17
votes
7answers
88k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

What happens to a car when it hasn't been driven for 12 years?

I'm hoping that I'll soon be the owner of 2l turbo charged, 4wd hatchback that's been sat in a garage, undriven for over a decade. Trouble is that I won't be able to give it a full inspection until I ...
11
votes
3answers
67k views

Just HOW urgently should I replace this tire? Is it safe to drive on at all?

It's my rear right tire. It has a significant bulge in the sidewall. Here are two pictures of the bulge (original URL): Do I need to replace it before I ever drive on it again? Should I put on ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
41k 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
4answers
31k views

What is the proper way to extract a broken sparkplug?

When dealing with a car with aluminum head(s), what is the proper way to extract a broken sparkplug?
16
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
43k views

Must I Replace All 4 Tires on an All Wheel Drive (AWD) Subarau, when only 1 is damaged?

I have a 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Wagon. I just destroyed the passenger-side rear tire. The tires have approx. 6/32" tread remaining, per an informal measurement with a coin (I used this guideline ...
14
votes
1answer
580 views

How important is time-based servicing vs. distance-based servicing?

For years I have been driving a very old car, and servicing it every 10,000 kilometres even though it took me almost a year to drive that much. Now I have a newer car which I care about more. It's ...
14
votes
4answers
35k views

Why does a Turbocharger only produce boost when the engine is under load

As per the Title. Why does a turbocharged car only produce significant boost whilst the engine is under load. Is is something to do with how much exhaust is being produced or is there some kind of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why would turning on the A/C affect my alternator output voltage?

So yet another chapter unfolds in the A/C gremlin saga of my LS1 Chevy. Backdrop A/C compressor is relatively new (2 years old) One of the belts is squeaking (not sure which one) Recently performed ...
6
votes
3answers
30k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
17k 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
2answers
96 views

How to move car a small distance without tow dolly

How could you move a small car a small distance (like 5 blocks) without a tow dolly or tow straps I have rope but don't have tow straps.
5
votes
2answers
151 views

A/C Temporarily Cures Low, Hiccupping Idle

I have a 99 Nissan Almera 1.6L MTX ( nearly identical to the Sentra sold in the US ) which has developed a problem with low idle, occasional stalling at stop lights, what seems to be misfires and ...
5
votes
2answers
756 views

Why should I connect the red/positive terminal first when jump starting?

So, it's fairly popular consensus online that it's red/positive clips to the positive/red posts, then the black/negative clip to the frame One site mentions sparks, but you'll still get a spark when ...
5
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
8k views

How should the lights for a trailer be hooked up?

I have a tent trailer and the lights don't work right. It has a 4 wire connector to my car but one of the wires on the trailer connector was worn out and probably not working. So I got a new 4 prong ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

New headlight lenses?

So my 97 Subaru Legacy has pretty dim headlights, and it drives me up the wall. I like nice, thorough illumination when I'm driving at night; being able to see really does wonders for confidence on ...
4
votes
8answers
15k views

When given a choice between octane 89 and 93, which should I choose?

I just recently got a 2005 Volvo S40 with a turbo engine; I want to take good care of it, so naturally, when the instruction manual recommends 91 octane fuel but says it takes a minimum of 87, I have ...
3
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Car diesels after shutoff

I have a 2001 Nissan Altima and when I turn off the engine, you can literally hear the engine stuttering out. Before, you turned off the motor and it stopped silently. Now it goes plup, pluuup, ...
0
votes
0answers
104 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
822 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?
18
votes
3answers
5k views

What differences between synthetic and dino oil?

What are the main differences between synthetic and dino oil, and is one always better than the other?
17
votes
8answers
62k views

What is the best way to remove a stuck/rusted exhaust bolt?

I'm trying to disassemble the exhaust system on a 2000-2003 nissan maxima and I'm having trouble removing one last bolt.. its got a 14mm head and its just plain STUCK. I've tried soaking it overnight ...
14
votes
7answers
43k views

What causes brakes to pulsate right after rotor and pad replacement?

I have a 2002 Infiniti Q45. I replaced the front rotors and pads on Sunday. It was the first time I've done this on a car, though I have done it countless times on various motorcycles. I was careful ...
14
votes
3answers
580 views

What are good features to look for in an ODB-II reader

I recently took my car in for the engine light. It turned out to be a minor problem (crack in gas cap let water in). It would be nice to have a low-cost ODB-II reader to be able to find out for ...
5
votes
3answers
329 views

Maintenance on used car with unknown history

I bought a high mileage(130K) used Saturn(98 SW2). I do not know the maintenance history of the car or if it has been kept to the maintenance schedule. What things should I avoid working on. For ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the technical reason the engineer decided the motorcycle gear pattern as follows?

The gear pattern is selected by clicking a lever with your left foot, and is typically laid out as follows: 6th gear (if applicable) 5th gear 4th gear 3rd gear 2nd gear NEUTRAL 1st gear What ...
16
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Adding a additional battery to car

I have purchased a brand new Toyota Innova. I need to install a a mac mini, 2 laptops and make this car a mobile office. I need to know if I can install another car battery in parallel, and will ...
14
votes
6answers
29k 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
11
votes
7answers
40k views

Does a strut tower bar have any useful effect on chassis stiffness for a car with 100K miles?

Aftermarket strut tower bars are generally considered to be decorative on many brand new cars. However, it seems to be a bit more logical that a chassis with 100K miles would have developed some flex ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Catalysator broken? Odd rope coming out of the exhaust pipe

[UPDATE] SOLVED! Hurray! The muffler had corroded inside and it blocked the exhaust system, making bad to motor. I got it fixed and the car energy efficiency improved from 12-15 liters/100km to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Brake cleaner vs carb cleaner vs throttle-body cleaner

So I was spring-cleaning my man-cave/garage over the weekend and came across my assortment of chemical sprays - specifically carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner which caught my eye. Is there any ...
6
votes
3answers
28k views

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

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?
4
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
16k views

Change language of Toyota HDD Navigation (NHDN-W56) from japanese to english

I have an imported Toyota from japan with Toyota Genuine HDD Navigation and music system(NHDN-W56). The problem is that the whole thing is in japanese,can anyone help me how to change the language ...
16
votes
10answers
48k views

How can you tell the oil needs to be changed?

I know oil should be changed every 3000 or 6000 miles (depending on the car and conditions) but I'm not all that great at keeping track and I've let the car go for 10,000 miles before and it still ...
14
votes
13answers
74k views

How long should I let me car warm up in the winter?

I have been reading mixed reviews about how long to let your car warm up before driving in the winter months. Most of the articles say that the best way to warm it up is to let it idle for 1-2 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k 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?
11
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
40k views

Is it okay to leave a car for 5 months without driving it?

I need to travel to the east coast and work from there for a duration of 5 months. I can leave my car in covered parking here and ask a friend to start the car for a few minutes every week. What ...
11
votes
2answers
10k views

2005 Dodge Ram: easy way to diagnose code P0420?

My truck is reporting a code P0420, which apparently is "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" which can either be the catalytic converter or the rear O2 sensor. The code came on at ...
10
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
228k views

Will Putting An Extra Quart of Oil In My Car Ruin It?

I put too much motor oil in my car's motor. About a quart - have I ruined my car? I've been driving it. I know I need to get the oil drained. But I'm worried that I've ruined my car which has been ...
8
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...

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