Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Honest Orlando Auto Shop

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Auto shops are everywhere, and they all claim to help fix your car if something goes wrong, but how do you know who to trust?  Word of mouth, reviews, and so on.  All too frequently, shops may try to cheat you out of something.  I have been going to same shop for the last five years, and if you are in the Central Florida area, you should check them out too.

Tuffy Tire and Auto Service is a chain shop.  Chain shops can go both ways: you can hear good things, or bad things.  It pays to keep in mind though that they are individually owned, so one shop may be better than the rest.  I have been going to the Tuffy on Semoran Boulevard for years, and I am pleased every time.

They offer great, fast, and quality service, the people there are friendly, and they work with you on pricing.  They are a full service shop, so if you need something fixed (short of a transmission), they can help you.  They help out students as well with discounts; especially if you are a Full Sail student.

Full Sail students are treated very well there.  They are offered the best discount, and they are even given rides.  Not just to home from the shop, but even to and from class.  Want to buy a used car from a private seller?  Tuffy will check it out for FREE if you are a Full Sail student BEOFRE you buy it to assure that you get a car in working order.  You can always find them at the monthly Networking Summits that Full Sail hosts as well.

I will be honest and say that I normally just go there for oil changes, but recently I had some brake issues, and they took care of me quite well.  They always have deals on their website that you should take advantage of.

Great people, great service.  If you need something fixed on your car that you can’t handle yourself, or just don’t have the time to do, check out Tuffy on Semoran Boulevard (SR 436) and tell them The Random Automotive sent you!

Tuffy Tire and Auto Service
1222 N Semoran Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32807
407-207-4045

Want to learn about more shops like this?  Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!  


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rotting In Style - 1950s Elva Courier

1958 1959 elva courier abandoned frank g nichols dylan benson rotting in style














Just like the past few times I have been posting, I say “sorry it’s been a while since my last post.”  I would just like to let you know that nothing has changed, so sorry it’s been a while since my last post.  However, I plan on making up for it by bringing you not only a rare car, but probably one you might not have even heard of before.  Here I give to you a 1958 or 1959 Elva Courier!

This car is part of the Gabel Collection.  I featured a bunch of cars from here in the past before I started covering the Alaska Collection.  However, I still have a bunch of cars left over, and this Elva Courier is one of them.  Now, normally I don’t post THAT much in terms of facts, but since this car is quite rare, I tried to gather some in the event someone stumbles across this blog for actual research.  The owner did tell me a bit, but I filmed this quite some time ago.  I will say the Elva Courier Facebook page did help me out quite a bit.

So anyway, back to this car: the 1958 or 1959 Elva Courier.  Frank G. Nichols founded Elva in 1955 and originally stated making race cars.  He decided to make a street car based on easily available components.  This car was the product.  Apparently Nichols was having some troubling exporting this British car to the US, so he said screw that, and went back to making race cars.

This car is number 23 of 200 original Nichols made Elva Couriers before the name was sold off to another company.  This car has been sitting under a car cover, including one just for the interior, but she’s pretty rough.  The paint has visible wear, the wheels are rough, and so on.  Mechanically, this car is supposed to be in good shape, but when we tried to start her up, the battery decided it had better things to do, and she only turned over a couple times.  I still think she would have sputtered to life with a fresh battery based off of what I heard.  The owner did offer to jump it, but this was near the end of my visit, so I declined because I didn’t want to overstay my welcome.

1958 1959 elva courier abandoned frank g nichols dylan benson rotting in style

Now, I have been told this is a MK1.  MK1s have a flat windshield, and MK2s are curved, but I could not find any good pictures online to tell me which was which.  Again, the Elva Courier Facebook page helped confirm the info, and again, again, the owner did tell me all this stuff, but at this point, it was so long ago.  Normally a MK1, it has a 1.5 liter engine that apparently makes 72 horsepower.  This would push the under 1600 pound car from zero to sixty in 12.4 seconds, but the engine plate this car has proves it has something different making it even rarer.  (Elva Courier Specs)

This is a pretty neat little car, but unless that battery gets charged, it’s going to remain sitting, rotting in style.  Don’t forget to check out the video of this car below and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Also be sure like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content!  Thanks for stopping by!





1958 1959 elva courier abandoned frank g nichols dylan benson rotting in style

1958 1959 elva courier abandoned frank g nichols dylan benson rotting in style


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rotting In Style - 1980s Toyota Land Cruiser

1980s toyota land cruiser fj60 abandoned rusty rotting in style sitka alaksa dylan benson db productions














It has been a while since there has been a Rotting in Style post, but hopefully this one will make up for the lack of them.  This one is definitely rotting.  Back in Sitka, Alaska, we have a mid 1980s Toyota Land Cruiser.  Its paint is rust color, and most of it actually is rust.  I guess that was some foreshadowing camouflage.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my IROC-Z post a little bit back, sometimes I have permission to take picture and videos, and sometimes I don’t.  This was an instance where I did not, so I had to be fast.  You will eventually see that this property has three rusty classic Land Cruisers, and they are all different models.  So to get them all, I had to move quickly as I was right in front of someone’s house.

Anyway, this truck is mostly rust now.  It’s very banged up as well.  The front end looks as if it slammed into something, and the rear definitely did as it was backup up right into the Land Cruiser behind it.  Lots of the quarter panels are incomplete because of the rust, and some holes are comical as you can easily fit your finger through them.

1980s toyota land cruiser fj60 abandoned rusty rotting in style sitka alaksa dylan benson db productions

This one has a custom roof rack, manually engaging four wheel drive, and not one, not even two, but THREE horn buttons to choose from!  Speaking of the interior, from what I could quickly see, the interior seemed in pretty good shape (at least compared to the outside).

Now I have heard that these Land Cruisers are tough trucks, so this would probably run as is.  However, I don’t see that this will be used any time soon, so for now, it will remain sitting Rotting in Style.

What to see more cars like this?  Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content!  There are more Land Cruisers coming up!  Thanks for stopping by.




Friday, February 20, 2015

Car Repair - Valve Cover Gasket















So there comes a time when things go wrong with your car.  Some mechanics are reasonable, others will charge too much.  Sometimes it’s worth taking a look at what the problem is yourself, and seeing if you can fix it.  A mechanic recently told a family member that the driver side valve cover gasket needed to be replaced on her 2002 Chevy Blazer.  After being told it would cost around $400, I decided to take a look myself.

I have never done something like this before, but I figured, why not?  It couldn’t be that hard.  Well, I have documented my experience for you to enjoy and maybe learn something from.  Take a look at the video below.

What to see more first time repair attempts like this?  Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter.  Thanks for stopping by!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rotting In Style - 1985 IROC-Z Camaro

1985 camaro iroc-z chevy rotting in style american muscle db productions dylan benson random auto














Today we head back to Ketchikan, Alaska to feature another American Muscle car.  Remember a few posts back I showed you that 1979 Z28 Camaro?  You may have seen another Camaro behind it.  Well here she is.  What I have for you today is what appears to be a 1985 IROC-Z Camaro, and yes, it’s a convertible.

Now, when I take pictures and videos of cars, sometimes I get permission to do so, other times I take a risk and just shoot and run.  Today was a day that I did not get permission and halfway though filming, the owner walked out and sternly asked, “Can I help you with something?”  I jumbled my words and managed to explain what I was doing.  It turns out that the owner was quite a cool guy and allowed me to continue.

Now even though I am a die-hard Ford fan, this is my favorite body style of Camaro.  The sad part is that this generation has some of the worse power.  This car has a 305 cubic inch V8 that makes only 215 horsepower.  However, this does come with the option tuned port injection borrowed from the Corvette.  I’ll let you decide if that’s a plus or not.

The condition of the car isn’t as good as it’s Z28 brother in front.  The paint is fading, and it really needs a good scrubbing as life forms are starting to grow on it.  The interior though seems to be in surprisingly new condition.  I wonder if it has been refurbished, or just babied all its life.

The owner has plans for this car, but for now this is where she sits in Ketchikan awaiting revival.  Maybe one day she’ll be pushing her 215 horsepower up the hilly roads of the last frontier again, but for now, she remains sitting, Rotting in Style.

What to see more cars like this?  Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter.  Thanks for stopping by!






1985 camaro iroc-z chevy rotting in style american muscle db productions dylan benson random auto

1985 camaro iroc-z chevy rotting in style american muscle db productions dylan benson random auto

1985 camaro iroc-z chevy rotting in style american muscle db productions dylan benson random auto


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Car Parts - Engine Bay

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It is very important to know the basics of your car.  Knowledge like this can help you avoid a hefty bill from a dishonest mechanic, or just help you troubleshoot what may be causing a problem.  There are many things you should know, but for today, let’s cover the basics of what is in your engine bay (under your hood).

This is going to be simple, and just give you the basic such as how you identify the part, and what it does.  I will be showing examples with two vehicles: a 2005 V6 Mustang, and a 2002 Chevy Blazer.  This will give you an idea of how these parts can look different depending on what vehicle you are in.  Don't forget to see the video located at the bottom of this post.

So let’s start…

Alternator
This is the alternator.  You can identify it by its cylindrical shape, and the coiled wire inside.  This is basically your car’s generator.  When the power from the battery is used to start the car, your alternator recharges your battery and keeps power flowing throughout the electronics in your vehicle.
car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Battery
This is the battery for your car.  It’s easy to identify, but may be hidden under other parts.  This is what’s responsible for allowing your car to start each and every time you turn the ignition.  They are easy to change yourself.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Radiator Cover/Radiator
This is your radiator cover.  Directly underneath is the radiator.  This helps regulate your car’s temperature and keeps your engine cool.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Coolant Reservoir
This is what holds your car’s coolant which is a liquid designed to help regulate the temperature of your engine.  NEVER unscrew the cap after you car has been running as you may be severely injured by the vapor that will escape.  Always make sure your coolant is between the lines generally on the side of the reservoir.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Brake Fluid Reservoir
This is where the fluid for your brake system is kept.  Make sure it is always filled between the lines usually found on the side of the reservoir.  Always make sure the cap is on nice and tight as air in the system could cause damage over time.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Power Steering Fluid Reservoir
This is where the fluid for your power steering is.  Make sure it is always filled between the lines usually found on the side of the reservoir.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Fuse Box
This is your fuse box, and where most of the fuses are for your car.  You may have another location inside the vehicle.  They protect your vehicle from damage by destroying themselves, a much cheaper part, before destroying more expensive parts.  Consult your manual to find out what these fuses are.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Air Box and Air System
This is your air filter, or air box.  When air is sucked into your engine to mix with the fuel, this is where it comes in.  Inside the box, or exposed here, is the filter.  It stops dirt and debris from being sucking into your engine.  The air flows through the intake, and into your throttle body.  This is a valve that opens and closes controlling the amount of air that enters the engine.  Some throttle bodies, like the one on the Blazer are “drive-by-wire” and are controlled by a wire that acts like a spring.  Others, like the Mustang, are electronically controlled.  The air then enters the intake manifold which distributes the air to the engine.  We won’t get any further than that for now.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive
car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive
car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Windshield Washer Reservoir
This one is pretty simple, your windshield washer fluid reservoir.  It’s where you fill up your windshield washer fluid.  It’s cheap and easy to do, and it’s clearly labeled.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Serpentine Belt
This is your serpentine belt.  This is what transports power to engine parts including your air conditioning, alternator, and more.  It is important to check this belt from time to time for cracks and frays.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Spark Plug Wires
These are your spark plug wires.  In modern vehicles, they run from your coil pack to your spark plugs located screwed into your engine.  They are all responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in your engine.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive

Oil
This is where you add oil to your engine.  Oil helps the internal parts of your engine move freely.

car basics under the hood tips and tricks db productions dylan benson the random automotive




Friday, January 16, 2015

Rotting In Style - 1979 El Camino

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The Random Auto is back in Sitka, Alaska again.  Alaska is simply beautiful.  Not all the nice sights are mountains and glaciers, sometimes those sights that excite people in the forms of rusty GM cars.  Just me?  Oh, OK.

Well, this time I bring to you another moss covered, rust invaded GM car from the Last Frontier.  This time it’s a 1979 Chevrolet El Camino.  This car is the brother to the 1980 Cadillac Seville I featured last time, and if you saw the Caddy, you’ll see that this car is not much better.  Moss and rust have consumed this car.  As you can see, the top layer of the hood is simply gone.  I’m not just talking the paint.  Most of the top layer of the metal is gone.

There are similarly bad rust spots throughout the rest of the car as well.  One part that really caught my eye was the “EVRO” badge on the front of the car.  I noticed it was broken, so I thought it was missing a letter at the beginning and the end, and that this was some special model!  Nope.  Turns out the badge originally said “chEVROlet”.  Oops.

The interior is a mix of good and bad.  The dash just seems dirty and not really damaged.  Same goes for the driver side.  The passenger side is starting to develop its own eco system, and the back completes it with its own lake.  I guess we can assume the floor pans are somehow not rusted if they are holding that much water.

Usually I like to talk about power, but this year alone offered four different engine options so I have absolutely no clue what is in here.  I can tell you that I doubt whatever is under the hood will matter because I don’t think this car will ever drive the beautiful streets of Alaska again.  It will sit in Sitka, Alaska where it shall remain Rotting in Style.

What to see more cars like this?  Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter.  Thanks for stopping by!






abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle

abandoned 1979 el camino chevy chevrolet sitka alaska rotting in style db productions dylan benson american muscle


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