Questions about general routine maintenance of a vehicle or engine.

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36
votes
7answers
4k 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)?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How to begin learning engine tuning?

Quite simply, I want to begin tuning and modifying automotive engines for hobby. I have always been fascinated with cars, and I want to become knowledgeable in as many aspects of car tuning as ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I use coca cola or baking soda + water to clean my battery clamps?

The clamps that are attached to the car battery are corroded, I was told either of these liquids will work. Which one is better? Is there a how to guide on the exact steps I need to take? With my ...
6
votes
3answers
489 views

Car enthusiast beginner kit

What is a good place to begin building a kit/set up for performing your own service? For ex: oil changes waxing detailing What is the best starting equipment one can start on?
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How to improve fuel economy in high-mileage car?

I'm driving an 2003 Acura TL 3.2 with 177K miles on it. I bought the car with 110K miles on it. It seems to me that the car is not getting the same fuel economy that it did when I acquired it. I ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I select the right oil for my car?

I can give you my cars make and model and the conditions that I drive in, but I'm looking for a general guide to selecting the right oil for a car. I'm not really knowledgable when it comes to cars so ...
10
votes
3answers
350 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
245 views

Keeping an old car alive?

So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?

A couple of other "getting started" questions have been closed (as redundant with these questions), so I hope that my question is different and specific enough. I'm interested in learning to repair ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the audible symptoms of a failing starter motor?

My 2004 Subaru WRX has 110000 miles on the odometer and I'm worried about the original equipment starter motor. Here are the audible symptoms that have me concerned: During the winter, I noticed ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Durability of automatic transmission boxes versus durability of manual transmission boxes? Their lifetimes?

My friend is against cars with automatic transmission because he thinks that they break easily and that their repairing cost a lot. He thinks that it is impossible to maintain an automatic ...
9
votes
8answers
45k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
333 views

How to prioritize repairs?

My car needs some work, but I don't like taking out too much debt and my savings are sort of depleted for the moment, so I need to do a little at a time. How can I prioritize the work that needs to be ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

Determining the size/pitch of bolts and nuts before taking things apart

I'm a shade tree mechanic with an old car that's got a fair amount of rust on various fasteners (particularly in the under-regions). When I'm doing maintenance, I often like -- or find the need to -- ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Motorcycle Recharge System Checks?

I have a 2007 V-Strom DL1000 motorcycle, whose recharge system is not recharging a new battery. I also have a multi-meter. Could someone share how I can check the recharge system without removing the ...
2
votes
3answers
659 views

Front End Alignments

I recently had my vehicle in for a front end alignment. They told me all of my shocks were bad, causing all of the problems, and that they would not be able to align the front end with those bad ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Burned regulator/rectifier

I have managed to completely fry regulator/rectifier on my Suzuki GSR600 (K7). I suspect that it happened when I blindly splashed into a big water pond, so some water probably got on connector. Thing ...
1
vote
2answers
277 views

Cream on oil cap? How to maintain a car that drives only short distances in Nordic environment?

My friend needs a car for night-time driving for distances about 15 km to-and-fro for his work. I read that short distances may be problematic to cars because the engine does not get hot enough -- ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

49cc scooter shuts off after back tire stops or touches ground

I recently changed the drive belt on my 49cc scooter. But when I did, it won't drive and for me to start it I have to make sure the back tire isn't touching the ground. If the back tire is stopped in ...