In the contemporary time, your car is almost entirely dependent on a central computer. This central computer accepts information from all around the car and processes them to calculate what to do next. Without that single computer, your car will basically stop working. So, what feeds that computer information? That’ll be the countless car sensors littered all over your car.
What is the purpose for sensors?
If you aren’t particularly keen with cars, you may not realize just how many sensors a modern car has nowadays. You can get a rough grasp by turning on the ignition and seeing just how many lights shine through the instrument cluster. They serve a very simple, but noble purpose in your vehicle, and that is to ensure optimal performance and safety of your vehicle. All those oil temperature gauge, coolant temperature gauge and fuel level gauge you see on a daily basis depend on various sensors.
Should a sensor report that something has gone awry, you’ll be immediately notified by the loathed bright yellow check engine light. Fortunately, with the advent of scanners and standardized engine codes, it’s less of a guesswork nowadays. While there are some sensors your car will run without, some car sensors, if faulty, will either cripple your car or just stop it from running entirely.
Some of the most crucial car sensors are found within your engine bay. That includes the crankshaft position sensor, which is absolutely critical to a modern engine’s operation. The sensor feeds the position and rotational speed of the crankshaft to the computer. Alongside the cam position sensor, the computer figures out a suitable ignition timing and fuel injection map.
Other than that, the coolant temperature sensor is also very important for an engine’s operation. It not only feeds real-time coolant temperature information to the computer, but the computer also bases the engine’s operation on the reading. While carbureted vehicles used to struggle with cold start, modern vehicles with fuel injection can enrich the air-fuel ratio on engine startup to aid with cold start. It’ll also idle your car higher, and the car will run on a fixed map until it warms up.
If you’ve opened up the bonnet of your car, you may have also noticed something protruding out of your exhaust manifold. That’ll be the oxygen sensor. This is particularly important to maintain an acceptable engine efficiency, as the oxygen sensor feeds your computer information of the unburned oxygen present in the exhaust. This information, in tandem with information from multiple other sensors, such as the manifold absolute pressure sensor and throttle position sensor, will tell the computer what ignition timing and how much fuel the engine needs. Typically, at cruising conditions, the engine will run entirely based on the sensors, rather than a set table, this is known as closed loop operation. In this mode, the engine will attempt to run leaner for efficiency.
Therefore, vehicle sensors are very important to a car’s operation. Nowadays, you can find sensors all over your car, even things as trivial as the headlamp and tail lamp can run off a sensor. The thing is, as vehicles become progressively more complex, more and more sensors will be added, therefore, it’s best that you realize just how important they are. The dependence on sensor can be frightening to some, as more electronics can translate to a less reliable car. However, when done right, cars can run on an efficiency we’ve never imagined possible, and efficiency is the name of the game in the future.
Why You Need To Pay Attention To Brake Maintenance
Car Maintenance is Important
Brake maintenance and Car maintenance are some of most important and simple things you can perform to keep your car running strong for years. People often overlook it, and then they scratch their heads wondering just why their usually stalwart ride has been letting them down recently.
Nothing Like Your Brakes
Keeping an eye out for your engine oil, making sure your air filter is clean are common maintenance routines. But perhaps one of the single most important aspects for both safety and longevity are your brakes and brake maintenance. If there’s one thing you should go all out for, it’s brakes.
You don’t want to save money on brake maintenance. Why? Well, because, like tires, they’re the few components that actually keep you on the road and off that tree over in the distance. You will fail car inspections if your brakes aren’t in top notch condition, and many people don’t really keep an eye out for their braking system.
Usually, you can know the state of your brakes via braking feel or listening carefully. For mild cases, you can hear a squeaking noise, signifying damaged brake lining, or uneven rotors. It can increase the rate of wear on the pads. If you hear a gnarly metal grind, chances are your pads are beyond worn. This will ruin your rotors quickly.
Those are minor issues; it may not be all sunshine if you fail to notice brake lining deterioration early on. It can cause your car to drag to one side, possibly due to contamination or uneven lining. If air gets into your brake linings, it’ll reduce your braking efficiency, and in serious cases your pedal can be to the floor just to keep your car from rolling.
The frequency that you need to service your brakes depends on where your car is driven. A car roaming around an urban jungle dealing with daily stop-and-go traffic will require brake services sooner than a car cruising on the highway or country every day. It’s not all black and white, but pads and shoes should be replaced between 20,000 and 60,000 miles. You may want to get your rotors machined every pad change as well.
Normally, you wouldn’t have to replace brake calipers, since brake caliper damage being quite uncommon. You should perform a brake fluid flush according to your vehicle’s manual, or every 2 years/30,000 miles. It’s a smart move to inspect your brake system often, including the brake lines. It can be periodically, e.g., every 10,000 miles, or just have your mechanic scrutinize it every oil change.
If you don’t know your way around a spanner, let the professionals deal with it. With that said, brake services aren’t rocket science. With a small toolkit and ample research, you should be able to perform pad replacements yourself. For any enthusiasts, it’d be a piece of cake.
Brakes in top notch condition should be silent and feel responsive once you depress your brake pedal. Of course, there’s the world of high performance pads, aftermarket rotors, braided brake lines et cetera. If you bring your car to a track day, you may be looking at pad replacements within months.
Brake maintenance is crucial in preserving drivability. What’s the point of, say, a 400-horsepower BMW M4 if everyone can hear your brakes squeaking from miles away and you can barely stop the car? You may be surprised at how much a set of high-quality pads can change your car’s characteristics too.
Cabin Filter and Air Filter what is the difference? Are you wondering why is your car suddenly chocking when you let your weight on the gas pedal? And what’s with that strange odor in your car every morning? Also, windows tend to get foggy quite a lot, for some reason.
If any of the above sound familiar, then it’s probably time to check and replace your car’s air and cabin filter. Let’s have a look at both of them and see what it’s all about and why you should often replace cabin and air filters.
Air filter lets your car breathe
In order to run, an engine needs two main elements: air and fuel. Mixed together and then ignited, these two generate mechanical power through combustion. Here’s the thing: outside air isn’t just oxygen, and any other impurities will reduce the efficiency of the burn inside the engine.
This is where your car’s air filter comes into play. Its pores are large enough to allow air molecules to go by unharmed but small enough to catch most of the dust and debris. Impurities get stuck into the air filter so they don’t go through the intake and reduce combustion efficiency.
However, as it accumulates dirt and dust, an air filter becomes less efficient at letting clean air going through – it gets clogged like a drain pipe. If you feel like your car is not properly responding to acceleration, the reason might be a clogged air filter. Your car is suffocating, and you need to get her to breathe. Buy a new air filter and replace it either at home or in a professional service unit. Then, fresh air will reach the engine and really spin the wheels forward.
Cabin filter let you breathe
If the air filter allows your car to breathe, cabin filters make sure you also get a fresh air charge. Think about it this way; the inside of a vehicle is a rather sealed environment, and unless you keep windows down, there’s little fresh air getting in.
Usually, fresh air is drawn from the front of the vehicle. However, since it first passes directly through or near the engine bay, air tends to catch various smells or get cluttered with dust. A quality cabin air filter stops dust from reaching the inside of the cabin and setting on shiny surfaces while letting fresh air reach your lungs.
Similar to a combustion air filter, a cabin filter will also get clogged with time and won’t be as effective in stopping odors and dust from reaching your car’s cabin. Another annoying effect of a cluttered cabin filter is that, since less air gets inside, windows will tend to be a lot foggier, especially during the cold seasons. This could affect road visibility and make you less secure on the road.
Replace your cabin or engine air filter with a compatible one as soon as you notice any of the effects mentioned above. Air filters are some of the least expensive car parts you can get. This is why you can ensure fresh air for you and your car without making a whole in your budget.
You get to your car ready to face the road ahead to work or just for a casual drive. You put the key in the ignition, turn it, but nothing happens. Or, the engine cranks but doesn’t for the love of God, start. What is there to be done? First of all, these are the signs of ignition problems.
Let’s go together through a series of car ignition problems, how to diagnose and how to do ignition repairs on your car. We will look at the most common ignition problems of today’s cars and give a brief insight on how to fix them.
Engine won’t crank
If you turn the key in ignition and engine doesn’t crank – no sound comes from under the hood, the issue is most likely coming from two places:
- The battery is dead
- The starter motor is faulty
To check whether the battery is dead, get a multimeter and connect its ends to each pole of the battery. If the voltage is lower than 9V, then you are most likely needed to replace the battery. Make sure to choose a car battery that has enough CCA (cold cranking amps) to get the car started properly. Another way to check whether the battery is dead is to try starting your CD player or headlights. If the CD player doesn’t start or the headlights don’t turn on, again, the battery is most likely at fault.
The starter motor is the part that actually cranks your engine to allow it to start its 4-stroke cycle. If the start motor is at fault, it will usually not crank at all, only giving out short metallic clicks. While on older models, starter motors can be repaired by auto professionals, it is better to replace it with a functional component.
Engine cranks very slowly
When the engine cranks so slowly that you can count the revolutions, it does by hearing the sound, the battery is probably at a low voltage. This happens when you forget to turn off the lights or when the battery discharges because of wear.
In the first case, just jumpstart it using cables and let it idle for a few dozen minutes so it will recharge. Otherwise, a worn battery must be replaced adequately.
Engine cranks but won’t start
There are cases when the engine will crank just fine but will fail to actually start. In this situation, it is most likely that the starter and the battery are NOT at fault. Instead, the spark plug ignition system may cause the engine not to start. Here’s what can happen.
First of all, power might not reach the distributor cap. The wire between the battery and the distributor may be seized, cut, or the connection might have come loose. Replacing the cable is the solution in this case.
If the cable’s good, then you might want to check the spark plug wires that go from the distributor cap to the spark plugs. However, the engine is likely to start if just one or two cables are malfunctioning, but will idle roughly and might also stop after a brief period of time.
Most modern vehicles come with an anti-theft mechanism that won’t let the engine start if you are using the wrong key or try to bypass the starting mechanism. There is a magnetic coil around the ignition hub that reads the data from a chip inside the OEM key of the car and compares it to the value stored in the ECU. If the data doesn’t match, the engine will crank but won’t start.
Sometimes, due to corrosion or major deposits on the magnetic coil, it might fail to detect the chip and thus prohibit the engine from starting even though you are using the right key. In such cases, the coil needs to be replaced and the key chip reprogrammed.
Given the above situations, you should now be able to quickly identify possible causes of your car’s ignition system not working properly. Don’t forget to ask for specialized help when dealing with electric current, to avoid injuries or further damage to your car.
There is so much going on beneath the hood when a car is running. Everywhere, something’s moving, vibrating, heating up or cooling down. To sum it up really fast, this is what happens: the engine sucks fuel from the tank, mixes it with air, ignites it and uses the explosion to create movement.
However, burning fuel generates heat. Usually, engines require a certain temperature to function properly, but what does it do with the extra heat? This is where the cooling system comes into action.
The inner workings of the cooling system
The overall cooling system scheme is not awfully complicated. Still, it does one of the most important supporting jobs for the engine. A basic car cooling system uses a pump to circulate fluid through the engine and then to the front radiator. The fluid takes on heat from the engine and exchanges it in the radiator.
You should also thank your cooling system for not having to freeze while you’re driving through the cold winter months. When you turn the heat on in your car, part of the cooling fluid travels to the interior radiator, bringing on heat collected from the engine. From there, an electric fan pushes it through the dashboard vents.
Taking care of your car’s cooling system
Just like any mechanical system, your car’s cooling system may cease to function properly. And without a doubt, this is the last thing you want to happen, especially when travelling long distances. Cooling system malfunctioning leads to engine overheating – not only that the engine won’t work at its best, but it also drastically increases chances of getting blown head gaskets and cylinder leaks. These things take a lot of time and money to fix, so it’s best to fix and maintain your car’s cooling system periodically.
There are two very common issues that can cause a cooling system to malfunction: leaks and clogging.
Leaks are best diagnosed by a dropping level of cooling fluid in the tank. If the fluid drops overnight or after driving for a while, there’s probably a leak somewhere on the installation. Finding the leak may be difficult if it is really small (like a pore), so you may need to check in with an auto repair shop. Usually, the issue is solved by replacing the hose causing the leak. You should avoid using crack plugging solutions found on the market; not that they usually don’t work, but may also clog the whole system.
In more severe cases, it’s the radiator or the head gasket that allows coolant to leak out. While replacing your radiator is doable with a bit of experience and proper tools, head gasket replacement should only be done by a professional.
On the other hand, a clogged cooling system won’t allow proper heat transfer, overheating the engine. Clogged systems are usually the result of improper maintenance or bad seals. It’s important to flush your cooling system once in a while, according to your car’s manufacturer instructions. This way, deposits won’t accumulate enough to create a blockage.
On a final note, always remember to use proper coolant recommended by the manufacturer for optimum results and engine performance.
Check Your Car Air Conditioner
With summer just around the corner, we’re all getting ready for extremely hot temperatures and great weather. You may be ready for summer, having waited for it all year long, but is your car ready? There’s nothing worse than driving without air conditioning in the middle of a hot summer’s day. It’s not just inconvenient and unpleasant, but borderline unbearable and dangerous as well. The threat of heat exertion is real, and having a fully functioning A/C is a must. There are a couple of ways you can make sure your car air conditioner keeps blowing cold air throughout the entire summer, and we’re going to show what steps you should take to ensure it stays that way.
Checking the System
Obviously, the best way of determining whether your Car Air Conditioner works or not is to turn the knob to cold and blast it on full. If it works as intended, it will start cooling the entire cabin within a matter of seconds. If it takes minutes for it to start cooling the car, or if it doesn’t blow cold air at all, you have a faulty air conditioning system on your hands. Don’t worry though, chances are fixing it is easier and less expensive than you might think.
Topping on Refrigerant
You see, the air condition system uses a special refrigerant known as Freon to cool the car. With time and usage, it will deplete and you will need to top it off. However, that’s not something you can do at home. It’s not a DIY job, so you will have to take it to an expert or a mechanic/service shop. Using special equipment they will check the refrigerant level and suggest topping it off if it’s necessary. A good car air conditioner service shop will perform the procedure at an affordable cost, getting you back on the road with a fully-working A/C unit in no time.
If refilling up on refrigerant didn’t help, there are several other things you should look at. For starters, you’ll want to have the condenser cleaner. Residue and dirt can accumulate, obstructing airflow and sometimes completely blocking it. Next, you can check and clean the filter. Just like the condenser it can get clogged up as well, so performing regular maintenance is crucial. If it’s too clogged up, you will need to replace it with a brand new one. Last but not least, you want to check the system for leaks if all else fails. Even the tiniest of leaks can cause the entire A/C system to malfunction. If there is a leak, you’ll need to take it to a specialist and have it fixed. The great thing is that air condition repair is relatively simple and cheap in most cases, especially compared to your regular maintenance procedures.
Recognizing Transmission Problems
Transmission Problems – The first step in solving transmission issues is diagnosing the actual issues. Luckily, transmissions are an extremely vital car component and will usually give clear indicators that there’s something wrong. Recognizing the earliest symptoms of transmission troubles can save you a lot of money and time. You can avoid an inconvenient breakdown or having to purchase an entire replacement transmission altogether. Here are the most common tell-tale signs that the transmission might be on its way out, as well as tips on what you should do.
Check Engine Light
Although it can be caused by a lot of things, the check engine light usually lights up only when something needs more urgent checking. Newer cars have a ton of sensors and it may be something as simple as a sensor malfunction, but it’s better to not risk it. If operational, sensors can tell you a component is on its way out long before you can even hear or see the issue.
Whether it’s an automatic or a manual, you’ll start noticing an erratic increase/decrease in rpms when shifting gears. This is known as hesitation. The car might be reluctant to enter a certain gear or will be extremely difficult to pull out of a gear. Automatics will experience more issues when in neutral or park.
The transmission needs fluid to operate correctly, just like the engine. Although it’s not regular maintenance, check your manufacturer’s recommended transmission service and perform it if it hasn’t been done in a long time. Checking the fluid pump, the filter and the actual trans fluid will ensure your transmission stays reliable if it’s properly operational. If you notice fluids dripping off the transmission case, it’s probably experiencing fairly major issues.
If you can hear strange noises like grinding, whining, buzzing, shaking and clunking, and are sure it’s not your fault, then it’s probably a transmission on its way out. Avoid driving the car and tow it to a mechanic as there is a chance that the transmission can be salvaged and rebuilt, saving you the effort and cost of buying a new one from a transmission shop.
If you can sense a burning smell it’s time to take immediate action. Differentiating between a burnt clutch and an overheated transmission is difficult, but a burnt clutch will be usually accompanied by white smoke. In the case of the transmission, there’s no smoke involved. If your transmission has overheated, it’s probably because it’s lacking fluid or the one that’s already in there is old and can’t do its job properly. Either way, sort it out right away or risk braking the transmission altogether.
What To Do Next
Take your car to a mechanic or a transmission shop who can perform a detailed transmission inspection for your transmission problems. He’ll tell you whether you need a new transmission or if the current one can be fixed. Remember to regularly flush and replace your transmission fluid (once every 35,000 miles), and be wary of the tell-tale signs to avoid complete transmission failure.
Advantages of buying a Porsche
Porsche is a company which doesn’t like to joke around. They approach every issue with a no-nonsense mindset. You either get it right, or don’t bother doing it at all. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Following these simple ideas but hard to introduce concepts, Porsche became one of the best manufacturers the world has ever seen. There might be a few reasons why you should choose an Audi or a BMW, but there are a dozen more why a Porsche is the ideal vehicle.
When Porsche decides to do something, such as introduce a new model or facelift an aging one, they go all out on it. No expenses spared. They address the issues as per the community’s feedback, as well as countess miles upon miles of testing. Every model is a leader or at least a top 3 contented in its respective segment. Just stop and think about it for a moment. The 911 is the ultimate, everyday supercar which is a perfect track-day car if you go for the GT3 variant, the Cayenne and Macan cover the luxury SUV segment and you have the Panamera monstering every other luxury car. Audi and BMW may have invented the automotive niches, but Porsche dominates them entirely.
True to their roots
While most manufacturers went out of their way to change their morals and principles for the sake of profit, Porsche stayed true to theirs despite the fact that the start was a bit shaky to say the least. The first couple of 911 generations were hard to control, with many people having doubts the first-gen would even make it into production the moment they heard it would have an engine placed behind the rear axle. Porsche persevered with the idea and eventually gave us the most well-known sportscar of all time, the 911.
A brand like no other
Once you drive your first Porsche, there’s no going back. If you don’t own one, your first immediate thoughts revolve around acquiring said Porsche. There’s just no other feeling like it. The looks, the performance, the luxury, and the plain fact that it’s a Porsche, one of the most iconic brands the world has ever seen. You get totally hooked, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Then we get to the best part: the performance. Quite how Porsche manages to make the 911 work is beyond everyone’s scope. With a rear-mounted engine, it should be only good in a straight-line, but the truth couldn’t be further from that. It corners like it’son rails, despite fact that there should, in theory, be less weight over the front and the fact that the rear should act like a pendulum. But it doesn’t. It’s the same with the Cayenne, and the Panamera, and every other model. And don’t get us even started on the amazing flat-six “Boxer” engines it traditionally uses. All in all, the best cars you can buy, no matter which model you go for.
Mercedes Benz Buying Guide
There are many pros as to why you might choose a German-made vehicle over a Japanese one, or an American, or even a Korean. But there are even more advantages of choosing a Mercedes Benz, and that’s compared to its German rivals. We’ve compiled the top ones in this article, showcasing why they’re often considered the best car manufacturer in the world.
Right off the bat, there’s the matter of brand image and quality. Nothing wrong with owning a Hyundai for example, but if you say you own a Hyundai, you then have to follow it up with what model it is, why you chose it and so on. You’re basically explaining yourself. With a Mercedes, the company name alone speaks in volumes of its quality. Each of their models is the respective leader in their own segments when it comes to brand distinction and recognition. Mercedes’ rich history and heritage means their vehicles are the most recognizable ones on the road today. You don’t mistake that three-pointed star for anything else.
Pick a Mercedes from an era. Any era. Chances are it’s one of the most beautiful cars in its respective time period. We’re not talking aggressive, striking or even offensive. No, we’re talking about a handsome, elegant look which is as dignified as a car can get. It’s understated beauty mixed with an undefined aura and character unique to Mercedes Benz alone.
Luxury and Technology
You want to talk about luxury and comfort? Mercedes Benz speaks that language better than anyone else. They practically pioneered the luxury limo segment with the first S-Class, a car which is the benchmark in its class to this very day. Most of the technologies found on an S-Class eventually find their way into mainstream economy cars some 10 to 20 years later. The first S-Classes had cruise control, electric windows, heated seats, navigation, etc. All very common by today’s standards, but back then, most vehicles offered simple wind-up windows. Take a look at the new S-Class. It’s a spaceship on wheels, fitted with the latest advanced safety systems and the top of the line infotainment gadgets. It’s the most innovative, original modern-day luxury car on sale, paving the way of the future for most normal cars in the next 20 years or so.
Mercedes’ engines are known to be reliable and powerful, from their potent gasoline range to the torque but frugal CDI diesel lineups. If however, you desire more power, there’s always AMG, Mercedes’ mad and bonkers division in charge of the most ludicrous creations to wear a Mercedes badge. We’re not talking just twin-turbocharged engines with 500+ horsepower either. They specialize in creating the ultimate uber-saloons as Germans like to call them. Luxurious, fast cruise ships designed to tear down the Autobahn at 150+ mph with no fuss whatsoever. Because drive is sent to the rear wheels, they can be tail happy at a moment’s notice should the driver want to have a bit of fun.
It’s one thing for a car to be cheap, it’s an entirely different for it to offer great value. Yes, Mercedes’ models are slightly pricier than some of their rivals, but when you consider what you’re getting in return, the bang for buck factor is off the charts.
There are usually two types of car buyers in this world: those who stick with their favorite brand and those who go over all available options before making their purchase. Whether you’re the first or the second one, at one point or another, you’ve most probably considered to buy Audi. Audi cars are highly regarded as some of the most reliable, safe and practical vehicles on the road, with S and RS editions on offer as well if you want to go fast. There are many reasons, or should we say benefits, to choosing an Audi over other manufacturers, and we’ve included just a few in this article which will hopefully help your next purchase.
Whether you like the styling or not, you can’t deny they’re the latest in design language. Audi was one of the first manufacturers to use LED daytime running lights, in that by now traditional menacing sort of way. Every Audi, from the smallest A1 to the biggest A8, including the SUVs, offers something not present on any other rival model. Call it character if you will, an aura, a special presence. Audi has never been one to shy away from making drastic design changes, and we mean that in the best way possible. Their models are always up to date, leading their respective segments when it comes down to the styling. They’re somehow more fashionable than the rest of their bland looking German rivals.
If anyone’s ever had a chance to sit in a modern-day Audi, they’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s a feeling of luxury and quality, from the moment you step in one to the moment you get out. Everything about the cabin screams premium. The materials are high-end, even in the base trims, and the fit and finish is next to none. One of Audi’s strong points has always been their interiors, and they’re very much aware of that. If you’ve never been in one, we highly suggest you do before purchasing a vehicle. The Audi A4 in particular shines in this segment, outclassing both its Mercedes and BMW rivals.
State of the art technology and Audi are almost synonymous at this point. It’s an Audi, you expect it to have the latest, cutting-edge tech, and it does, but what you don’t expect is to find it in nearly every model and trim, regardless of price. From the sophisticated navigation to the intelligent infotainment system. Naturally, additional packages offering even more technology are available.
The words Quattro will forever be associated with Audi. The seven letters which changed the automotive world forever indicate two things today: an innovative four-wheel drive system Audi offers for its models, and a separate division of Audi in charge of the S and RS models, as well as the R8. Audi’s all-wheel drive is considered to be the best in the business, hence why Audis are so good in the snow. And don’t even get us started on the powerful engines, from the high-horsepower TSI units to the frugal and torquey TDIs.
This are some of the benefits to Buy Audi