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19
votes
1answer
22k views

Is this what is making my car sound like a racecar?

Recently, my car (2000 Mercury Grand Marquis) started sounding like a racecar: the engine became very loud. There's clearly something going wrong with the exhaust system. I'm trying to understand ...
19
votes
5answers
22k views

Should I depress the clutch pedal when braking to a stop?

When coming to a stop, will depressing both the clutch and brake pedals cause any damage to the engine or transmission? Is there anything mechanically wrong with doing so?
19
votes
3answers
10k views

shifting stops when critically low on gas

I have a 1999 Dodge Dakota. It is a V6, 3.9 Liter, auto transmission. I have a weird problem that no one has been able to answer for me. HOW I CAME TO REALIZE THE PROBLEM: One day I was driving ...
19
votes
3answers
283 views

What's the most environmentally responsible method of car parts cleaning?

I'll be the first to admit that this one has been hard for me. I clean cylinder heads, axle bearings, calipers, crankcases....the list goes on. I want to be clear here. I am not talking about ...
19
votes
6answers
41k views

Is it OK to mix oil of different viscosity in a Wankel engine?

I have a Mazda RX-8 (with a Wankel rotary engine). Mazda advises North American owners to use 5W-20 oil. The engine was just replaced 200 miles ago by the dealer so it currently has 5W-20 in it. ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Vibration at idle, much worse after warm

My car is a 2001 Pontiac Firebird with a V6 (3800 Series II (L36)) and a manual transmission. These are all at a stop: When the car is cold, I don't feel too much vibration when sitting in it. (I ...
18
votes
12answers
7k views

Do mobile air conditioners exist for cars?

Even if my home has no integrated air conditioner, I can add one in my room by buying a mobile air conditioner. But if my car does not have any air conditioner, can I create cool air with an ...
18
votes
14answers
11k views

Heavy condensation inside car during winter. Tried multiple things, but no results!

Before you comment, read below to see what I've done and why most answers are not helping me. Also, my native language is not English, so I apologise for not using the proper words. I have an old ...
18
votes
7answers
4k views

How to find a part lost in the snow

How can one go about finding a very small part lost in the snow? — while working on my motorbike, one of the battery leads fell out and I can't find it. Buying a metal detector for the sake of ...
18
votes
11answers
18k views

What's the best gear to leave a manual vehicle in when parked? [closed]

I've been told that reverse is the "strongest" gear, so in a manual transmission vehicle you should park your vehicle and leave it in reverse in the event of a parking brake failure. Others have said ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do cars have plastic shrouds over the engine? [duplicate]

My 2005 Subaru Outback (3.0 flat 6) has a plastic cover under the hood which covers the engine. Or it had -- I had some work done and the mechanic has given the car back to me without the shroud. ...
18
votes
8answers
17k views

I got this screw in my tire, should I plug or replace?

Should I have the tire plugged, patched, or replaced?
18
votes
6answers
4k views

How can you tell if the engine is not brand new?

My MazdaSpeed 3 engine blew up, so I bought a new one. When I saw my new engine, it was painted in gray color. My previous mechanic said it was brand new and he bought it from a company from eBay. ...
18
votes
5answers
81k views

I ran my car on almost no oil for a few weeks before realizing the problem. Now what?

So let me preface this by saying that I follow all of the manufacturer's suggested maintenance and religiously get my oil changed every 5K miles. However, my 2007 Mazdaspeed6 is about due for its 120k ...
18
votes
6answers
13k views

Will higher octane fuel improve towing power?

According to Will higher octane fuel improve gas mileage? higher octane fuel does NOT notably improve fuel efficiency. Will higher octane fuel, increase power while towing? I looked online and found ...
18
votes
7answers
11k views

Why or why not increase engine efficiency by running the car “fuel-lean” (using a turbo or supercharger)?

Everyone wants their cars to use less fuel, right? I read the following passage about running the car fuel lean from this website: Run the engine fuel-lean, that is, use excess air. It is well ...
18
votes
4answers
16k views

what is round cylinder on top of classic car engine

This is probably ridiculous question but I can't seem to find a chart on google that explains typical parts of a classic american car. I always seen that round disc like cylinder on top of many muscle ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

What can I do to combat wire embrittlement?

I live in a very hot climate where temperatures regularly touch 45 deg C and the heat in the engine bay area means that under-hood wires, especially the thinner ones, endure high levels of thermal ...
18
votes
8answers
10k views

How often should I replace windscreen wiper blades?

I bought a second hand car 18+ months ago and there was no information on how recently the wiper blades had been replaced. This wasn't an problem as the blades weren't obviously worn and they did ...
18
votes
6answers
8k views

Where does the power in an idling engine go?

When the engine is running, but the vehicle is not moving fuel is still being consumed, where does the energy go?. I am guessing that it goes in rotating the flywheel and crankshaft and stuff, but I ...
18
votes
5answers
70k views

What should always be replaced when rebuilding an engine?

If the purpose of the rebuild is to bring the engine back (or as close as feasibly possible) to its original performance, what are some things that should always be replaced? This obviously depends ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Maintenance tips to prolong engine lifespan for short trips

I just sold my car and will soon purchase a new one (probably a used one with 1-2 years on it). I decided on a Volkswagen up! with an EA211 1.0 TSI engine. I have heard from many different people (at ...
18
votes
11answers
75k views

Engine oil change and getting rid of old oil completely

After running the vehicle for a certain distance usually we will change the engine oil. This will not only give engine new life with the brand new oil but will also get sludge and other sediments out ...
18
votes
6answers
107k views

Engine power specification at different rpm?

Car companies advertise the power of an engine at different rpms. Car 1: 80 PS at 6000 rpm Car 2: 85 PS at 6500 rpm What does the power at different rpm mean? Does it mean Car 1 has better power ...
18
votes
7answers
10k views

2000 Jetta runs rough, shudders on cold start only on wet days.

This is an issue I've had off and on for, embarrassingly, at least a year: On misty or wet mornings, everything starts out fine but, a few minutes into the drive (like clockwork. I even know the ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

How can an oil plug just fall out after three months and 3,000 miles and the car has just 35,000 miles on it, 2014 Ford Escape

We had an oil change done at a quick lube type shop. After nearly 3 months and 3,000 miles driven, the oil drain plug fell out, resulting in blowing up the entire engine. There was no oil leakage or ...
18
votes
6answers
81k views

Does putting an automatic car into neutral at stop lights significantly harm the transmission?

I drive a 2013 Mazda 3, in case that makes any difference to the answer. There seems to be a few discussions on the web which indicate that putting an automatic car into neutral does not ...
18
votes
4answers
78k views

Driving in second gear at 65+ mph

I accidentally drove my 2000 Grand Marquis on second gear on the highway. I was going 65 for like 5 minutes and tried to get it to 70mph but the car was shaking, when I realized I put it into regular ...
18
votes
3answers
190k views

What exactly is a “burnt valve” and what causes it?

I've come across this term a couple of times in the context of diagnosing engine-related issues, but don't know what it refers to. Here is an example from an automotive forum I frequent: I gotta ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

What is a leak down tester and what can I do with it?

Background There are quite a few head gasket related questions on the site. Coolant or water in the oil, oil in the coolant or water in a radiator, etc. I'm thinking that some instruction on howto ...
18
votes
3answers
12k views

Is it true that most of the engine wear during its life time occurs during a cold start up?

I have heard this idea several times, but is it true? Theories I read about why that might be true: The engine is running rich at startup because it is running in open loop, which can cause damage ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
138k views

What iPhone/iPad app works best with ELM327 Bluetooth OBD-II reader?

I've found a number of apps for the iPhone/iPad that connect to ODB-II readers via WiFi, but unfortunately that means that it disables 3G and all the benefits of having a 3G device built into my dash. ...
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 ...
18
votes
4answers
11k views

How to test a clutch

I have just bought a second hand car, and I have the feeling that the clutch is worn out. How can I do a quick clutch sanity check?
18
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between a 180° V4 and a true boxer motor?

Reading this thread which talks about V4 motors, I am wondering what exactly is the difference between a 180° V4 motor you'd find in a Subaru and a true boxer (or horizontally opposed) flat 4 cylinder?...
18
votes
4answers
140k views

Push start a car with automatic transmission

Is it possible to push start a car with automatic transmission? Use case: Let's say the battery is dead or you have a bad starter. I know this can be done on manual cars by putting the car in to gear ...
17
votes
8answers
21k views

Will having a radiator full of engine oil do damage to the motor?

I've got one question; I was looking over this car that I was going to buy and there was engine oil in the radiator. I asked the guys why it was in there and he said he didn't have enough coolant to ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does the rear of my vehicle sink when I apply the handbrake on a downward gradient?

This is something that I've always wondered. I'm no mechanic (web developer, actually) with very basic knowledge of vehicle mechanics so I can only guess at something like brake pipe pressure being ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Why not use gasoline on diesel engines or vice versa?

I've read gasoline engines use sparks to ignite the mixture, but diesel engines use just compression which can't be done in gasoline engines due to high compression ratios which can cause engine ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is my head gasket cracked?

My wife hit a large puddle of water in her 2006 Mazda 5. Until then it was running fine. The check engine light came on and car shut down and would not start again. Mazda says it is a head gasket. Is ...
17
votes
4answers
137k views

Is a tire with exposed wire safe to drive on?

This is my front passenger tire. As you can see, there is a large crack where you can see wire underneath. I ordered new tires that are supposed to arrive on Friday, however, I still need to get to &...
17
votes
10answers
45k views

How can I remove a seized brake disc?

I'm changing the rear brake discs and pads on my Ford Focus C-MAX. I've done one side which was fairly easy, but on the other side I can't get the disc off. There is nothing holding it on as far as I ...
17
votes
6answers
17k views

Why is car A/C typically less reliable than fridges/freezers?

I just had the A/C in my car die on me again; air coming through the vents with the A/C is just as warm with it turned on as off. However, my fridge/freezer is something I've had for over 5 years and ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

Seized engine due to being run without oil

I have a 2004 Trailblazer. My daughter called and said the oil pressure dropped to nothing and it died and wouldn't start. My husband checked it and said she had hit something hard enough to rip the ...
17
votes
3answers
16k views

How does the car's ECU detect a misfire?

I was wondering what the specific mechanism used by car ECU's to detect misfires is, or are if there is more than one method.
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is gas around a car battery only at risk of ignition from jumper cables?

As pointed out in Jump starting a dead battery: Connect black wire to negative pole of battery or grounded metal?, you connect the black jumper cable to the dead car's chassis to avoid sparks made ...
17
votes
1answer
19k views

What are these metal clips where my wheel rims meet the tires and what are they for?

I had a leaky tire, so I took it in to be checked for a puncture. The guy found no puncture but found it was leaking air where this clip met the tire: That clip had been there since I bought the ...
17
votes
6answers
58k views

Can you run an engine without a radiator?

I've heard of people starting engines in a build without a Radiator hooked up, to see if it fires. If you have an old engine and want to see if it will run: Can it be started without a radiator? ...
17
votes
8answers
461k views

Can I drive a car with only water and no coolant if it has a leak?

Recently, I was informed that a car I share ('02 Nissan Sentra) was close to overheating. I was told it gets close to the upper limit very quickly upon running the car. When I inspected the vehicle, I ...

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