7
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it all right to clean a car radiator with vinegar and chlorine?

I got the idea from this article, where it suggests cleaning your washing machine using chlorine bleach and then vinegar. I have successfully used this method to clean my household washing machine ...
7
votes
4answers
288 views

What clues are there to identify real mileage?

This is a bit theoretical question, maybe viable for a wiki. Suppose you want to buy a 10yo car and among available deals you see one with suspiciously low mileage (e.g. 5'000 km). Seller assures you ...
7
votes
3answers
230 views

Switching gears without clutch

I drove manual car for a long time but never tried to switch gears without clutch. Question: given that clutch-less shift is executed properly, does it take a toll on transmission in any way? For ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the advantages of filling nitrogen instead of “normal” air in the car tyres?

As the question says, does filling pure nitrogen has any significant advantages, given the fact that normal air is ~80% nitrogen? Thanks for your time.
7
votes
4answers
59k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?

A couple of other "getting started" questions have been closed (as redundant with these questions), so I hope that my question is different and specific enough. I'm interested in learning to repair ...
7
votes
4answers
302 views

Assuming identical and sufficient ABS, and ignoring aerodynamics, are tires the only factor for braking distance?

I had my first accident two days ago (minimal injuries so don't worry about that), and it's got me thinking about a lot of different aspects to driving and cars, such as braking. Had my braking been ...
7
votes
4answers
95k views

What happens if I drive without antifreeze in my car?

What happens if I drive without antifreeze in my car (no water / no antifreeze)? This is my main question. I've added some follow up questions that are specific to my situation but for the main ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the difference between a V belt and a serpentine belt?

I can't seem to figure this out exactly. My understanding is that in either case it is a belt that is connected to the crankshaft and via a series of pulleys powers all the peripheral systems of the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to prevent body damage and rust from salted roadways?

I bought a used 2001 Toyota Camry this past summer. Overall it's in great shape, and I presently see no rust. Living in Wisconsin, we use salt pretty liberally to deal with snowy and icy roadways. ...
7
votes
3answers
153 views

Where to buy interior parts, that OEM doesn't sell?

I am trying to find an armrest cushion in Altima 2008 (this part). But Nissan and all OEM re-sellers will not sell the cushion only, they are only selling it as a whole door panel, which is very ...
7
votes
7answers
65k views

How do you detect and deal with a refrigerant leak?

My heat works great, but my AC is nonexistent. Just blows out normal air, which in this weather is quite hot and unpleasant. I had the refrigerant refilled two years ago, but I haven't used the car ...
7
votes
6answers
871 views

Tips for an oil change at home: cleanliness and disposal?

Drain oil, add new oil... find oil everywhere. It spills, the funnel is full of it when I'm done and drips forever, and I'm pouring kitty litter all over the driveway. If I had a proper garage this ...
7
votes
5answers
17k views

Can I use spray paint to touch up my car?

I have several really small nicks and major scuffs on my car; the nicks from driving on the highway (flying debris hitting chassis) and the scuffs from two fender benders. The nicks have started to ...
7
votes
2answers
915 views

Modern cars and diesel warm-up time

First of all let me say that I already read this question and its answer, so it's clear to me why diesel-powered cars need a warm-up time. My question is: do modern cars need it too? I have VW Golf ...
7
votes
4answers
56k views

Cold start squeaking noise in engine

I just purchased a used 2010 Corolla 3 days ago. I've only now noticed that when I start the car, there is a squeaking sound coming from the engine. It lasts no more than a second. Sounds like it ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I Need to Compress the Springs to Install Strut Tower Braces?

I have a '99 Maxima. I am considering installing strut tower braces. In order to do so, would I need to get spring compression tools to hold the springs on the struts, or will the weight of the car ...
7
votes
3answers
260 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What may happen if I do not replace my motorcycle's chain

I have a aging (y2k) motorcycle with not too many Ks on the clock. I have been told by a mechanic that I need to replace my sprockets and chain. This seems reasonable since the chain has been poorly ...
7
votes
5answers
35k views

Timing Chain vs. Timing Belt

What is the service life of a timing chain and how does having a chain drive cam benefit from a belt drive cam and vice-versa?
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Cleaning fuel injectors?

I took my car (2006 Honda Civic) to firestone to get an oil change and they told me I should get the fuel injectors cleaned. I was in an Advanced Discount Auto Parts store the other day and I noticed ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

2000 Honda Civic Won't Start after Replacing spark Plugs

My 2000 honda civic ex 4-dr sedan seemed like it was misfiring. I decided to check the spark plugs to see if that was the issue. I replaced the spark plugs. The car would turn over however the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Difference between high octane and low octane?

What is the difference between high octane and low octane fuel? I'm not asking if one is better than the other for my vehicle, specifically, but rather what occurs differently both scientifically and ...
7
votes
1answer
12k views

Brakes make grinding noise during stops at low speeds

I've got a Mazda B2300 pickup that's started making a grinding sound whenever I come to a stop. Braking at a high speed doesn't make any noise, but once I get under 25-30 MPH, the grinding sound gets ...
7
votes
2answers
298 views

What are the black dots that are at some windows edges?

I noticed that many windows have this kind of sun limiter at the edges and wondered what exactly they are.
7
votes
2answers
261 views

The poor man's Start Interrupt Switch — non-obvious way to disable starting

There's some idiot stealing similar cars to mine -- mid to late 90s Subarus -- in this part of town. The police are pretty confident that he has a jiggle key (the cars have been mostly recovered, ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

How does a supercharger differ from a turbocharger?

What is the difference between superchargers and turbochargers? I looked it up before but I really don't understand what the difference is.
7
votes
2answers
599 views

My mazda milenia wont rev past 2500 rpm

So I just recently bought a 2000 Mazda Milenia s Millennium edition,and on my first day out with it, I experienced a very unusual problem. After about 20 minutes of driving the car wouldn't rev past ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it better to drive across a speed bump at a right angle or slightly skewed?

I'm wondering if it is better for your suspension to drive across a speed bump at a right angle (so that the two front tires and the two rear tires hit the bump at the same time, respectively), or at ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How to stiffen up a loose ball & socket joint for a motorcycle mirror?

I have bar-end mirrors on my Buell 1125CR. They're fairly heavy anodized aluminum pieces that pivot on a ball & socket joint for adjusting the angle of view. One of them fits snugly on the joint, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How does the change oil light system work and does it matter what type of oil you use for it to work properly?

I want to know if the methods a vehicle decides when to turn on the oil change light have to do with the qualities of the motor oil used in the last oil change. I have heard that the vehicle's ...
7
votes
5answers
229 views

How can I know if the right oil has been added to the vehicle?

Considering that the car recommend Mobil 1 Synthetic oil as per the logo on the oil cap, how can I be sure that the garage that did the oil change poured the recommended oil and not another low cost ...
7
votes
2answers
368 views

Brake cleaner vs carb cleaner vs throttle-body cleaner

So I was spring-cleaning my man-cave/garage over the weekend and came across my assortment of chemical sprays - specifically carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner which caught my eye. Is there any ...
7
votes
2answers
133 views

Is it worth having a fire extinguisher in the car?

I've always had a small 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) multipurpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the car. It has finally expired and I'm wondering whether I should get a new one. In my region it is not ...
7
votes
2answers
174 views

Is any power from the alternator 'free'?

Cars generally (and specifically a Honda Accord 2002) are not very energy-efficient. Given all the inefficiencies, is it "free" to plug in, say, a smartphone into a car to charge while I am driving? ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I replace my own oxygen sensor if i have a Check Engine Light and Code P2195?

My 2003 focus lx 2.0L L4 SOHC ~18,000 miles has had the engine light so i went to autozone to read the code. Autozone obd2 printout says "P2195 lack of heated oxygen sensor- Bank 1 Sensor 1 HO2S11 ...
7
votes
2answers
808 views

Do I need to go to a dealer for a simple maintenance?

I just bought a 2012 CRV. Now, it's time for an oil change. I already moved so the dealer is too far away from my house (may need half day off) and there is no other public transportation to go there. ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Good template for keeping maintenance records?

I'm looking for ideas on templates to use to record service for multiple vehicles. Excel is preferred format, but open to all in interest of gathering ideas. Anyone have any templates?
7
votes
1answer
541 views

I'm stupid and added tranny fluid to my coolant tank. What can I expect?

Title pretty much says it all. I'm a computer guy, not a car guy. I saw a bunch of red fluid coming out of my vehcile, assumed it was tranny fluid. Turns out it was antifreeze. This means the bit of ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

Can I drive my 4wd 4runner in front wheel only?

I recently had the misfortune of having my 1997 4runner's rear diff lock up because of a leak and then no gear oil. Unfortunately to add to that the frame and major members are very rusted/rotted. ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

What are the audible symptoms of a failing starter motor?

My 2004 Subaru WRX has 110000 miles on the odometer and I'm worried about the original equipment starter motor. Here are the audible symptoms that have me concerned: During the winter, I noticed ...
7
votes
2answers
705 views

What are reverse lights used for besides showing intention to reverse?

Recently I have noticed cars in parking lots with their reverse lights on even when the driver is not behind the wheel. I stop to let the drivers back out, and then realize they have no such ...
7
votes
2answers
51k views

What happens if you put the wrong kind of gas in your car?

I (like most people) just use regular unleaded gas in my car and always have. But once I accidentally put in the premium kind, mixing it with the unleaded that was already there, and I thought for ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Is Paint Protection worth paying for?

I've just bought myself a new car, and as expected the dealer is trying to sell me extra items. The two options they are trying to push on me are Paint Protection nano technology paint protection ...
7
votes
2answers
839 views

What problems can come from AC not running for years?

I have an 81 Chevy C10 that I inherited from my dad. This truck has mostly sat for the last seven years, with me running it enough to keep it in condition. I've been using this truck mainly for the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

AC: Fixing or Recharging?

I have Toyota Camry 2000. The problem is AC does not blow any cold air. So, I bought R134a and recharging it myself. It costs me about $12. However, it lasts for about a month. I checked with couple ...
7
votes
1answer
821 views

Car Suddenly Decides To Not Crank

Today I turned the key to start up my car and all the lights (headlights and instrument panel) came on bright and normal, but the engine made absolutely no sound. It wouldn't start, it didn't even try ...
7
votes
2answers
373 views

All weather tires vs winter tires on well-plowed roads

I live in Minnesota. I've seen lots of people recommend changing to winter tires in the winter. However, what doesn't make sense to me is that the roads are plowed very well here. 90% of my driving ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ?
7
votes
2answers
13k views

What is a suitable air compressor for a home garage?

What type and size air compressor (HP, Tank Size, CFM, direct drive/2 stage... etc) would be suitable for a home garage where I'm going to do small amounts of maintenance but nothing major? So I would ...

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