Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tire Maintenance Tips - Tire Pressure

Your cars tires can effect not only the way your car handles, but also can effect the overall performance and fuel economy of your vehicle. One of the of the most important things you can do is a regular schedule is to check you air pressure in your tires. Incorrect air pressure in tier is the major cause of tire failure. Tire failure while driving can lead to a automobile accident and possible injury to the driver and passengers. You should check you tire pressure at least once a month.

The proper tire pressure should be in your owners manual, or on the drivers side door. On some vehicles the manufacturer also places this information on the gas tank lid door. You should not use the information on the side of the tires. This may not be the proper air pressure for you car or truck.

When checking your tires air pressure, make sure to check them while they are cold. This means before you drive your vehicle. Tire pressure will go up or down one to two pounds per squire inch (PSI) for every 10 degrees in temperature change. If the air temperature goes down, you cars tires pressure will drop, if the air temperature goes up, your air pressure will rise.

Make sure after you have check you tire pressure, that you replace the valve caps, this will help keep out the dust and dirt that might cause a leak. Any missing valve caps should be replaced right away.

Also make sure not to forget to check the spare tire air pressure. You don't want to be stranded or have you car towed, just because you spare was flat when you need it

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Is It Okay To Use Water Instead Of Car Coolant?

Even though many people choose to simply put water into their radiators instead of coolant, it is not really a good idea. If you do not have any coolant on hand and must use water, then by all means do so. It is much better than nothing and will definitely keep your vehicle from overheating. Do however, make sure that you purchase some coolant and put it into your radiator at your next available moment. When asked, many people simply do not know the difference between putting water into a vehicle or coolant; so if you have been wondering about this yourself, then you are not alone.

There is a big difference between using proper coolant and water. While water does help to keep your engine cool, it does not work nearly as well as coolant does. First of all, water boils faster and at a lower temperature than does coolant. Another thing that you should keep in mind is that coolant also performs the duties of antifreeze as well. If it is winter, than you risk having your engine block crack if you run your engine with only plain water. Engine coolant also has been formulated to keep the parts in your engine from becoming corroded. Water, it goes without saying, does not possess these qualities.

Now that the importance of always having coolant in your vehicle has been established, it is important that you check your coolant level if you have not done so in awhile. Coolant is very easy to check, and you should probably do so every time you check your oil. First, you should check your overflow tank. This is a clear tank and you can check the level without even taking off the cap. There is a fill line on the side, go ahead and fill it with 50/50 coolant to this point if you need to. If you have unmixed coolant, then you need to mix it with 50 percent water beforehand. Make sure your radiator is filled as well.

It is natural for dirt and residue to clog your cooling system, so doing a full radiator flush is a good idea once in awhile. In order to do this, you will need a wrench or screwdriver, rag, radiator flush solution, funnel, and a receptacle to place the used coolant. Making sure that your engine is cool, drain the coolant that is already in the tank. There is a drain plug on your radiator tank that you'll need to unscrew. Make sure you have your receptacle underneath for the old coolant. Do not leave the old coolant where a pet or animal may drink it.

Now you have to replace the radiator drain plug. You are ready to put in your radiator flush solution. Unscrew the cap on the top of the radiator and fill it all the way to the top. Let your car run for about 10 minutes with the heater on all the way. After your engine has cooled completely, you may drain the fluid. Now you just have to replace the plug again and fill the tank up with coolant. Do not pour the coolant or flush solution on the ground, dispose of it properly.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Rainbow Orzo Pasta Salad


250 g Orzo Pasta
1 Large Sweet Potato
Red Onion
1 Courgette
1 Avocado
150 g Goat's Cheese
A Handful of Baby Tomatoes
Handful of Pine Nuts
2 Cloves Garlic
6 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Garlic Clove
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven 180C. Peel and cube your sweet potato and place in a baking tray, with the onions. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Roast for 30 mins or until the sweet potato cubes are soft. For the last 15 mins add the the courgette slices and toss in the roasting oil.

Place your orzo into a pan of salted boiling water and cook to packet instructions.

Make up the dressing by pouring the oil, mustard, peeled garlic clove, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper into a small jar and shaking until thoroughly combined.

Drain your orzo and place and leave to cool in your serving bowl. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add your pine nuts. Toast for a few minutes until they start to brown. Remove from the pan and add to the orzo.

Add some oil to the pan and leave to heat. Once hot add the slices of goats cheese and fry on both sides until golden brown.

Add the roasted veg, the avocado and the tomatoes to the orzo. Drizzle over the dressing and toss. Serve with slices of the fried goat’s cheese.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How Disc Brakes Work

Without a braking system, motor vehicles would be impractical for us to use. They help us stop our cars, maintain traction in emergency situations, and if you brake while in a turn, they help with that too. But many people may not understand how they work or what it takes to stop a 2,000 + lb. vehicle. In the following paragraphs, I will describe the basic components of a brake system, how it works, and how you can improve your braking system.

Although brake systems are highly engineered systems that are designed for safety and reliability, they are fairly easy to understand you know what the components are. There are two main types of brakes found on cars and trucks; disc brake systems and disc/drum brake combination systems. Older vehicles will have disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes in the back. Most modern vehicles have disc brakes at all four wheels, so I will be focusing primarily on that and will not cover drum brakes in this article.

The typical components of a disc brake system are: the pedal, the master cylinder, hard brake lines, soft brake lines, brake calipers, brake pads, and brake rotors. There can also be secondary or slave cylinders and Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) components too, but we'll forget about those for now. The brake pedal is obviously located inside the vehicle and the master cylinder is mounted to the firewall which is found under the hood. When you push the brake pedal, it leverages the master cylinder to push brake fluid through the brake lines. The brake lines are attached to the master cylinder and run to the brake calipers found at each wheel. The brake calipers contain anywhere from one to eight pistons in them. The brake fluid forces the pistons to compress the brake pads onto the brake disc. The brake rotor, AKA brake disc, is attached to the hub which is attached to the axle. So the brake pads compress onto the rotors and create lots of friction, which in turn slows you down.

Is your vehicle no longer stopping like it used to? Got the need for speed and want to make sure you can stop as fast as you go? Do you now have the need to tow heavy payloads with your truck? Here are some tips to improve brake feel, response, and stopping distance.

Brake feel can be defined as the feedback the brake system gives to the driver. That feel is delivered through the pedal. The biggest things you can do to improve feedback from the brake pedal is better brake fluid and stainless steel brake lines. All cars sold in the US must have DOT 3 brake fluid; this is the standard off-the-shelf fluid and the rating DOT3 requires that a threshold boiling point to be met. If brake fluid boils, your brakes won't work. For most applications, DOT3 is safe and it is recommended for the average driver. If you like spirited drives, participate in road racing, or just want better pedal feel, try using a DOT4 approved brake fluid. It should give you a firmer pedal and higher performance, but be careful because DOT4 needs to be changed more frequently than DOT3, which translates into higher vehicle maintenance costs. You can also install stainless steel brake lines, which don't flex as much as the rubber ones that come standard on most vehicles. The reduction in brakeline flex means improved brake feel. Another good option to improve brake feel is a master cylinder brace, which further reduces flex in the brake system.

Brake response is primarily affected by the brake pads and rotors. Some brake pads have more "bite" than others; the ones that bite faster respond better, but they can be difficult to live with in everyday life. Performance pads are a good option for improving response, especially if the pads need to be replaced anyway. New brake rotors can also improve the response you get when you hit the pedal, but not as much as performance brake pads will. Where rotors will really make a difference is when you are descending a mountain road and are on the brakes frequently. New rotors can make your brake pads perform at their best for sustained periods of time due to better cooling and out-gassing technologies.

It is important to realize that brake feel and response have almost nothing to do with your stopping distance. Getting new brake pads, rotors, lines, and fluid can make the driver feel better and will make a vehicle stop safer, but it will do very little to help you stop faster. If you want to shorten your stopping distance, the only way to really achieve that is with a big brake kit. A big brake kit includes larger diameter rotors, upgraded calipers, and new brake pads. The larger diameter rotors are the key component here because they give the brake system more leverage to stop the wheels. Big brake kits can be expensive and usually require larger wheels to accommodate the larger brakes, but if shorter stopping distances are your goal, it is worth the time and investment. I know this is a lot of information to consume, but there is one last thing you want to think about. Your tires are what really slows your car and how much grip they have is a big factor in how quickly you stop.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

The 5 Benefits To Changing Your Automatic Transmission Fluid

One of the most commonly over looked aspects of a vehicle is the transmission. Many people tend to either ignore their transmission all together, or simply do not understand how it works. And that is fine and dandy until the day comes that things start to get ugly with it. A busted transmission is another way of saying a car that isn't going to be running any time soon without some serious work. The transmission is the power source, and it provides proper application of the power of your vehicle. So if you want to ensure your vehicle's transmission lasts just as long as possible (and most will last the entire vehicle's life time if maintained properly), then you will want to get on top of changing your automatic transmission fluid.

Benefit Number One: Preventing Lock Up

Odds are you know what tetanus is, because it is commonly referred to as "lock jaw." You would never want to have lock jaw. Not only would it be painful, but it would be inconvenient. Well, it would surprise you to know that it would be twice as inconvenient if your vehicle got lock jaw. Lock up happens when your vehicle's transmission gets so hot that your vehicle simply shuts down. It no longer runs. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can prevent this happening to your car.

Benefit Number Two: Saving Money

Who doesn't like saving money? Literally every person you meet does things to save money, unless they've got tons to throw around or are children. Usually, they amount to the same. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black (not flushing it-flushing your automatic transmission fluid can be dangerous to your vehicle, tantamount to bleeding it dry then trying to fill it back up with new blood) can help prevent most transmission problems from occurring, meaning you save the woes of a blown transmission.

Benefit Number Three: Run Cleaner

Changing your automatic transmission fluid, and using the right fluid, can make your engine run cleaner and more efficiently than it has since it was brand new. This means better fuel economy (which we'll get to next) and better oil usage. However, using the wrong fluid, any fluid not recommended by the manufacturer for your specific make and model, can damage your transmission greatly, so be sure to check.

Benefit Number Four: Better Fuel Economy

Less work means less wear. Less wear means your transmission, and your engine, last longer. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can help you to keep your transmission running strong for a very long time, making your vehicle more fuel efficient.

Benefit Number Five: Cost Effective

What do you think costs less: a new transmission, or automatic transmission fluid? Hopefully, you went with the latter choice. A new transmission is expensive, while automatic transmission fluid is relatively cheap in comparison, making taking care of your transmission a no brainer.

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Monday, July 4, 2016

4th Of July No Bake Cheesecake Pie!

A sweet biscuit base filled with a creamy, lemony filling and topped with your favourite summer berries – flag arrangement optional! :)
Check out the recipe:

Friday, July 1, 2016

How Your Car Brakes Work

It's common knowledge that the brakes are what stop our cars. We trust those brakes to bring our vehicle to a halt when we need them to. But, what most of us don't know is how our disk brakes or brake pads actually work. When you obtain regular auto service in Delaware County, you may find it beneficial to not only have them take care of your brakes, but also teach you the mechanics of how your car brakes work.

There are two typical types of brakes: disk brakes and drum brakes. Disk brakes are usually found on the front of your car, with drum brakes usually found in the back. Depending on the make and year of your car, you may also find disk brakes on the rear brakes. The mechanics providing your auto service in Delaware County will be able to tell you which type that you have.

In order to put your brakes into action, you have to compress the brake pedal on the driver's side of the car. Once the brake pedal has been pushed down, it will signal the master cylinder to push fluid out to the calipers. The calipers will then squeeze both brake pads against the disk or rotor to stop the car. When you consider this process, liken it to the rubber pads on a bicycle rubbing against the wheel rim to create friction and to stop the bike.

For those vehicles with drum brakes, fluid is forced into what is known as the wheel cylinder. When the fluid is forced into the cylinder, the pressure from the fluid then pushes the brake shoes out so that friction is created against the drum to stop the car. The brake shoes are on the inside of the drum, rather than on the outside like a disk brake.

Of course slowing down causes friction, which creates heat. This process eventually wears out the brakes on your car, leading them to need replacing.

Knowing not only the proper maintenance your brakes require, but also how they work, can help you and your auto mechanic take care of this vital car equipment.

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