9
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the benefits to waxing a modern car?

I was taught that waxing a car helped protect the finish by preventing damage from the elements - water, salt, etc.. The first vehicles I owned (a 1981 Impala and a 1978 Thunderbird) developed larges ...
9
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
54 views

Can I only get an alignment on new tires or is the salesman just being pushy?

When purchasing new tires, the salesman is quick to recommend getting an alignment as well to prevent premature tire wear. I've even been told that you have to get the alignment done when the tires ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

how a clutch works

I understand how a clutch can separate the flywheel from the clutch disk so that power is disconnected from the engine but how when that happens, the input shaft (along with the countershaft) stops ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does an engine's idle RPMs take time to settle from a cold start?

I've noticed my car's (healthy) engine will idle at a slightly higher RPM for a few moments after it's been started from cold/not run for a day. I also noticed that my (somewhat less healthy) other ...
7
votes
2answers
424 views

Keeping an old car alive?

So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power ...
6
votes
0answers
110 views

Once-only thud knock when open throttle

I have a 1997 Yamaha TRX850. When I open the throttle I'm hearing a thud knock sound near the left crankshaft cover. That sound does not always appears and I can't find any correlation between ...
6
votes
1answer
26k views

DIY - How to create a car paint booth? What's Involved?

Thinking about painting my next project car, and came across a YouTube video where the OP built a makeshift booth in what appeared to be his garage. Fast forwarding to later videos when he brought ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Durability of automatic transmission boxes versus durability of manual transmission boxes? Their lifetimes?

My friend is against cars with automatic transmission because he thinks that they break easily and that their repairing cost a lot. He thinks that it is impossible to maintain an automatic ...
6
votes
2answers
758 views

What should I look for in a basic motorcycle maintenance toolkit?

I'm looking to do more of my motorcycle maintenance myself, and am wondering what I should be investing in, when it comes to tools/devices. What are the basic tools that I'd need when starting to do ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

How does the speedometer on my dash actually work?

So pretty much everyone knows what a speedometer is, the thing on your dash that tells you how fast you are going, whether or not you're speeding, and what speed you have the cruise control set to ...
5
votes
1answer
9k views

How to diagnose a bad spark plug?

What I always did up to now to check if my spark plug was doing fire : Remove it. Keep it plugged into the spark plug cable. Ground it on the frame. Start and check if sparks happen. If they are ...
5
votes
2answers
55k views

Car Battery won't charge after sitting for a Year

I have a main starter battery and a leisure batter in my van. They have been left unused for around a year with my van off the road. I am now trying to get it up and running however I am unable to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Effects of driving through deep water WITHOUT hydrolocking (car still bogged down and died)

So, yesterday we had very heavy rains, and unfortunately I was driving in an unfamiliar area of town. I drove through high water, which caused my car to sputter and so I turned around. The car behaved ...
4
votes
2answers
729 views

Ways to increase driver space and comfort in a small car?

I'm the owner of a 2003 MG TF[see photo], I love the car although being 6'4" it borders on uncomfortable when driving longer distances and is not very dignified getting in or out, and my knees brush ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Dealership Installed “Oversized” Oil Drain Plug As Solution

In this question, we discuss stripped oil pan threads. I learned it is a result of user error - over tightening and cross threading, by the dealership I consistently go to. Many people have come ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

1999 gsxr 600 - What is wrong when my regulator keeps burning out?

I recently had my clutch replaced and a new battery put in. Within a month my regulator/rectifier burnt out of it. So, I purchased a new one. After 2 weeks that one burned out also. I replaced the ...
4
votes
4answers
28k views

What precautions are needed when charging a car battery in an apartment?

Suppose a car owner lives in an apartment building and parks his car nearby. He wants to detach the battery, bring it home and charge it with a mains-powered charger indoors. How to properly handle ...
4
votes
3answers
33k views

What would cause a car to lose power a few seconds after starting, then run normally?

I start my 2003 Honda Civic each morning and drive to work. A few hundred feet down the road, the engine will sometimes behave as though it is running out of gas and lose power momentarily. It ...
26
votes
7answers
259k views

what is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids?

What is the difference between DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids? What could possibly go wrong if I use a (4 times cheaper) DOT3 brake fluid instead of the DOT4 which manufacturer recommends (but allows ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the Purpose of Park on an Automatic Transmission?

When one wants to park a manual transmission (MTX) vehicle, one puts it in neutral, and engages the emergency / parking brake. With an ATX vehicle, the practice I've learned is to put it in Park, and ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do pickups and large SUV's use 4x4 and generally not AWD?

In almost every case I can think of, the larger vehicles with four wheel power are 4x4, and the smaller ones AWD. As far as my experience goes, AWD is much more convenient, and also works at least as ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there requirements for building a car-PC and it's software?

I am currently rebuilding a car as a hobby. As a part of it I am planning on building in a car PC with custom software for some multimedia usage, navigation and some diagnose usage. I know there are ...
17
votes
5answers
49k views

Why should the fuel petcock valve be turned to “Off” position when not using the vehicle?

It’s mentioned in the user manual of my motorbike, that when not using the vehicle, I should turn the petrol tap (the one that has three positions “On”, “Off” and “Reserve”) to “Off” position. I don’t ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Is downshifting on hills harmful for non-trucks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? Since the days of taking drivers ed (many years back). I was told that when you encounter a steep or ...
15
votes
3answers
12k views

When car is standing still, I smell Diesel exhaust. Why?

In my 2003 Opel Vectra, the cabin air smells of Diesel exhaust while stopped at e.g. a red light. The exhaust smell goes away when driving, and it also doesn't come back if I turn the ventilation off ...
14
votes
3answers
421 views

How does the car's ECU detect a misfire?

I was wondering what the specific mechanism used by car ECU's to detect misfires is, or are if there is more than one method.
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
167 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
4answers
422 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
33k 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?
12
votes
3answers
232 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
27k views

What exactly is a “burnt valve” and what causes it?

I've come across this term a couple of times in the context of diagnosing engine-related issues, but don't know what it refers to. Here is an example from an automotive forum I frequent: I gotta ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
610 views

How to start my motorcycle when the kick-starter fails?

This morning I tried to start my motorcycle but the kick-starter failed. It was idle for about a month but it was riding fine before that . My motorcycle doesn't have an electric starter function. ...
10
votes
1answer
49 views

How to Use Glue on Dent Puller Tabs

I just got a little dent pulling kit that uses glue on tabs: As can be seen, the tabs come in many shapes and sizes, and different surface textures; some have a ribbed surface, while others of a ...
10
votes
1answer
120 views

Motorcycle Speed Wobble - How do I figure out the problem?

I have a 2005 GSXR 600. I took it for a test drive and the head shakes around 65mph or so and then goes away when I go past that. It's worse when I'm slowing down without the front brake. When I ...
10
votes
2answers
465 views

Performance Exhaust — what, how, why?

I've seen performance exhaust pipes on sale for cars and motorcycles, and my questions are these: What does it do? (better performance [and how so?]? better mileage? cooler sounds?) Is/how is it ...
10
votes
3answers
100k views

Sloshing Sound Under Dash

I have a 2011 Suzuki SX4 Crossover AWD with MT. Sometimes when I start it up, begin moving forward, or quickly decelerate I can hear what sounds like water (or some other liquid) moving from one ...
10
votes
2answers
14k views

How much power (HP) do the components on the engine belt generally use?

In general, how much power (HP) to the components on the the engine belt actually use? I'm trying to come up with an estimate of how much horsepower an engine wastes on things like the AC compressor, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Car won't reach operating temperature

Here's a seemingly simple problem - I noticed that the temperature gauge of my mother's 2004 Opel Meriva 1.7CDTI won't ever climb above minimum. I checked the OBD readings to see if it was a defective ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Finding a possible vacuum leak

One of our cars has a bit of a rough idle which disappears at about 1,000 RPM. After eliminating everything else I concluded that this is due to a minor vacuum leak. This was confirmed by the use of a ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the “1” and “2” or “L” gears used for on an automatic?

In a car with an automatic transmission, we are normally greeted by the acronym PRNDL, or in some cases (older cars) PRND21. I know that the L, 1, or 2 will cause the transmission to stay in a ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

Is it possible to repair an intermittent or flaky turn signal flasher relay?

Ouch, a new turn signal flasher relay is $65 at the local parts shop. Is it possible to DIY a repair of such a flasher relay?
8
votes
3answers
201 views

What do the terms “combined port” & “direct injection” mean?

I heard these terms recently as part of the description of a new car. I know that there are intake and exhaust valves in the engine that are controlled by cams on the camshaft (if that helps you ...
8
votes
2answers
263 views

Fiat Punto Wont Start. Fuel Light & Three warning lights flashing

My Fiat Punto 1.2 Year 2000 MK2 (I believe) will not start. The engine turns over but the car won't start. The fuel light is flashing and petrol gauge says empty which isn't the case. There are three ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is overboost?

I've heard the term overboost quite a lot. What is "bad" overboost? What is an overboost problem? What will happen to my turbo engine if I don't fix it? Edit: apparently there is a good type ...
8
votes
3answers
145 views

Buying Car Parts Online

It's clear to me that car parts are cheaper when purchased online rather than through the mechanic. I've been buying tires and brake pads online for years with few problems. Now the wheel bearings on ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

Can I use lower octane fuel at high elevation?

Here in Colorado, gas stations sell "regular" gasoline which is rated at 85 octane ((M+R)/2). In most of the rest of the US, 87 octane is the lowest grade available. (As noted previously, higher ...
8
votes
7answers
7k views

Fuel efficiency and Shifting/RPM

I was reading a thread in a car forum where someone wrote: The lower the RPM, the less fuel you use, the less strain you put on everything.. Another person then replied, stating: Not true. ...

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