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6
votes
2answers
30k views

How can I test my thermostat?

How can I tell whether a mechanical thermostat works as it should? Is there a test that can definitively tell me if a thermostat is good or bad?
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I get rid of door dings?

Wife parks too close to my white car. Would love to get rid of these door dings as her car is only 3 years old.
23
votes
2answers
16k views

Why do we need to cool air after it leaves a turbocharger?

When we are using a turbocharger to compress the incoming air, the air gets hotter. Usually this hot air is cooled by using an intercooler before it's passed to the engine. What is the reason behind ...
22
votes
1answer
29k views

LTFT and STFT values are off and don't make sense

Car is a 2015 BMW M5 and it has an aftermarket CAI and a catback (slip on) exhaust. No other performance mods or tunes. About 6-7 months ago, I bought a Kiwi OBD-II reader, simply out of curiosity ...
16
votes
8answers
6k views

Is shifting to neutral on a decline more fuel efficient than keeping the gear engaged?

I always had the habit of shifting to neutral on long declines and using the brakes to slow down as needed. Intuition made me believe I'd be saving fuel as opposed to keeping a gear engaged. However, ...
8
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
56k views

What does a healthy spark plug look like?

The spark plug pictured here: Has some black carbon on the underside of the ground electrode and has black carbon on the "base" area below the centre electrode (not pictured). Is this normal and ...
6
votes
4answers
34k views

Technique to test an alternator - fact or fiction?

A friend explained that the following is a simple way to test an alternator to see if it is working: Turn on the vehicle. While it is running, carefully remove one of the 12V battery leads. See if ...
23
votes
16answers
85k views

What is the purpose of plastic engine covers?

I have a 2010 Toyota Corolla. What is the purpose of the large plastic cover that stretches over my valve cover? Does it have a particular function? Are they just for looks? Or are they designed by ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

How to deal with a hot turbocharger

A piece of advice that seems to be widely accepted is that after a long high-speed run, when the turbocharger is thoroughly hot, you should let the engine idle for a while before stopping it. The ...
10
votes
3answers
62k views

Engine Size and Fuel Consumption

I have this weird misconception that the engine size is related to the amount of fuel being burned in one cycle(4-stroke engine). I know this is stupid but how does engine size relate to the amount of ...
10
votes
4answers
270k views

Reasons for loss of radiator fluid

I've had to top up my car's radiator fluid twice in the last month after discovering that the expansion tank (plastic container where one usually tops up) had completely drained out (roughly a gallon)....
9
votes
3answers
27k views

Should I avoid full throttle when driving with a cold engine?

Apparently I should avoid full throttle until my engine temperature is warmed up fully (to 90 degrees on the gauge) Normally I just get in and drive normally after about 10 seconds, and then after ...
9
votes
1answer
10k views

Why would turning on the A/C affect my alternator output voltage?

So yet another chapter unfolds in the A/C gremlin saga of my LS1 Chevy. Backdrop A/C compressor is relatively new (2 years old) One of the belts is squeaking (not sure which one) Recently performed a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

All weather tires vs winter tires on well-plowed roads

I live in Minnesota. I've seen lots of people recommend changing to winter tires in the winter. However, what doesn't make sense to me is that the roads are plowed very well here. 90% of my driving ...
8
votes
6answers
160k views

Is it a good idea to remove the catalytic converter?

Some people have suggested that I remove my cars catalytic converter. This is because my car is designed for a different market, and the manufacturer recommended fuel is not sold in my area. It is ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How might I fix a dent in a Honda Rebel fuel tank?

In a silly move during an engine overhaul, I dropped my Honda Rebel's fuel tank and put a dent in the top side. Is it possible to pull this dent out? I've heard there is a method using heat and ice ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Excessive Coolant Expansion with No Overheating

I've noticed that my coolant expands quite a bit when I drive around, so much that I'm loosing coolant through the expansion bottle. When I park after a lengthy drive, I'll usually hear the coolant ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

A/C Temporarily Cures Low, Hiccupping Idle

I have a 99 Nissan Almera 1.6L MTX ( nearly identical to the Sentra sold in the US ) which has developed a problem with low idle, occasional stalling at stop lights, what seems to be misfires and ...
5
votes
3answers
399 views

95 Integra LS Starter: Procedure to replace plunger and starter

A 30 year starter repair veteran indicated advised that: The failure in these units is the solenoid contacts. These contacts take a beating; they generally last about 100k miles. Almost all these ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

How can I tell when a tire was manufactured?

Unused tires harden and deteriorate quickly in harsh desert climates. When I shop for tires I want to make sure I get ones that are as fresh as possible from the factory without trusting the sales ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Hole-in-One. Small extension and socket fall into valve

I am very poor so I work on my house/SUV (2002 Ford Expedition) myself. Recent misfires had me changing coils and spark plugs. Well, everything is going fine until my extension comes off my socket ...
75
votes
21answers
73k views

How can I keep stray cats off my car?

We have a lot of stray cats in my neighborhood and they possess an uncanny ability to know when a car has been cleaned for them to sit on and enjoy. Needless to say, the dirty, dusty paw marks they ...
14
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
33
votes
8answers
11k views

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

Some people say they wash the outside car every week as it makes the paint nice etc Are there any benefits of washing the outside of my car? Do I really need to wash the exterior of my car every ...
17
votes
2answers
315k views

What happens if you put the wrong kind of gas in your car?

I (like most people) just use regular unleaded gas in my car and always have. But once I accidentally put in the premium kind, mixing it with the unleaded that was already there, and I thought for ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

The poor man's Start Interrupt Switch — non-obvious way to disable starting

There's some idiot stealing similar cars to mine -- mid to late 90s Subarus -- in this part of town. The police are pretty confident that he has a jiggle key (the cars have been mostly recovered, ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

how to optimize fuel consumption by changing the rear differential ratio?

Is it possible to improve the fuel consumption (decrease it) in my van by changing the rear differential ratio? I would like to optimize it for low-speed driving about 40 km/h (25 mph). Is it true ...
11
votes
5answers
535k views

What is the meaning of BHP and torque in bikes or cars?

BHP = Brake horse power. It says that it is brake horse power but it is generally relates with high pick up (your bikes reaches top speed in lesser time). So what does this actually mean?. Torque = ...
9
votes
2answers
1.0m views

Honda Accord radio anti-theft code not working…what am I doing wrong and what should I do?

I had to remove the battery so I can replace the driver's side low beam headlight. I didn't bother to buy a settings saver because I found the security code in my Honda's packet (I bought this car ...
35
votes
6answers
35k views

Why is a motorcycle's neutral between first and second gears?

The gear pattern is selected by clicking a lever with your left foot and is typically laid out as follows: 6th gear (if applicable) 5th gear 4th gear 3rd gear 2nd gear NEUTRAL 1st gear What is ...
31
votes
6answers
537k views

What causes battery terminal corrosion?

I put a new battery in my car about 8 months ago. After a problem starting a couple days ago, I found that there was massive corrosion under the battery terminals, so I cleaned them out and ...
19
votes
10answers
79k views

Does a strut tower bar have any useful effect on chassis stiffness for a car with 100K miles?

Aftermarket strut tower bars are generally considered to be decorative on many brand new cars. However, it seems to be a bit more logical that a chassis with 100K miles would have developed some flex ...
17
votes
11answers
165k views

Use of Neutral Gear in Automatic Transmission

I am new to driving A/T cars and I am trying to understand the use of Neutral(N) gear. Should I shift my gear from D to N when my car comes to a complete halt on a red light or somewhere else? As per ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Motorcycle Four Body Carburetor Synchronization Balancing

I would like to adjust four-body carbs by myself, in order to avoid spent money every time. What are the basic rules, tools and secrets of synchronizing multiple carburetor bodies?
7
votes
9answers
114k views

Strong vibrations when idling even after replacing engine mounts (automatic transmission)

I have a '93 Acura Integra with automatic transmission. Ever since I got it some time ago the car has been vibrating a lot when stopped at a light, for example. The vibration is worse when in gear ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

Read steering angle data in real time

I need to read vehicle steering angle (front wheel angle) data in real time for a research project that I am involved in. How can I achieve that? What HW and SW do I need for it? So far I can think ...
37
votes
5answers
76k views

What are the benefits of a lightweight flywheel and why aren't they lightweight already?

This previous question explains what a flywheel does and why it is needed. That explanation means that the flywheel needs a certain amount of mass to do its job. However, an "upgrade" for many cars (...
22
votes
2answers
22k views

Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?

When you come to a stop with a manual transmission you have to push the clutch in or take it out of gear to keep the engine from stalling out. What keeps the engine from stalling in an automatic ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

Does flooring the throttle while traveling at lower speeds increase fuel consumption?

I've noticed that in a manual transmission vehicle when going uphill I have two options: Downshift and press the gas more Stay in the same gear and press the gas more I haven't measured it but ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What do I need to do to keep my car healthy during an extended period of minimal use [duplicate]

Due to corona virus restrictions, my driving has been reduced to occasional 5 mile round trips to the grocery store. To avoid problems from it just sitting for a week or two between short trips are ...
14
votes
5answers
904 views

How do you test analogue electrical circuits?

When trying to diagnose problems with conventional analogue electrical circuits, such as lights, speakers, heated rear windows, etc, as well as short-circuits and unexplained current draws, it can be ...
12
votes
4answers
26k views

How to assess battery charge level and alternator performance?

What diagnostics can be done to to assess battery charge level? I'm interested both in one-off tests like can be done in car service and also continuous monitoring during normal use. Car panels ...
7
votes
5answers
152k views

What brake components need to be lubricated?

When doing a DIY brake job, I understand that it's necessary lubricate several components of the pad/caliper assembly. From various sources, I have been told that the following are the places where ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Writing CAN Messages

I want to know what should I write with the CAN ID to send it to ECU. I am using ELM327 and Raspberry Pi with all connections to OBD-II. Initially for sending general PIDs to the ECU through ELM327 ...
29
votes
7answers
19k views

When is a cold air intake system beneficial?

Cold air intake must be one of the popular mods there is, and one subject to the most controversy as well. Manufacturers of such systems advertise 5-20 HP gains, yet there are claims that this mod ...
20
votes
5answers
178k views

HOW urgently should I replace this tire? Is it safe to drive on at all?

Update: I actually don't even have the car anymore. But I did immediately change this tire at the time. It's my rear right tire. It has a significant bulge in the sidewall. Here are two pictures ...
17
votes
4answers
123k views

Does giving gas while releasing the clutch cause unnecessary wear?

I drive a 2013 Ford Fusion SE with manual transmission. I learned to drive a manual as a kid but picked up a lot of bad habits. In particular I tend to naturally ride the clutch. Now, of course in 1st ...
13
votes
9answers
182k views

Is it okay to replace one tire (of four matched tires) with a completely different model of tire?

I have a 2011 Ford Focus, and while the car itself is good quality, I have now ruined two tires in three months by merely driving over a screw. Ford offers no road hazard on their tires, so I am ...
12
votes
1answer
579 views

Are widebands known to go lazy over time?

I know narrowbands can go lazy with time, but what about widebands? This is a sequel to the cold-start misfire mystery. It turns out that we were looking at the wrong PID's for the front O2 sensor ...

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