12
votes
6answers
29k 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 While they have all been replaced by warranties, it'd be nice to get the problem solved permanently.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 ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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?
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it worth switching to full synthetic or blend oil in my older car/truck?

I have a older (enter vehicle here) that has 100k miles on it. Would I see any benefit switching to full synthetic or synthentic blend oil? Is it worth the extra cost in an older vehicle? For ...
12
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the difference between a 180° V4 and a true boxer motor?

Reading this thread which talks about V4 motors, I am wondering what exactly is the difference between a 180° V4 motor you'd find in a Subaru and a true boxer (or horizontally opposed) flat 4 ...
12
votes
2answers
485 views

How To Get Organized Without a Garage Workspace?

People I've seen who have garages have it made. They have a clean, dry workspace with all of their tools within arms reach. In the most organized garages, a mixture of rolling Snap-on Roll Cab with ...
12
votes
3answers
14k 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
9answers
117k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
33k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
4k 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
5answers
21k 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
9k 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
3answers
7k 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
2answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
43k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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
1answer
420 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
39k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
636 views

How much does spark plug gap affect fuel efficiency?

I've read conflicting reports regarding how plug gap can affect fuel efficiency. For example, I've read that too small a gap won't cause a clean burn, or that too large a gap can cause misfires due ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

I accidentally fueled my car with E10 (10% ethanol). What should I do next?

So I have a 2000 Honda Civic LX that is around 130k miles now. In Las Vegas, I put E10 (I hadn't known what it was before this...), and had to get it fixed. The engine light had started blinking and ...
10
votes
8answers
62k 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. ...
10
votes
6answers
19k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What damage does a car suffer if not regularly used?

Sometimes I use the car on daily basis, but there are months when I don't use it at all, and it sits parked outside for 5+ weeks, with the battery disconnected. (Main reasons: working from home that ...
10
votes
3answers
446 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
967 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
79k 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
1answer
348 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
25k 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
8k views

What is the life expectancy of a Honda Civic Hybrid Continuously Variable Transmission?

I have a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid with continuously variable transmission (CVT). At the 90k tuneup, the mechanic added 3.5 quarts of the regular automatic transmission fluid. At 110,000 miles, the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why (almost) all dirt bikes have single cylinder engine?

Every dirt bike i know has a single cylinder engine. I myself ride a Yamaha XT660Z which has a huge 660 cc cylinder. What are the characteristics of those engines? what are the benefits of such ...
10
votes
1answer
16k 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
16k 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
1answer
3k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
376 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
7k 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
1answer
400 views

Changing Firing Order in a 4 Cylinder Car

Backstory In motorcycling you can get cams that change the firing order and time from a traditional 1,3,4,2. It's was very common in American roadracing in the 1990's to hear 4 Cylinder engines that ...
10
votes
1answer
598 views

shifting stops when critically low on gas

I have a 1999 Dodge Dakota. It is a V6, 3.9 Liter, auto transmission. I have a weird problem that no one has been able to answer for me. HOW I CAME TO REALIZE THE PROBLEM: One day I was driving ...
9
votes
10answers
32k views

Should I pull my wipers away from the windshield when parked during a winter storm?

When we are expecting snow storm and the vehicle is parked, do we pull out the wipers so they don’t touch the glass to avoid the freezing to the windshield? Or would that hurt the springs in the wiper ...
9
votes
3answers
46k 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
7answers
11k 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
5answers
28k 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 ...
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
4answers
96k 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
3answers
3k 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
4answers
8k views

what is difference between DOHC and SOHC?

I want to know the SOHC and DOHC configurations. On what factors an engine manufacturer decides to go with SOHC or with DOHC, what should I choose? DOHC or SOHC?

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