30 votes
Accepted

What is the point of changing coolant if it gets constantly replaced?

The logic behind replacing the coolant, rather than just topping it off, is to remove impurities. If the reason you have to add to it is that there is a slow leak somewhere, you may get by with just ...
  • 316
27 votes

How to find a part lost in the snow

Is it magnetic? if so, a big magnet (from a speaker for example) might help...
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25 votes
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What is a rod knock?

To get to basics, the rod (or connecting rod) is the portion of the engine which connects the piston to the crankshaft. Where the rod connects to the crankshaft there is a bearing which separates the ...
23 votes

What is the point of changing coolant if it gets constantly replaced?

You shouldn't be constantly replenishing the coolant - if you are, there's probably something wrong with your car! Modern car cooling systems are designed to be almost maintenance free, so you ...
  • 28.6k
22 votes
Accepted

Tightening Stud Without Bolt Head

You take 2 nuts and put them on the same set of threads. Then lock them against each other by loosening the lower nut and tightening the upper nut. Then use the upper nut with your torque wrench to ...
  • 1,308
22 votes

Maintenance tips to prolong engine lifespan for short trips

Adding something to fuel tank: Not necessarily, just purchase good quality gasoline. It already has all the additives needed to protect the engine. However, I understand that in Brazil, fuel may ...
  • 13.9k
18 votes

what tests should I do on a 30 year old car driven 1,000 miles per year?

Yes, you can do an inspection and learn a lot about it's condition. If you're not familiar with what to check, it may be worth getting an expert to have a look over it (if it's a classic car, your ...
  • 28.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Tire Maintenance

They need to be aligned Well, technically the wheels need to be aligned. This doesn't have much to do with fitting tires and is more of a mechanical maintenance item on the car. It's a good idea to ...
  • 13.2k
16 votes
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Standard Practices for Use and Care of Click-Type Torque Wrenches

The main things I've always heard/done. Always unwind before storing. This helps to keep stress off the springs. If you leave it wound up, the springs can get weak and give inaccurate torque ...
  • 8,413
16 votes

How to find a part lost in the snow

If the area you lost it in isn't too large, you could shovel the snow into a big bucket, bring it inside, and let it melt. This could be tricky if the area you might have lost it is large, or if the ...
15 votes
Accepted

Removing a car battery - order of wires explanation

When disconnecting a clamp from a car battery, there is a danger of creating a short circuit with the tools that are in contact with the battery terminal. So a tool in contact with the positive ...
  • 321
15 votes

Prevent birds from making nests in wheel well

I don't have any specific way that I know works, but there are several different techniques you can try. Buy a cat Cats are a natural predator to birds and should scare away most of them. Peter ...
  • 1,948
14 votes

How do I tell if I screwed up my oil change?

Here's a "tip to make sure I got everything right" for the future. One that I use myself, and taught my Auto Tech students as well: The very first thing is to take off the oil cap, and place it over ...
  • 12.3k
14 votes
Accepted

How to find a part lost in the snow

If the site of the tragedy is such that you can easily acquire water, use a hose (or a bucket) and simply run/pour water over the area to melt the snow. Since snow is an insulator, running a propane ...
  • 265
13 votes
Accepted

Prevent birds from making nests in wheel well

Would providing them with an alternative work? A bird-box in a suitable location that doesn't get disturbed every day... Alternatively, get a cat ;)
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13 votes
Accepted

What is the significance of rotating tyres in this pattern?

Why rotate tires at all? You probably already know this, but the reason we rotate the tires is to even out the wear and to try to maximize the miles from each set. For that reason, if the vehicle ...
  • 2,827
12 votes
Accepted

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

To the Mechanic suggesting 3000 mile changes, that recommendation has changed considerably. Several articles and studies have been done disproving the necessity of the 3k change. On any vehicle in ...
  • 136
12 votes

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

Battery operated flashlights or worklights which share batteries with your cordless tools would be a good option. These will allow you to work on the car even with a dead or disconnected battery. ...
  • 350
12 votes
Accepted

Why is the ATF Level checked with the engine running?

There are two main things about tranny fluid: Transmission fluid is checked when it's hot (up to running temperature). As the fluid gets up to temperature it expands. If the fluid is cold, it won't ...
11 votes
Accepted

Should we wait a few seconds before starting the engine?

The only type of vehicle you need wait on is a diesel powered one. The reason for that is you need to wait (in most of them) for the glow plugs to heat the combustion chamber. Modern fuel injected ...
11 votes

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

There are a number of ways to do this, but the two that come immediately to mind are battery-powered LED work lights. (A quick internet search will turn up many). Two varieties might be of use/...
  • 2,827
11 votes

How to find a part lost in the snow

Install a metal detector app on your phone. Seriously. They work pretty well.
  • 881
11 votes
Accepted

What clean, non-sticky lubricant can I use for door hinges?

Great question. My preference is silicone spray, as you suggested. I'm pretty sure this one is the one I usually get for this kind of job. Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks this is a ...
  • 5,225
11 votes
Accepted

How to setup the car so that while driving I do not have mist glass?

In the two pictures/icons you provide the arrow is intended to indicate the flow of air with regards to the cabin. Where the arrow is coming in from outside the car allows air from outside the vehicle ...
  • 9,777
10 votes
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Wheel removal solutions

I've worked at a garage. We use a rubber mallet. Hit it like your doing lug nuts. Hit it, rotate 90*, hit it, rotate 45*, and so on so you are not always hitting on the same spot. We would ...
  • 8,413
10 votes

My feet turn black

Cabin filters on modern cars use something called activated carbon (or at least some of them do) which is basically two paper / cotton sheets either side of a fine layer of carbon particles. It looks ...
10 votes
Accepted

How do I know how much tread I have left on slick tyres?

There are wear indicators on the surface of the tire, they look similar to a drill hole, when it is to the bottom or non existent, the slick is worn out, also check for even wear across the surface ...
  • 7,960
10 votes
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How do I tell if I screwed up my oil change?

I believe you just dripped some oil on your exhaust when drained it, don't worry, and your "paranoid" stuff is good - it means you care. Good job Snake! ;)
10 votes
Accepted

Hood Unlatches but Won't Pop Up

I would guess that there is an issue with the spring on your latch. Most hood latches follow the same basic design. As you push the hood closed, a bar on the hood pushes into a hook in the latch, and ...
  • 3,002
10 votes
Accepted

Do battery corrosion pads really work?

In my experience these DO work. They contain corrosion inhibiting chemicals that help keep the terminals from building up the greenish-white powder that is commonly seen on unmaintained battery ...
  • 10.1k

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