When to change coolant
Q: You have recommended changing coolant every 30,000 miles or three years. How does universal coolant compare to green, orange, etc., types of coolant?
A: As coolants and engine technology continue to improve, opinions on coolant can change. Assuming a long-life coolant and 15,000-25,000 annual mileage, you can go five years now.
There are basically two technologies for corrosion protection in engine coolants — inorganic and organic. The conventional antifreeze used for decades, which is usually green in color, utilizes silicates and/or phosphates to protect the various metals used in engines and radiators.
The so-called long-life coolants — often orange in color — introduced in the mid-1990s utilize organic compounds to provide anti-corrosion protection. The benefit is these compounds last longer, thus the extended-life concept. There are also several hybrid coolants used by several carmakers that combine both organic and inorganic compounds.
Universal coolants typically use organic compounds like long-life coolants and claim to be compatible with any coolant.
— McClatchy Tribune News Service
Do’s and don’ts for iPad
Q: My wife and I are considering the purchase of an iPad and need to know if, in addition to receiving or sending email, it can send a signal to a wireless printer to print a document received by email. Are there special setup instructions required to do this? Also, we’re considering buying an MP3 music player. It appears that the iPhone can do everything that the iPod Touch does, plus act as a phone. Is there any reason I would not choose the iPhone over the iPod Touch?
A: Printing wirelessly from an iPad should be easy, but sometimes it’s not. The iPad uses Apple software called AirPrint. Printers on a home Wi-Fi network that are AirPrint-enabled should show up on your iPad as available for printing. Apple compares some Epson and Hewlett-Packard printers that are AirPrint-enabled at www.tinyurl.com/8lx63zd.
But even if a printer is AirPrint-compatible, if the software it uses isn’t the most recent version, you can have problems. So you may have to download an update for your printer. This same update problem can also occur with your wireless router, which acts as an intermediary between the iPad and the printer. You can also use non-AirPrint-enabled printers if there is a downloadable iPad printing app for them. In the iTunes app store, I saw iPad apps for HP, Brother, Canon and Lexmark printers. Why would you buy an iPod Touch when an iPhone does more? No reason I can think of, provided that you want a new phone. The iPod’s functionality is incorporated into the iPhone.
— Steve Alexander, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
How to protect PCs
Malware — malicious software that can infect your PC with viruses and worse — has sneaky ways of hacking into your operating system. It can let hackers keep track of your keystrokes. It can masquerade as legitimate software when in fact it’s anything but. It can make your PC run slowly and cause your PC to be rendered useless. One of the best programs I’ve found for detecting and getting rid of malware is a free one called Malwarebytes, at www.malwarebytes.org. It will scan your most vulnerable system and program files, report on what it finds and let you choose to get rid of them. It worked in tandem with Norton Internet Security on my PC without causing conflicts. The interface is straightforward and polished; in short, it’s easy to use. You can order either a quick scan or a deeper scan. The quick scan took about 15 minutes on my 250-gig hard drive; the deep scan takes much longer. There’s a paid version for $25 that stops malware before it finds a home on your PC, including the ability to scan memory and programs that automatically load when Windows boots up.
— Noah Matthews, McClatchy-Tribune News Service