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18
votes
5answers
64k 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
11answers
178k views

Wheel stuck or fused to drum

1997 Chevy 1500 My right rear wheel is stuck or fused to the drum. I can get the lugnuts off, but no luck getting the wheel off. I took it to a tire place and they couldn't remove it either, and said ...
18
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
10k 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
4k 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
8k 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
7k 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
56k 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
10answers
68k 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
100k 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
9k 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
4answers
73k 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
173k 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
3k 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
8answers
54k views

What is the best way to prevent my doors from freezing shut in the winter?

What is the best way to treat door seals to prevent the doors from freezing in winter? I noticed that the doors on both of my vehicles are a bit "sticky" this time of year, where the temperature is ...
18
votes
3answers
9k 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
44k 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
2answers
10k views

Why did Ducati decide to use the desmodromic valve train rather than a more tradition valve train?

Ducati's use a unique method to open and close their valves. It's called the desmodromic valve train. The desmodromic valve system does not use springs to close the valve, it uses the cam and has a ...
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
132k 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
4answers
8k 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
3k 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
5answers
14k 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?
17
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 ...
17
votes
8answers
19k 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
6k 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
9k 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
10answers
41k 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
14k 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
13k 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
4k 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
16k 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
44k 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
2answers
6k views

Have I damaged my car by attempting to reverse with hand/park brake up? [duplicate]

Earlier today, I stopped a little too far from an entrance I meant to use. I had to reverse to get back to it. I unconsciously pulled the handbrake up when I stopped (I think it is habit) so when I ...
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

40amp protection on 25amp rated wiring?

Q - why is the circuit described below protected with a 40amp fuse when the cable to the motor is 2mm² (I cut a bit of cable out and measured strand thickness and quantity, 37 * .26mm = 1.98mm²) and ...
17
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
40k views

What does it mean to retard an engine?

I have come across this term. What does it mean to retard an engine? When would you typically have to do such a thing? What can happen if you don't or incorrectly retard the engine? What sort of ...
17
votes
6answers
39k views

How to fix leaky tires after 2 shops couldn't

I have an SUV with factory 16" steel wheels and P235/70R16 tires. The tires have just under 30,000 miles of gentle driving on them. Two of the tires have been leaking quite a bit (about 10 psi per ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are there multiple CAN buses in vehicles?

There are a number of questions on the CAN bus but none (so far as I can tell) that explain why there are several CAN buses in a vehicle. From what I understand many different nodes can be connected ...
17
votes
6answers
67k views

Can I jumpstart a non-hybrid car from a hybrid or full electric car?

This morning I had starter battery troubles with my 2001 VW Eurovan. As it happened, my father-in-law arrived just at the right time in his fancy new Toyota Camry hybrid. So we opened the hoods, dug ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Stainless Steel Fasteners

In the past 6-months or so, I purchased this set of stainless steel hex head bolt fasteners. In the kit, they require you to install the bolts using "anti-seize as a regular practice". The seller ...
17
votes
3answers
91k views

Why is my motorcycle losing power when accelerating?

I ride a Honda Rebel 250 motorcycle and over the past few days I find that the bike is losing power when accelerating fast. When I twist the throttle to accelerate quickly (in any gear) I hear the ...
17
votes
5answers
18k views

How do I remove a broken drill bit from metal?

I was building a mount for my custom bobber. My 1/4" carbide drill bit broke off into 3/4" plate of steel. How do I remove it?
17
votes
2answers
5k views

Diesel Engine Runaway - What is it?

I was watching some youtube videos and diesel engine runaway videos started to pop up where apparently the diesel engine runs out of control until it destroys itself. My Question What is diesel ...
17
votes
3answers
53k views

Can OBD-II be used to control the vehicle?

Is the OBD-II port in vehicles only used for reading diagnostic codes or is there some functionality that allows the vehicle (eg. engine revving) to be controlled through OBD-II? Thanks.
17
votes
3answers
64k views

How to test for defective glow plugs?

On a diesel engine, how can I know which glow plugs are defective, and can I change these only?

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