10
votes
2answers
259 views

What factors affect the maximum air pressure that should be put in a vehicle's tires?

For just about every car, there's at least two different "maximum tire pressure" ratings. The vehicle manufacturer's rating. This is usually found on a sticker attached to the driver's door. The ...
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
383 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
8k 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
647 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
11answers
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
7answers
12k 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
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
109k 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
4k 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
12k 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?
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Third brake light (LED) test

I have a 2008 Honda Civic and the 3rd brake light is having an issue. It seems in the morning (first cold start) it works when I depress the brake (I can see it light up the rear window). But after a ...
9
votes
3answers
566 views

Change calipers on both sides?

Four months ago, I had a seized brake in the front left. The slide bearing was stuck and the outer pad was worn more than the inner (at the piston). I wasn't able to move the journals of the bearing ...
9
votes
3answers
20k views

How is “outside temperature” measured in a car?

Most cars have a display for outside temperature, and I have been wondering how it was measured... In other words, where exactly is the sensor and how reliable is it?
9
votes
3answers
13k 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
383 views

Why do we need to cool air after it leaves a turbocharger?

When we are using a turbocharger to compress the incoming air, the air gets hotter. Usually this hot air is cooled by using intercooler before it is passed to the engine. But what is the reason ...
9
votes
4answers
25k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
13k 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
4answers
8k views

Causes of early clutch failure EXCLUDING driver style

UK 61 plate, Ford Diesel Mondeo Estate, Econetic: clutch replaced at 31,800 miles; failure caused by 'driver style' I use my car daily for commuting and for business. It's supplied to me as a company ...
9
votes
2answers
215 views

Proper Jack Location

In general, where is the best place to put a jack to prevent damage when lifting?
9
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it harmful to drive at high rpms

Does driving at high RPMs (3000-3500) in a manual transmission car cause any extra wear and tear to any mechanical parts? It obviously hurts gas mileage, but does it hurt anything else?
9
votes
8answers
9k views

Most important preventive maintenance for high-mileage car?

My 2001 Chevrolet Prizm (a NUMMI) is about to hit 125,00 miles. I bought a little over 5 years ago, at which time it had ~79,000 miles on it. I bought it from a used car dealer that seemed to have ...
9
votes
2answers
19k views

What is BCM(Body Control Module) in a car?

I own a Fiat Grande Punto. Recently I was told by the authorized auto workshop that the BCM in my car has failed and needs to be fixed. So i have two questions regarding that - What is a BCM and ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to troubleshoot excessive timing retard?

I've seen numerous cars that for one reason or another, retard timing excessively at wide open throttle - getting worse over time. Seat of the pants impression is that power drops off steeply as RPMs ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

I drove my car about 1 km before realising that I didn't release the handbrake. Will this cause any big problems to my car? [duplicate]

Luckily, I drove slowly, about 20-40km/h. When I reached home, I realised that I did not release my handbrake. Will there be a big problem?
9
votes
3answers
740 views

Is 60/40 solder fine for splicing wires that have to endure hot engine bay temps?

I need to splice the pigtail connectors from my old O2 sensors onto the new O2 sensors since the new connectors have a different shape. As the sensor is right behind the engine and will experience ...
9
votes
4answers
89k views

What causes an engine to burn oil?

What are the different problems that can cause an engine to burn oil and in general how difficult / expensive is each one to repair? How do you diagnose each potential cause? I found this article ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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
5k 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
1k views

Front left controller arm corroded and broke on my 2002 Hyundai Elantra

I was driving home, heard a crunch, and then my entire steering wheel felt loose and turned a quarter turn to the left even though my car was still going straight. I was about 10 feet from home so I ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

Is this what is making my car sound like a racecar?

Recently, my car (2000 Mercury Grand Marquis) started sounding like a racecar: the engine became very loud. There's clearly something going wrong with the exhaust system. I'm trying to understand ...
9
votes
1answer
27k 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
3answers
1k views

Are there any advantages of idling a vehicle vs. turning it off and back on again?

I was sitting outside, eating my lunch the other day, and a small bus (you know, one of the short ones) pulled up to the sandwich shop I was eating at. I noticed that the driver got out of the bus, ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a measurable benefit to replacing spark plug wires?

My 92 Civic has very old spark plug wires, probably original, but their resistance is in-spec (under 20k ohms), they have no external damage, and the vehicle has no misfire or other symptoms ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ?
9
votes
3answers
163k views

Will Putting An Extra Quart of Oil In My Car Ruin It?

I put too much motor oil in my car's motor. About a quart - have I ruined my car? I've been driving it. I know I need to get the oil drained. But I'm worried that I've ruined my car which has been ...
9
votes
2answers
367 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a hot patch, and how is it done?

I recently picked up a piece of metal in my tire, leading to a flat. The mechanic said he could not plug the tire, and that a "hot patch" was required. What is a hot patch, how is it applied, and ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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
1answer
2k views

Car Parts Software To View Parts of a Car

Is there computer software that lets you see parts of a car for common car models, like European brands, and browse them in 3D. Is there anything that would have autocad schematics or something like ...
8
votes
5answers
35k views

What does the 'cc' mean on a motorcycle?

I'm relatively new to motorcycles, my flat mate taught me how to drive his two Royal Enfields around New Delhi, and for the past year and a half I've been taking care of them as they break down ;) ...
8
votes
4answers
6k 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
4answers
963 views

Should a tire with cracks along the outer perimeter of the sidewall be replaced?

I have creases or small tears running throughout the perimeter of my tires. Does this warrant replacing the tire completely?
8
votes
5answers
682 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
5answers
15k 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
12k views

How difficult is it to rebuild a transmission?

I have a 1984 Toyota Supra that is now exclusively a track car. The last round out we let some less experienced drivers take the wheel and they basically destroyed the transmission. Nothing but 4th ...
8
votes
7answers
923 views

Is shifting to neutral on a decline more fuel efficient than keeping the gear engaged?

I always had the habit of shifting to neutral on long declines and using the brakes to slow down as needed. Intuition made me believe I'd be saving fuel as opposed to keeping a gear engaged. However, ...

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