15
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I test my car 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 ...
43
votes
16answers
76k 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 ...
50
votes
9answers
18k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
27k views

I lost my Mercedes smart key, how do I get a new one?

If I lose a Mercedes smart key fob, how do I get a replacement? Is there anything I should do to prevent the old key from being used if it was stolen?
39
votes
8answers
5k 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)?
10
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
18k 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. ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
42
votes
15answers
185k 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
110k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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
1answer
1k 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.
36
votes
5answers
67k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
416 views

how much water can be safely added to a battery?

My 2008 Jetta SE 2.5L has the battery as follows: ENERTEC EMC // 1J0 915 105 AD // 12V 61 Ah 330A DIN // 540A EN/SAE. It would appear that the battery can no longer hold the starting charge after an ...
2
votes
2answers
677 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
383 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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?
12
votes
6answers
28k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
143k views

What is the difference between normal, platinum, iridium plugs?

What is the difference (besides price) between normal, platinum, and iridium spark plugs?
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it normal for stop distance to be long on brand new brake pads?

I just had the brake pads replaced in my car. As I left the shop I noticed coming to a complete stop took longer distance or needed a fair bit more force on the pedal. Is this normal? Will the ...
4
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the proper way to extract a broken sparkplug?

When dealing with a car with aluminum head(s), what is the proper way to extract a broken sparkplug?
14
votes
7answers
52k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Lugging the Engine (Manual Transmission)

So...lugging the engine obviously isn't something that is good. But why? For example when you feather a clutch to get the car moving, it lugs for a quick moment when you hit the catch point (When ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What bolt extractor will remove a broken motor mount bolt on a 2004 Subaru WRX?

Things were going slowly but well on my install last night until I sheared off the passenger side motor mount bolt while putting everything back together (at about midnight - sigh). Here are the key ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

Engine Size and Fuel Consumption

I have this weird misconception that the engine size is related to the amount of fuel being burned in one cycle(4-stroke engine). I know this is stupid but how does engine size relate to the amount of ...
5
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
23k 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
11k 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
6k 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
3answers
6k 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
2answers
90 views

Car diesels after shutoff

I have a 2001 Nissan Altima and when I turn off the engine, you can literally hear the engine stuttering out. Before, you turned off the motor and it stopped silently. Now it goes plup, pluuup, ...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
31k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

Jump starting a dead battery: Connect black wire to negative pole of battery or grounded metal?

Most of the advice I've seen for jump starting cars instructs to connect the black wire to a bare piece of metal on the car with the dead battery. However, I've always just hooked up both poles to the ...
15
votes
8answers
43k views

What is the best way to remove a stuck/rusted exhaust bolt?

I'm trying to disassemble the exhaust system on a 2000-2003 nissan maxima and I'm having trouble removing one last bolt.. its got a 14mm head and its just plain STUCK. I've tried soaking it overnight ...
6
votes
3answers
653 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?
2
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the technical reason the engineer decided the motorcycle gear pattern as follows?

The gear pattern is selected by clicking a lever with your left foot, and is typically laid out as follows: 6th gear (if applicable) 5th gear 4th gear 3rd gear 2nd gear NEUTRAL 1st gear What ...

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