Suck It Up
by Pat Goss
You know we’re always talking about the modern advancements and the changes in cars. But I’ve got to tell you that whether you drive an old car, like this Mustang, or something much more modern, like this Mazda Miata, the basics are still the same. A piston is still a piston, a valve is still a valve, and a noise is still a noise.
All right, if you have a noise in the car what you need is some type of stethoscope. Here’s an interesting one. This one telescopes so that you can put it in your ear, place it against whatever it is that seems to be making the noise. You move it around from place to place, and when you reach the noise, well, you’ll hear it loud and clear.
All right, so that’s an interesting tool. But hear is one of the most basic tools we’ve ever had. This is a vacuum gauge, and if you have an engine that has a miss in it, one of the very first things you want to do is hook your vacuum gauge to the intake manifold. Now, as that miss goes on, if the gauge pulses in sync with the miss, you have an internal engine problem. You have a burnt valve or a bad piston or ring or something like that. If, on the other hand, it’s steady, you have a fuel, ignition, or vacuum problem, and test accordingly.
And speaking of vacuum problems, lots of things work on vacuum today. And one of the ways you check to see what is going on with the various vacuum components is with these automotive hemostats, very inexpensive, and you can use them to pinch off various vacuum lines one at a time, and you check the results to see if you’ve found the faulty vacuum line. Real simple.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.