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Using Cruise Control on Downgrades Won't Harm Your Engine

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 23, 2017

Doug uses cruise control to slow his roll on descents. How does this affect his drivetrain?

cruise control safety transmissions

May 01, 1997

What's the black dust that shows up on my beautiful gold-painted wheels?

Dear Car Talk

black soot forms on my wheels -- especially the front ones I own a ' Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with -inch polished aluminum gold-painted accent wheels They are sort of waffle-style with lots of cracks and crevices for this stuff...

wheels

May 01, 1997

Should I bring my own Volvo oil filter with me to the quickie lube place?

Dear Car Talk

my overall knowledge of the intricacies of automobile repair is extremely deficient This has not been a problem for me though since I have an ex-boyfriend who considers himself quite the foreign-car motorhead He has owned a number of foreign...

filters aftermarket parts oil changes

May 01, 1997

Trouble downshifting? Could be the torque converter clutch.

Dear Car Talk

Hill Fla where most of us drivers are over they sometimes call this God's Waiting Room I've enjoyed reading your responses to other people's problems for years and now it's my turn My Buick Century blue with sun-and-car-wash-damaged paint has...

diagnostics transmissions clutches

May 01, 1997

I just blew a spark plug but after putting it back in, the car runs fine. Do I need to do anything else?

Dear Car Talk

I was driving home from a friend's house and was on my way up a hill when I stopped at a Stop sign After restarting and letting the clutch out on my Ford Escort GT with miles on it the...

spark plugs

May 01, 1997

When I turn on the AC it makes my Volvo smell like a litter box.

Dear Car Talk

My car is a ' Volvo When I first turn on the air conditioner it gives off an odor which makes me think the car is harboring a well-used cat-litter box This odor stink is more descriptive goes away after...

smells air conditioning

May 01, 1997

Getting a shock from your car? Your tires might be to blame.

Dear Car Talk

I've heard that you both graduated from MIT in Mechanical Engineering If this is true then we have that in common But I hope we don't have my car problem in common My car builds up a static charge And...

static electricity tires

May 01, 1997

When I turn the ignition, it sounds as if the car is already running...but it's not.

Dear Car Talk

My Nissan SX gave me quite a scare I turned the ignition key and it sounded like the motor was already running I sat there for a minute thinking I had left my car running No I had the keys...

flywheels

May 01, 1997

Can you please explain what "overdrive" is and what purpose it serves?

Dear Car Talk

On my Camry there's a button called overdrive Can you please explain to me its functions and usage -- Mike TOM Yes Mike That's the mother-in-law ejection seat But it only works once Mike so make sure you wait until...

transmissions design

Apr 01, 1997

Is the dealer taking me for a ride by recommending new ball joints?

Dear Car Talk

blue Honda Accord into the dealer last month for a new battery they called me to say that I needed new front lower ball joints Suspecting that they may just have had a boat payment due I asked why they...

ball joints