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Engine Support Systems: Air Intake, Starting, and Cooling

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 2:39:10 PM America/Denver

car engine

In order for the engine to run properly, all of the supporting systems need to be in tip-top shape. There are a lot of parts that affect whether or not the engine will be able to do its job, but they can be grouped into systems that have a specific function with regards to the engine. Air intake, starting, and cooling are three very important engine supporting systems.

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Common Engine Problems

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 2:25:00 PM America/Denver

engine problems

We’ve all been there before: your car starts making a faint, funny sound and you start praying it will go away on its own and turn out to be nothing. The next thing you know, you’re broken down on the side of the road or stuck in the driveway when you should be leaving for work. The best way to avoid breakdowns is to learn what the most common engine problems are and how to recognize them before they get too out of control.

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The Ins and Outs of Engines

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:43:13 PM America/Denver

car engine

A gasoline engine produces movement when energy is created by gasoline being burned inside the engine. This is known as internal combustion. The various parts of the engine work together to produce this reaction and power a vehicle. Understanding how each portion of the engine contributes to the movement of your car will help you to understand how an engine works.

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Increasing Horsepower

Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:56:01 AM America/Denver

increasing horsepower with a high performance muffler

Some of the most common aftermarket modifications that people make on their car have to do with increasing horsepower. There are a few ways you can go about this, but the bottom line is that you need to increase airflow in the engine, which in turn increases combustion and leads to more horsepower. There are few systems within your car where air flow can be increased. Addressing one or more of these areas will give you that added boost you’re looking for.

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Aftermarket Upgrades for Vehicles

Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:09:31 AM America/Denver

Adding aftermarket parts to your car can increase horsepower, improve performance, and give your car an individual look, but it’s important to be aware of local modification laws before you get started. Making unlawful vehicle modifications can result in a citation and you will have to undo all of the work you’ve done.

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Auto Maintenance Myths

Friday, February 15, 2013 11:17:22 AM America/Denver

auto maintenance

Maintaining your vehicle is an important component in extending its life, but there are some common misconceptions about how much you need to do on a regular basis. Most of the work that your parents had done regularly on their cars is unnecessary with modern, more efficient vehicles. Here are some tips your dad may have given you that no longer fit the bill:

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Battery Maintenance

Monday, February 11, 2013 11:09:35 AM America/Denver

car battery

Replacing your battery is something you’re going to have to do from time to time as part of caring for your car. You can save some money by extending the life of your battery as long as possible so it will have to be replaced less often. This will also decrease the amount of batteries that are in landfills and help the environment. There are a few easy things you can do that can significantly increase the life of your car’s battery.

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Winter Pollution and You

Monday, January 28, 2013 8:10:56 AM America/Denver

winter smog

Bundling up in a warm layers, shoveling snow, repairing your furnace, and more, winter brings its own set of challenges for us to overcome. One of the major winter challenges here in Utah is a special brand of pollution called “inversion.” Inversions are caused by a number of factors that occur at just the right time and make the air in our valleys overly polluted.

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Maintaining and Replacing Belts

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:53:06 AM America/Denver

engine belt

When performing maintenance on your vehicle, it’s a good idea to have your auto mechanic check the condition of your belts to see if they need to be replaced. Making sure belts are in proper working order can help you to avoid breakdowns out in the cold weather. There are two main belts you should be looking at when performing this inspection.

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Snow Tires and Winter Driving

Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:45:00 AM America/Denver

Winter roads are notorious for causing accidents, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of arriving from point A to point B safely. Buying and installing winter tires on your vehicle can give you the edge when things get slippery.

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Winter Battery Problems

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:45:18 AM America/Denver

There’s nothing more frustrating than rushing to your car when you’re short on time, only to hear the ominous ticking sound that lets you know your battery is dead. Batteries are not meant to last forever and need to be replaced about every 3-5 years. Winter weather can cause a battery to die sooner or can cause one to fail that was nearing the end of its life.

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Replacing a Blown Fuse

Monday, December 24, 2012 9:54:27 AM America/Denver

Fuses facilitate power the electrical systems in your car. There are usually two fuse boxes in your vehicle, one inside near your brake pedal and one under the hood. Generally speaking, the one under the hood affects everything having to do with the power train (engine, transmission, drive shafts, and wheels). The one inside the car affects everything else, like power windows and locks, the windshield washer pump, headlights, turn signals, the sound system, etc. If one of these fuses goes out, it can affect the performance of these systems and even the performance of your motor.

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The Hazards of Distracted Driving

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9:51:39 AM America/Denver

Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems facing drivers today. The prevalence of personal technology has made our lives easier, but has made driving more hazardous. When you add eating, drinking, talking to passengers, and grooming to the electronic distractions of talking on the phone, using a navigation system, texting, and watching DVDs, you've got a recipe for disaster.

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From Carburetors to Fuel Injection

Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:47:09 AM America/Denver

Internal combustion engines rely on fuel being delivered to the engine through a carburetor or fuel injectors. Fuel injection was originally invented in the 1950s, but didn't come into general use until much later. By the 1980s, fuel injection was widely used in European cars and the U.S. was soon to follow. Before fuel injection came along, carburetors were used to deliver fuel to an engine. Carburetors are still used in simple engines, like those of a chainsaw or lawn mower, but don't work as well for the more complicated engines of modern vehicles.

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Winter Road Trip Tips

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 9:46:25 AM America/Denver

Christmas time is a time to visit family and friends, which often means traveling to see them. Flying can be expensive when you’re all going together, so many people will travel by car at this time of year. Following a few simple tips on your road trip can ensure your holiday traveling goes smoothly.

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Fog Light Installation

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:55:40 PM America/Denver

While preparing your car for winter, it's not a bad idea to install some fog lights. You can take your car into a repair shop to have it done, or you can tackle this job yourself. Installing fog lights can be done in just a few simple steps. Before embarking on this project, make sure you have all the parts and tools you need. Read More
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Bolt Torque Technique

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:53:11 PM America/Denver

Many popular do-it-yourself auto projects seem very simple on the outset but have some important details that are often overlooked. One of these details is proper bolt torque. Tightening bolts is required for everything from oil changes to filter replacement. Knowing how to properly measure torque will help make these jobs go more smoothly and help your engine last longer. Read More
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Wiring Diagrams

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:48:00 PM America/Denver

Vehicle maintenance and repairs can be expensive, especially when unexpected problems crop up. Knowing how to diagnose or even fix some of these problems on your own can save you a lot of money on repairs. It can also help you to have a knowledgeable, constructive conversation with your mechanic when you do have to take your car in. Read More
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Get Your Car Ready for Winter

Friday, November 9, 2012 12:42:37 PM America/Denver

Winter is fast approaching and everyone is busy with preparations. Getting ready for the holidays, the ski season and the school year's activities seem to be at the top of the list and it's easy to see how auto maintenance could fall through the cracks. But don't forget, it's your car that helps you get all of these things done and a little TLC will help keep it on the road all winter long. Here are some things you can do to make sure you don't find yourself stranded one cold evening: Read More
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How to Change the Oil In a Car

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:34:24 AM America/Denver

Changing your own oil is an easy way to save money and takes about the same time as waiting in the lobby of the local mechanic’s shop. You will need some basic tools including a socket wrench for the drain plug, an oil pan, a funnel, and possibly a loop wrench for the oil filter.

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Touching Up Auto Paint

Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:21:23 AM America/Denver

A car’s paint can get scratched by rocks, branches, and other hazards and can start to chip or peel over time.  Here are some tips on touching up the paint in damaged areas.

Minor scratches may not need to be repainted. You can reduce the appearance of minor scratches by buffing and waxing the area.  There are also scratch remover solutions that cover up minor scratches.  You can also use a paint pen in the exact color of your car to color over the scratch.  If you are not sure of the exact paint color, you can generally contact the car manufacturer to get the exact name.

If the damage is greater than what you can cover up with wax, scratch removers, or a paint pen, you will need to repaint the area.  Many auto repair shops will do this service for you, but if you have the tools and some basic knowledge, you can also repaint it yourself.

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How Mufflers Work

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:36:18 AM America/Denver

The muffler is an important part of your car's exhaust system. It helps to decrease or muffle the noise coming from your car's engine, making a quieter ride for you and a more peaceful experience for the cars and people around you.

Mufflers can also be used to enhance the sound of the engine rather than minimize it.  Either way, they use basic principles of sound waves to cancel or amplify the noise created by the engine. This article discusses mufflers that decrease sound, but the same principles are used in mufflers that enhance the engine’s sound.

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History of the Muffler

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 10:29:59 AM America/Denver

Mufflers have become an integral part of vehicle exhaust systems.  They help to lessen (or in some cases enhance) the sound created by the engine. 

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, both cars and horse-drawn wagons used the same streets and the loud cars often scared the horses.  People who lived near busy streets also often complained about the loud noises from the cars. 

Around the turn of the twentieth century, inventors and automobile companies created mufflers to deal with these complaints and to limit the sound and fumes coming from the early automobiles, which generally ran very inefficiently.  Most of these mufflers used the same basic principles applied in different ways.

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Frederick W. Lanchester, Inventor of Disc Brakes

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:16:49 AM America/Denver

catalytic converter
Frederick W. Lanchester was born October 23, 1868 in Lewisham, London. The fourth child of eight, Lanchester started out in a preparatory school, followed by a boarding school. Not expressing any remarkable early talent, he did manage to earn a scholarship to the Harley Institution of Southampton and another, a few years later, to the Imperial College in Kensington. At the same time he attended Imperial, he took evening classes at the Finsbury Technical School. Read More
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Eugene Houdry, Inventor of the Catalytic Converter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:06:00 AM America/Denver

catalytic converter
Eugene Houdry was born on April 18th, 1892 in Domont, France. His father owned a successful structural steel company and sent young Houdry to study mechanical engineering in Paris. At the Ecole des Arts et Metiers, he learned much of the skills base that would help him develop his inventions later on in life. Read More
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History of Anti-Lock Brakes

Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:14:06 AM America/Denver

catalytic converter
Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are safety systems for vehicles that keep the wheels in traction on the road while the brakes are activating. This prevents a locking up of the wheels that could cause skidding and in a situation requiring fast braking, skidding could make a bad situation worse. In the rain or snow, or on a graveled surface, locking wheels could mean sliding right into the problem that the driver is trying to avoid with the brakes. Read More
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Muffler Types

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 7:10:30 AM America/Denver

catalytic converter
The muffler was designed to reduce the roaring sound of the engine. Since its invention, some models have developed to include other important functions such as reducing heat and back pressure, which saves wear and tear on the engine. Also, a high quality muffler helps improve exhaust flow. Performance mufflers sometimes enhance the sound, rather than reduce it, but not all states allow the use of performance mufflers. Read More
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Inspecting a MagnaFlow Catalytic Converter

Friday, August 24, 2012 10:55:00 AM America/Denver

catalytic converter
MagnaFlow catalytic converters are made to be some of the best converters in production. But as with all components of vehicles, nothing is foolproof. Road conditions, engine problems, improper use, and overheating can all cause catalytic converters of any brand to fail. Read More
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MagnaFlow Catalytic Converter Manufacture, Part 2

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 1:53:33 PM America/Denver

gears in a factory
The catalyst in MagnaFlow catalytic converters is a monolithic honeycomb. It is made of ceramic and designed to maximize surface area and flow. To accomplish this, MagnaFlow uses a strict coating procedure following detailed specifications to get the right results. Without carefully monitoring this process for accuracy, the flow could be restricted, potentially resulting in emission test failure. Thus MagnaFlow carefully supervises this method. Read More
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MagnaFlow Catalytic Converter Manufacture, Part 1

Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:49:05 PM America/Denver

Man in factory
Catalytic converters play an important role in reducing the pollution that vehicles emit. They are a vital component of modern vehicles. MagnaFlow manufactures catalytic converters that exceed the rest, with quality construction of both materials and design. Read More
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How Catalytic Converters Work

Monday, August 13, 2012 1:48:27 PM America/Denver

car exhaust
Catalytic converters are devices that control the emissions of internal combustion engines. Internal combustion engines create toxic combustion gases. Using a catalyst to create a chemical reaction, exhaust waste can be converted into harmless gas and water, thereby reducing toxic emissions from the exhaust. Read More
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MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust Systems

Monday, July 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM America/Denver

car_driving
MagnaFlow's performance exhaust components begin with heavy gauge stainless steel molded into a sturdy body with a single core and hefty end caps to maximize durability. They eliminate drag on the sound flow with perforated stainless steel core and increased diameter for that deep, mellow sound. Finishing off by packing the body with high temperature acoustical suppression material, MagnaFlow designs allow for maximum sound direction. Read More
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MagnaFlow Catalytic Converters

Monday, July 16, 2012 3:14:00 PM America/Denver

3d_car
Catalytic converters filter harmful emissions from the exhaust of a combustion engine. They use a combination of heat and a precious metal catalyst that is bound to a ceramic substrate and peppered with holes through which air flows. This process oxidizes the harmful chemicals in the exhaust flow. Read More
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MagnaFlow Diesel Performance Line

Thursday, July 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM America/Denver

pickup_dirt
MagnaFlow has a global reputation for excellence in the exhaust component industry and has spent the last 30 years specializing in catalytic converter technology. They stand by tradition in bringing their customers the top performing, best sounding and most durable exhaust systems, mufflers and catalytic converters in the world. Read More
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About MagnaFlow

Monday, July 9, 2012 2:42:43 PM America/Denver

Car_exhaust_pipes
MagnaFlow has been offering American-made mufflers, exhaust systems, and catalytic converters for more than 30 years and has expanded into a globally respected brand name. With a code of integrity, quality assurance and excellent customer service, MagnaFlow thrives on their ability to adapt to the changing market and maintain the high reputation of their products. Read More
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Tuning Up for a Long Drive

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 12:19:56 PM America/Denver

When preparing for a road trip, it is important to first check the vehicle to be driven. With so many things that could potentially go wrong driving for hours at a time, it makes sense to do a quick tune-up and avoid preventable issues.

All fluids should be at the appropriate full levels before the trip. Drive belts and hoses should be checked for leaks or cracks. The tension on the belts also needs to be examined. Any issues with belts or hoses would indicate the need for replacing them before the trip. Read More
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Most Common Brake Problems

Thursday, June 21, 2012 11:40:18 AM America/Denver

There are 6 brake problems that are the most common. It is important to be aware of these, to know what they mean, and to be aware of how they can be fixed. Many people expect that brakes just work until the pads wear down, but that is not always the case. Read More
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Louis Renault

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:39:00 AM America/Denver

Louis Renault, the industrialist, was born on February 12 of 1877. Renault’s parents were Alfred and Berthe Renault. The fourth of six children, Renault was able to attend the Lycée Condorcet for his secondary education. He took interest at an early age in mechanics and engineering, spending much of his time in the workshop of the Serpollet steam car. Read More
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History of the Drum Brake

Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:53:24 AM America/Denver

In 1901, the first rudimentary version of the drum brake was produced by Maybach. The initial design involved shoes that were mechanically operated by cables or levers and rods. In 1902, just one year later, Gwilyn Price developed a drum brake using woven asbestos as the lining because of the way it was able to disburse heat. Read More
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When to Replace your Shocks or Struts

Thursday, April 26, 2012 8:45:06 AM America/Denver

The chassis and suspension are very important aspects of your vehicle. Keeping shocks and struts in good working order has a lot to do with a comfortable and safe drive on rough roads and at freeway speeds. To examine the suspension system at home, there is a simple test you can do. Starting at one wheel and working your way around the vehicle, you can push the vehicle down with your weight as far as it will go. It should lower quickly then slowly rise back up. Read More
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When to Flush the Automatic Transmission

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:44:00 AM America/Denver

Checking your automatic transmission fluid is something experts recommend doing every week. Unlike some other checks, this should be done with the engine on and warm. As with engine oil, pull the dipstick out, clean it, and re-dip it for an accurate check. There are usually both cool and hot level markers on the stick so you can be sure the level of the fluid is where it should be, based on if the engine is off and cool or if it is on and warmed up. Smell the fluid next. If it smells simply like oil, then that is a good sign. If it has a burnt smell, you may have burned up a friction component. That will require repair and a flush. Read More
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U.S. Vehicle Safety Inspections

Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:44:00 AM America/Denver

Vehicle inspections are required by many nations. The purpose is to ensure that the vehicles driving the roads of the country do not have any serious safety issues like major cracks in the glass, thin brake pads, or other potential dangers. Inspections are usually required upon the purchase or sale of a vehicle, for registration or license renewal, and again at certain intervals. Depending on the country, these intervals are usually about one to two years. Read More
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Basic Care Maintenance Checklist

Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:28:00 AM America/Denver

Whether you’re a handy do-it-yourselfer or a busy working parent, your car is something that needs your attention to keep your schedule on track. Checking a handful of specific items on a regular basis can prevent serious auto problems from slowing you down. The right tire with proper air pressure can not only help you save on fuel, but is also imperative to safety. Check the air pressure in your tires every month, especially with sudden temperature changes, and rotate all four tires every 6,000 miles. Make sure that the tread levels do not get below safety recommendations. Read More
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