12
votes
1answer
8k views

How much does spark plug gap affect fuel efficiency?

I've read conflicting reports regarding how plug gap can affect fuel efficiency. For example, I've read that too small a gap won't cause a clean burn, or that too large a gap can cause misfires due ...
11
votes
3answers
68k 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 ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
50k views

How far can you drive with an empty radiator?

The radiator on my Peugeot 106 has started leaking very badly and need replacing. I don't have time to fix it at the moment, so I'm taking it to a garage. How far can I drive it without damaging the ...
11
votes
8answers
33k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Change calipers on both sides?

Four months ago, I had a seized brake in the front left. The slide bearing was stuck and the outer pad was worn more than the inner (at the piston). I wasn't able to move the journals of the bearing ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is car A/C typically less reliable than fridges/freezers?

I just had the A/C in my car die on me again; air coming through the vents with the A/C is just as warm with it turned on as off. However, my fridge/freezer is something I've had for over 5 years and ...
11
votes
4answers
136k views

Can I drive a car with only water and no coolant if it has a leak?

Recently, I was informed that a car I share ('02 Nissan Sentra) was close to overheating. I was told it gets close to the upper limit very quickly upon running the car. When I inspected the vehicle, I ...
11
votes
6answers
40k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
395 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the Advantages of a Single Side SwingArm on Motorcycles?

I have noticed that Ducatis , Honda and Triumph have bikes with a Single Sided SwingArm Much like most of the scooters. Are there any advantages of following this design , if so why are not all ...
11
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
40k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
824 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
22k views

Engine power specification at different rpm?

Car companies advertise power of an engine at different rpms. Car 1: 80 PS at 6000 rpm Car 2: 85 PS at 6500 rpm What does the power at different rpm mean? Does it mean Car 1 has better power than ...
11
votes
7answers
10k views

Engine oil change and getting rid of old oil completely

After running the vehicle for a certain distance usually we will change the engine oil. This will not only give engine new life with the brand new oil but will also get sludge and other sediments out ...
11
votes
3answers
28k 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?
11
votes
3answers
8k views

Is high octane fuel a requirement for high-compression engines?

I own and use a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 as my daily commuter vehicle. I'm not interested in trying to eek out a few extra miles on a tank, I want to keep the vehicle and its engine running as ...
11
votes
2answers
109 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How much air should a tire lose each month?

How much air does a tire typically lose each month? Do nitrogen-filled tires actually lose less air (well, nitrogen) each month? If so, what's normal for them? According to a tire store manager I ...
11
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
618 views

Should I change my tires so they all match?

Here is my situation: 2012 Honda Civic EX, 1.8L with P205/55R16 tires recommended Three (both front, and left passenger) tires are OEM Continental ContiProContact P205/55R16 89H with about 20,000 ...
11
votes
4answers
135 views

2000 VW Polo struggles to/won't start when engine warm

My 2000 1.4 petrol polo struggles to start when warm and sometimes will not start, until the engine has cooled down a bit, when the engine is on the hot side of warm. Embarrassingly, I have lived ...
11
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
243 views

How do I apply Fibreglass and Bondo?

Does it have to be on bare metal? What about adding the product to primer?
11
votes
2answers
298 views

Why did Ducati decide to use the desmodromic valve train rather than a more tradition valve train?

Ducati's use a unique method to open and close their valves. It's called the desmodromic valve train. The desmodromic valve system does not use springs to close the valve, it uses the cam and has a ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I weigh mileage against time when it comes to scheduled maintenance?

My 2001 Honda Civic's manual indicates that my timing belt should be replaced every 110,000 miles or 84 months. I bought the car in July 2001 and have around 49,000 miles on it. A dealer mechanic said ...
11
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
47k views

Symptoms of Lean or Rich carb settings on a motorcycle

I have a 1981 Yamaha XS650. I recently put in K&N stock replacement filter (ie, they are in the airbox and conform to the size of the original), however they may be leading to a leaner mixture ...
11
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
433 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Should motorcyle exhaust headers ever glow red hot

I've got a '99 Pegaso 650 which hasn't been running for about 7 years. It's was in a quite a deteriorated state when I got it, i.e. seized carbs, tank full of water, sump full of an ugly fuel/oil mix, ...
11
votes
2answers
705 views

What can we reliably tell from an in-vehicle battery voltage display?

The Red Cross division I am with recently purchased a new ambulance. It comes with a touchscreen display in the cockpit where we can control lights, sirens, check the temperature in the back, control ...
11
votes
5answers
24k views

2003 Chevrolet Impala - Jerks after Stopping

I have a 2003 chevy impala. When I hit the gas (whether it be a light tap or hit it pretty hard), my car kind of waits a second, jerks and then takes off (revs go kinda high when it's waiting). To ...
11
votes
1answer
421 views

Will snow tire studs get rusty if a tire is washed before putting to storage?

Once snow tires are changed to warm-weather tires in spring it's tempting to wash them before putting to storage so that they don't stain stuff they come into contact with. One concern is that studs ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
31k views

How should I remove stickers or pinstripe decals from paint?

I want to remove a dealer's sticker from my car. The sticker is on a painted surface. What is the best way to do it? Could I remove pinstripe decals in the same way?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does diesel engine need a warm-up before the start-up?

When starting up, diesel engine needs approximately 5s before turning the key for ignition. Why is this neccessary and what can be damaged if you don't do that?
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
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, ...
11
votes
1answer
83 views

Why don't cars use Sequential gearboxes?

I have always felt that the Sequential Gearbox configuration is much much faster than a ordinary gearbox used in cars. Why is this design used ? Any advantages? Note: I am aware that racing ...
11
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the motorcycle equivalent of OBD-II?

I once met an OBD-II expert while traveling and asked him if motorcycles (especially the fuel-injected ones) employ a similar protocol. He said that the use of such a protocol is not as widespread ...
11
votes
1answer
81 views

Are there different greases for inner and outer CV joints?

I was watching a video by Eric the Car Guy on changing a CV boot. In it he mentioned that there are two different types of grease, for inner and outer CV joints, which can be identified by the colour ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

How to begin learning engine tuning?

Quite simply, I want to begin tuning and modifying automotive engines for hobby. I have always been fascinated with cars, and I want to become knowledgeable in as many aspects of car tuning as ...

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