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27 votes

Is my head gasket cracked?

It is totally possible. Combustion chambers are quite small and it doesn't take much fluid to fill one up. As the piston goes down during the intake cycle, a vacuum is created and anything in the ...
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  • 718
26 votes
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I ran my car on almost no oil for a few weeks before realizing the problem. Now what?

It sounds as though you were low on oil, but not out of oil. Your MS6 requires around 5.5-6 quarts of oil, so if you dumped three quarts in to get it up to level, you still had nearly three quarts in ...
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21 votes
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Hit a curb; chewed up rim and took a chunk out of tire. Will they need replacement?

tl;dr: Sadly, that tire appears to be a goner. The wheel is likely fine, though. You might be able to replace just the one tire. If you look at the divot cut out of the side of the tire, you'll see ...
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  • 24.3k
20 votes

Is my head gasket cracked?

Yes. If the engine ingests water, you have a big problem: water is incompressible. When water gets into a cylinder, it will be forced out through the path of least resistance: the head gasket. And ...
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  • 4,412
19 votes
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How do you get more horsepower out of a 1979 Mazda RX7?

I agree with your praise for this car, I had one back in the day and I have never loved a car as much since. To get more from this Wankel powered beauty, it's all about two things: Getting it to ...
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  • 9,286
15 votes

What could this water leak be under my car?

What you are more than likely seeing is condensation from your A/C unit. The drain for these are usually located on the passenger side of the car about where the firewall is at (just behind the engine)...
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14 votes
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Does putting an automatic car into neutral at stop lights significantly harm the transmission?

No. Not by any significant or even measurable amount. Constantly using the shifter may, over time, wear the bushes and linkages prematurely but these parts are usually inexpensive and simple to ...
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  • 1,658
13 votes
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How to Inspect a Fuel Filter to See if it Needs Replacing?

Just replace it. You're talking about a car from 1997. If you don't know when the fuel filter was replaced, I'm inclined to believe that it hasn't ever been changed. Very quick Googling shows me ...
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  • 24.3k
13 votes

What to look out for when buying a car that hit a deer?

I'd be asking if the car was put on a chassis rig when it was repaired. If it's even had just one day on a rig, it was clearly enough of an impact that made the assessor/repairer think it might be a ...
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  • 1,576
13 votes
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Power steering out after driving through deep puddle

My first thought is that the belt(s) that drive the accessories (alternator and power steering) slipped due to being wet. As for the check gauges light that came on later, I don't know. When it came ...
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  • 1,308
12 votes
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Strange noise from timing belt area

I don't know if I deserve all this credit. My idea was sound, but my measurements were pretty bad so my numbers are way off. If you try this, use the more precise software that Robert S. Barnes ended ...
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12 votes

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

When you visit your dealership, have them (and join in if you're allowed into the shop) examine the oil after it's drained. This is important to ask beforehand since some shops use a large funnel/...
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12 votes
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What's this button for in Mazda cx 5?

This isn't a button, but a plug to cover the shift lock override.
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10 votes
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What is this extra light on my headlights?

According to this that extra space is for the integrated fog light, which is probably where the fog light would be if you didn't have the separate fog light.
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  • 1,502
10 votes
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Timing chain jumped. Probably bent a piston. Is my engine worth fixing?

Before jumping to conclusions, you could take the rocker cover off and see whether the chain is still connected. The fact that you were able to turn the engine over for a while quickly without it ...
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  • 20.9k
9 votes

How do you get more horsepower out of a 1979 Mazda RX7?

Just like with any other internal combustion engine, there are two ways to increase power output: add more cubic inches of displacement; make the motor think it has a larger displacement. More ...
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9 votes

What to look out for when buying a car that hit a deer?

You said "the dealer tells me that the car was likely rebuilt." The dealer should know for a fact that the car was rebuilt and issued a salvaged title, if not, walk away. On top of that, if the seller ...
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  • 6,017
9 votes
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How does a cobra alarm system disable starting

I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. Assuming that your alarm is a Thatcham approved alarm and was installed by an approved installer, it must disable the vehicle at a minimum of three different ...
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8 votes

Hit a curb; chewed up rim and took a chunk out of tire. Will they need replacement?

Based on your picture I would replace the tire without question. It's not worth the risk. If the sidewall fails while driving it could result in you losing control of the vehicle.
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8 votes

Trouble getting in first gear when car is hot

While I agree that Solar Mike's answer is a possibility, you. might check the simple and inexpensive things first. Try changing the transmission oil/fluid. Sometimes this works wonders especially on ...
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  • 9,459
7 votes
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Oily Sludge in the Intake Manifold

The oil stuff is more than likely caused from what the intake pulls out of the crank case through the PCV. If you can get a hold of a couple cans of Seafoam, this should take care of the residue ...
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7 votes

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

It shouldn't as stated above, but there are bushings and bearings that will get worn out, its probably better to just leave it in gear. Engineering Explained did a good review on this, so I recommend ...
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7 votes

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

It could be argued that by putting the car in Park or Neutral, you are saving wear on the torque converter, which can be an expensive piece of equipment to replace. But I can't site any first-hand ...
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  • 71
7 votes

How do you get more horsepower out of a 1979 Mazda RX7?

Mow much money do you have? :D In all seriousness: Swap in a later 13B engine and give it a fresh rebuild. Install a Racing Beat header and exhaust system. The Racing Beat intake is also pretty good....
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  • 3,363
7 votes

2012 Mazda3 shifts gears but won't move

If the clutch cable was bad you wouldn't be able to put in in gear with the engine running. Based on what you have described you have a bad clutch.
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7 votes

How do I remove these electrical connectors on the inside of my drivers side door?

First off, no, you do not need to disconnect anything else. If the key is NOT in the ignition, there is no electricity going through these connectors. So, basically in the image below: Green Arrows: ...
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7 votes

MAZDA 3 2006 (UK) - poor acceleration then takes off at 3250 revs

My gut says it's likely to related to either a dodgy throttle position sensor or a faulty air mass meter. Whilst it is reporting no errors, it's worth doing diagnosis such as resetting the throttle ...
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7 votes

When to change oil for new generation Mazda?

I downloaded the manual for the car. There are different service schedules for different countries. Many countries like the UK have a 12500 miles schedule, whereas some hot countries are as low as ...
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  • 20.9k
6 votes

Is it possible to change the language of a 2009 Mazda Axela stereo and navigation system from Japanese to English?

You might want to try if your メニュー option (Menu) has a 設定 (Settings) option and inside there, a 言語 (Language) option. If it does, then most likely you can switch between the default 日本語 (Japanese) and ...
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  • 141
6 votes
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Do I really need to care if my car burns oil?

You said "valve gaskets" but I'm going to assume you actually mean the valve seals. Since you are seeing a small puff of smoke sometimes during startup and when you are accelerating, these are usually ...
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