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I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  My girls are 3 hours away from us in college.  They drive my wife's old 2003 Highlander with 250K+ miles on it.  To the extent that I can, I check their car over carefully every time they are home.  Any service issues, I either fix it or take it to our local independent shop to get it fixed.  They know Toyotas and they know this vehicle as they have done all the services since we bought the Highlander.

That said, I dread the phone call when something fails on the Highlander and they are at school.  They've called twice already:

The first time I drove up and replaced a weak (and failing) battery.  That fixed it and all was ok until...

The second time, the dreaded check engine light came on, but was still drivable.  I asked the girls to check with their friends for recommendations about a local independent shop.  They got one and took the car to a shop with instructions to have the shop check for the codes and then call me with their findings.  The car set at the shop for a week with no work done.  I told the girls to go get the car and drive it back to their school.  When they went to the shop the owner said they just found the problem and replaced the gas cap and cleared the code.  Cost was $90.  Next day the check engine light was back on.  I told my girls to drive the vehicle only for emergencies or when coming home.  When they got home, I checked the vacuum hose situation under the hood.  I found a disconnected evaporative emission hose that was supposed to be connected to the air filter box.  I reconnected it and took it to my local shop and had them clear the code again.  It's been fine since.  I also showed my girls where the hose was and instructed them to always check this anytime any work (even a quickie oil change) has been done under the hood.

This kind of shit drives me crazy.  The next time I visit them, I'm going to try and find a reputable independent shop near the college.  The problem is, how do you really know if a shop is reputable?  They're all going to blow their own horns.

General Discussion Board / TOOL SALE CL
« Last post by ken w. on Today at 04:10:02 PM »
I went to this tool sale today. I had to hunt through all these tools to find 3 American made tools. It really was a waste.
I needed a new locking extension set for quite some time. I'm currently using a nice HF Taiwanese set, but the retaining collars are sometimes too bulky to get in tight spaces. Since I really love the 1/4" drive Craftsman extension set, I decided to try the 3/8 drive version. Admittedly I was a bit leery of Chinese Craftsman, but after the set arrived and I used it for about a month, I really like it. Fit/finish is top notch -- better than many US chrome sets and definitely a deeper shine.

More streamlines than the HF version -- BTW, the Taiwanese HF versions are excellent tools, just the business end was a bit bulky for some of my uses.

The retention is excellent with many different socket manufcaturers -- I tested SO, MATCO. MAC, Cornwell, Vulcan (Williams) and new/old US Craftsman

The chrome is perfect when compared to some pristine 1970's US made Easco Craftsman exctensions


For $24 delivered, the price is right and the tool is definitely VERY useful in my work.

General Discussion Board / Re: ESTATE SALE FINDS 01-19-18
« Last post by lauver on Today at 03:06:34 PM »
ken W,

I wanna say Duro/Indestro but the selector knob and screws look wrong. (Though the screws could have be replaced after it was made.)

+1  My first thoughts also.  It may be a generic rebadge for another company.

General Discussion Board / Re: What's your favorite bit driver ?
« Last post by hickory n steel on Today at 03:05:21 PM »
I have a Craftsman that has a black handle like yours, HnS, but the shaft pulls out and has a detent ball like a Klein. There is a 2nd opening on the side of the handle you can insert the shaft in to make it a T-handle. It also has a screw-on cap and bit storage in the handle.

I found the shaft was a bit short, so I epoxied a narrow 3" driver extension into it. I used it daily for 2 years to change machine tool inserts, before I upgraded to a Williams WRST-4 ratcheting t-handle screwdriver.

Both of these drivers could handle about 85% of the torx screws i came across. Certain cutters had next to no clearance between flutes and you had to use the supplied Wiha or Wera fixed driver , which had extremely skinny shanks and sometimes still rubbed and had to go in at a slight angle.
I think I've se n that one before.

Btw I googled it and it turns out they did produce a version of this screwdriver for Craftsman.
The handle was your typical clear and blue and had bit storage.
With this screwdriver being made by Western forge I had a feeling there had to be a Craftsman version of it, and it turns out I was right.
RV's & Trailers / Boats / Floating vessels / Re: Criteque this trailer
« Last post by fordtoy1 on Today at 01:29:03 PM »
with a trailer that heavy you better use that at least twice a month or its not worth the money!
General Discussion Board / Re: Smith and Wesson skeleton key?
« Last post by ken w. on Today at 01:00:21 PM »
Your supposed to mount that on the back of your belt so you can get out of your cuffs and jump out of the back of the cop car.
A friend borrowed my HW jack and bent the frame. He bought me  a blue  MVP 3 ton jack to replace my HW. I think it came from Advance or Auto Zone. I think I've used it for 10 + years before it started to get tired. For every 3 pumps up it goes down 1 pump. I can't complain about it as It's been used a lot and for some heavy vehicles.
General Discussion Board / Re: ESTATE SALE FINDS 01-19-18
« Last post by Muddy on Today at 12:29:41 PM »
Nice finds!

Sent from the twisted mind of the Mudman.

Good find!
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