Professional racecar driver Kasey Kahne explains the importance of ASE certification.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
There’s no better way to ruin a perfectly good car than to hand the keys to a freshly minted driver. On the other hand, with some quality parts and a little NAPA KNOW HOW, a high-mileage hand-me-down could be just the car for someone who’s still figuring out the difference between the brake and the clutch.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Nothing against new trucks. Seriously. You’ll do things with an old truck that you wouldn’t think of doing with a new one. Like stress test the motor and leave a few battle scars without worrying. Sure, you could drop a whole bunch of cash on a new truck, but make no mistake: with some quality parts and a little NAPA KNOW HOW, there’s nothing more valuable than an old truck.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Alan goes over the battery charging system test performed at Nor Cal Performance. See more at http://www.norcalperformance.com
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Many of today's modern vehicles headlights are made from a hard plastic called Poly-Carbonate. The plastic is very lightweight and very strong, and most importantly, much cheaper to mass produce. Today's modern vehicle designs call for dramatic looking headlight styles and the automakers love using plastic for the headlight lens for more than one reason: First of all, plastic is much cheaper to mass produce. Just as important, the plastic lens is also very strong and lightweight. The days of using real glass for the headlight lens are all but gone. The main reason is that it would simply cost a heck of a lot more to make the lens out of glass. Also glass is much heavier than plastic and can be much more dangerous in a collision. The lightweight plastic lens is what the all automakers will continue to use these days mainly because they are always trying to keep the vehicles production costs low, and the automakers also want to keep the vehicle lighter and more economical. While the plastic lens has its many plus sides, the major down side is that the plastic lens will fade dramatically in time. Fading plastic headlight lenses are a problem here to stay, and if the cloudy headlight lenses are not fixed, it can be very dangerous to the driver, (and other motorists) and that is the simple fact of the matter.
Do all plastic headlights fade? The answer is yes! Due to UV exposure, the plastic lenses on all headlight assemblies will become cloudy in time. There is just no way around it! If a plastic headlight lens is exposed to the sun, it will eventually get cloudy and fade. Most automakers will cover the cost for replacement within 3 years, but after that, you are on your own. A cloudy looking lens condition can get much worse in time if not restored. A headlight that is neglected can turn yellow, or even brown, or perhaps a combination of both. This will have a great effect on the ability of the headlight to project light properly. Translation: Poor light output! A faded headlight lens can cut the drivers visibility distance to less than half in some cases. This is a very dangerous position for any driver to be in! Would you drive at night with your sunglasses on? A poor working headlight is basically the same thing. Less light means less visibility! It is very dangerous if the driver cannot properly see the road ahead. With less light output, the driver will have much less reaction time because the headlight beam is simply not projecting enough light to safely see the road ahead.
Please check your headlights! Are they faded? Are they cloudy? Do they appear oxidized? Do they have a yellow or brown tint? These conditions are all caused by UV exposure and age, plus the condition will become worse as the vehicle is subjected to more sunlight. Simply put: The UV rays from the powerful sun will fade the headlight lenses just as it will fade exterior paint. The sun is just too strong for the plastic and it is very important for you to maintain your headlights! There are some simple inexpensive do it yourself kits on the market that can save you some of your hard earned cash, however the results can be very poor. The much smarter choice is using a professional headlight restoration service. First of all don't let anyone convince you that your expensive headlight assemblies need to be replaced. The only reason for replacement is if there is some really bad sand pitting, or if there are major cracks in the lenses that would allow moisture to get inside the assembly. Also, don't be fooled by some of the products on the market that claim to be quick restoration kits for headlights. Most of these kits are garbage! Again, I recommend using a professional headlight restoration service that guarantees the restoration to last. Please be safe out there at night, and please check your vehicle's headlight condition as soon as possible!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7442556
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Coolant that's used in today's modern engines usually contains a combination of water and antifreeze.
As its name indicates, antifreeze aids in the prevention of water freezing in a cooling system of a vehicle.
Automobiles in colder climates are frequently open to the elements of temperatures far below the freezing point of water-32 degrees Fahrenheit- so the purpose of "antifreeze" is very vital.
If water by itself was used in a cooling system during very cold temperatures, it would turn to ice quickly.
It's essential to remember that water expands, like ice cubes do in a freezer.
Water, which is the only known matter in the environment that does this, cold temperatures tend to make all other natural substances get smaller.
Water can expand so much in an engine block with such force that internal damage can occur, such as cracking. Should this happen, there is no other choice but to replace the complete engine block.
Vehicles that are poorly maintained, with the proper anti freeze ratio, most generally experience this problem.
As a result, you can see why it's so important that your water to antifreeze ratio be checked, especially in the case of you having added water to the system, antifreeze by itself lowers the freezing point of the mixture, the more antifreeze, the lower the freezing point.
As a general rule, no more than 70 percent of the total liquid volume in the cooling system should consist of antifreeze.
If any more than 70 percent is added to the cooling system, the mixture's ability to remove heat from the engine will be reduced greatly, possibly causing engine damage.
Temperatures of 32 degree Fahrenheit will freeze water!
On the other hand, water - antifreeze mixture will not freeze until a much lower temperature.
Adequate temperature protection is normally reached with a 50 - 50 ratio for most vehicles.
Vehicles operated in colder climates may require more antifreeze, while those in warmer climates may require less antifreeze.
When in doubt always refer to your owner's manual or your local service technician for proper water - antifreeze mixtures.
For those that would like to check it yourself, there are antifreeze testers available at your favorite retail outlet.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4991543
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Your brakes are without a doubt the most important safety feature on your vehicle. When they don't work, it puts lives in danger and your vehicle literally becomes a ticking time bomb. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were 6,159,000 auto accidents reported in 2005. Of these, 2.7 million resulted in personal injuries and 43,443 fatalities. Mechanical failures (like bad brakes) are a factor in an estimated 12% to 13% of all auto accidents according to several available sources. Many of those are due to bad brakes because of a lack of proper vehicle maintenance, something that could have been prevented.
Properly functioning brakes take on the job of stopping your vehicle. When you step down on the brake pedal, your car transmits the force from your foot right to the brakes through a fluid - brake fluid. Of course, just your foot isn't enough force to stop the vehicle, so your car multiplies the force through both mechanical advantage, also known as leverage, and hydraulic force multiplication. The brakes work to transmit the force to your tires through the process of friction. The tires also use friction against the road. There is a little more to it than this, but it can be complicated to the average driver. Most cars actually utilize two or three systems of brakes. You can see a shiny metal disc when you look through the hubcap of your front tire. That is what is known as a disc brake. When you step on the brake pedal, a pad of hard-wearing material clamps onto the brake disc and rubs it to make it slow down-in a similar way to bicycle brakes. Other vehicles may have drum brakes on the back wheels which work with a show that pushes into the wheel and friction then slows you down. No matter what type of brakes you have on your vehicle, once you start accelerating and reach a decent speed, your car has loads of energy with it. When you start to stop, that very energy is converted into heat in your brake pads. Brakes can actually heat up to temperatures of 950 degrees Fahrenheit or more. This said, brakes must be comprised of materials that won't melt at these temperatures like alloys, ceramics or composites.
Without proper maintenance and repairs, many people don't know that they're driving on bad brakes. All too often, people learn only after it is too late and something significant has happened. At the first visible or audible sign of brake issues, it is recommended to get to a trusted auto repair shop. Knowing the signs and symptoms of brake problems will make you a more responsible driver. Signs of bad brakes may include but are not limited to a loud screeching noise, grinding, squealing, rubbing, vibrating, pulling, pulsating, reduced responsiveness, hard or soft brake pedal or the brake light appearing on your dashboard.
If it isn't what you hear or feel, you should check for brake wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. There should be at least 1/4 inch of pad at all times. When less than 1/4 inch of pad remains, you need to have your brake pads inspected or replaced. A hydraulic system filled with brake fluid triggers a set of padded clamps known as calipers, causing them to squeeze together on a disc known as the rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and rotor eventually stops the car. All components of a brake system are important.
Even if your rear brakes are the only ones in rough shape, it can still be dangerous. If you have to stop quickly, too much inertia could end up being deadly. You see, braking needs to be done in a balanced way, with about 70-80% of the energy being dissipated by the front brakes and sufficient remaining load on the rear tires to keep the rears under control and the car going straight. If you have no pads on the rears or less than the ¼ inch mentioned above, all of the energy has to be taken on by the fronts. If there isn't sufficient friction on the rear brakes for the rear tires to be grabbing the pavement to ensure proper control, your front brakes and your front tires will be doing more than their share of the work which becomes dangerous and potentially deadly.
There is no universal life expectancy for brakes, brake pads, brake rotors or other braking system components. Just like your own health, habits and maintenance can have a significant impact on how many miles you get out of them. There are, of course, some things that you can do to maintain healthier brakes over time. Experts recommend that you empty your trunk and don't overload your vehicle, don't ride the brakes and cause unnecessary friction, try to limit stop-and-go driving, cruise with the pace of traffic, ignore your aggressive driving habits and get your brakes checked annually. Although mechanical failures are involved in only a small percentage of all auto accidents, they still represent a risk factor. In some cases, drivers who caused an accident due to faulty brakes were convicted as negligent and were liable for damages as a result of a lawsuit. You don't want to be held accountable for something that could be prevented with proper maintain and routine checks, right? After all, the accidents that never happen are the best ones.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9226667