Dear Tom and Ray:
I have a '93 Toyota pickup with a six-cylinder engine. I live at 6,000 feet, and when I'm there, my truck runs fine. But when I go down to sea level, the truck is very hard to start. It cranks but has a hard time turning over, then when it does finally turn, it runs roughly until I get the truck on the road and the RPMs are up. Then it runs fine. The elevation is the only variable. Any ideas?
TOM: Well, first you have to tell us how long the "Check Engine" light has been on, Celina. Then we'll decide how many yards to penalize you for "withholding information."
RAY: Problems like this rarely occur without the computer setting a Check Engine code. So if your light IS on, you need to have the vehicle scanned for trouble codes. That'll usually help pinpoint the source of the problem.
TOM: If the Check Engine light isn't on yet, perhaps because you spend limited time at sea level, where the problem occurs, then you may have what's called a "pending code." That means the computer has detected a problem but it hasn't happened with enough regularity to set the Check Engine light yet.
RAY: But a scan still will tell you if there's a pending code stored. So next time you're at sea level, while you're experiencing this problem, take the truck to someone and have it scanned.
Dear Tom and Ray:
For the past four to six weeks, when I start my Chevy Trailblazer (2004) first thing in the morning, the smell of gas and sometimes oil comes out of the air-conditioning vents. Once the car has run for five minutes or so, the smell dissipates and does not come back for the rest of the day. We typically keep the car in the garage overnight.
My husband does not think this is a big deal, since I have taken it to the mechanic twice and they didn't find a problem. Is my husband right that I should not worry?
RAY: I'd be concerned but not alarmed, Shannon. Let's assume that what you're smelling is gas, rather than oil. What do you need to be concerned about when you smell gas?
TOM: Fire usually is at the top of my list. And to the great thrill of every hungry liability lawyer in the country, I'm going to suggest that the risk of a gasoline fire due to your particular problem, Shannon, is relatively low (not nonexistent, but low). Why? Because it's been examined carefully by mechanics twice, and they've found no leak.
RAY: It takes very little gasoline to make a lot of gasoline smell. And if your gasoline smell is dissipating after five minutes and not coming back for the rest of the day, it's probably being caused by a very small amount of seepage.
TOM: That said, breathing gasoline fumes is not good for the old brain cells. So, for that reason, I would ignore your husband, and push to get this fixed.
RAY: When you park the car at night, the fuel system is still under tremendous pressure. My guess is that as the engine cools down, some small fitting or hose shrinks a little and allows a little bit of gasoline to seep out.
Dear Tom and Ray:
Letters to the Editor: 07/28/2014
War machines troubling; Transfer of taxes; What cuts will result?Continued ...
Film Festival: 10 Seasons and Counting
The future of the Traverse City Film Festival was cemented the moment the curtain rose at the end of the first screening, at least that's how festival co-founder Michael Moore sees it.Continued ...
New Northport golf course hopes to draw tourists
Local business leaders are optimistic the newly opened Northport Creek Golf Course will bring more visitors to a village that’s already experiencing a small business renaissance.Continued ...
Editorial: TC's Splash Pad report effort short of the mark
It reads like a bad whodunit with a lot of loose ends and too many holes to be acceptable - or credible.Continued ...
Quinn returns to TC, brings Heat program to Cherry Bomb
Tony Quinn’s two worlds are colliding at this weekend’s Cherry Bomb lacrosse tournament.Continued ...
16 vie for GT County commission seats
A crowded field of candidates is jostling for seven seats on the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners.Continued ...
Bums blanked, swept
The Beach Bums bats went quiet and Schaumburg completed its three-game sweep over Traverse City with a 4-0 victory on Saturday.Continued ...
GT County Commission candidates
GT County Commission candidates: District 1 — Republican David Barr; Republican Dan Lathrop — incumbent. (Plus more)Continued ...
Mark Spitznagel on the world of farming, finance
A herd of bleating Alpine goats emerged from the woods and followed Mark Spitznagel as he stepped along sloped pasture at Idyll Farms near this Leelanau County village.Continued ...
The cruise of a lifetime
Kathleen Ledezma spent nearly 30 years raising children, running a household, working and attending college while her husband spent up to 11 months at a time away at sea.Continued ...
Marta Hepler Drahos: When fireworks go from awesome to awful
Darkness falls like a curtain beyond our living room windows. The air is cool through the screens by the couch, where we sit holding our breath.Continued ...
SCORE: Is a fulfillment firm right for your business?
With the increasing popularity of online shopping, one issue many small business owners face is online order processing and fulfillment.Continued ...
Ex-court referee's license suspended, but still refs soccer
Former 13th Circuit Court referee Dennis Mikko lost his job and recently lost his license to practice law, both thanks to his possession of nude images of teenage girls in his court house office.Continued ...
Boyne set to host Tournament of Champions
Andy Ruthkoski, the 2013 champion of the Tournament of Champions, said playing in the unique tournament at Boyne Mountain Resort is a highlight of his competitive schedule.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/27/2014
Broadcast the parade; Our polar differences.Continued ...
Forum: Promote an equitable, safe environment for all
The Record-Eagle on July 14 published a misinformed, misguided opinion piece by syndicated columnist Mona Charen headlined “Culture of Sex.” The column suggested that victims are somehow responsible for sexual assaults.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: Hounds' Luca commits to Aquinas
Traverse City Hounds defenseman Scott Luca has committed to Aquinas College. (Plus more)Continued ...
Commissioners mixed on Cherry Festival change demands
Fewer noise complaints and an improved trash collection system this year may not help the National Cherry Festival escape some city commissioners' desire to downsize the event, move it from the city center, and separate it from the July 4 holiday.Continued ...
Ed Hungness: Music strikes a familiar note
I had the pleasure of attending the Bonnie Raitt concert at Interlochen Center for the Arts. I’m a longtime fan of her music, but it was the first time I had the opportunity to see her perform last month. She didn’t disappoint anyone in a packed Kresge Auditorium.Continued ...
Voters to see road millage request
Kalkaska County voters will see a road millage request on their August ballots, the first time county officials made such a request for road work.Continued ...
Commission on Aging, other millage requests on Kalkaska ballot
Caroline Haas awoke one day and found herself on the floor. She couldn’t get to her feet, but Haas, 85, heard someone calling her name.Continued ...
Books in Brief: 07/27/2014
Book signings; Book study group.Continued ...
Best Sellers: 07/27/2014
Best-selling books across northwest Michigan and the nation:Continued ...
GOP county board candidates face opposition in primaries
The Republican ballot is packed for party voters who hope to cast a ballot in this year’s primary election.Continued ...
Regional county commission candidates
ANTRIM COUNTY — District 1: Marvin Rubingh, Republican; David Heeres, Republican; Gary L. Strange, Republican. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Letters to the Editor: 07/28/2014