Winter Car CareWritten by Kevin Schappell
As weather turns colder, it is time to think about your car for a second. A little preparation can go a long way to making your winter travels a lot safer. Here is a checklist to get you started. 1.Check antifreeze. The freezing point can be checked with a simple tool available at any auto parts store. Make sure you check antifreeze when it's cool. Opening a hot radiator can be a dangerous thing. 2.Check air pressure in your tires. As air gets cooler pressure drops in your tires. Maintaining your tire pressures will reward you with higher gas mileage and longer tire life. 3.Make sure you have following items in your car. - Ice Scraper
The Exhaust SystemWritten by Kevin Schappell
Your car's exhaust system carries away gases created when fuel and air are burned in combustion chamber. These gases are harmful to humans and our environment. A frequent check of your exhaust system is a must to provide for you and your family's safety. Make sure there are no holes in exhaust system or in passenger compartment where exhaust fumes could enter. Let's begin by listing parts of exhaust system and their functions. Exhaust manifold: The exhaust manifold attaches to cylinder head and takes each cylinders exhaust and combines it into one pipe. The manifold can be made of steel, aluminum, stainless steel, or more commonly cast iron. Oxygen sensor: All modern fuel injected cars utilize an oxygen sensor to measure how much oxygen is present in exhaust. From this computer can add or subtract fuel to obtain correct mixture for maximum fuel economy. The oxygen sensor is mounted in exhaust manifold or close to it in exhaust pipe. Catalytic converter: This muffler like part converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some converters also reduce harmful nitrogen oxides. The converter is mounted between exhaust manifold and muffler. Muffler: The muffler serves to quiet exhaust down to acceptable levels. Remember that combustion process is a series of explosions that create allot of noise. Most mufflers use baffles to bounce exhaust around dissipating energy and quieting noise. Some mufflers also use fiberglass packing, which absorbs sound energy as gases flow through. Exhaust pipe: Between all of above mention parts is exhaust pipe which carries gas through it's journey out your tail pipe. Exhaust tubing is usually made of steel but can be stainless steel (which lasts longer due to it's corrosion resistance) or aluminized steel tubing. Aluminized steel has better corrosion resistance than plain steel but not better than stainless steel. It is however cheaper than stainless steel. Common Problems: Well worst enemy of your exhaust system is corrosion.... or more commonly known as rust. Rust is caused by moisture reacting with iron in steel and forming iron oxide. Moisture, or water vapor is present in exhaust as a by-product of combustion and catalytic converter. Moisture can also come from outside in form of rain. Short trips in your car can shorten life of your exhaust system. When you shut down your engine whatever water vapor is in pipes condenses and turns back into a liquid. On a short trip water never has a chance to get hot enough to turn back into water vapor and just stays in system and rusts away pipes. If you drive for short distances consider replacing your exhaust system with stainless steel when plain steel one rusts through. If you drive more than 15 miles at a time then you should not have to worry about this.