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Describing Car Maintenance

Old Car Won’t Start? A Troubleshooting Guide

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Old Car Won’t Start? A Troubleshooting Guide

Fewer things are more frustrating than a car that won’t start, especially when you’re running late. If you own an older model car, there are a few things that are usually to blame for poor starting. Some of these problems you can fix, but others you’ll need to refer to a qualified auto mechanic. Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide to refer to next time your old motor won’t start. Engine turns over very slowly, lights are dim or don’t work at all This problem is usually due to a problem with the battery or its connections. If the battery is old or showing signs of leaking (white crystallisation around the terminals), you’ll need to replace it. If this doesn’t cure the problem, ask a mechanic to check the car over. Nothing happens when you turn the key, the lights and wipers don’t work If everything seems completely lifeless when you turn the ignition key, the battery is dead or the connections are faulty. Clean all the battery terminal connectors and the earth lead that connects the battery to the car body. If this is unsuccessful, refer the problem to your mechanic. There’s a loud clicking sound when you turn the key but the engine doesn’t fire, lights and wipers work. This problem is usually down to a stuck starter motor or a faulty ignition switch. This is easily remedied in manual cars by rocking the vehicle gently while in gear and with the handbrake off. If you have an automatic, you’ll need to call your mechanic for assistance. The engine turns strongly over but then doesn’t fire As long as the car has fuel, this problem is often caused by moisture in the ignition system. Disconnect each of the spark plug leads and wipe them down with a dry cloth. Wipe the spark plugs too, and then reconnect the leads. Wipe away any moisture from the top of the ignition coil. Take off the distributor cap by removing the clips and wipe around the inside and outside of the cap. Give the whole ignition system a generous spray with WD40 or something similar. The engine turns over strongly but won’t fire, there’s a strong smell of petrol. This often happens if the engine has been flooded with petrol after several attempts at starting the car. Wait for 10 minutes to allow the excess petrol to evaporate. Depress the accelerator to the floor but don’t pump it, as this will flood the carburettor again. The car should now start when you turn the ignition key. If you still have problems getting your old car started, it’s time to call a good mechanic as there may be a more serious issue with your...

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How Performance Exhausts Can Upgrade Your Car

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Performance Exhausts Can Upgrade Your Car

Automobile manufacturing is a cutthroat business. There’s not a lot of wiggle room available for the dealer on the showroom floor, and the manufacturers themselves come under great pressure from their competitors to produce and market a vehicle that will catch your attention instead of the others. This means that manufacturers often cut corners, wherever they can, when designing and building these cars. What can you do after you’ve bought your vehicle in order to upgrade? Exhaust Upgrade One of the areas that manufacturers tend to fall short is in the production of adequate exhaust systems. Certainly, the systems that they attach to your car will do the job, but they are not designed to maximise performance. If you fit a performance exhaust system, you can not only make your car more efficient, but you can improve the way that it sounds. A car that exhausts its engine gases more efficiently will be able to breathe a lot better, so that more power can be created from the combustion process. But how can this be achieved? Efficient When your exhaust system is manufactured in bulk at the factory, it is created using very rudimentary fabrication techniques. Essentially, the pipe is bent into shape using a crushing technique which ends up leaving crinkles in the pipe material. This will effectively restrict the airflow inside as the area around the bend will not be smooth. Manufacturers of performance exhaust systems on the other hand take great pains to ensure that there are no “crinkles” whatsoever, and their special techniques lead to more efficient airflow and higher performance. Longer Lasting If you’ve ever had to replace a rusted exhaust on the car you know that most manufacturers use standard steel to manufacture them. This mild steel product will certainly deteriorate as time goes by, but the better performance systems will always use stainless or aluminium. Some of these systems will last as long as the car. Look Good If you like to show off your car, you may also like the aesthetic appeal of the performance system. It will have a far larger-circumference, to give it a more “aggressive” appearance. Note that there are a great variety of performance systems available on the market, but you should choose carefully when it comes to your own vehicle. If you pick a system that is not ideal for your car, you may find that it will adversely affect your performance, so it pays to take specialist advice before you...

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Key Contemplations When Purchasing a New Truck

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Key Contemplations When Purchasing a New Truck

Getting the right truck for your transport needs is not just a matter of buying the latest model being offered for sale on the market. Truck-buying is a process that needs to be well thought out because there is a significant amount of financial commitment involved. It also requires that you carefully assess your needs and find a truck that promises to match them. If you are currently shopping around for a brand new truck, make sure to put the following buying tips into practice. Tip #1: Consider fuel performance One of the biggest concerns many buyers have is the high fuel costs associated with keeping trucks on the road. Generally speaking, trucks will require more fuel to cover a particular mileage as compared to standard cars. This is because these trucks are specially built for load haulage, so greater engine power is required to keep the vehicles running. This, in turn, leads to higher fuel consumption. But that does not necessarily mean that trucks are energy wasters. With a little bit of attention to detail, you can get yourself a model that saves on fuel, which is good for your pocket and the environment as well. In choosing a fuel efficient model, consider how the various trucks available are powered. Trucks typically come with diesel engines or petrol engines. Trucks with diesel engines generally generate more power and allow for better fuel efficiency when used for heavy transport applications while the petrol trucks are ideal for small jobs where not much horsepower is required. Tip #2: Consider the bed length and cab size Trucks come with beds of different lengths and cabs of different sizes. The bed is where your load goes while the cab is where the driver and passengers sit during the trip. Short beds are standard for pickup trucks while long beds are a common sight in large trucks. Therefore, your choice of a truck bed should be based upon the length of the typical loads you expect to carry. As for the cab size, it is all a matter of how many people you want to carry in your vehicle at any one time. If you intend to use the vehicle to make one-man trips, a single-cabin truck would do just fine. A single-cabin truck is designed to accommodate a maximum of three people. But if your transport activities will require that you carry more than two people with you, it would be best to buy a truck with an extended...

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A Quick Guide to Choosing a New Car Battery

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Quick Guide to Choosing a New Car Battery

Having a good battery under the hood of your car is vitally important; the battery is what powers the fan that keeps your engine cool, the pumps that deliver fluid to the transmission, the power steering and many of your car’s safety features. Batteries also deliver power to your car’s starter so the engine actually starts! If you’re in the market for a new car battery, note a few quick tips for choosing the best one for your vehicle. Size The size or size group of a battery doesn’t determine its overall power, but refers to its actual width, height, and length. Your car will have a battery tray or compartment that is just big enough to hold the right size battery snugly in place. Buying a battery that is too large for your car won’t mean more electrical power; it will mean a battery that physically does not fit under the hood! Check your old battery or your owner’s manual for the size of battery needed before you start shopping. Reserve capacity The term “reserve capacity” refers to how many minutes a battery can operate the basic electrical systems of your car, if and when the battery is not being recharged by the alternator. Remember that once a battery dies, your car stops working even if the engine is in good repair. That makes this reserve capacity very important, especially in older cars. If your old alternator fails or the belt to the alternator snaps while you’re on the road, a larger reserve capacity can mean being able to get home or to a repair shop safely without your car shutting down. Cold cranking amps The cranking amps refers to how much power the battery can deliver to your car’s starter. Cold cranking amps are measured at the freezing point, meaning 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Celsius. For persons who live in the tropics or warm areas, cold cranking amps may not be important. However, for anyone who needs to start their car during harsh winter weather, the cold cranking amps may be the most important feature to consider in a battery. Your car’s owner’s manual will tell you the suggested cold cranking amps for the battery, and you don’t typically need a higher rating than what’s recommended. This will just result in overpaying for a battery that delivers more cold cranking amps than your engine actually requires to get started in subzero temperature. For more information, visit websites like...

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4 Early Signs of a Failing Truck Alternator

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Early Signs of a Failing Truck Alternator

The alternator in your heavy truck plays an important role of converting mechanical energy from the crankshaft into electrical energy. That energy serves many roles, such as charging the truck’s battery as you drive. It is advisable for you to detect a failing alternator before that problem causes your truck to stall. This article discusses some of the common signs that can alert you that your truck’s alternator is failing. Difficulty in Starting the Truck One telltale sign of a failing alternator is a difficulty in starting the truck after switching off the engine. That difficulty in starting may be caused by the limited supply of power to the spark plugs of petrol engines. Diesel engines have glow plugs instead of spark plugs that help to warm the fuel/air mixture so that combustion can take place. A faulty alternator will not easily provided that power needed to start the truck. Additionally, the truck may stall for no apparent reason. Suspect that the alternator is failing if the engine stall happens when you still have plenty of fuel in the tank. Flickering Lights The alternator is the primary source of energy for the lights in your car. The battery only works once the vehicle is parked. Thus, flickering lights are a clear indicator of a weakened alternator that is struggling to generate enough power to keep the headlights on. You may also notice that the lights will become less bright if the alternator is faulty. Multiple Electrical Failures The alternator may also be the culprit in case you observe multiple electrical failures in your truck. For instance, the power windows may stop responding to their controls. Additionally, the dashboard lights may go off. The air conditioning system may also fail to work. Such seemingly unrelated system failures may point to a worn alternator.  A Dead Battery The battery in your truck may be drained completely if the alternator has a problem. This is because the battery will be unable to recharge as its power is used for different functions in the truck. The alternator may be responsible for the battery failure if the battery is new and nothing has happened to make it fail. The signs above may become noticeable long before the dashboard warning light (ALT or GEN) starts indicating that there is a fault with your truck’s alternator. Take the truck to a repair shop as soon as you notice several of the signs above. This will save you from being stranded by the roadside when the alternator suddenly stops...

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How to Troubleshoot a Few Common Problems With Your Car’s Drive Train

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Troubleshoot a Few Common Problems With Your Car’s Drive Train

Your ability to steer your car is managed by several different systems and parts under its body; this includes the steering column, the axles of the car, and the tie rods that connect the tyres to the steering column. Along with those are what’s called the differentials; these are gears that allow two tyres to turn at the same speed even though one is turning on a tighter radius than another. A problem with any of these parts can affect your ability to control your car, so note a few troubleshooting tips on how to diagnose any of them so you know what to expect by way of repairs. Rumbling when turning Bad bearings are almost always the fault of rumbling, and if this happens when you turn, these are usually the bearings in the car’s differentials as this may be when they have the most pressure. You may also notice a loud squealing noise to go along with the rumbling when the bearings are bad. Vibration If the vibration in your car increases when you accelerate, this often means that the driveshaft is out of balance. One tyre might not be balanced with the other or there may be worn teeth in the gears of the differential. In turn, your car vibrates as it tries to hold the tyres in place at higher speeds. A simple wheel balancing can fix this, but if not, check the gears of the differential and have those replaced as needed. Banging when you turn If you turn a corner and notice a distinct banging sound, this too can be caused by broken gears in the differential. The differential works when the car turns, as it’s needed to keep the tyres spinning evenly even though one is turning more tightly than the other. When the gears are worn, the tyres or differential may then clunk every time the differential reaches that area of worn metal. Note that banging at other times can be caused by a bent or broken tie rod. This rod keeps the tyres connected to the steering column and if it’s bent, the tyre will not stay level and even; you may confuse the sound with a broken shock or spring, but the tie rods work to balance the tyres just like the shock absorbers. If the shocks are fine when you hear this banging, check the tie rods and note if they need...

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Four Easy Tips to Keeping Your Fiberglass Boat in Good Shape

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Easy Tips to Keeping Your Fiberglass Boat in Good Shape

Many boat owners do not perform regular maintenance of their boats, especially for fiberglass boats. However, when you want a fiberglass boat to serve you for many years, a proper maintenance schedule is of utmost importance. A minor maintenance or repair issue can quickly escalate into a huge replacement problem that can set you back thousands of dollars. When you regularly maintain your fiberglass boat, it will cost you less money to do major repairs. This article highlights some straightforward and inexpensive tips to maintain your boat. Outboard Steering System — Without regular maintenance, a boat’s steering system can fail when least expected. The vessel’s hydraulic system will require minor yearly checks and repairs. You should dismantle the steering system, grease it and then reassemble it. The internal rubber seal on the vent caps can fail, leading to moisture infiltrating into the hydraulic system. The moisture can cause serious damages to the system, meaning that you will have to replace the entire system. Replace these caps after a few months of use. If you want to extend the life of the rubber seals and the ram, lightly clean the steering cylinder with soap, and rinse to eliminate any salt and dirt. Cleanse Your Boat — Cleaning a boat does not cost much, but most boat owners ignore this basic maintenance regimen. After saltwater boating, clean the boat with fresh water because the salt can corrode the surface and the hydraulic system. Do not use an abrasive washing detergent to wash the boat. Cleaning with warm water and the ordinary dish detergent is recommended. Sun exposure can make the fiberglass surface dull out. Therefore, you will need to apply protective waxes on the fiberglass on a regular basis. Repair and Replacement of Propeller — When in shallow waters, a propeller can hit a submerged object, such as a rock. In your yearly maintenance plan, do not ignore the propeller because it wears out just like any other mechanical part. This part can be refurbished to return to factory condition. Refurbishing reshapes deformed blades and sharpens damaged edges improving performance, increasing the propeller’s usable duration, and enhances fuel efficiency. An expert boat mechanic can be of great help when making the decision to either repair or replace a propeller. Service the Anchoring System —This component is vital because it can often break your day when in open water. When your boat has windlasses, the anchor rodes can wear out due to friction. The rodes often made of nylon can be weakened because of prolonged exposure to mildew, salt residue, sunlight, and other debris. Replace boat shackles when they are difficult to operate or seriously corroded. A simple maintenance procedure involves pulling the anchor line out of its compartment and cleaning it with soap and fresh...

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Some Terms to Learn When Shopping for Car Parts

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Some Terms to Learn When Shopping for Car Parts

If you’re shopping for car parts, whether new or used, you would do well to learn some basic terms and the differences between certain types of parts. This can ensure you know what to look for and don’t assume that certain parts are interchangeable when they are not. Note a few of those terms you may come across when your car needs repair and you’re looking at Subaru parts. Disc brakes, drum brakes Disc brakes are discs that sit outside the rotor of the wheel. They are squeezed by a caliper or clip that is connected by tubing and wires to the car’s brake pedal. When the calipers squeeze together, the disc brakes squeeze against the wheel rotor and stop the tire from spinning. Drum brakes are very different; these are installed inside the drum of the car tire. When you apply the brake pedal, they actually move outward to push against the inside of that drum and stop the tire from turning. Drum brakes are often found on the back tires while disc brakes are found on the front, or on both front and back. Don’t assume these parts are the same, as they may look very similar but attach to your car quite differently, so it’s vital that you get the right part for your new brakes. Charger This type of device forces air into the cylinders of your car; with a stronger gas to air ratio, the car may respond more quickly when you accelerate. Note that a turbocharger and supercharger are different; the supercharger uses a belt to force air into the cylinders whereas a turbocharger does not. When a charger needs replacing or repair, you need to know if your car has a supercharger or turbocharger and opt for the right part. Steel versus alloy wheels The rims of your tires are usually made of steel or of an alloy, meaning aluminum and potentially steel mixed with other metals. Steel wheels are often the standard wheel rims you may get with your car but alloy wheels are often lighter and better for smaller cars or those where you want more pickup; their lighter weight may allow for faster acceleration. Alloy wheels may also be stamped so that they look nicer, whereas steel wheels may be covered by a hubcap. When shopping for new tires and if you need new rims, you’ll need to know if your car has alloy or steel wheels or if you want to upgrade to alloy for less weight and more...

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New Exhaust System? Here’s What To Know

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Exhaust System? Here’s What To Know

Replacing the exhaust system in an automobile is an important upgrades that a vehicle owner can undertake. A large number of vehicle owners are forced to replace exhaust system when there’s excessive production of soot from the exhaust or when the vehicle owner needs a higher-performance exhaust. Because exhaust systems are a relatively pricey investment, it’s important for vehicle owners to ensure that they get the most out of their investment in a new exhaust system. This article discusses a few things that a vehicle owner should know when shopping for a new exhaust system. Active Over Passive Regeneration Particulate Filters Particulate filters are installed in a vehicle exhaust system so as to facilitate the trapping and the subsequent elimination of soot from the system. Elimination of soot is achieved through a process known as regeneration. This process involves raising internal temperatures within the exhaust system such that this temperature is higher than the temperature required for the combustion of soot. Passive regeneration occurs when the temperature of exhaust gases produced by the vehicle is higher than the temperature required for the combustion of soot. Active regeneration occurs when a catalyst is introduced into the exhaust system. The catalyst works to lower the temperature at which soot particles burn. Because passive regeneration filters don’t rely on the temperature of exhaust fumes, they’re often considered to be more reliable. This is because active regeneration filters will work even when the temperature of exhaust gases fails to rise beyond that required for the combustion of soot (e.g. when the vehicle engine runs for a short period of time). Mufflers In a large number of jurisdictions, there are regulations formulated to control noise pollution emanating from the operation of vehicle exhaust systems. For this reason, vehicle owners are often advised to invest in accessories that help to reduce the amount of noise produced by their exhaust systems. Mufflers are an example of the exhaust accessories referred to. Exhaust mufflers are designed with perforated tubes that reduce the sound output of a vehicle engine. Incoming sound waves (noise) are made to bounce off the perforated tubes and this produces opposing sound waves. The opposing waves cancel out the sound waves that were originally introduced into the muffler. Ultimately, this results in a more quiet exhaust system. Compatibility With The Vehicle Model Last but not least, it is important for vehicle owners to ensure that their preferred new exhaust system is compatible with the model of their vehicle. In order to increase chances of compatibility, vehicle owners are often advised to invest in OEM exhaust systems like xforce, as opposed to aftermarket exhaust...

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Auto Services to Consider Before Becoming a Private Cab Driver

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Auto Services to Consider Before Becoming a Private Cab Driver

Private cab companies are becoming increasingly popular as a way for people to make some extra money with their car. You may consider the requirements of various companies, pay rates, and working hours that work best for you. What you may not consider are the auto service options you will need to maintain. Here are a few things to consider, outside of your traditional oil changes and tune-ups. Increased Brake Maintenance When you are driving to and from work or school you know that eventually you will have to have your brakes replaced or repaired. As a private cab driver, you are driving an increased number of miles which means more wear and tear on your brake system. This means you may be facing costly brake repairs, replacement pads, or other related issues sooner than expected. Make sure you have set aside money for this auto service as well as finding someone that can handle the repair or auto service within a day so you don’t lose time on the road. Compliance Services Some private cab companies may ask you to have auto services completed for compliances they have to ensure their drivers meet. This may mean some auto servicing to things on your car you would normally not have done. For example, you may need to have an emissions package added to the car or have a trip monitor or mileage monitor added to the car. If you have been given a list of the compliance services, take the list to your auto mechanic. They can check it against your vehicle, give you a consultation on what you will need, and give you a price quote. This may make the difference between taking the private cab job with a specific company or going to a different company with fewer requirements. Detailing Services Most auto service departments will offer some kind of auto detailing. In most cases, you will likely look over this. Consider the fact that you will eventually have a passenger that gets sick in your car after a night of drinking, or has a hygiene issue. These things happen, and it would be up to you to clean the car afterwards. Instead of handling it yourself, you may want to consider using an auto service detailing department to clean the car and ready it for the next trip. These are just a few of the auto services you should consider if you decide to become an independent private taxi driver using your own...

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