you will have to go to your local Ford dealer.

Thanks for reading and writing in!

Resale Value of Car with Customized Speakers PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Will I hurt the resale value of my car by adding customized stereo/speakers that are not factory?



Dear Ralph,

In general, when you make any after-market change to your vehicle, you will be simultaneously modifying the potential buyers of your car. This can be positive or negative. There obviously is a range of modifications from minor to major that can be done to a vehicle. A paint job, if you go out and paint your car in some custom manner or funky hot pink color with wild green racing stripes, you will limit the amount of potential buyers drastically and probably reduce its value. I mean who wants to own a hot pink car or a car that looks like a snake skin? But, if all you do is change out the factory stereo system to an upgraded multi-disk CD player and equalizer, then I think you will be fine but keep in mind that there is a person out there that will not want anything that has altered the way the car ran off of the assembly line.

I would also strongly suggest when creating the classified ad that you will put into the ‘Houston Chronicle’ Auto section in order to sell your car, talk about how you have increased the value of the car by investing money in upgrades and make sure to inform the potential buyer that the upgrades were performed by a reputable vendor. It is also extremely important to maintain the proper service of your car on a regular basis to assure longevity and prevent it from, let’s say, backfiring when that potential buyer comes to take it for a test drive! Also invest a little time to detail your car; I used to have a saying in the car business: spend $50.00 to get $500.00 more for that car.

Back to your original question, as long as your speakers produce a high-quality sound and do not negatively impact other features of the vehicle, you will be fine. On the other hand, if there is no longer enough room in the trunk left for a flashlight, you may have a problem.

Thanks for writing in,

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