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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • 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

  • There are hundreds of different types of tires on the market; each designed for a particular purpose or vehicle. The possible combinations boggle the mind, so how can drivers choose new tires? It’s difficult. Even the big tire retailers can’t keep on top of all the combinations, but they are …

    April 1, 2016

  • Since the introduction of the first Fiat 500 into Canada in 2011, the brand has continued to evolve and the latest edition to the lineup is the 2016 Fiat 500X. X stands for all-wheel drive and this compact SUV (although it drives and feels like a much bigger vehicle) has …

    March 11, 2016

  • Question: I have an all-original 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham with a Canadian 305 cubic-inch motor and the 200r4 automatic transmission. The original transmission had developed a hard clunk when going into gear from park or neutral and a local transmission shop rebuilt it. It also installed a new torque …

    February 19, 2016

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