click and clack

Recommended services are recommended for a reason

Dear Tom and Ray, I own a 2008 Honda Civic with 33,000 miles. I have regularly changed the oil and rotated its tires. I also have replaced the air filter on one occasion. Is there ...

Why is excessive idling considered severe duty?

Dear Tom and Ray, Why in the world is “excessive idling” defined as “severe duty” in all owner’s manuals? I read in one column that idling is harder on the valve train ...

Her dog isn’t a junkie; he’s carsick

Dear Tom and Ray, My dog is addicted to getting his lips on the air ducts on the dash of my car. He licks the vents feverishly and he drools as a result. I told a friend that I th ...

Be safe, strap your pets in the car

Dear Tom and Ray, I travel with a guide dog. When we’re in our own car (driven by my husband, not by me or the dog), I have a harness that the seat belt slips through and we buc ...

ABS is a must, especially for younger drivers

Dear Tom and Ray, My 17-year-old niece is interested in a 2007 Toyota Matrix but it does not have antilock brakes (ABS). She may be heading to college in a place where it snows. I ...

Can a malt liquor be used as emergency auto coolant?

Dear Tom and Ray, Last summer, I was commuting home from work on the highway and my 1998 Nissan Maxima started to overheat. The temperature outside was 90-plus. The engine start ...

What are ‘organic brake pads’ and do they really squeak?

Dear Tom and Ray, What are organic brake pads? A chain shop recommended them because my current metallic pads have been desqueaked twice but are still squeaking badly. I said I ...

Micromanaging hubby is pain in tuchus

Dear Tom and Ray, My husband always gets mad because I immediately crank the ignition of our 2005 Honda Element. He tells me that I should wait a few seconds and listen for the fu ...

The right way to start a tractor

Dear Tom and Ray, I am a college student who loves anything mechanical and I work on a local farm to earn a little extra money. My boss likes to keep costs down and that includes ...

Daughter wants Lada Niva when she returns to the U.S.

Dear Tom and Ray, I just returned from visiting my daughter, who is a Peace Corps volunteer, in Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. Now, my daughter is an adventuresome gal and she’s become ...

Muffler seems to have grown some hair

Dear Tom and Ray, Recently while looking in my tailpipe, I noticed a small amount of what appeared to be human hair sticking out. I began to pull on it and at least 10 feet of s ...

Click and Clack

Dear Tom and Ray, My wife’s grandfather drives like an idiot. Specifically, he never touches the brake pedal until the very last second, at which point he slams on the brake, ...
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