Tech Tips (Journal)


It Never Rains In Southern California


But oh, it does! Which brings me to a typical older car problem – dried out, leaky front windshield seal. Take the case of a gorgeous 1981 Rolls Royce Corniche Drop Head Coupe owned by a client of mine with a slight unnoticed problem. The thirty year old car is otherwise in superb working order. From experience, no one really looks at or notices the deterioration of the windshield seal, unless you look closely at it or drive in the rain. It just so happened coming back from a car show in Orange County last year, a somewhat sunny day turned into first clouds, then rain. That is when the old and dried out front window seal started to leak. A little at first, so we grabbed what we had, and tried to stop the leaks, with of all things, Kleenex. As the rain continued, more and more leaks developed. It turned into a race to stop all leaks with more and more Kleenex. Halfway back home the front window was plastered from the inside with white Kleenex everywhere, so we just kept changing the soaked ones out for new ones. A Rolls Royce with “uncontrolled seepage”, how embarrassing!  Obviously, it was time to replace the front windshield seal.

A complete front Corniche windshield gasket runs around $400.00 and the labor usually runs about 3 hours for trim removal and refitting. In some cases with older vehicles, depending on the state of the seal, there could be an additional charge of 3 hours to remove all old rubber and baked on glue from the windshield seal gutter and treatment with a rust protector. We recommend money be spent on a professional windshield replacement specialist to avoid additional, and unnecessary damage or breakage to the windshield.  This will generally run around $250.00.

Preparing to remove the windshield and seal involved removing upper windshield inner trim and upper dash in order to access the windshield’s outer chrome trim locking tabs. The next step is to seal all the outlines around the window seal area with a masking tape to avoid any sharp tool scratches, especially if old gasket and glue needs to be gently scraped away.

With 30 years of the baking sun on this particular Corniche, the seal was so hard and brittle that it took 3 hours of diligent and careful scraping to remove all residues for a smooth and bondable surface.

Our recommendation is, while the windshield is out, take advantage of the opportunity to clean up all dash surfaces and pillar trims from previous staining and dirt (another sign of leakage) It is also a great time, since the dash has been removed to clean up any electrical work.


Don’t be caught off guard, remember, “It does rain in Southern California!”


What is Engine Oil?

Whey do we only recommend Castrol Oil? 

Castrol Oil has been used for many years on all models of Jaguar and Landrover and is recommend by factory specifications for maxium engine protection and life.  Always check with your technician to find out which is the best grade to use for your particular engine.  Below you will see how the oil is graded and the video that follows will explain why the oil you use is so important. 

GTX premium motor oil gets high grades compared to other oils.

SAE 5W-20 SAE 5W-30 SAE 10W-30 SAE 10W-40 SAE 20W-50
Multi-grade oil that provides cold start protection with exceptional fuel economy. Super multi-grade oil that provides maximum cold weather engine protection. Super multi-grade oil that provides excellent fuel economy. Super multi-grade oil that provides maximum protection in all seasons. Super multi-grade oil that guards against wear by providing a superior oil film strength and extreme high temperature strength.



Are all gasolines the same?

Have you ever thought about this, "What is the quality of gasoling I am putting into my vehicle?"  You probably haven't, and just pulled into the most convenient or most inexpensive station nearest you.


Well here's the problem, inexpensive gas can cause "Gunk".  Gunk causes carbon deposits, power-robbing build-up on intake valves and fuel injectors that accumulates over time.  Additionally, using cheap gas can effect your emissions, mileage and cause costly repairs.


Here's the good news;  Gunk can be thwarted off by choosing gas designed with high levels of cleaning agents which prevent gunky build-up, help your engine perform to capacity, give you better fuel efficiency, protect the fuel delivery system as well as your catalytic converters which will, in turn, produce less emissions.


We recommend to our customers they use Chevron, Shell or Mobil Super Unleaded gasolines.  We use these in our personal vehicles to maintain maximum performance.  Though we understand these companies are a little more expensive, the cost of replacing a catalytic converter alone can be over the top. 

Be proactive not reactive!!


Suspension Repairs and Tire Maintenance:


Most of us are so concerned with the maintenance of our engines that we forget our suspensions, alignments and tires.

As we have all experienced,  driving on our city streets is often times like "off roading", not to mention the drainage dips!  These type of circumstances can stress your suspension, including, ball joints, Shocks/struts, control arm bushings and other front end damage.  In addition to these issues, we have seen in severe cases, cracked frame supports and front sub frames.

All this damage can lead to numerous repairs including unseen tire wear.  Make sure you have your tires and suspension inspected during your routine oil changes and maintenance.  Once on a lift, your technician should be able to diagnose any damage or future repairs.



Proper adjustment affects safety, handling, and economy as well as proper inflation.  An important part of vehicle safety is directional control. Does the vehicle travel straight down a highway? Does it steer easily? Are the tires subject to excessive premature wear? Does the steering wheel return to the straight ahead position after turning a corner?


The single greatest cause of tire damage is improper inflation. Your tires loose pressure over time, which causes unnecessary stress, early and irregular tread wear and poor gas mileage. Plus, tires can't deliver their best performance without the right air pressure.  Ideally you should have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles – and more frequently if you do most of your driving around town or if you own a front-wheel drive car.

  • For accuracy, check your air pressure with a tire gauge when tires are cold. Driving heats up tires and makes the reading incorrect.