The Untrained Mechanic

If you have been through the manufacturer-dealership gauntlet with a lemon vehicle, you probably wondered why they didn’t simply fix the problem and let you get on with your life. You didn’t start your day thinking, how can I get the manufacturer, or this %$%^$& dealership to pay. You’d be happy for them to do their thing and let you do yours.

Getting a Lemon Law attorney is pretty low on the list, if you even knew there was such a thing. But it does happen and it is going to continue to happen. This is an unfortunate fact of life, particularly in a society that loves its automobiles.

Automobiles are more than essential to our daily lives; they are at the very heart of our economy. This is big business at its biggest. Even car dealerships are becoming big businesses.
It is an unfortunate axiom in business that when the going gets tough you cut departmental budgets.

Two departments that are always first up on the block are training and quality. Common sense tells us that these are the absolute last places to make cuts. It would make far more sense to go to every department and arbitrarily remove two layers of management. People who are dumping their work on others, creating little kingdoms whose measure of success is number of staff, would be forced to produce with fewer people stumbling all over each other. Streamlining management would speed the flow of work through the organization exponentially. It is sad that common sense is so seldom applied.

Untrained workers are a liability. This is fact. To allow them to continue to be untrained or intentionally withhold training to enhance the dealership’s bottom line, is worse than ignorant, it borders on the criminal.

Out there at the dealership, we are at the mercy of the people who work on our car. In the world of modern auto mechanics – we call them technicians now – lack of training is the source of astonishing inefficiencies, lost and or totally infuriated customers, major warranty costs for manufacturers and occasionally, loss of life.

If you are saying, “it can’t be that bad.” Think again. The need for well-trained auto mechanics, or technicians, if you prefer, is a national problem and it isn’t getting better despite auto mechanic schools springing up in every town and city.

More in the common sense department: Thousands of Lemon vehicles are replaced or refunded every year. Many of these cars had problems so complex that the technicians at the dealership couldn’t correctly diagnose and repair them. You imagine that because it is a large dealership, there must be people trained to repair what they sell. This assumption is as defective as the cars they cannot repair. The manufacturer must shoulder part of the problem to be sure. It is, after all, their responsibility to ensure that their dealerships personnel receive training on each new model car.
T
he need for auto mechanics is so desperate in some parts of the country, dealerships offer auto mechanics who are tech school graduates, substantial signing bonuses, like a high school baseball pitcher phenon from Bakersfield. Admittedly it isn’t in the millions. Large car dealerships will happily pay the tuition of technical school students as long as they can get them when they graduate. It’s a complex problem.

So You Want to Build Your Own Wind Turbine

There are a few fundamental components that will allow you to fabricate a wind turbine. These include a DC motor, a body, tail, blades, and the hub which creates the connection between the blades and the generator and the tower. It is highly recommended to make sure the likes of the motor and hub are in particularly good condition if buying them second hand, as they will be seeing a lot of wear and tear over the years! Other parts that will be needed include a battery tank and of course, all the fixtures and fittings. Only the most main tools will be necessary to build a wind turbine.

It has to be admitted that not all areas can feel the full benefits of a wind turbine. However, the windier the better, but someplace between 5-10mph of wind flow on a regular basis would be a good start. Remember, this is an investment, so even if the regular wind flow is just 2mph, with just a $200 outlay, you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars for years to come.

Build in an efficient manner and the financial benefits will be great. Not only will you be saving tonnes of cash on your electricity bill, but you’ll be able to build the turbine on a fairly inexpensive basis. The guides available do vary, but most suggest that turbines ought to be up and running for well under $200 and in some cases, as little as $100. Shop around for the parts you have to, checking local DIY stores alongside the likes of eBay and automotive suppliers as this is where you’ll be saving the most cash.

The solution to allow you to fabricate a wind turbine that is not only cost effective, but high in quality is commitment. The pieces are readily available and the step-by-step guides are mass produced and accessible for instant download. All that is stopping you saving thousands on electricity bills every year is the time considered necessary to construct the wind turbine itself.

How Alkaline Water Helps You Lose Weight

Have you had some difficulties losing that extra weight? Have you already toned down the carbs and lessened the meat and sweets. And yet there’s still some extra fat you can’t seem to get rid of. Alkaline water might be the missing piece of your seemingly healthy diet.

Our diets these days are very acidic. We eat lots of meat, junk foods, alcohol and soda. These all contribute to making our blood acidic. But do you know that your water itself might be acidic? Are you getting your drinking water from a water station that sells distilled-purified water? That’s very common. But did you know that in the filtration process, natural minerals are being filtered out as well? The lack of minerals makes the water acidic.

So what? Well, our blood has a normal PH level of 7.35 to 7.45, which makes it alkaline. When the blood becomes acidic because of our diet, it hurts our body because oxidation becomes more rapid. Said in automotive terms, the higher acidity makes the car body rust faster. Now imagine that very same process happening in your body.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The body always attempts to protect itself. Since the root cause of the problem is acidity, the body tries to neutralize it by putting in alkaline minerals into the blood stream. However, the effect is that your organs will lose minerals. Your bones will lose calcium. Hence more sicknesses. But usually, that’s not enough. Apart from releasing minerals, the body will also envelope the acid in fat to prevent further damage to the organs.

And that’s key to why you might not be losing weight or fat even though you eat in moderation. For as long as your blood is acidic, your body needs the extra fat to protect against the acidity.

So how does alkaline water help? It makes your blood more alkaline of course. But there are usually questions about how that happens. Well various parts of the body have different normal PH levels. For example, while the blood is normally alkaline, stomach acids are highly acidic (1-3 PH). Now, when you drink alkaline water, it makes your stomach acid slighly less acidic. Similar to the blood example earlier, the stomach will attempt to bring back it’s normal PH by secreting acid. However, in the process of doing that, it produces an alkaline by product which is released into the blood.

What just happened? Drinking alkaline water had a net effect of increasing blood PH. Now once your blood PH reaches its normal alkaline state, your body will no longer need the fat cells to protect itself from the acid. The fat will thus be dispersed.

The Critical Role of Grease and Oil Seals

Whenever something is running smoothly and the introduction one thing somehow brings everything to a screeching halt, you’ll often hear the idiom that goes something along the lines of, “Well he sure threw a wrench in the works there, didn’t he?” This saying can be applied to a lot of contexts, but when it comes to the world of machinery and industrial automation – it says a lot. In reality, a lot can “throw a wrench” into a system, whether the system you’re referring to is an automated assembly line or a machine tool. To prevent this metaphorical “wrench throwing” in the industrial world, a number of manufacturers have dedicated themselves to designing, manufacturing, and perfecting the one thing used around the world to keep mechanical systems running smoothly: oil seals and grease seals.

In many cases, mechanical systems tend to be relatively closed systems, meaning that they are not always designed to exchange materials with the “outside”. Dirt, fluids, dust, and other forms of ingress can negatively affect even the largest machine. In the same way, and especially for machines, keeping certain materials and substances like lubrication in can be just as important as keeping other materials out. So when it comes to industrial automation and machine tools – regardless of size – the business of keeping closed systems closed has become a big one. Without the many mechanical systems we rely on both knowingly and unknowingly, our lives would be very different. To keep these systems running smoothly, grease and oil seals have received continued innovation to help make machines more and more effective. This innovation can be seen in both the materials used to the way they are designed and manufactured.

The fact that grease and oil seals are an essential component in machinery, and have been for many years, is very real. In the very early years of the automotive industry grease and oil seals were no less essential than they are today, but manufacturers and mechanics had to rely on more rudimentary seals than what we have access to today. For instance, most of the seals were made out of leather – and some of the seals produced in the very early days of the automobile were even made out of rope. While these seals were successful for the most part, it was largely because the wheels on those vehicles didn’t move as fast as they do today. More speed required a more effective solution. So as the cars rolling off the assembly line began to evolve, their components did as well. This naturally meant more efficient and effective grease and oil seals.

Eventually, the need for innovation lead to the first rubber grease and oil seals combined with a metal body for support. These seals proved much more effective, and gave the automotive industry some of the reliability and performance it needed to continue making cars more powerful. While automobiles are only one machine that need grease and oil seals, the side-by-side evolution of automobiles and the seals used inside them provide an ideal glimpse into how essential such a tiny component can be. Today, many oil and grease seals from most major manufacturers feature a number of sealing designs matched to accommodate the various needs of original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket applications in the automotive, manufacturing, power transmission, and industrial sectors.

In every case, the design and innovation of oil and grease seals continues to enhance their ability to help many machines meet the demanding performance requirements we’ve come to expect.

From closing spaces components and preventing harmful contaminants from “throwing a wrench” into a closed system, to keeping lubrication confined where it’s supposed to be – seals are essential. For those not in the industrial world, this is a relatively simple matter. For the rest of us, it’s very clear that oil seals can mean the difference between success and failure for just about any type of machine or vehicle in operation everywhere, especially when it comes to high precision and close-fitting bearing systems.

Everything You Want to Know About Superchargers

A supercharger is basically a large pump that compresses and forces air into your vehicles engine to create extra horsepower. Because they can create reliable horsepower easily and affordably, they’re not only becoming popular choices for the aftermarket crowd, but also on OEM applications. We decided to find out where Superchargers came from, how they work, what types are available, and what type is right for you.

The beginning of Superchargers date back to 1860 when an Indiana man named Mr. Francis Roots created a twin-rotor industrial “air-mover”. This is where the roots style Superchargers we see today all started. Shortly after that a German engineer named Kriggr invented twin rotating shafts that compressed and pumped air. This is the same basic technology that can be found under the hood of many of today’s cars, known as the Twin-Screw Supercharger. But it wasn’t until 1900 when Gottlieb Daimler (sound familiar?) was issued a patent for a pump that would help move increased amounts of air and fuel into a vehicles cylinders. Although it didn’t go by it’s modern name at the time, this is what many consider to be the birth of the automotive Supercharger. Shortly after that, Superchargers started appearing on race cars. Lee Chadwick was one of the first American racers to use a centrifugal Supercharger in competitive racing with successful results. World War I military aircraft then used Superchargers to overcome the lack of horsepower at high altitudes. By 1921 Mercedes was manufacturing Supercharged cars and the Supercharger era had begun.

At a very high level, there are three types of Supercharger: Mechanically Driven, pressure-wave, and exhaust driven. The pressure-wave Supercharger is rarely ever used in the automotive world so we’re going to leave that out of this conversation. The ever popular exhaust driven Supercharger, also known as the TurboCharger, is becoming more commonly used in today’s high performance market place. Since most people today place this type of SuperCharger in it’s own category, we’re also going to leave that out for now and focus on the Mechanically driven versions for today. These are the blowers we think of when we hear the term Supercharger. They can also be broken down into different categories: roots, twin-screw, and centrifugal. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and hopefully after you read this article, you can decide which one works best for you.

In contrast to TurboChargers which run of exiting exhaust gasses, Superchargers are mounted to the engine and are driven by a pulley that runs off the crank. Air comes into the Supercharger and is then compressed before being discharged into the engine’s intake. This raises the density of the air charge before it enters the cylinders. As the RPM’s rise and the crank begins to spin faster, so does the Supercharger’s impellers, forcing more air into the engine and creating Boost. Boost is created when air is being forced into the engine rather than being pulled into the intake and is measured by PSI (pounds per square inch). The more boost being created, the more dense the air charge in the engine’s combustion chamber, allowing the engine to burn more fuel, which results in more horsepower. If a car is producing 6 pounds of boost, it means it’s making 6 additional pounds of pressure over the atmospheric pressure at that elevation. Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level. As many of you are aware, cars perform their best around sea level in contrast to high elevations. This is because the air starts to thin out the higher you go and it becomes less densely packed with molecules. Superchargers provide power only under full throttle and therefor do not effect the engines reliability under normal driving conditions.

One problem with Superchargers is that because they spin at such a high rate of speed, they also produce a lot of heat. Some company’s overcame this obstacle by tapping into the vehicles oil pan to lubricate the gears inside the head unit of the Supercharger to minimize heat and friction. Others use internal belts or self contained head units where the oil never needs to be changed. The air itself also becomes hot because you are condensing it. Intercoolers are often used to cool the air and create a more densely packed air charge. An intercooler is much like a cars radiator. Two common types of intercoolers are Air-To-Air, which uses outside air to cool the air that just passed through the Supercharger, and Air-To-Water, which forces the air through a heat exchanger that is cooled by water. Intercooler are not always needed, but are usually found on applications that produce higher levels of boost.

Another term you’ll commonly hear among Supercharger conversations is the Bypass Valve. When a Supercharger is trying to force air into the engine, but the throttle shaft is closed, a situation called Compressor Surge is created. This can occur during deceleration or when the driver is between gears. When the Supercharger is trying to force the air into a closed throttle body, and the pressure inside the throttle body is greater than the pressure created by the Supercharger, the air tries to force itself backwards into the compressor. When this happens, the pressure inside the throttle body is released and the compressor forces the air back through the Supercharger and then back into the throttle body again, creating a loop. This is where a Bypass valve comes into play. It’s actuated by the vacuum from the intake, and then releases the excess pressure either into the atmosphere (blowoff valve) or back through the compressor.

Most cars today don’t come with a fuel system that will handle the power produced by a Supercharger. More air means more fuel – so you’ll need to make sure you have an adequate fuel system before bolting on one of these. Your ignition system is another area that should be taken into consideration. Ignition timing can be advanced or retarded causing the spark to fire earlier or later. Many Supercharger kits retard the timing to avoid detonation. This reduces maximum cylinder pressures and temperatures, and moves away from the detonation threshold. On some of the more recent computer controlled vehicles, a Dyno-Tune by a professional tuner may be necessary to have your car run correctly.

The majority of Superchargers sold today are centrifugal Superchargers. These are internal-compression Superchargers which means they create the boost (compress the air) inside the head unit before forcing it into the engine’s intake. Their impellers are spun by an external pulley that is typically driven from the accessory belt. This allows you to change the pulley size and control the speed at which the Superchargers impellers spin. By changing to a smaller pulley, you’re essentially adding more boost. One advantage of this style blower is that because it has a limited number of moving parts, they’re typically more reliable than other units. They also produce less heat than other style Superchargers and are capable of producing more boost. The one disadvantage is that it must spin at a high rate of speed to make a significant amount of boost, and therefore only makes power at higher RPM’s. It’s common to start seeing boost at 3000 RPM’s and to have it increase along with the RPM’s. These are great options for non-street cars who don’t typically care about low RPM’s. That’s not to say they aren’t a great option for street driven vehicles as well.

Both the Roots Style and Twin Screw blowers are External Compression Superchargers. Both are also positive displacement Superchargers meaning that it moves a fixed volume of air per rotation. The Roots Style has two counter-rotating lobes that trap incoming air and move it around the outside casing of the lobes before releasing it out the bottom through an outlet port. These blowers are very capable of making large amounts of boost at lower RPM’s and make incredible low to mid range horsepower. The major disadvantage of this style blower is that they create a lot of heat. An intercooler is almost always necessary on a roots setup.

The Twin Screw Supercharger is very similar in appearance to the Roots Style blower. One major difference in their design is that the Twin Screw style has two rotors (screws) that rotate towards each other. The two screws mesh together and draw in air to compress it and force it out into the engine. Due to the fact that the compression occurs inside the Supercharger, it produces far less heat than a roots blower (and not much less than a centrifugal). The tolerances between the two screws are very tight which results in an ability to create boost at a low RPM – much more so than the Roots or Centrifugal. Another advantage this has over the Roots style is that the two screws don’t actually touch each other resulting in virtually no wearing parts to replace. The main disadvantage of this style is that because of it’s internal compression ration, it’s compressing air even when it’s not sending boost into the engine. They do have internal bypass valves to release the pressure but due to the fact that it take energy to create that pressure in the first place, it’s drawing more power from the engine while not under boost in comparison to the other blowers.

Evolution of the Modification Industry

Cars were considered as luxury in the past but now with the increasing needs and tight schedules this is turning to be a necessity. In fact cars are now widely becoming a part of your life. You can hardly find a person in your neighborhood at least without even a second hand car. Automobile industry is flourishing with invention of many cars. It will be surprising to know that every day thousands of cars are getting sold from the retail market apart from the sale happening in the second hand car sectors. The markets are getting flooded with many expensive cars along with low cost models. Now days people are demanding a lot while selecting the cars. Every body wishes to have one of the luxury cars. It is known that it is not possible for the majority of the population with increasing value of money to own luxury cars. The main intention of people is to modify the cars in many ways in order to look like a luxury brand. Even many manufacturers are thinking about this fact very seriously. There are many companies functioning all around with the chief aim of producing such modified cars and also supplies many parts for modification in order to enhanced performance while driving the car.

This encourages common man to buy a low cost car and to modify with all the required parts in order to look like an expensive one. Sometimes it is possible to turn your low cost machine completely so that others won’t be able to recognize the original make of the car. Usually this is carried out by real car lovers mainly to experiment different combinations while driving. The common parts that are replaced with modified parts in most of the low cost cars include the following: brakes upgrade, exhaust system, engine upgrade, suspension component, lightning and accessories and so on. You might be dreaming of buying a convertible model after seeing in televisions and even from your friends. Many of them are also interested in changing their cars to convertible models. In fact it may not be possible for every one to buy a convertible model due to the cost. As an easy step, they are interested in modifying the existing car by spending some amount into make it convertible. Thus the modification industry is flourishing on one end along with automotive sector on the other. Hopefully this sector many overtake the automotive sector when it comes to revenue due to the increasing demands from car lovers.

The Important Role Of Carbon Fiber In Automotives

Probably the field that has the most extensive use of carbon fiber is the automotive. Since the material has fantastic strength considering its weight, it has become absorbed by high-performance racing cars. The manufacturers developed various methods to moderate the expensive cost of this material by distributing the amounts of strength needed from the composite in different parts. For instance, the fibers are engaged more in load-bearing direction for more strength, and at the same time, less applications where little or no load is needed. They also formulate a so-called omni-directional weaves. This means that the strength is applied uniformly in all directions at all times.

This is usually applied in the chassis of high-end racing cars. For the past two decades, many manufacturers of racing cars found more applications of this material. The best application of which, is the so-called “safety cell.” It is the car’s monocoque chassis. It is the integration of the chassis to its body in a single unit. Car body panels are also readily made for high-end cars not only because of its strength but also because of its lightness in weight compared to glass reinforced polymer, which they used to apply.

Some more famous car parts and accessories that use this material are fenders, hoods, lips, trunks, bonnets, and boots.

Whereas before, when carbon fiber is still limitedly used in automotive because of its expensive cost, mass production seemed a little possible. However, as the years pass by, we witness the mass production of this material to supply for the growing demands for automotive field alone. There are several factors affecting this change. For one, there are better ways developed to reinforce this material to other composites while performance is not compromised. Hence, it has become cost-effective. Also, a number of expert individuals who are ready to work with these composites also mushroomed conspicuously. Due to these reasons, other car manufacturers joined the pool of using this composite in their brands. Thus, we now normally see this material being applied to mainstream vehicles. It is not impossible that you probably own one!

Popular brands that pride their products using carbon fiber are Mazda, BMW, Accord, Acura, Chevy, Civic, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Pontiac, Subaru, Eclipse, Ford, Focus, GMC, Nissan, Dodge, Mustang, and Volkswagen.

Now that mainstream cars with carbon fiber are on the road, we hope to have new developments and improvements of this material for further use in automotive applications. Since lighter cars need smaller engines, this means that fuel consumption can be minimized to a great extent with the help of this composite. Truly, there will definitely come a time when such type of cars are on the road for our safety.