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Looking for automotive repair advice?

Well, you can ask your question here. I seem to receive a lot of questions for auto repair and I am only one person so please leave me as much information as possible. Vehicle year, make, model, engine size, automatic or manual transmission, drive train type and anything else you’re aware of. I understand if you don’t have answers to all of these just leave me what you know and your question will get answered more quickly and accurately. I tend to ignore questions like: How do I flush my transmission? I would need more information here, see. Thanks in advance.
Martin Hand

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Post Your Question Here:

This way other people can benefit from the question’s and advice. Question’s posted here are answered in the same manner as asking me directly. Neither method is going to be quicker and I would rather you post them unless you don’t want too and that is fine also. I know longer accept direct questions. Contact us directly for appointments only. Remember – please be specific as possible otherwise questions will not be answered.
Thanks Again 🙂


  • John Sgroi says:

    My 2013 Outback 2.5 CVT auto started running poorly in March. CEL came on, and the code said the cat was bad. Had cat replaced. After cat replacement, car was running better but noticed oil consumption that was not there before (approx. 1qt/600mi). By July the car was down on power again and the shop said the new cat needed to be replaced as well. Had 121k when this started and 127k now. Why would it start consuming oil so suddenly? No smoke and no leaks. If it was burning oil would it show on the spark plugs? Would a new cat fail that quickly at that oil consumption rate if it was going through the cat? Thank you!

  • Kitt says:

    I have a 2011 Chevy Cruz Echo. Is that an interference or noninterference engine(timing
    Thank you for any advice that you may have.


    • Martin Hand Martin Hand says:

      Timing chain driven engine so information not available. This is dual overhead cam engine, most likely interference engine. Interference engine information is only available to timing belt driven engines.

  • Alan says:

    I have an 2003 Toyota Corolla type s. I wanted to know if it was an non- interference or interference motor thank you.

  • Lorie says:

    Hello, I have a 2015 Subaru Outback with 36k miles on it. My friend just had to have a transmission replaced in her 2014 Impreza at 80k miles. She said there is a problem with the Subaru transmissions. My powertrain warranty only goes to 60k miles so I am very concerned. Is this a problem with all Subaru transmissions of certain years? I could get a newer one if the problem was resolved in a certain year. Any information you have this would be appreciated.

    • Martin Hand Martin Hand says:

      They are still too new for me to know for sure. Are you referring to the CVT transmission? I would stay away from the CVT transmission until they have been out for longer. CVT transmissions have been used for years in off road vehicles but it’s a fairly new technology for on road vehicles.

  • Zachary says:

    When replacing a Subaru timing belt, I noticed you used channel locks to hold the crankshaft pulley still. The holes around the bolt perfectly hold a few 3/8 in extensions to give you leverage to turn the bolt. Just an Idea.

    • Martin Hand Martin Hand says:

      I don’t use channel locks anymore I have all the specialty tools (two different ones for crankshaft) but the article is to help people that do not have the tools. I learned to do it this way a long time ago before I had all the correct tools. Thanks for the idea

  • Doug Horning says:

    My ’07 Forester 2.5 (non turbo) has 105k mi & has leaked oil since 61k. Now that’s about 1/2 qt. every 10 days.

    Subaru Oakland has quoted me $4.5k for headgaskets & valve cover gasket replacement, timing & drive belts water pumo & oil change.

    An Indy shop said I’d still leak oil after all this from the pistons/rings. And furthermore said betw. 125 -150 k I’d have to spend up to 7k on a new transmission. “That’s standard for the Forester, typical lifespan, typical wear & tear on a well maintained Subu trans.

    Do you agree with this transmission assessment?

    If so, would 4.5k engine work +7k trans be worth it?

    If you say yes it would, who can do the piston/ring work (with an additional approx$1.7k charge over & above the amts. I’ve cited above), in the WAY that your shop does such work, in the SF Bay Area?

    • Martin Hand Martin Hand says:

      I see the transmissions go over 200k all the time without problem. MT or AT transmission either way they are usually not problematic every Subaru is different so you never know.

  • Michael says:

    I own a subaru forestor crosssport sg 5.current mileage is 192k. Since i bought it has been showing low level oil from the dipstick when checked at petrol stations. Initially they would top up but during service the oil level was high when drained…about 5 to 6 litres so my mechanic recommended i do not top up. Recently during service only 1 litre of oil drained from the engine that got me worried. My mechanic recommends an overhaul of the engine and replacement of the piston rings and seals. Kindly advice

    • Martin Hand Martin Hand says:

      Your almost at 200k so I would install a new short block and have the cylinder heads rebuilt. You can go the other route but the crankshaft has a lot of miles on it and it’s probably pretty loose.

  • Mike says:

    Hi. My 1.6 polo vivo pings for about 1 second after changing gears. This is if i change below 3800rpm even on a straight. Also if I rev it in neutral it pings for 1 second.

  • Ernie says:

    I’m purchasing a used car for my son and found a 2005 Outback with 85k miles. The seller is seeking 7k. I plan to ask my mechanic to inspect it but wonder if there are any chronic issues with this year and model I should ask my mechanic to carefully inspect carefully? The body and interior look good. Generally speaking, is 7k a fair price for a 2095 Outback with 85k miles? Thanks you in advance for your help!

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