Category Archives: Automotive

Learn More About Protect Your Auto Investment

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be an ASE-certified automotive technician, consider this: In the span of one career, automotive engine technology alone has advanced from purely mechanical devices that need periodic adjustments to sophisticated, computer-controlled systems that can actually compensate for normal wear.

The same can be said for virtually every major system on today’s vehicles, from brakes to transmissions. And the technicians who service and maintain our vehicle fleet have had to learn it all. In fact, to be an ASE-certified automotive technician today is to commit to a lifetime of training just to keep abreast of changing technology.

Maintenance more necessary than ever before
Modern vehicles are wonders of engineering. In just the past decade, maintenance intervals for things like spark plugs, emissions and cooling systems have been stretched out to 100,000 miles in some vehicles.

But the need for periodic maintenance hasn’t changed. In fact, given the longer life expectancy of today’s vehicles, the need for periodic maintenance has never been greater if you expect to get the most from what has become the second biggest investment most individuals will ever make.

To protect this investment and to get the maximum reliability and safety from the vehicle you depend upon daily, you need to establish and follow a maintenance plan. The best place to start a maintenance program is by reading your owner’s manual. In it you will find the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

This schedule is based on “normal” driving, but remember that very few of us drive “normally.” The roads are typically dusty and strewn with potholes and speed bumps. Look at the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule as a starting point for your vehicle maintenance plan, not the final authority.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, knows a few things about vehicle maintenance too. ASE offers some general recommendations, which apply to all types of cars and trucks, to help you build a comprehensive vehicle maintenance plan.

Lube for life
The engine is the heart of your vehicle and probably the most costly to repair when something goes wrong. Modern electronic controls have eliminated a lot of adjustments, and what we used to call a “tune-up” has evolved into something akin to a complete physical, where most of the work involved is designed to verify proper operation of computer control systems.

While it’s true that new cars and trucks run cleaner than ever before, the engine and all its related control systems must be kept operating exactly as designed to prevent increased engine emissions and a host of driveability problems.

The one thing experts agree on that you can do to add many miles to your engine is regular oil and filter changes. Most auto manufacturers recommend oil and filter changes every 7,500 miles or six months under “normal” conditions, but repair experts believe a better interval is every 3,000 miles or three months. By changing the oil regularly, the inside of your engine will stay clean, and you’ll avoid damaging sludge buildup.

Keeping cool
Today’s cars also tend to run hotter than previous models. With the trend to downsize vehicle components to save space and weight, cooling system components are being asked to do more than their older counterparts.

The best thing you can do to maintain the cooling system at peak efficiency during the life of your car is to replace the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Although some of the newer coolants last longer, antifreeze does wear out. By replacing the coolant periodically, you insure that the corrosion inhibitors are fresh and are helping to eliminate the scale and corrosion that builds up inside the cooling system.

Fluid facts
Probably the most ignored fluid in the car — and the most important — is the brake fluid. Brake fluid is not a petroleum-based product, so it does absorb moisture from the air. This hygroscopic quality diminishes its effectiveness and lowers braking performance.

Sludge will also build up over a period of time, blocking the valves inside antilock brake (ABS) units and resulting in costly repairs or replacement. In addition, this sludge may cause calipers and wheel cylinders to leak, also resulting in repairs or replacement. Experts recommend having the brake fluid flushed and refilled periodically, although manufacturer recommendations vary as to how often.

The transmission fluid also needs to be changed on a regular basis to help keep the transmission in tip-top shape. Here again, some manufacturers have increased maintenance intervals to 100,000 miles for transmission fluid changes, but these systems still need periodic maintenance. Most transmission failures can be directly traced to a lack of maintenance. When planning your maintenance schedule, consider that even one transmission replacement will probably greatly exceed the cost of all the fluid and filter changes for the entire life of the car.

Power steering is another fluid that is often ignored. It is recommended that it be flushed and refilled at least as often as you replace the brake fluid.

Replacing the differential fluid is something that is most often overlooked. A regular fluid change will help the differential last the life of the vehicle. If your vehicle is four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, change the transfer case fluid as well.

Get out the grit
Filters play a critical part of a regular vehicle maintenance plan. Air and fuel filters keep dirt and abrasive grit out of the engine. Problems arise when these filters get dirty and start to clog up. Many driveability problems, such as hesitation and rough idle, can stem from dirty air and fuel filters. For maximum effectiveness, they should be replaced about every 15,000 miles, but driving in dusty conditions can require more frequent air filter changes.

A filter that is often overlooked is the carbon canister filter. It is an important part of the emission control system and filters the incoming air that this system uses. The canister is an integral part of today’s engine management system, and a clogged canister filter can also result in driveability or emissions problems.

Some cars still have a positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) filter, also called a breather element. This filters the air for the PCV system to ensure clean air enters the engine crankcase. Most cars today draw air for the PCV system from the air cleaner housing so this filter is not needed, but if your engine has one, replace it at 15,000 mile intervals as well.

Speaking of the PCV system, the PCV valve (if equipped) should be replaced on a regular basis, too. When you put the new PCV filter in, replace the PCV valve as well. Many cars now use a metered orifice instead of a PCV valve and this should be checked periodically for free flow.

Today’s ‘tune-up’
Ignition systems have become much more reliable over the years. Many engines don’t even have distributors anymore; they use a DIS or Direct Ignition System. These systems can either mount one ignition coil on each spark plug, or share one coil for two plugs, thus eliminating the need of a distributor.

On engines that still use a distributor, it is a good idea to replace the distributor cap, distributor rotor and ignition wires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The spark plugs need to be replaced on a regular basis as well. Even though some manufacturers have extended those intervals to 100,000 miles, this doesn’t apply to all engines. The best plug to use is the one the manufacturer recommends. This information is usually found on an engine decal located under the hood.

Belt basics
Perhaps the most critical engine component these days is the timing belt. Most manufacturers suggest replacing the timing belt every 60,000 miles.

Not all engines use a timing belt, but on those that do, it’s critical that it be replaced before it breaks. If your car has an interference engine where the valves and pistons occupy the same place in the combustion chamber at different times, serious engine damage can occur if the belt breaks while operating. If your car has a non-interference engine, the worst that will happen is you get stranded somewhere.

Other engine drive belts should be checked on a regular basis — about as often as you change oil. In general, you should look for excessively cracked, glazed or frayed belts. Many accessories — including the alternator, power steering pump and coolant pump — are operated by drive belts. If these belts break or slip, the components they drive will fail to work, leaving you stranded.

One more thing to check while you’re looking at the belts is the battery. Virtually all batteries are maintenance-free these days, except for a periodic terminal cleaning and inspection for cracks or leaks. In addition, ensure the battery is mounted securely.

Tire tips
Tires are one of the most important maintenance items under your car. The best way to get the most out of your tires is by having them rotated and balanced on a regular basis, about every 7,500 miles. This ensures they wear evenly and last as long as possible.

Balancing is important to eliminate vibration at road speeds, and a properly balanced tire reduces the stress and strain on shocks, struts and steering parts. Keeping the tire pressures set to specification will also go a long way in extending tire life and fuel economy.

Seeing clearly
Finally, you should get in the habit of replacing your wiper blades once a year. The Car Care Council recommends replacing them each spring, when you set your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.

Wiper refills are the most inexpensive safety feature on your vehicle. And if you doubt having good wipers is a safety feature, try driving with bad ones in a downpour at night.

If you live in an area that suffers cold and snowy winters, you may want to change to winter blades in the fall and go back to regular blades in the spring.

Following a regular vehicle maintenance program is the best insurance you have against unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs. It also pays dividends by allowing you to get the most out of your transportation investment

Should You Know About It’s Easy Being Green

Motorists can do their part to help the environment by practicing a few ‘earth-friendly’ car care habits, note the experts at the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It all comes down to timely vehicle maintenance and non-aggressive driving.

Here are specific suggestions from ASE:

  • Slow down. Speeding and hard accelerations waste gasoline. Use cruise-control on highways to maintain a steady pace. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands.
  • Lighten up. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle to reduce weight.
  • Don’t pollute. Dispose of used motor oil, antifreeze/coolant, and old batteries properly. Some repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local government. Keep the engine running at its peak-a misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Replace filters and fluids as recommended by the owner’s manual.
  • Get pumped. Keep the tires properly inflated and aligned. Under-inflated tires waste fuel by forcing the vehicle’s engine to work harder. Moreover, properly maintained tires last longer, saving you money and lessening the burden at landfills.
  • Know your limitations. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technicians’ credentials. ASE-certified professionals have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning.
  • Don’t try this at home. Your car’s air conditioner should be serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. The air conditioners in older vehicles contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which can be released into the atmosphere through improper service.
  • Instant karma. In addition to helping the environment, routine maintenance will help your vehicle last longer, get better gas mileage, and command a higher resale price. Pretty cool

Learn More About Auto Service Goes High Tech

Increasingly, automotive repair and service is becoming a high-tech profession, note officials with the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Old images die hard, but yesterday’s mechanics have become today’s technicians, complete with hand-held computer diagnostic tools and a wall full of credentials attesting to their abilities.

In a recent poll of ASE-certified automotive technicians, over four-fifths said they used a computer on the job, more than two-thirds said they owned a computer at home, and over half said they had access to the Internet.

“The profession is being revolutionized,” notes ASE President Tim Zilke. “Brute force has been supplanted by brain power. If you don’t think so, just look under the hood of one of today’s sport coupes or SUVs. This is rocket science-or very close to it. Today’s auto technicians need to be master diagnosticians, well versed in electronics, and have smooth customer service skills.” Auto technicians face components and repairs virtually unheard of a generation ago: on-board computers, electronic fuel injection, and antilock brakes, to name but a few advances.

Fortunately, the requirements on motorists are much less. According to ASE, a major component of satisfactory auto repair is good communication between shop and customer.

ASE suggests that consumers read their owner’s manual to become familiar with the basic systems and the service intervals. Once at the repair establishment, be prepared to describe the symptoms; but do not suggest a specific course of repair. Do not be embarrassed to ask questions or definitions of technical terms. Don’t expect an on-the-spot diagnosis, but ask to be apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begins. And, be sure you understand policies regarding diagnostic fees, labor rates, return of old parts, and guarantees, ASE advises

Learn More About Gas Saving

While it is always wise to conserve natural resources, the recent price of gasoline has made even the most wasteful people think twice. Whatever your motivation, here are some gas saving tips from the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Monitor tires. Under inflated tires or poorly aligned wheels waste fuel by forcing the engine to work harder. (Let the tires cool down before checking the air pressure.) Out-of-line wheels, as evidenced by uneven tread wear, should be aligned by a professional.

Remove excess weight. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Store only essentials in the trunk. Less weight means better mileage.

Consolidate trips and errands. Some trips may be unnecessary. Also, try to travel when traffic is light so you can avoid stop-and-go conditions.

Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.

Observe speed limits. Speeding decreases your miles per gallon.

Drive gently. Sudden accelerations guzzle gas. Anticipate traffic patterns ahead and adjust your speed gradually.

Use windows and air conditioning wisely. Your mileage should improve if you keep the windows closed at highway speeds, since air drag is reduced. This is true even with the air conditioning on-assuming that the system is in good working order. But turn the air conditioning off in stop-and-go traffic to save fuel.

Keep your engine “tuned up.” A well-maintained engine operates at peak efficiency, maximizing gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in the owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance.

These conservation tips will not only save gasoline, they’ll help extend the life of your vehicle. Win-win, indeed

Should You Know About Old Cars Still Make Great Cars

If you’re not too particular about that new car smell, there’re quite a few treasures to be found in the local used car market. Take the Toyota AE86 Trueno for example, it was made extremely popular in the local market by the Japanese racing themed anime, Initial D and was for a time one of the coolest cars to be seen in. Besides the Trueno, there’re other cars that have escaped the jaws of the salvage yard. Below are a couple of classics we found that will continue to live long happy and brisk-paced lives away from the scrap yard.

Honda Civic EG9 (1992 – 1995)

A car that has risen to almost meteoric status among boyracers is the Honda Civic EG9. It’s popularity stems from the power and the ability of its B16A VTEC engine to accept bolt on parts easily. On top of that, the shark-like appearance of its front fascia won many fans (boyracers definitely) over.
Even though the stock engine of a Honda Civic Si EG9 comes with 150bhp, enough to garner respect both on the track and off, a huge tuning industry has been built around this version alone.

In the US tuning scene, these Civic EG9s are still a force to be reckoned with. Tuners are still picking old heaps up to breathe new life (and horsepower) into them with the plethora of hop-up parts available.

What to look out for

The car being more than 10 years old probably has quite a high mileage. First thing you should check are the suspension. Take it out for a drive and see if it’s soaking up the bumps as it should. A jarring ride might mean that the suspension is shot. Check the brakes too. Make sure they’re still stopping the car without using too much pedal pressure.

If you have to stamp on it to make it stop, it means the brake cable might be too loose or the brake linings have worn out. Finally, make sure the ‘check engine’ warning indicator isn’t lighted on the dashboard. If the light is on, it might indicate a serious fault with the engine or it might just be faulty circuitry but it’ll be safer to walk away

Know More AboutEnd of Summer Marks Perfect Time for Car Care

Preventative maintenance now can help ensure worry-free driving this winter

The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and cooler evenings have begun. Take advantage of the lull to prepare your vehicle for the winter ahead, advise the pros and the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Breakdowns, never convenient, can be dangerous in cold weather period.

The following tips from ASE should give parent and student alike a road map to fall car care.

First things first

Read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. There are usually two schedules listed: normal and severe.

Engine Performance

Have engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather will make existing problems worse. Replace dirty filtersair, fuel, PCV, etc.

Fuel

Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note, too, that a gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place.

Oil

Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling System

The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) If you’re doing your own work, allow the radiator to cool down completely before removing the cap. (Newer vehicles have coolant reservoirs.) The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a certified auto technician.

Heater/Defroster

The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.

Windshield Wipers

Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.

Battery

The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. But do-it-yourselfers can do routine maintenance. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly.

A word of caution:

Be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves. Note too that removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles so refer to your manual for instructions.

Lights

Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System

Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

Tires

Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Emergencies

Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box

Learn More About Springtime Auto Tips

Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Winter’s gloom (to say nothing of grit and road salt) is literally washed away. Take out the snow shovel, the gloves, and heavy boots and store them ’til next season. Surely summer can’t be far away.

Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision then now. ASE offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer.

  • Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
  • Have hard starts, rough idling, stalling, etc. corrected before hot weather sets in.
  • Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
  • If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians.
  • The tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified auto technician.
  • Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
  • Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner’s manual. (Properly dispose of used oil.)
  • Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
  • Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold.
  • Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
  • Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to combat summer’s dust and insects

Car Tips For The Rainy Season

Most drivers know the golden rules for driving in rainy conditions – turn on your lights, slow down, keep a safe distance from the next car – but did you know that you should also take special care of your vehicle in wet weather? That’s because rain and wet driving conditions affect vehicle parts very differently from regular (dry) conditions.

Since the rainy season is upon us again, with hard-to-predict downpours happening almost every day, it’s high time to arm yourself with useful knowledge about caring for your vehicle in wet weather. Here is a simple checklist of five important tips to keep your ride in good shape this season.

It is important not to neglect washing your car!

1. Keep washing your car

It’s tempting to skip the car washing because it’s raining all the time anyway, but don’t give in! Rain actually doesn’t do any favours for your vehicle’s exterior – it leaves behind acidic deposits that eat away at the exposed parts of your car, especially the paint job and any metallic (e.g. chrome) finishes.

The best thing you can do for your vehicle’s exterior is to keep up with regular, proper care. Before washing, rinse off heavy deposits with plenty of water and a microfibre cloth to remove stubborn stains such as bird droppings. Clean the vehicle starting from the top and working down using a soft sponge. Make sure to use solvent free cleaning products.

If you don’t have time for a full wash, a quick hose-down can help neutralise acidity after your car has been out in the rain.

Regularly checking your tyres is important in ensuring safety, especially on wet road surfaces

2. Maintain your wheels for driving safety

During rainy season, it’s extra important for your vehicle’s tyres to be in tip-top condition. On wet road surfaces, vehicles are prone to aquaplaning. This can be due to different tread depths on the tyres, vehicle speed and differing road surfaces.

To minimise this risk, regularly check your tyres to ensure sufficient tread depth for a safe drive. If they are worn, especially below specifications (check your owners’ manual), get them replaced.

3. Up your windscreen wiper game

Your wipers are going to be working very hard this wet weather season, so check on the condition of your wiper blades and quantity of washer fluid frequently. Some vehicles have a warning light that would show up on the dashboard telling you it’s time to top up your washer fluid.

Regular checks on the condition of your car’s wiper blades ensure good visibility even in heavy downpour

Listen out for jerking, squeaking and other noises, which indicate that the wiper blade might need replacing. It’s important to keep all wiper parts in order as visibility is crucial for your safety when it rains.

4. Check your head lights and taillights

Your head lights and taillights are more important than ever during rainy season – not just for illuminating the environment when it’s dark and stormy, but also to indicate your position clearly to other road users. For your driving safety, check that your head lights and taillights are turned on. Dipped beam lights ensure maximum visibility for you and other road users.

You might know of LED displays, screens and even traffic lights, but have you heard of LED head lights? In fact, LED technology is proven to improve driving safety through rapid response and stronger lighting.

In damp or humid weather, you may find your lights lenses fog over due to the temperature difference between the inside and outside of your vehicle. A simple fix is to switch the lights on, and the fog will clear shortly.

5. Weather-proof your vehicle with the right accessories

Investing in accessories to protect your vehicle’s interior from water, mud and dirt is also key to enjoying a more comfortable ride. Protective gear such as rubber floor mats, boot trays and pedal caps are especially useful during the rainy season

Tips to Drive Safely In Flood

One of the goals people may have when they plan to buy a car is often to protect them from the rain. However, rain can still be a problem for people even if they have bought the car of their dreams. This is even more so if there is a heavy downpour which often results in flood. In most cases, car owners are recommended not to drive their car out. But what if they are in need of going out in their car? Well, they need to read through this article to find out how they may drive more safely in flood.

What most car drivers usually assume vs. the fact

There are quite a lot of car drivers out there who think it will be fine for them to drive their valuable car through flood as long as they have their car tyres in good shape. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even though it is true that today’s modern cars are usually more capable of getting through pretty severe flood, danger still exists. As a matter of fact, even those large 4×4 car drivers should try to be very careful when they are trying to get their car through flood.

This is why Roger Crathorne, the manager of Land Rover Driving Experience, mentions that one thing that may probably put a 4×4 car to a halt is often the water that the car engine is sucking. Also, he mentions that it is necessary for car owners to be aware of where their car intake is located. This is because some cars have their car intake located very low which makes it vulnerable when there is a flood going on.

So how can people drive safely during a flood?

Well, of course, the very first thing that the car drivers may need to do is to try to see how deep the flood ahead of them is. This way, the car drivers can pull over before they approach the flood. They can then see how the other cars, either the larger cars or the cars similar to the size of theirs, struggle with the flood. There is one thing that every car driver should keep in his or her mind. If the flood level reaches a level higher than the bottom edge of the car door, the flood water may get into the car engine compartment. As a result, stalling may take place.

The next thing to do is to drive slowly. It is recommended that the car drivers make use of the 1st gear in order to keep the car at a low speed level. Otherwise, they may create a bow wave. Believe it or not, a bow wave often causes severe damages to cars and they are expensive to deal with. With that being said, it may be better for the car drivers to put the oncoming traffic into higher priority to pass.

Yet, what the car drivers need to do next is to consider driving their cars in the middle of the road. The reason is that flood is usually at its shallowest level in the middle of the road. The middle part of the road is often known as the crown of the road.

If the car drivers happen to approach flood water that is moving fast – probably when they approach a flooded bridge, they must not drive fast. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting their car washed away with them inside!

Standing water is pretty dangerous as well. If people drive through it at high speeds, tyres aquaplane and steering control loss will take place. If possible, the car drivers had better avoid driving their car through the standing water. But if aquaplaning does take place, the car drivers are recommended to take a light hold of their steering wheel and to lift the throttle off until the tyres manage to regain grip.

Another disadvantage that may occur due to driving considerably fast through standing water is that a car may come to a complete stalling, even if the engine sucks only a little amount of water. Those who drive a turbocharged petrol car or a car with a diesel engine should even be more careful since they are often the most vulnerable targets to stalling.

The next thing car drivers need to do as they are struggling to get their car through the flood is to keep on revving to get the car engine running strong. They can do this by slipping their car clutch. This way, they may prevent water from entering the car exhaust as well as prevent the car engine from stalling.

What if the engine stalls?

Well, obviously, the car drivers will have to get someone to tow them out. Yet, if they are not sure enough how deep the flood might be, or if it is moving, they had better stay put in their car until rescue arrives. In the meantime, the car drivers need to make sure that their car bonnet stays closed instead of propped open. Otherwise, chances are they will run into a hard time trying to start their car engine because of the rain-soaked electrics.

What to do after getting through the flood?

Well, the first thing that people should do is to look for any possible scratch, crack, bump or something hanging off their car.

Then, the interior is the next thing to examine. The car owners need to check whether there are any damp patches or not on the carpets, upholstery and the door panels. If there are indeed damp patches, the car owners should not wait for the damp patches to dry out. This will often cause a very annoying damp musty smell. If the car owners are not in the mood of coping with the damp patches themselves, they can get it done by the professionals available.

The car owners should then check the condition of the transmission fluid and the engine oil. If the transmission fluid seems diluted, beige or milky, there is water in it. Therefore, do not drive the car but tow it instead for repair.

The air filter is also very important. If the car owners think that the air filter is damp, they need to replace it and then change the oil.

Going underneath the car to see if there is any mud, dirt, grass or debris is also important. Such things can cause undercarriage damage and they need to be washed in no time at all.

Car owners should also be concerned about the braking system. They need to see if there is anything wrong with it. When necessary, the car owners can get it checked by the professionals.

Indicators and lights are often vulnerable to water damage and rust. If the car owners see any water in them, the car owners should consider replacing the bulbs. Checking should be done regardless.

Last but not least, car owners need to test run their car. If they happen to hear any sound that is not quite familiar to them, they need to check it out very soon. Of course, professional services are always available

Prevent Car Thefts

Many of us own a car today. Unfortunately, with more and more cars flooding our roads, the possibility of car thefts increases as well.

With that being said, it is very important that we take the necessary preventive measures so that we won’t fall victims to car thieves.

What you can do?

Install anti-theft device

You will find it handy to acquire and install aftermarket anti-theft devices in your car. These devices can often be found at various car workshops.

Apart from providing your car with a higher security level, these aftermarket anti-theft devices are often pretty easy to install, meaning you won’t have to spend any extra amount of money to get professionals to install them for you. One example of such devices is known as The Club, where it’s secured around your steering wheel.

here are also other anti-theft devices you can find on the market. These devices include car alarms, immobilisers and GPS vehicle tracking systems

The Club

The Club, also known as a steering wheel lock, is a device that fits and locks onto your steering wheel. It secures your steering wheel in place, making it difficult for thieves to drive off with your car. However, this does not prevent them from breaking into your car, and some studies have also shown that The Club can be defeated with tools.

Car alarms

Possibly the most common anti-theft device out there, car alarms are now fitted to virtually every new car on sale right now.

In a basic sense, car alarms emit a loud noise to alert the owner or anyone else once it senses any attempt at unauthorised entry. They usually trigger when the doors or windows are opened without the presence of the accompanying alarm key fob; some systems trigger if they sense any unnatural movement in and around the car in the absence of the key.

However, the fact that car alarms are so commonplace has resulted in complacency, with people ignoring them due to the constant false alarms that are triggered due to various reasons.

Immobilisers

A more effective deterrent would be immobilisers. An immobiliser is an electric device that is wired to both the engine and the car’s key, and prevents the car from starting or running if the correct key is not present.

The immobiliser device consists of a miniature transponder imbedded in the ignition key head, and an electronic key which sends out security codes that must be matched to the one generated by the car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in order for the car to start and run.

If an incorrect code is detected, the ignition and engine will not be able to start, thereby rendering any attempt at stealing the vehicle useless.

GPS vehicle tracking systems

Taking security further are GPS vehicle tracking systems. Should thieves somehow managed to break past your car alarm and disable your car’s immobiliser, vehicle tracking systems are able to alert the owner as to the whereabouts of the vehicle, enabling him or the authorities to take action.

Vehicle tracking systems typically send data regularly about the car to either a computer or a data centre, which can be evaluated to determine the car’s travelling pattern. So, any anomalies in that pattern would result in an alert to the owner in case of theft.

Law enforcement authorities also have access to this information once they are alerted, so that they can assist with tracking and recovery of the vehicle. More sophisticated systems can even perform a remote shutdown of the car if required, thereby stopping the car thief literally in his tracks