Thursday, August 15, 2013

Transmission fluid

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress.  The grit you see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission.  In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures.  Usually it's 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures.  Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the transmission as well - leading to even more wear.  The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission.  At best, your transmission won't operate smoothly.  At worse, it could lead to costly damage.

Monday, August 12, 2013

For the rainy season

  • Check the strainer, funnel, the fuel tank to make sure there are no leaks or holes to become the entrance to the water so that fuel is not mixed with water.
  • Besides fuel, check also the conclusion of the electrical system. Make sure that water will not enter because the incoming water will make the car broke down due to short-circuit.
  • At the time of the car subject to rain, do not wait for the water on the surface of dry car to be washed. This is an important part of car maintenance.
  • Spray a Silicone Spray periodically on auto components made of rubber and glass. This is to maintain flexibility and strengthen it.
  • Use Contact Cleaner in the process of maintenance of your car. Use this on a car part that uses the electric system to anticipate the influx of water from the rain or puddles.
  • Periodically apply lubricant to the car door hinges to prevent rusting.
  • May be located in the trunk of the car or covered parking (car should’ve in the dry) so as not to get hit again after rain washed out or before the rain hit.
    Lightly coat the floor inside the car with the newspaper so that when it rains, you can sign in without wetting the floor. This will help prevent the growth of mould in a car.

    Friday, August 9, 2013

    Brake fluid

    Why: The fluid in your car’s brake hydraulic system transfers your foot pressure at the brake pedal into stopping power at the wheels. An adequate supply of clean brake fluid is absolutely essential for safe vehicle operation. Old, moisture-contaminated brake fluid, or a low fluid level that allows air to enter the system, can lead to brake fade or a complete loss of braking power.

    When: Inspect the brake fluid level at every oil change. If the level has fallen below the “low” mark on the fluid reservoir, it usually indicates major brake wear or a leak somewhere in the system; have the brakes inspected as soon as possible. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that the brake fluid be replaced periodically to flush moisture and contaminants from the system. Every two years is a common interval; check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

    Bottom line: Old brake fluid or fluid at low levels can result in your brakes fading or completely failing.  Plus, a leak in the brake line can cause a vehicle fire if the fluid drips onto a heated surface such as a catalytic converter.    

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Engine air filter

    Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your SUV engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on Michigan freeways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?
    The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your SUV needs a lot of air to keep going. A lot of clean air is best.
    Rick's Automotive: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your SUV also works better when its internals are clean. When your SUV air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your SUV engine does you no good.
    So, we’re talking potential damage for Michigan drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your SUV engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.

    The verdict: When your SUV engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in Michigan.
    When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your technician shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    The steering feels loose. Why?

    The most common causes of steering looseness include worn tie rod ends, a worn idler arm or center link (on vehicles without rack and pinion steering), a worn steering gear or a worn steering rack.

     Normally, your steering wheel should have no more than about a quarter inch of play. Any more means something is worn or loose and needs to be fixed. 

    The inner and outer tie rod ends should have no perceptible looseness. Worn or loose tie rod ends are especially dangerous because if one pulls apart you'll lose steering control. Worn tie rod ends can also cause rapid tire wear.

    If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle with conventional steering (not rack and pinion steering), the idler arm should have no more than the specified amount of maximum play. Refer to a manual for the specs and recommended procedure for checking it. Checking idler arm play usually involves pulling on the arm with a specified force and measuring how much the arm deflects.

    If your vehicle has a lot of miles on it, the steering gear or rack itself may be worn. On conventional steering boxes, there's usually an adjustment screw that can be used to take some of the slack out of the system. With rack and pinion steering, though, adjustment is usually little help because the rack develops center wear. If the pinion is adjusted to compensate, the rack may bind when turned to either side. The only cure for a center wear condition is to replace the rack with a new one (an entire new rack assembly).

    Other Causes

     Sometimes the steering will feel loose because of a worn U-joint coupling in the steering column. Loose or worn wheel bearings can also make the steering wander and feel loose. 

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Windshield washer fluid

    WHY: Rain, insects, grime and other debris on your windshield will compromise your vision if your windshield wipers cannot remove them. A supply of the proper washer fluid will help your wipers remove these contaminants effectively.

    WHEN: Check your washer fluid reservoir monthly and more often when you use the washers frequently. Top it up with a washer solution formulated to aid in the removal of insects and other debris, and during winter, be sure to use a solution with antifreeze protection. Finally, test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim.

    BOTTOM LINE: Whether your windshield becomes covered with bugs in the summer or ice and salt in the winter, it’s critical to keep it clear for your safety.