Questions tagged [maintenance]

Questions about general routine maintenance of a vehicle or engine.

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60
votes
7answers
19k views

What to check when buying a used car?

I'm looking to buy a used car. What do you think I should check (mechanically) before buying it (especially if it's diesel)?
25
votes
9answers
256k views

Is it okay to leave a car for 5 months without driving it?

I need to travel to the east coast and work from there for a duration of 5 months. I can leave my car in covered parking here and ask a friend to start the car for a few minutes every week. What ...
19
votes
4answers
180k views

What is a rod knock?

What is a rod knock? What causes a rod knock, how bad is a knocking rod, and how can I tell if a rod is knocking?
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Do fast cars need to occasionally be driven fast?

In the broad spectrum of cars, there's higher end models with sport-focused engines. Examples would be an BMW M3, and even more so Ferraris and Koenigseggs etc. Apparently they're more fussy, in that ...
14
votes
3answers
22k views

How to begin learning engine tuning?

Quite simply, I want to begin tuning and modifying automotive engines for hobby. I have always been fascinated with cars, and I want to become knowledgeable in as many aspects of car tuning as ...
14
votes
6answers
27k views

How to improve fuel economy in high-mileage car?

I'm driving an 2003 Acura TL 3.2 with 177K miles on it. I bought the car with 110K miles on it. It seems to me that the car is not getting the same fuel economy that it did when I acquired it. I ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to go to a dealer for a simple maintenance?

I just bought a 2012 CRV. Now, it's time for an oil change. I already moved so the dealer is too far away from my house (may need half day off) and there is no other public transportation to go there. ...
4
votes
4answers
24k views

Should I use coca cola or baking soda + water to clean my battery clamps?

The clamps that are attached to the car battery are corroded, I was told either of these liquids will work. Which one is better? Is there a how to guide on the exact steps I need to take? With my ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Car enthusiast beginner tool kit

What is a good place to begin building a kit/set up for performing your own service? For example: oil changes waxing detailing What are the best tools/equipment to start with?
14
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I select the right oil for my car?

I can give you my cars make and model and the conditions that I drive in, but I'm looking for a general guide to selecting the right oil for a car. I'm not really knowledgable when it comes to cars so ...
12
votes
7answers
17k views

Most important preventive maintenance for high-mileage car?

My 2001 Chevrolet Prizm (a NUMMI) is about to hit 125,00 miles. I bought a little over 5 years ago, at which time it had ~79,000 miles on it. I bought it from a used car dealer that seemed to have ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

When should I change my car's oil?

I had my Toyota Corolla 2013's maintenance light starting to flash when I turn on my car. Probably due to an automatic maintenance schedule or oil change. I had my car's oil changed Jun 1, 2018 with ...
20
votes
15answers
92k views

Should I pull my wipers away from the windshield when parked during a winter storm?

When we are expecting snow storm and the vehicle is parked, do we pull out the wipers so they don’t touch the glass to avoid the freezing to the windshield? Or would that hurt the springs in the wiper ...
8
votes
4answers
23k views

Should we wait a few seconds before starting the engine?

My cousin told me when he enter his car, he put the key to ignition then count to 3 and start the engine. The main reason of him doing that is to give enough time to fluids (I'm not sure which one) ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Are there any (legal) ways to increase halogen headlight brightness?

My 2003 Opel Agila has H4 combined full and dipped beam headlight bulbs which are completely useless in the dark. It is really hard to see anything on the dipped beam. They do not seem to be very ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the critical maintenance items for a new motorcycle?

I have purchased a new motor bike recently. What are the critical maintenance items that I should focus on? For example: Is it true that we should not run new bikes on high rpm for some time? What ...
3
votes
3answers
990 views

Motorcycle Recharge System Checks?

I have a 2007 V-Strom DL1000 motorcycle, whose recharge system is not recharging a new battery. I also have a multi-meter. Could someone share how I can check the recharge system without removing the ...
22
votes
1answer
76k views

How can I repair cracks in leather seat?

The leather on the side of the driver's seat has some minor cracks. I am using conditioner to help prevent this in the other seats but these cracks already exist. Is there a product or patch of some ...
13
votes
5answers
21k views

What is a good car to start with if I want to learn auto repair?

A couple of other "getting started" questions have been closed (as redundant with these questions), so I hope that my question is different and specific enough. I'm interested in learning to repair ...
12
votes
4answers
506 views

Any recommendations on vehicle maintenance software for the DIYer?

I currently use a combination of Car Minder for the iPhone - it's only $2.99 but limited functionality - and Excel spreadsheets. Ideally I'm looking for something that will track all service for up ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Keeping an old car alive?

So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power ...
20
votes
12answers
186k views

Is Prestone “All Makes/All Models” coolant *really* compatible with all models?

My car's manual says to use the blue Honda coolant: Always use Honda All Season Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2 [MSDS]. This coolant is pre-mixed with 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water. It ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the proper way to bleed brakes and replace the fluid?

What is the proper way to replace the brake fluid in a car? What tools are required? I want to make sure I do not get any air or bubbles in the system as this is something that needs to be done right ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Smart and effective ways to light up a garage without relying on power outlets?

I am currently renting an garage in an underground parking lot. The garage has no light inside nor electric plugs. The only form of illumination available comes from the few neon lights in the ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Standard Practices for Use and Care of Click-Type Torque Wrenches

Torque wrenches, while straightforward in concept, require much different use and care compared to a regular ratchet. This can be confusing to someone who has never used one before. There are several ...
10
votes
9answers
44k views

Durability of automatic transmission boxes versus durability of manual transmission boxes? Their lifetimes?

My friend is against cars with automatic transmission because he thinks that they break easily and that their repairing cost a lot. He thinks that it is impossible to maintain an automatic ...
9
votes
4answers
47k views

What are the audible symptoms of a failing starter motor?

My 2004 Subaru WRX has 110000 miles on the odometer and I'm worried about the original equipment starter motor. Here are the audible symptoms that have me concerned: During the winter, I noticed ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What should I look for in a basic motorcycle maintenance toolkit?

I'm looking to do more of my motorcycle maintenance myself, and am wondering what I should be investing in, when it comes to tools/devices. What are the basic tools that I'd need when starting to do ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Radically different car maintenance schedules in manual and service instruction sheet

I own a 2013 Fiesta Ecoboost 1.0L 74kW, and noticed that the maintenance instructions in the US version of the owners manual are very different from the service schedule available on Ford Etis. (EU ...
16
votes
9answers
104k views

Is an “oil life indicator” a reliable indicator for when to change the oil?

I have a 2014 Honda Pilot with 3600 miles on it. Historically I have always changed oil in my vehicles every 3000 miles, using good quality non-synthetic oil. Now this Honda has an "oil life ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

Minimum Care of Leather Interior

I have just bought a used Honda Accord with leather seating. I'm not necessarily a car enthusiast, but I would be interested in knowing the minimum I should do to keep the interior in good condition. ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I only get an alignment on new tires or is the salesman just being pushy?

When purchasing new tires, the salesman is quick to recommend getting an alignment as well to prevent premature tire wear. I've even been told that you have to get the alignment done when the tires ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find statistics regarding car life expectancies?

I am in the process of buying a used car and I'm having some difficulty estimating the longevity of vehicles I encounter. One can speak of car longevity in different ways, but for this question let's ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Tips for finding a good mechanic

As a programmer, if I had a non-programmer friend who was looking for a programmer, I could think of a few tips to help him sort out the sheep from the goats and avoid some common traps. Do you have ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

How to best deal with ice buildup on inside front window of car?

No I am not trolling. Unfortunately I don't have a garage or underground parking and as such the car is exposed to the elements in winter. Recently to my bafflement I have had ice buildup all over the ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How to prioritize repairs?

My car needs some work, but I don't like taking out too much debt and my savings are sort of depleted for the moment, so I need to do a little at a time. How can I prioritize the work that needs to be ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the causes of fluctuating intake manifold vacuum

I have a 2005 Honda CBR600 F4i which suffers from occasional hesitation at low rpm when accelerating. I also get occasional fault codes from the ECU indicating a vacuum leak. Today I connected a ...
8
votes
2answers
750 views

Mayonnaise on tip of dipstick - new car, low miles, well maintained. What to do?

This question is about a 2014 Renault engine fitted in our family car, we've owned it since new and I've done all the maintenance to the book. We chose the petrol engine over the diesel because we ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What are common cold weather starting issues with cars?

Based upon the current weather in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, I would imagine there are some people suffering from all manner of cold related vehicle issues. What are some of the leading issues ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What makes a worn car shock spongy and soft?

I'm unfamiliar with car shocks. In motorcycles many rear shocks are charged with nitrogen which acts like a spring. I've seen motorcycle shocks that I've rebuilt have the correct amount of nitrogen ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

What steps can I take to keep my car (V70, driven primarily for short commuting) in good condition?

I have a '06 Volvo V70 that I use mainly for commuting to and from work (about 10 km each way), with the occasional longer trip of up to several hundred km every few months or so. I drive maybe 7000-...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it necessary to replace functioning spark plugs?

I have a 2000 Mazda Protege that last had it's spark plugs replaced about 4-6 years ago (about 40k-60k miles). It's a commuter car, but it's a short commute and mild driving conditions; probably 85% ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Is coolant testing necessary on modern vehicles?

My father in law continually reminds me to check my antifreeze when it starts getting cold. I get the squeeze tester out and it always shows everything is fine. We drive cars that are always less than ...
4
votes
2answers
508 views

Car sitting for several months: what should I do to keep it running well?

I have a car that's been sitting for several months and I just got it working again. What should I do to ensure that it keeps running well?
4
votes
2answers
865 views

Determining the size/pitch of bolts and nuts before taking things apart

I'm a shade tree mechanic with an old car that's got a fair amount of rust on various fasteners (particularly in the under-regions). When I'm doing maintenance, I often like -- or find the need to -- ...
3
votes
4answers
43k views

What is the cost of general maintenance on VW Jetta TDI (diesel)

I am looking at purchasing a new, 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI car. I have a 35 mile commute to work on pretty much all highway. I want something good on gas mileage, so I heard the Jetta TDIs get ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it okay to leave a car outside in the winter without driving it for 1 month?

I'm working in Grinnell Iowa for a year. I plan on traveling to the east coast for a few weeks in December- 1 month at most. The town is really tiny so there's practically no options for covered ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Delco battery code

I have two new Delco batteries and the code reading methods I have seen don't seem to work. there is an etched number in the top 7MKD27, then there is a sticker P0585 with group number on the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Front End Alignments

I recently had my vehicle in for a front end alignment. They told me all of my shocks were bad, causing all of the problems, and that they would not be able to align the front end with those bad ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Cream on oil cap? How to maintain a car that drives only short distances in Nordic environment?

My friend needs a car for night-time driving for distances about 15 km to-and-fro for his work. I read that short distances may be problematic to cars because the engine does not get hot enough -- ...