5
votes
7answers
22k views

Charger doesn't stay put in cigarette lighter outlet

The cigarette lighter outlet was never designed to be an electrical outlet the way it's commonly used today. Even so, I've yet to find a plug for charging USB devices that fits and doesn't fall out. ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I tell which body shop is better? Replacing or repairing parts with VIN numbers

I have a 7 month old car that was sideswiped when a driver drifted into my lane. It's a 2011 Ford Focus with a metallic gray exterior. It should all be covered by the other driver's Allstate policy. ...
5
votes
1answer
930 views

Turning off a manual transmission car by stalling the engine

Instead of turning off the ignition with the clutch disengaged, if a person makes a habit of stopping their car by stalling the engine (leaving the transmission in gear and taking their foot off the ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Since when is CAN bus mandatory for new vehicles?

The CAN bus Wikipedia page states that: CAN bus is one of five protocols used in the on-board diagnostics (OBD)-II vehicle diagnostics standard. The OBD-II standard has been mandatory for all ...
5
votes
8answers
4k views

Why no alternate (hand-cranked, spring-loaded) starter for a car?

A dead battery is a common and serious problem. At a minimum it takes time to jump-start the car. But oftentimes a second car is unavailable, or there's no jumper cables, or a serial killer is ...
5
votes
6answers
39k views

Racing Fuel (100 Octane Rating) - Better than Premium?

Earlier today while driving out East on Long Island I stopped to fill my tank with gas, and at the station, all the pumps had the usual Regular, Mid, Premium on one pump, but on the 2nd pump which ...
5
votes
4answers
806 views

Car overheats idling in traffic

I have a 2000 Chevrolet Impala. I recently had the water pump, timing belt, radiator, and thermostat replaced because I had a coolant leak/overheating problems. I now don't have a coolant leak, ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What exactly is a clutch?

I found out recently that the flywheel, driven by the crankshaft, is connected to (or part of) the clutch. I have a basic understanding of what a clutch does due to the fact that I know how to drive a ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How to understand different engine oils?

When I went to shop for engine oil, I found many types as such: 5W-30 A5 5W-30 A1 5W-20 SAE 5W-30 10W-30 Also I see other information such as: Fully Synthetic Semi Synthetic Oil Synthetic ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are there no Stainless Steel wheels to prevent Corrosion in Winter?

Steel wheels are often used in Winter due to its low cost, however, it is very prone to rust. Why are Stainless Steel wheels, more specifically 316 Stainless Steel not being more popular as the ...
5
votes
2answers
765 views

How can I adjust gaps to spark plugs?

Have a couple spark plugs that needs adjusting. Whats the best practise for this? Is this valid? http://motorqa.com/question/8/whats-the-best-way-to-adjust-gap-in-spark-plugs
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to increase braking power in fully loaded Wagon-R

I used to travel 500 Km to my native village with a fully loaded vehicle along with 5 person in my WagonR. I also used to cruise with speed in between 80 to 100 Km/hr but the vehicle braking decrease ...
5
votes
6answers
31k views

How Do You Keep Mold From Growing In a Non-Running Car That Has Leaky Windows?

I have a car that isn't running at the moment, but that soon will be. Where I live, it rains 7 days per week, and I've recently cleaned mold from the interior of the vehicle. What types of things ...
5
votes
3answers
997 views

Odometer gained 65,000 miles after battery replacement

I brought my 2002 Saturn SL2 in to replace a battery and seal; only when I brought the car into the shop my odometer read less than 23,000 miles and afterwards it read 91,000 miles. I was able to get ...
5
votes
7answers
8k views

How to Clean a Paper Air Filter

I have a 1989 Yamaha FZX 750, and I can't find a replacement air filter for it. What's the best method to clean the air filter?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it recommended/necessary to wear rubber gloves while replacing a car battery?

I'm not too car-savvy but I want to start working on my car on my own. My first challenge has arisen: replace battery. Do I need to concern myself with being shocked while trying to change the ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why might lower settings of a dashboard fan not work if the highest does?

My wife bought a Nissan Note second hand and the internal ventilation fan works on the highest setting (3 or 4) but not on the lower settings. We've checked the fuses and all seems fine there. Could ...
5
votes
3answers
363 views

Maintenance on used car with unknown history

I bought a high mileage(130K) used Saturn(98 SW2). I do not know the maintenance history of the car or if it has been kept to the maintenance schedule. What things should I avoid working on. For ...
5
votes
3answers
537 views

Replace driver side first, then passenger side brakes?

Need advice. I am replacing brake rotors and pads for all four wheels. My home 2-car garage only gives me enough room to work on the side facing the other car, the middle of the garage. Is it safe ...
5
votes
2answers
68 views

What does NM@rpm mean in car's spec sheet?

I checked my car's specs sheet this morning and in it I noticed: Torque NM@rpm: 145@4600 What does NM@rpm mean?
5
votes
4answers
730 views

Fuse box above battery melting

I have a 2001 VW Beetle which has a nasty habit of melting the above battery high voltage fuse box. I've replaced it three times already and replaced the alternator as well, but I'm at a complete loss ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Torque wrench vs regular ratchet

What is the difference between a torque wrench and a regular ratchet that you'd normally use with sockets? When should you use one vs. the other in automotive applications?
5
votes
2answers
790 views

Why are gears designed in this pattern in motorcycles? [duplicate]

On motorcycles with manual transmissions, the shifting gears goes (down to up) like this: 1st Gear (all down) Neutral (half up) 2nd (full up) 3rd (so on) What is the logic behind this? Wouldn't ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why would a water pump be run off of the timing belt?

I drive a 1999 Chrysler 300M, V6 3.5L engine. I am about to start a water pump replacement repair. I've discovered that the water pump is driven off of the timing belt, rather than either of the two ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Are Oil Puddles in Cylinder Head Normal?

Changing spark plugs and one well was full of oil. I took off the valve cover to replace the gasket and noticed that there was quite a bit of oil puddled in the cylinder head. Is this normal or could ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Can I patch a hole in washer fluid tank?

The windshield washer fluid tank on my Toyota Corolla has a C-shaped crack in the bottom. I removed the tank and drained it. Is there a reliable way to patch/fix this without having to buy a new ...
5
votes
3answers
179 views

What checks or service should be performed before a long trip?

Before going on a long trip, say 10 hours a day, times 2 days at highway speeds, what checks or services should I have performed? This car is a 2007 Lexus ES350, but I'm looking for an answer that ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I remove a pulley where I have no way of stopping it turning anti-clockwise, like I'm turning the nut?

I've been told I need an airgun, but I have no means of getting one. An alternative is a tool that looks like this. It has a handle of flat steel that splits into a wide U, almost Y shaped but the V ...
5
votes
3answers
11k views

How to recharge AC using booster from auto parts store?

The AC on my 2002 Chevy Cavalier stopped blowing cold in the fall and I had planned on getting it checked out and recharged once the AC check specials started. I saw this for $30 and it seems too ...
5
votes
3answers
55 views

Alternatives to left-handed thread without resorting to specialist tools

It turns out that the use of left-handed thread is not as uncommon as I once thought. Unfortunately, finding replacement left-handed nuts, bolts and screws isn't easy. A while back, I damaged the ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Why is it that the front of the car lifts up when releasing the clutch?

I don't know much about the inner workings of a car. For driving one, I find that having an rough idea about what the gearbox, engine and clutch do and where they are is often enough. However for the ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

What is the Lovell Factor?

What is the Lovell Factor and how does it apply to engines and engine design? EDIT: How is it calculated and what do the calculated numbers indicate? How is it useful in engine design? (I'm looking ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Does revving a car when cold make it warm up faster?

As winter comes along, I've always thought that revving the car would make it warm up faster, so the heating works better to clear the icy/steamed up windows. Does revving my car at idle to about ...
5
votes
1answer
639 views

What is that sound?

I have a 2004 VW Golf Variant. There's no problem, I'm just curious. Just after I have opened the driver's side door, a small motor runs for about one second, then stops. This also happens if I stay ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Renault Modus wont start

The car is a Renault Modus 1.4 16v Dynamique 5dr 2005. The symptoms are: Car wouldn't start last week. The car cranks but does not start. Push started the car in 2nd, engine starts. Took The car ...
5
votes
5answers
61k views

Is there a way to prop up a window that falls down?

The windows on my car stopped working a few months ago. I could hear the motor running but the wouldn't go back up. Managed to get them closed by putting my hand flat against the window and pushing ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the best overall ODB2 scan tool?

There are a number of different ODB2 scan tools out there, some PC based, some standalone units, some more for tuning and some more for diagnosing problems. What are the different features that these ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Basic operation of a choke valve

As user Steve Matthews pointed out on my last question Car interior rattles on idle The ideal use of a coke is "Use the choke until the car warms up properly. You can reduce the amount of choke ...
5
votes
3answers
172 views

Can the warning chime tone of a 2007 BMW 525i be changed, or shortened somehow?

Can the warning chime tone of a 2007 BMW 525i be changed, or shortened somehow? The chime of this car comes from the computer and is used for most warnings such as seatbelt, temperature, door-open, ...
5
votes
3answers
371 views

Are recommended tire pressures the same for non-stock tires?

This post on the TireRack blog http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/docs-advice-on-tires/what-is-the-best-tire-pressure-for-my-new-tires recommends that tires be inflated to the vehicle manufacturers ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Impact vs. Regular Sockets

What is the difference between impact vs regular ratchet/breaker bar sockets? They look similarly shaped and their corresponding tool drives seem to be of the same dimensions. Are the impact ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How does a lightbulb with two filaments know which one to light up?

I need to replace the taillight/brake light on my car, and it's a bulb with two filaments (known as 12V P21/5W - see pic) My car has two taillights on each side. A standard 5W bulb for the top half, ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

2.5L four-cylinder able to tow 2,700lbs?

My wife and I are looking at purchasing a new Subaru Outback. In the manufacturer's specifications, it states that for the 2.5L (four-cyl), that the towing package allows us to tow up to 2,700lbs. In ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I use high temp RTV instead of a gasket?

I read somewhere that I can use RTV silicone instead of a regular rubber gasket as an engine seal. Is this feasible?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Do fast cars need to occasionally be driven fast?

In the broad spectrum of cars, there's higher end models with sport-focused engines. Examples would be an BMW M3, and even more so Ferraris and Koenigseggs etc. Apparently they're more fussy, in that ...
5
votes
5answers
43k views

Changed my brake pads but brakes started smoking due to a stuck caliper (99 Honda Accord)

Long story short, I was doing a simple DIY brake pad change and it seems that the brake caliper got stuck (the the brake line seem to be slightly twisted). I went for a test drive in the neighbor and ...
5
votes
3answers
20k views

1994 Suzuki GSX600FR Katana - How do I know if motorcycle chain & sprocket need replacement?

I'm aware of how important they are, but have been coming up empty in my searches to determine if they're worn to the point of needing replacement. The service manual just says to inspect and replace ...
5
votes
8answers
7k views

Are there benefits to using an oversized oil filter?

This is one of those myths that doesn't go away. Many vehicles can accept larger oil filters, which provides more filtration media and higher oil capacities. Are their any tangible performance ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Can a full teardown of my 318 TDS (1996 1.7 Gasoil) E36 engine have bad side effects?

I would like to get more acquainted with the engine of my car, learn mechanics, and also just clean the engine of accumulated dirt and grime. As such, I am considering tearing down the engine. For ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Improving ugly rims

The rims on my 92 Civic are really ugly (discolored/rusted) and I'm wondering how to best make them look nicer without a lot of work or replacing them, especially since I'm about to get the tires ...

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