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60
votes
6answers
8k views

How to maintain a sometimes-used vehicle?

My daily commute changed from 9 miles to 9 feet when I started working remotely. That means I very rarely drive my car much. After a particularly hectic month, I didn't drive for about 4 weeks and ...
73
votes
16answers
503k views

Should I resurface or replace my rotors everytime I replace brake pads?

I have heard it is proper practice to replace or resurface your brake rotors every time your do a brake pad replacement. Does this need to be done every single time or is it overkill? Maybe it is ...
30
votes
3answers
390k views

what is difference between DOHC and SOHC?

I want to know the SOHC and DOHC configurations. On what factors an engine manufacturer decides to go with SOHC or with DOHC, what should I choose? DOHC or SOHC?
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Second hand car - Engine/Tyres/Etc

I am looking into buying a second hand car from a reputable Mercedes-Benz dealer (not just some dodgy salesman by the side of a road lol....). Anyway, there are a few maintenance/mechanical things ...
38
votes
10answers
66k views

Is it necessary to 'burn in' or 'break in' a new car?

I've just bought a new 2011 plate car. I've heard stories of people 'burning in' engines for the first few hundred or couple thousand miles using methods such as: Not driving above 50 mph. Varying ...
26
votes
6answers
42k views

Is Start & Stop technology good or bad for my car? (Alfa MiTO)

I was recently in the lucky position to obtain an (almost brand new) Alfa Romeo MiTo, Progression. Like many new cars coming out these days, it has "Start & Stop" technology that turns the engine ...
22
votes
14answers
111k views

How long should I let my car warm up in the winter?

I have been reading mixed reviews about how long to let your car warm up before driving in the winter months. Most of the articles say that the best way to warm it up is to let it idle for 1-2 minutes,...
20
votes
3answers
110k views

What does a flywheel do and what is it connected to?

I understand roughly how an engine works and that there is a crankshaft which is able to turn the flywheel using internal combustion. I have just realised that I have got absolutely no idea how the ...
12
votes
3answers
100k views

Is it normal for stop distance to be long on brand new brake pads?

I just had the brake pads replaced in my car. As I left the shop I noticed coming to a complete stop took longer distance or needed a fair bit more force on the pedal. Is this normal? Will the ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What can cause a gasoline engine to suddenly & mysteriously stop (non-catastrophically)

I was thinking about this question and found myself wondering what could cause a gasoline engine to suddenly stop, and then be restartable? So not things like running out of fuel, or suffering a ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the “propane test” and how is it carried out?

This test is often mentioned in the context of figuring out what's wrong with a car engine's operation (misfires, hesitation, poor fuel economy, etc.) What is this test and what does one need to ...
6
votes
3answers
68k views

Getting information from manufacturing code on Exide car battery

If you can help me decode the following manufacturing code on EXIDE EA640 battery, especially which production plant has made it what was the date of manufacturing Code: 3EC28K5 Perhaps 28K means ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Finding a possible vacuum leak

One of our cars has a bit of a rough idle which disappears at about 1,000 RPM. After eliminating everything else I concluded that this is due to a minor vacuum leak. This was confirmed by the use of a ...
14
votes
5answers
88k views

Switching from Reverse to Drive - always stop completely?

I've been told by a couple people that it's really bad for a car to be shifted from Reverse to Drive while the car is still moving backwards. Is this true? In my experience: On automatic cars, this ...
13
votes
10answers
104k views

How can I detect vacuum leaks without access to a smoke machine?

In the course of helping my friend sort out a lean condition with his Mercedes GLK280 we have to pinpoint the source of a vacuum leak in the intake plumbing. The interwebz tend to recommend having ...
10
votes
3answers
84k views

Accidentally poured engine oil into the coolant reservoir

My 1990 Mazda 626 leaks oil like a sieve, so I regularly top up the oil. In a moment of stupidity, I opened my radiator cap instead of my oil cap while topping up my engine oil, and poured about 50-...
10
votes
4answers
72k views

Is engine braking harmful? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? My wife and I have a disagreement about a practice of mine--engine braking. When I'm driving her manual ...
7
votes
4answers
125k views

2006 Honda Civic EX - Green Key Light on dash

Problem: I try to start my car with the original factory key, as well tried with the other factory key (both have chips in them) and the car will start, run for a second then shut off. All the while ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it mandatory to change oil once a year?

I drove only 4000 km in a year. Volkswagen advises that I change the oil in 15,000 km kilometers or 1 year. In this case, what do I need to do, because I have driven only 5000 km.
5
votes
5answers
40k views

What happens if I disconnect the battery while the car is running?

There are some comments on the question Are there any modern diesel engines that require electricity to continue running? suggesting that disconnecting the battery while the car is running can damage ...
23
votes
10answers
8k views

Cheap winter tires vs high quality all seasons

My car honda CR-V is in pretty desperate need of new tires. I've put away a small amount from my last few paycheques, but it's not a whole lot. I'm curious as to whether you would feel it's a better ...
16
votes
4answers
8k views

Strange overheating behaviour

My 10 year old Litchfield Forester STi needs a bit of maintenance to sort a minor oil leak but other than that has been behaving well for the past year with regular oil top ups. This week on the ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is the engine on my Royal Enfield Classic 350 shutting down?

After travelling 7-8km on my Royal Enfield Classic 350, the bike acts as if the fuel is finished & the engine shuts down, but it starts again when I pull the accelerator. What could cause this ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

A most intriguing cold-start misfire mystery

I'm trying to help a friend out with a CEL on his 2009 Merc GLK 280. Hooked it up to an OBD2 reader and retrieved a single code: P0300 - 'Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected', via the 'OBD ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

What bolt extractor will remove a broken motor mount bolt on a 2004 Subaru WRX?

Things were going slowly but well on my install last night until I sheared off the passenger side motor mount bolt while putting everything back together (at about midnight - sigh). Here are the key ...
9
votes
2answers
104k views

Parking — in gear or neutral? [closed]

This question is discussed all over the internet, but it seems to be just a voting procedure. I'd like to get a high-quality answer, and, since I couldn't find it on SE, I'll ask it again here. With ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Handbrake Engaged for 9-10 km Driving Roughly 80 km/h

Make: Mitsubishi Model: Pajero Intercooler 2800 Handling: Automatic Year: 1992 I forgot to release the handbrake on my car this morning. I didn't realize I forgot to release it until I had driven it ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Mazda 323: Plugged in Coolant Temp Sensor - Now Car won't Start

I recently bought a Manual 97 Mazda Lantis 323 1.8L DOHC 16 Valve BP. I found the following wire unplugged on the drivers side of the engine, next to the water intake from the radiator: It plugs ...
3
votes
5answers
20k views

how much water can be safely added to a battery?

My 2008 Jetta SE 2.5L has the battery as follows: ENERTEC EMC // 1J0 915 105 AD // 12V 61 Ah 330A DIN // 540A EN/SAE. It would appear that the battery can no longer hold the starting charge after an ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to calculate the amount of consumed gas?

If we have the cc of the engine, and its running speed, how can we calculate the mass of gasoline in milligrams sucked in each intake stroke and the mass of gas consumed in a given distance, based on ...
85
votes
12answers
96k views

Does the amount of fuel in the tank matter?

As long as there is some fuel in the tank, does the fuel level matter? In other words, is it advisable to make sure the tank is mostly full most of the time, or is this just silly? In other words, are ...
52
votes
6answers
50k views

Why do heavy vehicles almost always use diesel engines?

I have always wondered why heavy vehicles such as large trucks and buses almost always use diesel engines, whereas in light cars there is a choice between diesel and gasoline engines. Engine ...
31
votes
3answers
15k views

Difference between FWD/RWD/4WD/Part-Time 4WD/AWD?

I'm curious as to what are the particular difference between the various drive systems available in modern vehicles. FWD and RWD are pretty straightforward - Front Wheel Drive cars put the power to ...
19
votes
4answers
203k 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?
21
votes
1answer
15k views

How do I know when to change my spark plug

I ride a Piaggio scooter with a single cylinder engine. Recently I broke down and the engine wouldn't restart. It turned out the spark plug was stuffed. How can I ensure that doesn't happen again?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

How To Read Car Tires

On my VW Passat B5 tires, there is a marking that reads "195/65R15 91 V". What does this mean? Do I have to get replacement tires with this exact marking on the side of the tire in the future or not? ...
19
votes
11answers
218k views

What causes brakes to pulsate right after rotor and pad replacement?

I have a 2002 Infiniti Q45. I replaced the front rotors and pads on Sunday. It was the first time I've done this on a car, though I have done it countless times on various motorcycles. I was careful ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should one fit the least-worn tires to the rear wheels?

According to the Owner’s Manual Saab 9-3 M2001 (front-wheel driven cars): WARNING When fitting just one new pair of tires, these should be fitted to the rear wheels, as these are more ...
29
votes
9answers
438k views

What is the difference between normal, platinum, iridium plugs?

What is the difference (besides price) between normal, platinum, and iridium spark plugs?
18
votes
3answers
45k views

WHY does an engine stall? (manual transmission)

Before you write off my question as one that's been answered a million times already, I want to clarify. I understand that the engine needs to go a certain rpm and when you try to engage the clutch ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Best routine for making a frozen car driveable

With temperatures below zero it's always difficult to get going even if the engine itself starts without hiccups and I'd like to know what to do better so that I don't need to wait ten minutes before ...
34
votes
3answers
63k views

What's the Purpose of Park on an Automatic Transmission?

When one wants to park a manual transmission (MTX) vehicle, one puts it in neutral, and engages the emergency / parking brake. With an ATX vehicle, the practice I've learned is to put it in Park, and ...
24
votes
7answers
380k views

Is idling bad for your engine?

If I sit in my car for 30-40 minutes with the AC and the car idling, does that "hurt" the engine, or does it simply waste gas and pollute the air? Would it be better if I turned off the car? A ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the difference between torque and horsepower?

A very basic question - what is the difference between torque and horsepower? Its all over Google, but I am really confused and can't get any satisfactory answers. I'll tell you my confusion: Torque ...
14
votes
5answers
247k views

Automatic transmission: Is shifting to neutral while approaching stops bad?

This is not with the intention of saving fuel (as I have seen many answers assuming savings in fuel while doing this). But I have this habit of putting the vehicle into neutral before approaching ...
13
votes
9answers
4k views

Timing Belt need replacing? Unknown mileage

I bought my car used, and unfortunately I have no idea when the timing belt was last changed. I decided to open the timing belt cover today to take a look. The top of the belt seemed a bit shiny but I'...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Strange noise from timing belt area

I just changed the timing belt and water pump on my 98 Mazda 626. After I got everything reassembled I started up the engine. I had been running the engine for a few minutes, revved it up to around ...
10
votes
4answers
65k views

Brake cleaner vs carb cleaner vs throttle-body cleaner

So I was spring-cleaning my man-cave/garage over the weekend and came across my assortment of chemical sprays - specifically carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner which caught my eye. Is there any ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Realistically, how much can I expect to improve cloudy headlights by polishing?

The headlight lenses on my vehicle (a 2001 Ford F-150) are cloudy, and presumably as a result, the headlights are not terribly effective. (I could post a photo if you want.) I bought a polishing kit ...
8
votes
3answers
14k views

Engine braking with an automatic transmission

For reference, I've reviewed these three questions: Manually shifting an automatic transmission? Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? Is engine braking harmful? I drive a (...

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