24
votes
3answers
7k views

Reviving a vehicle that has been idle for a long time.

Some related topics: How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle? How long does it take for gas to go bad? The first related topic addresses preparing a vehicle for long-term disuse, and maintaining ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

The headlights dim to almost off when I turn off the engine. How do I test the battery?

My car still starts fine but when I turn off the car (just the motor . . the key is still in and "on") I noticed the headlights dim to almost off. It's and older car and the headlights don't turn off ...
26
votes
13answers
35k views

Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear?

Does the act of downshifting to slow your vehicle down have any negative side affects? I don't downshift more than one or two gears at a time and I let out on the clutch slow enough that I don't rev ...
44
votes
8answers
9k views

What are the benefits of premium (high octane) petrol?

Here in the UK it's common for petrol (gas) stations to offer both regular and "premium" unleaded petrol. The premium stuff is (naturally) more expensive, and I've often wondered what the actual ...
30
votes
7answers
3k 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)?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Least wear-and-tear, most fuel efficient method of coasting in a manual transmission car? [closed]

I drive a manual transmission '08 Honda Fit. On my daily 17 mile commute to work, there are three long hills that I can coast down, each about a half mile long. Going down these hills, I've done two ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Squeaky Brakes: How much of a concern are they?

I recently bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee from a dealership. When we bought it, I noticed that the brakes were not working very well, and the dealer fixed them before we finalized, putting in a ...
28
votes
4answers
51k views

Why does my A/C blow foul smelling air when it first turns on?

Most of the time when I first turn on the A/C in our 2008 Toyota Sienna, the air that blows out has a very distinct chemical - nasty smell. After a while it seems to go away. I'm not sure if I just ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Static vs. Effective compression: Why does higher effective compression not require higher octane gas?

Background I've been trying to do a lot of research on boost lately because I'm planning on running a moderate turbo setup on my daily/light-duty-autox car in the future. I'm trying to get into the ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Is engine braking harmful? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? My wife and I have a disagreement about a practice of mine--engine braking. When I'm driving her manual ...
31
votes
5answers
954 views

How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle?

My daily commute changed from 9 miles to 9 feet when I started working remotely. That means I very rarely drive my car much. After a particularly hectic month, I didn't drive for about 4 weeks and ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

how to optimize fuel consumption by changing the rear differential ratio?

Is it possible to improve the fuel consumption (decrease it) in my van by changing the rear differential ratio? I would like to optimize it for low-speed driving about 40 km/h (25 mph). Is it true ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

Battery drains by itself when vehicle is parked (parasitic draw)

A 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee has gone through 3 batteries in the last 3 months. While they have all been replaced by warranties, it'd be nice to get the problem solved permanently. I've tested the ...
7
votes
7answers
7k views

Can coasting in neutral damage an automatic transmission?

When I drove a manual transmission, I got in the habit of shifting to neutral on long, shallow grades to save fuel. Now I'm driving an automatic (specifically, a recent Corolla) and still doing it. ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
30
votes
5answers
27k views

How long does it take for gas to go bad?

Approximately how long does it take for unleaded gasoline in the tank and fuel lines to become unusable in a car that is not being used? What causes this, and what can be done to prevent or remedy ...
18
votes
4answers
11k views

How far can I drive with 1 gallon too much oil?

I have way too much oil in my Acura TSX. Do I need to take care of it without turning it on or can I drive it to a service station? If I need to do it in place, I don't have the ramps or a pan or ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the change oil light system work and does it matter what type of oil you use for it to work properly?

I want to know if the methods a vehicle decides when to turn on the oil change light have to do with the qualities of the motor oil used in the last oil change. I have heard that the vehicle's ...
7
votes
5answers
12k views

Is idling bad for your engine?

If I sit in my car for 30-40 minutes with the AC and the car idling, does that "hurt" the engine, or does it simply waste gas and pollute the air? Would it be better if I turned off the car? A ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I reprogram a used Mercedes smart key?

I want a new key for my Mercedes Benz and I've heard that you can get a used smart key for much cheaper than a new one from a licensed Mercedes mechanic. Can I reuse an already programmed Mercedes ...
3
votes
3answers
297 views

Engine power specification at different rpm?

Car companies advertise power of an engine at different rpms. Car 1: 80 PS at 6000 rpm Car 2: 85 PS at 6500 rpm What does the power at different rpm mean? Does it mean Car 1 has better power than ...
2
votes
3answers
520 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
101 views

Getting Started in Auto Repair [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Reviving a vehicle that has been idle for a long time. How to begin learning engine tuning? My dad has an old Mazda that has been sitting in the garage for a long ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

How to deal with rust

I accidentally drove my car over a curb a while back. As you probably already know, the car suffered from minor scratches and dents on the bottom side, near the rear tyre. Now, I've noticed that it's ...
6
votes
3answers
369 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?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I know when to change my spark plug

I ride a Piaggio scooter with a single cylinder engine. Recently I broke down and the engine wouldn't restart. It turned out the spark plug was stuffed. How can I ensure that doesn't happen again?
7
votes
3answers
242 views

Catalysator broken? Odd rope coming out of the exhaust pipe

Old Volvo GL 440 and this is coming out of the exhaust pipe. No noise, all working fine but this cosmetic thing: does it mean that the exhaust gases are now not well filtered out? Does this mean that ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?

When you come to a stop with a manual transmission you have to push the clutch in or take it out of gear to keep the engine from stalling out. What keeps the engine from stalling in an automatic ...
9
votes
5answers
4k 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
3k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to assess battery charge level and alternator performance?

What diagnostics can be done to to assess battery charge level? I'm interested both in one-off tests like can be done in car service and also continuous monitoring during normal use. Car panels ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to test a clutch

I have just bought a second hand car, and I have the feeling that the clutch is worn out. How can I do a quick clutch sanity check ?
5
votes
2answers
623 views

Oil pan threads stripped?

EDIT Helpful links on how threads got stripped and by who: http://tl.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878261 Seems to be a common problem with some shops, where they don't take good care. ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

How can I get rid of door dings?

Wife parks too close to my white car. Would love to get rid of these door dings as her car is only 3 years old.
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Automatic transmission: Is shifting to neutral while approaching stops bad?

This is not with the intention of saving fuel (as I have seen many answers assuming savings in fuel while doing this). But I have this habit of putting the vehicle into neutral before approaching ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to fix leaky tires after 2 shops couldn't

I have an SUV with factory 16" steel wheels and P235/70R16 tires. The tires have just under 30,000 miles of gentle driving on them. Two of the tires have been leaking quite a bit (about 10 psi per ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

What are the benefits of low profile tires?

I have yet to find anyone that knows of any benefits of low-profile tires. All of the pros that I've asked have said there is no benefit. Naturally, the number of pros that I have available to ask is ...
9
votes
5answers
58k views

What is the difference between normal, platinum, iridium plugs?

What is the difference (besides price) between normal, platinum, and iridium spark plugs?
8
votes
3answers
575 views

Are there any advantages of idling a vehicle vs. turning it off and back on again?

I was sitting outside, eating my lunch the other day, and a small bus (you know, one of the short ones) pulled up to the sandwich shop I was eating at. I noticed that the driver got out of the bus, ...
8
votes
2answers
613 views

Should a mechanical “click” Torque Wrench be set to zero when not in use?

I have a standard click torque wrench. I was told I should set it to zero when not using it in order to keep the accuracy high. Is this true? Secondly, I have not been doing this since I purchased ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Paint Protection worth paying for?

I've just bought myself a new car, and as expected the dealer is trying to sell me extra items. The two options they are trying to push on me are Paint Protection nano technology paint protection ...
7
votes
1answer
443 views

Car Suddenly Decides To Not Crank

Today I turned the key to start up my car and all the lights (headlights and instrument panel) came on bright and normal, but the engine made absolutely no sound. It wouldn't start, it didn't even try ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

Couldn't start my Volvo due to Key Error. Called assistance and he fixed it by hitting the key with a screwdriver. What could be the error?

My Volvo S40 (06) would not start when I turned the ignition key. I got a message that was somewhat like "Key Error, please try again". I tried with both my keys so it wasn't the key itself. I think I ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What can cause warped rotors?

I have a forward rotor on my '04 Chrysler Sebring causing a lot of pulsation when braking. I replaced the rotor- but within about a month the problem had re-appeared. The guys at Monroe noticed my ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Where can I find my car's colour code?

I'm currently shopping around for a touch-up pen to repair some very light scratches on my car. I've found out that our local hardware automotive store can mix the exact colour for any vehicle. ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Engine Size and Fuel Consumption

I have this weird misconception that the engine size is related to the amount of fuel being burned in one cycle(4-stroke engine). I know this is stupid but how does engine size relate to the amount of ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the purpose of plastic engine covers?

I have a 2010 Toyota Corolla. What is the purpose of the large plastic cover that stretches over my valve cover? Does it have a particular function? Are they just for looks? Or are they designed by ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

My 2005 Mazda 3 Front Passenger window motor receives signal to go down, but not up

If you look at the picture below you will see that I took the plastic panel off my door, and separated the motor from the regulator. After I disconnected the motor that I thought was bad, I connected ...
5
votes
2answers
420 views

What bolt extractor will remove a broken motor mount bolt on a 2004 Subaru WRX?

Things were going slowly but well on my install last night until I sheared off the passenger side motor mount bolt while putting everything back together (at about midnight - sigh). Here are the key ...

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