Monday, 31 December 2012

Love Your Hybrid Car and it Will Love You Back

Your hybrid car works a little differently than a conventional, fuel-powered engine car. You'll still need to pay the same amount of attention to its needs in order to ensure that it runs for a long time though. Like any other car, leaving your hybrid car unattended without any maintenance can lead to car break downs or other problems. The first thing you need to know about a hybrid car is that its parts are different from that of a regular fuel powered car. The most important of these differences is the hybrid battery. Most hybrid batteries are made to run for the entire lifetime of the vehicle - typically 150,000 miles, or more. The warranty on these hybrid batteries usually lasts around 8 years but this varies depending on the manufacturer.

When servicing your car, make sure to visit a reputable mechanic who knows how to deal with hybrid cars. They require different servicing when compared to fuel powered cars and a mechanic who does not know what he doing with a hybrid car can bring a lot of damage to the car. Maintenance costs for hybrid cars are about the same as their fuel-powered counterparts. Sometimes, you might even end up spending less because the wear and tear that a hybrid car experiences is much less than that of a gasoline powered car.

As with all vehicles, regular service and preventative maintenance is required in order to ensure that the car lasts a long time. If you ignore getting it serviced, it will in all probability break down and cause you many more troubles and more cost than it would if it was regularly serviced. Leaving the car unattended is not recommended. The car needs to be started and driven for at least an hour every 90 days. If you have to leave the car dormant, then try not to do so for more than three months. Leaving the car idle for more than 3 months might require you to get the hybrid battery charged by a professional mechanic.

When driving a hybrid car, try to maintain the car at a constant speed. The more you use the accelerator, the more fuel is consumed. Keeping the car at a constant speed will only use up the energy saved up in the hybrid batteries. In addition to this, when you are going at a high speed and need to slow down, fuel will be used up for this also. So, maintaining a constant speed while driving a hybrid will not only save on fuel but also reduce emissions into the atmosphere. It's also good to avoid braking the car suddenly because this can use up a lot of fuel too. By giving the engine time to brake, you give the electric motor some time to recover and save some energy in the process of slowing the car down. This gives the hybrid batteries more power to be used when the car starts moving again.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Finding Custom Car Accessories and Parts

When you're a car enthusiast, you know how important it is to find just the right accessory or car part that will make your car stand out from the crowd. Some people find it absolutely impossible to find just what it is their looking for. This usually doesn't deter those who are into restoring and caring for their autos.

Most people are proud of the fact that certain parts are difficult to find; they even tend to brag about costs and adventures of finding that one special part because in the end they know that all of the trouble they went through was worth it. Many people enjoy the thrill of the hunt because that is all part of the car restoration process.

There are all types of car enthusiasts interested in car accessories and parts shopping. One example are street racers. These guys like to take an ordinary auto and turn it into a muscle car that has no limits on the road. They take custom parts and add them to the body or the engine to create an unbeatable and unstoppable force to be reckoned with. They add things like specialized air filters, mufflers, chromed parts and accessories to give their car that added flash and much more. There are parts to make their car faster, stronger, safer, and better looking. They are always on the hunt for better and more efficient parts; the hunt never ends because the craving for power never ends.

Another enthusiast is the classic car owner and collector. These guys take their autos seriously and can spend years trying to make it perfect. The addition of a simple original ashtray or lighter can have these guys excited for months on end. Some will travel the countryside searching, researching, and looking for their specialty parts. Classic car collectors make it their job to know where to find custom parts and accessories.

Finding parts and accessories has never been easier thanks to the Internet. Now enthusiasts have a chance to sit down for a few minutes every day and search the thousands of sites that offer parts and accessories for their cars. It makes buying easier because they can compare prices in real time, which allows them to take full advantage of finding the best deals. There are sites that offer forums and discussion groups so enthusiasts from around the world can communicate, and even offer parts or accessories they have available for resale. Taking care of your car has never been so easy.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Ladies Car Care Clinic - Common Wear Items on Your Car and What to Watch Out For

Here is a list of the items that we see and look for every day at our shop. These things are normal wear parts, and almost every vehicle will need replacement at some point.

Steering and Suspension Components:

1. Ball Joints
2. Tie Rod Ends (Inner and Outer)
3. Shocks & Struts
4. Control Arm Bushings
5. Coil Springs
6. Sway Bar Links
7. Power Steering Lines
8. Rack and Pinion Unit

If you are told any of the above parts need replacement, ask to see the bad parts. Fact is, no matter what, you should always ask to see the old parts. And if you aren't sure the part is bad or if it's even your part, ask to take it with you. That way you have the opportunity to have it inspected. You should notice a visible looseness in the wheels when these components are worn. Looseness may also be accompanied by a 'rattle' clunk or metal on metal sound over bumps. Noise is a very good indicator that these components are worn out.

Cooling System Components:

1. Radiator
2. Water pump
3. Thermostat
4. Hoses and Belts
5. Heater Core

Except for the thermostat, most of these components will last well over 100,000 miles, given proper maintenance. If your vehicle is not providing good heat in the winter, chances are your thermostat needs changing. This is normal at around 50,000 miles. If you are not seeing a green or pink watery fluid under your car and someone tells you one of these components needs replacement, get a 2nd opinion.

Engine Components:

1. Timing Belt
2. Water Pump
3. Oil Pan
4. Valve Cover Gasket
5. Cylinder Head Gasket

With the exception of the timing belt and possibly the water pump, your engine should not need any of the above parts on a regular basis. These are only replaced on a vehicle that has a serious problem, and not part of everyday wear items. If you're told that you have a bad head gasket, ask to see the test results. There are several good tests that will prove or disprove a head gasket leak diagnosis. If you are still not convinced, get a 2nd opinion. This is one of the most common miss-diagnosed problems in our industry.

Brake System Components:

1. Brake Pads
2. Brake Rotors
3. Calipers
4. Brake Hoses
5. Brake Shoes
6. Brake Drum Hardware
7. Brake Drums
8. Master Cylinder
9. Brake Lines
10. ABS Wheel Speed Sensor
11. ABS Pump Motor
12. Wheel Bearings

Of all these components, the most common wear items are in the brake category. Brakes are exposed to the road conditions (Salt, water, grime) and extreme temperatures, hot and cold. Brakes can easily get to over 400 degrees when used to stop a fully loaded vehicle. 'Riding' the brake or 'panic' stopping are the best ways to insure brake problems and added vehicle expense.

What to watch out for:

Be on the lookout for anyone that tells you your brakes are 'shot', even if they feel soft to you, this does not mean they need replacement. Often times a simple cleaning and adjustment of the brakes will restore proper operation. If your brakes are worn they still should stop the vehicle efficiently. If you are experiencing long stops then most likely there is something else wrong. The most common brake repair of all is replacement of the brake pads, and rotors. If someone tries to tell you that your calipers should be replaced too, ask them to show you why. And again, if you are not convinced they need replacing, get a second opinion. This is the 'red' flag that and inexperienced technician is working on your vehicle. Unless your vehicle has well over 100,000 miles on it, it's not likely that your calipers need replacement.

Next time we'll talk about how to change your tire the easy way. Thanks for reading.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Hybrid Cars and Vehicles That Run on Water

Do not just get shocked or amazed when one of our friends or relatives ask you if you have transformed your car into a water run car. Are you surprised even to read this? No, this is no more a story from the science fiction novels or movies that cars are run by water. With the rapid progress of science and technology in the modern times, water run cars are no more the denizens of the world of imagination or fancy. It is, at present, a gross reality and truth. Even you can have a water run car for yourself, instead of a diesel run car or petrol run car.

Let us remove some of your confusions that have been created within you when you came to hear about the existence of water cars or water run cars in reality. A new technology has been invented, using which a car can be converted into a water car or a water run car. This particular technology includes the hydrolysis of water and creating a gas that is endowed with the power to run cars. The cars that are run using this technology, have become immensely popular as the water cars: the new millennium cars. Truly, the water cars or the water run cars are very much commensurate with the age of the millennium that we are living in.

In long past, it must have been imagined that a day will come when cars would be run by water. The dream has come true in this phase of the millennium. There are, of course, a huge number of benefits of these new millennium cars that are run on water. The benefit is not restricted within the fact that it will save your money. Using water run cars is beneficiary not only to you but also to the environment.

You have got no reason to think that converting your petrol or diesel run car into a water car will be either difficult or the whole process is time taking. So far as your conception regarding the expenses is concerned, you must be of the idea that the entire process is so expensive that you, at least, cannot afford to own a water run car. Know the reality. The process of converting a car into a water run car is very easy and simple if you follow the guidelines offered by us. You even will not require a car mechanic to help you. The entire process of the conversion of you car into a water car will hardly take more than 15 to 20 minutes. If you are an expert in car mechanism, you can finish it within ten minutes. Expenses? Be sure of the fact that it is within the easy reach of your budget.

Now, you must have started wondering if the water run cars or the new millennium cars are run by magic. No, it is no magic. It is just a technology. You have to buy some parts that you have to install into your car which you can do by yourself by following our guidelines. Know more from us and be the owner of a water car - the new millennium car.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Care and Maintenance of Lawn Mowers and Parts

Taking proper care of lawn mowers and parts is important for ensuring that your mower not only works properly, but lasts for years to come. Just like a car, your mower is an intricate system of moving parts, and each of these parts can become rusted, damaged, and then unusable. To prevent this, educate yourself on how your mower works, and the appropriate maintenance procedures you should take-before your grass starts towering!

Prior to the first time you cut your grass in the spring a thorough inspection should be performed on all lawn mowers and parts. Before starting it up, make sure to fill it with gas, check the blades to make sure they are not dull and need either sharpened or replaced.

Check the pull string for any fraying, and if you have a bag, make sure there are no holes or wear spots. Check all metal parts for rust or wear. If it turns out there is a component that is broken or damaged, you may need to take it in for repair, or replace it entirely-this, of course depends on which parts are damaged, the size of the mower, and how old it may be.

You can find lawn mowers and parts easily, using a huge variety of resources around you. The internet is a great venue to find inexpensive repair parts, accessories, or upgrades. You can also find tutorials and manuals for mower repair-which could save you money if you've got a knack for mechanical work.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Used Cars And Where You Can Find Them

When you want to buy a used car, you must ensure to do your homework properly. Being used cars, these vehicles may definitely need some repairs. If more repairs have to be done, you will be incurring more expenses on them. This aspect must be taken into consideration while you negotiate the price of the vehicle with the sellers. If you are lucky to get a vehicle with a low mileage, it may not require more repairs. The advantage in buying a used car is that your car insurance amount will be less. But, before making a decision, you should ensure to check the papers because if you are careless, you may end up buying a stolen car or one that may have been damaged in floods. Therefore, it is imperative that you know the full history of the vehicle. By running the Vehicle Identification number of the car online, you can find out the history of the car. You can buy your used car through the following sources:

- You can buy used cars by going through the classified ads on the newspapers and on the Internet. But, you should never ignore the step of inspecting the cars before you make a decision.

- Offline and online auctions are good places from where you can buy such used cars. You can take part in police auctions also in which impounded cars are auctioned. The advantage in buying through police auctions is that you will be knowing the real condition of the cars because it is a government department and they do not hide things in such government departments. But, you must not fail to inspect the cars before choosing your used car even if you try to buy it through police auctions.

- Another good source from which you can buy your used car is through friends, relatives and acquaintances. You may kindly inform every one you know that you are looking for a used car. If they come across a good used car, they will inform you. It is better to buy your used car through known sources. But, even then, you should inspect the car before closing the deal.

- You can also try with dealers of used cars for buying a used car. Dealers will have their in-house mechanics and hence, they will keep the cars in a good condition. But, you should make it a point to take your mechanic with you, inspect the cars and also test-drive them before zeroing in on the right car.

It is better you explore all the above options so that you can choose the right used car for your use.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Hydrogen Powered Cars and Vehicles

One of the promising "future fuels" is hydrogen. Although hydrogen is already used as fuel in vehicles like cars, buses, and rockets, it still is not feasible to have it propagated to the masses. Hydrogen powered cars are now available but only for fleet lease and commercial vehicles.

Hydrogen shares the same principle as fossil fuel in terms of being used as fuel. Hydrogen is still burned in the combustion chamber that will eventually convert it to mechanical energy. In fuel cells, hydrogen is reacted with oxygen to produce electricity (with a by-product of water) that will power an electric motor. Also they are considered as zero-emission vehicles.

Hydrogen powered cars are slowly gaining popularity in industrialized nations. With the government's heavy subsidies, people are slowly flocking to the hydrogen fuel cell cars. Many car manufacturers have a hydrogen car in their model line-up. But they are mostly prototype or leased to private corporations. But in June 2008, Honda unveiled the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity. It plans to produce 200 cars in the next three years. This is initially available in California because of the hydrogen infrastructure existing there.

The integral part of the FCX Clarity is the fuel cell. Simply put a fuel cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy. A fuel cells output is DC voltage which will then power an electric motor. The type of fuel cell depends on the electrolytes that it will use. Also there are types for stationary or mobile-portable use. A fuel cell will convert energy more efficiently than gasoline engine. According to some calculations, if hydrogen is used as primary chemical in fuel cell, it could convert 80% of hydrogen into electricity. Converting this electricity into mechanical energy uses an inverter; a reasonable efficiency ratio for this is around 80%. Getting the overall efficiency we will get around 64% comparing to a gasoline engine with and efficiency ratio of around 20%

So why are hydrogen power not coming online as fast as we expect? First is the problem of producing hydrogen itself. The economics of producing it is not yet feasible for mass production. In fact, hydrogen production could contribute to emission of more greenhouse gases because of the fossil fuel used to in its process. It will be more prudent if we could make hydrogen using alternative fuels like solar, wind, or nuclear power. Hydrogen infrastructure to support a big mass base is still not yet developed. Either you have more hydrogen filling station or bring an insanely big tank of hydrogen whenever you travel. Another problem is the storage issue of hydrogen. As this is a very volatile gas greater care must be practiced in handling it.

Fuel cell cost is also a big issue right now. The components that make up this fuel cells are very costly specially the rare metals that are used in it. Currently a PEMFC (a common type of fuel cell membrane) generation cost is at $110 per kilowatt, compared to the $35 per kilowatt for gas powered cars.

But hydrogen is still a great and promising alternative fuel. If developments will continue to move along we could expect a hydrogen-car filled future.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Importance of Selecting Good Car Performance Parts

Used car parts are now being preferred by many people as against purchasing new components. In some instances, a few people may do this because they have restraints on their budget, require a car temporarily, or require testing out a particular model. The used auto parts are available online although it is possible to find car performance parts in the junkyards or offline automobile stores. Chinese duplicate parts are also available but they are not reliable or long lasting. It is important to be aware of several factors when one is planning to purchase accessories or used auto parts. This will help to find out if you are getting genuine or fake parts.

Visiting a junkyard is a good idea if you are interested in looking for car performance parts. You can select from the different ones available and also try them out before purchasing them. The price can be negotiated at these places; however this is something that cannot be done when you go to dealers of automobile parts. You can get the right auto parts for your car but be very cautious as even junkyard owners can try to sell auto parts that are not of good quality to unsuspecting consumers who are not very well versed with buying these car parts.

You can also look for auto parts at gas stations that are found on state highways. Some gas stations remove these used parts from broken-down cars that are abandoned on the highway and sell them. Production of new cars is on the rise. There is popular demand from consumers for used car parts as there are many of them available. People who crush cars also hand out quality car parts before crushing the cars. If you are lucky you can get warranties on the purchases made in some places.

If you are the owner of a special classic car, search the internet to find the best car parts online providers. You will have to be careful about these parts as you are unable to check out their functioning when you see them online. It is difficult to find genuine parts for vintage cars as they are rare. If the car parts are made by local manufacturers and are not genuine, your car will not perform to the best of its ability. It is important to check if these parts match those of your car by informing the dealers of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Details about the type, engine specialty, transmission and other manufacturing details should be available to the seller in order to provide the best car performance parts.

It may prove advantageous to purchase used car parts if you have a good idea of the best places to source these parts. If you are unsure, get a mechanic who specializes in car parts to help you purchase these used car performance parts. Make sure that the rate is reasonable and the parts are usable as this will stand you in good stead for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dinan Cars Announce Parts Availability for BMW 328

Dinan Cars, an automotive company in the United States known for designing and manufacturing aftermarket performance parts for BMW vehicles, recently announced the availability of new BMW 328 Coupe and Sedan components. The company not only produces aftermarket parts for BMW vehicles but also for the MINI brand. The said company is based in Morgan Hill, California and is also known for designing and building BMW racing engines for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class. Its products are sold through a marketing network composed of different BMW dealerships and other independent auto shops across the United States.

The BMW 328 is under the 3 Series that was redesigned by the German car manufacturer last year. For this car model, Dinan Cars announced the availability of the Ram-Air Intake Assembly although this would only be for the sedan version. The company stated that they used the ram air effect to give the air intake assembly better access to air. The said component scoops up air from the area close to the brake duct. This is in addition to the already existing air duct. The air flow from both of these components gives the engine more air. The use of this component can improve the torque and horsepower output of an engine.

The responsiveness of the engine to the demand of the driver is also increased giving extra power when it is needed. The aftermarket part is composed of an aluminum "air scoop", a silicone hose, and an air-box duct. Tests have shown that this aftermarket performance part can increase power output by as much as 7 horsepower and 6 lb-ft of torque at 6600 revs per minute.

Another for sedan only aftermarket part that was announced to be available by Dinan Cars is the Free Flow Exhaust. The said component is designed to reduce back pressure. For performance enthusiasts, back pressure is considered a bad thing since it reduces the power output of an engine. It is generated by an exhaust system with many twists and bends. Although laws have been passed to increase back pressure to eliminate loud noise, the Free Flow Exhaust uses design technology which reduces backpressure but at the same time keeps the engine noise to a minimum level.

The exhaust part is made out of 100 percent stainless steel. This means that the component can resist corrosion for a considerably long time. The aftermarket part is also designed to fit the factory hangers and its connection with the exhaust manifold. Dinan Cars announced that this same exhaust will be available for BMW 328 coupes shortly.

Another product available from Dinan Cars is the Strut Tower Brace for both the coupe and the sedan version of the BMW 328. The strut bar is a suspension system component used to complement MacPherson struts. The said component provides better strength to the strut towers. According to Dinan Cars, the new strut tower brace they have designed will "help to maintain the structural integrity of the towers over the life of the vehicle as well as providing sharper handling by reducing flex under harder cornering conditions." This gives better ride comfort to the already smooth driving BMW 328. The aftermarket part is precision engineered to fit the strut tower reinforcements. This ensures that the aftermarket part will perfectly complement the stock components used on the coupe and sedan.

The strut tower brace is recommended by Dinan to be used with another product they have designed and produced and is now available in the market. The Stage 1 Suspension system for both coupe and sedan is composed of a Dinan Performance Springs, Koni Strut and rear shocks, and bumpstops. The suspension assembly increase road grip of the tires and also reduces body roll. The assembly also lowers the car giving it a truly performance car look.

Dinan Cars is one of the leading manufacturers of BMW aftermarket parts such as BMW belts, body kit, and other accessories. With a long standing agreement with BMW dealers which allows Dinan-modified vehicles to retain the factory warranty. Usually, the warranty that comes along with a vehicle is immediately lost after a modification has been made to the vehicle. This shows how Dinan Cars has created a name for itself in the United States auto industry.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Unique Characteristics of Low Rider Cars and Bikes

A low rider refers to a vehicle in which the suspension and hydraulic system was modified to make rides as low as it could. Low riders have controls with their height adjustable suspension. Most of these are typical cars from the year 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. It has a lot of accessories out in the market to cater to the enthusiasts. And because of many modifications in its internal parts, such rides are more prone to damage or obstructions along the road and are not legally allowed to ply the streets.

Low riders started in East Los Angeles as a phenomenon for Mexican-Americans, with majority of its riders being Latinos. A customized hydraulic suspension system is very common features here. They have direct control on the suspension to alter the height, from simple to complex systems. It varies the combination of two battery-powered hydraulic pumps to produce specific movement of the vehicle.

Low riders were popularized and began as part of the Californian and Southwestern American metropolitan civilization. They aim to cruise as slow as possible as what their motto says, "Bajito y Suavecito" or "Low and Slow." Their urban culture became universal in the early 1990s in West Coast hip hop.

In today's new era, low riding outlook varies in many other cultures. Vehicles have new visual styles and appearance but still it is an important thing for the Chicano community. For all intents and purposes, all options in low riders are still available at low rider builders with their styles that vary from coast to coast.

Summertime is the most awaited season as it is the time when they go outside and hang around with their group. Some riders and tavern owners have their weekly gatherings together with their friends. Some will go for a drag race for a more thrilling experience. Low riders are typically seen in a prearranged shows or competitions.

In 1962, one of the most popular low rider was the 1964 Chevy Impala hardtop edition. Another model was the 1958 - 1964 Impalas. Meanwhile, the 1961 - 1964 Chevrolet Impala become the fastest selling car together with the 1978 - 88 GM G-bodies. Also hot in the market were the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Buick Regal and the Pontiac Grand Prix. The 1973 - 1977 relative edition became the entry level low riders.

During intense customization of low rider cars, some go by in restoring stock cars particularly those American cars in 1930s - 1960s. Other countries like the Volvo PV544, VW Beetle, Morris Minor, Ford Zodiac, Vauxhall Cresta, Vauxhall Victor to be their substitutes for American car because of the shortage of imported cars and its costs in producing new vehicles.

Low rider cars were only in for only a year when the bikers were inspired and customized their own bikes for a low ride too. These inspired bicycles, a well modified bike, features long, curved banana seats, upward - swept handlebars, and with sissy bars. It is excessively chromed up with big wheels and velvet use as common accessories of these customized two-wheel rides.

Low rider bikes first came out and were recognized in the 1960s. It was first seen customized by George Barris in America. After that, the Schwinn Co. introduced to the market the new muscle bike or the so-called Sting-Ray that George Barris first used. It was featured in the Munster.

Until now, low rider bikes are famous and popular with its new designs and distinctive looks, fully customized and modified body in addition to its air hydraulic cylinder. Features include a height adjustable suspension, highly refined chrome, metal frame, twisted forks, handlebars or spokes, sissy bars and the mounted 2-seater love seat.