Questions about general routine maintenance of a vehicle or engine.

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47
votes
7answers
7k views

What to check when buying a used car?

I'm looking to buy a used car. What do you think I should check (mechanically) before buying it (especially if it's diesel)?
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Should I worry about buying this bike?

I'm looking at buying a 2014 Ninja 1000 with 1,400 miles on it. I asked the guy about the maintenance he's performed and he said he hasn't done anything to it so far. I know you should change the oil ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

How to maintain a car's interior when left unused?

My friend owns a five year old Skoda Fabia, which he uses once in a month or two as he goes out of the town frequently. His car is fully covered while it is parked in the garage. Recently when he ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

My car A/C works sporadically, and has weird symptoms, help?

(I know I'm not the first with similar issues, but my situations way weird) Chevy Malibu Classic '04 The fan always works. But if I click the A/C button, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. ...
7
votes
1answer
63 views

Minimum Care of Leather Interior

I have just bought a used Honda Accord with leather seating. I'm not necessarily a car enthusiast, but I would be interested in knowing the minimum I should do to keep the interior in good condition. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the causes of fluctuating intake manifold vacuum

I have a 2005 Honda CBR600 F4i which suffers from occasional hesitation at low rpm when accelerating. I also get occasional fault codes from the ECU indicating a vacuum leak. Today I connected a ...
7
votes
1answer
93 views

How to test gas station air compressors before use?

Yesterday I was with my wife and three children in the car, 300 KM from home just after sunset. I pulled into a gas station and as before all long trips, I dialed 31 PSI on the gas station's air ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Where can I find statistics regarding car life expectancies?

I am in the process of buying a used car and I'm having some difficulty estimating the longevity of vehicles I encounter. One can speak of car longevity in different ways, but for this question let's ...
12
votes
3answers
408 views

Any recommendations on vehicle maintenance software for the DIYer?

I currently use a combination of Car Minder for the iPhone - it's only $2.99 but limited functionality - and Excel spreadsheets. Ideally I'm looking for something that will track all service for up ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

BMW 320D E46 Facelift [closed]

I`m about to get a BMW 320D E46 Face lift model (2000) and that is 120K driven. I would like to hear whether its worth in terms of repairs, maintenance cost ? Do I need to go each and every garage for ...
8
votes
3answers
108 views

What are common cold weather starting issues with cars?

Based upon the current weather in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, I would imagine there are some people suffering from all manner of cold related vehicle issues. What are some of the leading issues ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

93 chevy c1500 4.3L electric window moves freely

Brand new switch on driver side window mechanism but window no longer works when switch is pressed but rolls freely up and down by hand. Opened up door panel and found motor mechanism just laying at ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Caliper piston will not collapse on Almera 98

I was changing brake pads on a Nissan Almera 98 and I accidentally pumped the brake piston a bit out. I tried putting it back with a C clamp and the old pad but it won't budge. It's completely stuck! ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

My mechanic forgot to put Coolant and now my car is not work! what can i do? or who should i blame [closed]

I had a small accident and I hit the whole front of my car and the radiator was damage. I took it to my friends mechanic (which i though i could trust) and asked for an estimate. He owes a Bodyshop ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

What are the critical maintenance items for a new motorcycle?

I have purchased a new motor bike recently. What are the critical maintenance items that I should focus on? For example: Is it true that we should not run new bikes on high rpm for some time? What ...
7
votes
1answer
65 views

Dirty air filter seal

Whenever I have had work done in the past that I can't perform myself, timing belt etc every garage I have been too has made a real mess with my air filter. When I check the filter there is always ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How to maintain power windows to keep them from freezing stuck?

I recently got a car with frameless side windows. Whenever a door handle is touched, the door window is automatically slightly lowered to release it from upper sealing. During winters, temperatures ...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Video: 1970 911T starts for the first time in 15 years - What next?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QQzbEQTWAo&sns=em My brothers and I have been working on this car since last fall. So far we've done the following: Had the zenith carbs rebuilt and bench ...
8
votes
4answers
359 views

What is the best practice to maintain a bike?

I have an Avenger 180cc bike, I want to maintain the bike without much help from the service center, external help etc. What would be the best practice methods?
5
votes
1answer
72 views

How to choose the best jack stands and wheel chocks for a vehicle?

Some people say that when choosing jack stands/wheel chocks, we should always leave plenty of room above the vehicle weight. For example, if the car is 1.5 tons, we should choose jack stands with a ...
3
votes
3answers
525 views

What are the effects of using HD-30 in a car which takes 5W-30?

I recently changed my oil, and I didn't have quite enough oil to top it off so I used HD-30 oil for my last .7 out of 4 quarts total. My car normally takes 5W-30 and after a little research I figured ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Motorcycle: stiff chain links - able to repair?

So after tightening my chain the other day I noticed a creaking noise - its seems there is a tight spot in the links. I have sprayed this with chain oil and let soak. I know I will need to replace the ...
6
votes
2answers
129 views

AirbBag and 4x4 light is on after changing BMW X3 battery. Why?

After I changed my BMW X3 2008 battery at home the 4x4 and AirBag light is on. Any ideas why? Some people claim that changing BMW x3 battery is not straight forward, however, they don't explicitly ...
6
votes
4answers
214 views

Cheap vs Expensive Fuels [closed]

What is the difference between the cheapest fuels in a place like Tesco's and the 'high quality', highly priced competitors? Is there actually any noticeable difference in available power, engine ...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

2000 mustang v6 3.8l tapping noise camshaft sychronizer bearing or timing chain? [closed]

My car makes this tapping noise (chain like tapping noise) and (most noticeable) when driving up hill, or at low speeds under a load. Another that has started to happen after this issue, is a type of ...
6
votes
2answers
762 views

What should I look for in a basic motorcycle maintenance toolkit?

I'm looking to do more of my motorcycle maintenance myself, and am wondering what I should be investing in, when it comes to tools/devices. What are the basic tools that I'd need when starting to do ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Motorcycle Maintenance Tasks - Please Provide a List of Actions

It's a BigBoy DRT-250, but I doubt that will be known outside of SA. I had it serviced at 500km, then 3000km, and 6000km, according to warranty. Then it was highlighted to me that the warranty ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Socket wrench turns loose on top of spark plug

I'm trying to replace the spark plugs of my 2006 Prius, but the deep well 5/8 socket attached to a 2 in extender just turns loose, as if it does not fit in the top of the spark plug. I tried also 3/4 ...
7
votes
1answer
97 views

What makes a worn car shock spongy and soft?

I'm unfamiliar with car shocks. In motorcycles many rear shocks are charged with nitrogen which acts like a spring. I've seen motorcycle shocks that I've rebuilt have the correct amount of nitrogen ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Wheel removal solutions

I live in a climate that necessitates changing the wheels to ones with studded winter tires and back again to ones with summer times twice a year. After several years of owning the car, I noticed ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Removing a car battery - order of wires explanation

Q1: When one removes a car battery, why does one start with the minus wire? Is it because if we remove the plus wire first it may touch the body of the car and close the circuit, causing a ...
7
votes
1answer
62 views

Frozen windshield wiper fluid on road trip

We are driving in a winter storm and our old wiper fluid is frozen. We picked up some de-icer fluid from a gas station but it has not yet unfrozen the fluid. Any suggestions for an on the road fix? ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

I'm planning to buy a 2nd hand car, how do I know if a car won't give me headaches in the future? [duplicate]

To set your expectations, I haven't owned a car before. The only experience that I have with cars is for 20+ hours (this was driving school). After having read discussions about buying a new car vs a ...
2
votes
1answer
21 views

94 Dodge Ram starts and runs shortly, then shuts down; first happened while driving

Recently, I was driving my truck down the interstate going 55mph when my acceleration stopped as I had my foot on the gas. I had half a tank of gas, battery strong. I pulled over and was able to ...
4
votes
0answers
229 views

How do maintenance costs compare between gas and diesel engines?

Our landscaping company is going to purchase a new medium duty truck. We have diesels and had just defaulted into looking for another diesel powered truck. However the mechanic we use (and trust) said ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

How do you aim the headlights in a 2001 Saturn LS1?

The body was repaired after a front-end accident, but the headlights seem to be pointed down too much, and the illuminate the road in front of the car, but not that far out. There are two hex sockets ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

1993 toyota 4Runner - White Smoke from under hood and neon yellow liquid leaking from somewhere

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my post. I have a 1993 Toyota 4runner with about 170k miles on it. I recently got the brake fluid drained and replaced, a new battery, and the ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Do I need to replace clutch kit when refitting engine

My car engine was stripped by Renault under warranty and fixed, now they want me to pay for replacing the clutch as they feel it will go soon. My question is aren't they supposed to replace the clutch ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there a source assessing repairability of motorbikes and cars?

For phones you can find ratings based on ease and cost of repairability (assuming you do everything yourself). Is there such a source for choosing a motorbike or car that you want to maintain yourself ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

Is Anti-Seize a lubricant, abrasive, or both?

I'll flesh my personal bias at the outset - being a heavy diesel mechanic for a time, and mechanically inclined my entire life, I use Anti-Seize wherever I can. If it has threads and it's not part of ...
3
votes
11answers
16k views

What can I do to give my lawn mower more power?

I have a 21" Craftsman push lawn mower with a Briggs and Stratton 7 hp engine that is about 6 years old. I've got it cutting on the highest setting, and it still has issues cutting the grass without ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Moped dies when trying to give gas after filling up gas tank

My moped has been running just fine lately but after I put gas in it immediately started choking off when I give it gas. The tank was pretty close to empty when I topped it off. Is that the reason ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Winter is here, what measures should be taken to protect a motorcycle?

After a mere two months of owning a motorcycle, it's already winter and I'd like to know how best to prepare for the inevitable ice/snow/cold. Other than basic cleaning and lubrication, are any other ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

What pitfalls are there when buying an old car with low milage? [closed]

I've found a local listing for a 2007 Honda Civic with 40,000 miles. It's a standard-shift. I'm not looking for any recommendations, specifically, but I want to know - this is a very low number of ...
1
vote
3answers
105 views

should scratches on a new bumper be painted over?

I bought a 2013 car last year and got a small scratch on the bumper. I think someone may have hit it ever so slightly when trying to back in or something I'm not sure. Anyway, personally, I'm ...
17
votes
12answers
87k views

Is Prestone “All Makes/All Models” coolant *really* compatible with all models?

My car's manual says to use the blue Honda coolant: Always use Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 [MSDS]. This coolant is pre-mixed with 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water. ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Car sputtering and stalling when idle and going into first gear

My 2005 Honda accord is starting to sputter and stall. It started all of a sudden one day and figured it might be my oil so I had it changed since it was time anyway. That seemed to work fine there ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How reliable is a Honda GB400 (motorcycle) grey import?

I am considering getting a 1985 Honda GB400TT bike as I simply love the look of them and they seem to be selling at a good price. I understand these are grey imports (imported 2nd hand from Japan) ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What else should I replace when replacing valve cover gasket?

Since I'm investing in time to replace valve cover gasket, should I have mechanic inspect/repair/replace anything else related to valve cover assembly/dis-assembly? Vehicle is 1997 Toyota Sienna.
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to reset the service reminder on a 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK 200 Kompressor?

I have been looking for a few days now on how to reset the service reminder that keeps showing every time I start the car. I know the car repair shop can do this, but I would like to know how to do it ...