Questions about finding what the problem is.

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15
votes
2answers
446 views

What is a leak down tester and what can I do with it?

Background There are quite a few head gasket related questions on the site. Coolant or water in the oil, oil in the coolant or water in a radiator, etc. I'm thinking that some instruction on howto ...
15
votes
2answers
798 views

How To Get Organized Without a Garage Workspace?

People I've seen who have garages have it made. They have a clean, dry workspace with all of their tools within arms reach. In the most organized garages, a mixture of rolling Snap-on Roll Cab with ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What to know before buying and OBD-II reader

I read the features to look for in an OBD-II reader, but I am curious if getting one is the right move. I'm just planning to get a cheap one, which is proving to be interesting shopping local. What I ...
13
votes
2answers
204 views

How do I troubleshoot the source of oil in my coolant?

I would like to know the step by step troubleshooting procedure for discovering the source of oil appearing in coolant. There are several different points of failure that can be the root cause for ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How to troubleshoot excessive timing retard?

I've seen numerous cars that for one reason or another, retard timing excessively at wide open throttle - getting worse over time. Seat of the pants impression is that power drops off steeply as RPMs ...
11
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
187 views

Multimeter - Basic Functionality and Howto

Multimeters I'm looking for some responses regarding multimeter basics for the site tag-wiki to point OP's at when we want them to use one. The question is; What are the basic functions of a ...
11
votes
5answers
126k views

Why would there be transmission fluid in the water overflow reservoir?

The car is a '98 Buick Lesabre with the 3800 engine and about 170k miles. It appears as though some oil was in the radiator, but I haven't seen any signs of coolant in the oil. The water pump recently ...
10
votes
1answer
89 views

My subaru legacy will not boost

I drive a Subaru Legacy Turbocharged GT 2008 model with an EJ20 engine. When I press hard on the acceleration to boost the tachometer upon reaching 4-5 thousand RPM's it starts jerking and there is ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Third brake light (LED) test

I have a 2008 Honda Civic and the 3rd brake light is having an issue. It seems in the morning (first cold start) it works when I depress the brake (I can see it light up the rear window). But after a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
130 views

Troubleshooting Low Turbo Boost

I'm starting to suspect that the smoke and low power (I'm pretty sure it is not "limp mode" just a lack of enthusiasm) I'm seeing in our 2002 Jetta TDI (ALH engine with Garret VNT-15 turbocharger) may ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does my RPM drop when sitting idle at traffic lights?

While I'm sitting idle at traffic lights I put the car into neutral. The engine stays idling at about 1000 RPM. However every now and then it drops down to about 500 RPM and then quickly back up to ...
9
votes
2answers
194 views

R32 Skyline GT-R low power

EDIT: Added info from comments to bottom of question. My friend recently imported a right-hand drive 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) with the RB26TT motor into the states. It's beautiful, and I'm ...
9
votes
1answer
54 views

IAC valve cycling eratically

I have a 2004 Freestar with 240000 kilometers on it. I have had problem with the engine surging at about 1100 rpm or high idle. No check engine code is logged, I put it on a Ford computer and there ...
9
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is one of my interior components electrified?

I have a 2007 Nissan 350Z and there is a trim bar inside of my car that feels electrified. I even touched my tongue to it (please, I know) and I can feel electricity. It's similar to if you have ...
8
votes
4answers
743 views

How can a fuse drain a car battery?

My car battery drained itself after a week of not being used. I was researching how to identify the cause, and saw a comment under this article saying: What if I am not detecting a reading but the ...
8
votes
3answers
689 views

What do these compression figures mean

This is a follow up question to 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. After ...
8
votes
1answer
175 views

How is a power steering pump vacuum leak test performed?

There have been a few power steering pump questions lately. I've heard responders mention a power steering pump vacuum leak test to identify where air is getting into the power steering fluid system. ...
8
votes
2answers
214 views

Mazda B3000 (Ranger) Truck takes several tries to start?

I have a 2002 Mazda B3000 (essentially a Ford Ranger) that almost never starts on the first attempt. Usually it takes 2 or 3 tries before the car finally turns over. Each time I hold in the crank I ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

Ford Econoline Van AC Failing

If the vents start putting out hot air when accelerating or driving up hills but are ice cold when idling, is that a sign of a failing blower pump or leak? I am dealing with a Ford Econoline E350. ...
7
votes
2answers
321 views

Distinguishing between mechanical and electrical failure in ignition diagnosis

After a month and a half of not driving the car, yesterday I tried to turn it on, however the only sound that I heard was the rotation of the starter, which is not engaging the flywheel (the engine is ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Time Delay Relay and Flyback Diode

I want to control an auxiliary fan on my 1969 Mercedes which is currently wired to run until the temperature drops below the sensor level. Sometimes this takes quite a long time even after the car has ...
7
votes
4answers
36k views

Diesel Engine difficult to start

I have a diesel powered Audi A4 B7 (2006) 2.0TDi (the 170BHP variety) with a manual gearbox, which I've owned for around 18 months. The car has just short of 100k miles and has a full dealer service ...
7
votes
5answers
365 views

What can cause a gasoline engine to suddenly & mysteriously stop (non-catastrophically)

I was thinking about this question and found myself wondering what could cause a gasoline engine to suddenly stop, and then be restartable? So not things like running out of fuel, or suffering a ...
7
votes
2answers
59 views

MAP sensor covered with gasoline

I have a 2007 Hyundai Accent SE with a 1.6 liter engine in it. It was stalling often so I hooked up a code reader and it said the MAP sensor was bad. I tried to check it to see if it might just be ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Measuring A/C refrigerant I got 96 PSI, is 96 PSI bad?

I bought a car refrigerant gauge online because my A/C is not cooling the air at all and the first suggestion was to check your refrigerant to see if it is empty or low. I found out where my car's "...
7
votes
1answer
151 views

Overheat, coolant loss, P0170/P0117, hard start, smoke, delayed throttle, no vtec

So I'm on the road right now (or was, when I wrote this) having an issue that started a few days ago and I'm trying to diagnose it. I am not sure what info is relevant, it does feel like more than one ...
7
votes
3answers
171 views

2005 Toyota Corolla intermittant battery drain when not running

I have a 2005 Corolla CE with manual transmission. About one month ago the car would not start, and the battery was discharged to about 8.5V. Car had been not running for a couple of days but nothing ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

What could cause high RPMs but no power?

I have a 2006 ford fusion and lately it works fine if I lightly press on the gas. If I press on the gas with full force though it will rev up the RPM's but there will be no power and my car won't ...
6
votes
2answers
85k views

Do I need to replace rear differential if it's leaking?

When we got an oil change, he said it's "leaking, but not out of fluid or low". Do we need to do any replacement/maintenance on it, or just wait until it gets worse? How would I check something like ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Troubleshooting 'random' clutch problems

I've got a customer who came in complaining that the clutch pedal had gone 'funny': it wasn't 'coming back up' like it used to. As he was in for service anyway, we replaced the clutch fluid, and it '...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Fault code 27 with engine light on '94 Jeep Cherokee

I own a '94 jeep cherokee 4.0 liter. The 27 code indicates the injector circuit is not syncing with the input signal. How do I trouble shoot this?
6
votes
1answer
45 views

john deere sx75

My SX75 was moving when it stopped. It does not move forward or backwards. The clutch pedal feels fine. If i put it in gear with the tractor off it cannot be pushed forward or backwards (trans engaged)...
6
votes
2answers
77 views

Oil pressure light on when igntion is off and goes out when key is on and engine is not running

83 Mitsu PU Diesel. Oil light on drawing .25 amps when key is off. Key on the light goes out. All other lights and gauges work as they should. Light is off when the engine is running. It is ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Subaru Impreza 1999 - no power on acceleration

My father called today to tell me that when he steps on the gas in his 99 Subaru Impreza (at normal operating temperature), the car moves dangerously slow. Does anyone else have experience with this ...
6
votes
1answer
28 views

My 2004 Audi a4 is making a gurgling noise from my engine

My 2004 Audi a4 is making a gurgling noise from my engine. I am also having to constantly put antifreeze in it. Is this related? I know I'll have to take her to be looked at but can anyone tell me ...
6
votes
0answers
33 views

Intermittant starting problem

1967 Camaro SS 350 with Powerglide trans. sometimes will not start. No click, no dimming of lights when key is turned, nothing happens. It will do this maybe one time out of 15 or 20 starting ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What do relatively dirtier front hubcaps indicate?

2001 Toyota Sienna van has much more dust and black soot on front hubcaps than on rear hubcaps. I'd think that all four hubcap would get equally dirty given same driving conditions, yet within the ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Where exactly is the Check Engine Light connector on a 1997 Honda Honda Civic?

The check engine light on my 1997 Honda Civic lit up. I came across a method for troubleshooting (http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=1901557) but I'm having trouble finding the connector. Can ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How to safely remove stuck threads? (Brakeline from Brakehose)

I have an 81 Chevy pickup C10 that I was replacing the brake hose on. In the process of trying to take the brake line loose from it I started to twist the line when I thought I had finally started to ...
5
votes
1answer
8k views

Mercedes start/stop system doesn't always kick in

We're the (humbled) owners of a 2011 Class B Mercedes with an inbuilt ECO start/stop system. As far as I understand this is how it's supposed to work: Gear in neutral. Press the brake pedal all the ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Engine sputters when turning left corner

In my 1986 Ford F-150 (carbureted) when I go left around a corner, the engine sputters. Feels very similar to running out of gas, but it picks back up once I stop turning. Only happens in a sharp ...
5
votes
2answers
77 views

Diagnosing P0171 2007 Toyota Corolla

First time poster trying to get into cars. So my 2007 Toyota Corolla (with around 89k miles) has a Check engine light that reads error code P0171 (System too lean Bank 1). I was looking that up and ...
5
votes
4answers
23k views

Random RPM jump when accelerating hard

I should state first off that I'm not much of a car guy when it comes to the actual mechanics behind them. I just wanted to check if there's anything going wrong with my transmission. I drive a 03 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Spark Plugs 1998 Buick Lesabre

Where are the spark plugs in a 1998 Buick Lesabre? Pictures would be helpful as I'm a novice at this type of thing. I'm assuming I need all six because I'm getting a check engine light saying number 6 ...
5
votes
1answer
34 views

Low beams don't work but the high beams work in a 2002 Toyota Tacoma

I have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner where my low beams don't work but my high beams do work. I've replaced the headlight bulbs and relay switch, and still the low beams don't work. Any ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

Motorcycle dumping coolant from tailpipe

I'm in the process of getting my 1982 Honda Magna back in running condition. I've cleaned out the carb and put in a new battery. It now runs, but dumps a TON of coolant out the tailpipe. Almost a ...
5
votes
1answer
8k views

What is this squeak in my Dodge Ram 1500, and how can I fix it?

Vehicle: 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie SLT, with extended cab. 212k miles on the engine, all original under the hood except for a steering box and steering pump (put in in the fall of 2014). The engine ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

What could be the reason and solution to a sudden drop in mileage?

Got my Suzuki Swift Diesel serviced two months back, and all of a sudden the mileage dropped from 20kmpl to 12kmpl and that is confusing! After i returned to Service shop, the guy said that there is ...