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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • Much more to tire selection than price and size

    Forty years ago, selecting tires was much easier -- there just weren't as many choices both in tires and vehicles.While many tires today will last 80,000 to 120,000 kilometres, years ago you'd be doing well if you could get 30,000 km out of a set of tires.With tires wearing out …

    September 6, 2013

  • QUESTION: I have a question regarding the most efficient way to cool the interior of your car on a hot day. Is it better to start the car up, keep the doors and windows closed and let the AC system do it? Or should the doors be left open to …

    August 22, 2013

  • Sunshades help cool, protect car's interior

    I don't see as many sunshades in vehicle windows as I used to a few years ago but, if you park your vehicle outside in the sun, using one is definitely something you should consider.The most popular sunshades sit inside the windshield of your vehicle, covered in highly reflective foil …

    August 16, 2013

  • AUTO TECH: One engineer's imagination spawns Ford Tremor

    From initial concepts and drawings, it typically takes two to three years to bring a vehicle to production. There are prototype panels, market research, committee decisions, a multitude of engineering work and crash-testing to verify safety designs. Once in a blue moon, however, things happen differently. Ford has just announced that the …

    August 2, 2013

  • QUESTION: I have a 2008 Acura TSX with 130,000 km on it. When I had my last maintenance done I was told the front compliance bushings will have to be replaced before the next safety inspection is due in August. I was quoted parts are about $270 and 3.6 hours …

    July 26, 2013

  • The hot days of summer are with us again and, on the hottest days, your vehicle's air-conditioning system will be working hard to keep the interior and you cool. However, while your A/C system may have been working fine during the spring, you may find it just doesn't perform quite …

    July 19, 2013

  • QUESTION: I've noticed some cars and trucks have a front wheel breaking off and the vehicle's front fender collapsing on top of the wheel. Are there any clues to the driver that the front end needs repair before extensive damage occurs? ANSWER: It isn't common for a wheel to break off …

    July 12, 2013

  • Volvo driving force in autonomous systems

    You've probably already heard the story of the motorhome driver who was involved in a crash. When asked what happened, he replied, "I don't know -- I set the cruise control and went into the back to fix a sandwich and BANG!" While this may be fiction, current technology has the …

    July 5, 2013

  • QUESTION: I am the owner of a 2009 Chev Impala. Approximately one year ago, I was driving down the highway and the check-engine light came on. The light stayed on, the traction-control message stated there was a problem and the engine power cut out completely, bring the car to a …

    June 28, 2013

  • AUTO TECH: How Chrysler boosted fuel economy in the new Ram

    With higher federal fuel-economy standards soon arriving in the U.S., auto manufacturers are coming up with a variety of methods to meet the tougher requirements. Innovations range from reducing vehicle weight (more complex than you might think) to high-tech computer-control systems that modify how vehicles operate in different driving conditions. These fuel-economy …

    June 21, 2013

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