mac
  • Member for 9 years, 6 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Cambridge, MA
Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?
Accepted answer
29 votes

The reason that an automatic doesn't stall out while "in gear" and at a stop, while a manual transmission does, is that automatic transmissions use a hydraulic torque converter to connect the engine ...

View answer
Should I pull my wipers away from the windshield when parked during a winter storm?
21 votes

Regarding the effect of raising the wiper arms on the wiper arm springs: raising the wiper arms will not make the springs weaker for future use. The only way that the springs could produce reduced ...

View answer
What may happen if I do not replace my motorcycle's chain
Accepted answer
14 votes

Chain maintenance is critically important for motorcycle safety. If this old chain has not been properly maintained throughout its life, you may be at higher risk of seized links or chain breakage. ...

View answer
Does tire size and/or tread wear significantly affect speed and speedometer accuracy?
Accepted answer
13 votes

You can calculate the size of the effect from simple geometry. Tire wear reduces the diameter of the tire, which reduces the circumference of the tire. New passenger car tires typically come with 10/...

View answer
Differences and Recommendation between Steel and Alloy Wheels for Winter?
Accepted answer
12 votes

Bob cross makes some good points, however, I would offer the following opinions: Winter tires don't have the dry grip that summer tires do. Your "high performance" handling will be limited with your ...

View answer
What do relatively dirtier front hubcaps indicate?
Accepted answer
10 votes

Much of what makes wheels appear dirty is brake dust. Brake dust is wear particles from the brake pads and rotors (or from linings and drums, in the case of drum brakes). The braking effort in most ...

View answer
Why are copper washers required on banjo fittings?
Accepted answer
9 votes

You are correct that the copper washer is required to create a seal. Even flat copper washers will deform during tightening to create a seal. They're made from annealed copper, which is very soft. ...

View answer
How to prevent body damage and rust from salted roadways?
8 votes

Regular washing and waxing is your best bet. We kept our cars in one piece through the Rochester, NY winters with nothing more than this. The wax provides a sacrificial protective coating for the ...

View answer
VW Golf TDI makes a 'sneezing' sound on startup
Accepted answer
8 votes

We have a Mk4 TDI Jetta that makes a sound after startup that might be described as a sneeze. I'm fairly confident that it's the starter motor's overrun clutch. As soon as the engine "starts," it ...

View answer
Washing coolant system with dish soap to remove oil residue
8 votes

I'm assuming that this person was advocating putting a small amount of dish soap in the water used to do a coolant system flush. I would not do this to my car as routine/preventative maintenance, I ...

View answer
Mixing antifreeze?
Accepted answer
8 votes

If you want to know for sure, you can ask the dealer what they use. It would be good to know for the future anyway. There are two main types of anti freeze, generally they all use ethylene glycol as ...

View answer
How severe is a bad oil seal on a used car?
Accepted answer
8 votes

Personally I wouldn't be all that concerned unless the oil leak was large. One simple check for the state of health of the engine would be to take the car to an independent mechanic and have a ...

View answer
2000 Jetta runs rough, shudders on cold start only on wet days.
8 votes

You didn't mention which engine is in your Jetta, but the Mk IV VWs, especially the VR6 engine, are known to have brittle ignition coil housings that crack and admit water, which leads to misfires. ...

View answer
When should we change the machine lubricant? Cold engine or hot engine?
Accepted answer
7 votes

The oil pan never gets hot enough in normal operation to soften the metal of the oil pan or the drain plug, and any thermal expansion at that temperature also shouldn't be much of a concern. For me ...

View answer
Extending the Cargo Space of a 2007 Honda Fit
Accepted answer
7 votes

Thule makes a rack that fits the Fit. You can then get a cargo box or some bike mounts (my personal choice would be the bike mounts, you may be likely to get more long-term use out of them), or both. ...

View answer
Unknown part fell out of my motorcycle
Accepted answer
6 votes

Those are definitely devices for holding hair in place. As for what purpose (if any) they were serving in your motorcycle, one can only guess!

View answer
Mass Air Flow Expected Values
Accepted answer
6 votes

The 50 g/s max flow reading that you are getting is far lower than what merely altitude can explain. The chart above shows that at about 5,200 ft above sea level, the density of air is 83% of what ...

View answer
Damage to Audi differential with new front tires and old rear tires
6 votes

See Is it OK to replace only 2 tires on an AWD car?. If you call different Audi dealers you're likely to get differing answers regarding how much tread depth difference is OK for the all-wheel-drive ...

View answer
Automatic & manual transmission
Accepted answer
6 votes

A friction clutch and a gearbox makes a very efficient transmission (i.e. very little power is "lost" in the transmission). This system is relatively simple for a driver to control manually using a ...

View answer
12v Acc/Switched vs 12v Always On
6 votes

If you place a jumper wire between a always-on 12V source and a switched 12V source, you've now turned your switched wire into an always-on wire (with power supplied from your original always-on ...

View answer
Weak front brake on dirt bike
Accepted answer
6 votes

It is unlikely that simply removing and re installing the wheel would cause air to enter the brake system, though I suppose if someone had repeatedly squeezed the brake lever while the wheel was off ...

View answer
How to drive a car in snow
6 votes

The recommendations given on the travel site hit most of the high points. As someone who grew up in snowy Western New York and had the opportunity to drive all manner of vehicles in the snow, I can ...

View answer
Why won't my Honda Rebel shift when idling?
6 votes

I'm assuming that the bike shifted better at a standstill before the rebuild, otherwise you wouldn't be asking...but nonetheless, many motorcycles are difficult to shift at a standstill, it has to do ...

View answer
Can I install a plow on my stock Silverado?
6 votes

I plowed with a Chevy 1500 and a Ford F250. You could definitely feel the weight of the plow more on the smaller 1500 compared to the F250. The 1500 would squat quite a bit when the plow was lifted. ...

View answer
Can you stop fuel delivery to one cylinder of a 2003 Ford F150 with 5.4L Triton Engine?
5 votes

Your engine does have one injector per cylinder (multipoint fuel injection), which is a good start. Some engines have single point injection, in which case you could not selectively cut fuel to a ...

View answer
Change in exhaust note after extreme backfires--what did I break?
Accepted answer
5 votes

Warmer weather this weekend provided an opportunity to try to get the bike running again. I wanted to give myself the best shot possible, so I installed new spark plugs and picked up some starting ...

View answer
Old winter tires on new 2013 Toyota Highlander?
Accepted answer
5 votes

The wheel bolt pattern is different between the 2011 Outback and the 2013 Highlander (5-100 vs. 5-114), so if your old snow tires are mounted on wheels, you cannot use those wheels on the Highlander. ...

View answer
Rounded Oil Drain Plug Dodge RAM
5 votes

From your description it is a bit unclear what the problem with the drain plug bolt is. I'm assuming that the hex head on the bolt has become rounded, and as a result your wrenches and sockets are ...

View answer
Can all transmissions be shifted to neutral at any speed?
5 votes

First, I take issue with the premise of your question a little bit--just because one could hypothetically shift to neutral does not mean "there is no such thing as uncontrolled acceleration." How ...

View answer
2005 Subaru 2.5 RS - Engine-wise, how damaging is burning oil?
5 votes

Burning oil can cause fouled spark plugs, which can eventually lead to misfires. Burning oil could also potentially lead to valve issues if enough oil builds up. I'd imagine exhaust valves would be ...

View answer