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Do’s and Don’ts of car washing

Follow this list to clean your car and help boost its value: Don’t wait until your car is visibly dirty. Bugs, bird droppings, acid rain and pollutants can dull your car’s finish and, in extreme cases, strip the paint. Don’t think of the weekly car wash advice as all or nothing. Monthly washes are likely sufficient to maintain your car’s appearance. The exception is in areas where there is acid rain. Always rinse your car after acid rain or the paint could be permanently scarred. 2.Don’t wash a hot car. High temperatures can make cleaning more difficult and cause deposits that eventually damage paint. Park your car in the shade or wait until the heat of the day passes before getting started. 3.Do invest in the proper supplies. A cleaning product created specifically for cars, a large sponge or wash mitt and a hose with running water are must-have items for car washing. Cleaners designated for cars are essential. They are gentle enough for paint, though you may need a specialty product, such as tar remover, for trouble spots. And a clean sponge or wash mitt is important to help avoid scratches. But, most importantly, you need water. If you don’t have access to a hose with running water. If you rely on water in a bucket for rinsing, you may work grit into the surface and scratch the paint. Working with only a bucket of water also makes it impossible to properly rinse grit from the car. 4.Do wash the car in sections. Work on one area at a time: washing, rinsing and drying. But don’t move the sponge or mitt in circles; circular motions can create swirl marks. Instead, move the sponge in straight lines.

Why is My Car Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH A CAR'S A/C SYSTEM? Car air conditioning systems are complex, and many things can cause the system to fail. In the illustration below, you can see the some of the parts that make up an automobile's air conditioning system.The automotive A/C system includes the control system, sensors, switches and vacuum lines as well as the refrigerant system. A problem with any of these components can cause your car's air conditioning system to become weak or stop working. These components are tucked under the dash panel and connected through high and low-pressure lines to the engine compartment, the condenser, the compressor, and the drier. Here are some of the checks that you can perform as part of the diagnosis. 1. Road test the vehicle to check the vent temperature and controls including the fan operation, speed, and air flow. 2. Perform a visual inspection of hoses and lines for leaks. Make sure that the compressor is free of obstructions, and check the condition and operation of the compressor clutch. 3. Ensure that the condenser and cabin air filter are free of obstructions. 4. Check the operation of the condenser fan and the air conditioning compressor. 5. Connect a refrigerant recovery machine to the AC system, and check pressure readings. 6. Evacuate, recycle and clean/dry the refrigerant. Then fill the refrigerant to the correct level and add dye to assist in checking for leaks. 7. Perform an electronic and/or black light checks for leaks.

Five major advantages of replacing air filters

There are at least 5 benefits of replacing your air filter periodically; better gas mileage, reduced emissions, improved acceleration, increased engine life and overall improved drivability. Fuel efficiency: One of the biggest reasons to change your air filter periodically based on studies indicate that replacing a dirty air filter increases fuel economy. In addition, changing a clogged air filter can potentially increase acceleration by 6 to 11 percent on modern fuel-injected cars. Other studies claim a 10 percent increase in gas consumption. Regardless of the exact figures, it is obvious that a clean air filter improves air flow to the engine and increases engine performance and fuel economy. Reduced emissions: Clogged air filters surely reduces air flow to the engine, literally choking it, and as a result affect the emission control systems of the car causing an incorrect air-fuel mixture and spark plug ignition problems which can lead to serious drivability problems. Increased air flow to the engine allows the vehicle to operate properly reducing fuel consumption and reducing emissions. Extends engine life: Changing the air filter regularly helps prolong engine life because the air filter is designed to trap damaging dirt and debris that can damage internal engine parts such as the cylinders and pistons. Engine damage can occur from particles as small as a grain of salt and result in costly repairs. Inexpensive and quick fix: An air filter is one of the least expensive maintenance components to replace and can be done by doing it yourself (DIY). It is important to make certain the replacement air filter fits exact make and model of your vehicle. On newer, fuel-injected cars, the air filter is usually located near the top front or side of the engine by the throttle body . The air filter is rectangular in shape and enclosed in a rectangular, black plastic housing that will normally have clips or screws keeping it closed. On older, carbureted cars, the air filter is round and located in a round metal housing above the carburetor that is secured by a nut. Easy tracking Air filters should be changed every 40,000 to 50,000 kilometers or so, more often in dusty driving conditions. The owner’s manual maintenance schedule will indicate how often the air filter should be replaced. A dirty air filter might appear clean but should still be replaced at the recommended intervals.

Hit a Pothole? Check Tires, Wheel Alignment, Suspension & Steering

Here are some things to check should a pothole catch you by surprise. 1) Check your tires and rims for damage. (Uneven tire wear can also cause an alignment problem.) 2) Check the underside of your car for visible damage. 2) If you notice that the car isn't steering straight, have your auto repair shop check the steering and suspension before performing a wheel alignment. Sometimes these can be damaged when you hit a pothole. Car wheel alignments are completed after repairs to steering or suspension (if they are needed). So, be careful out there. An ounce of prevention is worth a lot of dollars.

How Hybrids Work

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors. They can be designed to meet different goals, such as better fuel economy or more power. Most hybrids use several advanced technologies: Regenerative Braking. Regenerative braking recaptures energy normally lost during coasting or braking. It uses the forward motion of the wheels to turn the motor. This generates electricity and helps slow the vehicle. Electric Motor Drive/Assist. The electric motor provides power to assist the engine in accelerating, passing, or hill climbing. This allows a smaller, more-efficient engine to be used. In some hybrids, the electric motor alone propels the vehicle at low speeds, where gasoline engines are least efficient. Automatic Start/Stop. Automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and restarts it when the accelerator is pressed. This reduces wasted energy from idling.