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26

Inside the car: Manual: Check the manual for the service history. Was it services regularly at a authorized dealership? Ash tray: Smells like cigarettes? The previous owner was a smoker, dealbreaker for me personally. Interior: Does the amount of wear correspond with the expected amount of wear for a car of that age and mileage? Trunk: Spare tire ...


16

Look in your owner's manual for the vehicle. It should have a good recommendation on the grade and whether synthetic oil is required. In fact some vehicle mfg. will recommend a brand because that brand meets certain requirements.


12

These are things I check before buying a car (in addition to Alex's advice): Make sure it has radiator fluid (at a proper level). If the radiator fluid is empty, it probably has a radiator leak, they probably have not been watching it, and the engine probably has heat damage. The thermometer won't work without radiator fluid so they won't see that the car ...


11

Every manufacturer recommends their own fluids. Everybody wins because your engine gets "less corrosion" and they great great markup on those things. A while ago I did cooling system maintenance (replace hoses, water pump, thermostat, temp sensor, radiator cap) on my wife's BMW 330i. That make/model has a lot of following and several high-quality forums ...


11

Regarding the effect of raising the wiper arms on the wiper arm springs: raising the wiper arms will not make the springs weaker for future use. The only way that the springs could produce reduced force when the wiper arms are returned to their normal position is if the springs took a permanent "set" from being stretched. This can only happen one of two ...


10

I'm going to answer the basic mechanical points, as weighted by my opinion of importance. I'm leaving out the issue of waxing as potentially too broad. Safety: These are critical. Do not proceed down the list without addressing each (at least). Safety glasses: Always wear them, especially when you don't think that you need to. I purchased mine from the ...


10

Some reasons that old cars may not be able to be supported indefinitely are: Rust. If you get rust in areas that are hard to reach and compromise the integrity/safety of the vehicle, it may be cheaper to buy a new car than pay the massive labor for extensive rust repairs. These days labor rates are insanely high, the killer is the disassembly/reassembly ...


9

First off, everything Bob said. General Socket Extensions: Your socket set may come with 1 or 2 extensions but I'd buy a couple more. Having different length extensions are invaluable for getting to hard to reach items, plus you can combine them together for a longer extension. Socket U-Joint Adapter: I never see these in socket sets and you will regret ...


9

The key things you can to to keep your fuel economy: Keep it tuned up: for spark plugs and wires, go with the manufacturer recommended brands/default ranges. Additionally, you'll want to make sure you change the oil regularly, as sludgy oil will rob your motor of efficiency. Finally, a clean air and fuel filter will also go a long way to imrpoving fuel ...


9

In general, at the very minimum, you will want to check air pressure in tires, and all fluid levels and ensure that they are at the proper levels. Also, checking the condition of the oil and possibly changing it if it is needed (on a trip that long, probably wouldn't hurt to go ahead and do that if it over halfway till the next one anyways). If staying ...


8

I'm surprised this has not been mentioned. Have a compression test performed on the engine. This will expose many major engine problems like head gasket leaks, damaged valves/valve lands or rings. It is a simple, inexpensive test that can save you from some of the most expensive repairs a vehicle may need. I would consider a compression test absolutely ...


8

There do exist these "Fix it Yourself" garages. You can rent time in a bay with various levels of equipment, with or without a lift, tools, etc. All affecting the rate of course. I am not sure how prevelant these are in various areas so you will have to try to search one out if it exists near you, here is an example website of one I found searching ...


8

I don't consider a 15 year old car to be that old! Regular maintenance is the key. Change the oil etc regularly (go by the service schedule), and use a good quality oil and filters. Change the transmission fluid, make sure the belts get done on schedule, etc. When I was running cars of that age as my everyday transport, it was terminal rot that killed them, ...


7

I echo jzd's answer. The car's owner's manual should tell you what you need. To answer some more of your question: numbers like "5W30" are viscosity ratings. They indicate how viscous ("thick") the oil is. Most oils are "multi-viscosity," quoting a range of weights (e.g., 5W30 instead of 30W) to indicate how they behave at different temperatures. The "W" ...


7

I'd say there are many pros and cons for newer and older as a starter (I went older, 84 Nissan 300ZX Turbo). Newer (lets say 15 years or newer so we are talking about 1996+ which should have ODB2) Pros OEM Parts Availability More Cars in Junk Yard to pull parts from (dependent on production numbers, but still more than older models) Less wear and tear ...


7

I'm not going to start an "oil change war" here :) re the change interval, but you should be fine with that. Good quality oil is more important than making sure the oil is changed every 2999 miles, as is a good quality oil filter. The best oil in the world isn't going to do much good if the oil filter doesn't do its job of removing particles. I would also ...


7

Yes, at least half of the exhaust is coming straight out of that gap without passing through the muffler. As you've noted, this leads to an increase in noise (or music, depending on your taste). To my eye, that looks like a hassle to fix on your own. There appears to be the rusted remnants of two bolts holding the Y-pipe to the passenger side muffler and ...


7

At least in the United States you are not required to use the dealer for service,parts or repairs to maintain your warranty. You will be required to have the warranty work done at the dealer except in extenuating circumstances,(like the nearest dealer is 150 miles away) but you must still contact them first. If they deny a warranty claim on the basis of non ...


7

When one lives in places where it snows, even occasionally, they quickly learn to lift the wipers. If you go to a ski resort when the inclement weather is expected, you would see half of the vehicles with wipers pulled up. The other half are either do not have wipers that can be fixed up (in that case one is still advised to separate them from the glass ...


7

There are so many different products you could go with for this. Only problem is the products are usually really hit-or-miss. When I finally found one that worked well I ordered as much of it as possible. Leather Magic, the name describes it perfectly. I used the delux kit a few times before ordering the pro kit. The delux kit sells for about $59.00 and ...


6

There are silicate antifreezes, used in most domestic cars until recent years, and OAT antifreezes, used in Japanese cars because of their domestic market testing. Domestic cars today all use OAT now, with Chrysler the last to switch. See http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/mater/11284 Any OAT antifreeze will work in a Honda, but don't use silicate antifreeze in ...


6

this is only one of probably many paths that you could take, but this is what I've done: go online to a local community college and look through automotive classes they offer. Select an intro class (or maybe few different classes) and note the textbook they are using. Buy and read that text book cover to cover. The intro book had great overview (as well ...


6

Following on from Bob and ManiacZX's answers: Screwdrivers A good assortment of screwdrivers are essential - including torx or hex bits if your car uses them. Some socket sets include screwdriver bits, which can be very useful. An old long-handled flat driver can often double up as an impromptu pry-bar too... Hammer Like the above, you'll probably ...


6

Like @Alex said, ideally, drive it at least half hour each time. Less than that and you won't have enough heat/time to burn off all the condensation in the engine (you'll get a yellow gooey substance under your oil filler cap to let you know if that's the case). You'd want to have it driven at least once a week to keep oil on the cylinder walls (to prevent ...


6

Some good points have been given already especially as far correct spark plugs and correct fuel go. Some other points, unfortunately, I can only describe as regurgitated 'car-care' sales drivel. I'm almost surprised that no one has mentioned that you should wax your car more often. Here is a list of things that are not worth your money and time: Changing ...


6

I live in Canada where we got often snow storm or freezing rain during winter, I never lift my wipers blades. It's clearly unnecessary for a snow storm, as you remove the snow from your car prior of activate your wipers. But I can see my neighbors lifting theirs when freezing rain is forecasted, some even put cardboard on the windshield to avoid scraping ...


6

This is normal behavior. The A/C system is turned on to dehumidify the air, which causes the windshield to defog. Without it, your breath would freeze on the inside of the windshield and cause further issues. EDIT: Please note Bob Cross' comments below. I found instructions on the Honda Tech Forum which is supposed to give you full manual control over ...


5

Because diesel engines are so much simpler than petrol engines, servicing them is a lot easier. There's no spark plugs or timing to worry about, no mixture to set, none of it. All you need to do is ensure that the fuel and air filters are clean, and change the oil and oil filter regularly. Timing belts are a little more complicated to do because they ...


5

The heater in a water-cooled car relies on coolant from the engine. Lack of heat together with an overheating engine suggest a cooling system problem. I suggest the following: Check the coolant level. If you're lucky, you're just low on coolant. The question then becomes: where did it go? Is there a leak? Are you burning coolant (sometimes seen as white ...


5

In India, if you're bike has an exposed chain, it will collect grime. Lube your chain at regular intervals to keep it in top health. Also, I think the 180cc Avenger is still carburetor based, and the carb needs to be cleaned at regular intervals along with the filter element in the air filter box. Your owners manual will show the location of the oil sump, ...



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