9,434 reputation
1729
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location England, United Kingdom
age
visits member for 3 years, 5 months
seen yesterday

UK-based engineer, motorsport enthusiast and amateur mechanic.


May
27
comment Buying a used car in Ontario - safety certificate
You're probably better asking this locally in Ontario, as it's a very location-specific question. In the UK, we have a specific exception to allow cars to be driven to the annual safety check even if the previous one has expired, but we have a recent rule that says all cars must be insured at all times, unless officially declared as "off the road" (previously you could simply keep a car off the road for a short time without declaring it as such, and not insure it). I suspect you have similar peculiarities!
May
27
comment 2010 Audi A4 Scratch - “blending”
I agree with Paul - ALL paints change colour over time, as the sunlight affects the pigments, and any decent paint shop will account for this when mixing the paint. A good independent will probably do a better job than a main dealer too - they have a reputation to protect...
May
9
comment How does a AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) work?
@JuannStrauss, when you are decelerating (or coasting), the gearbox is being turned by the roadwheels, and if you leave it in gear, it then turns the engine - the ECU knows this and cuts the fuelling right down to the bare minimum (or off completely), and lets momentum do the work for it - whereas if you disengage the clutch, the ECU needs to provide enough fuel to keep the engine turning. It is the same principle as the regenerative braking used in modern Hybrids...
May
7
comment Options for replacing rusted exhaust mounting bolts
If you hunt around, you might be able to get the same type of bolt again, which would save having the heads sticking up - They look like some variety of coachbolt. It's not a high-stress application, so stainless fixings ought to be fine...
Apr
25
comment 2012 Ford Escape grinding noise while braking
Have you checked the rear pads?
Apr
22
comment Windshield repair
Most (if not all) insurers over here (UK) charge for windscreens - and many are now adding a charge for repairs as well...
Mar
20
comment Does only traveling short distances hurt my car?
+1 for the cycle or walk suggestion - 1 mile will be about 15-20 minutes at an average walking speed, which is probably quicker than waiting for the car to warm up, dealing with traffic, then hunting for a parking space!
Mar
3
comment Ford Expedition sitting on my driveway
It is impossible to answer this without knowing what is causing it to fail. You can get an OBD2 reader to identify the error codes, and many of them you can fix yourself (e.g. changing a sensor, or replacing another part that is causing and error), which can save you a huge amount of money in Labour charges
Jan
30
comment Can I install a bluetooth dongle on my car's audio system?
I think it would depend on the dongle - the dashboard is probably designed to only read from a USB mass storage device, so if you could get a dongle that pretended to be one, it might work. As Paulster2 says, the easiest way is to try it!
Jan
30
comment Rover 25 Head Gasket replacement - is it a long-term fix?
Ah - I don't know any specialists up there, only in the SE...
Jan
27
comment Can a variable engine exist?
re: England - surprisingly, that's one of the few things we don't have a law about! It simply says "You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road." Then goes on to suggest that you shouldn't leave it running for more than a couple of minutes...
Jan
27
comment Second burst ancillary hose on Z20LET engine
If it were perished hoses I'd expect a different one to burst the second time, not the same one again, as presumably you fitted a new one when it burst the first time... Have you replaced the pressure cap recently?
Jan
20
comment Why won't my car unlock? Why does it spontaneously lock itself?
Good to hear, glad you fixed it!
Jan
14
comment Handbrake during cold winter between -50 Celcius and 0 Celcius? Should it be used or not?
"In stationary queues of traffic, drivers should apply the parking brake and, once the following traffic has stopped, take their foot off the footbrake to deactivate the vehicle brake lights. This will minimise glare to road users behind until the traffic moves again." - gov.uk/general-rules-all-drivers-riders-103-to-158/…
Jan
14
comment Handbrake during cold winter between -50 Celcius and 0 Celcius? Should it be used or not?
@Paulster2 - How does it cause wear to the parking brake? You are already stationary, so no braking effort is required, and the amount of extra stretch each use imparts into the cables is negligible. I guess it is possible for someone to be stupid enough to drive into a stationary car just because they don't have their brake lights on any more, but I've never seen it happen...
Jan
14
comment Handbrake during cold winter between -50 Celcius and 0 Celcius? Should it be used or not?
@hhh - as SaUce says, if the front of the car is pointing uphill, use 1st, if it is pointing downhill, use reverse - the idea is that in order for the car to roll downhill, it would have to turn the engine backwards, which is much more difficult
Dec
17
comment many issues with my 2000 Plymouth Neon
That is always the risk with cheap cars unfortunately... Replacing a headgasket will cost you several hours of labour, plus the diagnostic time to check it - and as Allan says below there could be other, more serious problems. I've always run sub £1000 ($1500ish) cars, but on the basis that they're rarely worth paying a mechanic to fix - if something goes that I can't fix myself, it's probably junk time...
Dec
16
comment How old is too old for a new tire?
This is an international site, and we respect localised spellings, so both 'tyre' and 'tire' are correct. And I don't know where you buy them from, but I've never seen a retailer storing tyres in a controlled environment - they're usually stacked on metal racking around the fitting bays..
Nov
27
comment muffler positioning, and x-flow for specific sound
AFAIK silencer positioning doesn't make a huge amount of difference - it's the size and flow rate that do. Are you using the original manifolds? If not, try and match the header lengths as well as possible - and try and match the lengths of the two systems. IIRC the MOT regs don't quantify the maximum noise level, so it is all subjective as to what is "too loud" - and most people expect a Ferrari to be nice and burbly :)
Nov
19
comment 1999 Camaro's front wheels move forward and backward significantly, is it the control arms?
Agreed. Jack it up and support the front end safely. Then get an assistant to grip the wheel at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions and move it fore and aft - you ought to be able to see where the play is. But as mike says, it is probably more than one component...