Reasons To Choose Independent Repair Shops For Mercedes Benz

Independent Repair Shops For Mercedes Benz

Independent Repair Shops For Mercedes Benz – Mercedes-Benz is certainly one of the biggest names in the business of automotive manufacturing. They have been pioneering and making some of the finest luxury automobiles for some time now. And being the paragon of premium automobile manufacturer means that they tend to introduce more experimental novelty technology that is sophisticated entirely by nature, which may translate to more frequent repairs.

With that said, you may think that a complex car needs factory trained technicians to diagnose and mend, which means going to the dealers. And while that might be the better approach if we’re talking about a Mercedes that’s still under warranty, what if I told you that there are plenty of independent repair shops for Mercedes Benz models that are plenty competent, if not more so than the dealers? There are reasons why you might want to stick with independent repair shops for Mercedes-Benz rather than the dealers, and here are 5 of them here.

Lower Repair Bills

There’s no way around it, Mercedes-Benz demands a hefty sum for their time, and that’s to pay for all of the processes plus getting their trained technicians to sort out one single car. It’s arguable whether if the amount of money you’re forking over is worth it or not, but that’s what they charge.

Therefore, by sticking with independent repair shops for Mercedes-Benz cars, it’s not quite an international effort to document everything, you aren’t paying for factory trained expertise, and most importantly they don’t emphasize solely on genuine original factory parts stamped with the star. OEM parts that are essentially identical may cost less than half as much as original parts.

Flexibility

The other great thing about independent workshops is the fact that they are allowed to be more flexible with how they approach your vehicle. They aren’t dead set on original Mercedes parts. In lieu of ‘original is the best’, they might instead use aftermarket parts that perform as well, if not better than the original. Independent repair shops can offer a list of options for you to adapt to your budget.

Other than that, independent workshops also work with a varied range of operating fluids from a variety of aftermarket manufacturers, so you’re not being charged the manufacturer premium even though it will work just fine.

Human Interaction

When you’re working with a dealer, especially a massive one with a high throughput after-sales service department, you will be just another customer to the dealer, even if you own a Mercedes-Benz. Unless you’re an extremely important client with considerable influence, they just want to get your car in and out as fast as possible, while offering extra services that you don’t necessarily need by the script. You’ll also rarely get to interact with the technician actually wrenching on your car because the service advisor is the middleman in between.

However, with an independent shop, it’s straightforward. There are no after-sales service department. You step in, talk with the person-in-charge, then they try to accommodate your requests as long as it’s reasonable. You may also communicate directly with your technician, and you will eventually recognize the workshop personnel by name.

Loyalty

Pertaining to what is stated above, for any independent repair shops, customer loyalty is imperative. Rather than dealers who know they’re locking you in via new car warranty, independent repair shops for Mercedes-Benz realizes that new customers are hard to come by, so they must work to maintain an ardent fanbase. They have no new car sales to rely on, so it’s all about preserving the regulars. You can bet that independent shops can offer a service easily on par with what the dealers provide, and even far surpass the dealers.

Versatility

Independent Repair Shops For Mercedes Benz

Mercedes-Benz cars are complex to diagnose, therefore their dealers will have technicians that essentially listens and waits for instructions from their experts that try to diagnose issues without even touching your car. They’re also used to identifying patterns and making repairs according to known issues.

With that said, when you’re bringing in an Mercedes-Benz with a tricky fault, what you’re going to need is an ace diagnostician to work on your car. It’s not to say that dealers don’t have competent diagnostician, but independent repair shops will have a diagnostician that’s used to dealing with an eclectic range of problems.

Here are just a few reasons why you might want to bring your Car to an independent repair shop for Mercedes-Benz, rather than defaulting to the dealer next time around. While you might argue with some of the points above, I’m here to clarify that dealers might not be the best answer, even for your costly Mercedes.

Are BMW Repairs Expensive?

BMW Repairs

BMW Repairs – Shopping for a used or brand new BMW? Perhaps you’d want to hold off pulling that trigger because it’s prudent that you know a bit more about luxury German car ownership before even thinking about buying one. While BMW is widely venerated for their consistently excellent products, their introductory price definitely reflects in their after-purchase cost too.

Depending on what kind of BMW that you’re looking for, the maintenance and repairs cost can vary wildly. However, it’s without hesitation that a problem arising within your pricey German luxury cruiser is going to demand more out of your wallet than a Japanese sedan. Enough for the marque to land a spot in multiple lists ranking manufacturers with the costliest upkeep.

BMW Repairs & Maintenance

Of course, while it all depends on the model and age, you can generally expect a typical annual minor service, such as an oil and filter change to range from $200 to $400. For a major service with less frequency which typically includes transmission work, that can bump the cost up to $600.

One thing to note is that many of the wear and tear parts do change based on what model of BMW you’ve got. You’re going to need more specific, more expensive fully synthetic oil for your performance M car, while your massive brake discs and beefier brake calipers also demand much bigger and thus pricier brake pads. Tires are also part of the discussion, and none of the above are things you’d want to skimp on if you intend to keep your BMW driving like a proper one.

BMW Repairs & Parts

That’s not the main thing about a BMW vehicle that’s eye-watering to common folks though. BMW repairs and major jobs are what sets them apart. With the Germans always seeking to be at the forefront of automotive technology, they have less time to test out new gadgets and are also forced to undertake more risks to stay competitive. This means that many of your BMW parts are complex to manufacture, which reflects in their individual pricing.

Thus, typical BMW repairs are pricier than normal, but again, it changes with regards to what problem you’re facing. A BMW 3-series starter replacement, for instance, can cost upwards of $900, which is quite expensive owing to the laborious procedures involved for quality BMW repairs. And that’s before we get into the flagship models, such as the M-division products, the 7-series and the hybrid models.

BMW Repairs

With all that said, the whole notion behind a contemporary luxury vehicle is for there to be as little compromises as possible, and the quality is what you’re paying for in a BMW. Certainly, BMW repairs aren’t exactly affordable, but if you can afford a luxury car serving as an exemplary representation of driving pleasure, it’s only expected that you can afford the running costs associated with it too.

Being a premium product, they’d also need to confront stringent quality control and tough standard of procedure to preserve their brand image as a premier automotive manufacturer. From pre-sales to after-sales, BMW does attempt to provide the best, most effortless customer experience possible.

Therefore, if the answer wasn’t quite overt enough for anyone out there, BMW repairs are indeed expensive and pricey. But all of that isn’t without reasoning and basis, they certainly aren’t charging people whatever they fancy. Being a luxury vehicle with plenty of complicated mechanics and a multitude of electrical components throughout though, it’s only expected that the repairs do cost more.

A Look At The Porsche Cayman

porsche cayman

Porsche Cayman – If the idea of a Porsche intrigues you, you’ll be glad to know that you have plenty of options to dip your feet into the world of Porsche ownership. With a lengthy and varied history, there are many ways to go about with your first Porsche. However, if you want an entry-level Porsche that provides a satisfactory hint of the world of Porsche, the Porsche Cayman might just be what you’re looking for.

Initially introduced in late-2005, the Porsche Cayman really be explained as the fastback-coupe variant of the second-generation Porsche Boxster. Even during the Boxster’s initial inception, it attracted a fair amount of contrasting opinions from a tumultuous crowd. So you can only imagine how they felt about a Porsche fastback-coupe that could threaten the throne that the marque-defining Porsche 911 has fostered over the years. As of now, there have been three-interpretations of the Porsche Cayman, and all of them enjoy the distinct advantage in being a mid-engine sports coupe powered by a flat engine. Since Porsche didn’t have a tradition or ardent fans they needed to please with the Cayman, unlike the 911, they could adopt a more sensible powertrain layout with the Cayman.

This means that the Cayman technically puts more emphasis on canyon carving, and hence why the Cayman has garnered such popularity amongst the track day crowd. With Porsche’s cornering know-how and an actually pragmatic engine layout meant that the Cayman is endowed with a capable chassis and a range of competent engine options.

It’s an enjoyable car to drive, and one that avid drivers can actually drive well with the electronics turned off. The short wheelbase, consistently precise driver inputs, responsive engine, darty nose and assertive cornering demeanour means that the Cayman is a genuinely inspiring car to drive fast, and one that rightly rewards you so. All generations even enjoy a sweet manual for those particularly keen on track days.

Of course, being a mid-engine Porsche, it may be perfectly tuned for the track, but it’s less impressive if you have perilous asphalt to deal with. It’s also not that practical, but driveability remains admirable around urban traffic. Being a Porsche though, it does suffer from the maintenance and upkeep of a Porsche as well.

There are three distinct generations, and the key here is to buy the newest model you can. In general, the Caymans that you should avoid even with a 10-foot pole are those that can’t produce a regular service and maintenance record or are dubiously affordable. Remember, even though it’s entry-level, regular care and attention is absolutely crucial, and something that can prove to be catastrophic when skimped on. It’s easy to end up with a money pit should you end up with a neglected Cayman. Desirable options are the active ride suspension and interior conveniences, with the Cayman GT4 models reigning as the best trim that the Cayman has to offer.

porsche cayman

Although it’s worth noting that the latest generation 982 Caymans have actually ditched the flat-6 in favour of a a range of turbocharged flat-4s. Of course, it’s downsizing due to increasingly stringent emissions standard, but make no mistake, it’s a Cayman in every sense of the term.

It’ll be interesting to see how Porsche will proceed with the Cayman. Now that it has lost its flat-6 powerplant, the line between a 911 and Cayman has been segregated. Going forward, the path that follows can only be a hybrid powerplant, and perhaps even a full-electric variant.

How Long Can You Go Without Oil Changes.

how long can you go without oil changes

How long can you go without oil changes – Oil changes are a mystery to many. Despite it being mandatory for each and every car owner out there, I’m certain that not many truly understand the importance and purpose of timely oil changes. Of course, for new car buyers, it’s often less of an issue, as manufacturers nowadays make services as easy and effortless as possible for the customers. However, for cars out of warranty who often entrusts their regular preventative maintenance to outside workshops, there’s always a lingering question: how flexible are oil changes?

Before you talk about how often you should make oil changes, you should understand why oil changes are necessary. After all, engine oil is a very inert material in a pretty enclosed circuit, why does it need changing? Engine oil performs the crucial role of lubrication, micro-sealing and transferring heat in an engine, and it’s imperative that your engine oil is always up to par to perform its duty efficaciously.

The thing is that, while oil in nature is extremely enduring and often a cause of concern environmental-wise, inside an engine where it’s continuously subjected to extreme operating conditions, engine oil actually breaks down and deteriorates rather quickly. The important additives inside the oil also begin to decay over time, losing their effectiveness. Engine oil darkening is a natural process of wear and tear caused by heat and combustion byproducts, hence your engine oil starts out golden and silky, yet ends up either runny and thin or thick and sludgy. Therefore there’s always a rough interval you should follow to ensure that your engine oil is actually still engine oil.

How Long Can You Go Without Oil Changes

With that said, what most workshops follow as a guideline is that you should change your engine oil once every 3,000 miles. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and it’s not a problem if you can afford it, thanks to modern technology in terms of engine development and oil refinery, engines can last longer without such frequent oil changes.

For contemporary cars, a closer estimate would be around 5,000 to 7,000 miles. The figure varies based on what kind of traffic you manage on a daily basis, and there’s often a time factor too since your engine is still running even at idle. But here’s the thing, how far can you go over the regular interval without performing an oil change?

The thing is theoretically speaking, with modern internal combustion engines, an oil change can last for tens of thousands of miles. People have gone over 60,000 miles without an oil change. With quality fully synthetic oil, it’s possible to even see service intervals exceeding 10,000 miles. But here’s the thing, oil breaks down gradually, and they can lose their critical properties that keep your engine running fit and healthy.

Over time, overdue oil changes and continuous low-temperature cycles can even lead to what is known as sludging. Sludging is particularly nefarious towards your valvetrain, where it can seriously impact normal operation and even cause catastrophic engine failure. However, sludging is often a non-issue given that you perform regular oil changes with quality engine oil. Doing so can even de-sludge an engine.

how long can you go without oil changesOn the other hand, overheating and worn engine oil will become thinner and runnier as time passes, eventually losing its lubricity and viscosity. Even if your oil doesn’t break down, it’s important to keep in mind that the oil filter will also contaminate over time, and if clogged to a certain extent will affect oil flow.

Therefore, it’s important that you try to keep your oil changes regular, as a preventative measure. It’s not that expensive, and even in the long run, it’s worth the trouble over a complete engine overhaul. If you truly intend to stretch your oil changes, stick to quality fully synthetic motor oil which can last longer without deteriorating.

BMW 3 Series – A look at BMW’s beloved compact sedan

BMW 3 Series

With the latest G20 BMW 3 Series out, it’s a better time than ever to talk about the extensive history of BMW’s beloved compact sedan. Initially incepted in the mid-1970s, the BMW 3-Series was built and marketed as a sport-infused compact sedan. However, with such an enduring and persistent demand for the BMW 3 Series, generation after generation, it is quite a testimony to BMW’s consistent engineering brilliance.

In June of 1975, the first generation of the BMW 3 Series was born, the E21. Borrowing design cues from the gorgeous BMW 2002, the E21 remains a design classic. It was initially only available in a sleek, coupe body. Propelled by a selection of four and six-cylinders, and intriguingly, the adoption of the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection for the 320i and 323i models translated to a relatively surprising efficiency. It was an enamoring little guy, garnering accolades such as ‘the world’s best sedan’, and shifting an all-time high of 1.4 million units worldwide. Intriguingly, the lower output models (316 and 318) had single round headlamps, while the rest received twin headlamps. Cabriolet ‘Baur’ models were available in limited quantity too.

With such impressive sales, the E21 had a slow phase out, it’s not until 1983 before BMW finally halted productions. Introducing the all-new BMW E30, which still had the defining round headlamps and boxy styling. The big change made here are significant body strengthening over its predecessor and the introduction of the four-door and wagon or touring body styles. It was still a big hit, but the headline here is the E30 M3. It’s not just a performance enhancement, it was a total redesign with new body panels, widened track and comprehensive rehash of the suspension. It’s motorsport success also graced us with the homogenization specials, the Evo 1, Evo 2 and Sport Evolution variants. While the E30 M3 only had 4-cylinders to work with, it was certainly no slouch with its impeccable dynamism.

While the E30 continued production, 1990 was the debut of the BMW E36. Forsaking the classic styling, BMW finally made the move to modernize the BMW 3 Series. While it can be argued that it isn’t quite the stellar looker, it was a marked improvement in multiple measures. A new, proper Z-axle rear multi-link setup combined with a 50/50 weight distribution tidied up the uncouth ride noticeably. The new E36 model was centric on inline-6 engines, and fortunately, the new M50 DOHC 24-valve inline-6 engine was plenty robust and brawny. In fact, in its 325i form which also came with VANOS after 1993, Car and Driver timed it at around 7.0 seconds for a century sprint. The sweet sonorous yet smooth inline-6 note paired with contentious performance and smooth ride made the E36 an immaculate cruiser.

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series - M3

In the very late 90s, BMW released the next encore – the E46 3-Series. Boasting an arguably improved aesthetics, it was yet another hit. Mechanically it was largely unchanged, albeit with more weight-cutting and body stiffening. The 328i model was replaced by the 330i in a mid-run face-lift and offered a lot more grunt along with it. It was undoubtedly stupendous to drive, but the E46 M3 really took the limelight here. It really shifted the M3’s focus from a sleek darty coupe to a muscular brute that preserves the 3-Series’s driving quality. And then there’s the frankly ludicrous ‘race-car with a license’ M3 GTR that enjoyed prominent feature in the 2005 Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

With a major skip in model numbering, the 5th generation E9X BMW 3 Series was introduced in 2004. The 2006 335i model also marked BMW’s first attempt at a turbocharged 3-Series in the pursuit for better efficiency without forgoing performance. The E90 models also brought along with it run-flat tires. Most importantly though, the E9X models may look vastly different, but it still preserved, even improved on the 3-Series’s renowned handling with unmatched steering feel and ride thanks to a further revised rear-axle multi-link suspension. The E92 M3 was particularly adored for its very high-revving 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8.

Finally, the sixth generation F30 3-Series. Made public in 2011, the F30 3-Series dialed back on the throttle. To meet ever-stringent emissions, BMW opted for extensive usage of small-displacement turbocharged engines, while cutting weight to offset for the power loss. The interior was upgraded to bring it up to par against competing models, but the driving dynamics still remains. Interestingly, the 335d with its twin-turbocharged inline-6 diesel engine would outrun an E93 M3 with the V8 in a dash to 62 mph.

Of course, the F30 3-Series is now going to fade out as BMW announces the G20 3-Series. However, if there’s one thing that’s for sure, people love the BMW 3 Series for its enthralling driving experience. In a world where sportiness is currently dominant, BMW already has a head start, and it’ll be curious to see how would they orient the endearing BMW 3 Series.

Audi E-Tron The Latest Innovation Of Audi

audi e-tron

Audi E-Tron – eminently, the automotive climate is rapidly shifting. From around eighteen years ago, hybrid powertrains were just beginning to gain traction in the form of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. And since then, the world has attempted pure electric vehicles many times. But in just 15 years, EVs are now an actually viable option and are seemingly threatening internal combustion as a method of vehicle propulsion. With that, even long-established companies are eagerly adopting electric power, with Audi being one of them.

Audi E-Tron

More specifically, the Audi e-tron. It’s a four-wheel-drive SUV, a popular genre of cars, but at the same time also powered purely by electric motors. But to really top the headlines with your EV nowadays, you do have to pack some resemblance of innovation, which the e-tron does, let’s walk through it.

Aside from the camouflage that the e-tron dons for the press, it’s actually a largely conventional-styled Audi SUV. Following Audi’s modern design language that we’re accustomed to, it’s sharp and sleek, with no real indication of its silent nature. As crisp and well-defined its lines are, Audi also says the shape is sculpted to minimize drag.

Powered by two electric motors that output a combined 350 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque, the e-tron runs on a different kind of four-wheel drive system from your regular Audi Quattro. This powertrain can also ‘boost’ to 402 horsepower propelling the e-tron from 0-62 mph in under 6-seconds, a remarkable feat for an SUV that will no doubt be portly.

Providing the fuel is a 95 kWh battery that’s also capable of sustained 150 kW DC fast charging that nearly brims the charge in just 30 minutes, surpassing even Tesla’s venerated supercharger network. It can also be charged on a more sedate 11 kW pace at AC charging stations that can double to 22 kW with Audi’s optional on-board charger.

audi e-tron

That said, ever since the inception of the Audi e-tron, the headline story is the exceptional recuperation ability of the vehicle itself. With an intelligent electrohydraulic braking system, the recuperation system can determine the amount of regenerative braking to utilize, and the driver can pull the ‘shifter paddle’ behind the steering wheel to demand even more severe regent braking if desired.

The braking is done entirely via wire, which means that the car can also ascertain whether if you need the hydraulic brakes dependent on the pedal input. If it’s a bit of a panic situation or if you require heavy braking, the hydraulic brakes kick in for better response. This system is so efficient in fact that it’s said to contribute about 30% of the e-tron’s range. And if you’re on an especially elevated terrain such as Pikes Peak and rolling down, it can muster about 1 mile of range for every mile you travel down. And you’ll largely be relying on the regenerative braking which reduces the brakes’ temperatures and wear.

Of course, since the e-tron isn’t truly fully unveiled and released just yet, we can’t truly be certain on how it compares to others of its segment. Right now, the two other obvious contenders are the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. The Jaguar I-Pace is undoubtedly one suave looking brute that’s more performance-centric. Right now, the I-Pace seems faster but offers less range and charges at a slower speed, and it’s also more akin to a ‘coupe crossover’ than an actual SUV.

The Model X, on the other hand, is Tesla’s first endeavour into the SUV market. It’s a genuinely practical 7-seater SUV that’s also capable of shaming an Audi R8 in its P100D trim. It also offers more range, but charges at a slower pace even with Tesla’s supercharging station. And it also boasts the ‘Falcon Wing’ rear doors, if that enthrals you.

What the Audi e-tron offers though, I reckon, is probably one of the most cutting-edge regenerative braking system, and Audi’s established build quality and German-tier fit and finish. It also has a solid EV infrastructure. That said, to truly know how it’ll compare against its competitors though, we’ll have to wait until early 2019, which is the e-tron’s projected production date.

Porsche 911 A look at the history of this marvel

porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera- If we’re talking about automotive icons, Porsche is undoubtedly a marque that won’t be forsaken. And the reason is plain and simple in 3 letters – the Porsche 911. Being one of the longest running sports car nameplates to exist, it was quite an engineering marvel back then in the 1960s, yet it remains to be plenty competent even when pitted against contemporary super cars.

Over 5 decades ago was the inception of a concept that Porsche itself would never expect to be so enduring. As a successor to the Porsche 356, the original Porsche 911 was known as the Porsche 901 and was meant to be a more practical variant of the 356 with an extra set of seats. Hence the ethos of a ‘daily sports car Porsche so keenly touts. While the original interpretation proved to be lacking in guts, Porsche and the crowd found the optimum to be the air-cooled 207 horsepower 911 Carrera RS, which was both lightweight and suitably zestful with an exhaust note that nothing else can quite match.

Of course, after the original Porsche 911 was the introduction of a variant often hailed as the ultimate 911 – the Porsche 930. Certainly, the melding of a turbocharger with a rear-engine rear-wheel drive sports car also conferred it the notorious title of the ‘widow maker’. While its acceleration prowess was unparalleled; the extreme turbo lag and frankly mercurial road demeanor translated to a capricious mistress to tame. However, it provided the predicate to some of Porsche’s finest Group 4 and Group 5 racing cars, notably the Porsche 934 and 935.

Following the initial success, about 3 decades of the same generation later in the late 1980s, Porsche finally released a major update: the Porsche 964. It’s an endeavor to modernize the 911 to bring it up to date for the recession. It was the first time any 911 utilized power steering, ABS, airbags and also marked the launch of the 4-wheel drive Carrera 4. And just 5 years after the 964, Porsche debuted the 993. Widely regarded as the best rendition of the air-cooled 911s, It also brought us the GT2, an even more fickle car than the 930 to domesticate.

But that was the last air-cooled generation. As 1998 rolled along, Porsche migrated to water-cooled engines and a significant exterior update. Purists, of course, scowled at such a move, but it was inevitable in the pursuit of performance. Known as the 996, people hated how it looked inside and out which prompted a vital face lift in 2001 to the 996.2. But people commented on how it lost its ‘soul’. A new model was introduced in 997 which was styled with cues to the classic 911, with the 997.2 following 4 years later along with the PDK dual-clutch automatic.

It’s not until the 991 in 2012 that Porsche made another controversial switch – electromechanical steering. While it originally compromised the extremely precise and communicative steering, the latest representation of the 911, the 991.2, refined it to a degree that most find it agreeable. However, the 991.2 was bestowed with another potentially contentious change itself: a total migration to turbocharged power. While turbochargers used to be reserved for the fastest 911s, it has now trickled down to even the humble 991.2 Carrera. It’s an understandably unavoidable step towards the future with increasingly stringent emissions law, and I think it’s one that pushes the 911 further towards the ‘daily sports car’ ethos. The delivery quality of power may be vastly dissimilar, but it’s still a great engine in its own regard.

porsche 911So, why do the crowd covet the 911 so much? Even in its latest iteration, the 911 Carrera remains a valid option for those who value the driving experience more. The answer is simple, it is the quintessential sports car. The 911 Carrera isn’t a trailblazer, but its cornering finesse remains peerless. People love the shape of the 911, which isn’t found anywhere else other than the Volkswagen Beetle, and they adore how Porsche has made such a daft idea that is locating the engine at the rear function with spectacular results. The exhaust note of a flat-6 is also distinctive, a trait that many love.

Of course, the purists dote the classic 911 Carreras, but I reckon the latest 911 Carrera deserves a mention too. Porsche has never made the 911 Carrera so fast that it becomes scary, and instead offer limitless traction reserve, a darty responsive chassis, slick driver inputs and generous daily accessibility. And perhaps most importantly, Porsche still offers many 911 variants with a proper H-gate manual transmission, a perk that’s increasingly scarce to find nowadays.

You can certainly find cars with a much more impressive specification sheet nowadays for the same money for a Porsche 911, but then you won’t end up with a Porsche 911. If you want a Porsche 911, there really is no other alternative out there quite like it.

Brake Calipers

brake calipers

What Are Brake Calipers

Brake Calipers

Brake calipers are an important component of your car’s braking system and play a vital role in slowing or stopping the vehicle. The majority of cars these days have disc brakes, if not in all the wheels then in the front wheel for sure.

The brake caliper contains your car’s brake pads and pistons. Its job is to slow the car’s wheels by making friction with the brake rotors. In a disc-braking system the car’s wheels are connected to metal discs, or rotors, that spin along side the wheels.

The brake caliper fits like a clamp on a wheels’ rotor to prevent the wheel from turning once you step on the brakes. Once you push the brake pedal, brake fluid creates pressure on pistons inside the brake caliper, forcing the pads against the brake rotor and decelerating your car.

Types of brake calipers

brake calipersBrake calipers come in two types — Floating (Sliding) and Fixed. Floating calipers function in relative motion to the rotor, moving in and out as per the rotor’s motion. They house one or two pistons only, located on the inboard side of the rotor. The piston pushes the caliper when the brakes are applied. This in turn enables the brake pads to create friction on both sides of the rotor.

Fixed calipers, going by their name, are stationary. They have pistons on the opposite sides of the rotor. In some high end cars, fixed calipers also have two or more pair of pistons on the opposing ends, often known as pots.

While fixed calipers are more costly than floating ones, they are more performance oriented. This is why fixed calipers are found in most of the sports and supercars as they do a wonderful job in stopping cars at a fast speed.

Maintaining your brake calipers

When you apply your car’s brakes, there is a substantial amount of heat generated inside the braking system. This not only wear and tears the system but also weakens or in some cases breaks down the seals of the caliper.

On the other hand, if you don’t take your car for a spin regularly, there are chances that your calipers might rust, get contaminated or even start to leak brake fluid! While all these are a bit hard to notice at first sight, here are some tell tale signs that your car’s brake calipers need to be checked at once:

  • Your brakes make a squeaking or grinding noise when applied,
  • The antilock braking system (ABS) warning light turns on your dash,
  • There are sudden jerks while applying brakes,
  • Your brake pedal is either too soft or too hard,
  • You need to constantly pump your brakes for them to function,
  • There is leakage of brake fluids around the engine or wheels.

The key to maintaining brake calipers is replacing them immediately if any of the above mentioned symptoms show up. They can be bought as new parts or even as good quality second hand or replacement parts. Almost all private garages offer you replacement brake calipers with great quality, safety and durability.

The pros & cons of self driving cars

self driving cars

Self Driving Cars – For the past three to four decades, humans have constantly imagined a future of autonomous flying cars. While our automobiles are yet to take off to the skies, we have very nearly arrived to the future where self driving cars will be the norm. As we had our first well-publicized fatal accident involving a self-driving Volvo car, we have more questions about mobility staring at us than ever before.

One of the first questions that pops in our minds with respect to the recent accident is that who is to be blamed for this? Is it the driver or is it the AI that ran the vehicle? While a lot of articles claim that it was the woman who jumped in front of the car with her bicycle suddenly, the possibility of her life being saved had the Uber been driven by a human cannot be ignored.

Some other unanswered questions that arise are why couldn’t the autonomous car avoid contact with the pedestrian? Was it because of a failure in the sensors or with an AI? Did the human driver take the appropriate measures to avoid a crash?

In a thought experiment by TedEd, the ethical dilemma of a self driving car is explored in depth. Let us assume, you are enjoying your Sunday meal in a fully autonomous car. Suddenly some heavy goods in a truck right in front of you fall down. On the left of your car is a biker wearing a helmet and on the right is a biker without a helmet. What should your car do in such a situation? Should go ahead and bang into the truck or should it slide left and crash into the biker with the helmet? Or rather, go right and collide with the careless biker without a helmet? If we bang into the one wearing a helmet, are we punishing him for following the rules? If we collide with the one without helmet, then we are not following the principle of minimizing harm!

If the car was driven by a human, any decision made would be considered as an instant reaction and not a deliberate pre-programmed decision of an AI. If any of the persons involved in the accident is killed, should it be considered a premeditated homicide? In any case, the fate of an accident is predetermined much earlier by programmers and policy-makers. Who is to be punished in such a scenario?

This is not to say that autonomous cars don’t have any positives. They are certain to reduce human errors while driving which shall bring down the number of accidents considerably. Moreover, it reduced the unproductive hours spent driving which can be utilized for other chores sitting in your car. Also, platooning by self driving cars can reduce traffic congestion greatly, which in turn will reduce the endless hours spent travelling daily.

Thus, before moving ahead into a world full of self driving cars, we need to maneuver through some of the moral questions and answer them keeping in mind our ethics and technology!

self driving cars

The Toyota Supra story

toyota supra

The Toyota Supra story

Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra – An all-new Toyota Supra sports car is just around the corner having been previewed at the recently concluded Geneva Motor Show alongside the GR Supra Racing Concept. As per leaked statistics, the new Supra will be powered by a 3L 6-cyl engine, generating 335bhp at 5500rpm and 332 lb-ft torque. It can reach 0-100 kph in less than 4 seconds. While the car is set to arrive in 2019, there is already plenty of buzz generated about Toyota’s re-born model. We explore why…

Birth

The Toyota Supra was built on the spoils left behind by the company’s other sporty looking coupe – the Celica. First introduced at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show, the Celica competed directly against Ford’s Mustang! By 1978, Toyota brought in a more powerful version of the Celica in its home market named the XX. The following year, the Japanese carmaker brought the Celica XX to American shores. However, in order to make the brand stand apart from a Mexican beer of the same name, the car was renamed as Celica Supra!

Reverence

Fans wouldn’t revere the Supra as one of Toyota’s greatest sports vehicle if the original model hadn’t created several successors. The first-generation car’s greatest achievement in racing was, by Toyota’s own admission, performing speed car duties in the 1979 US Grand Prix. The pace cars didn’t want to post sluggish acceleration numbers so Toyota supercharged the straight-six to double it is horsepower output.

Second Generation

The second gen Toyota Supra was introduced in 1981. Back then, it became the first car with computer navigation in its home country. In America, Toyota Supra Miami was run by a 145bhp 2.8L engine and styled by the ‘trendy’ designs of the 80s!

Supra in Europe

In 1982, Toyota decided to penetrate the European market with the Supra. While initially, only France and UK were targeted with limited production numbers, the car later expanded to Sweden and Switzerland as well. Interestingly, Australia and New Zealand were also major markets for the Supra in the 1980s.

The A70

By the time the third gen Supra was introduced in 1986, Toyota had completely differentiated the Celica from the Supra. The latter was known as A70 came with features like ABS electric suspensions! Also available as an option from the third gen onwards was the removable top, which interestingly found mixed reviews among the enthusiasts.

Turbo Supra

Engineers forced the turbocharged six-cylinder’s outcome to 270hp for the Turbo A, a model created to homologate the automobile in competition series like Japan Touring Car Tournament (JTCC), Western European touring car series and even the World Rally Championship’s Group A category. Toyota highlights the limited-edition Supra 3.0GT Turbo A was the most effective Japanese development car at that time, with 0-100kph in less than 5seconds, off to a high acceleration of 270kph.

The 90s and all that JZ

In the 90s, Toyota’s now famous JZ engine was used for the Supra, which further enhanced the car’s power. This made the Supra Toyota’s most expensive car across all lineups in the Americas. While it wasn’t a volume driver vehicle even then, it had its cult following usually among the cream section of buyers.

Farewell generation

toyota supraThe fourth gen model took four years to build, making it better than its predecessors in every way possible. The Turbo model of the same was considered faster than the Porsche’s 911 Carrera, reaching 0-100 kph in 4.6 seconds!
By 1995, the Supra debuted at the Le Mans alongside the likes of McLaren F1 GTR and Ferrari F40. At the turn of the millennium, the Supra managed to steal hearts of millions of racing and movie enthusiasts by making an appearance in the blockbuster movie, The Fast and the Furious! The following year in 2002, Toyota officially announced the end of production of the Supra, having discontinued the model in the US in 1998 and two years earlier in UK.
Over a span of 24 years, Toyota managed to sell 594,000 units of the Supra globally!