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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • 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

  • QUESTION: I bought a new Honda Fit last July and at first was getting 12-14 km per litre (calculated manually using gas receipts and km driven), with the dashboard gauge showing 7.7 litre/100k. Now, I'm down to 10km per litre, with the gauge showing 8.0 l/100k. Can you explain why …

    June 14, 2013

  • Winter is but a memory now, and many of us are looking forward to summer trips and adventures. Drier weather and good road conditions add to our enjoyment. Whether you are travelling across the continent or just around the neighbourhood, the last thing anyone wants or needs is vehicle trouble …

    June 7, 2013

  • QUESTION: I own a 2004 Buick LeSabre Custom on which I replaced both air shocks last year because one of the original shocks developed a leak. The replacement shocks were Monroe MA 822, which were installed by an experienced and skilled journeyman mechanic who operates a small repair shop. Immediately upon …

    May 31, 2013

  • Although summer is not quite with us yet, the warm sun quickly heats up a vehicle's interior. Many drivers turn on the air conditioning for a few minutes when starting the vehicle to bring the temperature down. The first caresses of cold air bring comfort, but sometimes they're accompanied by a …

    May 24, 2013

  • QUESTION: I have a 2008 Acura TSX with 130,000 kilometres 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 …

    May 17, 2013

  • AUTO TECH: Subaru EyeSight technology truly amazing

    Driving can be a demanding task, with lots to see and comprehend in a very short time frame. A second set of eyes can be very useful at times, and that's exactly what Subaru's EyeSight technology provides. The two small stereoscopic cameras mounted inside the windshield on either side of the …

    May 10, 2013

  • QUESTION: My dealer says that my cabin air filter needs to be replaced. They want about $100 to do this. A few months ago on TV there was a story about this job and the mechanic said, and I forget his exact words, but that this was a ripoff. The Honda …

    May 3, 2013

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