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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Question: I have a 2002 Mazda MPV with a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine. Recently, when I pulled the oil filler cap, the little bit of oil that was on the inside of the cap appeared to be very light in colour. It was approaching the colour of milk. However, the oil …

    February 3, 2017

  • Question: I have a 2002 Mazda MPV with a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine. Recently, when I pulled the oil filler cap, the little bit of oil that was on the inside of the cap appeared to be very light in colour. It was approaching the colour of milk. However, the oil …

    February 3, 2017

  • Engine noise grows louder as Sunfire speeds up

    Question: I have a 2004 Sunfire with 220,000 kilometres. I have a quiet engine until I hit 65 kilometres per hour. From 65 to 100 km/h the engine loudness increases dramatically. What are possible causes? — DougAnswer: This is an unusual question and symptom, but let’s look at possible causes. Noise …

    December 9, 2016

  • What was once a simple mechanism to turn our wheels has become much more sophisticate

    Electric power steering assist now dominates the market instead of the belt-driven hydraulic power steering. Infiniti even has a car where each front wheel can steer independently to assist the driver with sloping roads and crosswinds, and corner for the best stability. If you go shopping for a new vehicle, …

    October 21, 2016

  • Improve performance, fuel economy by getting rid of engine knock

    Question: Recently, I had a discussion with another Buick owner. I have a 2008 Buick Allure Super and the other party has a 2010 Buick Lucerne Super. Both have the V-8 engines with added performance built by the GM Performance Division. Although the Lucerne has the Northstar engine, in both …

    August 26, 2016

  • Question: I recently purchased a new 2016 CRV Honda — four cylinder — and found out it comes with synthetic oil in the engine. I have always had regular oil in all my cars and would like to know which is better or should I switch back to regular oil at my first oil change. …

    August 12, 2016

  • Perhaps your vehicle is getting tired, in need of some maintenance, or just plain worn out. If the body is in good shape, it may be worth putting some repair money into keeping it on the road, but putting a lot of money in an old vehicle can also be …

    July 22, 2016

  • Question: I just bought a 1998 Toyota Camry with a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine. Now that the previous owners air freshener has worn off, I noticed a strong mould odour in the interior, even though there is no mould visually present. I since noticed that water has collected in the spare …

    July 8, 2016

  • Question: Is there any way to measure if headlights are putting out sufficient light to match Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Requirements and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?Answer: This is a great question, but not a simple one to answer. There are light meters available that measure the candlepower output …

    June 10, 2016

  • 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

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