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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

Sep 01, 1996

What's to blame for worn out front brakes: front-wheel drive or my driving style?

Dear Car Talk

Please settle an argument I am having with my boyfriend I own a Grand Prix STE This is the forth front-wheel-drive car I have owned I travel in stop-and-go traffic daily At miles I have had to replace my front...

brakes

Sep 01, 1996

What do some vehicles need higher octane gasoline?

Dear Car Talk

Being one of those who marvels everytime I turn the switch and the car starts I would like to know why some vehicles need a higher octane gasoline -- Jeffrey TOM The simple answer is to stop them from pinging...

gasoline

Sep 01, 1996

Why are horsepower numbers listed as different rpms?

Dear Car Talk

I've noticed that my ' Taurus has horsepower at rpm The ' Taurus has horsepower at rpm Would my Taurus have horsepower at rpm too Why are the horsepower numbers listed at different rpm Is this just a numbers game...

horsepower

Aug 01, 1996

Should I turn off the AC before turning off the engine?

Dear Car Talk

We've just purchased a new Ford Ranger pickup The salesman told us the air conditioner should be turned off before turning off the ignition when we park the pickup He said something about it making the O-rings last longer We...

myths air conditioning

Aug 01, 1996

Pinging and knocking during pre-ignition could involve a number of systems. Here's where to begin looking.

Dear Car Talk

I have a Honda Accord Lxi which knocks and pings when it is under load unless I use super premium gas What's actually going on when it does this What is pinging -- Kenny RAY I asked my -year-old son...

noises diagnostics carbon buildup

Aug 01, 1996

How can I remove rusty drums when brute force and solvents don't work?

Dear Car Talk

I have a Lincoln Town Car with miles on it I used your suggestion of several months ago for separating the rusty wheels from the drums Loosening the lug nuts slightly and hitting the brakes hard while driving slowly did...

rust wheels brakes

Aug 01, 1996

Can I put bumberstickers on my rear window?

Dear Car Talk

I have a question about rear-window defrosters If I put some kind of window sticker over those little wires on my rear window will it do any harm to the defroster or will it melt the sticker Is it OK...

defrosters windows

Aug 01, 1996

What kind of oil do you recommend for an old Beetle?

Dear Car Talk

My question is about oil I already know that the numbers such as W are a measure of the oil's viscosity at low and high temperatures I just inherited a VW Bug It is of great sentimental value to me...

oil

Aug 01, 1996

Is it safe to smoke a pipe in an airbag equipped car?

Dear Car Talk

Is there any inherent danger in pipe smoking and driving a car with air bags Could a person survive the accident yet receive serious injury from having the pipe jammed down his throat -- Richard TOM Absolutely If you happen...

airbags safety