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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Most Common Signs You Need Brake Repair

Expert Author Andrew Stratton
Brake repair is not something that happens out of nowhere. In fact, most vehicles will show signs of needing repairs months or longer before there is a failure of the system. Yet, treatment of these concerns is vitally important. Do not put it off. The reason for this is simple. Putting it off could lead to significant risk to you and your family. A braking system that is not functioning properly can fail at any time. More so, the longer you wait to get help, the more likely it will be that this process will cost you more.
Check It Out
The first step you can take when it comes to monitoring for brake repair needs is simply to visually inspect the system. Look at the pads themselves. You can see them through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. You will see the outside of the pad pressed against the rotor. There should be at least a ¼ of an inch pad here. If there is less than this, it is time for replacement.
What You Hear Matters
It is also important to listen to your vehicle. Often, these repairs provide a clear sound when there is a problem. Think metal-on-metal rubbing together. Often, you will hear a high-pitched screeching sound when you touch the brakes in the vehicle to slow it down. This is usually a good indicator of a problem. It is a warning that your pads need replacement. The more frequent this gets, the more important it is to get the vehicle in to a tech.
The Way It Feels
While you are driving, you may notice changes in the function of your vehicle. These are also good indications that the brakes need attention. For example, if you notice that it takes longer to stop, this indicates a problem with responsiveness and fading. Get it taken care of soon. If you notice the vehicle is pulling to one side when you are applying pressure to the brakes, this also indicates a key problem that needs attention. Vibration, grinding and even a growling sound are all instances where repairs are necessary. The sooner you get these serviced, the better it will be for your vehicle.
Brake repair does not have to be expensive. Though it can be more expensive the longer you put it off, the safety it provides far outweighs the monetary investment you make. In fact, the longer you wait to get repairs, the more likely it is that your system will begin to damage to the rotors and other components of the car. That will be expensive to fix. If you have any of these warning signs, make an appointment with a technician to get the system checked.
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Revealed - Learning to Spot an Acura Transmission Problem

Expert Author Denise Beresford
Acura transmissions are not invincible. Eventually, the transmission will wear out and will need to be repaired or completely replaced. For any driver the most important thing is being able to find the problem early and then be able to solve it. Catching issues early nearly always results in mountains of money being saved when taking the vehicle to a mechanic. That's why this guide is imperative for drivers who want to check their transmission.
Shifting is Hard
Hard shifting is a sign that the performance of a transmission is starting to slip. It's an issue that appears in both automatic and manual cars, and the symptoms are different when it comes to each type of car.
Automatic Acura drivers will see the problem as a jerky shuttering when attempting to shift between gears. Sometimes the shaking will become erratic and the car will seem confused as to which gear it needs to be in. Manual Acura transmissions are different, however, in that it simply becomes more difficult to put the car in the correct gear. Apart from the NSX supercar, all Acura vehicles are front-wheel drive so the shaking will be more noticeable due to the increase in hardness.
Cold Shift
Experiencing shifting issues during cold weather is not a sign that the transmission has broken or that it has an immediate problem it's merely an early sign that there will be a problem at some point. Again, there's a difference between manual and automatic cars in that the symptoms are slightly different.
Automatic Acura cars will feel as if the engine is actively fighting against shifting to a certain gear, even when the correct RPM ranges have been entered into. Manual cars will have trouble getting their vehicle into the correct gear as a feeling of sluggishness will be felt. Both of these symptoms will disappear once the weather begins to get better, though. Don't ignore the issue even if it goes away as it's an early wake-up call to take it in for a check-up with a mechanic.
When gears start to slip within Acura transmissions it's a serious warning sign that the whole system is about to collapse and that the driver needs to get it in for repair. In this situation the symptom is the same for both automatic and manual transmissions in that the gears won't catch when the shifting process is initiated. Of course, this symptom will express itself in a slightly different way when it comes to the different types of transmission.
Short bursts of extreme RPMs will be present when the transmission attempts to shift through the gears, whereas manuals will require the clutch to be let out slower for the gears to catch. A caught transmission may even be felt long after the gear has been shifted, although when it comes to Acura cars with a hydraulic clutch it could actually indicate a problem with a leaky master cylinder.
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Motor Oil Grades, Quality Performance Standards

Expert Author Chris Filips
A key consideration for engine care is choosing motor oil grades which will best deliver good, reliable engine performance, depending on the conditions under which you use your vehicle.
So what does a car owner look for to give them confidence the motor oil they choose will be the most appropriate one for their particular make and model? There are a number of benchmarks or performance standards which indicate the motor oil grade and when a particular lubricant can be used.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (or SAE) is one such rating which explains the function of the motor oil and its viscosity. The viscosity of a given engine oil is a measure of how easily the oil flows as temperature changes, bearing in mind the oil will flow more easily when the engine is hot compared to when you first start a cold engine.
You will find a logo or benchmark on cans of motor engine oil, which is effectively a stamp of approval by respected organisations and so gives credibility to the engine oil and lubricant retailer, and reassures the purchaser that a widely accepted standard has been met.
Depending on which part of the world you live in, there will be one of the following two designations. The API (American Petroleum Institute) is one such accreditation given to an engine oil product. The customer will have confidence that the API standard makes a statement as to the performance level to be expected from the oil, whether it is for cars, vans or light trucks.
The performance of a motor oil has various service (=S) categories, and the container holding the engine oil product will show this within the benchmark logo, for example, look for the symbol SN or SL. For diesel engines, as these come under the Commercial sector, the symbol begins with a 'C'.
The other certification which you should look out for is the ACEA (=Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Automobiles) and is more likely to be displayed in EU countries. It is possible the product you buy displays both standard marks for motor engine grade and performance. Under ACEA, the letter 'A' stands for petrol engine, while 'E' denotes heavy duty diesel. For example, the designation A3 means 'high performance, and /or extended drain.'
In addition to the retail product bearing the stamp of approval from either or both the API and the ACEA, sometimes the motor oil will also show approvals by some of the motor car manufacturers (or OEM's original equipment manufacturer) themselves.
So in looking specifically at viscosity or the flow rate of the lubricant, the benchmark on the motor oil container may state for example SAE 5W-30. When compared to other oils this will tell you how this particular motor oil grade will perform under different conditions.
The number without a 'W' preceding it refers to oil viscosity that has been tested at 100 degrees centigrade or the assumed temperature for an engine running normally. But the challenge is to have a motor oil grade which gets the oil flowing to the moving parts in a cold engine, such as when you start up in the morning. The quicker cold engine oil flows, the less wear and tear on the key engine parts over time.
So for example, the above 5W-30 motor oil grade would perform like a SAE 5 oil at the lower temperature specified, yet would have the viscosity of SAE 30 grade at normal engine temperatures (given as 100 degrees centigrade). It is best to refer to the manufacturer's engine manual to be clear about which motor oil grade is best for your vehicle.
There is also another body, the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC), jointly set-up by US and Japanese motor manufacturers, which also recommends motor oil grades which comply with the API standard.
With these various benchmark approvals displayed on lubricant and engine oil containers, together with the information from the manufacturers manual, the car owner should be confident they have the optimum motor oil grade for their car.
Chris Filips, Senior Manager and Author at Ultimo GT.
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