tips

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You also might be interested: transmission, convertible, ignition switch, engine

Things you can do if the switches in your car get wet

Your car has a number of electrical components, including switches. Thanks to these switches, you can operate a number functions like lighting, air conditioner, heater, power windows, power door lock and a number of car accessories. Through their respective switches, these vehicle functions can be turned on or off, or even adjust their strength or intensity.

Regardless of the vehicle function they operate, all electrical switches – like every electrical component -- aren’t supposed to get in contact with water as they would get damaged. When switches gets wet, it could result to wiring shorts, shorted switches, blown fuses, fire, or corrosion on contacts and wiring.

Water isn't really what damage -- aside from rust or corrosion – electrical parts. Water itself is considered as one of the best insulators of electricity, which mean electrical current can’t travel through it. However, there are small particles that dissolved in water – called ions – that cause electricity to go to places where it is not supposed to go. This is what causes a short.

Read the entire article Things you can do if the switches in your car get wet

How your car's traction control system works?

Sometimes, a driver can’t help but drive through slippery roads and grounds. This is a dangerous situation, especially if the road conditions could really result to loss of traction. Nonetheless, a safety element called Traction Control has been very helpful to make a car more stable on slippery surfaces.

Carmakers around the world have managed to create their own recipe of traction control. Each version has been created to suit the character and performance of their different offerings. Nonetheless, every traction control system is designed to reduce the possibility of tire spin while increasing driving stability in poor weather, thereby making the car less likely to slide of spin.

Most, if not all, traction control systems are complex and are computer-operated. But without a doubt, a traction control allows drivers to be more confident even driving on slippery surfaces, like on wet roads.

Read the entire article How your car's traction control system works?

How long does your car clutch last?

In a car with a manual transmission, the clutch is a very important component as it connects and disconnects the drive shafts. Even under normal use, the lifespan of the clutch is typically shorter than the car. When you change gears, the clutch also suffers wear and tear. How long can a clutch in a manual transmission last?

Some cars owners may see their car clutches fail at 30,000 miles or below. This usually happens to drivers who are typically rough in changing gears. There are car owners who may see their clutch start malfunctioning at around 50,000 miles. Drivers who are usually smooth with their gear changes may see their car clutches live until 100,000. In an environment where frequent gear changes aren’t needed – along drivers who are efficient in gear shifting – can see some clutches reach a lifespan of more than 100,000 miles. Thus, there is really no exact number with regards to the lifespan of a car clutch.

While nothing is really sure on the specific lifespan of a car clutch, there is one thing that is certain – clutches are really susceptible to wear and tear, even more than the car itself. Thus, a clutch usually fails even before the car dies. This means a clutch may have to be replaced at one point of a car’s life. The actual lifespan of a clutch depends of many variables.

Read the entire article How long does your car clutch last?

How to unlock a locked steering wheel of a car

The steering wheel of a car does lock in position as part of the design to make the vehicle safe. The steering wheel won't get lock unless the ignition switch is turned off. When the key is taken out of the ignition switch, the steering wheel will lock to prevent vehicle movement. It will unlock once the key in the ignition switch is turned.

Sometimes, though, the steering wheel may get locked even though the key is in the ignition and has been turned. The steering wheel isn't designed to let this happen but there are already numerous cases in which the wheel gets locked and won’t turn in even though the key is in the ignition.

Outlined below are a number of methods you can apply if ever the steering wheel of your cars gets locked.

Read the entire article How to unlock a locked steering wheel of a car

Depending on the situation, you may need to switch between the high and low beams of the headlights. The headlamp dimmer switch is there to ensure that the correct beam is employed on a certain road situation.

The headlights are normally turned on at night to light up the road ahead, ensuring that the driver gains enough visibility to keep the trip as safe as possible. By default, the low beam is used when the headlight is turned on. Low beams illuminate the road at short ranges up to around 150 meters, making it usable when driving in urban areas. However, when the road is poorly it, there is a need to activate the high beam for long-range illumination.

High beams are usually used on the highway as they can provide illumination on distances of more than 150 meters. To shift from the low beam to the bright high beam, you need to use the headlamp dimmer switch.

Read the entire article Symptoms of a possible broken headlamp dimmer switch

Whenever your car battery dies in the middle of the trip, it becomes an emergency situation. However, you can revive your car battery by using jumper cables. Also called as booster cables or jump leads, jumper cables are a pair of insulated wires with alligator clips made from either copper or steel.

The jumper cables are used to connect a dead battery to a boost source – typical another battery – to initiate a boost or a jump start. The external supply of electricity from the other battery recharges the dead battery while helping crank the engine of your car. Once your car has started, its charging system will start to recharge, which means the other battery can now be disconnected.

Nonetheless, just as not all cars are the same, not all jumper cables are the same. The performance, durability and specs of jumper cables differ from each other. You might be getting a pair of jumper cables that doesn’t fit what you need for your car.

Read the entire article What you need to know about jumper cables and using them

Perhaps, nothing can beat a convertible – or cars which roof are removable or deployable – is delivering the joy of open-top drive and ride. Its occupants get to experience of thrill of travelling while exposed to the elements.

Nonetheless, because the interior of a convertible is exposed to the sun and the elements, they are more prone to damage that the cabin of a fixed-roof vehicle, like a sedan, a coupe or an SUV. Of course, there are many things you can do to protect the interior of your convertible.

First, you need to properly maintain the top of your convertible. Maintaining the convertible top means you need to clean it up regularly to ensure that it is free from elements that may damage it over time.

Read the entire article How to protect the interior of your convertible car from damage?

As much as you would want to stay within the comfort of your car, you also need to get out and do things that need to be done. To get out of your car, you first need to pull the door handle. It is pretty frustrating when you grab and pull the handle, yet the door won't open and you can’t exit from the car.

Not being able to open a door to exit the car could be frustrating. However, there are some people who ignore the importance of being open the door from inside. They treat it as something trivial that doesn’t need their attention. But the truth is, a defective interior door handle is really a safety hazard, especially during an emergency. If the car catches a fire or gets involve in an accident, its occupants need to get out as soon as possible. A non-working interior handle means the door can’t be opened as needed.

Thus before any emergency happens and you can’t exit the car because of malfunctioning interior door handle, it would be better if you know how to diagnose whether this part of the car is already broken or in bad condition.

Read the entire article Diagnosing problems with your car’s interior door handle

Before you can drive your car, you have to insert the car key into the ignition switch and turn it accordingly. If the engine starts, you are now good to go. But if it won't start, it could be that the ignition switch is already failing.

The ignition switch is one of the electronic components that is frequently used and is also one of the most important. Because it is used frequently, the ignition switch would eventual wear out and show some problems. If it malfunctions or fails, there won't be any way to power on the electronics in the car or start its engine. Thus, knowing the signs of a failing ignition switch would be practical.

But before knowing these signs, being informed of how the ignition switch works would be of great use. Different systems in the car are powered depending on the position of the key on the ignition switch. There are four positions on the ignition switch: Lock (or Off), Acc (or Accesory), On (or Run) and Start.

Read the entire article Signs of a Failing Ignition Switch

The air conditioning in your car employs four basic principles -- Evaporation, Condensation, Compression and Expansion – to work. To act on these principles are a number of important components like the compressor, condenser, expansion valve and receiver drier as well as evaporator. When one of these components fails, the air conditioning system would faile or malfunction.

As it names implies, the condenser fulfills the principle of condensation in an AC system. It essentially converts the high-pressure gas (refrigerant) into high-pressure liquid. The condenser packs the molecules in the vapor to transform the refrigerant into its liquid state. Since this process generates a lot of heat, air is made to flow through the condenser to cool it down. To ensure that the condenser is kept cool during the entire air conditioning cycle, an AC condenser fan is employed to channel the needed cooling air.

However, the AC condenser fan might fail or stop from functioning. If this happens, the condenser might become too hot, and in turn becomes ineffective in converting the refrigerant from its gas to cooled liquid form. In addition, this overheating could cause more issues or problems within the entire AC system.

Read the entire article What are the signs of a failing or malfunctioning AC condenser fan?

The difficulty of driving through muddy roads is different for diverse types of vehicles. Some vehicles, especially those equipped with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive systems and off-road tires, can traverse through muddy roads with great amount of ease.

However, standard vehicles, in particular those equipped with front-wheel and rear-wheel drives as well as standard tires (not fit for off-road travels), might have difficulty in traversing muddy roads, depending on the spread and the depth of the mud. It is advisable for an average car avoid muddy roads in which the mud is more than two inches in depth.

Of course, it would be impossible to exactly measure the depth of mud on the road. Likewise, it would be hard to precisely estimate how much mud is on the road. When you are driving car ill-equipped for muddy roads, it is advisable to take an alternate route where the road isn't as muddy. But when you really have to take on a muddy road, you can do so safely by following the guidelines below.

Read the entire article How to drive a car through muddy roads?

There is one big role that the transmission plays in your car – to send power from the engine to the wheels. Also known as the gearbox, the transmission contains gears that basically convert the speed and torque for the wheels to use.

When driving off, you start in the first gear, which high gear ratio allows for the highest conversion of input torque (from engine) to output torque, with the car moving at its lowest speed. As you shift the gear, the gear ratio and converted torque is reduced while the car’s speed increases. During acceleration from a stop, you need the max torque to get the car moving. But as the car moves, torque is not much required and the vehicle is picking up speed, so you need to change gears.

However, there could be times that you car isn't shifting properly, which indicates problems with the transmission. Before something really goes bad with your car’s gearbox, stay alert for a number of signs that could indicate possible issues. Here are five of them

Read the entire article 5 signs of possible shifting problems with your transmission

Spills are almost inevitable to happen inside your car, especially if you or your passengers are fond of eating and drinking in the cabin. These spills could include drips from your burgers and other saucy foods, coffees, chocolate drinks, juices, milks and other liquids.

Any spill, if left unattended, could possibly ruin your upholstery. Ultimately, you may have to replace them if they got damaged or have become an eyesore. The best way to avoid any spill inside the cabin is to avoid eating or drinking – but that would be too much to ask as many people consider their cars as their second home.

Thus, if you wanted your car’s upholstery to look fresh while free from dirt and damages, do your part and know how to clean it. Of course, how you clean your car’s upholstery depends on the substance spilt on it.

Read the entire article How to clean car upholstery: liquids, water-based spills or oil stains?

The engine is probably one of the most complicated elements of your car. Its workings are more complicated than you may think. It features many parts, components and accessories, one of which is the timing belt or the timing chain.

The timing belt and the timing chain aren’t the same thing, but they perform the same function -- mechanical engine timing.

They don’t coexist simply because they do the same work, which means the engine has either a timing belt or a timing chain. But before this article discusses the difference between a timing belt and a timing chain, it will talk about their importance.

Read the entire article What are the differences between a timing belt and a timing chain?

One of the most important parts of any car is the engine. It is considered as the heart of the car, as it is responsible for bringing it to life. Without an engine, no power can be sent to the wheels and the car won’t be able to move. Every time your car is driven, the engine is put into work. Eventually, your car’s engine will stop from working after some time. After all, engines are designed to last for a long time.

The lifespan of engines aren’t measured by years, but by the distance the car has traveled. Essentially, most carmakers design and develop the engines of their cars to last more than 100,000 miles. Theoretically, if you drive around 100 miles each day in a year, you would have broken the 100,000-mile barrier in less than three years. If you are driving 50 miles a day, the barrier would be reached in five and a half years.

In the real world, there have been engines that went the scrap yards even before reaching 40,000 miles. There have also been engines that managed to last more than 300,000 miles on the road. There have been reports of few engines going beyond 500,000 miles. Just lately, more and more engines have been able to go beyond 200,000 miles before finally saying goodbye.

Read the entire article What is the lifespan of the engine of your car?

When you are driving, you need to have a clear view of the road head. However, there are times when visibility is less than desirable, simply because condensation, frost or ice have built up on the windshield and the rear window. The defroster is especially designed to get rid of these elements to improve the visibility of your windshield and rear window.

Also known as defogger or demister, the defroster helps improve the visibility from the cabin to the outside environment. Condensation on the windshield and rear windows forms because the temperature outside the car is lower than inside the cabin. As the outside temperature gets lower, condensation could turn to frost. To remove the condensation or melt frost, the temperature is raised through the defroster.

Defrosters are generally divided into two types: primary defrosters that are usually installed on windshield defrosters, and secondary defrosters that are found on the rear windows. The activation of the primary and secondary defrosters usually varies on the make, model and year. Nonetheless, the main difference between these types of defrosters is that primary defrosters employ warm air current, while secondary defrosters use electricity to generate heat.

Read the entire article How the Defroster of Your Car Works?

One of the vital parts of your exhaust system is the muffler. Located at the back or in the middle of the exhaust, the muffler is designed to lower the levels of noise generated by the exhaust process. In addition, the muffler helps safely direct the exhaust gases and fumes out of the car and into the surroundings. As part of the exhaust system, the muffler helps keep your car run at optimal condition while reducing pollution.

As aforementioned, the muffler help reduce the noise coming from your car. A muffler is called so because it muffles the explosions in the engine, as achieved by creating back pressure in the exhaust system. Mufflers create back pressure through a series of baffles while its chambers have small openings. While it is considered normal if some noise leaks out, it would be abnormal if the muffler becomes too loud. Thus, if a muffler has become noisier or louder than it should be, there could be some problems.

A loud muffler could be annoying to the ears. However, a loud muffler does more than annoying your hearing sense. Basically, a muffler that is much louder than usual may indicate that it – or a part -- is broken or malfunctioning. There could be a hole or any defect, as caused by rust and other elements. If that is the case, it is not only the noise that would reach you, but also fumes coming from the engine. Fumes may contain carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that could be lethal to humans. Instead of coming out from the exhaust tips, carbon monoxide may leak out of the muffler and enter the passenger cabin of your car.

Read the entire article Is driving with a loud muffler a safety risk?

Primarily, motor oil is used to lubricate the engine, thereby reducing friction and wear of moving parts while cleaning the powerplant from sludge and varnish. In addition, motor oil improves sealing of piston rings while cooling down the engine by taking heat away from its moving parts.

Buying motor oil could be overwhelming, no thanks to the wide array of available products. Furthermore, using the wrong type of oil could prove to be a disaster to your engine. Thus, you have to choose right type of oil for your engine.

Basically, there are four types of motor oil: conventional (regular), synthetic, synthetic blend and high mileage motor oil. Since the type of motor oil that your engine needs depends on the on the age of your car and your driving activity, knowing the their characteristics would help you determine which would be the best for your ride.

Read the entire article This is the Difference Between Regular and Synthetic Motor Oil

It is already terrible to drive on bad roads, and it is equally dreadful to drive on misaligned wheels. Properly aligned wheels help ensure optimal levels of drivability. Aside from giving a rough drive, misaligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear, damage to steering and suspension parts, as well as compromise the fuel economy of your car.

The alignment of the wheels is made possible by a set of nuts and bolts located in the sensitive area of knuckle in the axle. These nuts and bolts experience vibrations as the car moves. The vibrations are strong particularly when the car traverses bad roads. Over time, these nuts and bolts get loose and the wheels gets misaligns.

Likewise, all parts and components of a car are always subject to wear and tear. When parts like the suspension springs become worn and slack, the wheels can misalign. In addition, when the height of the vehicle is modified without adjusting the suspension, the wheels may also misalign.

Read the entire article 5 common indications your car needs wheels alignment

The parking brake is usually engaged when you need the car to be stationary in heavy traffic or in a parking spot. You are supposed to engage the parking brake when your car is already at a halt, in order to keep it from moving out from its intended space.

However, there could times that you have forgotten to disengage the parking brake and just drove away. This will leave you wondering: Would driving with the parking brake still engaged cause some damage?

The answer is: it depends.

Read the entire article This what happens you drive with the parking brake on