by Michael Grayen August 10, 2018
Hydraulic brake lines and hoses aren’t something most people think about when it comes to vehicle maintenance. That’s understandable, considering automakers don’t list periodic replacement of them anywhere under routine services. However, many factory-spec guides state to check the condition of brake lines for any issues, and advise accordingly. This may leave you wondering when, or if, brake lines ever need attention.
by Timothy Zahl August 9, 2018
Brake calipers, found only on disc brake systems, house pistons which use the force of hydraulic brake fluid to stop the vehicle. More specifically, those pistons squeeze brake pads against rotating disc brake rotors - creating the friction necessary for scrubbing off speed.
by Richard Reina August 8, 2018
The springs on your vehicle are an integral part of its suspension system. Not only do springs keep all four corners suspended at a pre-determined, level ride height, they are designed to compress and recoil within safe limits - keeping your car or truck stable as suspension components travel up and down over an unstable world.
by Richard Reina August 7, 2018
Tires exist for every variation of automotive use imaginable. For example, there are tires tailored to everyday passenger car use, racing, off-roading, commercial transport, agricultural vehicles, boat trailers, and much more. While internal construction varies between these applications, the exterior of all tires is a specially blended rubber compound that provides airtight sealing, cushioning from impacts, and firm grip on road...
by Michael Grayen August 3, 2018
Bolted to an engine block and powered by a belt-driven pulley, an alternator is in motion whenever the engine is running. Essentially, a vehicle's battery is tasked with storing electricity to start the engine, while the alternator's job is to produce electrical power for the battery, ignition system, and other vehicle accessories.
by Richard Reina August 1, 2018
Odds are if you’ve come to our website, you know the value of good vehicle maintenance. We’d also bet you perform certain maintenance items more frequently than the manufacturer tells you to. Or, you upgrade components with performance-oriented parts designed to last longer and do a more effective job. We understand completely.
by Timothy Zahl July 23, 2018
You likely know that today's automobile engines run on an air/fuel mixture that is precisely metered for optimum combustion, power, and fuel efficiency. But did you know that a dirty engine air filter can throw that ideal ratio off? An air filter overdue for replacement can trigger a check engine light if numerous running conditions should get out of whack as a result.
by Richard Reina July 17, 2018
As their name suggests, accessory belts take rotational power from the engine's spinning crankshaft and transfer it to various pumps that run devices and accessories on the vehicle. Without accessory belts, your A/C compressor wouldn't be able to pressurize refrigerant that cools the cabin in summer. You'd have a hard time turning the steering wheel too, since the power steering pump wouldn't have the muscle to provide assistance....
by Timothy Zahl July 11, 2018
Maybe you remember being pushed along in a wheelbarrow during childhood. The ride was bone-jarring - even with an air-filled rubber tire cushioning against the rough ground. Because there was no additional insulation, vibrations that made it past the tire traveled directly through the metal tub and into your body.
by Michael Grayen July 6, 2018
A timing belt is a toothed belt made of reinforced rubber that rides on sprocket wheels. Driven by the engine's crankshaft pulley, a timing belt provides rotational force for camshafts that open and close intake and exhaust valves at precisely the right time for smooth combustion. Because the valves must be synchronized with the operation of the engine's intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust strokes, the timing belt ensures...
by Timothy Zahl July 5, 2018
Shock absorbers are suspension components that dampen and halt the up-and-down movement of your vehicle's springs. If these control devices weren't part of the suspension system, your car or truck would continue to hop up and down for a lengthy period until the kinetic energy in the springs finally dissipated. As you might imagine, an extremely bouncy ride would result - and the vehicle would be very hard to control.
by Richard Reina July 4, 2018
Spark plugs are a key ingredient of gasoline engines when it comes to serving up a dish of solid power. More specifically, they conduct electricity derived from the engine’s ignition system – using it to create a small bolt of lightning to ignite the air/fuel mixture sprayed into each cylinder between the compression stroke and power stroke.
by Michael Grayen June 25, 2018
If you own a car or truck built since the early 1990s, the HVAC (heating, venting & air conditioning) system which provides heated and cooled air to the vehicle’s interior is likely equipped with a lightweight, removable cabin air filter. As its name suggests, the purpose of this filter is to help clean the air you breathe by filtering out and trapping dust, pollen, smog, mold spores, and other types of airborne pollutants.
by Timothy Zahl June 23, 2018
When it comes automotive maintenance items, changing a vehicle's brake fluid is probably not at the top of anyone's mind. But it should be, because there are important reasons for doing it. In this article, we'll look at conflicting information you may see regarding how often you should change brake fluid. We'll point out why it's important and make our best recommendations for you. In the end, it's a decision you'll make, but you'll...
by Richard Reina June 18, 2018
New vehicle auto shows make the rounds around the country at the same time each year: Detroit in January, Philadelphia in February, New York at Easter, Los Angeles in November, and so on. It’s similar in Europe, with the shows on a repeating schedule, although some of them have moved to alternate years.
Taking care of your vehicle or modifying it can be challenging if you don't have accurate and thorough information. If you're like the average enthusiast, you have plenty of questions about parts and accessories. You may want to know how to lower your car or what you need to do to fit your truck with big tires, how spoilers work, how to set up your truck for towing, or how your car will benefit from adding a cold air intake or cat-back exhaust. Maintenance and repair jobs present their own set of queries, like how do you change coolant, what parts are needed for a tune-up, what tools are necessary for brake service, or how do you know when to replace shocks. We created these Helpful Automotive Articles to answer these and many more parts and accessories buying and automotive service questions.
Our staff of professionals has decades of combined automotive experience, and they've compiled these articles to give you the benefit of their accumulated knowledge. If you're considering buying accessories to improve the look or performance of your car or truck, or obtaining parts to perform routine maintenance or repairs, these articles will help you make an informed purchase. And if you're unsure about working on your car or how parts and accessories are installed, we've prepared articles that detail the most common service issues, including how to tell when replacement is required, how to use specific tools, and how to perform the service procedure. Even if you ultimately decide that you'd rather have a professional technician do the job, you'll still have a basic understanding of what's involved so you can better communicate with the service provider.