11
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

My car's coolant temperature reaches almost 100 C / 212 F in a fast pace

Today, after a very hot day, I saw that my coolant was almost reaching 100C/212, I pulled over, stopped and took a look over the hood. The very little water that remained in the coolant tank was all ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
11k 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
1answer
746 views

What is happening when a two-stroke engine is said to be “four-stroking”?

Many years ago, I was involved in a hobby of building and flying model aircraft. The aircraft used alcohol-fueled 2-stroke engines with glow plug ignitions. When these engines ran rich (and always at ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it OK to mix oil of different viscosity?

I have a Mazda RX-8 (with a Wankel rotary engine). Mazda advises North American owners to use 5W-20 oil. The engine was just replaced 200 miles ago by the dealer so it currently has 5W-20 in it. ...
10
votes
6answers
9k views

How to properly dispose of old fuel?

I have some old 2 stroke mixed gas I need to get rid of. This could also apply to old fuel removed from a sitting car or any vehicle for that matter. What is the proper way to dispose of this? Are ...
10
votes
5answers
14k 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
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is car A/C typically less reliable than fridges/freezers?

I just had the A/C in my car die on me again; air coming through the vents with the A/C is just as warm with it turned on as off. However, my fridge/freezer is something I've had for over 5 years and ...
10
votes
3answers
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?
10
votes
2answers
638 views

How do I weigh mileage against time when it comes to scheduled maintenance?

My 2001 Honda Civic's manual indicates that my timing belt should be replaced every 110,000 miles or 84 months. I bought the car in July 2001 and have around 49,000 miles on it. A dealer mechanic said ...
10
votes
3answers
65k 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. ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is my motorcycle losing power when accelerating?

I ride a Honda Rebel 250 motorcycle and over the past few days I find that the bike is losing power when accelerating fast. When I twist the throttle to accelerate quickly (in any gear) I hear the ...
10
votes
1answer
290 views

Will snow tire studs get rusty if a tire is washed before putting to storage?

Once snow tires are changed to warm-weather tires in spring it's tempting to wash them before putting to storage so that they don't stain stuff they come into contact with. One concern is that studs ...
10
votes
2answers
17k 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?
10
votes
4answers
21k views

Is it possible to harm your car by giving someone a boost?

This post explains why it's a potential hazard to clip to the negative post on the dead battery when giving a boost. But I've also been told that I could damage the electronics in my own car if I give ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I repair cracks in leather seat?

The leather on the side of the driver's seat has some minor cracks. I am using conditioner to help prevent this in the other seats but these cracks already exist. Is there a product or patch of some ...
10
votes
5answers
8k views

2000 VW Golf heater won't blow hot air

My 2000 2.0L Golf GLS won't blow hot air at operating temperature, the air is only lukewarm at best. This started a few months ago inexplicably. The car isn't overheating or underheating, it reaches ...
10
votes
2answers
334 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
5k 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
8answers
82k views

How do I loosen stuck lug nuts in order to change a tire?

How do I loosen car tire lug nuts (so that I can change a tire) when they are really really stuck? I have tried turning the provided wrench, even standing and jumping on it. This worked for 4 of the ...
9
votes
8answers
8k views

Diesel vs Petrol motorcars. Pro's and cons?

I realize this may be a silly question to those of you on here who are proper petrol-heads and this may even be a repeat question, but I could not find anything on it on here, so here goes: What are ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I remove a seized brake disc?

I'm changing the rear brake discs and pads on my Ford Focus C-MAX. I've done one side which was fairly easy, but on the other side I can't get the disc off. There is nothing holding it on as far as I ...
9
votes
6answers
88k views

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

What is the difference (besides price) between normal, platinum, and iridium spark plugs?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

2005 Ford Taurus - Is it really harmful to use standard antifreeze?

My wife was speaking with a mechanic when she took the car in for a safety and emissions inspection this past week and the mechanic told her that we HAD to take our Ford Taurus to a Ford dealership or ...
9
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
857 views

My brake fluid all left on short notice. What gives?

During the very cold weather (here in Ohio) recently, I noticed the brakes on my 2000 Chevy Malibu were a little soft, and made a mental note to attend to them promptly. Then, over the course of 24 ...
9
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Why would a new gas cap cause the “check engine” light to shut off?

This happened to a friend of mine: The "check engine" light came on in his truck (Toyota). He replaced the gas cap and the light shut off. Then I also had a "check engine" light come on in my 1994 ...
9
votes
4answers
56k views

Can I drive a car with only water and no coolant if it has a leak?

Recently, I was informed that a car I share ('02 Nissan Sentra) was close to overheating. I was told it gets close to the upper limit very quickly upon running the car. When I inspected the vehicle, I ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

Do I need to torque my spark plugs?

I have never torqued them before on several vehicles that I do tune ups on. I just apply a bit of anti-seize lube and get them "snug" and everything seems to work fine. Should I be using a torque ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I safely siphon gas from a tank?

Our 2003 Windstar was recently totaled in an accident (everybody's ok). This happened the day after we filled the tank. Before we hand over the car to the insurance, we'd like to get the fuel out of ...
9
votes
2answers
194 views

Proper Jack Location

In general, where is the best place to put a jack to prevent damage when lifting?
9
votes
3answers
313 views

Should I change my tires so they all match?

Here is my situation: 2012 Honda Civic EX, 1.8L with P205/55R16 tires recommended Three (both front, and left passenger) tires are OEM Continental ContiProContact P205/55R16 89H with about 20,000 ...
9
votes
5answers
970 views

How to properly change out spark plugs?

I am looking into how to change out my spark plugs on my 4 cylinder 2005 Mazda 3. All I know to do is: 1: Open each cylinder. 2: Use a spark plug socket (with the rubber insert) to remove the old ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the cause of belt squeak in the morning?

For the past month or so my 2003 Honda Accord squeaks in the morning when I start driving to work. After a couple of minutes of driving the squeak stops. I'm pretty sure it's from the belt area. What ...
9
votes
1answer
16k views

How do I program a Chevy Malibu Key with chip in it?

I have a '07 Chevy Malibu and would like to know how to program the key. I lost the original, but was able to get a spare from the dealership. I do not want to pay the locksmith $150 to program the ...
9
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
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
4answers
2k views

2000 Jetta runs rough, shutters on cold start only on wet days.

This is an issue I've had off and on for, embarrassingly, at least a year: On misty or wet mornings, everything starts out fine but, a few minutes into the drive (like clockwork. I even know the ...
9
votes
3answers
19k views

What would be the most likely cause of engine sputter?

Most of the time my 2001 Honda Civic sounds like this... Vrooooooom. But some times when I start driving it sounds like this... Vrooom putt pa putt pa putt pa vrooooom. When it's in the "putt pa ...
8
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
15k views

Why should the fuel petcock valve be turned to “Off” position when not using the vehicle?

It’s mentioned in the user manual of my motorbike, that when not using the vehicle, I should turn the petrol tap (the one that has three positions “On”, “Off” and “Reserve”) to “Off” position. I don’t ...
8
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
466 views

Should I buy a car or get my current one repaired?

I am in a bit of confusion on what I should do. If this is not the right place for such a question, I apologize and I will gladly kick myself out - just let me know. I have a Honda Accord EX 2000 for ...
8
votes
7answers
38k views

Is Prestone “All Makes/All Models” coolant *really* compatible with all models?

My car's manual says to use the blue Honda coolant: Always use Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 [MSDS]. This coolant is pre-mixed with 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water. ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it normal for the oil to be dark in color right after an “oil change” in a 10-year old diesel car?

I took my 2002 Jetta TDI wagon to a neighborhood shop about 10 miles, 24 hours ago. They supposedly changed the oil, but the color is very dark, almost black. Definitely not light-colored/transparent. ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Car crash: when does a car catch fire?

Which kind of crash does it need for a car to catch fire? I'm asking because I was discussing about an accident where a car crashed into a full-grown brown bear. Is it realistic under normal ...

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