Author & Automotive Expert James D. Halderman



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Halderman newsletterMay 2013

Welcome to the May edition of the Halderman newsletter. I've been very busy already, going to conferences, speaking engagements and travelling. As a result, I get asked frequently, what are you working on now or where are you going next?


So, here's what I'm working on:


  • Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (ISBN-10: 0133405184), which is now in production and due out this summer in time for start of fall classes.
  • Adding additional animations to my website and sorting by chapter for each title.
  • Working on the revision of Automotive Chassis System-6th (ISBN: 0-13-274775-8) due out soon. 
  • Brain storming about a new presentation for next fall's ICAIA and CAT conferences. Thinking about "How to Have Fun Teaching Electrical". I am thinking that this presentation would include a hands-on project that can be taken home and used to actually diagnosis vehicles and costs less than $3.00

Please continue to follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.




ASE Sample Question
Straight Talk
ASE Sample Question


A vehicle equipped with a manual 5-speed transmission is difficult to shift especially into first gear and reverse. Technician A says that the input shaft of the transmission may be partially seized to the pilot bearing. Technician B says that the throw out bearing may be worn. Which technician is correct?


  1. Technician A only
  2. Technician B only
  3. Both Technicians A and B
  4. Neither Technician A nor B






The correct answer is a. Technician A is correct because a seized pilot bearing will transfer engine torque to the input shaft of the transmission just the same as if the clutch was not disengaged making it very difficult to shift, especially in first gear or reverse. Technician B is not correct because a worn release (throw out) bearing will likely cause noise rather than create a condition that would allow engine torque to be applied to the transmission when the clutch pedal is depressed. Answers c and d are not correct because Technician A only is correct.



For FREE sample ASE test questions with answers, visit my website where you will find 15 questions for each of the eight ASE areas (120 total questions).

For an excellent resource for all eight ASE content areas, consider this test preparation book:



FAQWhat is the difference between 4WD and All-Wheel Drive?


The major difference between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is that four-wheel-drive units contain a transfer case with a low range. Most all-wheel-drive vehicles do not have low range and are in high four-wheel drive all the time. Both use a center (interaxle) differential and both usually use a viscous coupling or an electronically controlled clutch to control (lock) the center differential.

Straight Talk

From the April 20, 2013, Wheels section in the Dayton Daily News:


Reader asks about coolant types 





Wheels: My 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue calls for DEX-COOL. Most places use a universal coolant. Would  this be proper to use?

Halderman: As most readers of my column already know, I recommend that you use what the vehicle manufacturer recommends. The short answer is no because it is not what is recommended but can it be used? I think it can be and may not cause any problems at least over the short period of time.

To help readers better understand coolants, here are some fundamentals:

  1. Coolant is 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water
  2. The water should be de-mineralized and not tap water because tap water has chlorine and other chemicals that could cause corrosion.
  3. The antifreeze is 97 percent ethylene glycol and 3 percent additives.
  4. It is this 3 percentage of additives that determines the type of coolant used or specified.
  5. DEX-COOL is one brand of a coolant that uses organic acid technology (OAT) and it has a long life.
  6. Other types of coolants include hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT).
  7. HOAT coolants can include no phosphate and some silicates (usually specified by European vehicle manufactures and are commonly "European blue" or yellow in color.
  8. Other HOAT coolants contain no silicates and some phosphates and these are often specified for use in Asian brand vehicles, and are commonly "Asian red" in color.
  9. Universal coolants are usually HOAT coolants with extended life and are low-silicate and phosphate-free. They can be used in many vehicles, but cannot meet the needs of engines requiring a silicate-free formulation.

Many vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda specify that only premixed coolant be used because the quality of the water used in the coolant can be controlled. Premixed coolant is a coolant that is mixed with the proper percentage of water and is ready for use.

The water is demineralized and therefore does not include chlorine and other possible chemicals that could cause damage to the cooling system.


Find more Straight Talk columns here 




Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. I would love to include any of your automotive news or any tech tips you might have. Send me your suggestions! 
You can email me here or visit my website. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too (links above). And I encourage you to visit this website for great car reviews and more of my Straight Talk columns.
Jim Halderman
James D. Halderman writes automotive technology textbooks for Pearson Education. He is an ASE-certified Master Technician with more than 20 years instructional experience.