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Categories: How-To Articles

The Cheapo Power Wash!

On: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 5:07PM | By: Peter C Sessler


The Cheapo Power Wash! test 2

There are several ways to get a quick wash. You can go to the traditional car wash, pay the ever increasing price or do it yourself at one of the do-it-yourself washes. Of course, there’s always your driveway, too, but for a quick and effective wash, the do-it-yourself places are pretty good because of the power nozzle feature and you can certainly do a better job yourself than one of the automated car washes. You can do a decent job in fifteen minutes and, if you’re efficient, spend less than five dollars in the process. You can spend more too, depending on how thorough you want to be.

You’ll do a better job if you bring along a few things when visiting your local coin-operated wash facility. First, make sure you bring a few one-dollar bills, a few quarters, some wheel cleaner spray, a squeegee, and a towel or two. If you can, also bring along an assistant.


Changing A Fuel Pump

On: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 2:02PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Changing A Fuel Pump test 2

Before fuel injection came into vogue, mechanical fuel pumps mounted on the engine were used. Changing such pumps was just a matter of removing a couple of bolts and the fuel line. Now, practically all cars and trucks come with an electric fuel pump, which is typically located inside the gas tank.

They aren’t located in the gas tank just to make them difficult to replace, but because in-tank pumps are quieter, are protected from the elements, and fully pressurize the fuel along the entire system. Because fuel injection requires much higher fuel pressures (35-50 psi), vapor lock—a problem with old style mechanical fuel pumps—is a thing of the past.


Exterior Detailing

On: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 2:23PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Exterior Detailing test 2

There’s nothing like putting the shine back in your car’s paint. Not only does the car look better, but you feel better about it and it probably runs better, too. It can be a time-consuming process, but when it’s done correctly, your car will look great and the wax or polish that you use will protect the paint as well.

Most cars today have a two-step paint finish—the base color coat and a protective clearcoat paint. The clearcoat gives the paint depth and a higher gloss, but is a very thin layer. When the clearcoat gets damaged, the color coat underneath doesn’t shine through very clearly. But just like any other paint, clear is just as susceptible to oxidation, staining and, of course, scratches. Acid rain is particularly bad for paint.


Start With Starter Problems

On: Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Start With Starter Problems test 2

No matter what plans you have when you get in your car, you can put them aside if all you hear is a series of clicks or even nothing at all when you try to start her up. You may be lucky enough to hear the starter engage and turn the engine over a couple of times, but to no avail when the process ends in a long, dying whine. Such circumstances all point to starter problems.

First, let’s get an understanding of how starters work. A starter is basically a large, electric motor that turns the engine over enough times and fast enough so the natural forces of combustion take over. Because you can’t have the starter running all the time, there is a switching system built into the system to engage the starter motor only when it’s needed. This switching is done by the starter solenoid.


 

Engine And Other Noises

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 5:17PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Engine And Other Noises test 2

There's nothing more disconcerting than hearing a new noise from your car, especially if it comes from the engine. More often than not, it means it's going to cost you. Still, there are some occasions when letting the noise continue won't hurt anything, provided you can put up with the annoyance of it.


Lease Trading **Uncensored**

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 3:46PM | By: Chris Salamone


Lease Trading test 2

There are a few popular websites that push lease trading, but LeaseTrader.com is perhaps the most recognizable and easiest to work with. In as few as four days to six weeks, the seller’s leasing company can process the transaction and put you in a previously leased vehicle at significant savings. But the process is unclear, obscured from the suspicious lens of the prudent buyer. Hopefully, we can clear up some of the muddy water with a lease trading rundown. 

For starters, people who assume leases don’t have to pay any down payment on their new car. And the reason is simple: the former owner already paid!


Jump Starting Your Car

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 10:56AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Jump Starting Your Car test 2

This seems like a no-brainer topic to cover—jump starting your car—but there is more to jump starting than meets the eye. And this topic is especially relevant in cold weather, since winter is the most common time to give or to get a jump start simply because the cold reduces the battery's efficiency.

It's a good idea to carry a set of jumper cables in the trunk; you never know when you'll need a jump and conversely, you never know when you'll be able to help someone out.


Curing A Bad Idle

On: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 10:18AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Curing A Bad Idle test 2

Let’s start by saying that there’s little one can do to fix an engine with a bad idle these days because of all the electronics that govern idle speed. The way an engine management system works is really quite simple, very much like your home computer.

On a car, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) uses sensors to receive information, such as engine speed, temperature, throttle position, airflow, exhaust gas content, and so forth. From the information gathered, the CPU then instructs other electronics, called actuators, such as fuel injectors, the ignition module, EGR valve, idle speed motor, and others to perform accordingly. So, in my home computer, when I press the letter "p" on the keyboard (the sensor), the CPU thinks about it a bit and then tells the monitor to display (actuator) the letter “p”.

In the same way, if I step on the gas pedal (a really big "sensor"), the computer gathers all the information from the various other sensors, and then tells the fuel injectors to squirt more gas into the engine and thus the engine accelerates.


How To Change A Flat Tire

On: Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 9:21AM | By: Peter C Sessler


How To Change A Flat Tire test 2

Today, we’ll take a look at another car-owning basic. It seems pretty simple to do, yet it can be very dangerous. It’s easy to get overconfident here, because it doesn’t seem to take a lot of mechanical ability.

There are two ways you can get a flat. The first is when you’re driving along. Suddenly, you’ll hear a progressively louder thump-thump sound and, quite likely, the car will begin to shake. Most people instinctively slow down and pull over to the side of the road. More dangerous is when you have a blow-out; that’s when the tire loses air pressure all at once. Depending on how fast you’re going, it’s very possible to lose control.


Engine Flushing - Does It Work?

On: Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 8:48AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Engine Flushing - Does It Work? test 2

This subject has been getting more and more attention these days—it is internal engine cleaning, better known as flushing. This is being promoted by the quick oil-change people, among others, with the advice that if you clean out the engine of accumulated sludge, deposits, and other yucky stuff, it will run better and hopefully longer. Is this effective or not?

As usual, when it comes to things automotive, the answer is both yes and no.


A Pulsing Problem

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 10:48AM | By: Peter C Sessler


A Pulsing Problem test 2

There are many reasons for vehicle brakes to pulsate, or move up and down (you can feel the pedal actually moving). This is often most noticeable when you have to slow down quickly from a high speed, and it can be unsettling.

As with any other repair, the first thing to do is eliminate the most obvious and easy reasons why this is happening. If your car has ABS brakes, are you sure that it isn’t that system causing the problem? If you know what the wheel speed sensors look like and see a bad connector or some other ABS-related component, it could be the source of your troubles. This is a long shot, but you never know.