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Backyard Mechanic Articles

  • 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

  • AUTO TECH: Fusion Hybrid earns Ford Canadian green award

    Can cars be "green"? Yes, but it takes much more than just fuel economy or low emissions. That was shown recently when F A panel of judges selected the Fusion Hybrid from a group of 15 noteworthy vehicles, including four electric vehicles. While some would quickly think an electric vehicle should be …

    April 26, 2013

  • BACKYARD MECHANIC: It's cool to run your engine hot... just not TOO hot

    QUESTION: I recently had a new thermostat installed in my car and now when the engine is idling, the temperature gauge reads up just past the half mark. Is the engine getting too hot, and is there a connection with getting my new thermostat? ANSWER: There is without doubt a connection …

    April 19, 2013

  • The average consumer will purchase a new set of tires every three to four years. But each of us drives on different roads in different vehicles and under different weather conditions, so one tire doesn't fit all. Given the hundreds of tire models available on the market, picking a new …

    April 12, 2013

  • QUESTION: My parents are in their retirement years and are looking to upgrade their vehicle. Having read the 'Autos' section for a number of years, I thought I had a clear idea of what their next vehicle should be. Most of my parent's errands are short drives. Five minutes to coffee …

    April 5, 2013

  • AUTO TECH: How Cadillac's automatic braking system works

    Brake systems have come a long way from the leather straps and mechanical rod actuators of the very first automobiles. Antilock brake systems started appearing in the 1980's and, since then, there's been a quiet evolution of braking systems to help drivers. Electronic brake-force distribution balances the braking force between the …

    March 28, 2013

  • QUESTION: I drive a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 4 X 4, V8 automatic transmission 1500 extended cab truck, with 200,000 km. Lately, when coming to a stop, my antilock comes on at a very slow speed and I have to stand on the brakes to come to a complete stop. Could this …

    March 22, 2013

  • Driving a vehicle down the road should be a reasonably easy task. Pay attention to other traffic and signs, be ready to brake for unexpected occurrences such as a child, animal or another vehicle darting out from the side and point the steering wheel where you want to go. It's this …

    March 15, 2013

  • QUESTION: I purchased a new 2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 in spring and everything seemed normal until fall (approximately 5,000 km). At temperatures below freezing, the engine has a loud knocking/rattling noise (under load) for about five to 10 minutes and accelerating at r.p.m. from approximately 1,200 to 2,000 r.p.m. The …

    March 8, 2013

  • QUESTION: On one of the TV stations recently, they gave some tips regarding starting vehicles in cold weather, one of which I had not heard of before and had never implemented in my vehicle operation. The tip: When starting the vehicle in "Park", the transmission should "immediately" be place in …

    February 22, 2013

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