What’s Your Car Trouble? – Mechanix Illustrated, Vol 1, January 1942

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Mechanix Illustrated was a magazine published from 1928 through 2001. My grandpa bound his copies in large books containing about six magazines each. His personal collection runs from 1942 through 1970. Some of these car repair articles from WWII are fascinating! Enjoy!


What’s Your Car Trouble?

If You Have A Problem With Your Car, Ask Mr. Russell. Just Send Stamped, Self-Addressed Envelope For A Personal Reply.

by Frederick C. Russell

Is there any way to stop a fan belt from squealing when the engine is first started? D. L.

Scrape its glazed edges with a dull tool such as a screwdriver.

Can you tell me how spark plugs are timed in an engine with twin ignition? B. H.

They are timed in unison.

I am having trouble keeping the battery charged. It takes a recharge all right when the man at the filling station gives it a boost with one of the new quick chargers. L. W. A.

You will find that the generator relay points stick so that the battery discharges back into the generator when the engine is stopped or idling.

Do loose tappets waste gasoline? B. N. N.

Yes. Valves do not open far enough for efficiency.

After installing anti-freeze I found the fluid level very low but haven’t found any evidence of leakage. I had to pour in nearly three quarts more water and anti-freeze. N. J. L.

Air was trapped in the engine head due to the motor thermostat being closed when you were pouring in anti-freeze. The radiator level gave a false idea of the quantity of fluid in the system. Always run the engine when putting in anti-freeze.

What would cause the rear tires of my car to wear so rapidly. I don’t speed, or stop and start abruptly. The wear is very similar to wear on front tires when their wheels are out of line. C. C. M.

You’ve practically diagnosed your own case. The rear end probably isn’t square with the chassis.

What would cause leakage of oil from the valve compartment cover? I used a new gasket and have drawn the nuts down as tightly as possible. W. M. B.

Too tightly, no doubt. Buckling will cause cover to leak.

I have been told to try calcium chloride solution as an inexpensive anti-freeze. How about honey or glucose? R. L. E.

Hold everything! Salt solutions cause serious corrosion of cooling system metals. Honey and glucose are out.

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