8
votes
4answers
4k 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
3answers
17k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
7k 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
504 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
6k 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
2k 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
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
1k 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
7answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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
1answer
249 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
794 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
2answers
2k 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
2answers
19k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
72k 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
4answers
12k 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
782 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
5answers
2k 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
1answer
3k 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
865 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
6answers
15k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
166 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
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
705 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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
410 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 ...
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
1answer
4k 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 ...
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
2answers
232 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
870 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
4k 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

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
4answers
42k views

Oil in the radiator, but no coolant in the oil

The car is a '98 Buick Lesabre with the 3800 engine and about 170k miles. It appears as though some oil was in the radiator, but I haven't seen any signs of coolant in the oil. The water pump recently ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
529 views

Winter rims have rust patches. Should I leave them or remove rust and repaint? Any recommendations for rust remover and paint?

There are a set of winter tires on there already, but I'm not worried about getting paint or rust remover on the tires -- I've ordered some new tires already (going studded this year) and will be ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Malibu turns over, does not start

2005 Malibu (Classic, fleet version) with 2.2 L Ecotec four-cylinder engine fails to start. It turns over, and scattered weak pops indicate that there’s rudimentary combustion going on, but it does ...
8
votes
1answer
590 views

How do I drain the brake fluid for a 1999 BMW K1200RS?

I need to drain the brake fluid for my 1999 BMW K1200RS with ABS in order to do some minor service on the Master Cylinder, but I don't have a service manual for the bike. How should I go about doing ...
8
votes
1answer
939 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Can radiator cool down a car too much?

Recently they replaced my stock radiator with aftermarket one (at dealership, so I hope they knew what they were doing), and since then I feel that a car is not warming up enough. Even if I warm it ...
7
votes
4answers
12k 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 ;) ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

brake rotors- blank, slotted or drilled?

There is a lot of conflicting information whether slotted or drilled rotors perform better than blank rotors. For a street car that will do the occasional track day, which type of rotor should I get?
7
votes
2answers
245 views

Keeping an old car alive?

So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What to look for when buying a salvage title car

Other than the normal stuff to look for when buying a used car, what else should you check or have inspected when buying a used car with a salvage or junk title?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What can cause excessive fog on a windshield?

Recently there has been a lot of fog on all of the windows in the car, particularly on my windshield. It's been bad enough that I've had to stop and wipe the glass off, but the fog can come back ...

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