THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANGING YOUR SPARK PLUGS

ABOUT SPARK PLUGS

Let’s start with the basics. What’s a spark plug? What exactly does it do in your car?Well, like the name suggests, a spark plug generates a spark which ignites the mixture of air and fuel in your car. The combustion of this mixture inside a car engine is what gives the car the power to move. This plug takes as input voltage on one end, and on the other end outputs a spark, which travels across the gap between the 2 electrodes of the spark plug. Essentially, your car won’t start and move without the spark plug. As is the case with everything else in your car, a spark plug is also prone to regular wear and tear and needs maintenance/replacement. Two things happen to the plug with age –

  • Every time a spark is generated, it burns a wee bit of the electrodes it jumps across. Spark plugs also undergo routine erosion due to extreme temperatures in your car. Naturally, over time this gap between the electrodes widens, and it becomes harder to ignite the fuel.
  • Accumulation of debris and other deposits on spark plugs make ignition difficult.

There are multiple benefits to replacing your spark plug when it’s needed –

  • Spark Plug performance is directly connected to engine performance. Because of that, good they go a long way in ensuring better fuel economy.
  • Quality plugs also reduce emissions and therefore are environment friendly.
  • And of course, if a spark plug is in good shape that means your car starts off smoothly, without any hiccups.

Spark plug life depends on the number of miles driven, its age, and of course, its quality. There are a few signs which indicate that your spark plugs have gone bad.

Jerky start – If starting your car becomes difficult, or it feels sudden and jerky, it could mean that it’s time to take a look at those spark plugs. This is the most obvious sign.

Rattling Noises – Rattling noises from the car’s engine could be due to the engine misfiring. There can be multiple reasons for this, and one of them is the ignition system misfiring, which is caused due to a faulty spark plug or ignition coil. In case you hear this noise, a professional mechanic is the best person for finding out the cause.

Poor mileage – Lots of things contribute to fuel economy, and one of them is spark plugs. Again, if you find that your vehicle’s mileage has dropped, it could be due to worn out spark plugs, and only a proper mechanic can point you in the right direction.

Poor acceleration – Spark plugs are fired when you change gears on your car and accelerate. If you experience sluggish acceleration, it could have easily been caused by a worn out spark plug.

If you encounter any of these issues, it’s best to get your car examined as soon as possible. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine! Regular maintenance and care will go a long way in further cost savings and ensuring safety.

REPLACING YOUR VEHICLES BRAKE PADS

The brake pad is a simple, but very important part of the entire braking system of a car. Since brakes are obviously a crucial part of a car, especially when it comes to safety, overlooking the brake pads may result in accidents with the brakes not working when they need to.
To understand why brake pads wear out, it’s important to have an overview of the braking system in a car. In a nutshell, when the brake pedal is pressed, a brake fluid passes through the thin wire called the brake line. At the end of this brake line, this fluid applies pressure to the brake callipers (which holds the brake pads in place), and the callipers press the brake pads against the rotor (which is attached to the wheel and rotates along with it).


Simply put, the brake pad is what is being pressed against the rotor to create friction to stop a car. This brake pad has a steel plate on one side, and friction material on the other side which will face the rotor.
Now that we understand what the brake pads do, let’s see how to detect wear and tear inthem.
To detect anything amiss with the brake pads, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open.

Visually examine the brake pads- Just take a look at the brake pads through the tire spokes. What you’re looking for is the thickness of these pads. If the thickness seems to be less than 1/4th of an inch, get them inspected. There’s a good chance that they need to be replaced.

Indicators on the dashboard- Some vehicles come with indicator lights on the dashboard which tell the driver when the pads have worn out and need to be replaced. This is the easiest signal to watch out for.

Screeching Noise- Often when the brake pads have worn out sufficiently, a small metallic plate called a ‘shim’ (embedded in the pad itself) will give out a screeching noise, which is loud enough to be heard even with the windows shut. Continuously hearing this noise is an indication that the brake pads have been worn out and need to be replaced.Take note that such a sound can be heard even after the brakes have been exposed to any wet conditions, like rain. In this case, however, the screeching sound won’t remain after a couple of stops.

Deep growling noises- This would indicate a definite and serious sign of the brake pads being completely worn out. This low, rumbling noise indicates metal to metal contact – that is, the rotor/disc is grinding against the brake calliper. Do not let this situation persist. If this persists, even the rotors could get damaged.

Brake pads generally last around 30-35k miles. But it depends on the driver, the car, and the traffic conditions. A car which is driven in a congested city will need to use brakes far more often than a car in a rural area, leading to more wear and tear of the brake pads.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT TOP COAT

Many vehicle owners if not all will probably agree that keeping your car looking like you just drove off the lot, shiny and new is high priority.  Whether you are an avid sports car collector or you just want to keep that $35,000 investment in the best shape possible, being that you will be driving around in it for a while, maintaining our cars appearance can be a tough task.  Why? First off we have all the external hazards that we are surrounded by everyday. Think debris from other vehicles, dirt, etc. Coupled with weather conditions, dings in the supermarket parking lot, your car is in constant contact with foreign items that can scratch, dent and damage your car’s exterior.  Next we have wear and tear from everyday use. Most people wash their car regularly, perhaps have it detailed from time to time and either pay to have a wax job done or spend a lengthy amount of time doing it themselves. Not anymore. The average paint job is just that, average, these days. With innovative techniques constantly being developed when it comes to the way we “paint” a car is amazing.  Think vinyl wraps and nanoceramic coating. Vinyl wraps have become popular for its customizing abilities, chrome, and matte finishes. It’s a lot more cost friendly than a normal paint job and doesn’t actually alter the original color of your car. Nanoceramic coating on the other hand is slowly gaining awareness and becoming a sought after service, but not everyone is exactly sure what it is and if it’s really cost effective and necessary.

HyerQuality Detail, a Tempe based company in Arizona, gave us the details of what nanoceramic coating is and what it can do for your vehicle.  Nanoceramic coating is a glass-like shield that is laid over your cars paint. Almost like a really really strong top coat. In fact nanoceramic coating is about 5 times stronger and more protective than the manufacturer’s clear coat.  Not only will it add extreme shine, gloss and intensity to your vehicles paint job it does not wear off or disintegrate over time. Certified technicians, like those at Hyer Quality Detail, use a a special skilled process to fuse the protective ceramic coating to your car’s exterior.  In return the coating offers many great benefits including:

  • Acts as a water repellent
  • Offers UV Protection
  • Cost Effective
  • Eliminates the need for wax jobs
  • Self Cleaning
  • Deflects dings & dents
  • Vehicle stays cleaner longer
  • Acts as a weather protectant

Continue reading Let’s Talk About That Top Coat

FUEL EFFCIENCY…GETTING MORE MILES PER GALLON

The aim of this article is to introduce the reader to the basics of car fuel efficiency. On the surface, it seems that fuel efficiency is a simple topic. The amount of fuel a car consumes majorly hinges on one thing – how much and how hard does the engine work? The amount of fuel consumed per gallon is directly proportional to the amount of work to be done by the car’s engine.
However, as we shall see, how hard the engine has to work itself depends on a lot of factors – the A.C., the weight of the vehicle, air filters, tire pressure, resistance from multiple things, and what not.

Tire Pressure- Remember to make sure that the car tires are always inflated to the correct pressure. Lower pressure will increase rolling friction against the ground, resulting in more work for the engine to propel the car, which will ultimately lead to more fuel consumption. Check the pressure at least monthly, if not weekly. There are apps available that connect to your car and keep you informed about your car’s tire pressure.

Note the Weight- It’s evident that the more weight your engine has to carry, the more power it needs and the more fuel it uses. Hence your car should be as light as possible optimize for fuel consumption.
Which means that if you’ve got stuff in your car trunk that you’ve been carrying around without much thought, rethink if you really need to lug those items around or not. If you can do without them, put them aside for now.
Also, additional accessories added to the car will decrease fuel performance, not only due to the additional weight, but also by increasing the aerodynamic drag (i.e. air resistance).

Stick to the recommended fuel & motor oil- The car manufacturer probably has a recommended fuel type for the car, and for a good reason. The manufacturer has already tested for the car’s optimal performance using various types of fuels, and therefore it makes sense to stick to what they ask you to use. With the same logic, it is also considered wise to only use the motor oils recommended by the car maker. Although 3rd party motor oils may work in some cases, they aren’t always well tested for a specific type of vehicle, unlike the product the car manufacturer will recommend.

Continue reading Fuel Effciency…Getting More Miles Per Gallon