All Questions

5
votes
1answer
4k views

DIY - How to create a car paint booth? What's Involved?

Thinking about painting my next project car, and came across a YouTube video where the OP built a makeshift booth in what appeared to be his garage. Fast forwarding to later videos when he brought ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the audible symptoms of a failing starter motor?

My 2004 Subaru WRX has 110000 miles on the odometer and I'm worried about the original equipment starter motor. Here are the audible symptoms that have me concerned: During the winter, I noticed ...
4
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
24k views

Car Battery won't charge after sitting for a Year

I have a main starter battery and a leisure batter in my van. They have been left unused for around a year with my van off the road. I am now trying to get it up and running however I am unable to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
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
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
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
18k 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
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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, ...
8
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
198 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
851 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
34k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
143k views

The car won't start, not even click, but everything else works fine in the car

The car has powerful new battery (1 week old). I drove the car and after 4 hours, the car will not start, not even click when you try to start the car? All the lights are ok and they are not dim. What ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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
7k 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
997 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
432 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
2k 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
5answers
3k views

2006 Kia Sedona intermittently not starting

What could be causing my (non-)starting issues? Occasionally (once every two weeks or so) when the keys are inserted and turned to the start position, nothing happens. No noise, no dome lights dimming ...
3
votes
2answers
750 views

Occasional Vibration at specific highway speeds.

Symptom: At certain speeds (70 mph, 40 mph, etc.) there is a noticeable vibration. Vehicle: 1998 GMC Sonoma (2 wheel drive) The vehicle was purchased used and had similar symptoms at the time. ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Should replacing the brake pads make braking feel “softer”?

I've just had the brake pads replaced on my Skoda Fabia- apparently they'd worn very thin. But now when I brake I have to push down much harder on the brake pedal than before. Is this to be expected? ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Slow acceleration, high fuel consumption after spark plug change

I have a 2000 Ford Ranger 4.0 L V6 4x4 model. I recently was having some problems with the truck idling too low when cold and I decided to change the spark plugs. I put in 4 out of the 6 new plugs and ...
2
votes
3answers
296 views

Is my mechanic ripping me off?

My 2002 ford focus (built after may 23) died and the AAA and tow guy both said that it needs a new fuel pump. Anyway I went to the mechanic and he said it'll be 350 for the pump and 200 for labor. I ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

turning right causing small vibration and noise

My 2004 Ford Focus makes small grinding and vibrating noises when turning to the right. The problem was much more severe earlier this month. I took it to the shop and had them get me new tires and an ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Check Engine Light on '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee

How do I get Check Engine Light codes (ODB-I) from a '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and where can I look them up?
1
vote
0answers
304 views

Fuel Consumption and other Fuel related data from basic OBD-II parameters

I want to know how can i obtain the values of Fuel Consumption, Fuel Economy and other fuel related information from basic OBD-II parameters like Vehicle Speed, RPM, TPS etc. I have noticed that not ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Volvos with the same parts as the Volvo 440 GL with 2 liter motor?

I have an old Volvo 440 GL (~1994) and I need to find a part to the exhaust system that costs the same amount as the car itself if bought from the Volvo company itself: this is the flange part in the ...
1
vote
2answers
998 views

How do I know if I need new brakes?

I recently purchased a car with 135k miles on it and I have no idea when the brakes were last replaced. I've done work on my cars before but never have changed the brakes, so I'm not sure how to tell ...
18
votes
7answers
135k views

what is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids?

What is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids? What could possibly go wrong if I use a (4 times cheaper) DOT3 brake fluid instead of the DOT4 which manufacturer recommends (but allows ...
12
votes
5answers
18k views

Is it safe to drive a car that has got a broken suspension spring?

Yesterday I was driving home from work and heard a loud noise which I can only really describe as a "clang". After looking at it today, it looks like the spring for the front left (passenger side) ...
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
8answers
43k 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. ...
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
196 views

Proper Jack Location

In general, where is the best place to put a jack to prevent damage when lifting?
8
votes
1answer
915 views

How do I find the correct pins in a CAN-BUS connector?

This question might be too technical for this forum, but I'll give it a go. I have a 2012 BMW R1200R motorcycle with CAN-BUS. I'd like to make an Arduino interface to the connector on the bike, but I ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the possible causes of vibrating steering wheel?

What can be the cause of a vibrating steering wheel when driving faster than a specific velocity (let's said 60 mph). How to discriminate one cause from on other ?
8
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

How to I stop the 'never-ending' turn signal?

I have an '07 Chevy Malibu, whose turn signal doesn't seem to disengage whenever I make a turn, unless it's more than roughly 160 degrees (a U-turn). What are some of the possible causes and are ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

How to fix freezing locks

Does anyone know how to prevent locks on car doors from freezing, this is usually only a problem in older cars. I'm not thinking of solutions like WD-40 that really only work for a few days and then ...
7
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
198 views

What clues are there to identify real mileage?

This is a bit theoretical question, maybe viable for a wiki. Suppose you want to buy a 10yo car and among available deals you see one with suspiciously low mileage (e.g. 5'000 km). Seller assures you ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Heater blows cold air at idle

I have 2006 VW beetle with the 2.5L engine. Once the engine has warmed to operating temperature, and I am driving it around, the heater works great. As soon as I stop at a red light, or am idling for ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Brakes make grinding noise during stops at low speeds

I've got a Mazda B2300 pickup that's started making a grinding sound whenever I come to a stop. Braking at a high speed doesn't make any noise, but once I get under 25-30 MPH, the grinding sound gets ...
7
votes
4answers
37k views

Cold start squeaking noise in engine

I just purchased a used 2010 Corolla 3 days ago. I've only now noticed that when I start the car, there is a squeaking sound coming from the engine. It lasts no more than a second. Sounds like it ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the tell tale signs of a catalytic converter that might be going bad?

I've owned two vehicles whose catalytic converters were recalled due two a couple of reasons: one being the quality of the CC and the other being a reduction in power due to a material building up and ...

15 30 50 per page