John Baker

Recent Posts by John Baker

Does it Matter Which Brand of Motor Oil You Use?

How to Dispose Motor Oil

The Internet is abuzz over the latest Blackstone Labs newsletter. OK, “abuzz” may be a stretch. But the newsletter certainly has sent the motor oil geeks among us into a tizzy. The distinguished oil analysis laboratory sought to answer the age-old question: Does it really matter which brand of motor oil your use?

How to Protect a Motorcycle Wet Clutch (and How it Works)

2017 Indian Scout motorcycle

A 10-mile trudge down gravel roads more trafficked by mosquitoes than people. That’s the situation I faced after dumping my Honda 350 motorcycle on a patch of loose gravel. Back then (the mid 1990s), cell phones were a luxury, especially deep in the woods of northern Minnesota where I lived.

Synthetic Oil Beats Conventional in AAA Test

Pouring oil

My mother took the Culligan Man to task not long ago. Not the flesh-and-blood Culligan Man, but the actor on TV. It happened when I was visiting my folks during lunch. I have lunch at my parent’s house here in Superior, Wis., every Wednesday.

Why do European Vehicles Require Special Oil?

BMW

For all the grin-inducing benefits of owning a European car – finely tuned performance, sophisticated styling, prestige – they can be a pain to own. According to this list, four of the top five most expensive vehicles to maintain hail from across the pond.

Remember This When Trying to Find Which Transmission Fluid You Need

How to Check Transmission Fluid

Take a look at just a few of the dozens of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) specifications on the market: ATF+4 Mercon V Mercon LV Dexron VI ATF DW-1 ATF T-IV SP-IV Toyota ATF-WS Honda DW (ZF Diamond SP-IV You’ve likely heard the term analysis paralysis.

Why are There Different Two-Stroke Oil Mix Ratios for Chainsaw Oil

Chainsaw

Swamp mix. That’s what you call a concoction of two-stroke oil and gas that’s been slopped together with no measuring tools and no regard for engine protection. Your chainsaw or string trimmer could be running on a 50:1 mix. Could be 72:1. Could be 147:1. There’s no telling.

Common Fixes for a Transmission that Jerks or Hesitates

automatic transmission - do transmission fluid additives work?

Here are a few common reasons why your transmission may shift erratically, jerk or hesitate. • Low fluid level • Depleted fluid frictional properties • Poor cold-temperature fluidity

Why Does My Engine Knock? 3 Possible Explanations.

Boost horsepower in your car or truck

There are a few different reasons your engine might make a knocking, ticking or pinging noise. Let’s break each down and talk about what might be happening.

How Does Motor Oil Become Contaminated?

Motor oil deteriorates and becomes unfit for service due to accumulation of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes (additive depletion and oxidation) in the oil itself.

Is Starting Fluid Bad for Gas Engines?

Small Gas Engine Repair

The simple answer: In small doses and used properly, it can be effective in hard-starting gasoline engines. But it can be bad for two-stroke or diesel engines. The real question to ask is, “Why does my engine need starting fluid in the first place?”