10
votes
5answers
18k views

Does a timing chain need maintenance?

Does a timing chain (as opposed to timing belt) need any specific maintenance? In particular I'm talking about a BMW Z4
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
3answers
3k views

Difference between high octane and low octane?

What is the difference between high octane and low octane fuel? I'm not asking if one is better than the other for my vehicle, specifically, but rather what occurs differently both scientifically and ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it normal for stop distance to be long on brand new brake pads?

I just had the brake pads replaced in my car. As I left the shop I noticed coming to a complete stop took longer distance or needed a fair bit more force on the pedal. Is this normal? Will the ...
6
votes
2answers
5k 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
44k views

Check Engine code P0420 Catalyst efficiency below threshold bank 1

After months of normal driving with no problems, my 2003 Honda Civic EX check engine light came on during a long trip. Got it scanned and it's P0420: Catalyst efficiency below threshold bank 1. They ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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
3answers
464 views

Should one fit the least-worn tires to the rear wheels?

According to the Owner’s Manual Saab 9-3 M2001 (front-wheel driven cars): WARNING When fitting just one new pair of tires, these should be fitted to the rear wheels, as these are more ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Engine braking with an automatic transmission

For reference, I've reviewed these three questions: Manually shifting an automatic transmission? Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? Is engine braking harmful? I drive a ...
3
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

Writing CAN Messages

I want to know what should i write with the CAN ID to send it to ECU. I am using ELM327 and Raspberry Pi with all connections to OBD-ii. initially for sending general PIDs to the ECU through ELM327 ...
2
votes
3answers
21k views

Possible reasons for loss of power, engine shaking, and smell of liquid fuel (not burning)?

The car (Renault Megane 1998 1.6e hatchback) lost power (about 500rpm in a bursty rhythm) after I re-ignited on a traffic light, the engine started shaking, and I could smell liquid fuel. There was no ...
15
votes
8answers
124k views

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

What is the difference (besides price) between normal, platinum, and iridium spark plugs?
13
votes
7answers
54k views

Running with straight water as coolant in the summer. Is it fine?

I grew up flushing the coolant twice yearly. In the Spring, you drain the antifreeze and fill with straight water for the summer. In the Fall, you drain the water and put in a 50/50 antifreeze/water ...
11
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
857 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
1answer
4k views

How does an automatic gearbox know when to change gear

As the title suggests, how does an automatic gearbox know when to change gear, for example, how does the autobox know to shift down when you hit a gradient for example, also how does it know to shift ...
8
votes
2answers
918 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
5k 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
729 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
8answers
19k 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
9k 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
2answers
362 views

All weather tires vs winter tires on well-plowed roads

I live in Minnesota. I've seen lots of people recommend changing to winter tires in the winter. However, what doesn't make sense to me is that the roads are plowed very well here. 90% of my driving ...
6
votes
2answers
929 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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
1answer
272 views

Manual Transmission Whirs when coasting down, clutch disengaged, shifter in gear

I have a 2004 Nissan Xterra. When I am at speed, usually in 3rd or so, and I am coming to a stop, I disengage the clutch, brake, and coast to a stop, with the shifter still in gear. As I do this, ...
5
votes
4answers
8k 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
4k 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
3k views

Why might lower settings of a dashboard fan not work if the highest does?

My wife bought a Nissan Note second hand and the internal ventilation fan works on the highest setting (3 or 4) but not on the lower settings. We've checked the fuses and all seems fine there. Could ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Lugging the Engine (Manual Transmission)

So...lugging the engine obviously isn't something that is good. But why? For example when you feather a clutch to get the car moving, it lugs for a quick moment when you hit the catch point (When ...
4
votes
2answers
19k views

Is it ok to give gas while releasing the clutch?

First question on the site, I hope this is appropriate. I drive a 2013 Ford Fusion SE with manual transmission. I learned to drive a manual as a kid but picked up a lot of bad habits. In particular I ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

1999 Honda Accord Coupe Stalls After Warm Startup and Shaky Idle TSB

The car will intermittently die at random times while doing errands or anything that requires frequent start/stop engine. Sometimes after starting it idles at about 500RPM, and dies. Shifting or ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I know when to replace shock absorbers?

In my last trip to the shop, the mechanics told me that I should replace my shock absorbers. When I inquired as to why, I don't feel that they were very clear with their answer, like they normally ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

Uneven rotation sounds when my car gets to 50-60 MPH

My 2005 Mazda 3 with 73K miles (roughly 20K on the tires) on it starts to make a sound, just like your washing machine does when all of the clothes go to one side and its still spinning, when I get to ...
4
votes
2answers
616 views

Upgrade to HID lights in a Jeep Wrangler

I would like to upgrade to HID lights in my 2008 Jeep Wrangler. The stock lights aren't bright at all. My question is, since this would be an aftermarket upgrade, what am I looking at here? Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Redline Lightweight Shockproof appropriate for an aging 2004 Subaru Impreza manual gearbox?

I have an aging (but wonderful) 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX with a manual gearbox. For some time, I have noticed that the synchros have begun to feel worn with the stock dealer-issue oil. Shifts are ...
3
votes
3answers
479 views

Engine spikes to 5000 rpm when pressing on gas pedal or going uphill

I'm having an issue with my 2001 Solara, and I would like to check out a few things myself before I have a mechanic spend lots of time diagnosing the problem. When the engine is under load -- I press ...
3
votes
2answers
32k views

Honda Accord radio anti-theft code not working…what am I doing wrong and what should I do?

I had to remove the battery so I can replace the driver's side low beam headlight. I didn't bother to buy a settings saver because I found the security code in my Honda's packet (I bought this car ...
3
votes
5answers
608 views

Can I save money using E85 in my flexible fuel vehicle?

Where E85 Ethanol is available (not very common), the price per gallon is often lower than regular unleaded gasoline. Though I've read that fuel economy is commonly reduced by 20% or more, when using ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to diagnose “Creaking” / “Scraping” sound when entering parking lots?

My drive to work involved entering a lot that has a fairly steep grade compared to the pavement. As such, in low riding vehicles, you need to enter it fairly slowly. The thing is, recently, I can ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Clunk noise from my brakes on first application

I have had the brake pads replaced on my Forester STi (4 pot Brembos all round) and have noticed a strange noise on first application of the brakes after moving either forwards or backwards. By this ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Stuttering Accord at Stop Lights

My 1996 Honda accord with 200k miles has started acting up. After a long vacation, I came back and the engine would seriously stutter at all speeds, especially on acceleration. I assumed it was fuel ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Fixing a trunk latch on a Ford Focus

If the latch on an '03 focus (not hatch back) just clicks at you 4 or 5 times and never actually closes what needs to be fixed? I can't close my trunk. The black plastic thing that the latch is ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Amount of grease needed on a typical wheel bearing.

Replacing front wheel bearings on a RWD truck. Inner and Outer. Will 14oz tube of grease be plenty? Is there a rough estimate per bearing or does it depend on the type?
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Car overheating when ac goes from hot to cold

This is a 2003 Honda Civic with about 140k on it. I've had this car checked out by a mechianic and the thermostat was replaced had a pressure test to check for air pockets, nothing. Had a test for a ...
2
votes
2answers
479 views

How to understand different engine oils?

When I went to shop for engine oil, I found many types as such: 5W-30 A5 5W-30 A1 5W-20 SAE 5W-30 10W-30 Also I see other information such as: Fully Synthetic Semi Synthetic Oil Synthetic ...
2
votes
1answer
478 views

2001 Hyundai Sonata System too lean

I own a 2001 Hyndai Sonata. Check engine light is on, and I'm getting an error code P0171, Bank 1 System too lean. I figured I'd start eliminating problems, so when I ran an ODB check, what I got was ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Replacing a tube on the engine

Im trying to replace a tube in my ford focus 2000. I tried to look up the schematics for the engine to see what the part is called but I'm pretty newby so i dont know what im doing. Luckly the tube ...

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