Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Are the Different Types of Air Filters For Cars?

K&N air Filter

Air filters are an important part of a car’s engine and directly affect its performance on the road. The purified air enters the engine together with the fuel. Air filters should be kept clean and you should replace them after certain mileage. They are mostly made from woven fabric and fiber so it is easy to remove the dirt and other particles from them. It is important to remove these particles from the air filter as they can be very harmful to the engine of your car.

Mainly there are 3 types of air filters available for cars and here is a brief description of them.

Paper Filters: These types of air filters are the most in use because of their affordability. They are suitable for the smaller cars and in areas where dust and pollution is at minimum. Small dust particles present in the air get stuck in them during the filtration process and clean air is passed through to the engine. They are not reusable and have to be replaced after certain mileage.

Cleanable Filters: These are a bit expensive compared to the paper filters but their efficiency counterbalances their cost. These are cleanable and will reduce the replacement costs to a great extent. The big particles that get under the hood of the car are seized while the oil drenched filter catches the smaller particles. If you use these types of filters in your car then make sure you clean them frequently and keep them oiled to increase the efficiency and performance of the car.

The Oil Bath Filters: They are the least efficient among all the types of air filters. Oil bath is used to capture and seize the big particles in the air that can cause damage to the engine if they reach it. If you install air intake in your car then the dust particles that get through the air intake filter will be eliminated by this oil filter.

Stock cars have a complex system of pipes attached to the air filters and the bends in those pipes reduce the flow of the air. Manufacturers do this to reduce the ambient sound but it greatly reduces the fuel efficiency of the engine and puts unnecessary load on your pocket. Aftermarket air filters have eliminated this problem and now you can choose an air filter for your car that suits your requirements and budget.

An air car filter will prolong the life of the engine as harmful particles will be eliminated from the air. This is different than the air intake systems which separate the dust and other particles but cause the wear and tear of the engine. Some air filters have their mileage marked on them so you should replace them before time and should clean them every now and then. A horse with healthy lungs always does well in the race and it is true for your car too as you will not want it to cough on the road.

How Brakes Work

how brakes work

Inertia or momentum, as described by Newton’s Law of Motion, is the tendency of an object to remain in its current state and resist change. It is measured by an object’s mass when stationary, its mass and velocity when in motion. How do these laws of physics relate to the average commuter? It’s simple. Engineers use algebraic formulas relating to the Law of Motion to design braking systems that will arrest the forward momentum of a 4, 000 pound vehicle traveling at 88 feet per second. Therefore, you have a reasonable expectation that your car will stop when you step on the brake pedal.

Keep in mind, however, that brakes are a wearable item, meaning that certain components of the braking system will wear out before the rest of the car. These components are:

• Brake Rotors - Brake rotors are flat steel discs mounted vertically to the vehicle’s axel. They are approximately nine to ten inches in diameter and one inch thick on most domestic, passenger vehicles. Many rotors are designed with vanes sandwiched between two friction surfaces. This is to dissipate excess heat when the brakes are actuated. Each manufacturer publishes the minimum rotor thickness designed for a particular vehicle. When rotors wear to this minimum, they need to be replaced. Ask your service professional to measure the rotor thickness each time your brakes are inspected.

• Brake Pads - Brake pads consist of friction material on a steel backing plate. The pads are mounted to the stationary brake caliper. When the brakes are actuated, the stationary pads clamp both side of the spinning rotor. This causes friction which in turn produces thermal energy, or heat. The frictions of the pads on the spinning rotors cause the rotors to slow which in turn slow the vehicle’s wheels. This friction and heat cause microscopic particles to be lost on both pads and rotors each time the brakes are actuated. Pads should be replaced when 75% to 80% of the friction material is worn away.

• Brake Fluid - Brake fluid is a misnomer for hydraulic oil especially formulated to be used in certain types of hydraulic brake systems. Hydraulic brake components consist mostly of steel. Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means that all water molecules have been removed in order to prevent internal corrosion of the brake parts. However, this causes brake fluid to attract moisture. Over time the brake fluid will become saturated with water. This is the primary reason to periodically replace the brake fluid. Check the owner’s manual for the replacement schedule or have your service professional check for moisture or rust scale in the fluid.

Your ability to commute safely day in and day out is literally riding on the condition of your car’s brakes. All highway systems and accompanying traffic laws are designed on the premise that vehicles can stop at certain points. Without this ability our roadways would be dangerously chaotic. Have your car’s brakes checked often. A good rule-of-thumb is to perform a visual brake inspection each time the tires are rotated, or every 5,000 miles.

The Best Car Battery To Buy

Every car comes with one, but some motorists act as if this particular component is completely maintenance free. What am I talking about? Your car's battery. Technological advances have made "maintenance free" batteries standard equipment on virtually every vehicle produced today. However, the term "maintenance free" is a misnomer, one that can leave you stranded if you do not perform proper and regular maintenance. Battery maintenance isn't difficult to do, so let's take a look at what you can do to keep your car running.

Before discussing battery maintenance, please make sure that your battery is, in fact, the sealed type. If it isn't, then the "maintenance free" label certainly does not apply and you will need to add water on a regular basis. Unsealed batteries are easy to spot as they have small vent caps on top of the battery which can be twisted open. You will need to periodically add distilled water to maintain water levels; more so in the summer months as water tends to evaporate quicker. Do not let your battery run low or run out of water as the battery's cells can be ruined.

If your battery is of the sealed variety, then the "maintenance free" label is still only partially true since the term only extends to you not needing to add water to the cells as you would with an unsealed battery.

With any type of car battery - sealed or unsealed - you must do the following to help keep it working properly:

1. Clean the cables. Disconnect the cables from the battery and clean them with a wire brush that has been doused in a home made mixture [the mixture combines one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water]. Use this same mixture to clean off the top of the battery; use a small and clean paint brush to apply the solution where needed.

2. Lubricate the posts. A small dab of petroleum jelly on each post will help keep your cables clean and free of corrosion longer. In addition, the jelly will make it easier for you to slip the cables back onto the battery.

3. Check connections. Besides the connection between the cable and the posts, make sure that the battery hold down bar is securely in place. Not all cars have or need a battery hold down bar, but if yours has come so equipped, you will need to put it back in its proper place.

That's it! Car battery maintenance is an easy task and one that should be performed on an annual basis. If you keep your battery properly maintained, you will extend its life and greatly reduce the chance that your battery will fail you at an inopportune time. Yes, the "maintenance free" label is incorrect, so please don't be lulled into forgetting to do something that should never be overlooked.

Ever been in a situation where you are in the middle of nowhere, you are tired and hungry and when you are about to leave your car would not start? This is indeed a typical scenario. A dead or weak battery often is the reason for such unfortunate situation. If it happened to you once or twice, the situation is crying out to you. Possibly, you will need to buy a new battery car charger so you will not end up in such difficult position again.

But how do you choose the best battery charger for your car?

Certainly, there are so many brands and models of car battery charger available in the market today. If you are a novice in automobiles, parts and accessories, finding the right car battery will be very challenging. To help you decide and to narrow down your choices, following are tips on how to choose the best charger for your car:

Know Which Type Suits Your Car's Requirements
If you opt to buy rechargeable batteries, take note that you will also need to buy a decent charger to use. They come in three types. First is the AC charger. This type is the most convenient since you can easily plug this charger in any AC wall socket. The second type is the solar charger. This type does not require any plugging. It can function and operate with the use of the sun's powerful rays. The third type is the 12 volt charger which is very expedient and can be plugged even in a home's renewable energy system or even via your car's cigarette lighter.

Furthermore, it is important to identify which battery supports your car battery voltage. If you are driving a gas powered automobile, you are most probably running on a 12 voltage power. Conversely, if your car is a diesel powered vehicle, your car is most likely to using a 24 voltage power. So make sure that you know which type support your car's battery voltage before purchasing a car battery charger.

Understand The Different Car Battery Charger Features
Compare the different features of car battery charger brands to help narrow down your choices. Look for the adjust charge rate of the charger to prevent battery damage and or its compatibility with automotive or light marine battery

Maximize The Use Consumer Reports And Product Buying Guide Online
If you are clueless on which brand of car battery charger to buy you can read different consumer reports and product buying guide online. You will find information not just the price comparison but also the different car battery charger features. Moreover, you will see satisfactory reviews and commentaries from past consumers.

Check Sales During Fall Or Spring
If you are not in a hurry to buy a car charger battery, you may want to wait for fall or spring sales. The price of car battery chargers drops during fall and spring. You can also read through catalogs or paper ads from different auto parts and Sears.

Decide Whether To Buy Online Or Through Local Auto Parts
Online stores are very popular these days. It gives customers the convenience to choose and compare prices with other brands and online stores. It is important to make sure that when you are buying products online, you only transact with reputable online business stores. Be wary when leaving your account or personal information. In addition, most local auto parts also have their own websites to service the online consumers. Check if traveling to the store will save you more money than paying for the shipping fee.

Jump start your car and choose only the best car battery charger. The things mentioned above will surely help you make the wise choice. Good luck
Should you be looking for the best car battery to purchase you must know some of its characteristics, such as the cold cranking amps (CCA), the reserve capacity along with the group size. Let's start with the CCA.

CCA can be used in order to measure the ability of the battery to start the vehicle when it is cold outside. You need to purchase one that has a CCA rating which mustn't exceed the vehicle's original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cranking rate. If you don't be aware of rating for the car, you will have to check the owner's manual. If you happen to reside in an area which has a cold climate, it is recommended to buy an automobile battery that has a high CCA rating because of the reason that a chilled and sluggish engine will require a lot more capacity to start up.

Moving on to the reserve capacity, you need to know that it's the amount of minutes by which your automobile will run using only the battery if the alternator fails. Putting things inside a technical perspective, a completely charged battery will run at 25 amps and when the voltage falls below the minimum 10.5 amps necessary for order to run the car, you must change it with a brand new one. Obviously, you should buy an automobile battery that accompany the longest reserve capacity you'll find because of the reason why you might need that capacity in the unfortunate case in which your automobile will not start.

The group size concerns the outside dimensions of the batteries along with the keeping the ability terminals. Should you don't be aware of proper size for the vehicle, ask your mechanic or check the owner's manual.

Let's talk a little bit about the types of batteries. Basically you have two options: low maintenance (non-sealed) or maintenance-free. The first is recommended should you run your car in hotter climates. Taking into consideration the battery is not sealed, you will be able to add water whenever necessary. The 2nd kind of battery has a longer operational life and it is also takes less time to recharge. Their bad thing is that they're vulnerable to various failures due to the shedding of the active plate material that with time will weaken.

To get the best car battery to buy, acquire one that's "fresh". Quite simply, avoid purchasing a battery that's been about the shop's shelves in excess of Six months. Don't forget to check when the battery is made having a look at the case or the attached label. The manufacturing date includes a 2-digit code with one number and one letter ("A" means January; "B" for February and so forth); as the digit will represent the year ("11" is recognized as 2011). We recommend that you shouldn't purchase a battery from a gas station as most likely they'll be quite old.

As far as the warranty can be involved, it is determined by a set of 2 numbers which you will find for auction on it. Your priority will be to be aware of free replacement period. In other words, the interval of your time in which you'll obtain a free replacement should the battery you purchased does not work anymore. Another number you will discover on the label tells the total duration of the warranty.

We recommend that you buy a battery from one of these manufacturers: Napa, Exide,Optima, Diehard, Everstart and others as well. Talk to your mechanic because he knows what type and brand of battery you need to get for the vehicle.

Your best bet when choosing car battery replacement choices is to first go to your local garage to find out what kind of battery type you need for your car. This will prevent any compatibility issues when cross mixing brands such as BMW and Mercedes.

Amazon and eBay buying tactics

The best thing on Amazon is the fact that the free shipping deal is on most of their range. This is not only convenient but also allows you to get the peace of mind that you are not pay extra than what you would at your local shopping mall. Also the speed of delivery makes it a very reliable and trustworthy place to do some shopping. Overall the best deals can be found on the first 10 results when a particular phrase is typed in. How their algorithm works to give you these results is not something that I care to place comment on but I will say that it saves a lot of time.

eBay is a completely different beast when looking for car battery replacement options. The automotive industry has its own sections and batteries are sold there by very reputable sellers. These can be found by checking out the number of sales transaction that they have done in the past and what they're average feedback rating is. Look at the description of the sales page to determine the battery size and life expectancy as these indicate the amount of time that passes before you need another replacement battery for your automobile.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Choose the Right Tire

There are a lot of things on your car that need to be regularly checked and replaced, but none may be more important than your tires. As your anchor to the road, your tires need to be in top condition for what ever driving situation you find yourself in. Before you walk into a Marengo tire store, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

When purchasing tires, it is important to make sure that all the tires on your car are the same or at least very close to the same. This is most easily done when buying all four tires at once. But lets say you need to change just one or two tires because they were damaged. You just have to makes sure that you try and buy the same brand, size, type, and speed rating. Even if this tire is a little more expensive than others, your safety is worth it.

The next thing you need to know when buying tires is what kind of conditions you will be driving your car in. Foxlake, IL tires are going to be different than San Diego, CA tires. In Illinois, there is a lot of snow in the winter and lots of rain throughout the spring and summer. Because of this, someone's Foxlake, IL tires are going to need to be the best tire for the worst driving conditions you will face. This might mean buying two sets of tires, one for the summer and one for the winter. This way, you will always have the right tire for your situation.

For places with milder climates, you may be able to get away with just one, all-season tire. But you have to consider your normal driving habits as well. If your furthest driving distance is to the local shopping center, you can choose just about any tire. If you spend a lot of time in rush hour traffic, you'll be better off getting more responsive tires. For regular long highway trips, you'll need some smooth, quiet, long lasting tires. And it comes to no surprise that you'll want tires with great handling if you frequently find yourself on a winding mountain road.

One of the last things you need to think about is your tire's speed rating. This is an important number to pay attention to because it can save you money if you know what to look for. Lets say you're at your local Marengo tire store and you think you've picked out the prefect tire. What's the speed rating on that tire? If it is any higher than 150MPH then you're paying too much for a tire that you'll never fully use. When are you ever going to be driving faster than 150MPH? If you knock down your tire's speed rating to 130MPH, you'll also knock down it's price. Most high performance tires come with a higher speed rating, even though you'll never use it, so just know what you're actually paying for. And be cautious. Most tires with a high speed rating have softer rubber and don't last as long.

Common tire speed ratings: Q= 99 mph S= 112 mph T= 118 mph U= 124 mph H= 130 mph V= up to 149 mph Z= 149 mph and above W= 168 mph Y= 186 mph

Synthetic Vs Regular Oil: A Closer Look

Why use Synthetic?
You’ve heard it before. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. The purpose of motor oil is to lubricate and protect your engine from heat and friction; the two major enemies of your engine. Without oil your engine would overheat and cease working. Your engine might even crack. Motor oil may be the single most important fluid you will put in your engine.
What is petroleum oil?
Crude oil, better known as petroleum oil is pumped from the earth, refined, and sold as a lubricant. In spite of the refining process which is imperfect, components which are not beneficial for your engine will be introduced to it using petroleum motor oil. Petroleum motor oil’s contains a different-sized molecular structure which contains properties both beneficial and non-beneficial. Petroleum motor oil has been the predominant automobile lubrication product for generations. If changed regularly, petroleum motor will provide a measure of protection for your engine, but not necessarily the best measure of protection.
What is synthetic oil?
Synthetic motor oil is a laboratory manufactured, custom-designed product that contains a uniform-sized molecular structure and is pure from any of the non-beneficial properties found in conventional petroleum motor oils. Before being introduced to automobiles, synthetic oils were first used in fighter jets. First introduced in the mainstream market in 1972 by AMSOIL Inc., synthetics have grown in popularity because of the superiority in protecting today’s high performance engines. Following AMSOIL’s lead, Mobil introduced Mobil 1 and is probably the most recognized synthetic motor oil on the market.
Synthetic vs. Petroleum. Which is better?
Every year motor oil companies spend millions promoting their product; the majority of them petroleum motor oils. Although petroleum motor oil will provide adequate protection, there are some reasons why synthetic motor oil may be the better choice when it comes to protection your engine. But why settle for adequate protection? Synthetic motor oils have clear advantages. Let’s take a look at some of these advantages.
Longer oil change intervals
Unlike petroleum motor oil which must be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, synthetic motor oil can go 10,000 to 15,000 miles between oil changes. Longer oil change intervals means fewer trips the lube shop or time spent underneath your car.
Better for the environment
Because synthetic motor oil last about 3 times longer than petroleum motor oil change intervals are significantly longer. Fewer oil changes reduce the waste-disposal problem that comes with changing your oil which leads to a healthier, greener planet for all of us.
Higher resistance to breakdown
Petroleum motor oils are prone to boil or vapor within the normal operating temperature of the engine. This is commonly referred to as breakdown. Once the oil begins to breakdown it usually results in oxidization creating hardened oil deposits in your engines components and sludge. Synthetics by contrast, are able to withstand greater heat temperatures resulting in greater protection against breakdown.
More cost effective
A typical oil change using petroleum motor oil may cost anywhere from $25 to $30 at your local oil change shop. Using synthetic motor oil will cost you approximately $45 per oil change. While synthetic motor oil may cost you more per quart, it will save you money in the long run because of longer oil change intervals.
Provides superior heat protection
Heat is a major enemy of any engine. Heat produces friction and friction produces wear and wear reduces the life of your engine. The uniformly smooth structure of synthetic motor oil, free of the components found in conventional petroleum motor oil provides superior protection against heat, friction, and wear on your engine. Simply put, synthetic motor outperforms conventional motor oil when it comes to protecting your engine against heat.
Provides superior start-up protection
Petroleum motor oils contain waxes and parrafins which can thicken when exposed to cold temperatures. Once the petroleum oil is cold, it makes it difficult for the oil to get from the oil pan to the moving parts of your engine during cold-weather start-ups. Meanwhile, until the oil heats up and is fluid enough to circulate through your engine, damage is occurring to your engine which over time can reduce the life of your engine. Synthetic motor oil on the other hand, does not contain these waxes and has fluidity properties which allow it to get into your moving parts almost immediately providing greater protection for your engine.
Most conventional petroleum motor oils will provide adequate protection for your automobile’s engine, but wouldn’t you like you car, the second most expensive investment you’ll make to have the absolute best protection available? Hopefully, this article has demonstrated why synthetic motor oils are the clear choice for your car.