Archive for June, 2009

The Auto Guy questions week of June 8, 2009

Friday, June 12th, 2009

05 Chevy Pickup


My05 Chevy Pickup with 4.8 liter V8 is loosing coolant with no visible sign on the exterior of the engine. I noticed the coolant leak about 3 months ago and a pressure test shows no leak down. The last 3 times I have changed the oil it has had a lot of sludge build up. I took the valve cover off last week and I have never seen this much sludge on the rocker arms, springs etc. I suspect the coolant is getting into the internal part of the the engine and being burned. The truck has never overheated; oil pressure is around 35 to 40 at idle. I’ve read where GM has had some problem with aluminum head having small cracks in the area around the oil drain holes of the heads as well as an upper or lower intake manifold gasket leaking. Is their any test that can be performed to see what is causing the sludge build up as well as the coolant loss? The truck has had Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic oil since the first oil change and oil has been changed at 7,500 mile intervals. The truck has 83,000 miles on it now. No towing of boats, no abusive treatment. Mainly my wife drives it to work and back 30 miles round trip. Thanks for any suggestions.


The most likely cause is the intake manifold gasket. It will leak very slowly into the intake valley causing a lot of sludge. There is a pattern failure for the heads having small cracks. This is very hard to find. I would remove the intake and inspect- if there is not any sludge there- replace the heads. Be sure and use Fel-Pro gaskets from a NAPA Auto Care.



Parkway Automotive services Little Rock


2003 F150 Ford

Q. We have a pickup.  When we accelerate like when going up a hill, etc. our A/C quits cooling.  Still hear it but it shuts down with no air coming out.  What would be your solution?


 A. Look for a vacuum leak. It could be anywhere- but I would look at the vacuum cluster near the passenger back corner under the hood.  Your blend door is loosing vacuum when you accelerate causing the blend door to move which makes the air blow on the floor instead of the vents. You can purchase the right size vacuum line at a NAPA Store

Mike Davidson


Parkway Automotive services Little rock



Chevy Silverado

Q. My husband has a 2005 Chevy Silverado that smokes when you start it.  It will only smoke when the truck is started then it stops.  We had the valve seals replaced thinking that would remedy the problem but it is still doing it.  I just wanted to see what you thought the problem might be.






A.    Unfortunately you will need to go a little deeper to the valve guides. They are most likely worn. This requires the heads to be removed. NAPA no longer has a machine shop in Little rock but Whitey’s truck center just opened one up.

       Mike Davidson


      Parkway Automotive Services Little rock



Q. My question for you is about a 2005 Honda Accord.  I don’t think it is anything serious but when I start it in the a.m. there is a belt that squeals for a bit and then it stops after a few minutes.  Usually is worse on damp days.  Do you know which belt that is and how expensive it would be to replace? 
Thanks for your help!


A. Belts are generally an inexpensive item that can be purchased at a Napa Auto Care Center. There are only two belts one your Honda so my recommendation would be to replace both of them. Be sure and have them inspected first as ythey may only need to be tightened.

       Mike Davidson


      Parkway Automotive Services Little Rock



Q. I own a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette the suspension sounds like a old mattress when I drive over bumps in the road. Do I have a problem with my shocks, springs, etc?


Most likely you have some bushings worn. As a Napa Auto Care center we can diagnose and repair. Call our office for an appointment 501-821-6111

Mike Davidson


  Parkway Automotive Services Little Rock


2002 Envoy’s

Q. Twice in the past month my headlights, while on dim, have just gone out.  I can switch to bright and they will come back on.  Switch back to dim and they go back out.  Both times it was not dark enough that couldn’t drive.  Within a couple of minutes, while on dim, they will come back on.



  1. Because it is both headlights I would look for a problem in the headlight switch. Most any NAPA Auto Care Center can accurately diagnose that problem.


Mike Davidson


  Parkway Automotive Services Little Rock


Transmission fluid Change

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Subject: 1990 Volvo Model 740 177,750mi. Change transmission oil?


Q:  The transmission fluid has not been changed in over four years. The guy that sold it to me said that two different mechanics told him that in a car this old, you would hurt the car more than you would help it.

What do you think?  Thanks,


 A: What a great question,

I do believe at one time what they said is a possibility. It used to happen a lot to Chevrolets when they went a long time without a change. However the procedures at Parkway Automotive and by most  NAPA Auto Care Centers are different today . Today we flush the entire system to the point we are getting most of the “stuff” out of it. As I write this it is with trepidation as I believe the possibility is always there, its just that it is not a great a risk as it used to be.


Mike “TheAutoGuy”Davidson


Parkway Automotive Services