People Are Urged To Wash The Undercarriage Of Their Vehicle

People Are Urged To Wash The Underside Of Their Vehicle

Recently there has been some serious discussion on rust building up on and around brake lines in the older American made vehicles. This has many car owners concerned about the cause. An investigation into this mechanical issue was launched and here are the findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I would also recommend you read my article on “A Happy Engine is a Clean Engine”. It offers more tips on how to prevent issues as described below.


WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued a Safety Advisory and consumer video encouraging owners of model year 2007 and older trucks, SUVs and passenger cars to inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt after the long winter in order to prevent brake-line failures that increase the risk of a crash.

The advisory was issued in conjunction with the agency’s closing of an investigation into brake-line failures in General Motors trucks and SUVs built in model years 1999 to 2003. The agency spent more than four years investigating corrosion-related brake failures in the vehicles and similar trucks and SUVs made by other manufacturers, but has not identified a defect that would initiate a recall order.

NHTSA also issued a closing report that details the investigation’s analysis of state safety inspection data and a survey of about 2,000 vehicle owners. The data indicate that the brake line corrosion seen in the GM vehicles was not unique – similar vehicles using comparable brake-lines experienced similar corrosion issues, especially in states using salt to de-ice roads in winter. NHTSA issued a broad safety advisory urging owners of older SUVs and pickups to take steps to prevent brake failure resulting from corrosion.

“While NHTSA can’t order a recall in this case, there is a safety issue that vehicle owners should address,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. “Older-model vehicles, often driven in harsh conditions, are subject to corrosion over long periods of time, and we need owners to be vigilant about ensuring they, their passengers, and others on the roads are safe.”

NHTSA’s safety advisory urges owners of trucks, SUVs and passenger cars that are more than seven years old to:

Maintain their vehicle and prevent corrosion by washing the undercarriage regularly throughout the winter and giving it a thorough washing in the spring to remove road salt and other de-icing chemicals that can lead to corrosion.
Monitor the brake system for signs of corrosion by having regular professional inspections and watching for signs of problems, including loss of brake fluid, unusual leaks and a soft or spongy feel in the brake pedal.
Address severe corrosion, marked by flaking or scaling of the metal brake pipes, by having the full assembly replaced.
“If you own an older vehicle and live in a cold-weather state where salt and de-icing chemicals are common in winter, we strongly urge you to take these steps,” Rosekind said.

NHTSA’s investigation stemmed from a vehicle owner’s petition in 2010, and covered about 6 million model year 1999-2003 GM Sierra, Silverado, Avalanche, Escalade, Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon vehicles.

NHTSA examined consumer complaints for brake line failures for all types of light vehicles and analyzed safety inspection data collected in Pennsylvania from 2008 through mid-2014. The agency’s Vehicle Research and Test Center in Ohio conducted a survey that gathered data from approximately 2,000 owners of GM and peer vehicles from the period. Investigators also examined 71 randomly selected vehicles in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland and Ohio.

While NHTSA received substantially more vehicle owner complaints about all types of GM vehicles than similar vehicles from other manufacturers, the higher rate of complaints appeared to be at least in part related to public attention given to the investigation. The Pennsylvania inspection data, VRTC survey and random NHTSA vehicle inspections all showed that both passenger car and light truck peer vehicles are subject to similar corrosion-related failure rates. The coated steel brake pipes in GM’s vehicles under investigation were similar to materials used by other manufacturers at the time. Beginning in the late 1990s, manufacturers transitioned to plastic-coated pipes that are in use today.


Ashleigh Trapanese; Setting Her Sights High In Motocross

Ashleigh Trapanese; Setting Her Sights High

As children we all love receiving our favorite toys for our birthday and Christmas, no matter the age. But for Ashleigh, at the age of 5, her father proudly gave her a dirt bike for Christmas. You are probably asking, what was he thinking? Well, Ashleigh’s dad knew exactly what he was doing. Being a pleasure rider himself, he wanted to share his love for riding with his daughter.

Ashleigh took to riding like one would take to breathing; it was just natural. With the wind in her face and her hair blowing in the breeze she traveled the trails along the mountains near Spanish Springs, just east of the Reno/Sparks area of Nevada – she was in heaven! The passion for riding grew every time she rode and this added to wanting more. Her mother wasn’t exactly thrilled with this newly acquired passion the way her father was, but she did not want to discourage her. So she allowed it to continue.FB_IMG_1426554152593

Then in 2008, Ashleigh was a bit older and knew that her mother was still concerned about her daughter as a dirt bike rider so she decided to stop. This was a short lived decision. In 2013, Ashleigh was now a little older and still had the love for dirt bike riding so her mother gave the green light for her to purchase another dirt bike because she was now more comfortable with the thought of her daughter riding them.

It was then Ashleigh and her father set out to locate a new bike and once again she was riding as if she never stopped. Riding for pleasure was no longer enough for Ashleigh, so she began to teach herself to race motocross. Now in High School, many of her male classmates observed Ashleigh while out riding. They mentioned to her that she might think about racing. Since Ashleigh was looking for something more while riding, this seemed to be just the right choice. Having a very close knit family, Ashleigh knew this was not a decision that she could make without consulting her parents.


Ashleigh Trapanese

After presenting this desire for a new adventure, her mother and father both gave their strong support for her to follow the dream. It was then the entire family packed up the dirt bike and, not knowing exactly all that would be needed, they headed to the Fernley Motocross track and signed Ashleigh up for her first race. Ashleigh took to racing like a duck to water and her mother also began to meet other parents whose children were entered in the race and new friendships formed with others who shared the same passion.

Ashleigh’s first race may not have been her best performance, but more like a practice session, but that would soon change. Now having an understanding of what she would be up against, Ashleigh would spend her afternoons practicing for upcoming races to be the best in her class, after completing her studies, of course.

Ashleigh set her sights high and it did not take long for her to move from the back of the race pack to end up taking not only third, but second and first place, then best overall in the women’s class; all of this in a very short time.

As if this wasn’t enough, in 2015 she began to race in the men’s classes as well as the women’s. Who would have guessed that on her first race in the men’s class, Ashleigh would take first place and best overall!

Ashleigh’s parents could not be prouder of their daughter and by allowing her to follow her dream, she rose to the top. This was all possible because her father shared his passion with her and her mother shared her dream.FB_IMG_1426261794632

As the racing adrenaline grew, Ashleigh began following Super Motocross Racer Vicki Golden, who has become her idol.

I asked Ashleigh what her girlfriends thought of her accomplishments in Motoross racing and her response to me was, “I have very few female friends, most of my friends are males.” Ashleigh does have an older brother, who rides from time to time, but he is enrolled in college and riding dirt bikes is not his passion.

Finding a relationship while involved in a masculine field can sometimes be tough, especially when the guys look at you as their competition. Even though women are becoming more accepted into most fields, this is still an area where males are offended when a woman wants to compete in their class. Ashleigh explained a situation where one of the riders came up to her after her win in the men’s class and told her, there is no place for girls in this class. Was he mad because she was a woman or because she beat him?

If it is the latter, I find that odd, since they also have the option to compete in the women’s class. But I have a feeling that might not be a choice they would pick, after all, who wants to be laughed at by their friends?

Ashleigh has found a mate who she met, in fact, at one of the races over 10 months ago. Her boyfriend Sean Botelho, who also races, respects and cares for, not only who she is, but what she is. There needs to be more men like Sean.2015-04-0123.38.22

So who cares for the dirt bike’s mechanical needs before and during a race? Well, Ashleigh’s father has that covered; he does most of the major repairs, but has a helper and student, his daughter, who is learning to master that area as well. This young woman can only excel at anything she sets her sights on, so if you want to follow Ashleigh, check out for more. Check out Ashleigh’s video below. And click here to listen to Ashleigh’s story on Teresa’s Garage Radio Show. Choose show date 04/11/15.




IMG_1581Upcoming Events

If you are looking for something to do in Reno, Nevada, then these events are for you. Do you love classic cars, swap meets or just meeting people, then read on.

April 12, 2015 Klassic Kruisers will be hosting a swap meet being held at the A&W on Kietzke Lane in Reno, Nv. From 8 am to 3 pm. If you are looking for that special part, you just might find it here.

April 25th & 26th the 44th annual Grand Prix Motocross Race in Virginia City, Nv. The race starts at 10 am both days and lasts 4 hours on Sat. and 3 hours on Sunday. There is camping available. Go to! for more information.

1929 Fire Truck

1929 Fire Truck

May 9th in Virginia City the National Policemen’s Memorial Parade and Car Show from 12 pm till 5 pm. Not only step back in time, but check out the Policeman’s Museum. Law Enforcement vehicles from various agencies across the country.


May 16th Teresa’s Garage Automotive Seminar, learn how to perform preventative maintenance, how to change a tire,

DPP_0023acheck your fluids, clean and check your battery, so be prepared to dig in. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot now. To sign up you can email or by calling 775-772-8729. Open to the first 10 entries. Cost $20.00. Door prizes and free tools for the first 5 entries.


May 16th, Battleborn Mopar Car Show from 10 am – 3 pm to be held at the A&W off of Plumb Lane & Kietzke Lane. Entry fee is $20.00, dash plaques, goody bags and trophies. Music by Johnny Star.

Radio Show Archives

Teresa’s Garage Radio show airs weekly at   and covers topics on everything Automotive and features special guests. Listeners are encouraged to call in, come in or tune in the Reno, Nevada area at 101.3 FM Tuesdays at 2:00-3:00 PM and 1180 AM. Or you can listen to previous shows right here on Teresa’s Garage website.

If you do not live in the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area you can connect on your Iphone or Computer by clicking this link, for live streaming on America Matters Media Radio Show.

If you want to listen to previously recorded shows, click here Teresa’s Garage Radio Shows . Teresa’s Garage is constantly looking for special guests, people who love cars, own classics, belong to a car club and want to promote your events or just want to talk about your classic, then call toll free 844-790-8255 or locally 775-827-8900. We love hearing from our listeners.

Happy Motoring





Zubie and Automatic Monitor Your Car

In one of my previous articles, I introduced to you a new product called Blue Driver which can monitor your car’s engine data and notify you of any potential trouble codes. Well, I am here to let you know about two more monitoring devices that can not only advise you of engine trouble codes, but can also help keep you safe, track your vehicle, and detect when your friends and family arrive safely at their destinations.Zubie

Zubie and Automatic are key type devices that are connected to your car. They will deliver safety features, vehicle diagnostics, and driving insights, (how your car is being driven), right to your Smartphone. These devices install quickly and easily.

You no longer need to pay to have critical components of your car’s engine checked out by a mechanic; these devices can now do it for you. Take charge of your repairs by knowing in advance the problems your car is experiencing. They can also assist you in performing the repair by reading the trouble code, detailing the code, and stating the most common fixes for that particular issue. Never take your car in to diagnose that pesky check engine light again, these products do it all.

automatic keyCan’t remember where you parked your car? Access it through Zubie and you’re there. Safety is also a key to your quality of life. Both Zubie and Automatic can help in that department as well. If you are in a crash, these devices can notify 911. Or if your vehicle is being stolen, they monitor movement and will notify you on your phone with an alert. Or maybe your kids decided to take the car without your permission; you will know it the moment the car is being operated.

What about driving habits? They can download a record of fast accelerations, or hard braking. They can notify you when fuel is low in the tank. They can also help you with your taxes by downloading monthly data on your trips, cost and mileage driven.

As you can see, these devices have put you in the driver seat when it comes to potential problems and repairs. For $99.95 per year, driving your car has taken a new road and could help save lives and repair costs. Check out the following websites for more information.

Engine Block Porosity, What Is It?

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Engine Block Porosity, What Is It?

The definition of porosity is: any void or hole found in a casting. These voids can be caused by gases and contaminants present during the casting process and typically occur near the outer parts, or at the top of a casting. Many of your major original equipment manufacturers such as Honda, GM, Chrysler and others, all have had issues with the porosity of some castings.

Typically the voids do not pass all the way through the casting. They can be as large as 3 mm or as small as 0.25 mm. They are most commonly exposed when a surface is machined. What issues can these voids create? They can prevent the gasket from sealing on the machined surface.

These problems can be caught while the vehicle is still under warranty, but sometimes porosity problems occur as the gasket ages and hardens. If there are a large number of voids, fluids can flow through them and eventually seep in between, leading to leaks, but nothing more significant than a few drops on your garage floor.

How to Detect Porosity

Porosity photoSo how does one detect if there’s a leak due to porosity in their engine? There are three methods. First, dyes can be added to the oil. As the oil seeps out in the areas of failure, using a specific type lighting, you will observe the dye. Second, you can pressurize the system with compressed air and look for leaks with a brush and soapy water. Caution: do not over pressurize the system, as it could cause severe gasket failure. Third, using athlete’s foot spray, you can spray an area and examine it for leaks. The powder will puff out in the areas of the leaks.

How Can Porosity Be Fixed?

First, you can apply RTV sealant, or epoxy compound, to the voids and mating area. Excess sealant can clog oil passages in the lifters and variable valve timing components, so be sure to clean the areas on the mating surface completely before installing any new gaskets. This may work for a front cover, but will not work for a complete engine block. Second, you can replace the component. Third, you can use better gaskets. Most gasket manufacturers are aware of porosity problems, since it has been around for years, so you can use better materials to seal a surface.

Cleaning the mating surface with an abrasive disc is recommended, however, grinding away at the mating surface can and will remove metal, causing more leaks and maybe exposing more voids.

Do Aftermarket Parts Have Porosity?

Yes, porosity can be a problem with aftermarket parts, especially if they are made of aluminum. If you ever encounter an aftermarket part that shows signs of porosity, return it.

GM’s LS Engines’ Problems with Porosity

Porosity was a major problem for GM on its LS V8 engines made between 2004-2011 that used aluminum blocks. There were so many failures with this engine that GM issued a TSB, 05-06-01-034. On inspection, the oil leak may appear to be a failed oil pan gasket or leaking rear main seal, but the source of the leak is actually the oil crossover port above the camshaft that is sealed by the rear cover.

GM recommends replacing the rear cover if there are a lot of voids on or near the mating surfaces. If voids are on the block, GM recommends using RTV fill to seal the voids. Use a high quality gasket in these applications. Aftermarket gaskets are available to solve this problem.

Honda had a porosity problem on their V6 1998-2003 engines. This leak occurred in the valley of the engine and can cause leaks at the front, middle or rear of the engine. Honda’s solution is JB Weld. Apply it to the block area of the leak.

So, if you are replacing your head gasket, water pump, or even the intake and oil pan gaskets, check for porosity. It could save you many hours of frustration trying to seal a leak.