John Baker

Recent Posts by John Baker

Is Premium Gasoline Worth the Money?

You probably saw the AAA report announcing that motorists wasted $2.1 billion last year using premium gasoline in vehicles that don’t require it. Maybe a few of those billions came from your wallet.

What Does Horsepower Mean?

You’ve likely heard of eighteenth-century Scottish engineer James Watt. He’s credited with coining the term “horsepower.” In a stroke of marketing genius, he used the term to help sell London industrialists on the ability of his new steam engines to more efficiently produce one of our most precious resources. Beer. Steam power drives beer boom

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How Often Should I Change Transmission Fluid?

automatic transmission - do transmission fluid additives work?

It depends on your vehicle and driving habits. That’s a cop-out. But, it’s true. Automatic-transmission-fluid-change recommendations vary from one original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to another. Plus, if your driving habits are like most motorists and fall under the “severe” designation (towing, hauling, daily short trips less than 10 miles, etc.), many OEMs recommend changing transmission

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5 Ways to Boost Horsepower for Under $500

Boost horsepower in your car or truck

More power. It’s the rallying cry of gearheads across time and place, whether you secretly wish you were Brian O’Connor when passing cars in your Mitsubishi Eclipse or Cole Trickle when tossing your 1984 Camaro around town.

Do Motor Oil Additives Work?

Should I use motor oil additives in my engine?

Remember the Saturday-afternoon infomercials for the latest “revolutionary” motor oil additive? I enjoyed one in which a group of mechanics added a bottle of additive to an engine they’d suspended from a hoist. Then they drained the oil, started the engine and lowered it into a tank of water. There it sat, gurgling away and

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5 Expert Chainsaw Maintenance Tips

Chainsaws are great tools – when they’re working properly. Here are five helpful tips to keep your chainsaw cutting strong.

Do Transmission Fluid Additives Work?

automatic transmission - do transmission fluid additives work?

Walk the aisles of most auto parts stores and you’ll find multiple “mechanic-in-a-bottle”-type additives that claim to restore transmission performance. The claims made typically include some variation of the following:

Is Synthetic Motor Oil Better than Conventional?

AMSOIL synthetic motor oil

Yes. Test data repeatedly shows that synthetic motor oil outperforms conventional oil, delivering… Improved wear protection Better extreme-temperature performance Maximum fuel economy Longer service intervals Some of you are undoubtedly thinking, “But I’ve used conventional oil for years, and my engine runs fine.” It’s important to note I didn’t say all conventional oil is junk

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Why Does My Vehicle’s Engine Burn Oil?

Why does my engine burn oil?

The simple answer: It’s probably wearing out. Over time, the piston rings have likely become worn or stuck in their grooves, preventing them from sealing tightly against the cylinder wall. The tiny gap that has formed between the ring and cylinder wall allows oil to enter the combustion chamber and burn. Worn valve seals produce

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Low Transmission Fluid Symptoms

Transmission

We’re all familiar with the automakers’ longstanding best-in-class horsepower and towing-capacity wars. Each model year seems to feature a vehicle whose brute strength and towing capacity dwarf those of the outgoing models. Lately, automakers have found new turf over which to battle: the number of automatic transmission gears. No self-respecting automaker, it seems, will introduce

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