Tag Archive for tips

Car Cliffs Notes

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I always read the owner’s manuals that come with the new cars I test-drive and review. They’ve morphed from pamphlets to Moby Dick-esque semi-novels over the past 20 years or so. And like Moby Dick, getting through them can be a challenge. So I thought I’d give you the Cliffs Notes version. Plus some stuff you probably  won’t…

Car Quiz!

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How much do you know about your car – and what’s good (and bad) for it? Take this quick quiz and see! * Regular vs. premium gas? Some cars require premium; others merely recommend it. Which should you use? The answer is – either! If your owner’s manual says the engine requires premium fuel, it…

High Heels and Four-Wheel-Drive

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It’s a good idea to skip the high heels if you’re going out for a hike. Similarly, a two-wheel-drive truck is just about the worst possible choice for attempting to make your way up a steep gravel driveway in summer. Forget winter. I rediscovered this truth the other day after not making it up my…

Know Your Tire

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The invention of the wheel was a pretty big deal – rolling stuff being a lot easier than carrying (or pushing or dragging) it. The invention of tires was the next great leap forward. Rubber tires allowed wheels to travel more smoothly on rough/uneven surfaces and at faster-than-walking pace without shaking themselves – and the…

Classic Car Pros… and Cons

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It’s fun to own a “classic” (read, pre-modern) car. It can also be a hassle. Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to know what you’re in for, both good – and bad. The good: Pre-modern cars have personality; they’re interesting – something homogenized, same-same modern cars aren’t. Cars built in the ’70s and before…

The “Don’t Do” List

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Fixing cars can be fun – or at least, satisfying (and money saving). Breaking your car – or yourself – is not fun. Here’s how to avoid doing that: * Don’t “fix” a problem until you know what the problem is – A great mistake made by many is to guess that “x” is the problem when in fact…

Working on Cars – Tips That Might Help

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Experience is a great teacher. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years working on cars that may help you avoid hassles when working on your car: * Remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug – This applies mostly to manual transmissions and rear axles, which typically have a drain plug…

Modern Car Knowledge

Hot chick working on her car

If you haven’t been under the hood of a new-ish car lately – or (just as important) read one of their owner’s manuals – here are a few things to know that you might not yet know about, but probably should: * Don’t use anti-seize compound on spark plug threads – Well, check first to…

Never Get in Trouble Trying to Fix Your Car

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Probably the main reason many people don’t dare do it themselves is they’re afraid of not doing it right. More to the point, they’re afraid of doing it wrong – breaking something, or making a problem worse. But unlike surgery on people, cars are harder to permanently hurt. If you approach the “operation” from the…

Did You Know . . . ?

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As with software (and hardware) every now and again, it’s necessary to do an update. Same goes for automotive knowledge. Maybe a better term would be conventional wisdom. Things change – and new things come along. For instance: A lot of people still assume that 28-32 pounds of air in a tire is about right.…