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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Subaru offers variety of all-wheel-drive systems

    Question: As most people know, these days, Subaru has AWD standard on their entire lineup, with the exception of the BRZ. However, I have been told that Subaru uses two different AWD systems; one for cars equipped with a manual transmission and one for cars equipped with an automatic transmission. …

    August 20, 2015

  • Wireless products also increase safety
    Backup camera helpful when parking

    Question: I recently rented a new car with a built-in backup camera, which I found very useful. I would like to add an aftermarket camera to my 2013 Elantra. I would prefer one with a display that mounts to the rear-view mirror, to avoid a separate display. Do you have …

    August 14, 2015

  • Vehicle brake rotors can easily become warped

    Question: I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.0 litre engine and Selec-Trac four-wheel-drive system. Up until about 10 months ago or so, the vehicle braked smoothly. However, now as you slow to a stop, the vehicle noticeably surges back and forth as it nears stop. It is …

    August 7, 2015

  • If only automakers banded together to create the perfect vehicle
    One piece at a time

    We buy a vehicle because we like its features, styling, power, colour and price. The perfect vehicle would attract us for all these reasons. So far, I haven't found the perfect vehicle. When I do, here are some features it would surely include.Honda's Lanewatch Blind Spot Display is an enhancement …

    July 24, 2015

  • Question: I have a 2003 Nissan Sentra with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. I recently had to replace the hood latch. But when I replaced the latch, I forgot to reattach the hood release cable. How can I open the hood where the release cable is disconnected. Thanks.A: Don't you hate …

    July 24, 2015

  • Predicting the future is difficult. If it were easy, we would all be wealthy, healthy and wise. In the automotive business, predicting the future correctly can mean the difference between a profitable company and bankruptcy. History reminds us of many great automobile companies such as Packard and Auburn that are …

    July 10, 2015

  • Question: I recently purchased a 2005 Toyota Tacoma TRD pickup with a four-litre engine and six-speed manual. The transfer case goes in and out of two-high to four-high no problem, but four-low is a different story. It needs coaxing to go in by backing up and going forward but once …

    July 3, 2015

  • 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