9
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
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
2answers
57 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
179 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
245 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
328 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
3k 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
146 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
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. ...
8
votes
5answers
13k views

Doing my own fuel induction service - how to, and how difficult?

I was recommended to get a fuel induction service for a 2002 V4 Camry, and am considering doing it MYSELF. The reasons for considering this are: My car idles a bit rough, especially when the AC is ...
7
votes
1answer
61 views

Breaking in a new catlytic converter?

I read somewhere you need to break in a new catalytic converter. To that end: Is this accurate? What is the purpose of breaking one in? How do you break it in?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What does a healthy spark plug look like?

The spark plug pictured here: Has some black carbon on the underside of the ground electrode and has black carbon on the "base" area below the centre electrode (not pictured). Is this normal and ...
7
votes
3answers
604 views

What do these compression figures mean

This is a follow up question to What are the causes of fluctuating intake manifold vacuum I have a 2005 Honda CBR600 F4i which suffers from occasional hesitation at low rpm when accelerating. After ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Carburetted motorcycle stalls when accelerator is applied

My father has 1995 Kawasaki VN 800 Vulcan with low kilometrage (18 000, 11 000 miles). We had installed new Vance & Hines pipes on it (in hindsight, way, way too loud, but that’s beside the point, ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Engine revs up when braking

Background: 2012 Honda Civic EX, 5-speed automatic, with no mods except a non-stock tire (ran over a large bolt). I keep it maintained per the manufacturer's manual and always see the Honda dealership ...
7
votes
3answers
267 views

How to know if I need new tires?

For the first time in my years of driving, I slid pretty badly the other day. I've slid before a little bit, but this is the first time I slid badly-- I nearly went off the road. Granted, it was ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I prevent my battery going flat when I leave my car alone for a month?

I will be leaving my Focus alone for around a month in (scottish) winter weather. Ordinarily I would make sure to take the vehicle out at least once a week to prevent the battery going flat in the ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

How to know if timing belt failure will result in immediate engine damage?

I own two cars: a 2003 Acura TL and a 2005 Volvo S60. I've been told that depending on what car you drive, a failed timing belt can result in immediate engine damage. I would like to know (not just ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Electric water pump control

Electric fans are now common on cars, both aftermarket and stock. The advantages in horsepower, faster warmup, and hence emissions are well documented elsewhere. The same reasoning can be applied to ...
6
votes
1answer
487 views

After brake bleed, pedal goes to floor

2005 Toyota sequoia. Brake pedal was fine most of the time but occasionally it would sink to the floor while stopping and it would be hard to stop. I bled my brakes and now the pedal goes to the floor ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Starting using a deep-cycle battery

This weekend, during a camping trip, the starter battery on my 2001 VW Eurovan camper started to show signs of weakness - cranking was much slower than usual and took about 5 attempts to get the ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Do you really need to cool down your turbo after hard driving? [duplicate]

Vehicle: 2012 Subaru Sti I have been driving turbocharged cars for a while now and I have blatantly accepted that before shutting down you must let your car idle for a few minutes after driving hard ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What do the numbers in 195/60/R15 mean? [duplicate]

As far as I know, each type or size or whatever of tyres has its own set of numbers which presumably mean something. In the instance of my last car these numbers were 195/60/R15. What do each of ...
6
votes
1answer
319 views

OBD2 and CAN-bus

Do all vehicles with OBD2 have a CAN-bus? Otherwise, what are the alternative buses used? Are there special versions of the buses for trucks and school-buses than for cars/suv/vans?
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How to track down an intermittent battery drain?

I know there are several questions on here about finding the source of a battery drain (like Battery drains by itself when vehicle is parked (parasitic draw) ). However I don't think the answers ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Heater smells like sulfur

I drive a 2006 Toyota Sienna. When driving with the heater on I often smell sulfur. This is more common when I am driving up a hill, but if I turn the heater off, the smell goes away. What causes this ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Intermittently fluctuating/non-functioning speedometer in Volvo 940. Possible causes?

I have a 1992 Volvo 940. A few months ago, the speedometer started malfunctioning intermittently. Sometimes it would read correctly, other times the needle would wobble around, and sometimes it would ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Manual transmission noise

What causes a grinding or scratching noise when shifting from 2nd to 3rd Gear on a 2000 Celica GT? I did have my mechanic add some gear oil but was thinking maybe I should have him drain out old ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What exactly is a clutch?

I found out recently that the flywheel, driven by the crankshaft, is connected to (or part of) the clutch. I have a basic understanding of what a clutch does due to the fact that I know how to drive a ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Is my gas pedal long enough to enable heel-and-toe shifting?

I've heard much and recently watched a video about performing the heel-and-toe technique. I tried some dummy actions, with my car shut off and in neutral but it feels too difficult to successfully ...
5
votes
2answers
14k views

What is a rod knock?

What is a rod knock? What causes a rod knock, how bad is a knocking rod, and how can I tell if a rod is knocking?
5
votes
1answer
958 views

Importance of engine compression ratio

Please explain the importance of Engine Compression Ratio. In Text books I could find the following importances Engine Cold starting Characteristics Torque Generated Fuel Consumption Noise ...
5
votes
2answers
832 views

Why are gears designed in this pattern in motorcycles? [duplicate]

On motorcycles with manual transmissions, the shifting gears goes (down to up) like this: 1st Gear (all down) Neutral (half up) 2nd (full up) 3rd (so on) What is the logic behind this? Wouldn't ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Royal Enfield Classic 350 - Motor Break-in Best Practice

How many km's should be driven with a lower speed to setup the bore for a Royal Enfield Classic 350, what is the minimum speed for that duration and how many km's should we maintain that lower speed?
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I diagnose gradual electric power loss in a VW Golf Mk5?

I'm experiencing loss of electrical power to my Mk5 Golf. It seems to happen mostly when the car hasn't been run for two or three days. We changed the battery a few months ago. More recently, there ...
5
votes
3answers
27k views

Cost of replacing struts on a 99 camry - and is it doable on our own?

My girlfriend is having a heck of a vexing time with navigating her options for getting the rear struts on her 99 camry replaced. One major chain auto repair store quoted $580-$600 for the job. ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I add a second key fob to my 2008 Prius

I have a series II 2008 Toyota Prius. I purchased a second key off of eBay and would like to program it for ignition and remote control.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Foul Smell when turning on air conditioning

I have a 2007 Chrysler Aspen, and recently (past 2 weeks) when I turn on the ac, I notice a 'foul' smell, like burnt rubber, or even sulphur-like. The smell will last a few minutes and will gradually ...
5
votes
4answers
425k views

The car won't start, not even click, but everything else works fine in the car

The car has powerful new battery (1 week old). I drove the car and after 4 hours, the car will not start, not even click when you try to start the car? All the lights are ok and they are not dim. What ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

toyota corolla 2001 air duct smell [duplicate]

My 2001 Toyota Corolla recently started smelling very foul whenever the air system was turned on. According to the research I've done online, there is no cabin air filter to change. The glove box ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Start a circuit or device when you insert key in car ignition

I want to start a circuit in my car when I insert my key in car ignition and let it turn off when the key gets removed. I have Honda Civic 2007. Can someone just help me out as to from where do I take ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Is it reasonable to charge the customer $1000+ to assemble the top of the engine?

I recently have an engine overheat issue and see my previous post for details: How long does items in the engine last in general for standard size cars? This is an interesting follow up on that at ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Evaporator canister purge system advice needed

1995 Blazer - 4.3 L Vortec V6 CMFI (vin W w/ PCM) 230,000 miles There are no trouble codes. This is a OBD-I or 1.5 system from a GM transitional year (I have the OBD-II style connector). I have ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How to test if head gaskets are blown?

Is there a definitive way to test whether head gaskets in most engines are blown, without actually reaching for the gaskets themselves (at which point you might as well go ahead and replace them) ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

Tire puncture with glass

What has the highest chance of puncturing your tire? Driving over a piece of glass at 5mph or Driving over a piece of glass at 30mph The former would have quicker contact but the latter would ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Tick Tick sound from a Royal Enfield Classic 350 at idle

I own a Royal Enfield Classic 350. At idle, the engine starts to produce a TICK TICK sound. However it vanishes when the rpm rises and when riding the motorcycle. This question is a very frequently ...
4
votes
1answer
163 views

Is it necessary to have the good car's engine running when jumpstarting

When jump-starting a vehicle, one first connects the positive and negative terminals between the two cars: positive to positive and negative (good battery) to a bolt head on the vehicle with the dead ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Does switching to neutral on an automatic transmission improve braking for immediate stopping?

I've been told that when needing to brake quickly, throwing the gear into neutral on an automatic transmission actually allows for better/quicker braking. I understand how things work pretty well but ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Ford Taurus common oil leak area?

On my last oil change, the technician noted some oil around top and side of the engine block and said there is a small leak. The only way to find where it is coming from is doing the whole dye test, ...

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