12
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
32k 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 While they have all been replaced by warranties, it'd be nice to get the problem solved permanently.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
6answers
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 ...
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
2answers
4k views

Why doesn't anyone ever repair an automatic transmission?

I am old enough to have had about four transmission failures spaced over about 40 years and at no time did any mechanic ever offer to “fix” it; the only diagnosis has been a complete rebuild. This is ...
12
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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
10answers
128k views

When do brake rotors really need to be replaced?

I need to replace my rear brake pads. A mechanic suggested I also replace my rotors because they are rusted around the edges. The rotors are in fact quite rusted, however, there is no rust on the ...
12
votes
1answer
153 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
532 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
4answers
15k 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
127k 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
37k 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
5answers
3k views

Why not use gasoline on diesel engines or vice versa?

I've read gasoline engines use sparks to ignite the mixture, but diesel engines use just compression which can't be done in gasoline engines due to high compression ratios which can cause engine ...
11
votes
10answers
66k 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. ...
11
votes
6answers
17k 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
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
5answers
7k 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
3answers
2k views

Can a vehicle be harmed with bad inputs via an OBD-2 port?

I bought a cheap (sub $10) ELM 327 Bluetooth clone OBD-2 diagnostic adapter on a local "ebay-style" market where the seller specializes in car diagnostics and has several thousand positive reviews ...
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
10k 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
2answers
11k 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
48k 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
463 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
41k 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
700 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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
3answers
52k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
33k 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 ...
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
6answers
24k 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
2answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
494 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
5answers
26k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
6k 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
1k 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
82k 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
1k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
165k views

Steering wheel shakes at high speeds

the steering wheel sometimes shakes at high speeds around 70 miles per hour. It does not always happen. Some day when I am driving at 70, I feel no shakes. some day it shakes badly at the same speed. ...
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
1answer
357 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
27k 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
3answers
4k 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
3answers
842 views

What to know before buying and OBD-II reader

I read the features to look for in an OBD-II reader, but I am curious if getting one is the right move. I'm just planning to get a cheap one, which is proving to be interesting shopping local. What I ...
10
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...

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