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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Hub-centric rims better bet for winter tires

    Q. I'm shopping for winter tires and steel rims for my 2010 Toyota Matrix XR AWD. I currently have 17-inch alloys with 215-44-17 all-season tires and TPMS. I'm looking at 16-inch rims with 205-55-16 winter tires. Would you recommend hub-centric rims? Would TPMS be recommended for the winter tires?A. When …

    November 21, 2014

  • Small but mighty Powerall can safely boost up to 20 vehicles on a single charge
    Getting a charge out of a booster pack

    It's that time of the year again: The nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder and your vehicle uses a lot more electrical energy to operate headlights, heaters and defrosters, wipers and seat heaters. Even if you have a good battery in your vehicle, a combination of short …

    November 14, 2014

  • Q. My 1989 Dodge half-ton truck 318, three-speed standard transmission works great, except for a miss that only happens in third gear. A lot of electrical parts have been changed, including plugs, ignition wires, computer etc. The fuel pump has been replaced. Any suggestions would be appreciated.A. The hardest time …

    November 7, 2014

  • For the past five days I have been test-driving vehicles. I normally do this every week, but the past five days have been exceptional. I was attending the annual "Test Fest" held by the Automobile Journalists of Canada and we were there to evaluate and vote on the best new …

    October 31, 2014

  • Question: I have a 2008 Chevrolet Impala with a V6 engine. This vehicle has ABS. Generally the brakes on this vehicle operate very well and if I come to a stop and want the vehicle to stay, I simply hold the brake down firmly and it will hold forever.The problem …

    October 24, 2014

  • Beneath the shiny exterior of new vehicles there are a lot of components, systems and features that make the vehicle dear to our hearts, or in the odd occasion a pain somewhere else! Ford's new 2015 F150 pickup is an all-new truck with so many useful features it will no …

    October 17, 2014

  • Question: We drive a 2003 Chev Silverado LS 5.3L and are having trouble with starting. We have had three fuel pumps, starters and relays put on. Sometimes it will start up right away and other times it will keep winding like if you try to start the vehicle again while …

    October 10, 2014

  • It is the shiny paint and styling that first attract consumers to new vehicles. It is features such as handling, powertrain performance or comfort and convenience that really make or break an owner's love affair with their automobile. Today I will look at the 2015 Mustang and the new engines …

    October 3, 2014

  • 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

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