Nov 17

Winter is coming! Snow Tires save lives.

      Winter Tire Safety Tips

Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada advise motorists to think about safe driving in winter.

Vehicle handling will be improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index are installed on all four wheels.

Snow Tires

Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.

Snow Tire Symbol

If you intend driving in severe winter conditions, install four winter tires that meet the “snow tire” designation on your vehicle. These snow tires will assist you to control your vehicle safely in slippery conditions.

Other Tires

Tires marked “M + S” – or “mud and snow” tires, also known as “all-season” tires— continue to provide safe all-weather performance, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions.

Wide, high performance tires, other than those that are specifically designed as snow tires, are not suitable for use on snow covered roads.

What Snow Tires are Available

You can contact tire dealers or manufacturers to obtain information on which models meet this new designation.

Remember:

  • Install four winter tires – To help maintain control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions, Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.
  • Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction, and size degrades the stability of the vehicle and should be avoided.
  • As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions.
  • Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety, and reduces fuel consumption — all vital factors in saving energy and protecting the environment. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so be sure to check the pressures at least once a month when the tires are cold, preferably after the car has been out all night. (For more information on proper tire inflation, please see our publication “Riding on Air” at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/tp-200.htm.)

Excerpt from http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safevehicles-safetyfeatures-wintertires-index-468.htm

Because Knowledge is Power!

Mar 27

Four Reasons Why Extended Oil Change Intervals Warrant Better Filters

Four Reasons Why Extended Oil Change Intervals Warrant Better Filters

Mar 02

Have you heard of “HYDROLOCK”?

 

             

 

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.

Automotive

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.

Mar 02

DIY bolt-on engine modifications

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.

Mar 02

Can Motorheads DIY Garage save you money on car repairs with our concept? Yes we can!

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.

Save Money on DIY Repairs Chart

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.

Which of these jobs do you do yourself Bar Graph

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.

DIY Easy Access to Reports
“Exactly two years ago the financial markets collapsed and the recession took a brutal downturn. Our 2010 DIY Report indicates that, since then, nearly 40% more car owners are now doing their own repairs, as this ongoing challenging economy – and the greatly increased vehicle ownership cycle – drives car owners into their own garages to DIY,” said AutoMD President Shane Evangelist. “We believe that there are many repair jobs that car owners should do, and can easily do, themselves to save money and keep their vehicle running for longer. With unprecedented access to detailed information now available online (and on their iPhones), even those not accustomed to doing their own repairs indicate they’re willing to give it a try – and it’s all adding to a growing and empowered DIY population.”

Source AutoMD.com

Mar 02

Wheel Studs and what you should know about them.

Wheel Studs and what you should know about them.

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.

 

 

 

Jan 03

Quick car tip: avoid excessive idling.

Quick car tip: avoid excessive idling!

tailpipe

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! 🙂

May 27

Consequences of Over Revving….OOPS!

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.

May 17

DIY Shock or strut replacement

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:

May 08

Spark Plugs

Your vehicles owner’s manual will guide you when to replace the spark plugs

Spark Plug Conditions

The guide below is courtesy of Chiltons

The following spark plug gapping video is courtesy of NGK spark plugs:

 

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