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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • No need to periodically start winter-stored vehicle

    Question: I have recently purchased a 1997 Ford F350 with the 7.3 diesel engine and I'm only using it for towing a trailer in the camping season. I do not want to drive it in winter as it is in excellent condition. I have an auxiliary powertrain control module (APCM) …

    December 11, 2015

  • Compact SUVs popular, smart buy

    Let's face it -- operating a vehicle isn't cheap. After the initial purchase price, most of us are mainly concerned about how much we spend on fuel, but there are many other costs to automobile ownership and it's important to note what may seem to be the best buy isn't …

    November 27, 2015

  • Question: My brother has a 1979 Pontiac Parisienne with 350,000 kilometres. It has a 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine. It has the original catalytic converter. He was told by a mechanic and others that with such high mileage the converter cannot be functioning properly. Is there a way to test this? …

    November 20, 2015

  • Beneath the Shine: 2016 Hyundai Tucson powertrain

    Hyundai's new 2016 Tucson compact crossover features two engine choices and a first-in-segment seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Aimed at offering top efficiency, the Tuscon engines come in 2.0 litre and 1.6 litre turbo versions. The 2.0 litre engine is the base engine and is part of the Nu engine family. …

    November 13, 2015

  • Question: I have a brake problem with my 2001 Sunfire GT with the 2.4-litre engine. Some days the brake pedal is firm and the brakes work excellent. Other days they are a little down and not so firm. A sudden stop and the ABS chirps occasionally. Recently when the tires were …

    October 30, 2015

  • Every driver wants to get better fuel economy. So do the vehicle manufacturers -- just think of the competitive selling advantage if you can show you have the best fuel economy on the market. There are many ways to increase fuel economy, including lowering the aerodynamic drag, reducing vehicle frontal …

    October 23, 2015

  • Lincoln aims to place owners of its vehicles in lap of luxury

    Lincoln wasn't always an automobile company. When Henry Leland started Lincoln it was to build fighter aircraft engines for First World War planes, but with Leland's previous automotive experience at Cadillac, shortly after the war he transformed Lincoln into a luxury automobile company. By the 1920's , as the luxury …

    October 16, 2015

  • Michelin expands its Defender tire lineup

    Michelin has borrowed the Defender name from its passenger car lineup for its new light truck, van or SUV tire. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S builds on the heritage of both the Defender name and the qualities of the existing LTX truck tire with improved tread life, better handling performance …

    October 2, 2015

  • Question: Three years ago I bought a Dodge Journey, and have only put 17,888 kilometres on it. I have always used synthetic oil. I never fully know when I should be having an oil change. My last Dodge van had only 50,000 km after five years, so I can't see …

    September 25, 2015

  • Many brands, many types and many sizes making finding the right tire exhausting
    Choosing rubber can be a tire-ing experience

    Shopping for new tires can be a daunting task. There are many manufacturers and each has numerous types of tires, and then there are the multiple sizes! You can research your choices online, through friends' recommendations, at your vehicle dealership, or rely on the advice from your local tire stores. …

    September 4, 2015

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