The Economy is Driving More Car Owners to Do Their Own Auto Repairs, according to AutoMD’s “2010 DIY Report” Nearly 40% Doing More DIY than in 2008; 1 in 3 Report Saving over $1000 a Year; 84% of Those Who Usually Head to the Shop Likely to Attempt Repairs with More How-To Guides/Information Carson, CA …View full post
Growth Potential: According to the Automotive Industries Association of Canada Report [Be car care aware], while human resources are AIA Canada’s most positive factor now, there is a growing concern for deterioration in this key enabler. Why? The answer lies in the cut-backs in investment (training, development and retention) and slow and inadequate response to growing problems …View full post
Young Drivers Influence the Market… There’s a new generation of automotive do-it-yourselfers on the way as young car owners focus on learning car care skills or tackle projects themselves. Nearly 20% of car owners 18 to 25 are paying more attention to their car’s maintenance than two years ago. About one-third (34%) of those are doing their …View full post
Drive Axles (CV constant velocity) Imagine your surprise, from an annoying clicking to an all out panic stop in traffic. That clicking noise that your front-wheel-drive car makes as you accelerate around low-speed righthand corners has been getting a little louder for weeks. One afternoon, just as you pull out of …View full post
Do it Yourself Serpentine Belt Replacement This belt, obviously past its prime, ran for 115,000 miles/184,000 kms, and it was still within the tension limits specified. It’s toast, regardless. There’s a squeal emanating from underneath your hood—and it doesn’t sound good. The noise started a few months ago, on a gray and rainy morning, but …View full post
Over Heating Issues (Part 4) Radiator Cap – The cooling system is pressurized. Pressure helps the flow of the coolant through the cooling system. The cap on top of your radiator is rated to hold a certain amount of pressure. Sometimes these caps can get worn, damaged or loose and when this happens, they won’t hold …View full post
Tell me about that “Check Engine Light”. The automotive service industry calls the Check Engine light on your dash an “MIL” or Malfunction Indicator Light. It shows three different types of signals. Occasional flashes show momentary malfunctions. It stays on if the problem is of a more serious nature, affecting the emissions output or safety …View full post
Over Heating Issues (Part 1) Thermostat– The thermostat is the component that controls the engine temperature. When a cold engine is first started the thermostat is in a ‘closed’ position. This means that it only allows the flow of coolant through the engine – the other parts of the cooling system do not receive flowing …View full post
DIY bolt-on engine modifications can make our vehicles more powerful and more fun to drive, and there are lots of after-market companies that have come up with some great ideas. Thanks to their innovations, there are many changes you can make if you have the money and the time. One bolt-on engine mod that …View full post
Do It Yourself Air Filter Service Regular air filter service is easy and important. First, check the air filter service indicator if you have one. You’ll definitely find one of these if you have a diesel air intake. Also, knowing the location of the master airflow sensor on your car is a great thing to …View full post
Hydrolock (a shorthand notation for hydrostatic lock) is an abnormal condition of any device which is designed to compress a gas by mechanically restraining it; most commonly the reciprocating internal combustion engine, the case this article refers to unless otherwise noted. Hydrolock occurs when a volume of liquid greater than the volume of the cylinder at its minimum (end of the piston’s stroke) enters the cylinder. Since most common liquids are incompressible the piston cannot complete its travel; either the engine must stop rotating or a mechanical failure must occur.
Hydrolock most commonly occurs in automobiles when driving through floods, either where the water is above the level of the air intake or the vehicle’s speed is excessive, creating a tall bow wave. A vehicle fitted with a cold air intake mounted low on the vehicle will be especially vulnerable to hydrolocking when being driven through standing water or heavy precipitation. Engine coolant entering the cylinders through various means (such as a blown head gasket) is another common cause. Excessive fuel entering (flooding) one or more cylinders in liquid form due to or other abnormal operating conditions can also cause hydrolock.
DIY bolt-on engine modifications can make our vehicles more powerful and more fun to drive, and there are lots of after-market companies that have come up with some great ideas. Thanks to their innovations, there are many changes you can make if you have the money and the time.
One bolt-on engine mod that won’t break your wallet and is easier to install than a supercharger or a turbo is the cold air intake. At a few hundred dollars (less if you fabricate your own), it is easier to install and more efficient in many ways.
The basic difference between the factory air intake system your car comes with and the cold air intake you bolt on is pretty basic. The factory air system restricts air flow. It’s designed to increase fuel efficiency. A cold air intake allows your engine to breathe without restricting the air flow.
There are two advantages with a cold air intake
First, let’s talk about the advantages of working with cooler air. Cold air intakes allow cooler air to be sucked into the engine for combustion. Cooler air brings more oxygen (denser air) into the combustion chamber and that means more power. The filters are usually moved to the upper wheel well area or near a fender where there is greater access to free flowing cooler air and greater distance from the hot air coming from the engine.
Now let’s look at air flow. Aftermarket intakes remove the box surrounding the air filter and use larger diameter intake tubes that are smoother, have fewer bends and also have a large, external air filter. This package delivers a greater volume of uninterrupted air flow to the engine.
Does it actually work?
Yes. While claims of actual horsepower and increased fuel efficiency may vary, cold air intakes DO help increase your car’s performance for one simple reason: efficiency. With a cold air intake you’ll notice an increase in power when the throttle is fully open. Add a new exhaust and you’ll have even more.
Are there any drawbacks?
Sure. If the air filter is too exposed and sucks up water, there’s nothing to stop it from going straight into your engine. How will you know? There will be a ‘roar’, ‘buzz’ or ‘hum’ under the hood.
The other thing is, you might void the engine manufacturer’s warranty if yours is a newer car. Beware and check first before you start or you could have a costly problem later on. (Alternatively, you could re-install the stock air intake system before dealer servicing or warranty service.)
What’s the DIY Bottom Line?
As long as you proceed with caution, why not give it a try? A cold air intake you can bolt-on yourself may be just what your engine needs.
The Economy is Driving More Car Owners to Do Their Own Auto Repairs, according to AutoMD’s “2010 DIY Report”
Nearly 40% Doing More DIY than in 2008; 1 in 3 Report Saving over $1000 a Year; 84% of Those Who Usually Head to the Shop Likely to Attempt Repairs with More How-To Guides/Information
Carson, CA — October 14, 2010 — The lingering economic downturn is driving DIYers to do even more of their own auto repairs than in 2008 – and they report they’re saving big dollars – according to the “2010 DIY Report” from AutoMD.com , the most comprehensive and unbiased free online auto repair resource. One in three self-reported DIYers are now saving over $1000 a year by performing their own repairs, according to the report, and even those who have rarely, if ever, attempted to climb under the hood say they are open to doing so with better information at their fingertips.
The AutoMD report is based on an online survey conducted among over 2,800 car owners in September 2010, and offers a snapshot of where car owners – both DIYers and DFMers (the do-it-for-me’s) – stand in the current economy when it comes to doing their own vehicle repairs. The findings shed light on what’s motivating the DIY surge, what kind of repairs are being tackled, and what could be holding DFMers back from jumping in and DIYers from attempting more complex repair jobs.
DIYers Report Doing it to Save Money- and They are Saving Thousands
Seventy-seven percent of confirmed DIYers cited “saving money” as the top reason for performing their own car repairs, with 97% confirming that doing their own repairs is saving them money. One in three DIYers claim savings of over $1000 yearly; nearly 70% save $500-plus; while nearly nine in ten (87%) are pocketing $300-plus – translating into tens of thousands of dollars over a car-owning lifetime.
More are DIYing it than Two Years Ago, but Most Repairs are Basic
Over a third of DIYers are doing more auto repairs than two years ago (prior to the severe recession kicking in), with over half of those saying they are doing “significantly more.” Of those DIYers doing more of their own auto repairs, the majority cited “the bad economy” and “holding onto my vehicle longer.”
Two-thirds of DIYers say they perform both basic and complex repairs. The most often performed repairs were basic – with battery, air filter, windshield wiper blade, headlamp bulb, antifreeze, oil filter, spark plug and oil replacements/change performed by over 90% of DIYers.
Car Owners Will Do More Repairs with More Information
The survey clearly indicates that access to more how-to information would prove an empowering game-changer for car owners. Forty-four percent of those who classify themselves as traditional DFMers report that easy access to detailed how-to guides would definitely make them open to trying some basic repairs, with another 40% saying “maybe.”
Meanwhile, nearly 2 in 3 (65%) of those DIYers who now only perform basic repairs, claim they would definitely attempt a more complicated repair (such as replacing drum brakes, shock absorbers, or a water pump), if they had access to free how-to guides and videos.
Never use an Impact gun to torque wheel studs. Always use a torque wrench with the manufacturers recommended torque value.
Over zealous mechanics without regard for “doing it right” use the impact gun to speed up their job which in the process over tightens the nuts and stretches the wheel studs. This is a DANGEROUS practice which can cause wheel studs to shear under stress.
Quick car tip: avoid excessive idling!
We all like to slip into a warm car in winter. But leaving the car on and letting the engine idle burns up to 20% more gas. It also creates more wear and tear on the engine and reduces overall engine life. An idling car is also more vulnerable to car thieves. And it creates excessive pollution. What’s the best way to “warm” up your car? Drive it! 🙂
Consequences of Over Revving….OOPS!
These pictures show you what happens as a result of over reving your engine.
Over revving an engine happens when you miss-shift or spin the wheels on slippery surfaces like ice and snow.
This is a Honda Civic Engine. You can see the hole in the block at cylinder #2, at the bottom of the chain. This perfect hole is where the connecting rod from the piston broke though.
This the piston and connecting rod (bent and broken).
This is the bottom end of the engine showing the damage.
The result: Engine replaced- very expensive and time consuming.
Replace Your Shocks and Struts Every 100,000 Km or 60,000 miles.
You’ve probably figured out how to tell when your brakes or tires are wearing out. Shocks and struts are just as critical and they’re much more difficult to inspect. This can be frustrating, because your shocks and struts are safety-critical components that wear out over time, just as your brakes and tires do. They should be checked regularly to keep your vehicle riding smooth and safe and to keep you and your passengers comfortable.
When is it time for new shocks or struts?
This simple ‘Worn Shocks and Struts Inspection’ demonstrates how these safety-critical components can affect the way your vehicle performs in three critical areas: steering, handling and ride comfort.
Why They Fail: Shocks and struts have seals that help contain the gas or liquid that allows these components to do their job. As the seals wear out, this gas or liquid leaks out and the shocks and struts lose their ability to keep your tires in constant contact with the road.
When this happens, the tires wear out faster. Worn shocks and struts can also contribute to quicker wear and tear on your steering and accelerate the wear of your suspension parts … the ball joints, steering linkage, springs and C.V. joints.
Quick Tips: When you’re inspecting your vehicle, always look for uneven wear patterns on your tires. “Cupping” is an uneven pattern commonly associated with worn out shocks/struts and when you find it, it’s a safe bet that your shocks and struts need some attention.
When you notice that your vehicle’s front end dips and bounces excessively during sudden stops, this is another sign that your shocks or struts may need replacing.
Worn Shocks & Struts Warning Signs:
- Fluid leaking out of the shock or strut body
- Shock or strut bodies are dented or damaged
- Mounts or bushings are broken or worn
- Cupped, uneven tire wear
- Vehicle sways or leans on turns
- Vehicle “nose dives” when you apply the brakes
- Excessive bouncing after hitting a road bump
- Harsh, bumpy or shaky ride
- Steering is stiff or makes noise
- Rear end squats when accelerating
- Vehicle “bottoms out” (with a thump) on bumps
Some defects are pictured below:
Engine Ignition Timing-Ignition timing can have an effect on the overheating of the cooling system. If ignition timing is too far advanced it will cause the fuel and air mixture to ignite too early in the combustion cycle. This can cause the amount of heat generated by the combustion process to increase and lead to overheating of the engine.