Got Car Questions? Has Answers


Today, is pleased to announce a new tool that aims to help answer the most common, or the not-so-common, questions about new cars. Our mailboxes routinely receive thoughtful questions from readers and we try to answer every one we get. We felt that these questions deserve to see the light of day on the Internet, and that’s where comes in.

You can search previously posed questions and, if we haven’t answered your question yet, you can then submit your own, which may be answered by a member of our editorial team. Readers can comment on each question, but rest assured that our answers have been researched and checked by an automotive expert. Eventually, we hope to have an encyclopedia of car knowledge that is easily searchable. Come help us build it.

By David Thomas | May 15, 2007 | Comments (119)


jim harless

5-15-07 one dodge dealership told me to use the motor oil as stated in owner manual, 10W 30 for my 2.7 6 -cyl. engine in Dodge INtrepid, 1999. another dealership said they been advised to put 5W X 20 oil into the 2.7 engine of the dodge intrepid. My indep. mechanic of my city agrees with 10W x 30 and says the more thick oil or 5WX 20 is too thick given a special problem of that smaller dodge engine to accumulate sludge, and either burn oil or get a shorter engine life. what is the answer? 5-15-2007

Please go to and submit your question.


Skip the thin 5w-20 oils. Maybe for the LX Chrysler upsized the bearing to work with very thin CAFE oils.


I have a 1979 Ford Mustang (2.8L V6 Engine). It won't start and I don't know why. I had my friend jumps the car, and the car would get like electricty glitches. The ac and heat and lights, and horn would turn on the go back off in like two seconds. I found that the battery solenoid cable that connects from to the engine block starter to the negative battery cable was corroaded. So I replaced it with a new one. The car still won't start. The spark plugs, oil andeverything is good. My dad says the engine is frozen. But how can a engine be frozen. What can you suggest that might help me start the car up.

I'm no expert but when you go to turn the car on does the engine try to turn over? do you hear a clicking noise when you try to start? Here is what I suggest go to the store buy a spark plug just 1 pull off cylinder 1 spark plug wire and put it on the one just just bought lay it on something (don't hold it lol) try to start the car do you see a spark in the spark plug if not change the distributor or if you have a timing light clamp it on and use that.2 sound like all original wiring not good if you have access to a multimeter start tracing starter,ignition,power,ground and accessory back to make sure 12v or ground is good also doesn't sound like frozen engine quick test with a long neck socket and ratchet and turn the crank turn good no turn bad again no expert but good luck


I have a 1999 Hyundai Accent has the check engine light on I have paid to have it evaluated and the service center said that there is an emissions problem. Oil is also leaking and burning internally. I will have another evaluation through the Hyundai dealership however I would like to be as educated as I can. i have an appointment with Hyundai at 7:30 A.M. tomorrow.

Thank you in advance.


looking for a list of makes taht will last up to 200,000 plus miles.

I have a 2001 plymouth neon and a couple months ago i noticed a shaking when i was stopped anywhere...shaking got worse and now my engine light is on and my car shakes violently at any only shakes when im in gear and is not as bad when in neutral...if i have my air on however, the car will die whether in gear or not...i just replaced spark plugs and wires...any suggestions as to what to try next? im trying to eliminate all possibilities that i can have a friend do before i see a mechanic...


there is a model 1989 van seting out in the back yard that has a problem. the Engine block
wont turn. ive been promised this car for my first car is there any way i can get this cars block to turn.


I have a 79 Ford F150 and the distributor will not turn and I am no able to adjust the timing. How am I able to free the distributor.

sameer qaher

I have a 1993 maxima, the engine turns on but when i put it in drive or reverse it doesn't move. Whats wrong with my car?


what happens when you add oil to transmission fluid?


can you put a 350 v8 from a 1995 Camaro in a 1991 Plymouth laser and if you can what all would you have to do to put it in?


can you put a 350 v8 from a 1995 Camaro in a 1991 Plymouth laser and if you can what all would you have to do to put it in?


I am restoring a MGA and I have a question about wiering the distributor to coil. The way I have it is from ACC to + of the coil from- of the coil to distributor contact. Alternator has a thin wire and a thick one thin goes to ACC and thick one to battery. Isthis corect?


I changed oil for my daughters friend and her oil smelled like it has gas in it. She just bought the car so I think it was jerry rigged just to sell. It is a 1988 Buick. Your help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Wade Deans


Ken Alexander

I have a 2001 Honda Civic, the catalytic converter is a manifold mounted type and needs to be replaced. I would like to know if I can change the manifold mounted converter for a in line exhaust cat. converter, and install a header in place of the old manifold Catalytic Converter and still pass smog. We live in Solano County Calif.

i accidentally put oil in my transmission. What will this do to my car?

i accidentally put oil in my transmission. What will this do to my car?


what is overdrive,and what are the benifits,and when should,or shouldn't it be used


what gives a car balance


will a 99 civic front bumper cover fit on a 98, there is four bolts on each that hold the cover on, the only difference is the 99 has vents on each side that had the option of instaling driving lights(foglights)

Does Santa Claus really exist?


i took my car to a do it yourself car wash and sprayed down the engine and the sorounding area lightly with the engine cleaner that they had to offer after i was done i started the car and it sounded awful and it takes like a quarter mile to get up to speed. Whats going on?... i try to clean the engine and take care of it but now it dont want to run right.


I'm buying a 1991 Eagle Talon FWD, and I have 2.6 chrysler conquest engine, I'm wonderin if I can put that engine in there. It's a long block and has stock turbo on the engine. PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Vary curious. Thanks


I have a 2004 infiniti G35 with about 44,000 miles. is a fuel injector cleaner like STP recommended.


I have a 1969 Chevy Capice with the original 427-335hp. I can find the production numbers for the Caprice built in Doraville GA., but I would like to know where to find how many were produced with the 427/3spd-TH-auto. Any direction is appreciated.

will mac

Im thinking about buying a grey import from japan for australia. can anyone tell me if is legit?

Tony Caputo

What is it called to find out the TOTAL cost to build & ship a particular car.

Another words,I find out how much profit is being made on a particular car if I know the total cost of the car to the dealer!

What is that called? Totl Cost? Total Invoice? Total overhead?

This sems to be a "TOP SECRET"!


I have a 1994 Honda Accord, 4 Cyl VTEC Auto trans, 210,000 miles. Today was
the first time this happened, but I just bought the car last weekend.
Replaced plugs, wires, and checked the Trans fluid. The D4 light is flashing
an 18 code. It doesn’t do it all the time, but today when I started it up to
go home from work, I put the car in gear and noticed reduced power; I then
noticed the D4 light flashing. I pulled over after a few miles and turned the
car off and when I restarted the D4 light was not flashing anymore and the
car ran fine. The speedometer works intermittenly also.


i have a 1989 custom cruser station wagon v8 engine .my question is how many fuel filters does it have, i know one is in front of the carb.


my question about the 1989 olds wagon fuel filters, when could expect some kind of an anser?also how do i get the anser? do you email it? or do i receive it here? thank you rich.

Rich, is about new cars. I'd suggest you go to our friends at CarTalk to help with your answer.


david thank you,i will do that. rich


I have a 1996 Lincoln Town car with 200,000 miles on it. I was driving on the highway and felt a jerk, the engine shut off and the car coasted to a stop. I tried to cut the car back on but it wouldn't start. For about 10 or 15 minutes the lights and power still worked then shut off. I got a new battery and new battery clamps put in the car. It still would not start. When I try to start the ignition i hear a click sound and all the power shuts off. When i release it the lights and radio come back on but it still does not start. Also the smoke started coming from the battery clamps. What could the reason be?


I have a very narrow driveway. What is the safest narrow small car you know of?

Emily Davis

so i have a 2000 honda civic sir.
my car is making an aweful grinding noise
everytime i stop im sure it does it when im driving but my exhaust it to loud to here after im going atleast 20 km. i just had new winter tires given to me and put on dont know if that affects it.
i have my emergency break light on consistently even while driving
my one rotor looks as its been grinded there is dents in it
i was just wondering if anyone had any ideas or solutions i am desperite!!!
please help me!


If you buy a Japanese car you won't have any of the above problems. Avoid the domestics, buy Japanese, it's that simple.

Rita Randolph

I just bought a 2004 Subaru Forester and would like to take a trailer hitch off of my 1997 Subaru Outbook and put it on the Forester. Does that make sense and is it doable?


im lokking at a 2001 vw beetle with 163,xxx on it. does it have much life left or do they run forevevr like the old ones?


how much you think a 1991 pontiac trans am gta with a corvette motor is worth?everything else original?


I have a 1988 ford ltd crown Victoria. A piece broke off something that was connected to a hose on top of my gas tank. I know the it doesn't have nothing to do with the fuel pump or the float in my gas tank what part could this me.

M Welz

I need to purchase a wagon to haul my 3/4 upright bass which is about 6 feet tall. My husband says no to AWD, and is not a fan of Subaru. Can you recommend a car or can you give me advice about where to look for cargo comparisons? Many thanks!


Hey Joe,
In Monday's Trib, about leather seats, you neglected to mention two negatives for leather seats
1. On turns the driver and passengers tend to slip or slide sideways.
2.They are "hotter" than cloth and if you prespire, the sweat goes thru your clothes; back and seat as compared to cloth seats.

Benjamin S

what can i do to a transmission that does not grab reverse


my car wants to start but wont turn completly over. just chance spark plugs and put new alternator on and new batter. it only starts when i spray starter fluid into ther carb but when i stop spraying the starter fluid it dies. this car is killing me. its a 1990 chevy lumina 3.1 euro. can you help me figure this out?? thank you


i have a 1996 pontiac bonneville which i can't shift out of part.

wayne ashe

my 1993 pontiac grand pri se makes a clicking noise when i try to start it. the battery and starter has already been checked and is good. what else might be the problem?


hi i have a 1997 mitsubishi eclipse covertible ,when i drive over a big bump on the road, the back end of the car slightly and quickly moves left to right, and this happens fast,and and the worst problem is when it rains, the back end of the car goes right, and left and i have to correct it, it feels like the back is floatinf left and right and its scary, cuz it feels like its gona swerve and go into the next lane, please help me


hey i have a 1983 corolla ke70, it has crappy 14 inch wheels on it, and i bought 17 inch chrome wheels off a mate and i was wondering if you can put these on it without it having any effects on the steering, speedo being out and making the engine work harder??? please get back to me asap, thanks ben,


The breaks on my 1992 Chevy Caprice (5.7L Police) Hiss every time I apply pressure to them. It is a constant hissing and I don't know if it's the break master cylinder. Please help!


I have a 2000 vw beetle. having trouble with the battery. when I turn the ignition off the fan in the engine won't turn off for about 10-15 mins. this is becoming a major problem because its draining the battery and causing my car to not start. now everything I turn my car off I disconnect the battery until the fan turns off. any idea what could be going on?


what the cover behind the timing cover CALLED


My car makes a squeaking sound when I have people in the back and when I go over bumps. What could this be?


Can a Honda Crosstour be converted to standard transmission?


I have a 1996 pontiac trans am and i am thinking about installing a set of long tube headers. I am thinking about gettting a set that has no egr port and i am wondering if that will affect my gas mileage any?


Hello. I have a 2002 Lincoln Town Car. There are a couple of golf ball sized dents in the hood of my car.

I do not necessarily want to repair these dents or replace the hood at this time.

My question is this: would small dents in the hood of the car affect the wind flow and therefore affect the car's wheel alignment and/or gas mileage?

I realize that this is is a fairly unusual question, but I really would like to know the answer.

I can live with the dents from an aesthetic point of view, but I would not want those dents to affect my car in any other ways (ie gas mileage.)

Please respond and let me know if it's okay to just leave the dents as they are. Thank you.


I have a 2004 Ford Escape. My engine light is blinking, and according to my manual, i was to check all the fluids. It ended up that i needed brake fluid & powersteering fluid. So after filling it, the light went off. I went to drive it, it came back on, and my car is shaking pretty badly. It sounds kind of loud and it smells hot when i turn it off. Can anyone help me and tell me what could be going on with it?

Answer Man

You need to go to a repair shop with proper equipment to scan the computer system. A flashing CEL usually indicates misfire(s). The shaking is also an indicator of a misfire. Check engine lights do NOT come on from low power steering and brake fluid on an Escape. Get it checked and repaired, you can do a whole lot of damage to other components if not fixed properly.


I have a 94 Chrysler Concorde, just had the oil changed and the hub replaced. They didn't say there were any other problems. I was driving the car and saw that it was smoking, tried to pull in the first place and it just died. I let the car cool off and put water in it. The car tries to turn over but won't crank. Please help?


I own a 74 chevy c10 2wd step side Long bed. I am hoping to convert it from standard to auto. I am curious if a same year chevy with a fleet side long bed would have the same drive shaft length? or would I have to make one? Basically I am cursious if I can just get parts not have to fabricate anything.

maximo losada radley

i own a 2004 honda pilot, and i have wanted to get a new sound system for a while. I want something with loud bass. But i am on a budget 400 and below. ANy suggestions? (i dont know much about sounds systems or cars)


I have a problem with a 2001 neon that will not start has a new battery and new coil and spark plugs. No lights or dash lights come on. I was driving the car and changed the tires, parked the car and it wouldn't start. I tried to jump start the car and no light came on nothing at all. Then smoke started coming from the front of the engine. I have never dealt with anything like this before

Matt Hamilton

My 1993 Ford Escort (1.9) will turn over but won't start. It will start if pushed off though. I recently replaced the head gasket, as well as many others. Also replaced the fuel filter, spark plugs, thermostat, and water outlet. I can still hear the fuel pump buzz when I turn the key so I'm not sure what it is. Maybe the fuel pressure reg? It will also start if I spray starting fluid in the intake. Please help!

Steve Hartman

I have a 1994 Ford F150 with 5.8. I recently replaced the front seal and serpentine belt. Now, at 2500 rpm's, there is a squealing sound that seams to be coming from the alternator area, though it does not make any sound at lower rpm's. Any idea at what might be causing this squealing sound?

melissa smith

do u you have any ideas on what could be causing the battery terminals to be heating up?? extremley hot..

Doug p

We are considering buying a 2002 Audi Quattro. We are a bit concerned about finding parts for it and the cost when we do. We have heard a lot about that. Is that something we should be concerned about?


how do you re-set the the tire monitor system on a 2007 buick lecerne.i am having trouble getting the d.i.c. guage set.


how many pounds of air should each tire have on a 2007 buick lecerne.


what is the easiest way to re-set the tire pressure monitor system on a 2007 buicl lecerne.


does the thermastat go out all at once or in small portions i have a 98 ford tarus

rob slape

i have a 2005 dodge magnum. the start went out, then the alternator, and now when driving the battery light comes on. when stopping the abs/esp lights come on and when turned off it wont start back up. when setting for about an hour or so, then it will start back up. owners manual says the battery light on means battery is charging. what the heck is wrong


i have a 1983 datsun 280zx when i was driving the other day ago and i had my foot on the gas and my car just started to slow down so i pulled over to the side of the road and restarted it and it worked fine from then but now it is doing it lot now and i have put a new fuel filter on thinking it was going to solve the problem but it did not i was just wondering what it could be if anybodfy know


We understand that your problem is:
i have a 91honda accord and when i drive more than 20 miles from my home the car starts getting really hot inside because heat is coming from the vents but the thermostat does not go up if i turn the caroff the radiator makes this bubbling noise and if i open the cap to put coolant in it there is no pressure

satrajit Chatterjee

Hi All,

I need all of your suggestion to purchase my first car. I will be traveling around 20-25 km per day, and may be 200 – 300 km in week end once in a month for long drive. So my month travel will be 600 – 800 km or max 1000km. My first priority is running cost. I am looking for a high mileage rather than the pickup or other external parameter. Secondly it should be low maintenance and after sell service should good. After all my budge is limited max 4 -5 lac including all.

Should I go for Petrol car or diesel car ?
Which car and which model should I go for ?

Please suggest me.

Thanks in advance.


I recently bought a 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan with about 127K miles on it. The car shifts fine and drives fine in a all four speeds but it lurches into reverse and the RPM goes up as it does this, it does get there after a few seconds though. Mechanic record shows problems getting to reverse in 2005 and it has been driven significantly since than. Any idea why the van has this problem?


hi, i have a mitsubishi carisma car, when i start my car i hear some noise and the pedals vibrates but when i match on the clutch pedal the noise stops, on release of the clutch, the noise start again. what is your suggestion

Varsha Gujar

I am looking at purchasing the WagonR VXi model. At the moment the running of the car will be limited so i was thinking that i can later get it converted to CNG if at all in future the running increases significantly. However my dealer said that in such a scenario the warranty is no more applicable. But will it still make sense to go for it.


do bmw x1 has right hand drive for driving in india comfortably?


Do Toyota Camry or Honda Insight come in all wheel or four wheel drives?


My neighbor has a 2005 Saturn Vue with a 2.2L 4 cylinder leaking oil. They had it in a shop and had the rear main seal replaced but it has continued to leak. I just cleaned off the engine really good with brake clean and ran it to try and find the leak. It actually looks like the cylinder block is two pieces. There is a seam that runs horizontal the length of the block and at one point I can see grey silicone pushed out as if it is simply sealed with silicone. There's no oil coming from above, but it just seems to slowly seep out of this seam. Am I crazy or is the cylinder block a two piece assembly on these engines?


I have a 2003 chevy trailblazer. i took it to advanced auto parts to have the engine checked, and their scanner read two codes. P0105 and P0442. P0442 read twice. I know that the P0105 code has to do with the MAP sensor, and i know that the P0442 code has to do with an evap emission leak. The service engine soon light came on recently, and started acting up. When i'm at a red light for too long, the RPMS go down, and once they hit zero, the car shuts off. it hasn't had this problem before, and we just recently had a new engine put in. PLEASE HELP! i'm low on cash and need to know what the problem is and if i can even take care of it. thank you!!!!!


i have a 93 honda accord lx automatic today my husband call me and tell me the engine was making a noise like nockin can u tell me please what could be the problem i am very low on cash i have 2 kids and one in the way and is the only car we got please ansewer me

jan sopko

I have 2000 hyundai elantra.
check engine light came on, took to autozone, 1 code came up, front upstream oxygen sensor, bought for 104.00 and took old one out and replaced w new one but check engine light back on and it seems to be bogging on me a little still. what shud I do?

Maruti Suzuki omni has enough power 7 person seating capacity and can drive for long drive upto 250km can be........


Im trying to buy wheels for my 98 cobra. I'm debating in getting 17x9 all around or 17x9 in the front and 18x9 in the back. Any suggestions

timothy ziegler

2 questions. My wife's 2008 scion tc got stuck yesterday in floody waters the car stalled out and now will not start. The car sits real low about 4 or 5 inches from the side of the car to the ground. The water did make it into the car a bit slightly submerging the floor board. So was curious the problems that could be related to fixing flood damage. Lastly my buddy went to pick her up in his 2005 Nisan frontier truck. He made it here to drop her off to the house and his truck is still driving. However he is having problems with the accelerating at all when driving which just fully started happening today.

Tina Dole

Where would I find the cheapest champion air compressor parts? I need some for the project I am working on. I can't get my car running till I find some.

hello, i am buying a used car and i cant figure out what this number means D24284? it was posted in the description, the internet doesn't seem to know.

Richard Tripp

I have a 2000 chevy Blazer with a bad hub! I was told I can simmply remove it and lose the 4 wl drive?

Jim Hold

Question, how can I best sell my 2013 car. It is a Hyundai, Sonata with everything but NAV, gray and black, 12,000 miles. I paid cash. How do I best get my money out of this car?

Question, my 16th birthday is approaching and I have to decide on a first car. I previously had a brand new 2012 Ford Mustang, however my father totaled it so I must now choose a new car. My father is at most willing to pay $30,000-$32,000, but would prefer to pay more around $24,000-$26,000. I'm sure like most teenagers, I want something that's fast and sexy. I would like to get another Mustang, but I have been thinking about if that is truly the right car for me. I have narrowed my two choices to a white 2013 Nissan Altima sedan premium package or a racing red 2013 Ford Mustang coupe with the Premium Mustang Club of America package. I would like to know which would be a better car for me. My final decision has come down to fuel efficiency and whether or not the car is going to last me until a couple years out of college, so until approximately 24 (8 years). I know that the Altima is more efficient and more dependent, but I'd rather have the Mustang. If I take care of it, will the Mustang last me as long as I want it to? Will the maintenance be too expensive to handle? Will the gas expenses be too much? Or should I just settle on the Altima? I would appreciate people's opinions.


Is it possible to lift a 2003 dodge dakota? If so, what is the cheapest way?


I have a 2003 ford expedition and it's Misfiring when I'm driving. The check engine light is on. Could it be one of the spark plugs?


I have a 2001 Hyundai accent it started and ran but needed a transmission because the Overdrive was out, we put in a new transmission and hooked all the wires back up where they went but now it won't start the lights in the dash won't even light up when u turn the key to start it, but it will ding when u open the door and the key is in the ignition, any help would be greatly appreciated


I have a 2002 Honda accord lx transmission slips when I let go of the break it hesistates and today I was on the highway and the car kept jerking and slowing down but it never stopped running..and also the check engine light came on ..what could be the problem?


Hi I have a 2009 eclipse gs and my it died out on my I tried Hi I have a 2009 eclipse gs and my it died out on my I tried to jump it but it wouldn't take the jump so I got a brand new battery And I put it In and tried to start it but it wont start to jump it but it wouldn't take the jump so I got a brand new battery And I put it In and tried to start it but it wont start

Gabriel Lucero

I just did a smog test on my 2001 ford expedition and fail.It said P0303 misfire dected (cylinder 3).the guy said to check the wire and spark this something I can do myself or do I need a mechanic?

jerry jones

I have a 1989 Honda civic what does it mean when the sparkplug wire is covered in oil?

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