5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
170 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
709 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
1k 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
4answers
2k 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
1answer
8k views

I lost my Mercedes smart key, how do I get a new one?

If I lose a Mercedes smart key fob, how do I get a replacement? Is there anything I should do to prevent the old key from being used if it was stolen?
4
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
494 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
934 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
5answers
404 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
692 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
2k 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
1answer
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
823 views

How to solve unexpected skidding in 1995 Toyota Camry

My 1995 Camry LE (4 cyl) skidded twice. Luckily I escaped both occasions unhurt and without damage to the car. First time it happened on a freeway when I applied brakes @ 50mph. I thought it was ...
2
votes
2answers
414 views

Kia Soul aftermarket headlights

What are the options (in Canada) for aftermarket headlights, e.g. HID, etc. for the Kia Soul? I find the Soul's headlights to be lacking, and I would like to get something brighter since I do quite a ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

'99 Audi A4 seat belt warning sign

I've had this seat belt warning light on my dash for a few weeks now. My dealer says the wiring to my driver seat is gone and replacing it could cost close to 800 USD. Is there a better option?
1
vote
3answers
270 views

My 2001 Mitsubishi Airtrek revs at 2250rpm for 30 seconds before slowing. Will this speed harm the engine?

My 2001 Mitsubishi Airtrek 2wd with 86000k revs at 2250rpm for 30 seconds before slowing. Will this speed harm the engine?
41
votes
9answers
5k views

Does the amount of fuel in the tank matter?

As long as there is some fuel in the tank, does the fuel level matter? In other words, is it advisable to make sure the tank is mostly full most of the time, or is this just silly? In other words, are ...
10
votes
3answers
56k views

What iPhone/iPad app works best with ELM327 Bluetooth OBD-II reader?

I've found a number of apps for the iPhone/iPad that connect to ODB-II readers via WiFi, but unfortunately that means that it disables 3G and all the benefits of having a 3G device built into my dash. ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between FWD/RWD/4WD/Part-Time 4WD/AWD?

I'm curious as to what are the particular difference between the various drive systems available in modern vehicles. FWD and RWD are pretty straightforward - Front Wheel Drive cars put the power to ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Jump starting a dead battery: Connect black wire to negative pole of battery or grounded metal?

Most of the advice I've seen for jump starting cars instructs to connect the black wire to a bare piece of metal on the car with the dead battery. However, I've always just hooked up both poles to the ...
8
votes
3answers
363 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a way to put Prius with dead battery into neutral?

I own a 2010 Prius. It has a dead battery, front facing forward in my garage. I do not have long enough jumper cables. I’ve searched the Internet. Did Toyota really create a car that cannot be put ...
16
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it necessary to 'burn in' or 'break in' a new car?

I've just bough a new 2011 plate car. I've heard stories of people 'burning in' engines for the first few hundred or couple thousand miles using methods such as: Not driving above 50 mph. Varying ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

How far can you drive with an empty radiator?

The radiator on my Peugeot 106 has started leaking very badly and need replacing. I don't have time to fix it at the moment, so I'm taking it to a garage. How far can I drive it without damaging the ...
10
votes
5answers
694 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
309 views

Any recommendations on vehicle maintenance software for the DIYer?

I currently use a combination of Car Minder for the iPhone - it's only $2.99 but limited functionality - and Excel spreadsheets. Ideally I'm looking for something that will track all service for up ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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?
7
votes
2answers
185 views

Keeping an old car alive?

So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Dealership Installed “Oversized” Oil Drain Plug As Solution

In this question, we discuss stripped oil pan threads. I learned it is a result of user error - over tightening and cross threading, by the dealership I consistently go to. Many people have come ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Durability of automatic transmission boxes versus durability of manual transmission boxes? Their lifetimes?

My friend is against cars with automatic transmission because he thinks that they break easily and that their repairing cost a lot. He thinks that it is impossible to maintain an automatic ...
19
votes
8answers
23k views

Will higher octane fuel improve gas mileage?

I've heard from some people that high octane fuel will increase gas mileage. Around here, we have the basic unleaded(87), mid-grade(89), and premium(93 or 91). I've been using the basic 87 unleaded ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is downshifting on hills harmful for non-trucks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? Since the days of taking drivers ed (many years back). I was told that when you encounter a steep or ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

My Car Squeals When Braking Even Though I've Had My Front Rotors Machined and Back Rotors Replaced and all new brake pads. What could it be?

I own a Toyota Soarer SC300 (1994), 2JZ motor non-turbo 3 litre engine. The engine is probably irrelevant, but provided for prosperity. Anyway, the front rotors were machined and are within the legal ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

When car is standing still, I smell Diesel exhaust. Why?

In my 2003 Opel Vectra, the cabin air smells of Diesel exhaust while stopped at e.g. a red light. The exhaust smell goes away when driving, and it also doesn't come back if I turn the ventilation off ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
13k views

How should I remove stickers or pinstripe decals from paint?

I want to remove a dealer's sticker from my car. The sticker is on a painted surface. What is the best way to do it? Could I remove pinstripe decals in the same way?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How much power (HP) do the components on the engine belt generally use?

In general, how much power (HP) to the components on the the engine belt actually use? I'm trying to come up with an estimate of how much horsepower an engine wastes on things like the AC compressor, ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

How to know if I need new tires?

For the first time in my years of driving, I slid pretty badly the other day. I've slid before a little bit, but this is the first time I slid badly-- I nearly went off the road. Granted, it was ...
6
votes
1answer
688 views

Heater smells like sulfur

I drive a 2006 Toyota Sienna. When driving with the heater on I often smell sulfur. This is more common when I am driving up a hill, but if I turn the heater off, the smell goes away. What causes this ...
6
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How to know if timing belt failure will result in immediate engine damage?

I own two cars: a 2003 Acura TL and a 2005 Volvo S60. I've been told that depending on what car you drive, a failed timing belt can result in immediate engine damage. I would like to know (not just ...
4
votes
4answers
735 views

Does the tachometer provide any indication of fuel usage?

So, I'm driving along on the highway with the A/C blasting when I notice the price of gas. It makes me think, "what can I do to increase my fuel efficiency?" Some of the tips I've heard have included ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

What is the best way to reverse engineer the signals of a CAN-BUS?

There are always better ways.... I'm up to reverse engineer some CAN-BUS signals. Before I start, I'd like to discuss with guys who done this before and are willing to share their methodology. I'm ...
3
votes
4answers
866 views

Does switching to neutral on an automatic transmission improve braking for immediate stopping?

I've been told that when needing to brake quickly, throwing the gear into neutral on an automatic transmission actually allows for better/quicker braking. I understand how things work pretty well but ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Ford Taurus common oil leak area?

On my last oil change, the technician noted some oil around top and side of the engine block and said there is a small leak. The only way to find where it is coming from is doing the whole dye test, ...

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