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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • In Europe, diesel engines dominate the vehicle market and Canadians are much more accepting of diesel-powered passenger vehicles than drivers in the United States. It would be nice to see the small, high-performance diesel powertrains offered in Europe made available in Canada but that is unlikely to happen because our …

    September 19, 2014

  • QUESTION: I have a 2003 Ford Focus with an automatic transmission. Sometimes when I am braking, instead of immediately applying the brakes I will shift from Drive to 2 then 1. I only use this procedure at low speeds, between 50 to 70 km/h. Will this damage my engine or …

    September 19, 2014

  • Automatic transmissions have been undergoing a quiet evolution. Not only have the number of gear ratios increased, the way they are able to shift between gears has also changed.Currently, there are three types of automatic transmissions offered in vehicles. The CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission uses a belt-like chain and …

    September 5, 2014

  • Q: I have a 2010 Honda Civic EX-L and had a strange experience with the car yesterday. I had it washed on the way home from work Friday and Sunday, after two days in the garage. I went to pick up a pizza and when I put it in drive …

    August 29, 2014

  • Safety a priority in Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    Almost all cars on the market are now equipped with safety equipment such as airbags, stability control, ABS braking and the old mainstay: seatbelts. Some manufacturers incorporate a lot more safety into their vehicles than others and one of these is Mercedes-Benz. One of their safety systems, and I call …

    August 22, 2014

  • Q. I have a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and the parking brake isn't working. I had brake pads replaced a few months ago and it was working then but stopped working this past spring. The parking brake inside the car moves and feels OK but it won't hold the car on …

    August 14, 2014

  • Brake technology has come a long way

    Brakes are something we seldom think about. They have become so reliable and sophisticated, we know they can stop the vehicle smoothly every time. It wasn't always the case. When Henry Ford first started building cars, the brakes were applied by a series of rods and links between the pedal …

    August 8, 2014

  • Q. I am restoring a 1971 Plymouth Duster with a 340 wedge motor. I can't get the oil-pressure gauge to work in the rally dash. I was told I need to install a Mopar sending unit for the gauge instead of the aftermarket one I have, and I have done …

    August 1, 2014

  • Ford's new SuperDuty diesel pumps up power

    There is a power race going on in the truck world, and Ford has upped the stakes again with the 2015 SuperDuty 6.7 diesel engine.There are several changes to the engine to give it more power and torque, which in the work world where these trucks are used for towing …

    July 25, 2014

  • Question: I have a 2000 Mazda Protege with a 1.6L engine and the car is a complete rust bucket. Recently, part of the fuel tank shield rusted off and as a result it is now partially attached with the other part touching the ground. I was wondering how essential this …

    July 18, 2014

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