What’s That Leak Under my Car?

Car Fluid Leak Identification Chart
Click to enlarge

You go out to your car in the morning or at the end of the work day, and there are drops of liquid, or worse yet, a big puddle, underneath it.  You wonder what’s leaking and how bad is it? You don’t necessarily need to call a mechanic or have the car towed off the bat. With a little knowledge and some testing you can figure out what the fluid is what to do about it.

First you’ll want to capture the leaks. It will be hard to get a good look at them on dark pavement, so put down a piece of butcher paper, newspaper, cardboard or aluminum foil underneath your car to catch the leaks. Park the car somewhere flat and level, and weigh down your drip catcher so it doesn’t get blown away by the wind. Once you’ve caught some of the fluid, it’s time to identify it. To do this, you’ll have to use your senses of sight, touch, and maybe even smell.

Identify where the leak is coming from

The first clue you’re going to use to identify your leak is where it’s coming from. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle (common for pickup trucks, some sports cars, and most classics), a leak coming from the rear of the car is most likely differential fluid. A leak in the rear could also be coming from the gas tank.

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10 Easy Car Repairs You Didn’t Know You Could Do Yourself

Cars can be expensive to fix and maintain, but there are some repairs nearly anyone can do at home to save money.

Depending on the model, a lot of the maintenance and beginner repairs on this list can be done with basic hand tools, and they won’t cost a lot to fix. Some repairs listed here may call for special tools, and these can be worth owning if you plan to use them regularly.  Others may call for no tools, taking up very little of your time. Doing some of these repairs yourself can help you save money in the long run and improve the life and performance of your vehicle.

1. Air Filters

Common tools required: None (usually)

Although you might want to have on hand a flat blade screwdriver, ratchet, and sockets.

Unless your air filter housing is held together by screws or bolts, changing the engine air filter is a simple process that doesn’t require any tools. In most cases, you’ll just have to undo the clips on the housing, lift the housing cover, and remove the air filter. The install is just as easy, requiring you to align the new filter according to the directional arrows if it has them, close the cover, and latch the clips that secure the cover in place.

Changing the cabin air filter is similar, but depending on your model, you may have to open the hood or remove the glove box to reach it.

2. Wiper Blades

Common tools required: None

Changing the wiper blades is so common that your manual might have tips to guide you. You just need to find and press the clip on the wiper blade, slide it off the hook, and carefully lower the wiper arm down. To install, simply raise the wiper arm, and pull the wiper blade up onto the hook until it clicks into place.

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2017 1A Auto Charity Car Show & Fundraiser

It’s almost time for 1A Auto’s annual charity car show in Pepperell, MA. We started doing this car show back in 2009 to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of America and the North Middlesex Athletic Boosters.

We wanted to give back to our local community and a great national cause. The North Middlesex Athletic Boosters award scholarships to our local high school students and support athletic programs. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America connects people with multiple sclerosis with products and services that help improve their lives. Multiple sclerosis affects about 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million people worldwide.

With our love of all things automotive, we thought, what better way to raise funds – and have a little fun – than a car show. The show’s been growing ever since. Last year, was our biggest year yet, with over 225 cars. We plan to build the event into New England’s biggest car show.

Join Us!

When: Sunday, July 23rd at 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: Pepperell Town Field, 4 Hollis Street, Pepperell Massachusetts

Price:  $10 per vehicle
$20 for Vendors
Free For Spectators

Rain or Shine.

Pets are welcome

Check out Facebook for full details and see what people are saying!

Last year we spotted a lot of awesome cars like this GTO Judge:
GTO Judge
These Beetles:

volkswagen beetles

This GTR:

Nissan GT-R

And this crazy contraption:

custom truck with two front ends

If you’ve got a sweet ride to show off, we’d love to have you join us.  All makes and models are welcome. And if you just want to check out the show, kids are welcome and entrance is free. It’s sure to be a great time.

Formula Drift in New Jersey: Points Leaders Miss Podium, and Controversies Ensue

Hello, Drift fans. The weekend of June 2nd concluded another heart-pounding New Jersey event at the Wall Raceway. Every season, this track tests the merit and ruling ability of the Formula D empire and this year was no exception.

As Formula Drift grows and expands, so do the rules and regulations. As these aspects change, driver meetings become inherent with every event, outlining scoring aspects and what the judges expect from the drivers. This year the course was changed back to the “peanut” shape, with no cross over in the infield layout as it was last year. Immediately after seeing the change, I personally took note and figured this event should be quite interesting.

Qualifying went about as good as one can hope. The main issue with Formula D qualifying is that there is no standard to base runs off of. Since the track, lines, and clipping points change from year to year, where is the basis for a 100 point run? It’s all judging the day of, and unfortunately that does not go in some peoples favor. The judging criteria has 3 main subjects: “Line, angle, and style.” All carry some sort of relative scoring percentage. Not severely trumped by one another as to have a perfect run, these judging areas need to harmonize perfectly. Controversy of judging this year came from some areas that can be pointed out in run scores. For example, Chelsea Denofa, who is having a fairly upside down season with large amounts of inconsistency in driving style and inability to maintain general vehicle composure on the track, somehow pulled out a 1st place qualifying pass, even though many may argue the 96 point run can be compared to some runs sub 80 points. Denofa off the bat failed to fill the entire outside Zone 1, yet still stands in 1st place for qualifying. Speculation against judging for favoritism and being more exciting than precise have murmured for some time.

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The Euro & JDM Parts Scene

Russ Smith's 1989 Polo Mk2 Breadvan

Hello, all you Euro fans! Today, I’m going to cover some key points about adapting US market cars with European and Japanese domestic parts, some differences between them, and even a short perspective from someone across the pond!

The Japanese domestic market (JDM) and European cars that share chassis with US models, tend to attract an origin-of-production following. Specific make group enthusiasts—like Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, and BMW fans—here in the US can have a deep respect for their vehicle’s country of origin, but different safety and emission standards have caused many cars to vary in engine and body detail from country to country to a large degree. Cars from Japan and Germany may have different lighting, interior, emissions components, and in some cases completely different drivelines from their overseas counterparts.

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Without September NASCAR, What’s Next for NHMS?

As all New Hampshire and other NASCAR fans are aware, New Hampshire Motor Speedway lost its September race, starting in the 2018 season. The race has been moved to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for various reasons.

The September race at NHMS was a large tourist attraction and helped with the seasonal race track’s financial health and New Hampshire’s economy as well. Governor Sununu pitched the sport loss as an opportunity for the race track to seek out other events. Some businesses and enthusiasts are concerned, however. The track had enjoyed two races, the other being held in July, for more than twenty years. Without a hiccup in these events for two decades, this blow to the track will be substantial, and it raises the questions of what will takes its place and how other events will be effected.

Doors could open for small-time local racing. Although Loudon, New Hampshire receives the full brunt of the northeastern winters, the motorsport community is very strong. We could see more availability for these events being welcomed to the parking lots, and hopefully use of the main track at a reasonable rate as well. NHMS has always allowed a large variation of motorsports to be held at the speedway. Being a participant in events and media coverage, I’ve never seen the track let anyone down, hosting lot events that range from car shows and autocross to a pumpkin distance shooting event in some of the dirt locations. Some racing clubs can cross their fingers in being allowed on track sometime soon.

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LS Swap Cost: What I Paid for My LSx V8 Swap & How to Budget Build Yours

Got a Fox-body Mustang? Just LS-swap it. 240Z? Better LS-swap it. ‘54 Mercedes? You’ll need to go ahead and LS-swap it.

You can’t swing a melting ice cream cone at a car show without dripping it on at least a dozen LS engines. With these swaps becoming so incredibly popular, I began to wonder if the saying “Cheap, fast, and reliable—choose two” had finally met its match. I decided to LS-swap my own car to find out just what it takes mechanically, and financially.

1964 Impala


My 1964 Impala convertible is a car that I have had since 1997, and I drove it for the first time around 2014. Needless to say, it’s been my project for a while. The car came from the factory with a straight-six engine that I could always rely on to run like complete garbage. The carburetor was the reason the engine always ran so terribly, and also the reason why I wholeheartedly believe that all carburetors belong in an airtight container at the bottom of the ocean. The only thing that this carburetor did well was inhale the happiness from my soul and burn it within each of the six cylinders.

After years of trying to love my straight-six, I smartened up and decided to find a better engine—one that actually made me happy when I fired it up; one that was a little wild and fun; and one that wouldn’t unexpectedly get weird on me. I basically wanted the maple frosted donut of the engine world. That underdog maple donut, a little offbeat and not for everyone, that you have to respect because it’s a smart choice. Anyone that has ever experienced the maple frosting knows it’s always the right decision if you’re playing the long game. So the solution to my engine problem was obvious; I just had to LS-swap it.

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