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Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! - Car Talk (32) - Nairaland

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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:39pm On Aug 11, 2016
The electrical fault light.

This warning light is different in every car but normally it looks like a picture of a battery, similar to the picture on the left here. You'll see it come on and go off when you start your engine as part of the car's self-test, but if this light comes on and stays on, it means the electrical charging system is no longer working properly. Think of it like a cellphone battery. If the cellphone is plugged into the charger, you can use it indefinitely, but when you disconnect it from the charger, there's a limited amount of time before your battery runs out. It's exactly the same in your car, only bigger. Every car has an alternator - the charger - and a 12v battery used to supply power to the electrical system. If the alternator becomes faulty or the drive belt to it snaps, then it will not be able to do its job. The longer you drive, the more your car will use up the remaining juice in the battery and eventually the engine will die. This almost always requires a new or refurbished alternator.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:42pm On Aug 11, 2016
Brake warning light 1

Most cars nowadays have a brake warning light on the dash. Its purpose is to alert you that something is wrong in the braking system somewhere. If it comes on, check your owner's manual to find out its meaning. The brake warning light doesn't have a standard meaning; it could be used for multiple purposes. For example, the same light may be used to show that the hand brake (parking brake for the Americans amongst you) is on. If that's the case and you're driving, you ought to have noticed the smell of burning brake dust by now. The light can also indicate that the fluid in the master cylinder is low. Each manufacturer has a different use and standard for this light. Which is nice. Because it would be such a drag if the same indicator meant the same thing in every vehicle.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 1:39pm On Aug 12, 2016
Coolant warning light

This is normally the coolant level warning light. If this comes on it means that the level of coolant in your radiator is low and needs topping up. DO NOT OPEN THE RADIATOR CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT! The coolant system is pressurised and it could easily release pressure and spray you with boiling coolant. Do it when the engine is cold. Top up the system with either a pre-mixed coolant bought from a shop, or with distilled water. Don't use tap water - the mineral deposits in it boil out in the cooling system and calcium gets depositted around the inside of the radiator making it less efficient (which will eventually cause it to fail). It's always best to use pre-mixed coolant, or to mix your own rather than using neat water. The coolant mixture behaves as an antifreeze in winter as well as a corrosion-inhibitor to stop your engine rusting from the inside out.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 1:40pm On Aug 12, 2016
Oil warning light

Typically this light will come on if your oil pressure is too low. Low oil pressure is serious and if you continue to drive with this light on, eventually your engine will die. Low oil pressure can be caused by a failed oil pump, a blocked oil filter or strainer in the sump, or by low oil levels - for example if your engine is burning oil. Either way, you need to get it fixed, and fast. Low oil pressure is A Bad Thing and your engine won't thank you for leaving this problem untreated.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 2:20pm On Aug 12, 2016
Front Airbag - Indicates a fault with the airbag system and disables the airbag function, this is now an MOT failure when presented with the light illuminated. Amber light informs the driver when a passenger air bag has been switched of
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 2:24pm On Aug 12, 2016
Seat Belt Reminder - active as long as the vehicle is moving and the belt remains unfastened. Fastening seat belt will switch off- the light.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 2:53pm On Aug 12, 2016
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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by Morenzy15: 4:29pm On Aug 13, 2016
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· Easy to carry and convenient to use.
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· Lower emission, low power consumption and longer battery life.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
The components of the electrical system of your car are internally connected. To improve the performance of your car, there should be no interference in the circuit. In many cars distorted due to many extra devices, batteries, candles and other parts.
To maintain optimum environment for the electrical system to reduce fuel consumption for 100 kilometers, the car you need a stable voltage.Fuel Saver shark provides you just that. It is a multifunctional electric stabilizer. The design of the Fuel Saver shark immediately stabilize the electrical system of your car and the result is a better move the car with less fuel consumption. By stabilizing the electrical system of the car, one of the biggest advantages is that the engine is fed equally hectic without interference, and the result is less fuel consumption. Power increases, fuel per 100 km and reduced emissions are limited.
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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:41pm On Aug 15, 2016
Spark plugs

And engine without a spark plug is useless, unless it's a diesel engine in which case it uses a glowplug instead. But we're talking about regular petrol engines here so the next topic to get to grips with is the spark plug. It does exactly what it says on the tin - it's a plug that generates a spark. Duh. So why spend time talking about it? Well with apologies to George Orwell not all spark plugs are created equal. Some are more equal than others. They'll all do the job but the more you pay, the better the plug. All spark plugs share the same basic design and construction though.
The parts of an average spark plug

The high voltage from your vehicle's high-tension electrical system is fed into the terminal at the top of the spark plug. It travels down through the core of the plug (normally via some noise-suppression components to prevent electrical noise) and arrives at the centre electrode at the bottom where it jumps to the ground electrode creating a spark. The crush washer is designed to be crushed by tightening the spark plug down when it's screwed into the cylinder head, and as such, it helps keep the screw threads under tension to stop the spark plug from shaking loose or backing out. The insulator basically keeps the high-tension charge away from the cylinder head so that the spark plug doesn't ground before it gets a chance to generate the spark.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:47pm On Aug 17, 2016
Heat ranges . Something that is often overlooked in spark plugs is their heat rating or heat range. The term "heat range" refers to the relative temperature of the tip of the spark plug when its working. The hot and cold classifications often cause confusion because a 'hot' spark plug is normally used in a 'cold' (low horsepower) engine and vice versa. The term actually refers to the thermal characteristics of the plug itself, specifically its ability to dissipate heat into the cooling system.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:48pm On Aug 17, 2016
How does the fuel-air mix happen? Magic?

You keep seeing me talk about fuel-air mix or fuel-air charge on this page, but I thought it wise to explain how this happens because it is pretty fundamental to the operation of internal combustion engines.
The fuel and air are mixed in one of two main ways. The old-school method is to use a carburetor, whilst the new-tech approach is to use fuel injectors. The basic purpose is the same though, and that is to mix the fuel and air together in proportions that keep the engine running. Too little fuel and the engine runs 'lean' which makes it run hot. Too much fuel and it runs 'rich' which conversely makes the engine run cooler. Running rich can also result in fouled up spark plugs, flooded engines and stalling, not to mention wasting fuel. Finding the right balance normally involves about 10 milligrams of petrol for each combustion stroke.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:58pm On Aug 17, 2016
Carburetors

Advantages : analogue and very predictable fuelling behaviour, simple and inexpensive to build and maintain.
Disadvantages : carburetor icing in the venturi, imprecise fuel metering, float chambers don't work well if they're not the right way up.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:58pm On Aug 17, 2016
How they work.

A carburetor is basically a shaped tube. The shape of the tube is designed to swirl the incoming air and generate a vacuum in a section called the venturi pipe (or just the venturi). In the side of the venturi is a fuel jet which is basically a tiny hole connected to the float chamber via a pipe. It's normally made of brass and has a miniscule hole in the end of it which determines the flow of fuel through it. In more complex carburetors, this is an adjustable needle valve where a screw on the outside of the carburetor can screw a needle in and out of the valve to give some tuning control over the fuel flow. The fuel is pulled through the jet by the vacuum created in the venturi. At the bottom of the tube is a throttle plate or throttle butterfly which is basically a flat circular plate that pivots along its centreline. It is connected mechanically to the accelerator pedal or twist-grip throttle via the throttle cable. The more you push on the accelerator or twist open the throttle, the more the throttle butterfly opens. This allows more air in which creates more vacuum, which draws more fuel through the fuel jet and gives a larger fuel-air charge to the cylinder, resulting in acceleration.
When the throttle is closed, the throttle butterfly in the carburetor is also closed. This means the engine is trying to suck fuel-air mix and generating a vacuum behind the butterfly valve so the regular fuel jet won't work. To allow the engine to idle without shutting off completely, a second fuel jet known as the idle valve is screwed into the venturi downwind of the throttle butterfly. This allows just enough fuel to get into the cylinders to keep the engine ticking over.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 12:30pm On Aug 19, 2016
Float and diaphragm chambers.

To make sure a carburetor has a good, constant supply of fuel to be sucked through the fuel jets, it has a float chamber or float bowl. This is a reservoir of petrol that is constantly topped up from the fuel tank. Petrol goes through an inline filter and a strainer to make sure it's clean of contaminants and is then deposited into the float chamber. A sealed plastic box is pivotted at one end and floats on top of the fuel. Believe it or not, this is called the float. A simple lever connects to the float and controls a valve on the fuel intake line. As the fuel drops in the float chamber, the float drops with it which opens the valve and allows more fuel in. As the level goes up, the float goes up and the valve is restricted. This means that the level in the float chamber is kept constant no matter how much fuel the carburetor is demanding through the fuel jets. The quicker the level tries to drop, the more the intake valve is opened and the more petrol comes in to keep the fuel level up. This is why carburetors don't work too well when they're tipped over - the float chamber leaks or empties out resulting in a fuel spill - something you don't get with injectors. To combat this, another type of chamber is used where carburetors can't be guaranteed to be upright (like in chainsaws). These use diaphragm chambers instead. The principle is more or less the same though. The chamber is full of fuel and has a rubber diaphragm across the top of it with the other side exposed to ambient air pressure. As the fuel level drops in the chamber, the outside air pressure forces the diaphragm down. Because it's connected to an intake valve in the same way that the float is in a float chamber, as the diaphragm is sucked inwards, it opens the intake valve and more fuel is let in to replenish the chamber. Diaphragm chambers are normally spill-proof.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 12:30pm On Aug 19, 2016
Complexity for the sake of it.

As car engines evolved, carburetors had to evolve to cope with the various demands. It's not unusual to find five-circuit carburetors which have become so complex that they're a nightmare to design, build and maintain. That flies in the face of one of the carburetor's advantages, which used to be that they were simple. Why five circuits? The main circuit is the one which provides day-to-day running capability. It's augmented by accelerator and load (or enrichment) circuits which can vary the fuelling to accomodate sudden acceleration or the need for more power (like driving uphill). The accelerator circuit also adds a second butterfly valve in most cases which only opens at 70% throttle or more. Then there's the choke circuit designed to provide extra fuel with the throttles closed when the engine is cold, allowing it to start, and finally the idle circuit which does the same thing but when the engine is warm, to keep it going. On top of all of this, with the introduction of stricter emissions requirements came catalytic converters, and these expensive boxes of rare metals just don't work well unless the fuel-air ratio is very carefully controlled. And that's something carburetors just couldn't keep up with. Small wonder then that this mechanical tomfoolery gave way to fuel injection......
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by michaelchinedu(m): 1:45am On May 03, 2017
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