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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Vehicle maintenance key to trouble-free motoring

    Spring is officially over and summer is finally here. Whether it is a trip across the country, a weekend at the lake or even trips around town to attend summer festivals, we depend on our vehicles to get us there. Usually they perform great, but the further you are away …

    June 26, 2015

  • Fuel economy will suffer, engine could leave you stranded
    It's all in the timing; change the chain

    Q. I have a 1998 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a V-8 engine and when I took it in to the local repair shop for a tune-up, the mechanic told me the timing chain is worn and should be replaced. My questions are: How does he determine that the chain is …

    June 19, 2015

  • New fuel from Shell helps keep engine clean

    Gasolines are not created equal, and your engine knows it. Testing by Environment Canada shows that while most gasoline sold in Canada meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for levels of deposit control additives (DCA), not all do.Note that Canada does not have minimum standards for deposit control …

    June 19, 2015

  • Question: Does it make sense to switch over to synthetic oil for my regular oil changes if my vehicle does not require it? Will it enhance performance or extend the life of my car's engine? Will it harm or hamper an older vehicle's engine (2010) performance if it was not …

    June 5, 2015

  • Question:I have a 2003 Chevrolet S10 with the 4.3-litre V-6 engine. It runs rough, uses a lot of fuel, and when I took out the sparkplugs, they all appear black but No. 1 sparkplug was the blackest. I installed new sparkplugs but the problem still remains. Any suggestions?A: It sounds …

    May 29, 2015

  • Q: I have a 1997 Chevy pickup truck with a 305 V-8 engine. The truck refuses to start after rainy weather. It will whirl over until the battery goes dead. I spray everything I can think of with WD-40 and after a five-minute wait, away she goes! The engine then …

    May 22, 2015

  • EyeSight never looks away from road

    Safety ranks right up there with styling, reliability and value when shopping for a new vehicle. The safety systems on the newest vehicles are truly amazing. Hopefully you will never need them, but if and when you do, they are well worth it.One of the vehicles on the market that …

    May 15, 2015

  • QUESTION: I have a 2003 Focus with 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 kilometres. Will this damage my engine or transmission? …

    April 24, 2015

  • Ease road-trip worries with properly maintained vehicle

    Long weekends and summer holidays will soon be upon us. Whether you are travelling across the continent or just around the neighbourhood, the last thing anyone wants or needs is vehicle trouble on the road. A little preparation can help prevent frustration at the side of the road.There are many …

    April 17, 2015

  • B.C. the testing ground for fuel-cell vehicles

    And now for something completely different.Hyundai is offering the first fuel-cell powered vehicle to the public in Canada. The Hyundai Tuscon FCEV is available to a select few in the Vancouver area. So is this the tip of the iceberg? Will fuel-cell vehicles be offered in the rest of Canada? …

    April 10, 2015

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