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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Perhaps your vehicle is getting tired, in need of some maintenance, or just plain worn out. If the body is in good shape, it may be worth putting some repair money into keeping it on the road, but putting a lot of money in an old vehicle can also be …

    July 22, 2016

  • Question: I just bought a 1998 Toyota Camry with a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine. Now that the previous owners air freshener has worn off, I noticed a strong mould odour in the interior, even though there is no mould visually present. I since noticed that water has collected in the spare …

    July 8, 2016

  • Question: Is there any way to measure if headlights are putting out sufficient light to match Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Requirements and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?Answer: This is a great question, but not a simple one to answer. There are light meters available that measure the candlepower output …

    June 10, 2016

  • Question: I have a 2000 Chevrolet Impala with 165,384 kilometres on it that I have had from new. About a month ago when I started the car, the steering wheel would not move, nor would the gearshift. After I turned off the key and turned the key back on, it worked …

    May 27, 2016

  • How much technology can they pack in one vehicle? There seems to be no limit, and as technology advances, it also becomes more economical. Technology once only offered on exotic or high-end luxury vehicles is now included on much lower priced vehicles. The 2017 Ford Escape is a great example …

    May 20, 2016

  • Question: I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla Sport with a 1.8 L engine, automatic transmission and air conditioning. It has 156,000 kilometres.For the most part the car runs flawlessly. About a year ago I replaced the original battery after it went dead and cleaned the posts.The car started fine and …

    May 13, 2016

  • Since the creation of the internal combustion gasoline engine, a source of spark has been needed to ignite the air fuel mixture. Spark plugs were, and still are today, the answer. Subjected to high heat, extreme pressures, and large temperature changes, the spark plug has perhaps the most difficult task in the …

    May 6, 2016

  • Question: I have a brand new Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited with just under 1,000 kilometres on it. A couple of days ago when making a turn in a 50 km/h zone, I accidently tipped the gearshift to Tiptronic manual mode. It had shifted from fouth to third gear and as I …

    April 29, 2016

  • A recent trip to the Far North took me over some extremely rough roads littered with potholes, broken pavement, washboard gravel and unexpected dips and dives. The last 200 kilometres of road were equal to the toughest of any of the auto manufacturers’ suspension test tracks and placed more stress …

    April 22, 2016

  • I may be old enough to remember when anti-lock brakes became common on passenger vehicles, but I’m not old enough to remember when it was first used on aircraft — way back in 1929. Passenger vehicle manufacturers introduced ABS systems in 1971 on limited models but it wasn’t till the 1980s …

    April 8, 2016

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