Tag Archives: car

Have an older car or truck with slow power windows? This simple fix will speed them up

My truck is a 1996 Toyota Landcruiser that is showing its age and I’m always finding ways to keep it going.  One problem I had was that the power windows were very slow to go up and down because the rubber around the glass was oxidizing and not as soft.  This was especially a problem in the winter when plowing as I would sometimes have to use my hand to help the window go back up.  I had been using silicone spray but it’s benefits were pretty short lived.  A friend told me to use silicone grease and WOW what a difference.

  

Now, one tip, get a flux brush or some disposable brush with relative small stiff bristles so you can wipe down all the rubber window channels where the glass slides.  Your brush is going to get old rubber and other debris on it.  If you put it back in your silcone grease container, you will have a mess – guess how I know this? 🙂  Instead, put some grease on a paper plate or something as an intermediary to dip your brush in.  This will not take much – maybe a tablespoon or two at most.  I can do all four power windows on my truck with probably right around a tablespoon or just over.  You aren’t looking to leave gobs and gobs of the stuff – just a good coating.

So, a warm day helps.  Put all the windows down and apply it.  Then run each window up and down a few times to get a good coating on everything.  You will see a remarkable improvement with the 2nd or 3rd cycling of the windows as everything gets coated.  Then just wipe off any residue on the window frames (I leave it on the glass edge myself).

That’s it.

Please note to use silicone grease and not petroleum grease. The petroleum grease can cause the rubber to break down or at least make quite a mess.  Silicone grease was designed intentionally to lubricate and protect rubber parts such as seals.


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By the way, this might be an example of being able to save quite a bit by purchasing the silicone grease online.  You can check the price of the Mission paste I’ve been using below and others on Amazon compared to what you will pay for silicone grease at your local auto parts store.


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Mission Automotive Dielectric Grease/Silicone Paste/Waterproof Marine Grease (8 Oz.) – Made in USA – Excellent Silicone Grease


Features: SEALS AND PROTECTS: Our dielectric grease is a thick, long lasting waterproof synthetic silicone lubricant (lube) that prevents oxidation, inhibits corrosion & seals out contaminants such as salt & dirt; non-melting, stable consistency from -55-570 F, MULTITUDE OF USES: Silicone paste / silicone grease is perfect for a variety of automotive, electrical and marine uses and compatible with a variety of materials, including metal, rubber and plastic; prevents voltage leaks around electrical connections, GREAT FOR MANY COMMON TASKS: Most common uses of marine grease including changing spark plugs, lubricating brake caliper pins, lubricating and preserving rubber gaskets, O-rings, hoses, weatherstripping, etc., and fixing sluggish car windows, APPLICATOR BRUSH FOR EASE OF APPLICATION: Applicator brush attached inside lid at an angle; product will be clear/transparent/translucent to slightly milky-white. PLEASE NOTE: Applicator brush intentionally bent to maximize reach to jar edges, PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA: Our brake grease / brake and caliper grease is PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA to the highest industry standards

The highest quality dielectric grease available, our silicone-based compound meets or exceeds the standards of other similar products from a variety of competitors (based on in-house testing). Stable consistency from -55 to 570 F, chemical resistant with extremely low volatility. With a variety of auto uses, this is an essential grease to have when doing work on your car. For general purposes, the grease is excellent for lubricating the threads of bolts / screws that thread into plastic. It can be used to lubricate O-rings, rubber hoses, weather-stripping, rubber chassis, steering bushings, rubber grommets, rubber and plastic hole plugs, seat tracks, window tracks and window regulators. Useful for eliminating squeaks in instrument panels caused by plastic-to-plastic contact. Cover battery terminals with the paste to protect them from corrosion. Use to seal electrical connections from moisture / corrosion on vehicles without weather protective connectors. Use to lubricate tight fitting plastic / rubber parts during re-assembly. For engines, it can be used on ignition parts, distributor cam lobes, spark plug wire terminals, distributor cap terminals, distributor rotor tips, heat-sink membranes. For bulb bases, including tail lights, turn lights, marker lights, stop lights, convenience lights, and trailer lights. For brakes, our synthetic brake caliper grease / brake grease serves as a general purpose lubricant for metal-to-rubber applications, caliper guide pins, outer caliper seals, and outer wheel cylinder seals. Useful in the marine environment as a marine silicone grease / marine dielectric grease (as a waterproof grease) with waterproof connectors / marine terminal grease. For many applications, it’s a great alternative to silicone spray lubricant. Meets MIL-S-8660C specifications. NSF H-1 Registered (No. 122830) and KOSHER Approved. PLEASE NOTE: The applicator brush is pre-bent. When quality matters, choose Mission Automotive Silicone Paste!
List Price: $15.99 USD
New From: $15.99 USD In Stock

How to read engine codes with your smart phone – welcome to the new age

Guys, I remember tuning a car by ear with a timing light, vacuum gauge, feeling things out literally with my hands and so forth.  Boy has the world changed.  As the vehicles got smarter and smarter, someone decided to add On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) in the early 1980s first with the idiot “check engine” light and then it got more and more involved.  Modern cars and trucks in the US have an OBD II jack where you can plug in, read and clear fault codes, access real-time information and so forth.

Back in 2013 I saved my pennies and finally bought my own Autel Autolink Scanner for $102.  Wow – I thought was so cool.  I used it whenever fault codes popped up to figure out what it was but I had to lug the thing around and it wasn’t something you could readily update, etc.

A friend of mine came over about a year back to check on one of our cars.  He pulled a little black rectangle out of his jacket, plugged it into the car and then started looking at his phone.  I asked him what he was doing and he showed me that he was accessing the codes.  I was floored.

In June 2016, I decided to go the phone route to have a current scanner and a better interface.  After digging, I bought a BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII adapter for Android phones (about $22)  and I got the Torque software for my Samsung Note Android phone off the Google Play store for free.  What a difference.  The BAFX adapter was easy to carry around, I could customize the gauges I was looking at, and so forth.  For me this combo rocks.  It does all I need.  I really like it being cordless – you can walk around and so forth and still see the data.

By the way, installation is simple.  You follow the instructions to pair the scanner to your phone just like you would any other Bluetooth Device.  I downloaded Torque from the Google Play store on my phone in a matter of minutes and it is pretty much good to go.  You can create profiles for different vehicles in the software, change gauges you want to watch, their style, how they are grouped and so forth.

The following are screenshots from my phone plus you can see the little adapter that is a bit smaller than a cigarette box.

   

For example, my 2002 Camry’s check engine light is on and I could use the BAFX adapter and Torque to find out what the code was and then search using Google to decide what to do:

   

I really like the combination and recommend them.  In general, I am amazed by all the functionality that is showing up where the smart phone provides the brain and display thus dropping costs dramatically.  My recent GiraffeCam endoscope is another example.

By the way, I am so happy with this combination of BAFX scanner and Torque software that I sold my Autel scanner on eBay.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the advertisements.  It will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader / Scanner for Android Devices


Features: OUR GUARANTEE – We promise our OBDII reader to work on ALL vehicles purchased in the USA model year 1996 or newer! Unlike so many other cheaper OBD II readers that say they will work on vehicles using J1850 or CAN protocols, but don’t, ours WILL work on these & we PROMISE that! Whether your vehicle is gas, diesel or hybrid, new or old, our OBD reader will work with it. Many people buy cheap first but always end up buying ours, because ours works!, WARRANTY – 2 YEAR WARRANTY (YES, 2!) – Covers manufacturing defects from date of purchase. A simple & hassle-free warranty process with USA based support will leave your mind at ease so you can focus on your cars maintenance and health!, MONITOR & ANALYZER – The BAFX Products OBD Scanner is a must have tool for your car. With it you can read & clear your Check Engine Light (CEL) & check your vehicle monitors such as O2 Sensors, Fuel Trim, Air Fuel Ratio, DPF Temp, Coolant Temp, Oil Temp, Fuel Pressure & so much more! Professional level diagnostics at a truly reasonable price., APPS & CAR BRANDS – You will need to use a 3rd party app with our scan tool. There are many apps available ranging in price from $0-$40 such as: Torque, Dash Command, Carista, Scan Master, Piston & more! Contact BAFX for a complete list. Regardless of your brand of vehicle our OBD reader will work! Chevy, Ford, BMW, Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Mercedes, GM, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & more, all covered!, IMPORTANT – You must have an Android or Windows based device to use our Bluetooth OBD2 reader. Our OBD reader CANNOT be used with iOS devices such as iPhones and the like. For iPhones & iPads, please look at our WiFi version! Also, this device will NOT read AirBag, ABS, TPMS or Oil Change lights. Our diagnostics tool will only read codes for the Check Engine Light.

BEWARE OF IMITATORS! The BAFX Products® Scan Tool works on ALL vehicles located in the USA that are model year 1996 or newer! We GUARANTEE IT! Many tools CLAIM to work on all vehicles but have problems with the J1850 & CAN protocols. Ours doesn’t. Ours works on ALL protocols AND we actually mean it! People try the cheaper ones but then buy ours, because ours works. The BAFX Products® adapter will: Last longer, have more stable connections, give faster data rates & work smoother on ALL vehicles compared to our competitors. We also provide TOP NOTCH support. Have a question? Problem? Let us know, we WILL answer or fix the problem. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH iOS DEVICES! To use the OBD reader you will need to install a 3rd party app from the Android Store or online. Apps range in price from $0 – $5 with specialty apps costing up to $60. PC programs range from $0 – $50. Contact BAFX Products® for a list of apps When used with proper software, you can: •Read OBDII Check Engine Light Codes •Reset the CEL •Pull MANY other sensor readings •Graph sensor readings •PREPARE FOR EMISSIONS TESTING •And SO much more! •2 (Yes, TWO!) Year Warranty!* Problems beyond 2 years? Still, contact us! Examples of sensor readings: O2 Readings, EOT, EGT, Throttle, Boost, Speed, Fuel Trim, DPF Temp, Balance Rates & MUCH more! *NOTE! Not all vehicles support reading of ALL sensors. Readings supported depend on what’s installed on the OBDII system by the manufacturer. Generally, newer vehicles will give more readings. IF NOT LOCATED IN THE USA: CONTACT US before ordering to ensure it will work in your country! We ONLY guarantee it will work on vehicles located in certain countries! *Warranty ONLY valid if purchased from BAFX Products or authorized dealer
List Price: $21.99 USD
New From: $21.99 USD In Stock