UNDERSTANDING PERFORMANCE BRAKE PADS

Performance brake pads are often presented as a clear upgrade over the stock pads that came with your vehicle. With such a wide variety of pad types out there, however, it’s important to understand how different pad compounds and designs can impact the way your vehicle drives on a daily basis, in addition to how well it might perform on a track or autocross course. Here are a few brake pad basics so you can decide how to best improve your vehicle’s stopping power. Breaking Them Down Whereas most brand-new vehicles come with a non-asbestos organic (NAO) brake pad, performance brake pads are usually metallic or semi-metallic in terms of their construction (with the exception of very high-end c

REMOVING STICKERS FROM YOUR CAR DONE RIGHT

You’ve just purchased a used car and the previous owner had decorated the rear bumper and trunk lid with not one, not two, but a half-dozen bumper stickers. Those stickers are unsightly and, moreover, they don’t reflect your viewpoint on life. So removing these stickers from your new car is a top priority. Here’s what to do when they’re affixed to the bumper, on the glass or in the car. How to Remove Them If you’re lucky, removing stickers from your car will be an easy process. Simply start peeling back a corner until the bumper sticker begins to detach. Work on all four corners and you may have that sticker off within minutes. Unfortunately, not all bumper stickers will be so easy to remove

ALTERNATOR PULLEY EVOLUTION

Solid Serpentine Alternator Pulleys and Automatic Belt Tensioners were first utilized by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in 1979. Their sole purpose was to transmit power to the alternator using one belt and tensioner eliminating the need for multiple V-Belts within the Accessory Belt Drive System (ABDS). Since that time, OEs have further enhanced alternator pulley technology with the introduction of One-Way Clutch (OWC) Pulleys and Overrunning Alternator Decoupler (OAD) Pulleys. Both of these advancements are the culmination of years of research and development to help improve the performance and efficiency of car and light truck engines. OWC’s were first used in 1997 followed by th

CAR MAINTENANCE FOR THE SPRING SEASON AHEAD

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time for a drive! But there’s a little car maintenance you should do before you hit the road. You never know when that first beautiful spring day will come, and you want to be prepared. Here are five things to do to get your car ready for spring adventures. 1. Give Your Car a Good Wash Winter is finally over so you should give your car a thorough cleaning. This will get rid of all the corrosive road salt and chemicals that collected on your car. It might look clean, but the undercarriage especially takes a beating through the winter months. Make sure you hose off and wash the whole car. When you’re done, consider giving it a wax to not only make it look gr

THE BEST YARD TOOLS: WHAT YOU NEED TO OWN

Spring is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner. Revived from its winter dormancy, your lawn is coming back to life with the help of the added sunlight and warming temperatures. Get ready for the summer season and make sure you have the best yard tools to care for your lawn. Grass Cutters If your yard consists of a grassy area that is 70 square feet or larger, you should own a lawn mower. For smaller patches of grass, a string trimmer can quickly cut your lawn. It’s difficult to get an even cut with a string trimmer, though. If you don’t have a lawn mower yet, find out the best lawn mower for your yard size before you buy. If you already own a mower, get it in shape at the start

WHAT IS AN AUXILIARY BRAKE?

What is an auxiliary brake? More commonly known as a “parking brake,” this piece of equipment serves more than one important function on your automobile. And yet, in our age where automatic transmissions are far more common than a clutch pedal, this particular brake is sometimes overlooked while driving or servicing a vehicle. Let’s take a look at auxiliary brake basics. Separate System The standard brakes on your car make use of a hydraulic system that exerts pressure on either discs or drums to slow you down when you push the brake pedal. What is an auxiliary brake, then? It’s actually an additional system that operates entirely independently, which is why it’s also called the “emergency”

WHAT IS AN AUTO BRAKING SYSTEM?

An auto braking system is among the top driver-assist technologies of our day. Offered in many new vehicles, such innovation is designed to automatically slow or stop your vehicle if you do not react quickly enough. The technology is credited for preventing accidents and saving lives. But not all systems operate in the same way nor does every new model offer the technology, at least not yet. Auto Braking Systems Explained Officially known as automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems, this technology detects an imminent forward crash with another vehicle and applies the brakes after first alerting the driver. Depending on the system present, the vehicle may either automatically slow down or s

TOOL REPAIR AFTER A FLOOD: WHAT YOU CAN SALVAGE AND WHAT YOU CAN’T

Hopefully, tool repair after a flood is something you’ll never have to deal with. Still, given that floods can be unpredictable, and many garages are located below ground level, there’s a chance that one day you might face a basement or a garage full of water, wondering if you can salvage your tools. Let’s consider what you can save, and what you can’t, after a flood. The Water You’re Dealing With Flood water isn’t clean. In fact, it’s often mixed with sewage, mud, and other debris, which can do a lot of damage to your tools. However, there’s a difference between salt water and fresh water floods, with the former wreaking havoc on power tools and anything with a battery attached. It is possi

KEEPING YOUR CAR ALLERGEN-FREE

Allergies are a problem whether you’re at home, at work or in your car. How do you keep your car allergen-free to minimize the sniffling, sneezing and coughing of allergy season? It might seem like a challenge, but there are easy things you can do to reduce allergens in your car and breathe easier. Break Out the Vacuum You vacuum your house to get rid of unwanted dirt and dust, and you should do the same in your car to help keep it allergen-free. Especially at the end of winter, a good vacuum can make a world of difference. Not only does this remove surface dirt, but it removes what you can’t see. Especially if you have fabric seats, vacuuming is a huge help in reducing things like dust, pol

4 CAR WAX TYPES FOR YOUR VEHICLE AND HOW THEY WORK

Protecting your car’s paint with regular wax application is one of the easiest ways to prevent early corrosion and other harmful environmental effects. You should understand the differences between car wax types and how long each treatment will last to determine which will be the best car wax for your vehicle. One rule remains true no matter which type of wax you use: Always apply wax to a surface that is cool, dry and clean. Applying wax to a hot, dirty or sun-exposed surface could potentially cause more harm than good. You should begin applying wax after the vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned and is in a shaded or sheltered area. 1. Spray Wax Spray wax is the easiest and quickest way to p

4 ROAD TRIP MOVIES WITH VALUABLE CAR LESSONS

Road trip movies are a popular Hollywood trope, and really, what’s not to like? Get a group of likable characters, stuff them in a car, bus or Winnebago, and watch their interpersonal relationships unravel as hours of proximity exposes the rifts between them. In addition to entertainment, these four classic road trip movies provide lessons you can apply to your day-to-day dealings with your own car. As long as you don’t take things too seriously, you can tap into this cinematic wisdom and be prepared for whatever the road throws at you. 1. ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ Not all road trips go according to plan, especially in the movies. This classic hit from the ’80s stars John Candy and St

REPLACING AN OIL FILTER BY ITSELF: SHOULD I?

Everyone knows frequent oil changes are a vital part of vehicle maintenance, but usually replacing an oil filter occurs at the same time as an oil change, assumed to be basically equal parts of the one procedure. And while this is generally the case, there may, on rare occasions, come a time when replacing an oil filter alone is desirable. But before deciding whether this is something you want to do, make sure you have a basic understanding of the roles both oil and filters play. Smooth and Cool Runnings Engine oil does more than lubricate and keep things moving. By flowing through and across hot surfaces, it disperses heat and helps cool the engine to keep heat-sensitive parts safe. Additio

MAP VS. MAF: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

For most drivers, long discussions arguing the merits of mass airflow sensors (MAF) against those of manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensors won’t come up. Both sensors deal with monitoring airflow and delivering it to the electronic control unit (ECU), data which helps the computer determine how much fuel to meter out at any given time. And a manufacturer might use a MAP or a MAF or even both together, it just depends on the system’s design. For this reason, the question of MAP vs. MAF is a hot topic of debate among tuning enthusiasts who like to design or modify their own systems and accurately measure performance. Sensory Overload So, as mentioned above, both MAP and MAFs measure air goi

ELLIOTT COLLECTS TOP-15 FINISH SATURDAY NIGHT AT RICHMOND

Chase Elliott and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team turned in a persistent effort Saturday night at Richmond Raceway to earn a top-15 finish. The result keeps the No. 9 team in the top ten in the NASCAR Cup Series standings through the first nine races of the season. Elliott began Saturday evening from the 32nd position and immediately began passing competitors early in the event. By the competition caution on Lap 40, he had advanced to 24th, and he continued advancing through the field in the latter half of the opening stage as he took the green-checkered flag to end Stage 1 in 18th. After having to make a second unscheduled pit stop between stages, Elliott began Stage 2 in the 25th position. Simila

CAR BATTERY KNOW HOW: COLD CRANKING AMPS AND RESERVE CAPACITY

A car battery wears out just like any other battery and needs to be replaced. There are a couple of things you should understand when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity. Cold Is The Enemy Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live, specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reac

GET THE MOST OUT OF SPRING LAWN CARE: 3 EASY TIPS

Spring lawn care should be thought of as your launch pad to a summer full of lush, green enjoyment. The steps you take just before the warm weather arrives —especially if you live in a hot, dry climate — can play a major role in how nice your lawn looks until the fall arrives. With that in mind, here are three easy tips to prepare your lawn for the summer months. 1. Rake and Clean The first few steps in proper spring lawn care typically involve dealing with the issues that cropped up during winter. Depending on how harsh the cold weather gets, this can mean cleaning up downed branches and leaves, or clearing up sand and other refuse that has blown up on the grass. A rake will do most of the

2007–2014 YUKON & TAHOE COMMON PROBLEMS

The General Motors GMT900 chassis underpinned some of the most popular trucks and SUVs in the United States from 2007-2014. The Chevrolet Tahoe & GMC Yukon were extremely popular in the full size SUV segment with millions of units sold. Their combination of interior space and towing capability made them a great choice for those who needed to move both people and cargo. We put together this 2007–2014 Chevrolet Tahoe & GMC Yukon common problems guide to help both current owners and potential owners identify potential issues. Low Engine Oil Pressure On these vehicles the oil pressure gauge on the dash receives a signal from the oil pressure switch mounted on top of the engine block. Underneath

WHAT CAUSES OIL FILTER BLOAT?

Occasionally, you may remove a spin-on oil filter to find that it has become bloated at or near the top of the can. Because no other damage is evident, other than the deformed shape of the filter, the belief is that the product is exhibiting a manufacturing defect. This is most often not the case. But what causes oil filter bloat? When Things Go Right Under normal operating conditions, oil is forced by the oil pump throughout the engine for the purpose of both lubricating and cooling various internal engine components. High flow from the oil pump causes the Pressure Relief Valve to open, thereby regulating system pressure. Each vehicle has a predefined normal operating oil pressure which is

BRAKE BLEEDING BASICS

The process of removing air from the hydraulic brake system is called bleeding. Air is compressible, and any air in the system will be compressed during brake application, causing a spongy pedal. When bleeding brakes, using the proper sequence is recommended. It saves time and ensures that the entire system is bled. Typical Brake Bleeding Order The usual rear wheel drive vehicle procedure is to bleed the components in the following sequence: 1. Master cylinder. 2. Combination valve if equipped with a bleeder screw. 3. Wheel cylinders and calipers in succession, beginning with the longest brake line and ending with the shortest. On most vehicles the sequence right rear, left rear, right front

HOW TO AIM FOG LIGHTS: 3 BASIC TIPS

Learning how to aim fog lights will help you not only deal with low-visibility situations out on the road, but also prevent you from accidentally blinding other motorists in the oncoming lane. A poorly aimed fog light doesn’t help anyone, and having it shine in the face of other drivers is a nuisance at best. Check out these three basic tips that will have your fogs pointed in the right direction in no time. 1. Pick the Right Mounting Spot Fog lights are designed to cut under the haze in front of you and reduce glare and reflections. This allows them to complement your headlights without simply throwing more light at the fog. From a mounting perspective, this means you’ll want to put them ei

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