Tag Archive for tips

Classic Car Pros… and Cons

girl working on engine pic

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.…

Check Before Your Pour … and Before You Fill!

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The other day, I changed the oil/filter in one of my old cars. Because I have a small fleet of antique vehicles, as well as several “daily drivers” (plus a lot of equipment, including a tractor, riding mower, generator – you get the drift) that also need their oil/filters changed periodically, it is easy to…

Politically Incorrect Teenager Driver Tips

teenage drivers

What type of car is a good choice for a teenaged driver? I get asked this a lot. Everyone’s got an opinion. Here’s mine: * Avoid giving your teen an underpowered car. This may seem counterintuitive – and it’s probably the polar opposite of everything you’ve heard from “safety” experts. If fast cars are a…

Does it Ever Make Sense to Buy a New Car?

I’ll probably get in trouble. After all, I write new car reviews. Advising people not to buy new cars is not what you’d probably expect. But, here’s the fulsome scurvy truth: I – and every car journalist I know – drive used. Because we know. And now, I’m gonna spill the beans, give you the…

Fixing Their Wagon

People are frustrated – and want to know what they can do. It gets old merely talking. They – our oppressors – don’t care how much we talk. Perhaps then it is time for us to act. But we must not act precipitously, much less suicidally. A Wagnerian last stand is exactly that. Leaving a…