Can Jim's old torque wrench still be trusted?

07.01.2009

My father taught me a lot about cars by having me do the work while he "supervised." I don't remember how old I was, maybe 8 or 10, but I was young enough that I had to stand on a crate to...

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Today: the consequences of driving with the emergency brake on.

07.01.2009

Last week, I was cleaning the interior of my '04 Ford Escape. To reach a part of the console between the two front seats, I had to raise the emergency-brake lever. Stupidly, I forgot that I had done so, and...

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Today: how to handle a dishonest mechanic.

07.01.2009

I took my car in because the air conditioner wasn't blowing cold air. I was told there was a leak in the high-pressure hose and it needed to be replaced. Well, 250 dollars later, I had cool air again ... for a...

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Who's the real leader in hybrid technology?

07.01.2009

Who is the real leader in hybrid technology? The last time I went into a Toyota dealership, the salesman told me that Toyota had just sold its first-generation hybrid technology to Ford because Toyota has developed its second generation. The...

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What's the best way to stay cool in an old car?

07.01.2009

I have a 1995 Volvo 940. Late last summer, my air conditioner seemed to lose some punch. Since summer was ending and the AC was blowing just cool enough to make things comfortable, I didn't bother fixing it. Now, with summer upon...

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Does extra nitrogen in gas really do anything?

07.01.2009

Is there any merit to the claim that nitrogen in gasoline has any benefit for cleaning the engine? What's the chemistry behind it? Or is this just the latest gasoline-additive scam? -- David TOM: Hmm. Maybe they're trying to get...

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Is it safe to store a car battery on a cement garage floor?

07.01.2009

My son, who transports cars for a living, says that we should not put a car battery on the garage floor for more than a few moments while we're moving it from one place to another. In other words, we...

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Will gas "last longer" with the cap off?

07.01.2009

When my husband and I first got married (18 years ago), I noticed that when his car was low on gas, he would remove the gas cap, saying it would make the gas last longer until he could get to a...

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Today: The downside of being an early, electric car adopter.

07.01.2009

I'm tired of waiting for the American auto industry to come up with an affordable all-electric car, so I'm looking seriously into buying a Chinese-made Flybo. I know it has a top speed of 43 mph, and lacks a lot of...

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