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  1. Ed_Flecko

    Change coolant hot or cold?

    When you change your coolant, should you do it after the motor is warm (and the coolant is, therefore, hot) or when it's stone cold? I sort of think that changing the coolant while it's hot might do a better job of flushing any debris out along with the old coolant, but maybe it doesn't make any...
  2. Ed_Flecko

    Coolant drain valve location(s) for 3rd Generation Toyota Tacoma?

    I don't need to do any maintenance on my cooling system just yet, but I'm trying to do my research. I'm trying to locate the block installed, coolant drain valve locations for the 3.5L, V-6 motor, but darned if I see where they're located! I think there are two (2) of them, or at least that's...
  3. Ed_Flecko

    Where to check for cheapest smog test station & certificate in California

    I need to get my Wife's 2001 Volvo S-40 (with a whopping 54,000 miles) smog tested, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on where to find (online) the cheapest testing facility? Thank you! Ed
  4. Ed_Flecko

    Sulphated ash & U.S. cars clarification?

    I'm a little confused about sulphated ash as it relates to U.S. cars. I know not all oil manufacturers seem to disclose the sulphated ash content of their oils. I'm comparing two (2) different flavors of Ravenol oils which meet my owner's manual specs for my truck (2019 Toyota Tacoma - 3.5L...
  5. Ed_Flecko

    America's Tire is having multiple tire rebates

    I just thought I'd pass this along in case you're shopping for new tires! Ed
  6. Ed_Flecko

    How do you regularly track a mutual fund?

    I know some people tell you that you shouldn't regularly (daily, weekly, etc.) "track" a mutual fund because it can make you nervous watching the ups and downs. That doesn't bother me. Is there a website or, more likely, a software application that allows you to track a mutual fund(s) you might...
  7. Ed_Flecko

    Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team has revealed its F1 competitor, the new AMR21

    This sounds pretty cool. I'll be interested to see how well it does! Ed
  8. Ed_Flecko

    Home AM/FM radio reception questions, etc.?

    I guess it's nostalgia, but I like listening to a physical AM/FM radio rather than streaming through my PC. With either a quality radio of some sort along with a quality antenna, what kind of range of signal reception would you expect? Is it possible to listen to radio stations from other...
  9. Ed_Flecko

    Copper Corrosion Testing of motor oil?

    Please excuse me if I'm being redundant, but I have a clarification question about this topic. A fellow BITOG member posted the text and photos of the article titled "Comparison of 0W-20 Engine Oils - ATO24 Oil Analysis - 0W-20 Engine Oils with VW 508 00/509 00 Approval" (...
  10. Ed_Flecko

    Tips/tricks for cleaning home windows with squeegee?

    I want to start cleaning my home windows with a squeegee. Cleaning with paper towels, cotton towels, etc., and Windex always leaves some streaks, etc. I hate looking through "clean", streaky windows and doors. I have a single story, 1700 sq. ft. home, so physically reaching all of my windows is...
  11. Ed_Flecko

    Oil Analysis Report Interpretation Workshop

    If I had a disposable $1,195, this sounds like a pretty cool 3-day seminar.'s too rich for me. :) Live Online, February 23 – 25, 2021 "High-quality oil analysis is one of the most valuable tools in the condition-monitoring toolbox. Oil analysis labs work hard to place...
  12. Ed_Flecko

    Mercedes Benz Low SPAsh multigrade service engine oils chart

    I don't own a Mercedes, but I thought I'd share this, which I stumbled upon. I think it's a pretty handy reference if you're trying to select an oil with a particular MB specification. The default for the chart is the MB 229.71 specification. I was sort of surprised how...
  13. Ed_Flecko

    O.K. to use Mobil 1 ESP X2 0W20 in Toyota Tacoma?

    I'm pretty picky about what oil I use in my 2019 Tacoma with the 3.5L, V-6. Currently, I'm running the TGMO 0W-20 (and a Fram Ultra XG9972 filter, if you're interested). I really like what I'm reading about the Mobil 1 ESP X2 0W20 ( and and I see...
  14. Ed_Flecko

    Product Data Sheet(s) playing "fast and loose" with approvals, recommendations, etc.?

    I've looked at the PDS for, just as an example, Ravenol Eco Synth EFS SAE 0W-20 oil ( ). Ravenol clearly lists "APPROVALS" (BMW LONGLIFE-17 FE+ | MB-FREIGABE 229.71 | VOLVO VCC RBS0-2AE 0W-20 - SERVICE FILL) and they list "RECOMMENDATIONS" (CHRYSLER MS-13340 | HONDA |...
  15. Ed_Flecko

    What's the most stringent oil approval(s)?

    I'm not sure if it's technically called an "approval", "specification", or "certification"...??? When comparing 0W-20 oils, I'm just curious which manufacturer has the most stringent approval? Is it BMW LL-17FE, MB 229.71, VW508.00/509.00, Porsche C20, etc., etc.? Are the testing methods to...
  16. Ed_Flecko

    Can Renaissance Wax be used on internal (as well as external) firearm components?

    From what I read about Renaissance (a.k.a., "Ren") Wax, it's outstanding to coat and protect the outside of your firearms against surface rust. Since it's a wax, and not a "lubricant", I can't imagine that it attracts dust and dirt the way a lubricant typically would. Also, you wouldn't need to...
  17. Ed_Flecko

    Suggestions for a beginner whiskey drinker?

    I'm looking for a whiskey for casual drinking without mixing it with anything. I'd like to stay under $25/bottle. As a beginner, I've tried "regular" Jack Daniels and the "rye" Jack Daniels ( I liked the rye version better than...
  18. Ed_Flecko

    Roll 401(k) into IRA? What about required minimum distributions?

    My Wife has a small 401(k) from a previous employer that we're thinking of rolling into an IRA. 1.) Unless I'm wrong, that's a perfectly allowable thing to do, correct? 2.) What are the requirements for required minimum distributions if I go down this road? Thank you! Ed
  19. Ed_Flecko

    Are you a Quicken software aficionado?

    I'd like to start using Quicken for my personal finances, monthly bill accounting, etc.. I don't like Quicken's "new" model of purchasing and renewing every year. I much prefer buying the software CD and not needing to renew anything. I'd likely not need computer support because my degree is...
  20. Ed_Flecko

    Why use gulp or grunt since you're already using npm?

    I'm trying to understand why someone would want to use a task runner like gulp or grunt if npm also has the ability to function as a task runner using something like npm-watch? I'm certainly not opposed to using gulp, because I've used it a little bit in the past, but I'm wondering if it just...