courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

When it comes to cars I come out short. So I have a problem for you. I hope you can help out. I have a 88 Toyota supra 5 on the floor, now I went and did a stupid thing for which I had just yelled at my partner a month back about. I never checked the water in the battery and went died. I went and bought a new one and cleaned the cables. Now here's where the fun starts, I connected one cable and as I was connecting the second cable the car alarm went off, I jump and next thing I saw smoke coming out of the fuse box. I open the box and there was smoke coming from underneath the box, which went away and I went to turn the alarm off. I changed two relays which smelled burnt and check all the fusses, changed only one. At first I had Partial power now I have none, I can't get it to start. My car comes with a factory alarm and a second a prolock alarm also. Any suggestions?

Well Desperate,
It sounds like to did a major fry job! You could have fried just about everything! Here is a note, when removing a battery, disconnect the negative first, when re-installing, the negative last... now, not knowing what really happened, it would be hard to know exactly what had happened..... and how to fix it... check to see if there is a fusible link that is blown...

The next is for the person with the Metro for sale. It's hard to say what the market will bear. To me, it sounds like it's priced right, but who knows. Sorry, I couldn't help either of you very much.

I have been having a major problem with my car for several months now. I'll be driving along and all of a sudden it will just die on me. Sometimes it completely stalls and other times it just won't take any gas. I have had several things changed already. A new module, computer, new wires, gas filter, fuel injector and the oil switch has been wacky so that has been fixed. The last thing that was done was the fuel injector and the switch and it ran for 6 days without cutting out on me. I drive about 80 miles round trip and it was going at least once during that trip a day. It seems like it happens when it gets really warmed up. Before the oil switch was fixed this gage would go wild once the car got warmed up, every time I would hit my break it would bounce back to the mid way point (between 0 and 80) then I would accelerate and it would fly up towards the 80. Now when it gets warmed up everytime I have to hit my break the gage will slowly go further and further back until its between the 0 and the midway mark. Our mechanic has talked to alot of people and we have tried different things and still have had no luck. Have you had any experiences with this? The car is a 91 Cavalier it does have 134,000 miles on it but I just got it paid off and was hoping to get by for awhile. We just sent the computer to be all checked over and all it showed was problems with cruise control, but the car doesn't have cruise control. We have also had it to the dealer who charged us $50 to tell us the only thing they could see was that the wires appeared to be arching and wanted to charge $125 to change them. Please Help!

Dear Alli,
Let me get this straight, you're driving down the road minding your own business, and all of a sudden, it dies? Does it start back up again? If not, what do you have to do to get it to start? Has your mechanic checked fuel pressure? Does it stay constant while the car is running? Does it seem more electrical than a fueling problem? Check all chassis grounds! Also, have him check the neutral safety switch. You might actually have several problems here, but we need to know a little more. First, have him put a fuel pressure gauge on for you, and watch the pressure when the car dies... if the pressure drops off while the car is stalling, then there is your problem.... if it dies after stalling, then that is something different.

Dear Nita,
I must say, that is an interesting name. Is it short for something? As to your questions, those engine oil additives that you had mentioned will probably not do you any good. The reason being, they are supposed to relieve friction, thus increasing engine life. On that ford, you mentioned that it had 130k. I am sure that there is already engine wear in there. You can try the techron to stop any further wear, but it won't FIX anything. As far as prolonging the life, like I always say, change the oil regularly and get it properly tuned up. There are some things that are just going to wear no matter what you do.

Next is for the wacky Cherokee. (Sorry I forgot your name, but I got that email at home.) It sounds to me that you have an electrical problem. The headlights coming on when they want with the switch turned off is a definite problem! Look into that further! See where this voltage is coming from. Pull the fuse to the headlight when they are on and see if they go out. If they do, then it's probably a bad switch. If not, then you will need to trace the wires with a test light to see where it gets crossed... now I know that Chrysler did not implement day time running lights (at least not in their trucks) so for all you that were wondering, you don't need to anymore.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

True or False

Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!

Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to any newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt