Tech Tips: Save Gas, Find an Oil Leak, Stuck Bolts, Brake Flushing, Sticker Removal

Tech Tip Monkey

Tech Tip Monkey

Today I'm sharing 5 little tech tips that don't necessarily warrant their own article but are really useful to know anyway.

The first tip is how to find the source of an oil leak using foot powder. Clean the area where an oil leak is suspected really well, then spray the area with a generous coating of foot powder. Then run the engine for a few minutes and you'll easily be able to see the source of the oil leak by the presence of a nice dark stain in the powder. (Thanks to Matthew Crawford).

Got a stuck bolt? WD40 isn't the answer and is actually mostly useless for freeing stuck bolts. Instead use an extremely thin oil like PB Blaster. PB blaster is a very low-viscosity oil and can get into extremely tight places that WD40 cannot. Additionally, an impact gun can go a long way for freeing stuck bolts, a breaker bar may actually break the bolt if light force doesn't work. Impact guns work by "hammering" on the bolt to create vibrations to free the bolt, they don't actually put much torque on the bolt like a breaker bar. An alternative if you do not have access to an impact gun (they make electrical ones btw that work great), is to use a piece of steel rebar and a 3lb sledge. Square the rebar on the bolt and give it a good wack with the 3lb sledge. Be careful with this one, but it can save your life in a pinch.

Doing a Brake Fluid Flush? Use a turkey baster (Available anywhere for about $1-2) to remove the dirty fluid from the brake fluid reservoir. Once you've removed the dirty fluid, pour clean fluid into the reservoir and THEN begin the flush. Doing this step first will help keep sediment and other contaminants from getting clogged in the system or contaminating the new fluid. It's extremely important to keep contaminants out of the brake lines and the cleaner you can keep everything when you flush the system, the better.

Previous owner of your car have more stickers than parts? Stickers are easily removed with carb cleaner (throttle body cleaner). It's paint safe and can easily remove sticker residue. For harder jobs, I highly recommend the 3M Adhesive Remover which will make short work of almost any stubborn adhesive (such as emblem residue), though, admittedly the 3M double sided tape used on many trim panels and emblems requires a bit of elbow grease as well.

With gas prices soaring around the world, everyone's looking for a way to save money on gas. One quick tip that most people don't know is that it's better to coast in gear than in neutral. Modern engines cut fuel supply to the engine when you're coasting in gear, the engine is kept running by the forward momentum of the car and no fuel is being burned. However, when you shift to neutral to coast down the mountain your engine actually turns the fuel back on to keep the engine running. Therefore, if you're trying to coast to save fuel, be sure to do it in gear rather than neutral (true for MT and AT).

Got a cool tip? Send it to me and I'll publish it in a future tech tip and give you a shout out too!

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