Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Maintaining Your Snowblower


If you do not want to be standing out in the cold arguing with a snowblower that does not want to run, then do the annual maintenance before the snow starts flying. Regular maintenance will give you years of hassle free use, and less attitude from your blower. Do not forget the safety aspect, because without proper maintenance your snowblower could become a hazard.
Each fall before winter arrives, you should check all bolts, belts, and moving parts, to ensure they are not frayed, loose, or worn. Belts are best checked by removing and checking for cracks. Replace any worn parts, and tighten any loose bolts.
Turn your snowblower on its side and check the scraper bar. This is the bar that rubs against the ground and scrapes the snow off. This item wears, so check to see if it need replacement. If you neglect to replace the bar when it is worn, it will lead to damage on the snowblower's housing, and that's will hurt your pocket book. In fact, if your snowblower gets a lot of use through out the season, check it regularly.
Check the rubber paddles and the rubber on the auger. If your finger fits between the rubber and the housing it's time to replace the rubber. A new rubber will help your snowblower operate at its optimum performance levels.
Check tires for wear and proper inflation. Adjust as needed. If you have tire chains for your snowblower, have them handy or put them on in advance. There's nothing worse than searching in the freezing cold, while trying to remember where you put the chains.
There are only two types of snow blower engines: The two cylinder engine which uses mixed gas and oil. You will just need to replace the spark plug on this style of engine.
If you have a four cylinder engine which applies straight gas, with the oil in the crank case just like your vehicle, you will need to change the oil, spark plug, and filter. You should also check the oil each time before you start it. Most four cylinders use 5W30 oil, and hold approx 20 ounces. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct oil weight, and replacement part numbers.
Lubricate the drive and chassis. If you have two stage blower, be sure you check the lube in the gear box. Check with your owners manual whether you have a one stage or two stage. It will also tell you the type of lubricant to use.
If there was fuel left from the previous year, you will need to siphon it off, and fill the gas tank with fresh gasoline. It doesn't hurt to add some methanol in with the fuel, once or twice a season, to avoid condensation from building up in the tank, or the carburetor icing up.

2006 Honda Civic Si

2006 Honda Civic Si
The 2006 Honda Civic Si, designed as an "Advanced Personal Compact," the next-generation Si will incorporate flowing bodywork, a steeply angled windshield, and wide stance to propose stability and forward motion. The new Civic Si will be the fastest and most powerful Civic offered in its twenty-year history. The 2006 Civic lineup, launching this fall, will include a 4-door Sedan, a 2-door Coupe and Si Coupe, an even more fuel efficient Civic Hybrid and a natural-gas powered Civic GX. 

The Civic Si Concept builds on its performance heritage with a 200 HP, 16 valve, and DOHC i-VTEC engine with an 8000 rpm red line, mated to a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission system. Helping to put all that power to the ground is a helical-type limited slip differential for improved launch traction and cornering performance. 

A 200 HP 16 valve i-VTEC engine powers the 2006 Si. Honda sources indicate that next-generation i-VTEC technology will have significant increases in performance and fuel economy. A six-speed transmission system will give drivers manual control of shift points up to the engine's redline of 8000 rpm, and a helical-type limited-slip differential will raise traction and cornering ability. 

The Si Concept includes performance features such as 18-inch cast aluminum wheels with 225/40R high performance tires, and 4-wheel disc brake system with large cross-drilled brake rotors. "The 2006 Civic Si Coupe will be the most powerful, fastest and fun-to-drive Si we have ever put on the street, and the Civic Si Concept sets the direction in terms of its styling, package and performance," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda. "It's part of a new family of Civic vehicles that build on the already class-leading values of the Civic in terms of safety, styling, performance and fuel efficiency." 

This new production Civic Si Coupe will serve as the performance leader for the 2006 Civic model lineup, which will be completely redesigned. The 2006 Civic will feature more emotional styling, increased performance, and the latest generation of "intelligent" i-VTEC engine technology.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recycled Car Parts

So you are mechanically inclined? Fabulous! You probably know a lot about fixing and installing car parts. When working on vehicles, there are certainly times when parts need to be replaced, costing you and, in turn, the customer a lot of money. But there are ways to cut your costs. Have you considered applying recycled car parts?

Automotive recyclers offer great deals on used car parts. There are numerous recyclers out there than you might think. And their prices are hard to beat. One reason is that insurance companies can save money themselves by dropping off wrecked vehicles at a recycling yard. There are many other incentives, though, to shop from these guys.

Did you know that purchasing used car parts from auto recyclers helps keep pollution caused by producing new parts? A lot of oil is used to manufacture new car parts-resources that are saved by recycling. Reusing raw materials is beneficial to the environment. And finding the right car parts should not be too hard. Currently, more than 4 million cars are recycled every year in North America. That's a lot of available car parts!

Recycling car parts saves a lot of space in landfills. Why throw something away when it can still be used? Also, buying used car parts allows you to use quality parts made by the original manufacturer. Recyclers are skilled in checking which car parts are damaged and which are reusable.

And it is true: used car parts help you save money. Clearly, this is a cheaper option to purchasing new car parts. But are you getting the same quality? Good question. Actually, most automotive recyclers give guarantees on car parts, so you will not need to worry about buying a lemon. Better yet, recyclers can often find car parts faster than other dealers, as they have developed an electronic network to communicate quickly with other recyclers. If they do not have what you need in stock, chances are they can find it in no time.

Next time you are searching car parts, consider your local automotive recycler. You will be satisfied with the product, and also with the price.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dealing With an Overheated Radiator

Car with Overheated Radiator
Radiators are essential parts of any engine cooling system. They are designed to dissipate the heat, which the coolant has absorbed from the engine. However, like all auto parts, radiators are prone to damage and corrosion. As it is mostly made of metal and is in constant contact with liquids, radiators can collapse over time due to corrosive forces. Defective radiators can spell doom for any engine. Irreparable damage can result if a malfunctioning radiator is not repaired or replaced immediately. Overheating is one of the most common collapses that autos encounter during the summertime season. It happens when the temperature of the coolant passes the normal operating temperature range of the engine. Overheating has many causes. Idling under hot weather for extended periods can wreak havoc on the cars cooling system, because the water pump does not turn fast enough. Thus the coolant is not circulated, as it should be. Sometimes a leak may cause the coolant level to drop thus causing the radiator to overheat. Here are a few pointers for dealing with an overheated radiator:

1. Turn off the A/C. If the car is not seriously overheating, this will reduce the engine's temperature. The AC evaporator is placed in front of the radiator, and it adds heat to the air going to your engine. The hotter the incoming air is, the less efficient the radiator will be.

2. Turn on your heater (set on highest temperature setting, with blower on highest setting). This will be uncomfortable for you, but it will cool the engine by transferring the heat to the air. Roll down the windows, and remember how 'hot' you will get if your engine needs replacement!

3. If you are stuck in traffic jam, pull over and stop. Unless you are moving, very little cool air reaches the radiator. Open the hood and let the engine cool down. This takes time, so be patient. Use the time to go get a jug of water or antifreeze.

4. Check the overflow tank coolant level. If it is empty, the radiator is probably low on coolant.

5. Check the pressure of the system by wrapping a cloth around the upper radiator hose and squeezing it. If it is still under pressure (hot) it will not squeeze easily. Wait until it does.

6. Place a large cloth over the radiator cap, and carefully release the pressure. Serious burns can result from the hot coolant. If in doubt, wait until the engine cools completely.

7. If the coolant is low, start the engine, and slowly add the water or coolant necessary to fill it up. The engine must be running. Adding coolant to a warm engine can crack the block. By running the engine, the coolant keeps moving and reduces the chances of this type of damage occurring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Pickup

Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Pickup
Vehicles with larger, less fuel-efficient engines will benefit more from hybrid technology, thus big pickup trucks, vans and SUVs are prime candidates for the gas-saving benefits of hybrid technology. The Chevrolet Silverado hybrid pickup feature GM's 5300 Vortec V-8 and Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission system, coupled with hybrid technology that delivers 10 to 12 percent improved fuel economy over GM half-ton pickups.

It features a powerful 42-volt lead-acid battery pack underneath the rear seat, an auxiliary starter-generator between the engine and the transmission, an electronic control module, and a regenerative braking system, which charges the battery while braking, and coasting.

With an auxiliary generator capability, the truck's generator can operate when the truck is parked without a key in the ignition. The hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups could power tools or appliances for up to 32 hours non-stop. This design shuts the engine down before the tank is emptied, allowing enough gas to drive to a station for refuelling. All power supply circuits are protected by a ground fault detection system to prevent overloads and short circuits.

A compact electric motor that generates up to 14,000 watts of continuous electric power makes this pickup truck more fuel-efficient. The main function of the triplet deep-cycle lead acid batteries is to serve the starter generator to instantly restart the engine. When the Silverado Hybrid comes to a stop while in Drive or Park, the engine will automatically shut off. When the driver takes his/her foot off the brake and puts it on the accelerator pedal, the engine re-starts automatically and almost seamlessly.

One feature of GM's Hybrid pickups that is likely to attract buyers is its double 120 volt power outlets inside the box near the tailgate, and another two 120 volt outlets inside the rear cab. These can be used for power tools, compressors, generators, heaters, appliances or any other electrical appliance. The outlets can be deactivated with a button on the dashboard to avoid any unauthorized use of the external 120 volts outlets.

The Silverado Hybrid extended cab is a comfortable, smooth-riding pickup with a quiet, V8 engine, a roomy cab with good ventilation and excellent outward visibility, and a rugged hard-wearing chassis.

Volkswagen Touran Hymotion: Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle

Volkswagen Touran Hymotion
Car manufacturer know that rising oil prices and tougher environmental rules will increase the public's interest in vehicles that use less fuel with reduced tail pipe emissions.

Hybrids increase fuel efficiency by capturing the energy normally lost to friction braking and storing it in a battery for later use when driving power is again required. Different than internal combustion engine hybrids, Volkswagen's hydrogen fuel cell hybrid emits only water.

The VW Touran Hymotion has high-torque electric motor that draws its power from a fuel cell and is absolutely emission free. The standard version, driven by gasoline and diesel engines, which are as agile as they are economical, is by far the most successful van available in Germany. In the Touran HyMotion, an 80 kW electric motor provides vehement propulsion.

The core element of this fuel cell is an extremely thin plastic film (membrane). This spatially separates the reagents, hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is broken down into positively and negatively charged particles (protons and electrons). The protons are able to pass directly through the membrane, while the electrons take a more indirect route via an external current circuit, driving the electric motor. On the other side of the membrane, the protons, electrons and oxygen blend to form water (H2O).

The hydrogen is transported in gaseous form at 350 bar in a special tank fitted in the Touran. A capacity of 1.9 kg hydrogen when converted corresponds to the energy contained in 7.5 litres of petrol. In combination with the electric motor's high efficiency, this quantity of hydrogen provides the vehicle with a range of about 160 kilometres.

Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Mercury Mariner Hybrid
The Mercury Mariner Hybrid applies both gasoline engine and electric car motor, which gives a 50% gain in driving efficiency with a much lower emission. All this is achieved by the use of half dozen powertrain components, which work in perfect unison. Ford motor has 40 patents in hybrid engine technology and 70 pending.

"The greatest appeal of the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is that it satisfies both your environmental conscience and sense of style. Mariner Hybrid retains the clean, tailored appearance of the conventional Mariner," said Peter Horbury, Executive Director, North American Design.

Being a fully hybrid, the Mercury Mariner employs both series- and parallel-hybrid characteristics. The gasoline engine shuts down to conserve fuel during coasting, at stoplight, and at low speeds. The electric motor, taking up electricity from the battery, is able to drive the vehicle without assistance up to 25 miles per hour.

It has 2.3-liter DOHC Duratec four-cylinder engine with 2 ac electric motors with 250 D-size nickel-metal hydride batteries in a compact, rear-mounted, sealed package. The vehicle could go up to 25 mph with only electric power. The gas engine automatically shuts down at traffic light, during coasting or when vehicle is crawling at low speeds. 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid has a groovier fuel economy in city driving where electric motor runs the vehicle up to as much as 25 mph.

The Mariner hybrid has 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/70R-16 all-season tires and a discreet air vent in the driver's side rear-quarter window that helps cool the rear-mounted nickel-metal hydride battery pack. It has an all-new Intelligent four-wheel drive System, which automatically carry-overs torque from front to rear as required by road conditions without driver intervention.

Mariner powertrains include a 2.3-liter 16-valve I-4 and a 3.0-liter 24-valve V-6 Duratec engine. Both engines come with a standard 4-speed automatic transaxle.

It also features a front end with the vertical, satin-aluminum-finished waterfall grill framing the floating Mercury emblem. The fascia features a stacked-element theme with complex refractor headlights over inset fog lamps. A high-impact-plastic (HIP) aluminum-look bumper insert and U-shaped air intake below the bumper.

Mariner has the latest level of the Personal Safety SystemTM, one of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced safety systems available in any vehicle in any class. Seat-mounted front side air bags and side air curtain air bags are optional.

"Mariner Hybrid fits perfectly with Mercury's design philosophy," says Richard Gresens, Mariner chief designer. "It's a stylish, elegant design with clean simple lines. It's an urban sport-utility, comfortable going to a club downtown, yet still possessing all of the capability and versatility of a sport-utility. At the same time, it's environmentally friendly."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Customizing Your Car Pinstriping

Car Pinstriping
Did you know pinstriping has a long history? Even before the invention of cars, pinstriping was used as an ornamental decoration for horse and buggy carriages.

Custom pinstripes began seeming on cars in the mid-1950s. Although pinstriping had been on cars long before that, the last American automobile to appear with auto pinstriping had been made by General Motors in the late 30’s. For those individuals with muscle or sports cars, personalizing their ride is an important part of possessing and showcasing the vehicle, and pinstriping is a final touch.

Pinstripes are commonly painted in two colors: one that sets off the body color, and another, thin line, in a color counterpointed with the stripe to make it stand out.

Mechanical pin striping is the best way to stripe larger vehicles- trucks, vans, or station wagons. The benefit is it lays down stripes of constant width, letting you focus attention on getting the stripe oriented properly along your working surface. You can set up your stripe lines using magnetic pinstriping strips with center grooves designed to be paint templates. They hold fast to steel surfaces, and can also work as guidea for your hand.

Striping with stencil tape is also popular. There are various types of stencil tape that are suitable for auto pinstriping applications. Stencil tape striping uses brushes, and a specialized pinstriping brush is an essential component in a successful project. Stencil tape allows you to apply different color stripes without needing the other stripes to dry.

Freehand pinstriping is the most difficult technique, requiring the most practice to master, but permits unrestricted creativity. The simplest plan for a freehand striping newbie is to lay a strip of masking tape down approximately a quarter inch from where you want the finished line to be, and then use this tape as visual guiding for your stripes. Whatever you do, do not use regular masking tape, or your pinstriping paint will bleed under the edge. Get some auto body masking tape from an auto supply store.

No matter what technique you use, pinstriping is one of the finest ways to make your vehicle distinctive. Just like anything else worth doing right, practice makes priceless results but having the best equipment you can get your hands on helps too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lexus GS 450h: Full Hybrid Technology Car

Lexus GS 450h
The Lexus GS 450h is the world's first hybrid luxury sedan and the first full hybrid vehicle with a front engine and rear wheel drive.

'Once again, we have applied our formula of no compromise engineering - this time to a luxury sport sedan which proves to us that hybrid power trains can work superbly in virtually any application,' said Lexus Vice President of Marketing Mark Templin. 'It's very important to continue pursuing substantial reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, while continuing to improve performance and driving pleasure. Our customers would not have it any other way.

It will be a rear wheel drive full hybrid making it able to travel at low speeds under electric propulsion alone. Lexus says the GS 450h will have gas mileage similar to the average 2-liter, 4-cylinder compact sedan.

The Lexus GS 450h is a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle or called SULEV. A SULEV-rated vehicle is 90% cleaner than the average new car.

The GS 450h will have a 3.5-liter V6 engine mixed with a high-output electric motor--all driving the rear wheels--to pack HP at the level of a V8 engine. Lexus says it will have HP equal to a 4.5 liter V8. 0-60 acceleration is expected to be less than 6 seconds. For perspective, the 2006 GS 430 has a 4.3-liter V8 that has 300 HP.

It is built on the GS 430 platform and offers similar standard equipment and options, including a sunroof and perforated leather seats. It's visually identical to the GS 430, except for a large air dam on the front bumper to cool the electric motor, a power meter on the dashboard instead of an odometer, and 18-inch light-alloy wheels.

Hybrid technology, driving dynamics, motoring comfort and generous space inside redefines the new Lexus GS450h. Featuring more powerful and fuel efficient engines, innovative assistance systems, a wide range of safety features, as well as a superior standard of equipment, the new Toyota Lexus of today need no less than superior BMW replacement parts when the need arises.

Helmet: The Head Protector

The weather is fair enough and inviting. The sky is as clear as blue crystal. The sun is flaming hot offering a warm and exciting motorcycle ride. Your well-maintained motorcycle is ready in the garage hoping to be of service to her master. But are you ready for an action-packed adventure either with or without a helmet? Are you willing to compromise? Last night you're disturbed by the revelation of a fact that helmets has its drawbacks. Now you are more bothered. Which is which?

Today, contradictory data about wearing helmets are widespread. Some studies are saying that wearing helmets has caused neck injuries that aggravate the condition of riders after encountering an accident. Some studies are on the exact reverse. They prove that a lot of lives are saved just by the reason of wearing helmets. Which of these two is more alarming? Which is to be set aside in order to yield outstanding security?

By virtue of these conflicting studies, riders are now bewildered which study to believe in. The indecision is blatant that the urge to ride a bike has been affected. This shouldn't be happening. We must make a choice. This choice can be guessed by the facts around us.

Helmets are designed to protect our head. Our head is vital not only because it has our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth and to let it be wounded will render us blind, deaf, deformed and less productive. It is vital because inside it is our brain. Our brain is soft and fragile while the road and cars are hard. Hits, bumps and terrible mishaps happen unfortunately, if our head is not well-protected, it will meet the hard road or vehicle parts and that may mean our doomed end.

Our brain controls every part of our body thus, it must be protected at all times. But how do you choose the best motorcycle apparel to protect your head? Does cost matters? Do ratings matter?

Helmets must pass a very dogmatic test involving real collisions. After that, augmentation in its structure can be done. The outer shell of the helmet must not be easily perpetrated or scratched. Another factor is that it must even out the impact so as not to damage the head by the rapid deceleration of the collisions.

Mostly, price has no relation to the overall features and work of a helmet. You can get a good-quality helmet at a fair price. Bear in mind that price is not a standard.

Ratings, on the other hand, can be a viable standard. If it passed the hardest test then it is well likely to have a good rating.

Safety and protection must be prioritized. Thus, always wear helmet to be safe and protected.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Durable Radiaor

Durable Radiator
Your car radiator is the primary cooling mechanism for your engine. A small leak on your Radiator can be signaling a greater trouble. A cooling system that runs low too often is less efficient and you can damage your cooling system by letting the coolant level get too low. Too little coolant flow can be bad, but at normal and high operating temperatures, the rate at which coolant runs through the radiator doesn't change the amount of heat that is dissipated by the cooling cores. The amount of cooling won't be reduced even when the mean temperature of the coolant rises and flows faster.

Many cheap coolants do not have the corrosion protection, PH balancing, or sediment prevention that the high-grade coolants do. These low quality coolants do not have the same additives of name brand coolants. To help your engine stay cooler, rev up your engine slightly when you're overheating in traffic jam to help push more air across the cooling cores and more coolant through the engine.

All water-cooled radiators have an automatically controlled blower on the radiator. The way the system is supposed to work is that, after the engine is started, the thermostat on the engine stays closed until the coolant temperature at the ENGINE reaches 87C (189F) degrees. It is the responsibility of the Radiator to keep the coolant temperature from running too high. However, if the temperature is too high it is not necessarily the radiator.

A poor radiator cap won't last as long or stay properly calibrated, and either open at too low or two high a pressure. Make sure your radiator cap is the proper one for your cooling system. Higher pressure implies a higher boiling point, which means more efficient cooling. A new radiator cap is usually all that is required for this (but don’t over pressurize your radiator cores and wreck the whole system).

Most Radiators' cooling system failures develop from poor radiator maintenance. Many radiator problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and periodic professional inspections of you car radiator and cooling system. The most common radiator problems are: leaky fittings or seams, fin deterioration and bond failure, electrolysis, cracked tank, and fan damage.

5 Auto Scams You Absolutely Must Avoid!

Auto Scam
People hate automobile dealers. Of course, there are always nice guys, but numerous car dealers just have to cheat their way to benefits. Here are the top 5 auto scams that you absolutely must avoid, or risk paying way too much for your car.

Scam 1: The Yo-Yo Financing Scam
The dealer deals you a car and allows you to take it home at once. You finance your car through the dealer, but a few days later, the dealer phones and tells you that your financing has fallen through. You are then ordered to set up new financing through the dealer, at a much higher cost to you, and a much higher income to them. Avoid this at any cost! If you have bad credit, do not finance at the dealer. Arrange your own financing. If you finance through the dealer, never drive off your car immediately. You should hold at least 24 hours before taking your new car, so as to make sure funding is complete. This allows the dealer no way to play the scam on you.

Scam 2: The Window Etching Fee
This is one of the most ridiculous but usual scams I have heard off. Basically the dealer offers to window etch your VIN number in the window of your car for you, at a price ranging from $300 to $1000. Some people have tried to talk down the cost, and they often succeed, but the dealer still draws a few hundreds off you. The easiest way to solve this problem? Just purchase a do it yourself window etching kit at any decent auto parts store. It only costs $20.

Scam 3: The Dealer Preparation Fee
The dealer charges you a preparation fee to prepare your car. Some often charge an unconscionable $500 or more just to peel off the plastic protection on the car, test drive the car and put in the fuses. Most MSRP stickers show that these costs have already been covered by the manufacturer. In fact, some car dealers permanently print it on the buyer's order to make it seem mandatory, but one way you can get it removed is by telling the dealer to add a credit (of the equal amount as the dealer preparation fees) on the next line. If they decline to do so, you should simply walk out of the dealership.

Scam 4: The Market Adjustment Fee
In this scam, the dealer tells you that your car is a genuinely popular vehicle, and so to sell you the vehicle they have to add "Market Adjustment Fees" of several thousand dollars. This sum of money is commonly indicated on an orange sticker next to manufacturer's MSRP sticker. A car possibly popular, but if it is in stock, it is not worth paying extra for it. Many buyers, especially trade-in buyers, have been ripped off before. They focus only on what they get for their old car, and so they do not see the big picture. They may get an extra few thousand for their car, but they do not notice that they're bucked a much higher Market Adjustment Fee. The dealer sells the car, gets the trade-in, and makes an extra off the buyer. Never pay more than the manufacturer's MSRP.

Scam 5: The Extended Warranty Scam
The Extended Warranty scam is quite old but it's still in use. And many people still do fall for it. Basically, when you take a loan on your car, the dealer will say that you have to purchase an extended warranty because the bank requires it for the loan. Deflecting this scam is very simple actually. Tell the dealer to write down in black and white that the extended warranty is required for the loan and they will most probably find some excuse to remove the extended warranty. If they refuse to do so, then please do not buy from that dealership. Actually, the extended warranty is a great thing to have, but do not ever get it from the dealer. You can get far better deals elsewhere, especially online.Don’t get cheated by car dealers!