All Questions

47
votes
9answers
12k views

What are the benefits of premium (high octane) petrol?

Here in the UK it's common for petrol (gas) stations to offer both regular and "premium" unleaded petrol. The premium stuff is (naturally) more expensive, and I've often wondered what the actual ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

The headlights dim to almost off when I turn off the engine. How do I test the battery?

My car still starts fine but when I turn off the car (just the motor . . the key is still in and "on") I noticed the headlights dim to almost off. It's and older car and the headlights don't turn off ...
25
votes
3answers
10k views

Reviving a vehicle that has been idle for a long time.

Some related topics: How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle? How long does it take for gas to go bad? The first related topic addresses preparing a vehicle for long-term disuse, and maintaining ...
37
votes
13answers
54k views

Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear?

Does the act of downshifting to slow your vehicle down have any negative side affects? I don't downshift more than one or two gears at a time and I let out on the clutch slow enough that I don't rev ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

What to check when buying a used car?

I'm looking to buy a used car. What do you think I should check (mechanically) before buying it (especially if it's diesel)?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Least wear-and-tear, most fuel efficient method of coasting in a manual transmission car? [closed]

I drive a manual transmission '08 Honda Fit. On my daily 17 mile commute to work, there are three long hills that I can coast down, each about a half mile long. Going down these hills, I've done two ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Squeaky Brakes: How much of a concern are they?

I recently bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee from a dealership. When we bought it, I noticed that the brakes were not working very well, and the dealer fixed them before we finalized, putting in a ...
20
votes
4answers
18k views

How far can I drive with 1 gallon too much oil?

I have way too much oil in my Acura TSX. Do I need to take care of it without turning it on or can I drive it to a service station? If I need to do it in place, I don't have the ramps or a pan or ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Engine power specification at different rpm?

Car companies advertise power of an engine at different rpms. Car 1: 80 PS at 6000 rpm Car 2: 85 PS at 6500 rpm What does the power at different rpm mean? Does it mean Car 1 has better power than ...
30
votes
4answers
78k views

Why does my A/C blow foul smelling air when it first turns on?

Most of the time when I first turn on the A/C in our 2008 Toyota Sienna, the air that blows out has a very distinct chemical - nasty smell. After a while it seems to go away. I'm not sure if I just ...
7
votes
8answers
11k views

Can coasting in neutral damage an automatic transmission?

When I drove a manual transmission, I got in the habit of shifting to neutral on long, shallow grades to save fuel. Now I'm driving an automatic (specifically, a recent Corolla) and still doing it. ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Static vs. Effective compression: Why does higher effective compression not require higher octane gas?

Background I've been trying to do a lot of research on boost lately because I'm planning on running a moderate turbo setup on my daily/light-duty-autox car in the future. I'm trying to get into the ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

Accidentally poured engine oil into the coolant reservoir

My 1990 Mazda 626 leaks oil like a sieve, so I regularly top up the oil. In a moment of stupidity, I opened my radiator cap instead of my oil cap while topping up my engine oil, and poured about ...
5
votes
4answers
11k views

Is engine braking harmful? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? My wife and I have a disagreement about a practice of mine--engine braking. When I'm driving her manual ...
35
votes
5answers
1k views

How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle?

My daily commute changed from 9 miles to 9 feet when I started working remotely. That means I very rarely drive my car much. After a particularly hectic month, I didn't drive for about 4 weeks and ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

how to optimize fuel consumption by changing the rear differential ratio?

Is it possible to improve the fuel consumption (decrease it) in my van by changing the rear differential ratio? I would like to optimize it for low-speed driving about 40 km/h (25 mph). Is it true ...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

Battery drains by itself when vehicle is parked (parasitic draw)

A 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee has gone through 3 batteries in the last 3 months. While they have all been replaced by warranties, it'd be nice to get the problem solved permanently. I've tested the ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
40k views

How long does it take for gas to go bad?

Approximately how long does it take for unleaded gasoline in the tank and fuel lines to become unusable in a car that is not being used? What causes this, and what can be done to prevent or remedy ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

How to assess battery charge level and alternator performance?

What diagnostics can be done to to assess battery charge level? I'm interested both in one-off tests like can be done in car service and also continuous monitoring during normal use. Car panels ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the change oil light system work and does it matter what type of oil you use for it to work properly?

I want to know if the methods a vehicle decides when to turn on the oil change light have to do with the qualities of the motor oil used in the last oil change. I have heard that the vehicle's ...
8
votes
6answers
23k views

Is idling bad for your engine?

If I sit in my car for 30-40 minutes with the AC and the car idling, does that "hurt" the engine, or does it simply waste gas and pollute the air? Would it be better if I turned off the car? A ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Can I reprogram a used Mercedes smart key?

I want a new key for my Mercedes Benz and I've heard that you can get a used smart key for much cheaper than a new one from a licensed Mercedes mechanic. Can I reuse an already programmed Mercedes ...
4
votes
2answers
16k views

Oil in coolant - how much trouble am I in?

I have oil in my coolant reservoir. Could it just be the head gasket or is it almost certainly the entire engine or might it be something else entirely? Thanks in advance...
4
votes
8answers
7k views

When given a choice between octane 89 and 93, which should I choose?

I just recently got a 2005 Volvo S40 with a turbo engine; I want to take good care of it, so naturally, when the instruction manual recommends 91 octane fuel but says it takes a minimum of 87, I have ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How should the lights for a trailer be hooked up?

I have a tent trailer and the lights don't work right. It has a 4 wire connector to my car but one of the wires on the trailer connector was worn out and probably not working. So I got a new 4 prong ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Mazda 323: Plugged in Coolant Temp Sensor - Now Car won't Start

I recently bought a Manual 97 Mazda Lantis 323 1.8L DOHC 16 Valve BP. I found the following wire unplugged on the drivers side of the engine, next to the water intake from the radiator: It plugs ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I use coca cola or baking soda + water to clean my battery clamps?

The clamps that are attached to the car battery are corroded, I was told either of these liquids will work. Which one is better? Is there a how to guide on the exact steps I need to take? With my ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Fast Idle and High Fuel Consumption

I just bought a Manual 97 Mazda Lantis 323 1.8L DOHC 16 Valve BP and I was amazed that it went through 1/4 tank gas ( about 12.5 liters or 3.3 gallons ) in one day after about 60 kilometers / 37 miles ...
0
votes
0answers
102 views

Getting Started in Auto Repair [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Reviving a vehicle that has been idle for a long time. How to begin learning engine tuning? My dad has an old Mazda that has been sitting in the garage for a long ...
39
votes
15answers
140k views

Should I resurface or replace my rotors everytime I replace brake pads?

I have heard it is proper practice to replace or resurface your brake rotors every time your do a brake pad replacement. Does this need to be done every single time or is it overkill? Maybe it is ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

How to deal with rust

I accidentally drove my car over a curb a while back. As you probably already know, the car suffered from minor scratches and dents on the bottom side, near the rear tyre. Now, I've noticed that it's ...
20
votes
8answers
19k views

Is it necessary to 'burn in' or 'break in' a new car?

I've just bough a new 2011 plate car. I've heard stories of people 'burning in' engines for the first few hundred or couple thousand miles using methods such as: Not driving above 50 mph. Varying ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I know when to change my spark plug

I ride a Piaggio scooter with a single cylinder engine. Recently I broke down and the engine wouldn't restart. It turned out the spark plug was stuffed. How can I ensure that doesn't happen again?
6
votes
3answers
464 views

Car enthusiast beginner kit

What is a good place to begin building a kit/set up for performing your own service? For ex: oil changes waxing detailing What is the best starting equipment one can start on?
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
19k views

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?
3
votes
1answer
508 views

How can I get rid of door dings?

Wife parks too close to my white car. Would love to get rid of these door dings as her car is only 3 years old.
20
votes
8answers
32k views

Will higher octane fuel improve gas mileage?

I've heard from some people that high octane fuel will increase gas mileage. Around here, we have the basic unleaded(87), mid-grade(89), and premium(93 or 91). I've been using the basic 87 unleaded ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?

When you come to a stop with a manual transmission you have to push the clutch in or take it out of gear to keep the engine from stalling out. What keeps the engine from stalling in an automatic ...
10
votes
5answers
15k views

Does a timing chain need maintenance?

Does a timing chain (as opposed to timing belt) need any specific maintenance? In particular I'm talking about a BMW Z4
9
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I select the right oil for my car?

I can give you my cars make and model and the conditions that I drive in, but I'm looking for a general guide to selecting the right oil for a car. I'm not really knowledgable when it comes to cars so ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How to test a clutch

I have just bought a second hand car, and I have the feeling that the clutch is worn out. How can I do a quick clutch sanity check ?
5
votes
3answers
249 views

Should one fit the least-worn tires to the rear wheels?

According to the Owner’s Manual Saab 9-3 M2001 (front-wheel driven cars): WARNING When fitting just one new pair of tires, these should be fitted to the rear wheels, as these are more ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Oil pan threads stripped?

EDIT Helpful links on how threads got stripped and by who: http://tl.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878261 Seems to be a common problem with some shops, where they don't take good care. ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Automatic transmission: Is shifting to neutral while approaching stops bad?

This is not with the intention of saving fuel (as I have seen many answers assuming savings in fuel while doing this). But I have this habit of putting the vehicle into neutral before approaching ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Change language of Toyota HDD Navigation (NHDN-W56) from japanese to english

I have an imported Toyota from japan with Toyota Genuine HDD Navigation and music system(NHDN-W56). The problem is that the whole thing is in japanese,can anyone help me how to change the language ...
12
votes
6answers
34k views

Running with straight water as coolant in the summer. Is it fine?

I grew up flushing the coolant twice yearly. In the Spring, you drain the antifreeze and fill with straight water for the summer. In the Fall, you drain the water and put in a 50/50 antifreeze/water ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the benefits of low profile tires?

I have yet to find anyone that knows of any benefits of low-profile tires. All of the pros that I've asked have said there is no benefit. Naturally, the number of pros that I have available to ask is ...

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