Browsing: Education

Even though today’s vehicles require less maintenance than ever before, there are still a number of items that need regular attention to keep them running just right. In this Tune-up Basics guide, we’ll cover the fundamentals that every car enthusiast should know from changing oil to setting tire pressure. Follow the steps in the individual sections and your car will be running strong for years to come. Ignition There’s No Fire Without a Spark Fluids Happy Engines are Lubed and Cooled Filters Capturing Contaminants Brakes Solid Stopping Power Electrical Voltage to Drive Settings Important Factors for Everyday Driving Car Paint…

It only takes a spark to light a fire. But if the fire needs to be lit in a turbulent environment, as is the case with a combustion chamber, you’ll need the right equipment to reliably convert ignition voltage into a spark. During the power stroke of an internal combustion engine, cylinder pressures can range anywhere from 300 psi at a light load up to 1,500 psi in some racing applications. To ignite this compressed mixture of air and fuel reliably, you need to have the right ignition components for the job. By Richard Fong What’s in a Spark? A…

Powertrains are complex systems of metal components put under the stresses of heat and rotational forces to put a vehicle into motion. Healthy fluids play a key role in keeping everything working as intended. While different fluids have different applications, their end goal is to minimize friction, reduce heat and extend service life. Fluids operate in inherently challenging environments, with contaminants and heat exposure necessitating regular changes. A properly maintained vehicle should have correct volumes of clean fluids flowing at intended operating pressures. Without fluids, a car would be doomed to imminent and catastrophic failure. Text by Stanley Yee //…

Impurities are constantly trying to find their way into your engine, undermining reliability and causing harm. Filters are the primary line of defense protecting a car from harmful contaminants. Modern vehicles utilize an array of filters, each separating foreign objects from entering vulnerable areas of the powertrain. Filters eventually reach limits of effectiveness, and need to be cleaned or replaced. Often scheduled alongside other frequent maintenance items, filter replacements are an essential part of caring for your car. Text and Photos by Stanley Yee Oil Filters As engine oil circulates through an engine and collects contaminants, it falls on the…

Proper vehicle maintenance can save you a lot of time and money, though proper brake maintenance in particular could very well save your life. This appears to be common sense, yet why do so many vehicle owners put it off? To anyone who has never done it before, brake servicing might appear too complicated or time consuming. Staying on top of the maintenance of your brakes and understanding the details of your brake system is easier than you might think, and can save you from potential future repairs. Text and Photos by Cameron Parsons What’s the Problem? Nearly every maintenance…

Nothing can ruin a day of plans quicker than getting into a car that fails to start. Then again, it can be even more frustrating and dangerous when driving a vehicle that slowly begins to lose power and then goes “dead” while driving. While there is no way to avoid 100-percent of these incidents, over 90-percent can be avoided with proper maintenance and setup of a vehicle’s primary electrical system. Have you ever wondered why some vehicles are constantly burning through replacement batteries and alternators, while other vehicles get more than 10 years of service from a “5-year” battery? Understanding…

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of maintenance variables that ensure the reliability and longevity of your vehicle. Fortunately, technological advances and engineering have stretched the service intervals of many wearable items. This in turn reduces the frequency of maintenance to reduce consumption and cost while simplifying the responsibilities of vehicle ownership. However, there are some basics that everyone should be conscientious of, mainly pertaining to your tires and your engine. These are simple but important default vehicle settings and practices applicable to any street vehicle. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Mechanical Traction Tire manufacturers have invested…

If you’re reading this then you aren’t normal. In fact, you’re probably abnormal in the sense that you care about you car way more than the average person. But why wouldn’t you? You dedicate your time and money to getting the most from your car. Whether it’s horsepower or handling, your car is most likely getting the best of the best in terms of performance components. So why do some of us neglect to make sure our cars look their best? If you simply don’t care if your car has a clean and shiny appearance, well there’s not a whole…

You can throw all the upgrades you want at any given car, but their effectiveness is limited by the rubber that holds the car to the ground. In the world of automotive performance and motorsports, tires are a sacred component. We wear through them quickly, we always want more, and there are way too many options in the market to keep track of. However, tires are becoming more advanced in different specialties of use such as off-road, daily driving in winter or summer, or various forms of motorsport. In road racing and street performance, Toyo holds a massive presence with its…

Some of the most famous and life-changing inventions were stumbled upon by accident. One such discovery, Evapo-Rust® Super Safe Rust Remover, is to the hands-on enthusiast as a Post-It Note is to the office worker. Like Post-It Notes, Penicillin, Super Glue and microwave ovens, Evapo-Rust was a discovery of happenstance, a byproduct of research for a different purpose. In 1997, chemist David Harris labored with various chemical solutions in the quest for a rust inhibitor. While testing different formulas on pieces of steel left in the corner of a room, he noticed that one actually removed rust. However, it required…

The Fundamentals of Automotive Performance Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve already modified your car, understanding the fundamentals of bolt-on performance is the first step to making power, increasing performance and getting the most from your setup. In this issue, we’ll cover everything from air intake systems to full-fledged turbocharger kits. AIR INTAKE SYSTEMS Air intakes are one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of air going into your engine. With a properly selected intake, your engine wlll benefit from cooler intake air temperatures for additional performance. EXHAUST SYSTEMS Removing restrictions for outgoing exhaust gasses is one…

There’s a reason why enthusiasts choose aftermarket air intakes as one of the first performance modifications. Not only are most intake systems fairly straightforward to understand and easy to install, they typically yield substantial power gains as well. With that said, don’t let air intakes’ apparent simplicity fool you. Aftermarket intakes require extensive knowledge and engineering to design and build. By Sami Sharaf Stock OEM Parts Traditionally, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) address three essential categories in the design of a vehicle’s air intake system. First, a factory intake system must lend itself to extended service intervals. As such, filters need to…

ECU tuning is the tie that binds an engine’s performance together. Gone are the days of jetting and synchronizing carburetors, replaced instead with modern handheld tuning devices and laptops. With numerous options available ranging from a simple reflash blackbox up to infinitely adjustable fuel and ignition mapping software, tuning solutions cover the gamut of modifications from bolt-ons to dedicated racing builds. By Stanley Yee Safety First When vehicle manufacturers program ECUs, the margin of safety is large which results in conservative mapping of ignition and fuel tables. While this can leave untapped performance potential, it gives a safety cushion to…

Your average internal combustion engine may sound smooth and composed from the outside, yet the internals work constantly to generate a series of explosions that set metal components into motion at a high rate of speed. Sure, an engine must be tough in order to produce hundreds or even thousands of horsepower. Yet the smallest inconsistency in timed motions, materials or fluids can reveal that engines are more delicate than you might think. By Cameron Parsons Fuel the Fire Before digging into the fuel system, it is best to gain a basic understanding of fuel itself. Although plenty of manufacturers…

When it comes to increasing your vehicle’s power output, forced-induction systems are the pinnacle of bolt-on performance. Out of all the bolt-on modifications available for today’s popular vehicles, forced-induction kits can offer the greatest gains in horsepower and torque. High-quality turbocharger or supercharger kits can bump power output by 40- to 50-percent. When paired with an upgraded engine foundation, forced-induction kits can double, triple or even quadruple the power production of an engine. The bottom line is forced-induction systems offer the best solution for maximum power increases. By Sami Sharaf Decision Time If you’ve decided that a forced-induction system is…

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