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
32k 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
2answers
885 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
23k 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
4answers
916 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
795 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
487 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
5answers
351 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
86 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
235k 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
83k 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
16k 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
131 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
4k 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
3answers
93k 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
330 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
742 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
2answers
524 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
984 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
987 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
331 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
23k 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 ...
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
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
8answers
48k views

What can cause a car to consume more fuel?

All over my long driver career, I had 4 cars (5 years). I always compare my fuel consumption with other people who have the same car. 3 times out of 4, I found out that my cars were consuming more ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I fill my tire?

I measured the PSI on my rear driver tire (using a gauge pin - push it into the needle and a stick pops out with a reading), and I got a reading of 22 PSI. My tires are supposed to be anywhere from ...
13
votes
4answers
164 views

Can a weak battery destroy an alternator?

I've heard a story that a weak vehicle battery can destroy an alternator or cause an alternator to fail early. Is this true, or is it largely fiction?
13
votes
3answers
311 views

What mechanical action is heel and toe (clutchless) shifting trying to accomplish?

I just ran across the phrase "heel and toe" shifting from this answer I've worn through the floor mat in two places trying to become better at heel and toe-ing, though. and this question: ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

I accidentally fueled my car with E10 (10% ethanol). What should I do next?

So I have a 2000 Honda Civic LX that is around 130k miles now. In Las Vegas, I put E10 (I hadn't known what it was before this...), and had to get it fixed. The engine light had started blinking and ...
13
votes
7answers
46k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
917 views

Is there a benefit to belt driven motorcycles?

What are the pros and cons of belt driven motorcycles compared to chain driven bikes?
13
votes
6answers
13k views

How to improve fuel economy in high-mileage car?

I'm driving an 2003 Acura TL 3.2 with 177K miles on it. I bought the car with 110K miles on it. It seems to me that the car is not getting the same fuel economy that it did when I acquired it. I ...
13
votes
1answer
714 views

What is fish plating a frame?

When building a frame I've heard people refer to adding a fish plate. What does fish plating a frame do and what exactly is it?
13
votes
2answers
360 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

What happens to a car when it hasn't been driven for 12 years?

I'm hoping that I'll soon be the owner of 2l turbo charged, 4wd hatchback that's been sat in a garage, undriven for over a decade. Trouble is that I won't be able to give it a full inspection until I ...
13
votes
3answers
15k views

What can cause warped rotors?

I have a forward rotor on my '04 Chrysler Sebring causing a lot of pulsation when braking. I replaced the rotor- but within about a month the problem had re-appeared. The guys at Monroe noticed my ...
13
votes
2answers
378 views

Why do Harley Davidson engines suffer from such poor performance?

The modern Harley Davidson engine has very poor power output. Even when highly modified a 130HP engine can cost tens of thousands of US Dollars. Here are specs on one of the modern engines. ...
13
votes
2answers
139 views

Cold temperatures and tire pressure light

I have 2013 Nissan Rogue. I live in Toronto, Canada, so it is very cold here right now. I understand that cold temperatures can cause the tire pressure light to come on, but will it actually affect ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

I drove with my Parking Brake on for 30 mins: should I be worried?

Yesterday, I was driving my car for about 30 minutes on the highway at speeds of up to 60 mph. I felt my brakes weren't really working and looked down to notice my emergency brake had been on the ...
13
votes
5answers
30k 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?
13
votes
3answers
6k 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?
13
votes
1answer
567 views

Safe way to drill through the engine bay firewall

I need to run cables through my firewall (the wall between the engine bay and the seating area) but I can't seem to find any factory placed holes to pull cables through. Now a lot of people told me ...
13
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...

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