The American Garage

Posts from category "Auto"

Happy New Year!

The American Garage rings in 2019 with some new shows! Steve has been working on some new projects, and doing some how to's on cars repairs. Currently, there are two videos on maintaining an Audi A8, with the featured repair being the replacement of the timing belt. This is a common item on most Audis, as Steve has done the A6 at an earlier time. There are a lot of similarities, but each car being unique,  this will be a good guide to someone working on this car.

The first video is how to prepare the A8 for service. This involves all the steps to tear the front of the car down, so that it can be worked on. You can find it here.

The second video replaces the timing belt, water pump and thermostat, and can be found here.

All car repair videos are kept on the Car Repairs page, so check it out!

The American Garage Minute- Car Repairs

This is the first TAG Minute – a mini-episode that is off topic or an expansion of something going on in the show that shows more detail. This minute is about organizing and prioritizing car repairs.

The American Garage Minute- Headlight Polishing

TAG Minute- Headlights! I know that you have noticed how your headlights do not stay clear and bright- especially as your car gets older. Check out this brief episode where Steve shows you how to clean up those headlights, keeping them clear and making your night illumination brighter. And, it helps keeping your car look great. It’s simpler than you would think! 

The American Garage Minute- Brake Inspection



The American Garage brake inspectionSteve shows how to inspect your brakes- even without touching the car! Whether you fix it yourself or have someone else, you can still know how to determine the condition of your brakes.


The American Garage Minute- Tire Sizes

On The American Garage, Steve explains tire sizes. If you are thinking about changing the size of your tires or wheels, the fit on your car is very important. Not all wheels and tires work together, and if your car is slightly exotic, you may have limited options.

The American Garage Minute- Replacing Timing Belt and Valve Cover Gaskets



Well, we had a car project sneak up on us and require our attention at The American Garage, and we jumped in with both feet. There were so many oil leaks on the car, that it couldn’t leak more unless I left the drain-plug out. This caused a whole course of actions to ensue which included replacing the timing belt, water pump, and replacing a LOT of seals on the engine. Jump in with us as Steve takes us through the repairs. Part 1 of 2.


The American Garage Minute- Timing Belt & Gaskets Part 2


I know I am posting this as a minute episode, and it is regular length- but here is the conclusion of the car repairs that we started in the last post.  I know it is a daunting thing to dig into your primary transportation like this- and that many will not do so. But the rewards- and the trials- of a task like this have really helped me to become more able to identify problems, solve problems, and the victory of the successful completion has positively impacted my budget and allowed me to understand what I am really capable of. Perhaps by challenging  and pushing the limits of what I know and what I can do, I have found more capability then I would have thought possible. And now that the car is taken care of, we can get back to the fun projects we have in store! Feel free to ask questions and add your comments-


The American Garage Minute- Battery Safety

Steve takes a minute to show how to understand the importance of disconnecting the ground to a battery before working on a car.

Replacing Timing Belt- Audi A6

Steve shows us how to replace a timing belt on the Audi A6. We covered this in less detail in the car repair episodes, but this is a more comprehensive look at the timing belt process. Here are some additional words from Steve-

Hey home mechanics- There are a couple of details I did not go over in the video, that you may want to be aware of. First of all, if you are going to replace the timing belt, it is wise to always replace the water pump at the same time. The water pump is behind the timing belt, so if you had to go in there, then the belt has to be removed. Plus, you really don’t want the water pump to go bad, as it will more than likely create an over-heat problem that may ruin the engine. So, just do them at the same time. In my case, that means that every time I took out the water pump, it was in operating condition. It may seem like a waste, but this is not a part you want to have fail. Also, some folks will only replace the belt, and not the tensioner, tensioner arm, tensioner pulley or idler pulley. Save yourself the grief and replace all of these every time. On my car, that is every 90,000 miles.

Now, the second thing I want to make clear is that in the video, I describe how to make sure the cams are in time with the engine. If you look at the cam shafts, they have a little flat side. Mine are shown facing out in the vertical position. At this position, the brackets with the two holes are horizontal. Now, whether the flat sides are facing in  or out does not make a difference when you are replacing the timing belt. When they are vertical, and the main crank lines up with the mark on the casing, then you are either in top dead center, or bottom dead center. This can also be identified by those brackets with the two holes on the sides. If my memory serves me, my engine was at bottom dead center with the big holes facing out. The way the engine is designed, those brackets are not lined up horizontally unless it is in either top dead center or bottom dead center. The store bought brackets will only fit in top dead center, I made mine opposite. Do yourself a favor, and don’t move the crank or cams once the timing belt is removed. If for some reason one of them does move while you are working- well, you made marks, didn’t you?- don’t worry. Invariably, one will not be at rest, and once you bump it it will snap to a position of rest. Just move it back carefully when you get it ready for the new belt. Also, I did not mention that the tensioner comes with a little wire pin in it to hold it closed until the assemble is complete. Make sure you take that thing out once everything is in place and torqued down.

HowTo Repair a Power Steering Pump



After scouring the web, Steve found a noted deficiency in  information about repairing a power steering pump. So, let’s dig in and find out what they are all about- and see if we can make them last a little longer.


Metal Casting!

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