Will dumping cold water on your car cut down on the need for AC?

05.01.2010

There is a teacher in our community who regularly can be found pouring buckets of cool water over his vehicle before starting it on warm days. His claim is that the water cuts down on the time needed for the...

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Will a hole in the tank break Linda's bank?

05.01.2010

My company has a '93 Ford Club Wagon equipped for wheelchairs, as our company provides services for people with developmental disabilities. Some jerk punctured a hole in our fuel tank and took the fuel. We tried to repair it with...

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Paul flushes his Ford Windstar with diesel fuel. Is he nuts?

05.01.2010

I am really bad at keeping up with timely oil changes on my 2005 Ford Windstar. When I do change the oil and filter, I write the date and the odometer mileage on the side of the oil filter. The last... 

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Can you tell how healthy your car is, by checking its tailpipe?

05.01.2010

When I was a kid doing my own tune-ups, I understood that the color of the deposits in the very end of the tailpipe was an indicator of how well-tuned the car was. Tan-colored deposits were good; black and sooty...

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Should Laura's first car be a '93 Olds Cutlass that doesn't run?

05.01.2010

I'm 17 years old and trying to buy my first car, without fiscal help from my parents. I have about 4,500 dollars to spend, but I'm trying to keep it under that. A neighbor is selling a 1993 convertible Olds Cutlass Supreme. It's...

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How do you get 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from a gallon of gas?

05.01.2010

I've heard that each gallon of gas burned by a car releases about 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. I'm not a chemist, but even allowing for some creative reactions and recombinations going on, how does combusting about six and...

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Is the interrupted braking sensation on Betsy's Prius really "normal"?

05.01.2010

Every time I am braking and go over a bump in our 2008 Prius (a frequent occurrence in hilly San Francisco), the anti-lock braking system kicks in. The problem is that when it does so, it feels like the brakes disengage...

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Every wonder how the "Low Tire Pressure" warning light works?

05.01.2010

I have enjoyed your column for years and have always admired your bottomless knowledge and advice for car owners, abusers, know-nothings and BYMs (backyard mechanics). I have but one question I need you to resolve, and then I can drive...

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