14
votes
2answers
572 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
343 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
1answer
102 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
6answers
4k views

Why is the speed of a motorcycle measured at the front wheel?

I have been thinking about this, from quite long ago. Why is speed always calculated from the front wheel? Let's just consider the following situation:- You are in a race, and you have given full ...
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
18k 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
3answers
2k views

Why is gas around a car battery only at risk of ignition from jumper cables?

As pointed out in Jump starting a dead battery: Connect black wire to negative pole of battery or grounded metal?, you connect the black jumper cable to the dead car's chassis to avoid sparks made ...
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
615 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 ...
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 30-...
13
votes
4answers
240 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
340 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
6answers
2k views

Should I use gasoline 87, 89 or 93 on 2016 RAV4 SE

I read many articles online and people have different opinions about this issue. Some say 89 is the best for acceleration. Others say 87 is just fine. I'm worried only about the health of my car. ...
13
votes
3answers
290 views

Why does GM still insist on push rod engines?

GM continues to design and produce push rod (Over Head Valve or OHV) engines while most of their competitors have gone to over head cam (OHC) configurations for their performance engines. Is there a ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
8k 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
5answers
165k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
970 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
14k 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
735 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
5answers
30k 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
6k 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
16k 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
680 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. Harley-...
13
votes
2answers
167 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
16k 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
31k 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
2answers
1k views

How can I know if the airbags have expired and what are the consequences?

How do I know if the airbags have expired? Is it the same years for every airbag? Maybe they can be checked? Then, if I have the airbags expired, what would be the consequences of using the car? ...
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
2answers
25k views

Engine revs high 5th gear manual transmission

What might cause a car with a manual transmission that in 5th gear when given a punch of gas revs to very high rpms – with no power transferred to the wheels (i.e. the tachometer and speed go ...
13
votes
1answer
869 views

Is reverse gear in a manual transmission equivalent to any other gear?

Question is pretty well summarized in the title. If we were to order gears in terms of power provided, where would reverse fall between gears 1-5 on a manual transmission vehicle? Does it vary by ...
13
votes
1answer
820 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
188 views

How do I troubleshoot the source of oil in my coolant?

I would like to know the step by step troubleshooting procedure for discovering the source of oil appearing in coolant. There are several different points of failure that can be the root cause for ...
13
votes
1answer
452 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
798 views

What makes two-stroke engines less fuel-efficient than four-strokes?

It is a commonly-held belief that two-stroke engines are less fuel-efficient than four-stroke engines, and some example BSFC figures appear to confirm this as well. But what is it that causes two-...
13
votes
2answers
34k 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?
13
votes
2answers
169 views

Grease on wheel bolts or not?

My father (an engineer, but not an auto mechanic) taught me to use a tiny dab of machine grease on the thread (not the rim) of each wheel bolt. This would help against corrosion, and help when ...
13
votes
2answers
251 views

How does a transfer case split power between front/rear?

I've read somewhere that transfer cases (on 4x4 vehicles) split the power from front to rear, but don't do it equally. Something along a 60% rear/40% front (though I'm sure it could be any percentage ...
13
votes
1answer
13k views

Why is my Toyota dashboard shiny and sticky, and how do I clean it?

I have a 2008 Toyota Camry, which is primarily kept in Florida (southern U.S.). My entire dashboard has been sticky / tacky for years. I do not know why or how it got this way. It accumulates dust ...
13
votes
1answer
301 views

Replace car batteries with capacitors?

I recently watched this video on YouTube which basically shows the guy replacing a larger capacitors with some smaller capacitors which he had bought. The larger capacitors were actually in place of a ...
13
votes
2answers
263 views

Does waiting until the gas cap become faulty cause any damage?

The description for a fuel tank cap says: You can prevent unnecessary service costs by replacing the gas cap on modern vehicles before they go bad and the check engine light appears. Is this ...

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