Believe it or not pumping gas is not the safest daily routine out there. You might think that I am going to discuss the obvious hazards of smoking at the gas station. I believe that you can figure that one out. There should be clear warnings about static electricity posted at your local gas station stating the risks involved while pumping the fuel that gets us down the road. The Petroleum Equipment Institute is campaigning to make us more aware of the dangers associated with static electricity at gas pumps. Being a woman trying to multitask, while pumping gas I usually get back in my car, adjust the radio to my favorite song, call my boyfriend to remind him to pick up my dry cleaning, and of course check to see if I am in need of more of what most of us women love most,…quality makeup. Static electricity can be created while getting in and out of your car and then finishing filling your tank. Fires have been started and deaths have occurred. I will warn you to never use a cell phone and please avoid getting back into your car until you have finished your duty at the gas pump. If you absolutely have to get back into your car while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, shut the door, and touch the metal on the door before you grasp the nozzle. This will discharge whatever static electricity may be lingering around your body. On the other hand, we should simply be more like the men in our lives and stick with the procedure until your fuel tank on your vehicle is full.
Question: Sent in by Randy Sciletti. My wife’s 1996 Dodge Neon blows a ton of white smoke as she is driving, what do you think the problem is?
Answer: Hi Mr. Sciletti, Dodge had a serious problem with the motor they put into the Neon, starting with the first year it came out in 1995, you more than likely have a blown head gasket or as some mechanically oriented people refer to it as a “cracked head”. Basically, compressed air from a cylinder is mixing with the fluids in your cooling system and it creates a white colored steam. You can either fix the cracked head if extensive damage has not been done to the motor or I would suggest checking into a rebuilt motor that will fit the year and the make of your car, preferably not another Neon motor.
Question: Sent it by Tammy Frankel. I noticed the other day that I had a bubble like thing on one of my tires, what is this and is it dangerous?
Answer: Okay, the store where you purchased your tires should without an argument take the defective tire back and replace it at no charge, provided of course that they are still under the warranty subject to mileage limitations. The bubble is a weakness in the tire usually caused by an error in manufacturing or as a result of unusual contact (e.g. a curb). As far as it being dangerous, picture this, you are on the highway doing 80 mph and the tire blows out because of the weak spot which has now formed a bubble. This could be a life threatening situation. I strongly suggest replacing the defective tire ASAP.