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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • 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

  • This year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) technology panel selected General Motor's rear-camera mirror as the best new technology in the safety category. Offered on the 2016 Cadillac CT6, the rear-camera mirror displays an image on the interior rear-view mirror that shows an image about four times larger …

    February 5, 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

  • Question: I drive a 2010 Subaru Outback with the 2.5 litre, four-cylinder engine. I have put 130,000 kilometres on the car since buying it new. It has been a good vehicle with few problems, but now my local garage is telling me I should have the timing belt replaced. …

    January 29, 2016

  • Question: I have a 1993 Intrepid ES with a 3.3L V-6 and automatic transmission. It is in good shape, but it sometimes shudders when moving at about 60 km/h in fourth gear (drive). It never shudders when accelerating or decelerating or in third gear. The gears shift very smoothly. It …

    December 31, 2015

  • Do you remember how excited you were the first time you drove a vehicle all by yourself? Or how nervous? Driving is serious business -- with many details required to keep that vehicle safely on the road -- even in good driving conditions. Experienced drivers often do it automatically, but …

    December 18, 2015

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