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Ralph Vartabedian

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NEWS
August 2, 2000 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Urban fallout is full of nasty particles and chemicals that can attack a vehicle's paint, but some of the worst things that fall onto our cars and trucks have nothing to do with industrial or city pollution. Tree sap is among the toughest contaminants to remove from a vehicle's finish--and among the most damaging. I recently was asked by a reader in Palos Verdes, "How do I get the sap off my car?"
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NEWS
February 6, 1998 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Question: I have a squeak in my car's front end that is driving me crazy. It occurs whenever I turn the steering wheel--but it disappears when it rains. I have had the steering and suspension checked out, and the mechanic could not find loose parts. He said the squeak is coming from a rubber bushing. Is there a way to lubricate this thing? --J.M. Answer: You can lubricate a squeaky bushing, but you need to be careful about the lubricant you use.
NATIONAL
November 13, 2009 | Ralph Vartabedian
A sea of ancient water tainted by the Cold War is creeping deep under the volcanic peaks, dry lake beds and pinyon pine forests covering a vast tract of Nevada. Over 41 years, the federal government detonated 921 nuclear warheads underground at the Nevada Test Site, 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Each explosion deposited a toxic load of radioactivity into the ground and, in some cases, directly into aquifers. When testing ended in 1992, the Energy Department estimated that more than 300 million curies of radiation had been left behind, making the site one of the most radioactively contaminated places in the nation.
AUTOS
October 31, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Question: I am looking to the L.A. Times for help in trying to find out what is causing the orange/yellowish spots that are appearing on our cars in increasing numbers. I have lived here for 24 years and have owned white cars for all of that time. In the past four or five years I have noticed dark orange/yellow droppings on my car, about the size of a pencil eraser. Within the last two years they have increased in number. Once dried, it is very difficult to get them off.
NEWS
November 1, 2000 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Is the fuel-injection cleaning sold by many independent garages and dealerships a sound investment in your vehicle, or a marginally beneficial service pushed on consumers to fatten profits? Fuel-injection service is part of a bigger trend in automotive maintenance that includes such procedures as flushes for crankcases, power-steering pumps and cooling systems, as well as for differentials and other lubricated parts.
NEWS
January 19, 2000 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ford Motor Co.'s 3.8-liter V-6 engine has been a modern-day workhorse, used in such popular vehicles as the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable mid-size sedans, the Ford Windstar minivan and the Lincoln Continental luxury car. But many mechanical experts and consumer advocates say it is troubled by a major defect. Failure of the engine's head gasket is so common that many independent garages are doing a booming business replacing it.
BUSINESS
January 2, 1991
Editor: Linda Darnell Williams News Editor: Steven Seiler Artist: Michael Hall Reporters: Jane Applegate Bob Baker James Bates Michael Cieply Alan Citron Bob Dallos Tom Furlong James S. Granelli Amy Harmon Bruce Horovitz Kathy M. Kristof Marie L. La Ganga Carla Lazzareschi Patrick Lee Robert Rosenblatt Stuart Silverstein Ralph Vartabedian George White
NATIONAL
October 6, 2008 | Ralph Vartabedian and Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writers
John McCain was training in his AD-6 Skyraider on an overcast Texas morning in 1960 when he slammed into Corpus Christi Bay and sheared the skin off his plane's wings. McCain recounted the accident decades later in his autobiography. "The engine quit while I was practicing landings," he wrote. But an investigation board at the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure.
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