12
votes
3answers
411 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 ...
9
votes
11answers
57k views

Use of Neutral Gear in Automatic Transmission

I am new to driving A/T cars and I am trying to understand the use of Neutral(N) gear. Should I shift my gear from D to N when my car comes to a complete halt on a red light or somewhere else? As per ...
7
votes
2answers
341 views

How do modern engines differ than older ones

Modern engines produce more horsepower with more fuel economy but with the same procedure of burning the fuel air mixture and moving the piston, but the old ones and new ones are both four cylinders ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the tachometer provide any indication of fuel usage?

So, I'm driving along on the highway with the A/C blasting when I notice the price of gas. It makes me think, "what can I do to increase my fuel efficiency?" Some of the tips I've heard have included ...
35
votes
3answers
35k views

Is there a way to put Prius with dead battery into neutral?

I own a 2010 Prius. It has a dead battery, front facing forward in my garage. I do not have long enough jumper cables. I’ve searched the Internet. Did Toyota really create a car that cannot be put ...
29
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the benefits of a lightweight flywheel and why aren't they lightweight already?

This previous question explains what a flywheel does and why it is needed. That explanation means that the flywheel needs a certain amount of mass to do its job. However, an "upgrade" for many cars (...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

When is a cold air intake system beneficial?

Cold air intake must be one of the popular mods there is, and one subject to the most controversy as well. Manufacturers of such systems advertise 5-20 HP gains, yet there are claims that this mod ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between OBDII and CAN

What is CAN (controller area network)? What are the differences between an OBD-II protocol and a CAN setup?` How do I use an OBD-II scanner on a vehicle with CAN?
20
votes
4answers
228k views

What causes an engine to burn oil?

What are the different problems that can cause an engine to burn oil and in general how difficult / expensive is each one to repair? How do you diagnose each potential cause? I found this article ...
18
votes
12answers
93k views

Is Prestone “All Makes/All Models” coolant *really* compatible with all models?

My car's manual says to use the blue Honda coolant: Always use Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 [MSDS]. This coolant is pre-mixed with 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water. ...
17
votes
3answers
22k views

Why is my motorcycle losing power when accelerating?

I ride a Honda Rebel 250 motorcycle and over the past few days I find that the bike is losing power when accelerating fast. When I twist the throttle to accelerate quickly (in any gear) I hear the ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

My Car Squeals When Braking Even Though I've Had My Front Rotors Machined and Back Rotors Replaced and all new brake pads. What could it be?

I own a Toyota Soarer SC300 (1994), 2JZ motor non-turbo 3 litre engine. The engine is probably irrelevant, but provided for prosperity. Anyway, the front rotors were machined and are within the legal ...
12
votes
5answers
62k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
104 views

Are widebands known to go lazy over time?

I know narrowbands can go lazy with time, but what about widebands? This is a sequel to the cold-start misfire mystery. It turns out that we were looking at the wrong PID's for the front O2 sensor ...
11
votes
2answers
508 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it okay to splice a backup camera into the reverse lights?

I saw another thread that was similar, but it didn't a definitive or clear answer on the matter. I'll be brief. I want to install a Nexus 7 (2012) tablet in the dash of my car. I want it to be able ...
11
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Catalysator broken? Odd rope coming out of the exhaust pipe

[UPDATE] SOLVED! Hurray! The muffler had corroded inside and it blocked the exhaust system, making bad to motor. I got it fixed and the car energy efficiency improved from 12-15 liters/100km to ...
9
votes
1answer
219 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?
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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
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
3k 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
195 views

Are all drive-by-wire cars completely (brakes, clutch, gas, steer) 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 (don't know how to tell if a car is drive by wire). I am a new ...
6
votes
2answers
766 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
256 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 (...
6
votes
6answers
78k views

Is there a general fix or product I can buy to silence a squeaky belt?

I have a squeaky belt in my car that is driving me crazy! Is there a general fix or belt treatment product I can buy to silence a squeaky belt? If belts are squeaky, does that mean time for ...
6
votes
0answers
146 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
30k 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
8k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
15k 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
1k views

Aprillia Pegaso 650 won't start after cleaning carbs, what might be wrong?

I've got a '99 Pegaso 650 which has been sitting idle for about 7 years. The carbs were quite bad shape when I got it. The first time I cleaned the carbs I was able to get the bike started but it ...
5
votes
4answers
31k 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
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
3k 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
3answers
35k 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 doesn'...
4
votes
2answers
875 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
1answer
77 views

Should I change one spark plug and wire or all of them?

2 days ago I felt that something isn't right with my Ford. A mechanic told me that he wants to replace all four spark plugs and wires but could I just change the one? I'm scared that he's ripping me ...
27
votes
7answers
281k 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
4k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do two-stroke engine exhaust pipes look so strange?

Two stroke gasoline engine exhaust pipes are shaped strange. They expand into a wide diameter and then shrink down to a very small diameter where the exhaust gasses emerge into the environment. Why ...
23
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 ...
22
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 ...
22
votes
11answers
167k views

What happens if a single spark plug unexpectedly goes down in a multi-cylinder engine?

AFAIK vehicle manuals say owner must replace spark plugs every N miles. Suppose he fails to do so and a single spark plug unexpectedly dies in an engine with multiple cylinders right in a freeway. ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do tyres go flat after a few weeks of non-usage?

My car is a 2007 model FIAT Albea 1.3 liter 4-door saloon. I think it might be the "fire" version. Made (assembled) in Turkey. I use it 6 months a year but 4-5 weeks at a time. When it's stored/parked ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we need to cool air after it leaves a turbocharger?

When we are using a turbocharger to compress the incoming air, the air gets hotter. Usually this hot air is cooled by using intercooler before it is passed to the engine. But what is the reason ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why would I want to measure torque while loosening a bolt or nut?

An answer to a question asking about torque wrench maintenance mentions to not use a particular kind of torque wrench for loosening bolts. This got me thinking. I would think it'd be preferable to ...

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