Keep Your Car Running Strong

Keep Your Car Running StrongWinter weather takes its toll on the exterior, undercarriage and working parts of the engine in automobiles–even in warmer winter climates! There are several automotive service items to keep track of so your car will keep on performing well as the temperature changes. It will also prevent an unexpected visit to an automotive repair shop.

A tire check for air pressure and tread wear should be done. It may also be a good idea to consider purchasing snow tires for those trips to the mountains for fun in the snow. Most automotive service centers carry a range of all-season and snow tires to choose from. If tread wear is not acceptable, get new tires now to prevent a blowout in cold conditions.

Car batteries have a harder time turning over in colder temperatures. A strong battery with a good charge will keep you from getting stuck anywhere with a dead car battery. Terminals should be cleaned or replaced if needed. Inaddition, checking the alternator, belts, and hoses will prevent break downs as well.

Fluids should always be topped off, no matter the time of year. Antifreeze is the fluid most people think to check, but the oil, windshield washer fluid and brake fluid should all be checked. Top off the fluids according to the car’s maintenance manual. You may be able to do the work yourself, but it is always a good idea to have for expert advice on the different fluids and antifreeze mixture. Many automotive repair centers often offer winter specials on fluid fills and are happy to do the work for you.

Remember: Keep up with periodic checks of the tire pressure and fluids throughout winter and especially after long trips. Keeping up with car care in winter will keep you tooling around safely until summer.

Get to Know the Cooling System of an Automobile

  An automobile engine operates at a high temperature when it is running, and the engine should be cooled continuously, otherwise, the engine may be damaged due to overheating. This is where, the cooling system of the automobile helps in keeping the engine running at a constant temperature. Read the article to know more about the cooling system of an automobile and how it works.

Engine cooling is done by circulating coolant liquid. The coolant is a substance that absorbs excess heat in the engine’s system and releases it into the atmosphere. Issues in the cooling system may arise when the cooling system has any leaks.

Causes for cooling system leaks
• Radiator coolant leaks: Radiators can develop leaks over a period of time due to wear caused by rusting. The radiator can also be damaged due to stones on the road that might accidentally hit it. Clogged fins in radiator also causes leakage.

• Rubber and plastic hoses fall apart causing leaks: The rubber and plastic hoses connected with the radiator are exposed to heating and cooling. Over time, these hoses may crack and it may result in leaks. It is important to check these hoses regularly because they may look good from outside, but when you press them, you may find cracks.

• Hose clamps become loose and break: The hose connected to the radiator is fitted with clamps to hold the hose firmly. When the clamp weakens, it can no longer work as a sealant and therefore, the coolant leaks.

• Temperature sensor: The temperature sensor may fail due to overheating. This is because the components of thermostat (heat sensor) cannot tolerate high temperature. The failure of temperature sensor causes leaks at the heater core.

• Gasket failure: The gasket is located between the piston cylinder and the engine block. Combustion happens in the cylinder and for this high compression is required. The gasket plays an important role in creating the required pressure. It confines the combustion to the cylinder and makes sure the coolant and the engine oil don’t mix in the combustion chamber.

The gasket wears over time. This results in mixing of the coolant and engine oil, which causes failure of the cooling system.

The right coolant for an automobile
The right coolant for an automobile depends on the general weather and how you use the vehicle. Thus, when your vehicle is idle and the weather is cold, it may result in bursting of the engine block or the radiator, because water in the coolant freezes and expands.

A good coolant should not undergo changes that result in suboptimal function of the engine and should enable the engine function optimally. For example, it should freeze below the freezing point of water (32°F).

• Contains good heat transfer properties: Attributes that bring good heat transfer property include low viscosity, high thermal conductivity, low toxicity, high flashpoint and good thermal stability. These properties are important because, the fluid used is in contact with the surfaces of the components of the system and makes them wet. The compatibility of the fluid with the system is important for optimal function.

• Higher boiling point and lower freezing point than water: This is important because water is one of the constituents of the coolant, and its amount varies according to the coolant used as per climate. When the engine operates, the temperature is 190 to 220 °F and it may come down to 32 °F (in cool weather). Coolants with boiling temperature higher than 220 °F and freezing point lower than 32 °F are ideal.

• Prevents corrosion and erosion: The coolant fluid should not corrode and erode, as it may destroy the components.

The cooling system gets rid of excess heat and protects the engine against overheating. Therefore, it’s sensible to check periodically for its suboptimal function and take remedial measures to avoid overheating.

Why Have Green Cars Been Developed

A green vehicle or environmentally friendly vehicle or echo vehicle is nothing but a road motor vehicle which produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable traditional engine vehicles running on gasoline, diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Presently, in some countries the term Green Car or echo friendly car is used for any vehicle complying or surpassing the more stringent European emission standards (such as Euro6), or California’s zero emissions vehicle standards (such as ZEV, ULEV,SULEV, PZEV), or the low-carbon fuel standards enacted in several countries.
Green vehicles are not run by conventional fossil fuel; rather it is powered by alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. By alternative fuel vehicles we mean hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, compressed-air vehicles, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, neat ethanol vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, clean diesel vehicles etc. There are also some sources also include vehicles using blends of biodieseland ethanol fuel or gasohol.

Why Have Green Cars Been Developed?

Many people consider their car an essential part of everyday life. However, cars are major polluters and causedamage to our natural environment. In today’s day of Global warming and environmental pollution, green or eco friendly cars are usually much more environment friendly as they have less pollutant emissions and use sustainable fuel resources.
A traditional car works using an internal combustion engine which burns fuel to create motion. Fuel is a fossil fuel which means it is non renewable and will one day run out. The burning of fossil fuel results in the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases have been proven to contribute to the effect of global warming.

On top of this, fuel is created from crude oil. Crude oil is not only a non renewable resource which will one day run out, the production of oil is also highly dangerous for the natural environment. Oil spills, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster oil spill in 2010, destroys natural habitats and kills wildlife.

Green vehicles include different vehicles types which usually works fully or partly on alternative energy sources other than conventional fuel with less carbon intensive than petrol or diesel.

Here are the types:
•Electric and fuel cell-powered
•Hybrid electric vehicles
•Compressed air cars, stirling vehicles, and others
•Improving conventional cars

Benefits of green vehicle use
As oil is a limited resource it will eventually run out one day and become unavailable. The green car removes this worry as it is not dependent on gasoline at all and run by alternative fuel.

Carbon and sulfur emissions are greatly reduced in hybrid cars and eliminated altogether in electric cars. Reducing toxic emissions means cleaner air and a healthier environment. By using biodiesel or ethanol in place of gasoline for hybrid cars, drivers can reduce their vehicle’s toxic emissions by as much as 97 percent.

Main benefit of having a hybrid or electric car is obviously the increase in fuel costs. Owning either one will result in fewer trips to the gas pump.

•Tax Benefits:
The government offers a tax deduction for buying an eco-friendly car.

Winter Car Storage Guide

  For owners of luxury or classic and sports cars, fall season is the end of the driving season and gets people to think about winter car storage. Many people with a hobby vehicle store their special car during winter, so it will be spared from the hars cold weather. But before storage the car should be properly prepared. Here’s a helpful guide:

1. Storage Location: Pick a dry and safe facility to storge your vehicle during winter. Your garage could do the job just fine. But if you do not have a home garage, find a self-storage facility with concrete floor. The self-storage unit or building doesn’t have to be climate controlled but must not be prone to excessive moisture.

2. Check The Engine Oil: Pull the dip stick to check theengine oil. If it’s very dirty and you have reached the mileage limit, it should be changed before you store the car. Otherwise, you could wait until spring and start the season with new oil. The kilometers used is the most important factor when talking about engine oil. Modern oil, especially the synthetic type is stable for one year in the a car’s engine. Fogging the engine of your car isn’t necessary unless you’re storing your car for more than one year.

3. Wash & Clean: Before storing your vehicle, clean it thoroughly to make sure that there are no contaminants left on the exterior during the period of storage.

4. Top Up Fluids: After cleaning your vehicle, drive it to the gas station to get rid of any water from the crevices. Fill the gas tank then add fuel stabilizer. Allow it to run for several minutes in order to allow the stabilizer to flow through the engine’s fuel system. Check other fluid levels like anti-freeze. Make sure they’re topped up.

5. Tires: At the self-storage facility, inflate the tires to the maximum PSI rate, which is indicated on the tires’ sidewall. Doing so will help prevent the tires from having flat spots. It’s important to get rid of modern radial tires and it’s not advisable to put a vehicle up on blocks and just leave the suspension hanging for a long time. Leave your vehicle in neutral and make sure you disengage the hand brake. An automatic transmission vehicle could be left in park in order to prevenet any movement. The vehicle must be parked on level surface.

6. Battery: The opinions regarding batteries vary, but it’s still best to take the battery out. You can leave your batter in your home on a piece of wood connected to a battery tender/maintener, and not a trickle charger. Some newer vehicles require that the battery is connected all the time in order to preserve the memory of the computer. In such case, it is alright to connect the tender to the battery while the hood is slightly open, to run the cables in the engine bay.

7. Ventilation: Leave the window one inch lower to have a good air flow and prevent moisture from developing inside the car.