9
votes
5answers
1k 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
7answers
8k 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
1answer
719 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
22k 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
887 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
1k 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
1answer
5k 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
3answers
770 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
294 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
246 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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
527 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
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
3answers
37k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
6answers
14k 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
588 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
10k 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
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
44k views

What could cause my Honda Civic to not start? And how can I address the issue?

I need help trouble shooting my honda civic. It will not start. I was driving it earlier today and I went to drive it again when it would not start. I'm glad I was at home when it decided to quit. ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can my tire blowout be attributed to a lower speed rating?

Yesterday I had a tire blowout. When I visited a tire shop (Costco Tire Center) afterward, the person there told me that my tires are under-rated for my vehicle. My vehicle is a Honda Accord 2002, ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Gasoline is dripping out of a rubber tube outputting on the bottom of my motorcycle - is this normal, or is it a problem?

What bike? A BMW 650, 1996 model. What's the problem? I noticed a slow, but steady, drip of gasoline from one of two rubber tubes that output to the bottom of the bike. I think the other rubber ...
8
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
18k 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
3k views

Why might I experience a power falloff after starting my car with the AC On?

I have a 2000 Chrysler Neon which generally runs well. I have noticed that if I start the vehicle, turn the AC on and reverse out of the driveway, the engine seems to struggle/sounds like it is going ...
8
votes
9answers
20k views

Couldn't start my Volvo due to Key Error. Called assistance and he fixed it by hitting the key with a screwdriver. What could be the error?

My Volvo S40 (06) would not start when I turned the ignition key. I got a message that was somewhat like "Key Error, please try again". I tried with both my keys so it wasn't the key itself. I think I ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Where can I find my car's colour code?

I'm currently shopping around for a touch-up pen to repair some very light scratches on my car. I've found out that our local hardware automotive store can mix the exact colour for any vehicle. ...
8
votes
1answer
346 views

What is name of this part in the picture?

Could you guys please tell me the name of the part in red square in English?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Should lost CV gaiter grease be replaced?

I discovered a small hole, possibly a puncture, in an outer CV gaiter on the front. The hole was right next to/under the (outer) metal ring holding the CV gaiter, so it wasn't in a very flexible bit. ...
8
votes
5answers
865 views

How can I achieve a streak free windshield?

I can never quite get the streak free shine on my windshield from using Windex. Is there another product that works better?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the benefits to waxing a modern car?

I was taught that waxing a car helped protect the finish by preventing damage from the elements - water, salt, etc.. The first vehicles I owned (a 1981 Impala and a 1978 Thunderbird) developed larges ...
8
votes
5answers
56k views

Reasons for loss of radiator fluid

I've had to top up my car's radiator fluid twice in the last month after discovering that the expansion tank (plastic container where one usually tops up) had completely drained out (roughly a ...
8
votes
2answers
22k views

How to test for defective glow plugs?

On a diesel engine, how can I know which glow plugs are defective, and can I change these only?
8
votes
4answers
100k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
935 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to carry a full-sized spare?

I have a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX, but I suspect my question can be generalized to apply to many smaller cars. Not being a fan of donut spare tires, when I replaced my tires about a year ago I kept ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
299 views

Can you stop fuel delivery to one cylinder of a 2003 Ford F150 with 5.4L Triton Engine?

Can you disconnect a wire so gas will not pump into the cylinder? I have a spark plug blown out and need to get my 2003 F150 5.4 Trition engine home without paying another tow charge.
8
votes
8answers
111k 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. ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How to assess battery charge level and alternator performance?

What diagnostics can be done to to assess battery charge level? I'm interested both in one-off tests like can be done in car service and also continuous monitoring during normal use. Car panels ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you get the carburetors out of a 1983 Kawasaki KZ1000 P?

It's a 4-cylinder engine, and the carbs are really wedged in there. The best way I know is to loosen the boots on both sides, pull the carbs back, and try to slip them out sideways, but what a pain! ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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
2answers
7k 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
9answers
16k views

Can coasting in neutral damage an automatic transmission?

When I drove a manual transmission, I got in the habit of shifting to neutral on long, shallow grades to save fuel. Now I'm driving an automatic (specifically, a recent Corolla) and still doing it. ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Should rotors with rust on the rims but not the faces be replaced along with the pads?

I have an Audi A4 with approximately 35k miles. My dealership has recommended that I replace both the brake pads and the rotors and helpfully forwarded a picture to me of the rotors indicating the ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Oil in air intake: is this a faulty breather valve or by design?

I noticed the other day that a component (breather valve) was not fitted properly (the clip that held the valve cover breather in place was sitting between the O-ring and the lip, instead of fastening ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Manual transmission at stop: 1st with clutch in, or neutral with clutch out? -OR- Throwout Bearing wear

When sitting in traffic or at a long red light, is the Best Practice to have the car in 1st gear with your foot on the clutch, or in neutral with your foot off the clutch? Some say that you should be ...

15 30 50 per page