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
85 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
97 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
87 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
72 views

Are there any plans to update OBD-II?

OBD-II is ancient It predates the Porsche 911 GT1, Windows 95 and implementation of the Schengen Agreement. I would have thought that SAE would be working to add more diagnostic coverage for ...
11
votes
1answer
345 views

2005 Subaru 2.5 RS - Engine-wise, how damaging is burning oil?

Assuming that an engine always has enough oil to be lubricated properly but burns quite a bit of oil, can it cause any damage in the long-term because it doesn't belong in the combustion chamber? I ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a hot patch, and how is it done?

I recently picked up a piece of metal in my tire, leading to a flat. The mechanic said he could not plug the tire, and that a "hot patch" was required. What is a hot patch, how is it applied, and ...
11
votes
3answers
400 views

Any recommendations on vehicle maintenance software for the DIYer?

I currently use a combination of Car Minder for the iPhone - it's only $2.99 but limited functionality - and Excel spreadsheets. Ideally I'm looking for something that will track all service for up ...
11
votes
2answers
10k views

2005 Dodge Ram: easy way to diagnose code P0420?

My truck is reporting a code P0420, which apparently is "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" which can either be the catalytic converter or the rear O2 sensor. The code came on at ...
11
votes
1answer
40 views

How can I tell which parts of my car are “By Wire”?

I've recently purchases a manual transmission 1.5 Honda Mobilio. Which claimed to be a drive by wire vehicle and I assume it really is, but I don't know how to tell if a car is drive by wire. I am a ...
11
votes
2answers
753 views

How do I drain the brake fluid for a 1999 BMW K1200RS?

I need to drain the brake fluid for my 1999 BMW K1200RS with ABS in order to do some minor service on the Master Cylinder, but I don't have a service manual for the bike. How should I go about doing ...
11
votes
0answers
226 views

Vibration at idle, much worse after warm

My car is a 2001 Pontiac Firebird with a V6 (3800 Series II (L36)) and a manual transmission. These are all at a stop: When the car is cold, I don't feel too much vibration when sitting in it. (I ...
10
votes
13answers
61k views

Is the ECON button just a placebo?

I recently bought a Honda Civic that had this in the car: I have no idea what it does, and how it's supposed to help. Even Honda's website is ambiguous, just using a lot of fuzzy words to describe ...
10
votes
4answers
19k views

brake rotors- blank, slotted or drilled?

There is a lot of conflicting information whether slotted or drilled rotors perform better than blank rotors. For a street car that will do the occasional track day, which type of rotor should I get?
10
votes
5answers
3k views

2005 Ford Taurus - Is it really harmful to use standard antifreeze?

My wife was speaking with a mechanic when she took the car in for a safety and emissions inspection this past week and the mechanic told her that we HAD to take our Ford Taurus to a Ford dealership or ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Should a tire with cracks along the outer perimeter of the sidewall be replaced?

I have creases or small tears running throughout the perimeter of my tires. Does this warrant replacing the tire completely?
10
votes
5answers
551 views

Should negative trickle charger clips be attached to the battery negative terminal, or ground?

I'm trickle-charging a car using direct connections to the battery. I thought this couldn't be simpler: ventilate, unhook the battery, connect the positive first, then the negative, then turn on the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Vaseline dissolve rubber?

Recently, someone suggested that I apply some vaseline to an O-ring connection to see if I can find a leak. I've read that oil-based lubricants, especially vaseline, can desolve rubber. It seems like ...
10
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I safely siphon gas from a tank?

Our 2003 Windstar was recently totaled in an accident (everybody's ok). This happened the day after we filled the tank. Before we hand over the car to the insurance, we'd like to get the fuel out of ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Pulsar 180 - How Can I Measure the Mileage?

Could anybody please tell me how to measure the mileage of my Pulsar 180 bike accurately? I have tried by emptying my tank. I failed miserably, and I had to take my bike walking long distance.
10
votes
11answers
34k views

Couldn't start my Volvo due to Key Error. Called assistance and he fixed it by hitting the key with a screwdriver. What could be the error?

My Volvo S40 (06) would not start when I turned the ignition key. I got a message that was somewhat like "Key Error, please try again". I tried with both my keys so it wasn't the key itself. I think I ...
10
votes
2answers
15k views

Clutch less shifting - why does it work? Is it bad?

I have been driving stick for 15 years and within the last year I learned I can shift gear without the clutch. Normally the transmission will not let me shift gears without using the clutch. ...
10
votes
2answers
107 views

Motorcycle Four Body Carburetor Synchronization Balancing

I would like to adjust four-body carbs by myself, in order to avoid spent money every time. What are the basic rules, tools and secrets of synchronizing multiple carburetor bodies?
10
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the BCM (Body Control Module) in a car?

I own a Fiat Grande Punto. Recently I was told by the authorized auto workshop that the BCM in my car has failed and needs to be fixed. So I have two questions regarding this: What is the BCM and ...
10
votes
3answers
312 views

What exactly is a catalytic converter and why does it need to operate within a certain range?

I heard here that a catalytic converter needs to operate within a certain "chemical range" otherwise it will generate unnecessary heat. What exactly is a catalytic converter? How does it work? What ...
10
votes
2answers
225 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: ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I apply dielectric grease to my battery?

I recently had a new battery installed in my 2006 Subaru Forester. The shop did not use any dielectric grease, just connected the leads to the terminal and that's it. What is the preferred method of ...
10
votes
1answer
86 views

How does the tachometer on my dashboard actually work?

Recently, I asked a question about the speedometer, how it works and how accurate it is. But that got me thinking... how does the rest of the dash actually work? I understand that the RPM measurement ...
10
votes
1answer
184 views

How do lambda sensors work?

Virtually every modern passenger vehicle today utilizes lambda sensors from the factory. How critical are they to a vehicle's operation? How do they work?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How does ambient temperature affect engine efficiency and fuel consumption?

I remember from my physics class that the ideal-gas Carnot engine is more efficient if the temperature difference between the heat source and the thermostat ("heat recipient") is larger ...
10
votes
1answer
762 views

Are older cars' cigarette lighters the same as modern

Do the Cigarette lighters in the older cars(like my 1986 ford ranger) have the same functionality as modern cars? For example: Should I be able to use a cigarette-lighter adapted phone charger in my ...
10
votes
1answer
338 views

What is the safest way to jumpstart a car surrounded by snow, ice and water? Can I get electrocuted?

All of the water and snow in the coming days can make jumpstarting a car pretty unnerving. With all the electricity in car batteries and jumper cables laying in snow and water, what are the concerns? ...
10
votes
2answers
428 views

Why won't my engine rotate?

After doing some maintenance on a 2000 Porsche 911 engine (3.4l normally aspirated), I find that I can manually rotate it with a wrench on the flywheel, to a certain point but no farther and I can't ...
10
votes
2answers
195 views

Diesel Engine Runaway - What is it?

I was watching some youtube videos and diesel engine runaway videos started to pop up where apparently the diesel engine runs out of control until it destroys itself. My Question What is diesel ...
10
votes
1answer
71 views

How much does a driver weigh?

I was amused when I saw one of the statistics for my VW Passat B5.5 car, which stated as follows: Kerb weight with driver - 1425kg I know this is a very weird question and I hope its not too ...
10
votes
2answers
84 views

What is meant by degreeing a cam?

In the hot rodding world, "degreeing the cam" is an often used term when installing an aftermarket camshaft. What does the term mean, what does it do for you, why should you do it, and what are the ...
10
votes
2answers
43 views

Do I need to replace both front struts if one is OK

I have a car that is 7 years old and unfortunately hit a curb which bent the front strut on the drivers side. Do I need to replace both struts? Or just the damaged strut? It is similar to this ...
10
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the efficiency delta between rotary and modern four-stroke engines

Background There is a lot of opinion out there regarding the efficiency delta between wankel rotary engines and four stroke engines of various configurations (forced induction, etc). This delta, ...
10
votes
2answers
836 views

Can I safely upgrade to an AGM battery?

AGM batteries are capable of being charged at a faster rate, and may draw additional amperage from the alternator if it is not regulated. Many cars that come with AGM batteries have special charge ...
10
votes
3answers
59 views

Brake lights don't illuminate until pedal is pressed by about 5-10mm

2003 Opel Agila My brake lights do not light up until I have pushed the pedal down by about 1cm. If I rest my foot on the brake pedal, with the brakes applied a little bit then the brake lights do ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

How to diagnose high speed vibration?

I get a vibration at high speeds (50+), can feel it particularly in the steering wheel, front seats, dashboard. I have been trying to figure out what's going on, keeping in mind that: All 4 shocks ...
10
votes
1answer
70 views

Do any car batteries come dry with the electrolyte in a seperate container?

Small batteries for Motorcycles and Lawn Tractors are typically sold with the electrolyte in a separate bottle and must be added to the battery at home before installing it. I've never seen a "dry" ...
10
votes
5answers
116k views

Why would there be transmission fluid in the water overflow reservoir?

The car is a '98 Buick Lesabre with the 3800 engine and about 170k miles. It appears as though some oil was in the radiator, but I haven't seen any signs of coolant in the oil. The water pump recently ...
10
votes
1answer
94 views

Why do diesel fuel lines have to be bled?

Background I've had a couple of situations with diesels. One in particular where I swapped a Ford F350 Powerstroke 7.8 transmission. When I was done. The truck wouldn't start. It was a painful ...

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