Questions about finding what the problem is.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

12
votes
2answers
252 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
562 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
586 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
15k views

Oil in the radiator, but no coolant in the oil

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
141 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
323 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Oldsmobile Alero squeaking when started

I just bought a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero 2 days ago, and when I start it there is a loud squeak that lasts maybe 15 seconds. Unfortunately I bought the car 'as is'. Will it most likely be a belt, and if ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
696 views

Is there a good crash course website or book for auto repair for beginner who's just getting into auto repair?

I'm wondering if there's a good crash course website or book for auto repair for beginner who's just getting into auto repair?
4
votes
2answers
984 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
733 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

How can I diagnose gradual electric power loss in a VW Golf Mk5?

I'm experiencing loss of electrical power to my Mk5 Golf. It seems to happen mostly when the car hasn't been run for two or three days. We changed the battery a few months ago. More recently, there ...
4
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
237 views

Diagnosing Cruise Control Problems

I have an aftermarket cruise-control system which only somewhat works in a 2005 Ford Focus. By this I mean that it controls the speed but is largely inaccurate (+/- at least 10mph). Going up/down ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

2012 Toyota Tacoma won't shift into Reverse

I've just had my 2012 Tacoma towed to the dealership due to the truck not shifting into reverse correctly. I first noticed a problem when I was driving home and the RPMs would get up to between 3 and ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

2002 Ford Explorer won't start

I've had it for about two years now, and didn't have this problem until recently. At one occasion after a long trip it wouldn't start after parking for a few minutes.. the next morning it fired right ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Lug nuts keep snapping off

Why would 'Lug Bolts' be snapping off constantly and tires wearing faster on the passenger front tire of a '98 Blazer, 4 wheel drive. The tire is wearing on the outside. It has had a front end ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

2002 Saturn SL2 Stalls After Warmup No Spark

My SL2 stalls (it just cuts out, no warning) shortly after warmup (this all started right after I topped off the coolant after a low coolant light came on, although I don't know if they are related). ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

1997 Geo Metro dies after driving for a short time. What next in diagnosing culprit

Back Story: I recently took my Geo Metro on a road trip. 2700 miles of road trip. The first 800 mile nothing happened. Then going up a hill it died, dropped from 75 mph to 55 mph then the engine ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

oil sludge in my 1998 Honda Civic LX radiator

My 1998 Honda Civic LX appears to have oil sludge in radiator overflow tank. Mechanic says I need to replace engine or buy a new car. What would cause this to happen. Have been very faithful in ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Free online databases?

I know there is AllDataDIY, but are there any free websites? With diagrams of where things are, or diagnosing and repair guides?
3
votes
2answers
409 views

Trunk lid release

I own a 2005 Ford Focus 4-door sedan. The button on the FOB and button on the dashboard to open the trunk no longer works. I can hear a click inside the car when I push the button. It started about 6 ...
3
votes
1answer
675 views

Diagnostic: Autodata newest version

I have seen people using autodata for general information about cars, like how to fix a timing belt for particular types of cars. But the version that was being used only had up to cars made in 2009 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you troubleshoot cruise control? (Mazda Tribute 2005)

I just bought a used 2005 Mazda Tribute. The only problem I have with the car is that the cruise control doesn't work....and I have no clue how/where to start! The cruise light on the dashboard ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Kawasaki ZZR600 - Engine idles ok. Choke ok. Cuts out when open throttle. Possible causes?

I have a 20 year old Kawasaki ZZR600. She was running fine in December. I didn't ride her for a few weeks in January. Left the battery on maintenance trickle charge. A few weeks or so ago I fired her ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Truck won't start

My truck turns over for a second , maybe two and then stops cranking. It will do it over and over. A few days ago my ECM touched a hot battery terminal and that's when it started acting up. Does ...
3
votes
1answer
364 views

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Fails to Start and Electronics Go Awry

My mother-in-law drove over this morning to pick up my wife, and when they tried to leave the car wouldn't start. Not only that; the horn honked, the wipers started, the trunk popped open, and the ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Steering Wheel Shake New Car Performance Tires

I bought a 2012 Camaro 2SS in May. When I took the car for a test drive, the steering wheel had a tight shake for the first couple of miles. When I told the salesperson, he suggested trying another ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

toyota corolla 2001 air duct smell

My 2001 Toyota Corolla recently started smelling very foul whenever the air system was turned on. According to the research I've done online, there is no cabin air filter to change. The glove box ...
3
votes
1answer
867 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

97 altima 5spd sputters, has loss of power under 3500rpm, dies when clutch is disengaged

My 97 altima has been to the same shop four times for the same problem. It will sputter and smoke( black smoke) and has large loss of power under 3500rpms and dies just about every time you depress ...
3
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
520 views

What system should I inspect first for the following issues on a 2004 Chevy Aveo?

A 2004 Chevy aveo with around 78,000 miles has the following issues: The Daytime Running Light indicator (as well as the lights themselves) randomly turn on and off. This is a slow thing and has ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I diagnose a scraping sound when turning left?

My car is a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX with 72k miles. About three weeks ago I started noticing a scraping sound when I turn left. My mechanic did a courtesy check of alignment, balance and tire pressure ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Car overheating problem

I have a 2002 Ford Focus. Whenever the car is idling the heat gauge goes up at an alarming rate and goes the farthest into the red that it can if left alone. Now if I rev the engine a little the ...
2
votes
1answer
355 views

Lifter tick—safe to ignore short-term? What to do about it?

I have a 2002 Toyota Camry V6 (1MZ-FE) with about 129,000 miles on it. Recently, I noticed a ticking that seems to be loudest at the end of the front valve cover, on the opposite side of the timing ...
2
votes
2answers
481 views

Lancer ex 2008 CVT - Slow Down warning on display!

Yesterday, i had the "slow down" warning on my display when i was doing above 180kmph on the motorway and i was no longer able accelerate. it was as if i was driving an electric car. Though after some ...
2
votes
2answers
616 views

2002 Renault Clio V6 won't start - just turns over

So I'm round my old dears and park on her drive. She needs to move my car (a 2002 Renault Clio V6 3.0) off the drive to get her car out. She gets in, reverses it and stalls it. Starts up again and she ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

ODB scanner with manufacturers error codes support

What is the story with ODB scanners like ELM237 - do they read manufacturer's error codes? Previously, I had a Volvo S60 04 and cheap scanners could read only general error codes. This was not useful ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Bounds and solution to electrical failure in a 2004 Grand Marquis

What follows is a simple problem with hopefully a simple solution. While mechanically-oriented, vehicle repair is not my specialty, so forgive me for any lapses in problem description and terminology. ...
2
votes
1answer
617 views

Engine revs up while idling

I have a 2007 Toyota Matrix, and sometimes(not always) it will rev up to about 1700-2000 RPM while idling. It normally idles at about 900 RPM once it warms up. I just changed the oil & air ...
2
votes
1answer
861 views

How can I test my EGR?

My check engine light has come on a couple of times, and each time the code was P0300 Random Misfire detected. According to this site, one cause could be a bad EGR. Another symptom of a bad EGR is ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Ducati ST4s not starting

I ride a 2002 ST4s that was bought new in 2008 and has now travelled 8800km. I have fitted a power commander and carbon mufflers and done some minor alterations to the air box. Spent some time setting ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

1975 Honda XL 250 has erratic idle / high idle when it's cold out

As stated, I have a 1975 Honda XL 250. It has a 1 cylinder 250cc ~24hp carbureted engine. The problem I'm running into is an inconsistent idle. In general it seems to have a low idle (what I want it ...