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Linda's grandmother crashes!
Power steering, power brak

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Linda is an attractive lady, late twenties, with an uncanny ability to buy one unreliable car after the other. We work on her car from time to time, often after her current boyfriend or a big chain car repair shop has "fixed" it first
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Linda came in the other day driving a really pathetic car. It was a 1987 cream yellow Lincoln which had been hit hard on just about every body panel.
"It's my grandmother's old car." Linda said. "She wrecked it last week and isn't going to drive anymore. I'm not sure how soon she'll even walk!"
I gave my sympathies about her Grandmother.

"So, anyway, how much to just get it so the doors open? " Linda asked. "Also, can you take off the power steering and the power brakes? See, that's what almost killed Grandma!"
I had to ask her about that one. "What's this about the steering and brakes?" ?
"Yes!" she replied. " Grandma was pulling off the Intertstate exit ramp when her engine died. Since she had power steering and brakes, she couldn't steer or stop. She ran out in the middle of a 6 lane intersection: 5 cars hit her!"

"Wow!" I said. "That's terrible! But you don't have to worry about power steering or brakes. I wish I could have told your Grandmother this: she wouldn't have wrecked!

Power brakes and power steering are only ASSISTS for these systems! Power brakes are like another foot on the pedal every time you touch it. Power steering is like an extra hand helping you pull the wheel. When the engine dies, you lose this extra assist. You must push the pedal much harder to get brakes, but if you put both feet on the brake pedal and push as hard as you can, you WILL STOP!

The same goes for power steering: pull hard enough on the steering wheel and the wheels WILL turn!

I know of a lot of cheapskates driving ragged out cars with the power brake booster disconnected and the belt off the power steering pump. I don't recommend it, but it can be done!

"Gee!" Linda said. "I wish Grandma had known that! She could have just pressed harder and her car would have stopped!



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Thank you for visiting the ECONOMECHANIX WEB SITE. Please feel free to comment. We also serve the surrounding communities of Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, and Newberry! Gainesville has been my home since 1974, and I've loved Gvl and the Gators since I came here in the fall of 1974 to attend the University of Florida. I loved it so much I stayed and opened my car repair business. Originally it was out of the back of a 1963 Chevrolet wagon, but in 1977 a fellow mechanic and I opened an auto repair shop with actual walls, etc. I stayed in the same location for 26 years, and recently moved my operation to property I bought 15 miles east of Gainesville. I am doing most all the repairs myself now, having reduced my overhead from $1500 per month to practically nothing. I do work by appointment only. I mostly work only on my established customers cars, but I will occasionally take on new clients. E-mail me and I will either make arrangements to look at your car, or I will recommend you to someone who will.

George G. Scott, Jr.


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Auto, Car, and Truck Article List

A
ABS: Anti-Lock Brake Systems
ADVANCE: Car ignition timing
ALTERNATORS and Car Battery
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS
B
BATTERIES: Auto, Car or Truck
BELTS AND HOSES
BEARINGS
BODY AND BUMPER REPAIRS
BRAKE REPAIRS: Car or Truck
C
CARBURETORS:Car & Truck
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
CLEANING: Engine Cleaning
CLUTCH REPAIRS: Car & Truck
COMPRESSION: Car Engine
COMPUTER CAR CONTROLS
CV JOINT OR CV AXLES
D
DISTRIBUTORS (IGNITION)
E
ENGINES: Car & Truck
ENGINE CLEANING
EXPANSION PLUGS
F
FREEZE PLUGS
FUEL AIR MIXTURE
FUEL INJECTION: Car & Truck
FUEL PUMPS: Car & Truck
G
GAGES AND "IDIOT LIGHTS"
GASKETS AND SEALS
GLASS: WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
H
HEADS & HEAD GASKET
HOSES AND BELTS
I
"IDIOT LIGHTS" AND GAGES
IGNITION TIMING: Car & Truck
J
AUTO JACKS: lifting cars safely
K
L
LEAN "Car runs lean"
LIGHTS: WARNING OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Limp Home Mode
M
MIL Light
MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS
N
NO START: Car Won't Start
O
OIL CHANGES
OIL: What's right for your car?
OIL LIGHT ON OR GAGE LOW
P
PCV Valve
Q
R
RADIATORS: Car and Truck
RICH: Car runs rich
S
SEALS AND GASKETS
SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT
SPARK PLUGS
STARTERS: Auto, Truck
T
THERMOSTATS
TIMING: IGNITION TIMING
TIMING BELT & TIMING CHAIN
TIRE REPAIR
TRANSMISSIONS: AUTOMATIC
TRANSMISSIONS: MANUAL
U
V
VACUUM ADVANCE
WARNING LIGHTS OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
W
WATER PUMP REPAIR
WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
X
Y
Z

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