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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • BACKYARD MECHANIC: Your battery -- there's a charge for that

    QUESTION: I sometimes leave my RV plugged into electricity for some time to keep the battery charged. Will it overcharge if I leave it plugged in? Is it better to unplug and disconnect the positive battery terminal so it cannot drain the battery? ANSWER: The small, portable battery chargers you would …

    December 13, 2013

  • AUTO TECH: Don't overlook your wiper blades

    Every vehicle has them. Some have one, most have two, and there are even some with three. Windshield wipers are an important safety feature on our vehicles, but they usually only get attention when they don't work. With winter slush and snow on the way, your vehicle's wipers will be put …

    November 29, 2013

  • QUESTION: I recently switched a 263 six-cylinder engine with a power glide cast iron transmission to a 1978 305 V8 with a 350 tranny. The only problem now is my 1960 Pontiac speedometer does not match with the 350 transmission. When I am travelling 60 m.p.h., the gauge is showing …

    November 22, 2013

  • QUESTION: I've seen the ads for performance/mileage-enhancing chips and can't help wondering: If they're such magic why are the vehicle manufacturers not using the technology? They would surely want to squeeze the most out a gallon of gas, wouldn't they? I have a 2011 Chevy 2500 van with the small …

    November 1, 2013

  • QUESTION: I own a 2002 Chev Impala, 3.4 motor, 225,000 km. I'm having trouble starting it. When I turn the key to on, there is nothing. It could happen four times a day or every second day once. I will hold the key to the start position {sometimes it may …

    October 25, 2013

  • Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds puts vehicles through their paces

    What does it take to make a tough truck? Testing, testing and more testing.One of the many locations where Ford tests their trucks and cars is the Michigan Proving Grounds, located near Romeo, Mich. If you could see behind the tall fences, hilly landscape and thick trees that are part …

    October 25, 2013

  • QUESTION: I have a question regarding tires. I purchased new tires sized P225/50R.-7 from one shop for my Verano. I have four winter tires stored at my Chev dealership which were used on a 2010 Impala. They have lots of life left and are a P225-55R-17 size. Is it OK …

    October 18, 2013

  • Autonomously driven vehicles of the future will require stringent security features
    Hacked in 60 seconds

    There are computers everywhere. They hold your data and email at work. They record purchases and buying trends as you check out at the grocery store.Every young person seems to be walking around texting on a smartphone, and if they want to know something, they instantly Google it on the …

    October 11, 2013

  • QUESTION: I don't know how much you know about motorcycles but I thought I would give you a try in case you can help me. I have a 2002 Suzuki GS500 with a 500cc carbureted engine. Lately, whenever I attempt to start the bike (regardless of the choke being on …

    October 4, 2013

  • QUESTION: My dad has a 1992 Dodge Dakota. He suspects he has a mouse that has been chewed up in his truck blower unit, which is now causing quite a stench. He is having a repair shop take the blower unit apart to confirm a dead animal in the unit …

    September 27, 2013

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