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11

tl,dr: The short answer is no, with caveats. The longer answer starts with "well, you can kill your car with anything if you try hard enough." Let's use specific examples of when you should use your transmission for engine braking: Waimea Canyon or Mount Washington. In either case, you are descending thousands of vertical feet at significant grades. If ...


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

The Click & Clack method: Sitting in the driver’s seat (left or right-hand drive vehicle): Driver’s side mirror Lean your head against the window, and set the driver’s side mirror so that you can just see the side of your car in the mirror. Passenger side mirror: Position your head, as best as possible to the middle of the car. Use your radio, or ...


9

For the majority of brakes, they should be fine after a track day, but the real risks come from significantly overheating the brake fluid, or from stopping with hot brakes and having them cool while parked. This is why at track days it is always recommended that you stop after ten or so laps, if you have standard brake systems, to allow your brake fluid and ...


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 ...


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

You can get transient spikes from the other car while it's trying to start. Any battery or alternator issues that affect power quality will be transmitted to your car. The good news is that large 12v batteries make excellent buffers against power issues that might otherwise cause damage. However, it is still possible to suffer damage to your car from ...


6

It would not be reasonable to dig a trench under a vehicle to fit a part to a vehicle. The trench would need to be shored up so that it does not collapse inwards, especially if you are in the trench at the time. The cost of timbers and the time and effort involved to make things safe would be prohibitive. The way forward is contact your local recovery firm, ...


5

Bit of background: you can run your tires at various pressures, either under or over the recommendations. Over inflating the tires leads to overwear down the middle of the tire but a nice rigid tire - which is great for track days, smooth roads etc. Under inflating wears the outside edges more, and weakens the sidewalls meaning the tire can move about more - ...


5

My experience, limited to a few very specific configurations is: I've never had rotor warping issues even after a LOT of heat in the brakes (both from track days and also stuck brakes while driving on the express way). I've used generic NAPA rotors, OEM rotors, and fancy heat/cryo treated ones. I can't tell any difference between any of them. They all ...


5

You will likely be annoyingly loud but otherwise fine. As always, you are liable for your own compliance with local noise ordinances. I would recommend that you drive with the windows up until you give the car to the shop in order to avoid any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For example, don't drive with the trunk propped open: the low pressure behind ...


4

I don't believe that the tread depth actually is the deciding factor. By the time you wear the tires down that far they've had a LOT of heat cycles put on them. As a tire gets heat cycled repeatedly, it gets harder and looses grip. That's what I understand to be the real issue in those tests. As far as the depth to replace at, that's been debated quite a ...


4

Yes, they do change over time. Initially NCAP was more focused on the safety on people inside the car, but these days there's also a focus on the safety of people you may drive into. I can't recall the exact year, but it was around the time cars' noses seemed to be more slanted and to dip lower that the NCAP test also started focusing on cars having to NOT ...


3

Yes you are doing the test right. For inspection purposes in my state the minimum tread depth is 2/32, as long as you have at least that much tread in two consecutive grooves it will pass. Based on your information they would pass inspection. If it were my car I would at a minimum replace the front tires now and the rear tires very soon. The other thing ...


3

The all of the "super white" headlights (which look blue-ish compared to normal headlights) are safety hazards for multiple reasons: They have a much greater effect of blinding oncoming drivers -- and, if you have them adjusted improperly or use your hi-beams at inappropriate times, drivers in front of you two. The "white" light produced by these ...


3

The type of filter you need will depend on the type of paint you will be using. Consult the paint manufacturers web site. Look at the MSDS (material safety data sheet). A section of the form contains what is required for PPE (personal protective equipment). You then need to consult the 3M website to match a filter for the paint and the mask that you will be ...


3

Here's a diagram. It shows two batteries connected to each other and wires from each battery going to each respective car. What the diagram doesn't show is that those wires, "To Starter" --> "Ground" form a loop as well, and if you picture that, you will see that the path forms a full circle. To be slightly more precise, the path forms two circles, like ...


3

You should never mess with the safety systems, ever. How tall is your GF? If she's short enough (I believe under 5') the air bag could be dangerous, given that it will hit her at an unsafe position. Given that, it may be better that the airbag is in fact off. Supposing she's of average height, you've only got two real next steps. Push the dealer harder, ...


3

Her weight doesn't really have much to do with the necessity of an airbag- I'd say it'll still be a massive improvement in the safety for the passenger if it goes off for a light passenger. I would also strongly recommend against trying to modify the airbag sensors yourself, as you might cause a lot more problems that you'd solve that way. Which IMHO ...


2

I recently went looking for information on the subject and had to address the national vehicle safety office, luckily I worked there when I was in university! The truth is that nobody has ever performed a safety test on the third-row seats, in any vehicle. Those third-row seats are outside the vehicle passenger compartment which is designed to withstand ...


2

You won't find anything official like for the front and side impact ratings. Those are industry standard tests that are mandated and applicable to all vehicles, I am not aware of anything similar for the third row. Because those tests are very expensive nobody is going to do them without someone forcing them to. If I was looking I would use the side ...


2

There are some long 1 in 10 grades in Scotland where the advice for all drivers is to choose a low gear to avoid brake fade, as @BobCross points out. There are slight differences between automatic and manual transmission cars, though - as you do get more control of revs with a manual, so make sure if driving an automatic that you change into 2 before the ...


2

Just thought I'd post how we resolved this issue: my girlfriend eventually figured out that if she pushes her elbows into the back of the seat while sitting, the airbag activates and the warning light goes off. It only seems to be necessary once, and then the airbag is active for the rest of the drive until I restart the engine. Now she just does this ...


2

I can't think of any reason why you would damage the electronics in your car, unless you touched one of your jump leads somewhere you shouldn't and short something delicate or you connect the leads back to front. Connecting them back to front shouldn't damage electronics, as your car should have protection against this sort of thing, but it is the key thing ...


2

DXM's answer hits all the important points in great detail. To give you a quick answer to your specific questions at the end, though: So what's actually happening when you start the dead car? Is it drawing power from the good batter to start the car? Remember, the live car is running. Its alternator is being driven by a functioning engine. When ...


2

I have a 1992 Honda Accord auto transmission with 333,000 miles. I have always downshifted one or two gears to save the brakes and avoid excessive speeds on downhill stretches. I often drive in areas with long hills, sometimes quite steep hills. Also often in flat urban driving will downshift a gear to let the car slow down when approaching a red light. I ...


2

Some of them have a GPS reciever, accelerometers and a phone in them, and regularly upload data back to the insurance companies - some of the ones that have been featured on the TV in the UK come with online accounts so you can log in and see the performance data. I've never quite worked out how they are supposed to cope with multiple drivers in the same ...


2

Your behaviour could affect her premium then - these black boxes typically track speed, style of driving, how harsh you are on acceleration and braking, the times of day you drive etc. They collect this data all the time - some insurers collect data from them regularly, others only in the event of an accident - either way, if you do not stick to the driving ...


2

One suggestion I would have is to allow your car to warm up before driving. Modern cars are eons better at this, but nothing short of a wreck is harder on a car than being driven when the engine's oil isn't up to temperature (and bearing clearances are off, etc.). How long is up for debate. I believe the general consensus is at least a couple minutes. ...


2

All of the other answers are great, but I just want to add that rotors are very, very hard to "warp" from 'normal' use (including track day abuse). Any variance in thickness is because pad material has transferred from the pad to the rotor. Turning the rotor gets rid of this. See "Warped Brake Disc And Other Myths".



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