Category: Repairs

Taking Care of Car and Brakes

Overall, you should take care of your car as whole, from the outside to the inside. Keep the body of the car clean and dent free. Wash the car as often as you can, vacuum the inside and polish the dashboard and tyres. Be careful where you drive and park to avoid bumps and dents from occurring on your car’s body.

Look after the engine too. Avoid opening the bonnet unnecessarily so that it doesn’t get exposed to too much dust. Check the oil and water to ensure that it remains topped up for the efficient functioning of the vehicle. If you suspect that there is something wrong with the engine don’t be tempted to repair it yourself. Rather let a qualified mechanic check it and repair it for you.

Take care of the wheels and tyres. Make sure that you have the tyres inflated regularly to prevent it from running flat. This also optimises your driving if the tyres are sufficiently inflated. If you notice that he tread is low, then change the tyres. Don’t drive with them for long as this could lead to the car not being able to come to a stop as quickly as it would with new tyres.

Check the brakes often especially when you notice something unusual. If you hear the brakes squeak or whistle, or feel that the brake pedal is spongy, then get it checked. There could be a problem with the brake elements such as the brake discs. Rather be safe than sorry when it comes to this car part.

In general, you should take your car for a service every year or when the set mileage is reached for your particular vehicle. During a service all the parts of your car will be checked to ensure that it is roadworthy and safe to drive. Keep a record of the car’s service so that you build up a good history. This will serve you well when you want to sell the car. It will increase the value of your car, especially if you take good care of it.


Buy a Quality Power Brake Booster

The brake booster starts its job as soon as you hit the pedal to reduce the speed of your vehicle. If you open up this device, you will see two chambers divided by a strong diaphragm. When you hit the gas pedal, the chambers become free of air. What happens is that the system sucks all the air out based on how hard you hit the brakes. The higher the pressure, the higher the amount of air that is sucked out of the chamber.

If you are interested in buying this device for your car, know that they come in two types: hydraulic and vacuum. If you are a beginner and have no idea about which one is good for you, we suggest that you follow the tips given below. They will make it easier for you to choose the best device to meet your needs.

These devices can be seen working in engines that are fueled by diesel and comprise a steering pump. This pump is full of a hydraulic fluid that is put in an accumulator.

As soon as you put pressure on the pedal, air pressure gets released. This process generates a tremendous amount of pressure, which can be as high as 2,000 psi. However, there is a disadvantage of this system. This system cuts down on the horsepower as it makes use of a good deal of electric power to work optimally.

Another type of brake booster is known as the vacuum power brake booster. When you step on the brake pedal, the air inside the diaphragm is forced out. As a result, your vehicle slows down to prevent a possible crash or accident. So, they can be a great choice for your vehicle, especially if you own a large vehicle for commercial purposes.

The biggest benefit of using a vacuum power brake booster is that if the engine of your vehicle stalls, you can still use the brakes. However, in this case, you will have to push with more force. You may want to ensure that your units are tested for vacuum for reliability.

So, these are two types of power brake boosters for a vehicle. If you are going to buy one, make sure you know the type of device your vehicle needs. If you have no idea about it, you can consult an expert. Lastly, if you want to maintain your vehicle, make sure you keep the power brake booster in the best condition.


Diesel Fuel Injectors Work

Fuel injectors are small electrical components that are used to deliver fuel via a spray directly into the intake manifold in front of the intake valve in a diesel engine. Diesel fuel injectors are quite complicated; the injector has a high micron filter on the top inlet side which corresponds to small hypodermic sized holes on the bottom for the atomizing of the diesel fuel. The diesel fuel acts as a lubricating source for the injector’s internal parts. The main source of failure for injectors is water in the fuel. When water in the fuel displaces the lubricating properties the internal parts wear down quickly and the injector as a whole can fail rather quickly.

Injectors are an extremely important engine component. The injector valve opens and closes at the same rpm as the diesel engine. Typical RPM for diesel engines in North America is around 1800. This equates to roughly 140,000 times per hour! In addition to water in the fuel, injectors are subjected to carbon and dirt particles introduced into the unit via a bad air cleaner element. The type of fuel, grade and additives used also has a significant impact on the life expectancy of the fuel injector. The ECM (Engine Control Module) controls the fuel injectors in most electrical diesel engines. The diesel injectors constantly have power when the key is turned on regardless if the engine is turned over. The ECM grounds the injector, completing the circuit and causing the injector nozzle to open. The ECM after receiving information from various control sensors determines the length of time the injectors need to be grounded to inject the exact amount of fuel given the horsepower output demand from the engine.

The process of diesel injectors opening, closing and dispensing the correct amount of fuel happens in milliseconds. Injector cycle firing is on average completed in 1.5 to 5 milliseconds. Diesel fuel injectors come in different shapes and sizes depending on the engine make and model as well as power demand. Automotive injectors are quite a bit smaller than heavy-duty diesel applications and are measured in cubic inches. There are two types of diesel fuel injectors: the first is called throttle body injection where 1-2 injectors are located in the throttle body itself in the diesel engine and supply a metered amount of mist fuel spray into the intake manifold. This delivery system essentially charges the intake and the intake valve draws the fuel into the cylinder of the engine. The second delivery system, known as individual port type fuel injector, is newer and more fuel efficient. Port type of injection is more efficient than a carburetor since it adjusts to air density and altitude and is not reliant on the manifold vacuum.

With throttle spray injection inefficiency comes when the cylinders closest to the injectors having a better mixture than the ones furthest away. With port type of injection this flaw is eliminated by injecting the same amount of fuel to each cylinder in the engine.

Each fuel injector is a little different but they all have 15 main parts including the filter, guide ring, core spring, seat spring, seat, pole piece, stop, solenoid coil, solenoid body, core ring, core, spray tip housing, director and spray tip. The fuel flow is regulated by the ECM by raising a ball off its seat. This allows fuel flow through the seat orifice and then out through a fixed director plate with several holes. The director plate serves to direct the fuel spray pattern. This type of injector has 10 to 15 degree angle spray pattern. The fuel atomization of this type of injector is similar to the disc type injector. Disc and ball type injectors by design and less susceptible to clogging.


Collision Repair

Genuine

Some collision repair services try to use genuine parts in all their restoration work. These pieces are what originally came in the vehicle. Typically, they come in a box with the carmaker’s logo, so you know it is a genuine part.

When it comes to cost, genuine parts are among the most expensive types you can buy for your vehicle. For this reason, it is best to only use these items if they are still under warranty and you don’t have to pay any out of pocket expense.

Despite popular belief, choosing to go with something other than manufacturer parts will not void any remaining warranty. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,” it is illegal for any manufacturer to void the warranty solely based on the type of part you choose to use. The act also allows you to have the work completed anywhere, even at home, without voiding the warranty.

Original Equipment Manufacturer

During your collision repair, you may choose to have Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts installed. While not a genuine piece, it is the exact same as what came in your vehicle because it was created by the same company who built the part for the car company. The difference is it doesn’t have the car company’s logo on the box.

Like genuine, OEM can be more expensive than aftermarket. However, it will cost less than genuine. It is a good way to save a little money and get the same part that was originally in your vehicle.

Aftermarket

Aftermarket pieces are quite common. They look and work in the same manner as the originals. The big difference is a company other than the manufacturer builds it. The structure is designed to fit and perform just as well as the original.

In some cases, aftermarket designs outperform their more expensive counterparts. This is because these companies analyze why the products fail in the first place. Once they know what the underlying problem is, they can make theirs without these flaws. In some cases, it may be as simple as the material was not made to last, and the aftermarket builder chooses something a bit more robust.

In the event that the part is not under warranty or your insurance company is not as concerned about what replacement type is used, you may want to settle for an aftermarket product.


Auto Glass Repair

Gone are the days when even a small crack in the windscreen would demand a whole replacement of the windscreen along with leaving a hole in your pockets. However, with the advancement in the modern technologies, not only has it become possible to repair the windscreens with perfection, but the process is cost-effective too.

However, if your windscreen faces a major damage, which can be a considered as a length of more than 3 inches, most of the service providers might advise a replacement. Moreover, along with the extent of damage, the factor that might affect the repair of the glass might also be the location of damage. Damage at particular places might not be able to be repaired or might have chances of spreading rapidly. For the exact repair information, consulting a professional might be the best option.

Unlike the replacement process, which includes the removal of the entire glass and installation of a new one in its place, the repair process includes the curing polishing of the damaged portion. If the crack is small, the repairs are mostly successful along with providing efficient strength and clarity, making the glass as good as new.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, a repair is much cheaper than a full repair, and for small damages, for the same reason, a repair is advisable. However, if the damage is big or there is a chance of re-occurrence of the crack or damage, going for repair would cost you double fold as you would be required to replace the glass anyhow.

However, if you have decided to go for a repair for your damaged windshield or glass, do not wait till the damage actually starts to become an issue. If the minor damage is not treated immediately, it is most probable that the condition will worsen and even might make the repair not possible and you would be forced into going for a replacement and paying much more, even if when you could have had it done for much less money. Moreover, there are several service providers that might provide a mobile service and come up to your home space or office to repair your damaged windscreen, without you, having to take out time from your busy schedule.


Basic Oil Change

When it comes to changing the oil in one’s car, the first thing needed is to consult the owner’s manual to find the type of filter and how many quarts of oil are needed. Other items are a good drain pan, and funnel. These can be purchased at the auto parts store. It’s a good idea to have a basic set of tools. An extra tool that makes oil changes easier, in my opinion, is an oil filter wrench (specialty tool). I use a socket and ratchet set when I change oil. I’ve also known people who would use an adjustable wrench. I don’t consider this a good idea because you can slip off of the drain plug and damage the flats.

At the auto parts store, you can look up the type of filter required for your car. I would recommend buying the oil in a five quart container so you can pour your used oil into it after the new oil is poured into your car’s engine.

Once you’ve got your supplies and tools, it’s time to get under the car. You might not fit and you’ll have to jack the car up. One other good investment would be ramps. I always save a big piece of cardboard to lay on when I’m under a car. I have a creeper too, but it sets to high for some cars I’ve worked on. Start your car and let the engine idle for about 5 minutes. That way the oil is warm and will drain much easier.

Crawl under your car and make sure the drain plug, you’ll be removing, is on the engine pan. Some new cars have a transmission drain plug. Have your tools with you when you get under the car, and select the proper socket to use. It may be metric or standard. Make sure to have your drain pan close by when you remove the plug. When the oil from the plug hole is down to a few drips, re-install the plug. Locate the engine oil filter. If you’re not sure what it looks like, take the new one out of the box. Some filters are easy to get to, to change, others are not. Use an oil filter wrench, if you have one, and turn the filter counter-clockwise to remove it. Make sure the drain pan is under the filter, if possible, to catch the oil spilling out. Next wipe some oil on the seal of the oil filter and install it, turning it clockwise until it’s tight, then turn it 3/4 of a turn more, this insures it won’t leak.


Automatic Transmission Change Gears

There are more parts in this system that makes it a more complicated system. An automatic car has something called a torque converter. For the car to move forward, whether manual or automatic, torque is needed for the initial momentum.

The torque converter is a fluid link where its job is to connect the engine to the transmission and the transmission to the driven wheels (Front Wheel Drive or Rear Wheel Drive).

The engine is connected to the transmission in a bell housing. This is where the torque converter is. The transmission also contains something called planetary gear sets which provide different gear ratios.

The engine’s flex plate is also connected to this torque converter. So the torque converter basically takes the place of a clutch in an automatic car. When the crankshaft rotates it also rotates the converter. This is how the torque converter will disconnect and connect the engine’s power to the load being driven.

The torque converter has main components that make automatic transmission successful. These include:

  • The impeller – connected to the engine which is responsible for driving the turbine using viscous forces on the transmission fluid.
  • The turbine – connected to the transmission input shaft that sends the torque force to the transmission.
  • The stator – which sits between the impeller and the turbine. It lessens churning losses.
  • The lock up clutch.

During the compression of the fluid it returns from the turbine that works against the impeller and its rotating movement that also acts on the engine.

The stator redirects the fluid so that the majority of the velocity gets driven towards the impeller which then adds to the torque produced by the motor. It can only rotate in one direction if the impeller and turbine are moving at the same speed. Stators do not apply torque when on a highway, only when coming to a stop or accelerating.

A planetary gear set consists of a sun gear and planet gears which rotate around the central sun gear, like our solar system. A planet carrier gear connects the planet gears with a ring gear that meshes them. The planetary gear set prevents certain components from moving when using clutches and brakes. This alters the input and the output of the system that changes the overall gear ratio.

Depending on which component is fixed it will determine the final gear ratio. If a ring gear is stationery or fixed, the ratio will be shorter than if the sun gear is fixed or stationery.


Exterior Parts of a Car

  • Bumpers: besides that it can be a decorative part on the exterior of the car, it also has an important function. It is the part that gets hit first before the rest of the car gets damaged upon impact. This does not help the driver if there are high speeds involved but rather in the event of the parking accident or minor fender bender.
  • Bonnets: this is the obvious one on the list. It protects the engine from rain and other weather conditions. It is a major shield against dust and contaminants. Remember that like the human body, foreign objects in the blood stream could impact the functioning of the entire system. Clean fluids are important in the engine as it is in the human body.
  • Engine splash shield: this part is located directly beneath the engine. It is made of a heat and corrosion resistant plastic that is usually attached with a special resin. This has the same function as the bonnet but from the bottom. It may be called a splash shield but it also prevents any dust, stones and mud from entering the engine. If this part is no longer attached correctly, you can hear the flapping against the road when driving at high speeds.
  • Wheels: The whole assembly of the wheel (rims, tyres, axles, etc.) is what gives the car its motion. What impacts the performance depends on the tyres that have been used.
  • Chassis: The shell of the car gives it aerodynamic capabilities. Air flows easily around an aerodynamic shape because of the lack of air friction therefore the car is able to move faster. Too much of this friction will slow down the car. If the chassis is close to the ground, the aerodynamics is increased.

Repair a Tyre Puncture

  1. Enable the handbrake to avoid the opposite tyre spinning uncontrollably.
  2. Keep in mind that you need to have a plugging kit to sort this problem out and you won’t need to remove the tyre unless you cannot reach the puncture. Some may find that it’s easier to remove the tyre. If you are in a rush to go somewhere then keep the tyre attached to the car.
  3. The most important part about repairing punctures is finding the actual hole. This might be the process that will take the longest. You might also have to remove what has been lodged within the rubber before doing anything else.
  4. Make sure that you clean the area which has been punctured to avoid any foreign objects entering the inside of the tyre.
  5. You need to add lubricant to the puncture using an insertion tool before treading the plugging cord through the puncture.
  6. The plugging cord needs to be hanging out of the tyre and cut after the insertion tool has been removed.
  7. Inflate your tyre to the correct pressure using a pressure gauge. This will make it easier for you to make sure that there are no leakages or escaping air.
  8. It’s important to check the tyre for any leaks as you can never be too sure that you have more than one puncture. The last thing you want is to have to deal with the same process again.
  9. Once this is done you need to ensure that you drive slowly as the plug may not hold as well as a professional fix.

A puncture in the side wall is irreparable as the pressure that will be applied after you continue driving will break it once again. If this does happen you need to have a spare tyre in your car or you will have to call the towing service to get a replacement.


Run Flat Tyres

It would have been amazing if we could drive our cars safely on a flat tyre, but that’s not possible. Aside from the safety issue, getting a flat tyre somehow always happens at times we least expect it. Safety is the main benefit. When run flat tyres are punctured it could still allow the vehicle to be driven and handled like normal. Having this ability to handle the car normally is essential particularly when you get a flat tyre while you are driving on a highway where traffic is heavy. Also the risk of changing tyres during peak hours on a major highway is reduced.

Self-Supporting

These tyres have stiffer and tougher rubber, which can temporarily carry the weight of the vehicle under lower tyre pressure. If you do get Self-Supporting tyres you will need a tyre pressure monitoring system because a driver may not notice their tyre has lost pressure without it. They give you protection against blow outs which are a common and dangerous occurrence since the 1930’s. Self-supporting run-flat tyres are now common on light trucks and passenger cars and typically provide for the vehicle to drive for a distance of 80 kilometers at a speed of about 80 kilometers per hour.

Auxiliary Supported

In this system, there is an additional support ring or insert attached to the wheel that can support the weight of the vehicle in the event of a loss of pressure. These systems generally offer better ride quality because they can be placed inside a standard tyre. The run flat insert has an unsurpassed ability to carry heavy vehicle loads for long distances at high speeds. It is the normal run flat selection for military vehicles, high-level executive protection vehicles, armored vehicles used by government, aid groups, or private contractors in conflict zones.