Saturday, October 29, 2022
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Monday, October 24, 2022
Friday, October 21, 2022
By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist
You probably know tires are made of rubber — but how much more do you know? Here’s a run-through of some important tire-related terminology:
1) Aspect ratio
This technical-sounding term refers to the relationship between the width of a tire and the height of the tire’s sidewall. High-performance “low profile” tires have “low aspect ratios” — meaning their sidewalls are short relative to their width. This provides extra stiffness and thus better high-speed handling and grip — but also tends to result in a firmer (and sometimes, harsh) ride. “Taller” tires tend to provide a smoother ride and better traction in snow.
2) Contact Patch
As your tires rotate, only a portion of the total tread is actually in contact with the ground at any given moment. This is known as the contact patch. Think of it as your tire’s “footprint.” Sport/performance-type tires are characterized by their wider footprint — more tread is in contact with the ground — which provides extra grip, especially during hard acceleration on dry pavement and during high-speed cornering.
3) Treadwear indicators
These are narrow bands built into the tread during manufacturing that begin to show when only 1/16 of the tire’s tread remains. Also called wear bars, treadwear indicators are there to provide an obvious visual warning that it’s time to shop for new tires.
4) Speed ratings
An alpha-numeric symbol you’ll find on your tire’s sidewall that tells you the maximum sustained speed the tire is capable of safely handling. An H-rated tire, for example, is built to be safe for continuous operation at speeds up to 130 mph. Most current model year family-type cars have S (112 mph) or T (118 mph) speed ratings. High performance cars often have tires with a V (149 mph) or ZR (in excess of 149 mph) speed rating. A few ultra-performance cars have W (168 mph) and even Y (186 mph) speed-rated tires.
5) Maximum cold inflation load limit
This refers to the maximum load that can be carried in a given vehicle with a given type of tires — and the maximum air pressure needed to support that load. In your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you should be able to find the recommended cold inflation load limit. It’s important not to exceed the load limit (or over or under-inflate the tires) as this can lead to stability/handling problems and even tire failure. Always check tire pressure “cold.” Driving creates friction which creates heat; as the tires warm up, the air inside expands, increasing the pressure. Measuring air pressure after driving can give a false reading; you may actually be driving around on under-inflated tires.
6) Load index
This number corresponds to the load carrying capacity of the tire. The higher the number, the higher the load it can safely handle. As an example, a tire with a load index of 89 can safely handle 1,279 pounds — while a tire with a load rating of 100 can safely handle as much as 1,764 pounds. It’s important to stick with tires that have at least the same load rating as the tires that came originally with the vehicle — especially if it’s a truck used to haul heavy loads or pull a trailer. It’s ok to go with a tire that has a higher load rating than the original tires; just be careful to avoid tires with a lower load rating than specified for your vehicle, even if they are less expensive. Saving a few bucks on tires is not worth risking an accident caused by tire failure.
7) Radial vs. bias-ply tire
Bias-ply tires have their underlying plies laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread; radials have their plies laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread. That’s the technical difference. The reason radial tires are dominant today is that they help improve fuel efficiency and handling; they also tend to dissipate heat better than bias-ply tires. No modern passenger cars come with bias-ply tires these days and their use is generally not recommended. (Exceptions might include older/antique vehicles that originally came equipped with bias-ply tires. Some RVs also used bias-ply tires, etc.) It is very important never to mix radial and bias-ply tires; dangerously erratic handling may result.
8) LT and MS tires
These designations indicate “Light Truck” and “Mud/Snow” — and are commonly found on tires fitted to SUVs and pick-ups. LT-rated tires are more general purpose, built primarily for on-road use — while MS-rated tires typically have more aggressive “knobby” tread patterns designed for better off-road traction.
9) Temporary Use Only
Many modern cars come with so-called “space-saver” tires which are smaller and lighter than a standard or full-size spare tire. They are designed to leave more room in the trunk and be easier for the average person to handle when a roadside tire change becomes necessary. However, they are not designed to be used for extended (or high-speed) driving. Your car will probably not handle (or stop) as well while the Space Saver tire is on – and you should keep your speed under 55 mph and avoid driving on the tire beyond what’s absolutely necessary to find a tire repair shop where you can have your damaged tire repaired or replaced.
10) Treadwear, Traction and Temperature ratings
Each tire has three separate ratings for Treadwear, Traction and Temperature.
Traction ratings run from AA to A to B and C — with C being the lowest on the scale. The ratings represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement under controlled testing conducted by the government. C-rated tires are marginal and should be avoided. Never buy a tire with a Traction rating that isn’t at least equal to the minimum rating specified by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Temperature ratings from A to B to C — with C being the minimum allowable for any passenger car tire. The ratings correspond to a given tire’s ability to dissipate heat under load; tires with lower ratings are more prone to heat-induced failure, especially if driven at high speeds (or when overloaded). As with Traction ratings, never buy a tire with a Temperature rating that’s less than specified for your vehicle.
Treadwear ratings differ from Traction and Temperature ratings in that they aren’t a measure of a tire’s built-in safety margin. Instead, these ratings — represented by a three digit number — give you an idea of the expected useful life of the tire according to government testing. A tire with a Treadwear rating of 150, for example, can be expected to last about 1.5 times as long as a tire with a Treadwear rating of 100. These are just guides, however. Your tires may last longer (or not) depending on such factors as how you drive, whether you maintain proper inflation pressure and rotate the tires per recommendations — and so on.
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Fixing a clutch. Simple enough, right? It seems to be. However, most people don't realize that fixing a clutch is more complicated and can be a delicate procedure. The biggest hurdle one would find is that many times it involves dropping the engine. This is not something that most can do in their garage.
Recharging the A/C
Every automotive store carries A/C recharging kits. If they do that, then it must be something a novice could do, right? Wrong. Not even counting the added complications of Freon, there is so much more to it. Working with the A/C system involves very high, specific pressure, specialized tubing, and odd components - most of these allusively buried in the dashboard or tied into an incomprehensible computer - not to mention many other things related to the first law of thermodynamics. If that word is not recognizable, you more than likely have no business even being in there.
Working around or on the airbag
Though thankfully this particular area rarely needs to be worked on or around, it is still a good idea to know what the possible outcomes could be. The most important thing to think about if working on or around this area - including any close by panels - is that there is a significantly sized explosive charge tucked away in there. Does 'explosive charge' sound a lot like a bomb? It should, because that is essentially what it is. Definitely make sure that someone with training in that particular area works on that part of your car. A hand being blown off isn't worth the extra money saved by doing it ones-self. It is guaranteed that the hospital bill for that would be significantly more expensive than just having a professional do it for you.
Rebuilding a differential
Anytime someone is messing around with gears it can lead to disaster. It takes a delicate, sensitive touch. Differentials are even trickier. If the gears are even slightly off, your car will sound like it has been taken over by a disgruntled poltergeist. Not to mention that in a very short time, the teeth will completely wear out and disintegrate. The contact patch between the gears has to be so carefully aligned that it is mathematically perfect.
Even the seemingly simplest of jobs are so involved that many times doing your own car repair can cost more than taking it to the shop. A car repair technician can do the job right the first time and save lots of time and energy.
For more information on car repair, Hershey, PA residents can go to http://www.certifiedpreownedofhershey.com/Body-Shop.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9236426
Saturday, October 15, 2022
While auto body shop professionals are happy to help with tiny and large problems alike, some car problems can be prevented or at least delayed. A great mechanic wants to empower car owners with knowledge of how to take great care of their vehicles. They should follow these five car care hacks to enjoy logging many miles to come in their automobile.
1. Tending to Tires
It's easy to trust that tires will keep spinning until the driver feels one go flat, but car owners can extend the longevity of their tires with a bit of extra care. They should wipe off brake dust on a regular basis, meaning at least once per week. If brake dust builds up, it's a little-known fact that it can bake into the wheels of an automobile if left on for too long. They should rely on a damp sponge and soapy water to clear off the dust.
That's not all it takes to keep tires in great shape. They should check the car's tire pressure regularly, or have a professional mechanic do so if they're not familiar with the ins and outs of tire pressure. Also, having their tread depth checked and tires rotated regularly is advisable.
2. Keeping Their Cool
Many people don't know that it's important to flush their motor vehicle's cooling system at least once per year, and they should change the coolant then as well as whenever it's needed throughout the year. Automobile owners need to trust a professional mechanic for this job, and they can ensure that grime, corrosion, and other deposits don't build up in the car's cooling system.
3. Letting Their Light Shine
Car owners should check their headlights and brake lights regularly to make sure these lights are in excellent working order. Not only can broken lights result in tickets, but they can also present a hazard on the road. Both the headlights and brake lights can be quickly tested at an auto body shop, and when there is a problem, it's usually easy to fix as long as vehicle owners catch it before it causes problems on the road.
4. Showing Pride in the Car's Appearance
One crucial aspect of taking the best care of a car is also keeping it clean. Whether they own a small car, a huge SUV, or anything in between, automobile owners should get a regular car wash and wax. They need to schedule a vehicle wash every week or at least every other week. Also, if they notice immediate issues, such as a bird relieving itself on the top of their car, it's important to wash the excrement away as soon as possible. Bird waste can actually damage a car's paint job, so cleaning up the mess right away is essential.
5. Paying Attention to Warnings
If drivers notice a warning light on their dashboard, they need to resist the temptation to look the other way. Whether it's a check engine light, a temperature light, an oil light, or something else, car owners should take their vehicle to an auto body shop to check on the problem right away. The earlier they catch an issue, the easier and less expensive it may be to fix.
Finally, automobile owners need to keep in mind that they can prevent some trips to the auto body shop for repairs by taking optimal care of their car. They need to take action today to keep their vehicle in pristine condition.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anders_Abadie/1022510
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9461614
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Sunday, October 9, 2022
"Hands On" Owner / Operator, Paul Troutner, of Corby's Collision in Vacaville, California discusses happy customers and alignments.
For more information, please visit http://corbysvacaville.com/
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Estimates: Most body shops will offer free estimates for their work, and getting several quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges. Get all of the details in writing. Even though it's just an estimate, you want to be able to compare apples to apples among different mechanics. In some cases, one mechanic may even try to match an estimate if they can.
Experience and reputation for repair work: Even in the digital age, nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendations. You can also check with your local consumer organizations to get a better understanding of their reputation. To narrow the field even further, you need to know the extent of the damage. If the damage is structural, make sure your choice has the experience needed to take care of all the repairs and not just the exterior issues.
Insurance company relationship: Most insurance companies have built up relationships with specific auto body shops. These contracts help the insurance provider save money because they have negotiated lower parts and labor rates. The business your insurance company recommends also meets certain training and certification requirements. This, however, is just a recommendation. If you do not feel completely comfortable and confident with their work, do not be afraid to tell the insurance representative that you want to go to another shop. In the end, they must respect your wishes. It's the law.
Warranty: A reputable business should have no problem standing behind their work. There may be separate metalwork, painting, decal, and mechanical repair warranties, providing comprehensive coverage. Choose a shop that will guarantee their parts and service. Some will even provide a lifetime guarantee for certain services.
Other services: Ask what other services are included or available for an additional fee. While some may focus their work to structural and exterior detailing, other shops may be able to take care of your car's inspection, oil change, or other maintenance measures.
Even though auto body shops are not needed until an accident happens, it pays to do a little research beforehand, so that when the time comes, you are prepared. Some auto body shops even offer 24/7 emergency towing services, which can be a lifesaver if your car is too damaged to drive. With some research, your car will be back in driving condition for a fair price.
Monday, October 3, 2022
CVC Section 2813 outlines who must stop at weigh stations and inspection stations:
2813. Every driver of a commercial vehicle shall stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection of the size, weight, equipment, and smoke emissions of the vehicle at any location where members of the California Highway Patrol are conducting tests and inspections of commercial vehicles and when signs are displayed requiring the stop. Every driver who fails or refuses to stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection when signs are displayed requiring that stop is guilty of a misdemeanor.
CVC Section 260 defines "commercial vehicle" (bolding added):
260. (a) A "commercial vehicle" is a motor vehicle of a type required to be registered under this code used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
(b) Passenger vehicles which are not used for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit and housecars are not commercial vehicles. ...
(c) Any vanpool vehicle is not a commercial vehicle.
CVC Section 410 defines a "motor truck" (bolding added):
410. A "motor truck" or "motortruck" is a motor vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
CVC Section 471 defines "pickup truck" (bolding added):
471. A "pickup truck" is a motor truck with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length. "Pickup truck" does not include a motor vehicle otherwise meeting the above definition, that is equipped with a bed-mounted storage compartment unit commonly called a "utility body."