In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.
But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?
Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]
- Thermostatic expansion valve
We all hope our vehicles will last a long time, right? And we all hope to avoid having to pay costly repairs to keep our cars running longer, too. By following some simple, common-sense tips to maintain your car, you can lengthen its life without digging too deeply into your wallet.
Perform regular upkeep and maintenance.One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to ensure your vehicle stays on the road for years to come is to vigilantly pursue its upkeep and maintenance schedule. All vehicles require periodic work, such as oil and air filter changes, radiator flushing, hose and belt replacement and tire rotation. It isn’t flashy, but just following the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual will keep your car running lo ...[more]
- Lubricate engine to reduce wear and friction
- Reduce engine temperatures
- Maintaining proper engine function
As a person on the go, you want to minimize miscommunications that may slow you down and throw off your schedule. So when you take your car in for repairs, you want to make sure everything is clear between you and your technician. Your auto repair shop is likely a busy place on a tight schedule, too, and the folks there are just as interested in getting things right the first time.
Making sure you get pertinent questions answered up front is a great way to avoid misunderstandings later. To be certain you and your mechanic are on the same page, here are some important questions to answer from the get-go.
1. Ask if they are familiar with the make and model of your vehicle.Most repair shops are experienced with all ...[more]
Last week, we enjoyed some cool spring weather. But now, Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer – has come and gone, which means hot weather is just around the corner. And on that first real scorcher of a summer day, the last thing you want to find out is that your car’s air conditioner has stopped working after a long winter’s layoff.
And even if your AC works the first time you need it this summer, that’s no guarantee it will be operating at its peak by summer’s end. Air conditioning systems lose between 5 to 15 percent of their efficiency each year because of leaks in the lines, hoses, O-rings, and the compressor shaft’s seal, all of which dry out over time. (Helpful hint: Periodi ...[more]
A suspension system keeps your vehicle from rocking, swaying or bouncing while allowing the steering system to guide the wheels independently of the vehicle’s frame. The suspension system also makes driving a pleasant and comfortable experience, instead of a scary and painful undertaking, by helping ensure that your car doesn’t bounce off the road when it hits a bump.
When your tires run over a bump, much of your car’s forward energy is directed vertically, pushing it upward. But the suspension system absorbs and redirects that upward thrust, keeping the tires on the ground and responsive to your steering.
However, absorbing that energy takes a toll on the springs, struts, shock absorbers and joints that make u ...[more]
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