The Car Geek: September 2005

The Car Geek

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blue Smoke Hazard

It's a beautiful day, you're in a good mood. You head for your driveway, enter your car, and start your engine. And then, a mysterious blue smoke comes out of your exhaust.

Is this a cause for concern?

Yes it is. Because your engine is burning oil and this, in turn, indicates that your engine has worn valve guides, and probably piston rings too. An engine that burns a lot of oil (more than a quart in 500 miles) is an engine that is in need of an overhaul. Normal oil consumption should be a quart or less in 1500 miles. Most newer engines consume less than half a quart of oil between oil changes (every 3000 miles). So if your engine is burning oil, it's essentially worn out and needs to be repaired.

Those owning an older car or truck model will be dismayed at the cost of overhauling or replacing their engine (which often exceeds the value of their old rides) and will just ignore the blue clouds soming out of their exhausts and drive on. This makes them a polluter, an undesirable element of the society. What many are not aware of is that an engine that burns a lot of oil will also eventually ruin the vehicle's spark plugs. Thick, black oily deposits build up on the plugs until they cease to fire. Then the engine misfires and loses power. Cleaning or changing the plugs may temporarily solve the problem, but sooner or later they'll foul out again. That's why it is very important to always check your Engine System.

Ultimately, the best solution is still on getting a valve job and a new set of rings. Replacement auto parts for your engine can easily be found at reliable online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Inner. And not only that, Auto Parts Inner also provides a slew of useful articles to better help you take care of your car.

Friday, September 16, 2005

8 Essential Tips on Braking System Care

Even the most conscientious car owner who adhere to their owner's manuals on how and when to perform the most crucial maintenance tasks can still miss a few things (especially if its not provided for in the manuals).

A few things that are not on the manuals that every owner should know:

  1. Brake fluids should be changed once every two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

  2. Brake fluid in anti-lock systems should be changed annually.

  1. Power-steering fluid should be changed every three years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.

  2. Timing belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles, the timing chains every 100,000 miles.

  1. Without regular use, certain systems quickly fall out of adjustment.

  2. Run your air conditioner and your defroster at least once every two weeks.

  3. Release and reapply the parking brake daily.

  4. Ask your mechanic how to test your anti-lock brake system safely.

To know and better understand your car and how it works, it is wise to click on to websites like Auto Parts Information where you can explore your car's inner workings, get to know the systems that make it work, and get useful information on car ownership in general. It also has an online auto parts store where you can find a wide array of top notch auto parts from virtually all car makes in the market. With Auto Parts Information, you get both good information and the best auto parts replacement or refurbishment parts for your car.