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location Cambridge, MA
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visits member for 2 years
seen Apr 1 at 19:57

Dec
6
comment Best way to approach a tire with a bubble in the sidewall
Just to be on the record here, sidewall bubbles can also be the result of driving on an under-inflated tire, which causes undue sidewall flex and heat buildup, which can cause the separation/delamination that forms the bubble. Check tire pressures often!
Dec
4
comment where to put my coolant
@user4087 Fret not! The coolant overflow tank (aka expansion tank) is the appropriate place to add coolant.
Dec
4
comment Brake pedal goes all the way to floor, after ABS was activated
A bad wheel speed sensor would throw a code and trip the ABS light for sure.
Dec
4
comment Tyre pressure for Toyota Yaris
also sometimes under the fuel filler flap.
Dec
4
comment Assuming identical and sufficient ABS, and ignoring aerodynamics, are tires the only factor for braking distance?
@andrewb re: tire load sensitivity. I was just going to recommend Milliken and Milliken's "Race Car Vehicle Dynamics" which explains that as load on a tire increases, the friction force generated by the tire increases in a less-than-linear fashion. This allows for tuning the under/oversteer balance using roll bars, and also explains why a heavier vehicle won't stop as short as a lighter vehicle. Also, you can extend this to find that a car with a stiffer suspension, which transfers less weight forward under braking, will stop shorter because all four tires are more evenly loaded.
Nov
22
comment 12v Acc/Switched vs 12v Always On
@cde i gots an idear...it uses only the cigarette lighteror some other always-on source...detect the voltage coming in--if it's over ~13V, assume the car is running, and power your accessory. If it's less than 13V, assume the car is not running and start a timer to shut off your accessory after some period of time. No modification of your vehicle wiring necessary!
Nov
20
comment At what level does low oil prevent vtec from working?
If your oil level is between the min and max marks, the oil level should not be impacting the VTEC operation.
Nov
19
comment How can I repair cracks in leather seat?
Are the cracks all the way through the leather? Some images might help.
Nov
19
comment What is a good strategy for adding performance upgrades in phases to a 2013 Mazda 3?
+1 on tires first! I would add that most cars are biased for understeer from the factory, and that adding a stiffer rear swaybar can give a huge handling boost by dialing out some of this understeer bias.
Nov
18
comment Will brake dust corrode my wheels?
I use a good hard paste wax on my wheels once a season, it makes washing brake dust off super easy, and provides an additional line of defense against corrosion.
Nov
18
comment Is there a risk of a spark igniting hydrogen when removing or installing a battery?
Hydrogen is odorless, i.e. no acrid smell. Also, the reason for making the final connection to a chassis ground rather than the battery is simply to decrease the chance of igniting any hydrogen around the battery. The chassis ground and the battery negative terminal are at the exact same electrical potential. There is essentially no resistance between chassis ground and the battery negative terminal--they're connected by a big fat ground cable.
Nov
18
comment Is coolant testing necessary on modern vehicles?
While the corrosion inhibitors do deteriorate with age, the "squeeze type" tester measures only the density of the coolant mixture, and won't tell you anything about the state of the corrosion inhibitors.
Nov
18
comment Coolant boiling
I agree that this is a good course of action to take at this point. I would add that a likely cause of the problem you had 5 miles after adding coolant was that the overflow tank cap was not tightened down properly. Be sure to check that twice next time.
Nov
15
comment 06 Chevy Cobalt ls 2.2 l . Replaced B1S1 O2 sensor still having issues
its possible that the newly installed oxygen sensor failed because it was defective.
Nov
15
comment '66 Doge Dart made a loud CRACK, engine almost stalled. The second time it happened, there was a puff of black smoke
any chance this was a backfire?
Nov
14
comment 2003 Honda Accord V6 - steering sounds
You "think" your power steering fluid level is adequate? What makes you think this? Have you checked it properly? Low power steering fluid level would be one of the most likely causes of this noise.
Nov
11
comment Controlling door locks via CAN bus
Quite possible that the headlights themselves aren't even on a CAN bus, instead relying on dedicated wiring and relays; while the headlight indicator is on the CAN bus with the rest of the instrument cluster.
Nov
8
comment VW Golf TDI makes a 'sneezing' sound on startup
@roryok I just watched your video. That's the same sound that I was describing. For what it's worth, ours has done this off-and-on for years now. It may grenade itself to pieces at some point, but so far so good.
Nov
4
comment Does the advantage of ballast make minimum weight rule pointless?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about race regulations and race car design, not motor vehicle repair. Also, I would add that the minimum weight is not necessarily solely (or even primarily) directed at ensuring safety. It may be about leveling the playing field, as lighter is faster. There are minimum weights in sailboat racing, bicycle racing, etc.
Nov
4
comment How can you tell the difference between oil or transmission fluid in the antifreeze?
I wonder if leak detection dye (UV dye) added to the engine oil might be a way of isloating the leak to either engine or trans. Not sure the concentration of the dye would be high enough by the time it makes its way into the coolant system though.