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1. Web Sites
2. Specialized Tools
5. Fuel and alternatives
In some cases, for some cars, it is possible to get a clear suggestion if enough information is provided.
In other cases, it is nearly impossible to get an indication of the problem.
Noises don't come through the internet very well, although posting a recording will help in some cases. If the noise is a mystery rattle that no-one can find, then the internet probably won't help much.
If your car is overheating, again, posting in a forum may not help much. There are many things that could be wrong, from a thermostat to a head gasket to a leaky water pump. Shotgunning new parts at the problem based on guesses from novices isn't good practice, and isn't a methodical way to fix a problem.
The internet/forums can help if there is someone reading who is familiar with a specific situation that might be common to a certain model.
It can help if there is a bulletin that addresses the problem being struggled with.
It can also help if the poster is slightly more handy than average, with some background knowledge.
It is likely that some suggestions received, while well intentioned, will need to be ignored by the original poster, as people will post suggestions to check parts that the car isn't even equipped with.
Hopefully we can still help, just remember that the internet isn't a panacea. There is no replacement for a skilled repairperson getting good information from the vehicle owner, and the repairperson getting their hands on, i.e., getting a feel for and testing the car.
i have a 1996 chryler cirrus. the thermostat is new. i still have no heat. auto zone said it was a vacuum hose according to the car memory. sounds easy heat/hose. I went today to get the hose and the kid said there are to many vacuum hoses to know which one. it says trouble shooting (P1294) mechanical condition- vacuum leak......definition open or short circuit condition, poor electrical connection or failed IAC Valve. I can't get anyone to at least show me where to look on the car. thanks carole
back)A great resource is here.
Hi, the BMW link is no longer correct. I think this is the correct one: http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/Owner/dgh.aspx
Hi, I think the GM link has changed, too. This is the one I found: http://www.gm.com/gmownercenter/gm/ (still requires registration). This list is great, by the way. I'm doing a research project, which involves finding owners manuals. I thought I'd give you the working links I found today--hope you don't mind! -Jenn
Found a direct Hyundai link to access the manuals (also register only): http://www.hmaservice.com/
Mazda's link: http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayManualsByModelAndYearHome.action
And Volvo: http://www.volvocars.com/us/top/community/pages/yourvolvo.aspx
If google and manufacturer website are of no help then ask a search agency like http://manualfox.com - They do a great job. The service is not for free, but often worthy (you only pay if they find what you are asking for).
At PDFmanual.co you can find user manuals for many car makes and models.
you're missing this one http://uyo.me complete free pdf manual search engine
An additional site to find owners manuals is carbunk.com
back)The Old Car Manual Project
got feedback?back)There are several sources depending on the Manufacturer of your ride.
Helm, Inc. (American Honda [Acura][Honda Engines][Honda][Honda Marine][Honda Motorcycle][Honda Power Equipment], Ford Motor Company [Ford][Lincoln][Mercury], General Motors [Buick][Cadillac][Chevrolet][GMC][GM Powertrain][Hummer][Oldsmobile][Pontiac][Saab][Saturn], Toyota [Lexus][Scion][Toyota], Hino Trucks, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jaguar, Mitsubishi Motors, Tohatsu Outboards, and UD Trucks)
Bentley Publishers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen - VW of N. America)
Note: Also check eBay »www.ebay.con/ for deals on the same Factory Service Manuals.
1. Web Sites
got feedback?back)Purchase and sales information
got feedback?back)CNN, in partnership with Edmunds.com has done some research on the seven greatest concerns of people considering hybrid vehicles.
The article can be found here:
got feedback?back)Actually, it's called FAQFARM where, among tons of other topics they have a cars and vehicles section. It's here: »www.faqfarm.com/Q/FAQ/470
got feedback?back)»[Tech] Anybody know how to replace mirror assymbly
Link is dead. Multiple backups are here. http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.xs11.com/stories/croil96.shtml
back)Should you change the oil filter every time you change the oil, or can you let it slide until next time?
Most everyone agrees, the cost of a new filter is negligible and your time spent will be well worth it, so change the filter every time you change your oil. The engine depends on oil to lubricate itself, and it can't lubricate as well if it's dirty.
For more reading on the subject, check out these threads.
»[Help] Change Oil but not Filter?
»Another "should I change the filter" question
got feedback?back)Having your oil analyzed can be a good way to determine the overall health of an engine, and help trend patterns that could uncover a problem long before it has a chance to cause serious damage. Blackstone Labs is one such establishment that offers oil analysis services.
5. Fuel and alternatives
got feedback?back)This is the most recent list from the site. Most manufacturers should be able to tell you if you car qualifies or not. On my 2005 avalance the way the manual specified was if the 8th character was a Z then the vechnicle qualified. Please read your manual first, if the answer is not there contact the dealership or look online.
got feedback?back)This is one of the most talked about subjects in Automotive. Most everyone agrees that it will not help your fuel economy, in fact in some cases it will worsen it and damage some parts of your fuel system.
»[Tech] Your thought on Acetone
»Adding acetone to improve MPG?
»Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage
»Does Acetone really work in Gas?
»Does Acetone added to gas really improve mileage?
»Better fuel mileage with Acetone?
There are a number of potential causes for this problem. These include:
- Engine mechanical problem (low compression in one cylinder)
- Plugged or defective fuel injector
- Ignition system fault
One of the most common reasons is an ignition system that is leaking high voltage.
It may only misbehave on damp days. There are a few checks that one can do.
1. Open the hood and listen while the engine is running. Listen for a sharp cracking/arcing noise that the sparks make as they jump from the ignition wires or cap. If you do this at dusk, you may see the sparks jump.
2. On a relatively dry day, when the car has been running ok (assuming that it intermittently runs poorly) lightly mist the ignition wires with water from a hand sprayer. If the engine idle speed suddenly changes, and you start to hear the sparks jumping, you have confirmed the culprit.
3. Physically inspect the parts for black burn marks or pitting. A black/grey rough burned appearance on the tip of some rotors is normal, it is a coating that is applied for RF interference suppression reasons.
The most important thing to do when replacing ignition system parts is to only use high quality parts. There are many substandard suppliers out there. In some cases, a set of 10 year old OEM wires is better than a set of cheapo new wires. Generally, you get what you pay for.
Having said that, don't expect 10 HP more than stock because you spent $250 on a set of purple 10mm ignition wires.
Don't forget that a cracked, oil fouled or otherwise defective spark plug can easily be the source of an ignition system problem too.
A faulty ignition system will damage the catalytic converter if it is not fixed.
Each time a misfire occurs (if due to an ignition system fault) air and fuel are dumped straight in to the exhaust. This can cause a catalytic converter to be damaged, and in severe cases can cause a fire when the catalytic converter glows red.
Newer vehicles may no longer have ignition wires, you might find ignition coils mounted directly on the spark plugs.
This does not cover every conceivable ignition system problem. There are a multitude of other ignition system problems that can be difficult to diagnose, and difficult to include in a basic guide.
got feedback?back)It is best if you have a basic understanding of electrical concepts before troubleshooting your electrical system.
At a minimum, see the water analogy halfway down this page:
A link is here:
This one is a single page non-sales based general introduction.
There are a number of links at the bottom of this page:
The links describe scenarios, primarily using GM vehicles. The links are sponsored, and are written for a "muscle car" audience, so keep that in mind.
Attached below is a basic diagram that can be referred to when more specific questions are dealt with.
attachment is #983106
got feedback?back)Free car stereo wiring diagrams and car radio wiring diagrams
Also has: Car Alarm Wiring Diagrams + Car Light Bulb Size Guides