Different Brand Of Fuel
Cures Customer's Strange Exhaust Odor.
Recently a customer contacted us about a "rotten egg" odor he was experiencing
from the exhaust system of his 1994 Cadillac DeVille. Since his car
was covered under factory warranty, he took his vehicle to a Cadillac dealer.
The dealership inspected his vehicle's on-board computer system for fault
codes and none were found. The dealership next analyzed the emissions from
the exhaust system and found them to be within normal limits. The dealership
advised him that this may be normal as they had seen this condition occasionally
at times on other cars in the past. This customer came to us to see if
we had ever heard of this condition before. We advised the customer that
we had seen a pattern of GM vehicles with "lazy" Oxygen sensors causing
the car's on board computer to lose control of fuel mixture. When this
happens, a "rotten egg" smell is often a symptom. However, before connecting
any equipment to the vehicle, we told the customer that we would check
for any service bulletins on his car in our Alldata Database. When we looked
up his vehicle and browsed the bulletin titles, one in particular caught
our eye. "Exhaust Odor and Other Fuel Related Concerns." The bulletin was
issued by Cadillac back in November of 1993. The bulletin read as follows:
"Some 1990-1994 Cadillac's that require premium fuel may experience
one or more of the following intermittent driveability conditions: Exhaust
rotten egg odor or sulfur odor, poor cold engine operation, hot restart
problems and detonation.
Cause: These conditions may occur due to the
fuel in the vehicle. Poor quality fuel has been recognized to cause any
of the above conditions. High sulfur content fuel has been recognized to
cause exhaust rotten egg odor or sulfur odor conditions. Oxygenated fuels
which are used in many areas of the country may have a distinctive odor.
The objective of oxygenated fuels is to reduce tail pipe emissions of carbon
monoxide. Carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, especially during winter months
when it is at its highest levels, can affect the health of people with
heart disease and respiratory problems. The oxygenated fuels contain oxygen
compounds that make combustion more efficient while lowering carbon monoxide
levels in the atmosphere. The Federal Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 requires
the use of oxygenated fuel in nearly all carbon monoxide non-attainment
areas in the United States. (Massachusetts is a non-attainment state).
The program began last winter in certain non-attainment areas. These regulations
will continue in the future years with wintertime fuel starting, in some
cases, as early as the beginning of September and ending as late as April
depending upon the area of the country.
Correction: Verify from the customer when they
first started noticing condition (i.e., after changing fuel brands). Check
for any Powertrain Control Module diagnostic trouble codes. Diagnose and
repair all trouble codes then re-evaluate the vehicle. Perform basic emissions
checks as outlined in section 6E-B of the 1994 Cadillac Service Manual.
If the above steps are ineffective, do not proceed with any further diagnosis
or parts replacement until the fuel tank has been drained and refilled
with a known good quality gasoline. This should correct the condition.
In the unlikely event these steps do not correct the condition and tail
pipe emissions meet compliance standards then the vehicle is considered
to be normal."
Well, we are happy to report that the customer came
by about a week later to tell us that he did change brands of fuel and
the odor is gone. Whew!
Dean Howard Receives The University
This past fall, our customer, Donald Howard (Dean Howard) of Umass Dartmouth,
received The University Service Award. Dean Howard was honored by many
friends and dignitaries including former Massachusetts Governor Michael
Dukakis. Chancellor Peter H. Cressy spoke of how appreciated Dean
Howard's advice was upon his arrival at the university. He called
the Dean's depth of knowledge of the university and students "incomparable."
State Sen. Mark Montigny, class of '84, gave an emotional tribute since
Dean Howard not only molded his political career but has meant a great
deal to him on a personal level as well. Mark's classmate Bob Gonet, '84,
mentioned how Dean Howard had "pushed, prodded and prompted a dumb jock"
into first a master's then a doctorate program. The praise and thanks continued.
Dean Howard was referred to as an "institution within the institution,"
"the soul and conscience of the university," and more. Congratulations
to Dean Howard
A New Face.
may have noticed a new face at our dealership recently. Due to the ever
increasing size of our service department, we have found it necessary to
hire an additional employee (or as we like to call) "family member."
Joe Veiga, pictured here, fulfills many duties including, facility maintenance,
transportation of customers and their vehicles, transportation of parts
for the service department, etc. Joe is recently retired from the Federal
Aviation Administration, where he served in a dual capacity as regional
administrative computer systems manager, and budget officer. Prior to working
for the FAA, Joe worked for 14 years as an Auditor for the U.S. General
Accounting Office where he had many duties including auditing special programs
for federal, state, and local government agencies. Joe even appeared in
a past episode of 60 Minutes demonstrating his position as an auditor for
the General Accounting Office. Joe and his wife Carol have been married
for 35 years and reside in Dartmouth. He enjoys golfing, fishing, lobstering,
traveling and working in his yard.
State Stalling On New Vehicle
A lack of progress in implementing a new emission
inspection program my result in the delay of new electric power plants
and cost our state millions of dollars in withheld federal highway funds.
The U.S. EPA continues to warn the state that special
state sanctions may be imposed if a new emission program is not operating
by the spring of 1999.
Under the Clean Air Act, Massachusetts is
one of twenty states with excessive levels of ozone that should have implemented
a new program back in 1995.
As many as fifteen proposed power plants that are
to burn natural gas to produce electricity could be delayed by two-to-one-offset-sanctions
which would require the elimination of twice as much pollution that the
new plants would produce.
"I'm very hesitant to initiate sanctions against
the commonwealth," John DeVillars, the EPA's New England Administrator,
said. "Of all the ways of solving this problem, it is the least satisfactory.
But we will very soon be left with no other choice," he said.
The state reports that they are still negotiating
an estimated $215 million contract with Keating Technologies Inc. of Tuscon,
Arizona. Keating would be responsible for installing and maintaining the
special equipment needed for a "high technology" emission inspection program.
To pass the test all vehicles would be required to run on a device called
a dynamometer. (A special "tread mill" type device that the car is driven
on to simulate up hill climbs). The car's emissions would be sampled throughout
the test while running on the dynamometer. In our current program, vehicle
emissions are sampled when the car is idling.
State officials are stating that the cost of the
system will not require increasing the present $15.00 inspection fee by
more than $5.00. Auto inspection station owners around the state report
that the state knows the shops could never afford to cover the costs of
the specialized equipment and training with only an increase of 5.00 per
sticker. Mark Giammalvo was quoted as saying, "I guess they're planning
to sell this program to station owners that can't do math. No one wants
to tell the public there's going to be a significant increase in the price
of the stickers, especially the governor, but I don't see how it can be
avoided. The average sticker cost to consumers in other states with this
type of enhanced program is $32.00 to $45.00 per sticker. Given the anticipated
costs of this new program, and the fact that the contractor, (Keating),
will get a fee of $8.00 from each sticker, even with the expected increase
in the amount of inspections we would be performing, a price of $20.00
per sticker wouldn't even make the lease payment let alone pay an employee
to perform the tests. I wonder who they're going to get to do all those
stickers at a loss....Funny how several years ago the state was planning
to run the program themselves...now they want us to run it again, maybe
they did the math."
The new plan would also cut the number of inspection
stations from approximately 2,000 to around 1,200. In addition, special
emission recording devices with license plate capturing cameras would be
installed along the highways to measure vehicle exhaust pollution with
infrared technology. This road mounted equipment is known in the automotive
industry as "remote sensing."
If a vehicle drives by the device and passes the emission test, a camera
takes a snapshot of the license plate. Armed with that information the
registry can notify the owner that their vehicle can skip the emissions
test that year.
Web Site Expanding.
We have diligently been expanding and enhancing our web site. Recently,
quite a few customers were asking for pictures of our inventory of cars.
We have added quite a few photos and currently have pictures of about ½
of our entire inventory. In addition, we have added animated graphics and
sound. We have even added a music page where you can select a song from
our list and listen to it as you continue to browse the Internet. The files
are in a user friendly format and most download within 10 seconds.
Many of you commented on our special Holiday pages that were up between
Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. We thought that our web page should not just encompass
automotive issues and evidently you agree! We are working on more fun feature
pages for the near future. Keep checking in at www.samscars.com
(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
We were saddened to learn of loss of the following customers:
Many of you may remember Steve Swol, a former technician
at our shop. Steve graduated from Bishop Stang High School and attended
the General Motors Training Center in Dedham, MA. Steve was an expert automotive
technician and had vast knowledge regarding automotive fuel delivery systems.
He obtained many certificates for car repair and was nicknamed "Doctor
Mechanic." In his leisure time, he enjoyed woodworking and working on cars.
Joseph Edward Dubois was not only a Giammalvo customer
for many years but he also worked at Giammalvo's Market for 45 years as
a meat cutter until his retirement. Mr. Dubois was a World War II
Navy veteran and a member of American Legion Post 166 Fairhaven. Mr. Dubois
and his wife had been married 52 years. In his leisure time he enjoyed
fishing, bowling and playing cards.
Ventura B. Sylvia, was a lifelong Dartmouth
resident and a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church. Mr. Sylvia
and his family owned and operated the Sylvia Brothers Farm in Dartmouth
for many years until his retirement in 1982. He was a member of the
Agri-Mart Milk Association.
Loretta Benedetti was a lifelong resident
of New Bedford, where she was a communicant of St. James Church. She retired
in 1990 from Sacred Heart Home where she was the assistant administrator.
She was a 1933 graduate of New Bedford High School and graduated from the
former Campbell Business School. She served on the board of directors of
Sacred Heart Home, and was a member of St. Hedwig Seniors and was a past
secretary. She was a member of the New Bedford Women's Club and was
a charter member of the Ivy Circle and was a past president.
Elton A. Ashley, born in Rochester,
he grew up in New Bedford and Fairhaven. He graduated from Fairhaven High
School, where he was an outstanding athlete, excelling in baseball and
football. He played semi-professional baseball for the Falcons of Fairhaven.
Mr. Ashley was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, serving aboard the
U.S.S. Forrest, where he saw active duty in both the European and Pacific
Theaters. He received several honors and medals, including the Navy and
Marine Corps Medal for Heroism at Okinawa Gunto. After moving
to Acushnet in 1952, Mr. Ashley became active in town affairs. He served
as town moderator for two years and as a selectman for 17 years. During
that time, he was chairman of the Acushnet elementary school building committee,
the committee to build a fire station at Long Plain and the charter
committee to re-establish Boy Scout Troop 37 at Long Plain. The late
A.P. Stuart Gilmore, former town moderator, once described Mr. Ashley
as "a man of high principles, integrity and strength of character."
Mr. Ashley worked at the former Acushnet Process for 22 years, was production
control manager at Payne Cutlery for 10 years and owned and operated Ashley's
Service Centers in New Bedford before his retirement in 1986.
Ademord Goyette Jr. was a lifelong New Bedford
resident and communicant of Sacred Heart Church. He was formerly
employed by Wamsutta Mills and Berkshire Hathaway before retiring from
Sakin Mills. He was a World War II Army veteran and a member of the Veterans
of Foreign Wars, Poirier Post 3260 and the Foresters.
Mary Wladen had been a lifelong city resident and was
a communicant of St. James Church. A member of the Holy Family High
School Class of 1938, she also was a graduate of the Kinyon Campbell
School. Mrs. Walden was employed as secretary for the Moby Dick Council,
Boy Scouts of America, in New Bedford and, after her retirement from the
Boys Scouts, was employed for a short time in the law office of Metthe
and Metthe in the city. The recipient of the Pelican Award from the
Boy Scouts, Mrs. Walden also received in April 1985 the St. George Award
in recognition of her outstanding service to the spiritual development
of Catholic youth enrolled in the Boy Scout program. Active in her parish,
Mrs. Walden received a Marian Medal in 1981 from the Fall River Diocese
in recognition her work on behalf of St. James Church. She served as co-chairman
of the parish's centennial celebration and was a member of the St. Vincent
de Paul Society and the St. James Ladies Guild. Mrs. Walden also was a
volunteer at St. Luke's Hospital and a member of the Pairpoint Cup Plate
Collectors and the Diabetes Association of Fall River.
Joseph Noyer Jr. was a lifelong New Bedford
resident and communicant of St. Kilian Church. An accomplished photographer,
Mr. Noyer owned and operated the former Ro-May Studio. He was employed
for many years as a cutter by Cliftex Manufacturing, as well as by various
other textile manufacturers. One of his last places of employment was in
the computer room at Vanity Fair.
He was an Army veteran of World War II. His tour of duty was mainly
in the Pacific and he received the Army of Occupation Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal
and the Philippine Campaign Medal. He was a member and past commander of
the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Andrews Dahill Post 1531, and the Disabled
American Veterans. He was a member of the Operation Exercise Tiger Committee.
Mr. and Mrs. Noyer would have celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary in May.