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    Burned neutral, and possible Tyco Romex splice?

    This neutral wire looks pretty crispy to my eyes. It seems to go beyond the junction box. I'm thinking of using a Tyco Romex splice kit to rip out a few feet of the old, toasty Romex to replace with new. This is in a finished ceiling and the existing wire is stapled in place. Installing a...
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    Amazon Fire HD or Samsung Galaxy Tab A?

    I'm looking for an inexpensive tablet. Mainly to do Web browsing, listening to music, and watching some shows on the go. Right now I've narrowed down choices to the Amazon Fire HD 8 without ads or the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Both are in the same ballpark price-wise and feature-wise. Either Prime...
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    10k posts

    Marking a milestone of 10,000 posts on this board. It's been an interesting ride spanning 3 personal daily drivers in those posts. I've learned quite a bit. About fixing things. How less can be more. About being willing to explore and respect other viewpoints that aren't my own. Roast away!
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    Replace belt tensioner too?

    On my upcoming 150k mile serpentine belt swap for my Cruze, should I replace the tensioner too? It looks pretty easy to get at. There's nothing wrong with the current one, just nearing 150k miles. The OEM part is pretty inexpensive at about $35 shipped.
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    Pella vs. Softlite sliding patio door?

    Any experiences with either Pella or Softlite sliding patio doors? I'm looking to replace the existing in-swing door with a slider. We really liked both doors, and both had a lot of good features to recommend them. Specific models are the Pella 350 series and Softlite Kingsroyal. The Pella...
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    New serpentine belt 3/4" too short?

    I purchased a new serpentine belt for my Cruze (1.4T engine) since it's about time to change it based on mileage. The new one is 3/4"/25mm too short at 1395mm vs. the original's 1410 mm (that translates to 55" vs. 55 3/4"). The belt maker's Web site says that the 1395mm belt is what they have...
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    Crazy fast RockAuto shipping

    I placed a small order with RockAuto yesterday morning. OEM Delco plugs for the Cruze, which are NGK's. USPS was 10 cents more than DHL for regular shipping, first-class mail in this case. Around me USPS is on their game while DHL can't find my town. Today I go out to the mailbox and see my...
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    Experiences booking with Costco Travel?

    Any experiences booking with Costco's travel service? We're looking at an all-inclusive, and they're by far the cheapest for the resort we want once the little things are included.
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    Burned neutrals on outlet - pigtail?

    I'm slowly going through my house updating the ~25 year old builder-grade electrical outlets and switches to tamper-resistant/decorator style. I noticed some discoloration on this outlet's face, and decided to take a closer look. The previous owners had a LOT of high-powered computer equipment...
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    Bathroom fans - more than noisemakers!

    PSA: Bathroom vent fans are meant for more than just noisemakers to cover the sounds of bodily functions! Apparently my 25 year old house's builder didn't read that particular memo. The vent fan in our master bath was about the loudest one they could find. It could be heard from across the...
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    Adding cruise to a 2009 Yaris

    My dad recently purchased a BITOG-special 2009 Yaris. Used, power-nothing and stick-shift. He'd like to add some traffic-law compliance aids such as a Bluetooth radio for hands-free cell phone use, and for the purposes of this thread, cruise control. I've found some DIY's on Yarisworld...
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    Adding LED lights to a lawn tractor

    It's getting to the time of year when the sun will set late but the grass is still growing. I had to finish up mowing a few times last year with the yard almost totally dark at 7:45 PM or so. The stock headlights on my Deere D105 stink. They're enough to get across the yard, not to cut...
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    Initial impressions - Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring

    I had the set of Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring tires in 215/55-17 94V put on this weekend right before a road trip in our other car. We drove my car around town today on the new Coopers, probably about 40 miles in all. The release compound is still wearing off, so they should get grippier as they...
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    New trimmer line = better trimming

    Color me shocked that something actually lived up to its billing. I recently purchased a cordless string trimmer. Just a smallish homeowner model for my 1/2 acre residential plot. The convenience was really nice, but the thing cut like junk. Some tall grass it would bend over instead of cutting...
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    Likely getting a Toyota RAV-4

    Our Fit is likely dead due to an accident. If it lives, I'll make a thread about it. Everybody's fine, thankfully. We spent a good bit of time shopping for a very likely replacement. We considered a new Fit, and promptly got sticker shock from the local dealers. Used Fits are also selling for...
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    Buying a used late-model VW TDI?

    Long story short, wife's Fit is likely a goner. She's okay, thankfully. We're scrambling to get her into a different car. One of the local VW dealers just got in a very well taken care of 2013 Jetta TDI/DSG wagon. I took a test drive out of curiosity. Nice car, and fair price given the miles...
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    Rental Review - 2015 Chevy Sonic hatch

    With our Fit relegated to garage queen status while waiting for a non-grenade airbag to pop up through Honda's supply chain, we're getting the chance to do long-term test drives in some rentals on Honda's dime. Our first rental was a 2015 Chevy Sonic LT hatch. It had the 1.8/6-speed AT...
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    Cruze 1.4T water outlet leak

    The cooling system on this car has given me fits. Today's "cool" adventure was replacing the water outlet on the right side of the engine. This was leaking badly enough to leave small puddles under the car. My theory is that the gasket took a compression set and didn't rebound as it should...
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    Yet more Takata airbag recalls going out...

    Well, looks like Takata is going to take another round of recalls on the chin. Affected Honda owners should be getting recall notices in the next week or so. <a href=""...
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    Pet flea/tick control

    That wonderful time of year is almost upon us northern folks. Flea and tick season. My 60 lb black Lab mix has a bad reaction to permethrin-based flea control (Advantix and Vectra). Fipronil (Frontline and PetArmor) has some very mixed reviews, and is quite pricey to boot. I've heard things...