15
votes
1answer
6k 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. ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the dangers of refilling your air conditioner yourself?

Both of the Haynes manuals for my cars list refilling the refrigerant in your car as a do it yourself procedure. Both vehicles use R-134a refrigerant and the manual shows them being recharged with a ...
15
votes
1answer
804 views

How important is time-based servicing vs. distance-based servicing?

For years I have been driving a very old car, and servicing it every 10,000 kilometres even though it took me almost a year to drive that much. Now I have a newer car which I care about more. It's ...
15
votes
1answer
121 views

Dynamometer Question - How is it operated and what are they doing?

When guys are doing dyno runs they to do it in a gear, interact with the keyboard and then do it again in another gear. It seems they do multiple runs in multiple gears. In this post Paulster ...
15
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

Is Anti-Seize a lubricant, abrasive, or both?

I'll flesh my personal bias at the outset - being a heavy diesel mechanic for a time, and mechanically inclined my entire life, I use Anti-Seize wherever I can. If it has threads and it's not part of ...
14
votes
6answers
602 views

How to keep wheel ramps from sliding?

I have a very smooth garage floor. When I try to use my wheel ramps for the quick and easy way to raise a vehicle, they will often slide, sometimes just one, but other times both. They will sometimes ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Turbo equivalent on electric motors

Is there anything functionally equivalent to a turbo for electric motors? Obviously, I am not asking for something that reuses escape gases to force the entry of air, because there are no escape ...
14
votes
5answers
69k 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 ;) ...
14
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
446 views

How does the car's ECU detect a misfire?

I was wondering what the specific mechanism used by car ECU's to detect misfires is, or are if there is more than one method.
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do 5- and 6-speed transmissions typically need different gear ratios?

My 2013 Subauru WRX has a 5-speed manual, and I long for it to have a 6th gear when cruising on the highway. A friend has a 2012 Subaru STI with a 6-speed manual, and I noticed his car runs through ...
14
votes
3answers
33k 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?
14
votes
6answers
13k views

How to fix leaky tires after 2 shops couldn't

I have an SUV with factory 16" steel wheels and P235/70R16 tires. The tires have just under 30,000 miles of gentle driving on them. Two of the tires have been leaking quite a bit (about 10 psi per ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Smart and effective ways to light up a garage without relying on power outlets?

I am currently renting an garage in an underground parking lot. The garage has no light inside nor electric plugs. The only form of illumination available comes from the few neon lights in the ...
14
votes
2answers
894 views

Why is a W-16 called, well, W?

The term "W-16" seems to imply some sort of configuration that resembles the letter W, which implies three banks of cylinders with one sharing a common cylinder head. In fact, the Bugatti W-16 in the ...
14
votes
6answers
24k views

How to properly dispose of old fuel?

I have some old 2 stroke mixed gas I need to get rid of. This could also apply to old fuel removed from a sitting car or any vehicle for that matter. What is the proper way to dispose of this? Are ...
14
votes
7answers
47k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
936 views

Strange overheating behaviour

My 10 year old Litchfield Forester STi needs a bit of maintenance to sort a minor oil leak but other than that has been behaving well for the past year with regular oil top ups. This week on the ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How exactly does running fuel-lean increase the temperature of ignition?

I learned in this question that running an engine fuel-lean will increase the temperature of ignition, among other things such as causing problems with the catalytic converter. I have no idea how or ...
14
votes
3answers
525 views

What is valve float and how does it impact engines?

The Wikipedia entry is hard to grok: Valve float is an adverse condition which can occur at high engine speeds when the poppet valves in an internal combustion engine valvetrain do not properly ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What does it mean to retard an engine?

I have come across this term. What does it mean to retard an engine? When would you typically have to do such a thing? What can happen if you don't or incorrectly retard the engine? What sort of ...
14
votes
2answers
414 views

What is a leak down tester and what can I do with it?

Background There are quite a few head gasket related questions on the site. Coolant or water in the oil, oil in the coolant or water in a radiator, etc. I'm thinking that some instruction on howto ...
14
votes
5answers
380 views

How do I remove a broken drill bit from metal?

I was building a mount for my custom bobber. My 1/4" carbide drill bit broke off into 3/4" plate of steel. How do I remove it?
14
votes
2answers
96 views

What is an A/R ratio?

I heard the term A/R ratio today while watching a video about turbochargers. What does the term A/R ratio mean? Does it just apply to turbos? If not, what else does it apply to? How is it computed? ...
14
votes
8answers
243k 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. ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a governor and what is it used for?

I was watching a classic car restoration program on YouTube in which they were working on a '50s Cadillac with an automatic transmission. The mechanic in the video diagnosed a transmission glitch as ...
14
votes
4answers
86k views

How important is a fuel cap?

I lost my fuel cap a couple months ago and haven't bothered finding a replacement. I haven't noticed any issues with it, but I'm wondering whether it's causing any damage or reducing gas mileage or ...
14
votes
2answers
17k views

WHY does an engine stall? (manual transmission)

Before you write off my question as one that's been answered a million times already, I want to clarify. I understand that the engine needs to go a certain rpm and when you try to engage the clutch ...
14
votes
2answers
147 views

Possible causes for poor traction and handling

I have a 2001 Honda Prelude SH with about 180,000 miles on it. For the past 12-18 months, I've noticed consistent strange behavior: Very prone to skidding when braking on uneven roads. Much earlier ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How is engine load determined?

I'm struggling to find information on how engine load is defined. Is it really just a fancy word for torque demand? There are three parts to this question: Is there a theoretical equation that is ...
14
votes
5answers
73k views

Is it possible to harm your car by giving someone a boost?

This post explains why it's a potential hazard to clip to the negative post on the dead battery when giving a boost. But I've also been told that I could damage the electronics in my own car if I give ...
14
votes
3answers
94k views

What iPhone/iPad app works best with ELM327 Bluetooth OBD-II reader?

I've found a number of apps for the iPhone/iPad that connect to ODB-II readers via WiFi, but unfortunately that means that it disables 3G and all the benefits of having a 3G device built into my dash. ...
14
votes
2answers
358 views

'00 Honda CBR929RR - Unknown issue, help!

Sorry for the ambiguity here.. I'm not sure what the issue is with my bike. I have a bunch of symptoms and my hypothesis is that it's a cascading failure and I'm just seeing a bunch of effects down ...
14
votes
2answers
765 views

How To Get Organized Without a Garage Workspace?

People I've seen who have garages have it made. They have a clean, dry workspace with all of their tools within arms reach. In the most organized garages, a mixture of rolling Snap-on Roll Cab with ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

How to test a clutch

I have just bought a second hand car, and I have the feeling that the clutch is worn out. How can I do a quick clutch sanity check?
14
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, ...
14
votes
2answers
548 views

Brake flush vs. Replacing the brake fluid

Is a brake flush the exact same thing as replacing the brake fluid? Or is there a difference?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Afraid to crank engine - how can I tell if my cylinders are flooded with water?

Backdrop We had really heavy rains here today. I was in my '99 M5, idling in traffic when I noticed the brake pedal feel became really notchy. When I let go of the brakes the pedal would not travel ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
335 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
24k views

2000 VW Golf heater won't blow hot air

My 2000 2.0L Golf GLS won't blow hot air at operating temperature, the air is only lukewarm at best. This started a few months ago inexplicably. The car isn't overheating or underheating, it reaches ...
14
votes
0answers
74 views

Revving and rattling sometimes when braking

My Tacoma has been making a strange revving and rattling sound when the truck is in motion and the brake or the clutch is pressed and the gas pedal is released. I couldn't reproduce the effect when ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Do pistons keep moving when the car stops?

When you are driving and stop at a light, do the pistons still move up and down due to combustion? If not how will the engine know when to combust the fuel to keep it moving?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the pros and cons of fiberglass body?

Fiberglass is a prominent material for building boats. It's well-tested and durable. Over the years, there have been few attempts to adopt fiberglass as in automotive industry: Glasspar G2 - a 1950 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a tire with exposed wire safe to drive on?

This is my front passenger tire. As you can see, there is a large crack where you can see wire underneath. I ordered new tires that are supposed to arrive on Friday, however, I still need to get to ...
13
votes
9answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is sand blasting safe on old cars?

As the title says, when restoring a classic car I've been typically taught it was proper to get the entire vehicle sand blasted to see any issues and make any needed repairs them move to paint. ...
13
votes
9answers
11k views

Diesel vs Petrol motorcars. Pro's and cons?

I realize this may be a silly question to those of you on here who are proper petrol-heads and this may even be a repeat question, but I could not find anything on it on here, so here goes: What are ...
13
votes
6answers
540 views

What is the difference between torque and horsepower?

A very basic question - what is the difference between torque and horsepower? Its all over Google, but I am really confused and can't get any satisfactory answers. I'll tell you my confusion: Torque ...

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