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Smart And Safe Automotive Electronics

Smart And Safe Automotive Electronics

We live in an age of information and technology that has made everything around us smarter. Electronic and digital components have made life easier in our homes, offices, and automobiles.

Some of life’s bells and whistles, like nose hair trimmers, are no more than budget-grabbing gizmos. However there are many intelligent tools that can bring convenience and safety to our daily tasks.

In the vast world of “smart” technology, the automotive electronics market is king. Indispensable features such as anti-lock braking systems and electronic stability control are perfect examples of smart and safe automotive electronics.

Recent developments by industry experts have created a huge increase in the number of electronic devices installed at automotive plants. Just to give you an idea of how quickly cars have evolved electronically, the Apollo 11 space craft traveled to the moon and back using a mere 150 kilobytes of onboard memory. It’s remarkable to think that the typical CD player uses a whopping 500 kilobytes just to keep our favorite songs from skipping. Listening to uninterrupted music is a mere iota of how electronics have impacted a car’s performance in order to benefit drivers.

Telematics is the term used for the technology that involves automobile communication systems. The term was originally used to describe the blending of telecommunications and informatics or information technology. This industry has been gaining more and more attention from car manufacturers over the past years. In the mid-1990s, industry insiders predicted that telematics would become “the” go-to technology; increasing overall sales and more importantly, transforming the automotive industry into a major player in mobile technology. In reality, these forecasts panned out to be less than what was predicted. From an initial industry projection of over $40 billion dollars, the figure has been whittled down to half as more conservative measures were considered.

Nevertheless, that is by no means an indication that the development of this telematics technology has been or will be abandoned. In fact, on average automobile manufacturers spend $2000 on electronic systems for every vehicle that comes off the line — in incredible increase from the $110-per-car budget of the early 1970s. This huge increase in spending is reflected in everything from engine performance to entertainment systems, security features to safety devices. Every component of the vehicle works together to provide automobiles that perform better, are more comfortable, and ultimately safer to drive.

Some of the most common smart and safe automotive electronics are as follows:

Controller Area Network
More than one computer runs your car. There is actually a network of computers called the Controller Area Network (CAN). Like a LAN (Local Area Network) that’s commonly used in home and business computers, the CAN links computers together. In your vehicle, the CAN basically links the many separate computer systems together and allows them communicate with each other. These interconnected systems involve everything from critical systems like engine management, cruise control and anti-lock brakes and cruise control, to less-demanding applications like automatic window and seat controls.

Fuel Efficiency
Skyrocketing fuel prices have forced automotive manufacturers to realize the need for fuel-efficient vehicles, and to meet that demand. Smart automotive electronics are used to create the more efficient burning of fuel, such as the electronic fuel injection system (EFI). The technology used in hybrid vehicles takes this one step further, with electronic devices that allow the driver to automatically switch between gas and electric engines.

Safety Devices
There are generally two categories of devices designed to protect the safety of the driver and passengers: active and passive safety devices.

* Active safety devices: These are systems that constantly work to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. Examples of active safety devices are dynamic steering response (DSR), traction control (TCS), and acceleration slip regulation (ASR). While the average driver may not notice these systems at work, they are constantly sensing road and driving conditions and adjusting the car’s performance accordingly to create a safer ride. Electronic Stability Control has been shown by researchers to have a large safety benefit in reducing single vehicle skids.

* Passive safety devices: While these features may be more visible and seem simpler, they are also controlled by smart and safe automotive electronics. Thanks to developments in electronics and technology, airbag deployment has seen a tremendous amount of improvement over the years. Early airbags would deploy too early or too late, offering little or no benefit to the driver and passengers. Now, more advanced systems have created devices in your car that are actually programmed to the conditions that can lead to a high collision impact. Airbag and seating adjustment systems are deployed to minimize impact and decrease the degree of injury to the people inside the vehicle.

Think of the advancements over just a decade, and you’ll agree that the car of today certainly is a far cry from its predecessors. Modern automobiles offer more than simply a means of getting from point A to point B. Smart and safe automotive electronics make “getting there” as comfortable and as secure as possible.

The Social Cost of Automotive Fuels (LPG, Diesel, Petrol)

The Social Cost of Automotive Fuels (LPG, Diesel, Petrol)

We aim to give some insight into the financial and economical cost to society as a direct result of exhaust emissions from Petrol, Diesel and LPG engines. The financial costs are calculated based on city population sizes in the UK, and grams of pollutants emitted per 1000km travelled by each automotive vehicle fuel type. These figures relate directly to the economical costs in terms of health care expenditure. The results show the benefits that alternative fuels can offer to society as a whole, helping to reduce health problems such as Congestive heart failure, Respiratory problems and Bronchitis, which all relate to poor air quality. The report is based on findings from various sources including The Norfolk County Council alternative fuel trials, and the BeTa database report on social costs published by Netcen (AEA).

Automotive fuels are constantly taking blame and criticism from the Government as the main cause of poor air quality conditions in the UK. The levels of harmful gases in the environment are costing society financially, economically and physically. Most people are aware of the damaging effects that exhaust emissions have on air quality conditions, but what do these emissions cost to society in monetary terms?

Our analysis showed that the social cost of driving a vehicle varies significantly with the fuel type used. In a small town, Diesel results in social costs of £3.84 per 1,000km, petrol £1.04 and LPG £0.55p. In a large city, Diesel costs £32.70 per 1,000km, petrol £6.08 and LPG £2.33.

The cost of running alternative vehicles such as LPG cars is dramatically less than standard petrol and diesel vehicles and does not require higher maintenance levels. Further benefits include reduced engine noise, smoother vehicle running, exempt from congestion charges and low duty taxes. Having more vehicles running on LPG engine in the UK would assist in reducing emission costs to society while improving air quality.

Individuals and organisations that adopt the environmentally-friendly alternative automotive fuels and technologies are not only generating cost savings for themselves but also for the larger society.

Tips For Keeping Up With Automotive Recalls

Tips For Keeping Up With Automotive Recalls

You hear about automotive recalls all the time in the newspaper, on the Internet, as well as on the nightly news. Amazingly, one in 12 cars traveling the roads today were recalled for one reason or another in 2003. However, even more amazing is the fact that only one third of the owners of the recalled vehicles chose to take their car in for the needed repairs. The car manufacturers are required to send out letters informing owners of these vehicles of the recall, regardless of whether it is a major or minor event. Also, the information regarding the recall is delivered to consumers in so many different mediums it is almost impossible that owners of the affected vehicles do not learn of the problems. However, people seem to think that if they are not experiencing any problems at the moment then the recall affects all of the other vehicles instead of theirs and end up ignoring the recall. This is negligence and simply asking for the problem with the car to crop up. However, if this happens after the recall then it is the owners fault because they were given the information and allowed to fix the problem free of charge yet they simply ignored it. As long as car manufactures report the recall and inform owners of the vehicles as they are required to do by law, it is up to the consumer to take advantage of the recall and have their automobile fixed. If not, then the owner is taking the risk. If you have not heard anything about car recalls or just bought a used vehicle and want to find out if the manufacturer issued any recalls then you should check out www.nhtsa.gov or www.autorecalls.org to see if your car is listed.

Both of these websites have all the information about recalls over the past years so you can search through the year, make, and model of a vehicle to see if yours is listed. It is very likely you will see your car listed on one of these website because more than 31 million cars were recalled in 2004. That is almost unbelievable considering the amount of technology used in developing cars as well as the fact that cars are safer than they have ever been. However, it is true that mistakes are still taking places and consumers are buying vehicles with basic problems like fuses or major problems with gas lines, tires, and seats buckling in crashes. Regardless of whether or not you believe you are driving a safe car you need to check out the websites stated above every few months just to make sure your vehicle has not ended up on the list. If it has, don’t fall into the two thirds of individuals who never respond to the recall. Instead, head to the nearest dealership or authorized mechanic who can make the free repairs to your vehicle. Why so many people don’t have time for free repairs is beyond me, but knowing your vehicle has a problem that could be potentially fatal for you and your family and that a free repair is available should be enough to motivate you to have the repair taken care of.

Another thing to keep in mind is that simple problems with your vehicle that result in a visit to the mechanic may not be a problem you are required to pay for. Millions of Americans each year take their cars to the mechanic for a basic repair, or even a major one, assuming something went wrong and they simply need to fix it. Unfortunately, many of these individuals never check to see if the problem was due to a recall and end up paying for a repair that might be free or discounted by the automobile manufacturer. So, armed with this knowledge the next time your vehicle has even the slightest problem make sure you check and see if the car has been recalled for similar problems and if you can get free repairs or discounted ones at the least. It is certainly worth checking out and could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Who Issues Recalls?

In general, the reason so many people don’t respond to recalls is because they simply don’t understand the recall process. The NHTSA , National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, is responsible for investigating consumer complaints regarding specific vehicles and problems associated with them. After several consumers have reported the same or similar problem to the NHTSA for the same model vehicle an investigation is launched. The point of the NHTSA investigation is to determine whether the consumer caused the problem or malfunction in some way or if the manufacturer of the vehicle is at fault. If the manufacturer is determined to be at fault then the owners of affected models will receive information in the mail regarding the recall of the vehicle with information included on how they can have the problem corrected free of charge. However, the NHTSA is not always the one who issues a recall.

Occasionally, the manufacturer realizes a problem exists in a certain model vehicle and will voluntarily issue a recall. Of course, the NHTSA is informed as well, and the same letter is sent to owners of the vehicle letting them know the problem with the vehicle and how to correct it. Many times, however, a recall does not affect all models of a particular year. For example, if a recall is issued on 2005 Ford Explorers more than likely it will only affect a certain batch of these vehicles and not all of them. However, if you own a vehicle of that make and year then you can take it to the dealership and the service department will run the VIN, or vehicle identification number, to determine if in fact your vehicle is affected by the recall. If so, then you can have the repairs made at no cost. If not, then you can head home knowing your vehicle is safe and sound.

Just keep in mind, however, each year millions of cars are recalled for various reasons and you should always take your car in if you suspect the recall might apply to your vehicle or if you receive a recall letter. Don’t take your safety for granted, especially if the repair for the recalled vehicle is free.

We Owe A Debt Of Gratitude To Early Luxury Automotive Products

We Owe A Debt Of Gratitude To Early Luxury Automotive Products

You may well have noticed gorgeous, massive cars in classic movies. What happened to these car makers? Were they innovators or just producers of boats or other monstrosities of little innovative value? Sort of like big tank S.U.V. trucks in these days of $ 3 a gallon gasoline. Indeed you may have spotted such cars as the Italian made Isotta Fraschine in classic movies such as the movie “Sunset Boulevard” which starred Gloria Swanson. These cars were not only the highest end luxury models of their days but they introduced early on many advanced features into cars as well as moving ahead and reinforcing standards of reliability and durability of motor vehicles. The thin edge of the wedge even then. Back in 1929 when the Tippo 8A primo motor car was delivered to its first waiting owners , the automotive name and models if Isoto Fraschini were held in the same breath , prestige and level as those of Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza. The story starts in Milan, Italy thirty years earlier when Cesare Isotta and Vincenzio Fraschino joined forces and went into the “newfangled” car business.

At that time Italy was a poor country, they soon realized that with their limited car market, and luxury car market the need, indeed the necessity to export their products. The enterprising partners first shipped a car to the United Sates in 1902 and established the Isotta Import Company in New York just five years later. In 1908, Isotta won Sicily’s super tough Targea Florio race and notched up more than several important auto races in America. Two years later, the Italians launched the mighty KM model, which sported 10.6 liter, four cylinder, and sixteen valve engine. It would storm along at 90 mph at a time when few aircraft could achieve that in flight.

After World War I, Isotta Fraschini decided to concentrate on the lucrative and prestigious luxury end of the automotive market. The 5.9 liter Tipo 8 arrived in 1909 – powered by the world’s first series production straight eight engine, and was later joined, then replaced by the Tipo 8A. Customers purchased a chassis and ordered whatever body tickled their fancy from a coachbuilder. The well known high end coachbuilder of the time Sala and Castanga accounted for most of them. Others built to the likes of Fleetwood and Barker.

One of the lighter and more powerful Super Spinto versions of the *A finished sixth in the first Mille Miglia , driven by none other than Count Maggi , one of the 1000 –mile road race founders and originators. He was accompanied by Bindo Maserati. Bindo and his brother Alfieri were then working for Isota Fraschini as testers. Most of the parts for the first Masaerati cars were made at Isotta’s factory on Via Monterosa in Milan.

Launched in April 1931, the Tipo 8B is generally considered as Isotto Fraschini’s finest automobile product. It offered more performance than its predecessor. About 950 of these fine motor vehicles were manufactured and sold. The Tipo 8B Automobile product line encountered strong opposition from the likes of Rolls-Royce, Hispano and Bugatti. By the mid nineteen thirties the Isotta Frascnini car production system and enterprise was out of the automobile business. It made a short comeback after the time period approximately of the post Second World War II period when the Tipo 8C Monterosa appeared to a fanfare of postwar trumpets. The Post World War II Tipo 8C Monterosa was a most interesting concept car of its time period – a very big car with a V-8 engine its tail. Rather unbelievably, or perhaps

We owe a debit of gratitude to these early luxury automobile innovators and producers in that what we take today for automotive vehicle features , engineering as well as reliability started early on with the expectations of purchasers of these luxury automobile products.

The Automotive Market is an Open Playing Field

The Automotive Market is an Open Playing Field
tommy198912 / Pixabay

In the аutоmоtіvе employment mаrkеt thеrе аrе ѕtіll very attractive jоb орроrtunіtіеѕ available аll оvеr thе wоrld. So if уоu аrе in thе аutоmоtіvе employment market and wаnt tо mаkе a change thеrе аrе ѕtіll a lot оf орроrtunіtіеѕ all оvеr thе wоrld.

In thіѕ mоdеrn wоrld thеrе dо еxіѕt a mаѕѕіvе shortage highly ѕkіllеd аutоmоtіvе tесhnісіаnѕ аll over thе wоrld. Sо іf you are a hіghlу skilled auto tесhnісіаn уоu саn сhооѕе whеrе уоu wаnt to wоrk іn the wоrld.

Bу juѕt applying оn оnе of thе many аutоmоtіvе recruitment соmраnіеѕ web раgеѕ, аnd thеу wіll ѕеаrсh a jоb opportunity fоr you аnу рlасе in thе world. Thе fact іѕ thаt a lоt оf еmеrgіng аutоmоtіvе mаrkеtѕ hаvе ореnеd uр іn rеаѕоnеd years, duе to thе роwеr ѕhіft іn thе аutоmоtіvе іnduѕtrу.

Thіѕ automotive employment mаrkеt is going to bесоmе even bіggеr іn the futurе аѕ аll nеw type оf cars is going to hit the mаrkеt. Like аll thе “EV” cars that are ѕtіll іn thе prototype рhаѕе. All these саrѕ wіll have nеw technology implemented іntо them, ѕо new personnel muѕt be trained to wоrk оn them in thе future.

This wіll brіng a раrаdіgm ѕhіft іntо this automotive еmрlоуmеnt mаrkеt, еvеn thе trаіnіng mеthоdѕ and the skill ѕеtѕ thаt muѕt be trаіnеd hаvе to change іn the very nеаr futurе.

Thіѕ wіll cause thе manufacturers tо ѕtаrt runnіng extensive trаіnіng аnd dеvеlор рrоgrаmѕ, to hаvе highly ѕkіllеd tесhnісіаnѕ tо аѕѕіѕt them to establish their brand. Thеrе wіll be соmіng new brаndѕ and brаnd nаmе into thе рlауіng fіеld аnd these brаndѕ wіll nееd to still buіld their nаmеѕ in thе mаrkеt рlасе.

Tо buіld a brаnd nаmе уоu need a роwеrful аftеr ѕаlеѕ ѕеrvісе уоu саn аѕѕіѕt уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ with. Thіѕ аlоnе wіll сrеаtе a new automotive еmрlоуmеnt mаrkеt tо thе аutо іnduѕtrу; juѕt іmаgіnе an еlесtrоnіс оr сhеmісаl еngіnееr wоrkіng аt уоur local саr dеаlеrѕhір.

It may ѕоund farfetched but іt іѕ роѕѕіblе аѕ the саrѕ in thе future will be drіvеn wіth power plants like fuеl cells, hуdrоgеn еmіѕѕіоn and еlесtrіс motors. All оf thіѕ іѕ gоіng to соmе to the mаrkеt рlасе іn thіѕ modern wоrld sooner than mоѕt оf us dо realize. So thе рrеdісtіоnѕ аrе thаt a bіg роrtіоn оf thе existing automotive workforce wіll lеаvе.
Thеу wіll leave thіѕ wоrkfоrсе аѕ they are frоm the оld ѕсhооl with оld ѕсhооl рrіnсірlеѕ thаt will bесоmе extinct wіth this new technology. Thе humаn tеndеnсіеѕ аrе that уоu will ѕtау іgnоrаnt if уоu bесоmе a member оf the оld ѕсhооl сlub. Thіѕ оnlу hарреnѕ as thе older people wеrе соndіtіоnеd thаt they can оnlу learn ѕоmеthіng uр tо a сеrtаіn аgе. All оf uѕ knоw thіѕ іѕ not truе but the ѕуѕtеm wаntѕ them to lеаvе аѕ іt іѕ hаrdеr tо change аnd old hоrѕе to gеt rid оf his or hеr habits

The ѕуѕtеm wаѕ created to develop a grоuр of ѕlаvеѕ thаt wоuld be еаѕіеr tо соndіtіоn, іntо what this ѕlаvе ѕуѕtеm nееdѕ аnd not whаt thе workers nееdѕ. Thаt іѕ оnе of thе rеаѕоnѕ why the older leading hаndѕ in thе automotive еmрlоуmеnt mаrkеt gets removed оr rеtrеnсhеd. Thе gеnеrаl mоdеrn buѕіnеѕѕ conceptions аrе thаt оldеr people аrе rеѕіѕtеrѕ tо mоdеrn buѕіnеѕѕ, аѕ thеу dоn’t want tо сhаngе.

If аll thіѕ hіghlу skilled реорlе are rеmоvеd іn the futurе thе whоlе аutоmоtіvе industry wіll ѕuffеr a massive ѕkіllѕ аnd brain lоѕt thаt could hаvе passed on tо the younger реорlе. Fіndіngѕ are thаt mоѕt оf thіѕ older people іn thе аutоmоtіvе іnduѕtrу dоn’t wаnt tо ѕhаrе thеіr knowledge and skills anymore, bесаuѕе they don’t ѕее themselves as resistors fоr futurе development in thе automotive іnduѕtrу.

So thе аutоmоtіvе employment market wіll suffer grеаt losses іn thе nеаr futurе, duе to thіѕ phenomenon.

Ladies And Gentlemen, Start Your Careers! Automotive Technicians Wanted

Ladies And Gentlemen, Start Your Careers! Automotive Technicians Wanted

It can be a challenge to land a prime spot on a race car pit crew. Yet vehicle dealerships across the country are scrambling to find qualified automotive technicians for their own “pit crews”-even with salaries of $30,000 to $70,000 or more, depending on the market and the technician’s level of training.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the auto industry will need 35,000 new technicians every year through 2010.

Lucrative But Overlooked Careers

With that in mind, an unusual contest is getting into gear with the purpose of increasing awareness about this lucrative and rewarding yet often-overlooked career, and support training opportunities for future technicians. It’s called the No. 29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge. And it is a challenge. “Historically, being an automotive technician has been depicted as a dirty, dead-end kind of job,” said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. “That old stereotype could not be further from the truth. Today’s cars and trucks are very sophisticated-the computer technology in them alone, for example, is nearly 1,000 times more powerful than what took the Apollo mission to the moon.”

“Dealerships need trained, qualified technicians because they know that satisfaction with vehicle service and repair work is closely tied to how customers view their vehicles and the dealership.”

The Challenge benefits automotive technician training like this: If driver Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 car wins two out of 12 selected NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races beginning May 28 with the Coca-Cola 600, GM Goodwrench will set up a $200,000 scholarship fund to encourage Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) high school students to continue their automotive technical education by attending GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) colleges. AYES is a nonprofit business and education partnership that creates automotive technology career opportunities for promising young men and women at automotive dealerships. It was founded in 1995 by former GM Chairman Jack Smith as a way to address the growing need for technicians.

Spreading The Word

“There are thousands of NASCAR fans-and others-who are ideal candidates for a career as an automotive technician,” said Larry Cummings, CEO of AYES. “The Expertise Challenge is a fun and engaging way to help spread the word about these great career opportunities.”

Students enrolled in GM ASEP two-year programs earn while they learn, rotating their time between classes and interning at GM dealerships and other GM service centers. There are 66 GM ASEP participating schools in 38 U.S. states, 15 in Canada and one in the People’s Republic of China. Successful students graduate with an associate’s degree, and either are ready for or have passed their National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification test. More than 2,000 students are currently enrolled in the program, and there are more than 14,000 graduates.

If Harvick and the team meet the Expertise Challenge by winning two of the 12 select races, GM Goodwrench will award 29 Grand Prizes, which consist of an all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate and a trunk full of Reese’s products.

Program Rules Available

If only one race is won during the promotion, two lucky winners will be awarded an all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate, and a trunk full of Reese’s products. They will also donate $25,000 to the GM Goodwrench Scholarship Fund. If no races are won during the promotion, the promotion will still give away an all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche, a $1,000 GM vehicle maintenance certificate, and a trunk full of Reese’s products to one lucky winner, and provide a $25,000 donation to the GM Goodwrench Scholarship fund.

Shade Tree Automotive Diagnostics And Care – Part Ii – Hear No Evil

Shade Tree Automotive Diagnostics And Care – Part Ii – Hear No Evil

Learning a little more about how to better care for your vehicles is a good idea for any number of reasons. It allows you to know if an unscrupulous mechanic is attempting to gouge you on your repairs – and that will save you money. It can prevent you from making unnecessary repairs – and that will save you money. It can help you locate a problem and fix it early, thus saving more money – sometimes a whole lot of money. It allows you to be more independent in an era where people are entirely too dependent on others to survive.

We need to get started now, so that we have time to cover everything…

Some people are incredibly sensitive to the sounds their vehicles make. This is especially true of motorcyclists, those who refurbish vintage automobiles, and experienced mechanics. It’s a very worthwhile skill to develop. There are mechanics who can listen to a running car engine and tell if the timing is slightly off, or the injectors are not operating properly. While this is a very neat thing to be able to do, you do not have to elevate your listening skills to that lofty place in order to get benefits from listening to your vehicle.

Listen To the Engine
(This is best done in relatively quiet surroundings until you get really good at it.) Open up the hood of your vehicle’s engine compartment. If necessary on your model, be sure to use the metal rod to lock the hood in the upright/open position. Now, start your engine. Allow the engine to run for 30-60 seconds before you start listening too hard. Also, there are many moving parts inside of engine compartments, don’t wear loose clothing, and mind all your fingers and hair! Safety first.

A brief word about engine sounds…
All engines make sounds. Some sound like jets, and other have constant clicking noises, or humming, or clattering. Which sounds are consistently made, and are okay, are unique to your specific vehicle’s engine. The point being, don’t be alarmed the first time you really take a good listen to your engine. You’ll quickly learn the sounds that are okay, and the ones that are not.

You’re going to listen to your engine from three different positions: 1) Directly in front of the car. 2) On the left (driver’s side) side of the engine compartment. 3) On the right (passenger’s side) side of the engine compartment. I like to start I like to start on the left – right in front of the driver’s door.

Lean over the engine compartment (again – be careful with clothing, hair, and appendages) and listen carefully. Try closing your eyes to heighten your hearing. Listen for things that don’t sound ‘right.’ Such things might include: clattering, metal rubbing metal, clanging, and squeaks. If you hear such a thing, open your eyes and try to focus in on it – moving the position of your head and ears as your track the sound to its source. Repeat this process at all three positions previously described.

This method of checking your engine can reveal loose caps, loose fan belts, loose fans, missing bolts, nuts, and many other things. Correct what you are able to, and have anything else dealt with by a service technician. Don’t put your hands into your engine compartment to tighten something or check something while it is running. If you notice that the stays on the overflow tube are loose and rattling, turn off the engine before tightening.

Driving your car for a short distance over a good road with the radio and air conditioning off and the windows down is a good way to hear some other sounds. Clattering might mean you have a lug nut that came off, and it’s stuck inside the hubcap. A metal-rubbing-metal sound may be a stuck brake.

The last listening project/technique is the best – or at least so people tell me. This one requires a willing and able assistant. The two of you climb into the vehicle together – you drive, the assistant rides shotgun. The assistant will require four things: some WD-40, a notepad, a small can of 3-in-1 oil, and a good rag. Head for a road that isn’t so smooth, and simply drive along. The assistant listens for those irritating squeaks, squeals, and rattles.

The assistant should move around inside the vehicle, focusing on the sounds to locate their sources. One of the two lubricants will fix almost any squeaking – and the rag ensures a nice, tidy application of the chosen lubricant. Some things, such as loose or missing screws or bolts, should be recorded on the notepad for maintenance or repair later, when you get back home to the tools. You won’t believe how quiet your cockpit becomes after you perform this process once or twice.

Okay, you’ve completed another step in becoming a full-fledged automotive diagnostician – or something like that, anyway. You’ve definitely gotten your vehicle in much better condition, and you should have learned a thing or two. Check out Part I – See No Evil, and Part III – Smell No Evil.

Timing Belt Automotive Repair Tips

Timing Belt Automotive Repair Tips

One of the most overlooked parts of a vehicle, and one of the most common automotive repairs is the timing belt. Your car’s timing belt may look like an accessory, but the fact is that if it fails, your car will suddenly stop, and, if you’re lucky, you will find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

Timing belts are typically made of nylon reinforced rubber, with square teeth located on the inside surface. While you drive, the belt transfers the rotation of the crankshaft the camshaft, which in turn activates the valves that provide air and fuel to the cylinders and expel combustion gases to the exhaust system.

Inside your car, the valves and pistons move up and down rapidly, and most engines are not built to allow clearance between a valve that is down and a piston that is up and this is where the timing belt comes in, since it is what keeps the valves and pistons for colliding.

If your timing belt fails, and a collision occurs, the damage to the cylinder head, cylinder walls, valves, and pistons can be extensive, and expensive, as well.

During an automotive repair, the timing belt is often overlooked, since they are typically protected by a cover, and a quick visual inspection isn’t a possibility. Over the past several years, cars have been built to rely on a timing chain as opposed to a belt.

While these are typically longer lasting, they operate on essentially the same principal, and require replacement and maintenance, which varies by car. Typically, you can expect to have to replace your timing belt or chain every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Replacing a timing belt or chain requires the removal of the engine drive belt, the component responsible for operating the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air conditioner.

When you visit your mechanic, be sure to ask them about how often the timing belt or chain on your car should be replaced. Your vehicle’s owners manual will also be able to provide guidelines as to timing belt replacement and maintenance.

Remember, the care you take of your car today ensures its continued health, and your safety while on the road. Automotive repair problems, if caught early, are less expensive and require less time to repair than those that are overlooked in the initial stages. Doing a good job with preliminary care and maintenance can really help your automobile to go along way.

What’s The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Automotive Insurance?

What’s The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Automotive Insurance?

Liability insurance, which covers the cost to repair damages caused by you, is usually your state’s minimum automotive insurance requirement; however, if you are still making payments on your vehicle, your financer may require you to purchase additional automotive insurance coverage until you own the vehicle.

There are many different kinds of additional automotive insurance, and collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance are probably the most popular kinds of additional automotive insurance. But what is the difference between collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance? Don’t they both cover everything?

No. Collision automotive insurance and comprehensive automotive insurance are actually quite different.

Collision automotive insurance is automotive insurance that will cover the cost to repair damages to your vehicle that result in an accident caused by you. If repairs to your vehicle cost more than the value of your vehicle, the automotive insurance company may deem your vehicle a total loss, in which case you will be compensated for the current and actual cash value of the vehicle.

Collision automotive insurance is usually the most expensive of the additional automotive insurance options, which is understandable since the automotive insurance company is paying for damages caused by their own policy holder.

On the other hand, comprehensive automotive insurance is insurance that will cover the cost to repair damages to your vehicle that result in an accident for which you are not at fault. These damages may be caused by incidents involving natural disasters, theft and vandalism, fire, and animals (think of deer running out in the road during your innocent drive home). Comprehensive automotive insurance will compensate you for the total cost of your vehicle before the accident.

Although many people opt to purchase only liability insurance since it’s usually the only insurance required, consider paying extra for these additional automotive insurances. You never know when you, or an animal, will be the one to cause damage to your vehicle.

Easy Advice For Repairing Your Car

Easy Advice For Repairing Your Car
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Are you currently having some car problems? The article shared here can help. The majority of people are not naturally gifted in auto repair, so they need advice on this topic. Keep reading to get some useful tips on the topic of auto repair.

Find an ASE certified mechanic if you need some repairs. That means the technician has more than two years of experience and passed a test. This lets you know you have the best of the best repairing your automobile.

A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. One good place to keep them is in a folder in the trunk right above your spare tire. The records will be vital to your mechanic. This will help to diagnose any problems.

Get OEM components. These are original components from the manufacturer. Generic parts may cost less, but you cannot really tell if they are the best quality. You may save in the short term, but additional failures could end up costing you big time.

Check to see that your technician knows what he is doing. When they don’t listen to what you say or talk to you in circles, they’re probably a scammer. Having a mechanic you can trust is extremely important; don’t waste your time with one who can’t make you confident in his skills.

Always get a second opinion, a reputable mechanic will not be offended because he knows his diagnosis will be confirmed. Although shops are generally trustworthy, you may end up paying for extra repairs you don’t need. If possible, find a mechanic who is specialized in the make and model you have or in the kind of problems you are encountering. Your car is more likely to be repaired properly at these shops.

Remove unnecessary key chains. Your car’s ignition is simply not designed to hold all that weight, even if it may not seem that heavy to you. If your keys starts sticking, you need the tumblers replaced.

Find out about all costs before hiring a mechanic. Read all of the small print on any contract you sign, and ask for answers to any questions you may have. You must know what you’re being billed. Auto repair shops may use the estimated repair time established by certain manufacturers. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.

It’s wise to get car issues checked out, even when you think they’re minor. The problem might get worse if you do not get it fixed quickly, or your diagnosis might not be correct.

Believe it or not, there are a few shady auto repair businesses that will take your newer tires and switch them with older tires. This lets them profit from your loss. Before you go in, place some chalk on your tires to mark them up. If you do not see the chalk when you return, you have been victimized.

Often people will take a vehicle in for service, only to find out when they pick it up that there are more problems. They do this to make you think you’re getting a deal. Let them know you need time to think about it, and then start looking for other options.

Hopefully, you have learned all that you can so that when you have trouble with your vehicle you can get it fixed. While you may not be an expert on auto repairs, you should know how to deal with small repairs. You should also have a better grasp of what to look for when you need a professional mechanic to handle bigger repair jobs for you.