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Apr
28
comment Is shifting to neutral on a decline more fuel efficient than keeping the gear engaged?
OK you got me there. I agree my comment isn't relevant as an answer.
Apr
27
comment Is shifting to neutral on a decline more fuel efficient than keeping the gear engaged?
I don't think it's quite so clear-cut. Unless the hill is steep enough to maintain speed with the transmission engaged, you're going to have to give it fuel to maintain (or get back up to) the desired speed. There are plenty of situations where coasting can maintain speed but engine braking can't. I suspect you're still better off engine braking than coasting with the engine idling, but if you shut off the engine while coasting, coasting is the clear winner.
Apr
10
comment Why don't car manufacturers treat rust-prone parts of a car with rust converter?
Rust converter is a treatment that reacts chemically with rust. It's not a preventive measure except insomuch as, by eliminating existing rust, you prevent it from spreading. Other preventive coatings are already used where appropriate.
Mar
17
comment Front left controller arm corroded and broke on my 2002 Hyundai Elantra
In terms of danger, you've probably understated it. Without the control arms in the proper place, the axle CV joints can come apart; at even moderate speeds their components are potentially dangerous projectiles. I had a separated CV joint blow a hole in an oil pan when it popped out of place. As long as there's not more damage the LCA should not be an expensive repair (I'd guess $70 in parts and 1-2 hours in labor) but please get a tow to the shop.
Mar
14
comment Extremely high then fluctuating idle at very cold temperatures
Thanks. My car's intake system does not appear to be that advanced (separate valves/regulators), but it seems plausible the ECU could be controlling the IAC valve to get this behavior intentionally.
May
4
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
Craftsman and Gearwrench now both have versions with an open-ended ratchet on one end. No idea if it really works.
May
4
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
Yeah, I really think I should get some of those. Do yours have the open end ratchet too or just the flat socket type?
May
1
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
Other head came out easily too. Posted an answer with info on additional tools I used or would have liked.
May
1
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
It came out easily with vise grips and some gentle turning back and forth. Got the heads machined and almost ready to put it back together. :-)
Apr
29
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
Thanks. I just got back from the Subaru dealership with a replacement part (for free, even) and the technician who helped me there basically confirmed what you said, and also that the new part can be hammered in with a block of wood. As for the head, I don't think it's damaged from the pin, but I suspect it may be a bit warped and I'm going to get it checked out and possibly machined.
Apr
29
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
@Zaid: Pic added.
Apr
29
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
I think dowel may be the wrong word. It's hollow. Paulster2 suggested the right word might be "straight pin".
Apr
29
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
@Zaid: Today rain and now darkness have kept me from getting a good picture; I'll try to get one tomorrow.
Apr
28
comment What to do with damaged alignment dowels in block?
I think it's threaded in. Actually I'm not quite sure how it works, but the head bolt goes through the dowel. A quick search suggested people do crazy stuff like welding nuts onto these things to get them out...
Apr
25
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
Re: taking the engine out, all the hard work so far has been stuff I would have to do to take the engine out anyway. Once everything was removed, pulling the first head (passenger side) with the engine still in place (not even removing any engine mounts) was super-easy. I haven't gotten to the second one yet, but I don't see any reason it should be harder; if anything there seems to be more room to work on the driver side.
Apr
25
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
So today I got the first head off, and no tilting of the engine was needed whatsoever. Only two of the bolts can come out with the engine in the normal position, but they can all come out of the block such that it's possible to lift the head straight up and out. Aside from being a long process, it's all been really straightforward so far. Hope my luck lasts.. :-)
Mar
17
comment Does Registering a Salvaged Car in California Require a “Brake and Light Certificate”?
To clarify, the arrangement you probably want in a situation like this is to sign an agreement with the insurance company that you agree the damages are just under the threshold that would constitute a total loss. Alternatively you can challenge their valuation of the vehicle and take them to court for the damages; if the vehicle value is low enough that you can use small claims court, you may essentially automatically win.
Mar
15
comment Does Registering a Salvaged Car in California Require a “Brake and Light Certificate”?
In the future, don't sign your car over the the insurance company to begin with. Just make them pay out a claim for the value of the vehicle minus whatever deduction they claim they'd sell it for.
Mar
10
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
I've done it before on my Civic, but its head is actually on the top and easy to get to. :-) The only hard part of that job was rusted bolts holding the exhaust manifold in place and keeping me from getting it of the head.
Mar
9
comment Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job
Yes, the full system of coolant comes out the exhaust pipe within 30 minutes of driving. :-) When the leak was less serious I used a sealer product and it held for about 6 months, then progressively got worse to this stage.