Car Auto Buffing Machines At Their Level Best

Have you tried polishing a car by hand lately? If you have, you might think your car polish is defective when the real issue is your vehicle’s paint. That’s because automotive paint finishes have become much harder in the past few years, allowing them to last longer and resist scratching and chipping like never before.

The changes in paint technology, while very beneficial, have introduced a new problem for car owners. While it was possible to maintain automobile paintwork by hand just a few years ago, today’s new paint finishes make it nearly impossible. If your vehicle’s paintwork has minor scratches, swirl marks or water spot etching, you will need a buffer polisher to correct the problem. The good news is that the number one buffing machine for both home and professional use, the Porter Cable 7424, is very effective on even the most modern paint finishes, including the latest ceramic paints used by Mercedes-Benz and companies like Fine Shine Detailing for paint protection Melbourne customers.

Paint Protection Applicators

The original Porter Cable Polisher and the new 7424xp are dual-action polishers. What this means is that the polishing head rotates (free-spins on its spindle) and orbits (powered by the motor) around the center spindle. A mass counterweight mechanism on the spindle dampens vibrations. This polishing action, often referred to as “random orbital” or just “orbital,” totally prevents symmetrical buffing marks, paint burns and the other types of automotive finish damage that people associate with high-speed buffing machines. That means if you use the polisher as intended it’s virtually impossible to damage your car, even with no experience.

This type of electric polisher closely mimics the motion of circular hand polishing. Imagine being able to make 2,500 to 6,000 tight hand circles in a single minute. That should give you a pretty good idea of how this machine does its job. Basically it works just like you do, only at super-human speed. Plus, it never gets tired!

If you have previously owned a car waxing machine that made a lot of racket, but did little else to fix the damage and restore shine, you will appreciate the brilliance of one of these buffing machines. It has all of the power needed to get the job done, yet it’s small enough and light enough that it’s easy to use.

Renewing An Auto’s First Impression – The Paint Job

The secret to using a dual action polisher with shining results is choosing the right polish and polishing pads for the job. Basically polishing pads come in three grades: cutting, polishing and finishing. A cutting pad is coarse and used to remove damage. A polishing pad has a bit if coarseness, but not much. It’s used to remove very minor damage and restore full gloss. A finishing pad is very soft. It’s used to polish without cutting and to apply waxes and glazes.

You must use an appropriate polish with each type of pad. Like the pads themselves, polishes have different grades of cut. A compound, for example, is a cutting polish. Compounds are rated by the level of sanding scratch they can remove. A compound designed to remove 2000 to 2500 grit sanding scratches will effectively remove swirl marks and water spots, whereas a product that can remove 1200 to 1500 grit sanding marks will remove fine scratches. If you can feel a scratch with your fingernail, you should remove it with 2000 grit wet and dry sandpaper before polishing.

If you’re confused about which polish to use to remove swirl marks, fine scratches and water spots, let me recommend Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. It’s probably the best consumer grade product available today, and it’s easy to find at your local auto parts store.

After compounding to remove damage, you might think the finish looks great, but I recommend finishing off the job with a fine polish. Most compounds, including the new Meguiar’s product, will leave just a touch of hazing in the clear coat. All it takes to remove the hazing and restore a brilliant shine is a fine paint polish. I prefer and recommend Klasse All-In-One. It’s an amazing product that will produce a final finish that blows you away.

New automotive paints may be too hard to maintain by hand, but the solution is easy. A Porter Cable 7424xp gets the job done faster that you ever could by hand, and it’s a quality machine that will last a lifetime.

One thing to consider if you have any vehicle signage, Sydney sign writers Absolute Signs would advise is that care must be taken when applying waxes or any abrasive buffing or polishing, as the signage can be damaged by abrasive treatments like these. Often car signage will cover the entire vehicle as a full graphics car wrap. This is probably a better option especially when maintaining the vehicle.

To learn how to use a buffer polisher, including the Porter Cable 7424, visit David Bynon’s Guide To Detailing blog, a trusted source for quality auto detailing tips and information since 1999.

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CCC Banding Together With Nascar

Car owners and drivers, as well, certainly have felt the effects of the upward movement of gas prices. In fact, many people have opted to use public transportation rather than use their cars and vehicles because of the high amount you have to pay in exchange for a liter or so of gas.

Now, it seems like everybody else is affected. Even the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, or much commonly known as NASCAR, have given approval for its arm, the NASCAR Performance Automotive Licensing Program, to join forces with the CCC, or the Car Care Council. Together, the two organizations has done brainstorming sessions and just recently launched a consumer education campaign which they dubbed as the “Be An Angel, Maintain Your Car And Save Some Gas”.

NASCAR and the CCC both maintain that this new campaign of theirs would also work as a call to action for all consumers. The campaign, in fact, even encourages car owners to maintain, clean and detail their vehicles regularly. This is because NASCAR and CCC believe that it is one of the best ways to achieve a better fuel mileage and in the process decreases expenses on gas.

ccc nascar joinA public service announcement that lasted for thirty seconds was produced by NASCAR. The organization is positing to run the mentioned announcement come the NASCAR programming which will actually launch and run throughout the whole month of July. Aside from this, all the local television stations scattered around the United States would also be receiving a copy of this public service announcement which they would have to run during their air time.

On the end of the Car Care Council, Rich White, its executive director, informs the public, “Higher gas prices are here to stay. But fortunately consumers can take greater control of how much gas their vehicles use by performing simple and inexpensive maintenance.”

NASCAR’s automotive licensing managing director, Odis Lloyd, explains, “The opportunity to help consumers with their car care needs has never been more significant. By using NASCAR’s extensive media assets and partnering with our manufacturing and installer partners, we can help consumers combat rising fuel costs by getting them the necessary vehicle repair information they need to get better fuel economy.”

For your vehicle maintenance, you can find the best Ford F150 Pickup parts and other Ford accessories at Ford Parts and Ford Auto Parts.

Jason Moore, a 35 year old freelance writer from Austin, Texas. He also works as a marketing analyst for an established auto parts store in the country.

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Automatic Transmission Fluid Check

Checking automatic transmission fluid is important, but perhaps most important is to know why you need to check it at regular intervals in the first place. After all, inspecting transmission fluid is like checking your car’s engine oil, although under slightly different conditions.

If you are like most drivers, you think that the only purpose of transmission fluid is to lubricate internal components. And most likely you won’t feel the need to check the fluid regularly. So before we go about checking your transmission fluid level and condition, let’s talk about what the fluid actually does inside your transmission.

The Function of Automatic Transmission Fluid

To do its job, transmission fluid has to achieve several goals:

* Besides lubricating, transmission fluid helps prevent some components from slipping, operating erratically, burning, and wearing too fast.

* It also needs to keep the transmission within operating temperature, just like coolant does with your engine.

* Inside of and along with the torque converter — a doughnut shaped component between the transmission and engine – transmission fluid functions as a clutch, transferring engine’s rotating force to the transmission to move your car along the road.

* It also needs to act as a cleaning agent. As the synchronizers, gears, bands and other components wear out, the fluid carries away shavings and other harmful particles into the filter to prevent abnormal components wear and break downs.

* And, in conjunction with the oil pump, it operates the transmission’s hydraulic system.

Whenever your car is on the road, your transmission fluid does all those different tasks. And when you check the fluid’s level and condition — and take appropriate measures as necessary — you are giving your transmission fluid the best chance to do its job. And, it doesn’t take much.

How to Check Transmission Fluid Level

Unfortunately, unless you make a regular visual inspection, low fluid level, accumulation of harmful particles, and other problems affecting transmission fluid go undetected until it’s too late.

So let’s start with fluid level first:

1. Bring your transmission to operating temperature — take a 10 minute ride on the highway and drive back home, or leave your car idling for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Park on a level surface, set the parking brake and let the engine idle. Check your car owner’s manual, though. Some automatic transmissions — like some Hondas — require the engine off to check fluid level.

3. Firmly press down on the brake pedal and shift the gear selector through every gear position and back to Park. Then, apply the emergency brakes.

4. For safety, block the rear and front wheels with chocks.

5. Pop the hood open.

6. Find the transmission dipstick. It usually seats towards the rear of the engine and close to the front of the transmission. Or look for it in front of the firewall. The handle or top of the dipstick may have an orange or red colored ring. Still others have a black plastic handle that says ‘transmission fluid.’ If you can’t find it, check your car owner’s manual, repair service manual, or call your local dealer.

7. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean shop rag. Completely reinsert it into the tube. Pull out the dipstick again, rest the tip on the shop rag and read the oil level. It should be between the Add and Full (Cold – Hot) marks on the crosshatch area, or the space delimited by the marks.

The whole crosshatch area, or delimited space, represents a quart of fluid. For example, if the level on your transmission dipstick is around the middle of the crosshatch area, you need to add half a quart of automatic transmission fluid for the level to read “Full”.

8. Reinsert the dipstick in its tube and repeat your reading once or twice to confirm your reading. The oil on the dipstick should be a continuous, uninterrupted layer without gaps in between. Otherwise, read from the lowest and continuous layer of fluid on the end of the dipstick.

If the dipstick says you need to add fluid, check your owner’s manual — or vehicle repair manual for your particular vehicle make and model — for the recommended level. The manufacturer might suggest the oil level to reach between the lower (“Add”) and upper (“Full”) marks, or all the way up to the “Full” mark.

9. Before you add oil, check your car owner’s manual, repair manual — or call your local dealer — for the correct fluid for your transmission. Sometimes, the dipstick itself will have an inscription describing the fluid to use. There’s no one-type-fits-all transmission fluid. Using the wrong fluid may cause transmission performance issues or even damage.

When adding fluid, place a funnel on the dipstick-tube opening, add a bit of fluid at a time, and keep checking the level to prevent overfilling.

Indications of insufficient transmission fluid level and related transmission problems show up in other forms too. Sometimes, a slipping gear or hesitation during gear shifts is a sign of low fluid level. Also, if you find yourself regularly adding oil to the transmission to bring the fluid to the correct level, you are dealing with a loose bolt — in the oil pan, for example — or a defective gasket or seal.

How to Check Transmission Fluid Condition

Image result for Automatic Transmission Fluid Check

As internal components in the transmission wear out, particles and metal shavings — and less frequently, engine fluid leaks — mix and accumulate in the fluid, unfiltered. Eventually, they begin to scratch components and speed up parts wear. At the same time, they’ll affect transmission fluid look and viscosity. So this is what you’re going to check for next.

* Pull out the dipstick from its tube and look at the transmission fluid. Fluid in good condition has a clear or semi-clear reddish color. If the fluid has turned brown or dark, replace it and, if necessary, flush the transmission for better results. A milky, opaque color indicates an engine coolant leak, or water that entered possibly through the transmission vents after driving through a flooded spot or street.

* Now, smell the oil. If you notice a burnt odor, the transmission fluid’s protective qualities have broken down, internal parts in the transmission are under severe stress, and components wear is accelerating. Friction of internal components creates a lot of heat. After miles of work, this friction weakens the fluid’s lubricating and protective qualities. If you fail to replace the oil, your transmission’s service life is cut short.

* If you’ve neglected to service the fluid and its working properties have worn out, you’ll notice a layer of sticky varnish around the transmission dipstick. This varnish has spread over some internal components as well. It won’t be long before transmission performance decreases significantly, until components stop working. If you notice this varnish around the dipstick, you may still have a chance to save your transmission. Take your car to the transmission shop, have them flush and service the transmission, and hope for the best.

Some Problems Associated with Transmission Fluid

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing an automatic transmission at the 60,000 or 100,000 mile mark. However, don’t wait until the next suggested service interval comes up. Different driving patterns affect transmission fluid in different ways. Most of us hardly drive under normal conditions. City driving, especially, has an adverse effect on engine oil and transmission fluid.

Low fluid and high contamination levels not only harm transmission internal components and affect overall performance, but also reduce your transmission’s service life. Get familiar with the service facts of your particular automatic transmission through your car owner’s manual or repair manual, and check it at least every month or every other month.

Checking automatic transmission fluid doesn’t require any skills. And it only takes you about a minute to check level and condition whenever you need to stop for gas or whenever you need to pop the hood open. This way, you not only keep an eye on your transmission but avoid surprises by catching potential problems before they turn into expensive repairs.

Classic Cars: Original, Restored, Restored and Modified

Not all owners of classic cars think in the same way. Some prefer to keep them original (patina and minor issues), some completely restore them and some restore them and also do modifications. All three require the love and attention to detail of a classic car collector. No matter his preference the commitment, effort and knowledge associated with this very involved hobby is admirable.

Image result for classic cars

Original Vehicles

An original vehicle is one that has been maintained so well that it has all of its original factory specified parts. Their parts have been mostly fixed rather than replaced and if they had been replaced at one time it will have been with the original part intended for the model from the exact year of its introduction. To determine the originality of a classic, enthusiasts look for “matching numbers”, serial numbers that are stamped on parts throughout the car that match each other and the number originally associated with the car in its year.

Pros and Cons

Original vehicles are extremely hard to come by. To produce one takes the most time and money because the original parts are as rare as or more rare than the car itself. Because of the lack of availability of models and their parts, many car owner’s claiming “original” are actually restored. A true original and a restored vehicle should look the same and nearly operate the same, but because of the difference in original parts vs. re-manufactured parts, the prestige and value of a true original is significantly higher. The value of the three types of vehicles fluctuates based on the changing demand of collectors just like many consumables, but original vehicles, even in their shabbiest appearances can sell for 35% more than their perfectly restored opponent, a reason why you’ll find a lot of speculation on which route to take.

Restored Vehicles

Restored vehicles are made to look and drive like they did the day they were introduced to consumers. Their owners however, choose to replace parts with factory refurbished remakes of original parts. Using the original as inspiration, a car restorer will match the interior, parts and paint as closely to its glory days as possible.

Pros and Cons

Because restoration parts are easier to obtain and the restoration route creates more of its kind, this vehicle is less rare and often less valuable than an original. This is also the reason a collector can achieve results faster and perhaps joyride in his car sooner and for longer, a pro that’s hard to argue if you’re familiar with the work required of an original. As previously stated, the monetary value of a restored is less than an original in many cases, but there is value in having the most fun in your car and if that’s a high priority for an owner than this is a fine choice!

Resto-mod Vehicles

Resto-mod is short for restored and modified. These vehicles are the furthest from originals. They are restored and often “modernfied” if you will. Some owners choose to enhance the engine, make it more fuel efficient, or add modern luxuries like a preferred sound system or safety features.

Pros and Cons

The sky is the limit for an owner with the freedom of modifications. He can build his dream car! Resell for these cars is difficult though and the return could be even less than was put in it so this is the biggest pit fall. The reward is grand and the risk too, is grand, but for many this is the perfect fit for them. The value of a restored and modified vehicle is very unpredictable because the vehicle has been tailored to its owner’s specific tastes and he’d have to find a similar buyer, something to consider when choosing this method and while choosing each modification as well, if reselling is an area of importance at all.

The debate and judgment of this sector of cars will always be, keeping this art form alive and well, but one thing is certain; classic car owners love their cars and that’s worthy of respect. After considerable research you’ll find that each collector has to make their car collecting decisions based on his own lifestyle and what he plans to do with it, re-sell or enjoy. Judge a collector not by the category of his car, but how well it’s been done and cared for.

How to Replace Battery Clamps

Replace battery clamps whenever they oxidize, crack or wear out and become loose after years of use. A car battery requires a tight and clean connection between each post and cable. Problems with the battery clamps not only can prevent proper power flow to your car circuits, but it can also cause your starter motor to overheat, wear down and keep the system from working properly. Battery clamp problems can also make it difficult for the charging system to restore battery power.

Image result for replacing battery clampIn most vehicle models you can replace battery terminals in about an hour or less. You just need a few common tools and a few minutes of work in your garage. Restoring a good battery connection will help all the electrical systems in your vehicle to function properly, prevent that you become stranded, and help extend the starter motor service life.

How to Save Your Car Settings

If you want to preserve the car computer memory, and the settings for the alarm system or radio, use a computer memory saver, or connect a 9V battery to the car battery before disconnecting the terminals. Make sure to turn off all the accessories before connecting the device.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need
Wrench or socket set
Diagonal cutting pliers or utility knife
Battery post wire brush
Baking soda and warm water, if necessary
Battery clamps
Heat shrink tubing, if necessary
Felt washers
Petroleum jelly
Disconnect the Battery Terminals

1. Start by loosening the negative (black) battery terminal first—the one hooked to the battery post with the minus (-) sign. Use a wrench.

2. Finish disconnecting the negative cable from the battery.

3. Then, loosen and disconnect the positive (red) terminal.

4. Remove the damaged clamp with a pair of wire cutters or hacksaw. Use a small wood block as support while you saw the terminal.

5. Strip back about 1/2-inch of insulation from the end of the cable using a pair of diagonal cutting pliers or a utility knife.

Clean the Battery Terminals

  • Clean up the wire strands on the cable end with a wire brush to restore their original shine.
  • Are the cable strands covered with a white or greenish substance? Soak the end of the cable for a minute or so in a solution of baking soda and warm water; and then brush off the corrosion.
  • You can use the same solution to clean the battery posts using a soft brush, if you see traces of corrosion as well.
  • However, if there’s too much corrosion along the cable strands, you may need to cut the cable back. But don’t cut the cable too short that it won’t reach the battery post; otherwise, replace that cable—or cable set.

The following video will give you a visual reference for cleaning and protecting your battery clamps.

What You Need to Know About Battery Clamps

You can find replacement battery-cable clamps at most auto parts stores. The most common, and cheap, are the bolt-on battery terminals. However, this type provides a poor connection and is more prone to corrosion buildup. If possible, choose the battery compression terminal type, which makes a complete contact all around the end of the cable for better current flow. Some auto parts may sell OEM molded-type battery clamps, also a good choice, but you’ll need a crimping tool for the installation.

How to Replace Battery Clamps

When replacing just one battery clamp, buy the one for the correct polarity, since they are not of the same size.

To install the bolt-on battery terminals:

* Loosen the new terminal clamp bolts, so the clamp opening is wide enough for the battery cable end to enter.

* Slide the stripped cable end into the clamp—and any additional wire grounds if you are replacing the negative battery terminal.

* Tighten the clamp bolts using a six-point wrench or socket.

NOTE: Some replacement battery terminals come with a copper crimp connector that wraps around the cable end instead (better than the bolt-on type terminals). To secure the cable to the terminal, just place the stripped end of the cable between the crimp connector tabs and, using a crimping tool—or suitable set of pliers—squeeze the tabs together firmly around the cable end.

* Repeat the procedure to replace the other terminal, if necessary.
To install compression-type terminals:

* Slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the battery cable. Use red for the positive connection and black for the negative connection.

* Push the end of the battery cable into the compression nut.

* Hold the compression nut with a wrench.

* Start threading the clamp on the compression nut and tighten the clamp using a wrench.

* Slide the piece of shrinking tubing back over the compression nut and clamp base.

* Shrink the tubing using a heat gun, hair dryer or lighter to protect the connection against corrosion.

To install OEM molded-type battery clamps:

* Slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the battery cable.

* Position the stripped end of the battery cable inside the clamp cavity.

* Use a crimping tool to lock the cable and clamp together.

* Slide the heat shrink tubing over the clamp base and cable.

* Use a heat gun, hair dryer or lighter to shrink the tubing. This will protect the connection against rust and corrosion.

Connect the Cables to the Battery

* Clean the battery post(s) using a battery post cleaning tool.

* Before connecting the terminals to the battery, place a felt washer over each battery post and then connect the cables to the battery.

* This time, though, start with the positive terminal.

* And then install the negative terminal.

* Disconnect the memory saver or 9V battery if you have one connected.

* After securing the terminals to the battery posts, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the terminals and posts. Together, the felt washers and petroleum jelly will help prevent corrosion from creeping over the posts and terminals.

Replace battery terminals in a few minutes. When you replace damaged battery clamps, you form a good—and clean—path for full battery power to feed your vehicle electrical systems during engine start up. And plan on keeping it that way. Corrosion will attack the battery terminals, if acid and hydrogen gas begin to leak through. However, the precautions you took to protect the new terminals should keep corrosion at bay if necessary. Still, examine the battery terminals and around the battery case every time you need to pop the hood open. Clean up the terminals as necessary. This procedure only takes a few minutes and ensures that your car will have all the power necessary to operate properly.

How to Replace a Timing Belt for a 1991-94 Mercury Capri

Image result for Mercury CapriSooner or later every car owner is faced with the timing belt dilemma and when to replace it. It takes a mechanic a good 4 hours to replace a timing belt ($35) and a water pump ($75) and his labor @ $100 hr, so an easy $500 job at least. The other question is time or mileage more important? suppose you have a car that is 20 yrs old like the Capri, yet the miles are only 60k. That means it has been driven very little  per year. But time does erode and corrode engine parts even if not driven much, belts become rigid, crack and metal rusts if not maintained. Even driving a car only a few miles a day lubricates your car so that it remains in good shape. Just parking it will ruin it over time.

Capri recommends you change the timing belt at 100K in the manual, yet, others seem to think at 60K or 80K. On average, the service manual presumes you have the car and drive it 10K at least per year and in 10 yrs, it will be 100K, time to change the water pump and belt (like Subaru Outbacks). Belts are well made and made to last 10 years if in operation. The bottom line is that if your timing belt has obvious wear and cracking in places, it is a good time to pay the cost. Since most cars have the water pump in the same location, might as well do that also, otherwise, you will bear the costs twice.

The good news is that the Capri engine is non-interference. So, if you are driving and the car suddenly just dies and you glide off to the side of road, the belt probably broke. Since the motor is non-interference, that means no damage should occur to the engine, the pistons did not clash with the valves and vice versa. So, no worries there.

Changing the belt is made long and hard because of the lack of space in the Capri engine area and because so many things need to be removed and set aside just to really do the job. For the DIYer, expect the job to take longer to do both items and you will have a sore back unless you have a lift.

Parts to buy in advance

  • Timing Belt
  • Valve Cover Gasket
  • Front Crankshaft Seal
  • A tube of High Temperature Silicon Sealant
  • Accessory Belts (optional)
  • 1 gallon of Anti-Freeze (optional)
  • Woodruff Key (optional)
  • Camshaft seals (optional)
    Check for leaks and replace them if necessary.

Water pump (optional)

What to Do

  • Drain the coolant
  • Remove all things that would prevent you from removing the valve cover.
  • Remove the upper radiator hose
  • Remove the two water hoses connected to the thermostat housing.
  • Optional: Remove the cooling fans and the radiator. This will give you a lot more room to work. Disconnect the lower coolant hose from the radiator (accessible from the trap door on the debris shield underneath) and remove the two upper bolts holding the radiator in place. Lift out the radiator and carefully put it aside. Be careful not to damage the cooling fins on the radiator. The are easily distorted.
    Note: If you lift out the radiator, the fans come with it and you save yourself a bit of hassle trying to loosen up those 8 corroded bolts that bolt the fans to the radiator.
  • Remove the A/C belt
    Loosen the tensioner bolt, pivot bolt, and lock bolt on the power steering housing until the belt can be slipped off.
  • Disconnect the ignition wires from the plugs.
  • Remove the spark plugs. This will make it easier to turn the engine later.
  • Remove the Valve Cover and oil dipstick. Set engine timing to TDC on #1 cylinder.
  • Crack the 3 bolts holding the water pump pulley on before loosening the belt. If you do happen to remove the belts before loosening the water pump pulley bolts, you can hold the pulley in place by wrapping the belt back around the pulley and holding it tightly, as close to the pulley as possible.
  • Remove the alternator belt.
    Loosen the alternator tensioner bolts. The bottom bolt can be difficult to get to.
  • Remove the water pump pulley.
  • Remove the accessory belt pulley from the crankshaft pulley. Remove the  crankshaft timing belt and related items
  • Remove the upper, mid and lower sections of the timing belt cover.
  • Remove timing belt tensioner spring.
  • Loosen  timing belt tension pulley. Put car in neutral.
  • Using a suitable socket, rotate the crankshaft pully clockwise two complete turns. (The transmission should be in neutral for this.) Continue rotating until the “E” (exhaust)mark on the right camshaft pulley lines up with the “E” mark engraved on the cam dust cover and the “I” (intake) mark on the left camshaft pulley lines up with the “I” mark on the head. This must be exact.
  • Before removing the old belt, count the teeth/spaces between all the points that the belt touches on the 3 wheels. Next, mark the starting “space”, and ending space on both the belt and cams. This is easily done with some WhiteOut. Remove the belt. Transpose the marks from the old belt onto the new belt, and count the spaces to make sure that they are correct. Finally, match the new marks on the new belt with the marks on the cams/crankshaft.
  • Inspect the timing belt tension spring, it should be 2.3″ end to end. If not replace. Check  the tension idler wheels. They should be free to spin, if not replace.
  • The crankshaft woodruff key should be used to align easily the marks on the belt with the E and I  V-notches on the rear plate. Make sure to also align  the crankshaft pulley at the bottom with the timing mark on the engine block. All three must be perfectly aligned.
  • With old belt removed,  tighten tension pulley with spring fully extended. Then, install the new belt. Keep tension on the opposite side of the tensioner as tight as possible while all marks are exactly matching. CAUTION: Do not rotate the belt counterclockwise.
  • Clamping the cams in positions aids the solitary mechanic in reinstalling the belt by ‘locking’ the cam wheels into position.Place Cresent wrench on each cam at the bolt-shaped section of the cam between the #1 and #2 lobes. Position wrenchs such that they overlap and C-clamp them together to hold camshafs in position.

    Inspect and Replace the Front Crankshaft Oil Seal also, replace if needed. Replace cam seals, if needed.

  • Install crankshaft timing belt pulley retainer and bolt. Then, turn the crankshaft two  full turns and check for alignment of the three  wheels (the two overhead cams and the camshaft). If not aligned,  remove the belt and rest time.
  • Loosen tensioner pulley bolt to allow tension spring to tighten bolt. Tighten  tension pulley retaining bolt and rotate engine two full turns again to ensure the timing marks are spot on their marks (E, I, timing mark).
  • Measure the timing belt tension between the camshaft pulley. Deflection should be  between 8.5-11.5 mm.
  • Now, reinstall the three timing belt covers.
  • Install the  crankshaft damper, pulley and support plate then tighten retaining bolts. Install water pump pulley and tighten bolts. Install the generator and power steering belts, dipstick and spark plugs\wires.
  • After everything is back together, start engine. If it runs poorly or had poor compression, the timing belt is NOT exactly on the E, I and Timing V-notches. If this is the case, you’ll have to take all apart again to fix!

How to Clean Fuel Injectors and Other Sensor to Check

You may need to clean fuel injectors if your engine is experiencing hard-stars, hesitation, rough idle, power lose, or misfires. Some impurities and chemical compounds in the fuel get stuck in fuel injectors’ passages (turn into varnish), restricting or blocking fuel flow over time.

These partially blocked or clogged injectors will cause the engine to idle erratically, make it hard to start and misfire. When the problem has just started and the contaminants have not had a chance to bake themselves around the injectors passages yet, you can remove these deposits using special fuel additives designed to clean and clear fuel injectors. But badly clogged injectors will require a most drastic solution.

Either way, read on and clean those dirty injectors using this guide. You’ll also find recommendations about other sensors in the engine systems you can check if cleaning the injectors don’t solve your problem completely.

Warning: before using any special injector cleaning solution, consult your car owner’s manuals. Some manufacturers do not recommend using certain additives on some models. Or they may recommend a specific brand.

Potential Problems Caused by a Bad Fuel Injector
Increased fuel consumption (leaking injector)
Erratic idle
Hard starting

Servicing Fuel Injectors

1. Add a quality additive fuel injector cleaner to the fuel tank. Seafoam motor treatment is a popular and quality product for this purpose. I’ve used it myself with good results. Other products you might want to try as well are Techron injector cleaner and Marvel Mystery Oil.

Besides helping clear fuel injectors, some of these products have other benefits like help control moisture in the fuel tank, and removing carbon deposits from valves and cylinders.

Carefully read the manufacturer instructions of the product you decide to use.

This method seems to work pretty well now that varnish is less of a problem with today’s fuel quality. Problems usually arise on high mileage vehicles—with 100,000 miles or more—when fuel system maintenance have been neglected, like regular fuel filter changes and forgetting to add a cleaning additive from time to time.

However, fuel injector cleaning may not work on a severely clogged injector. To clear the valve and nozzle, you’ll probably have to take your car to the shop.

2. You still have another option, though: A fuel injector cleaning kit that will help you unclog badly blocked fuel injectors.

But the price you pay for a decent kit (above $200.00 dollars), the number of times you’ll actually use it, and the risk of damaging one or more injectors (plus the fuel regulator, or some other system component), it may turn out too expensive compared to the cost of having a professional shop do it instead.

Taking Your Car to the Shop

Do some research before going to the first repair shop offering a great deal on fuel injectors service. You may see shops advertising a cheap fuel injection cleaning job that consists of a solution added to the fuel tank.

Make sure that the shop will actually run a cleaning solution directly to the fuel injectors. With an in-place cleaning operation, the solution is run through the fuel rail with air pressure to help remove carbon buildup and hard to remove varnish inside the injectors.

On tough jobs, a shop will recommend removing the injectors from the fuel rail and cleaning them separately. You pay more for this type of service (about $20 to $30 dllrs. per injector) but not as much as you would if you had to replace the injectors.

Either of these methods is a good option when working with hard to clear injectors.

What if My Fuel Injectors Are Not the Problem?

Unfortunately, partially or completely clogged fuel injectors are not the only reason for bad engine performance. Other problems, like a malfunctioning injector, failing to replace a filter, a component that needs some cleaning, lack of maintenance or even a failing sensor, may produce symptoms similar to those of a restricted fuel injector.

After cleaning the fuel injectors, if engine performance problems persist, here is a list of maintenance items—including sensors—that you might want to check to help you restore fuel economy and proper engine performance.

The vehicle service manual for your particular model comes in handy when checking, troubleshooting, replacing components, or maintaining the different systems in your car. You can but an inexpensive aftermarket repair manual online or at some local auto parts store.

1. Checking fuel injectors’ operation

Fuel injectors not only clog after miles of operation; They’re also bound to fail, showing similar symptoms of a blocked injector. You can use a simple test to check that each injector is running.

* Use a mechanic’s stethoscope or large screwdriver to listen to each injector opening and closing as the engine idles.

* If you want to use a screwdriver, place the driver’s tip against the injector’s body and the end of the driver’s handle against you ear.

* If you don’t hear the injector’s clicking sound during operation, you might’ve found a dead fuel injector.

* Also, your vehicle service manual might have the instructions to check the injectors’ resistance using a digital multimeter. You can do this test at home yourself and confirm right away if an injector has electrically failed.
Watch the next video so that you have an idea how you can do it yourself.

* Follow the instructions listed in your service manual for further tests, if necessary.

2. Servicing fuel and air filters

These filters represent common, but often overlooked, maintenance items. Consult your car owner’s or vehicle service manual for the filters’ replacement interval. Replace them if necessary. Over time, dust and foreign particles clog the filter element, restricting fuel or air flow.

If you haven’t followed the recommended service intervals, the fuel filter may have started to interfere with fuel flow (just like a dirty fuel injector) and fuel pump operation. Failing to replace a restricted or clogged fuel filter will cut short the fuel pump’s service life as well. If your manufacturer didn’t schedule a service interval for your fuel filter, replace it at least every 12 months to guarantee proper fuel flow.

3. Checking ignition system components

Your vehicle service manual will give you the service interval for the different components in the ignition system, which may also produce symptoms similar to those of bad fuel injectors. Check or replace spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor and ignition coil. Your manual describes the right procedure to check or replace these components.

4. Cleaning the throttle body

Check and clean, if necessary, the throttle body as well. Removing the layer of carbon buildup around the air horn and the throttle plate will clear the passage and make sure the throttle plate closes as it should, preventing rough idle. Spray some carburetor cleaner on a clean rag and use the rag to clean the throttle body.

5. Checking the fuel pressure regulator

This is another important component to check. Although you may not want to run tests on the regulator during a routine check (unless you suspect a failure) you may want to inspect the vacuum hose connected to it (on vacuum operated regulators), the condition of the electrical connector and wires. Consult the service manual for your particular model for the correct way to check the fuel pressure regulator on your vehicle.

6. Manifold absolute pressure

The Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor reads engine vacuum and sends the appropriate signal to the vehicle’s computer. The computer uses this signal to regulate fuel, ignition timing, and other engine performance events. Inspect the electrical connector and vacuum line, if used.

A malfunctioning oxygen sensor will affect engine performance as well. | Source

7. Inspecting the oxygen sensor

Inspect the oxygen sensor’s electrical connector as well. A malfunctioning oxygen sensor will upset the fuel injection and emissions system. A bad oxygen sensor may cause the car’s computer to feed too much or too little fuel to the engine, affecting engine performance. Your vehicle service manual may give you the procedure to check the sensor operation using a digital multimeter and its service interval.

8. Checking the Throttle Position Sensor – TPS

A malfunctioning TPS will prevent the computer from metering correctly fuel delivery as well, sometimes preventing the engine from starting. Inspect the TPS electrical connector and wires condition. Your service manual may tell you how to check the TPS using a digital multimeter as well.

9. Other sensor to keep in mind

Other sensors to check when servicing your fuel injection system include the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor, Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor, and mass air flow (MAF) sensor.

10. Using a scan tool

Simple visual inspections can’t reveal the actual condition of the many sensors found around your engine. But you can use a scan tool or code reader to make it easier to inspect.

You can find relatively inexpensive scan tools on most auto parts stores and online. Using the scan tool, you may find diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) stored in the computer’s memory for any of those fuel system related sensors.

Still, if you don’t want to buy a scan tool or code reader now, check with your local auto parts store. They may pull any trouble codes from your car’s computer for free. A stored code may tell you if a suspected sensor or component has something to do with an engine malfunction. The next video gives you an idea how you can use a scan tool to check malfunctioning sensor that might be affecting engine performance.

Depending on the type of fuel delivery system on your car—conventional, pulse-modulated or direct injection—you may find fewer or more components and sensors affecting the fuel system on your vehicle than those listed here. Consult your vehicle service manual for this information and follow the manual’s guidance to inspect for loose wires and vacuum hoses condition that can affect proper fuel delivery.

The best way to clean fuel injectors is to prevent dirt, contaminants and buildup from clogging passages in the first place. Add a quality additive to the fuel tank from time to time as a preventive measure, and change the fuel filter every year. You’ll reduce the possibility of breakdowns, save on fuel and costly repairs.

VW Audi DIY List for 1.8t MKIV & A4 Jetta GTI Golf Passat

Audi Volkswagen DIY List

Image result for Audi Volkswagen

I have slowly been building up a list of DIY’s for 1.8T engines that are available in a wide range of models from VW and Audi. Most of these DIY’s will work with all engines, just the location or removal of the part may be different. For example the 1.8t Jetta, GTI, Golf engines will correspond and look the same as the pictures in the DIY’s whereas the passat and A4 audi engines will be turned counterclockwise 90 degrees. So some of the parts (like the Maf Clean DIY) will be located in a different area.

As for tools, almost all of these DIY’s can be done with normal everyday tools that should be in your toolbox already and if you don’t already own the tool, a torx bit set for example, buy it. A one time 10-20 dollar expense for tools that will last a lifetime is worth it compared to dealership labor cost at $110 an hour. Also if you have a Harbor Freight tool store in your area they are great for cheap tools. I follow a few personal rules for the tools I buy from them, 1) Don’t use cheap tools for high torque situations and 2) don’t use anything from there that you are depending on to keep you safe, jack stands, ect. Besides for that plenty of great tools can be bought from that store for cheap. For some of the DIY’s specialty tools are needed and they are high priced. These tools can be rented for free from auto part stores (more on that here, Doing your own car repairs). So if you’re only doing a car brake job once then there is no point in buying the $65 caliper resetting tool. The only specialty tool in my diy’s that would actually have to be bought would be the cam chain tensioner which can be bought on ebay for ten dollars.

Hopefully these DIY’s help you learn a little and most importantly save you some money! Money money money mohneey!

Click on the Blue Links to go to the DIY’s and don’t forget to bookmark this page for future DIY’s

Saving Money Doing Your Own MKIV Repairs

This is more of an article/blog on DIY’s. It covers how I feel, and why I feel the majority of work to be done on on your car should be done on your own. My theory of buying tools compared to the labor cost that are charged for simple jobs. Vag-com is key, but even if you don’t own it there are still free ways to get your car scanned at shops or local forums. For most this article may be a waste of time but for newcomers to the VW/Audi community it may give you a little insight of how I started and have come to realize that money can be saved for a little bit of work.

How to Clean or Replace a VW Audi MAF Sensor DIY

The mass air flow sensors in VW and Audi’s can be incredibly expensive to replace, not only the part that sells for around 100-200 hundred depending on the model but also in the labor cost that is charged around $110 an hour. This DIY will show you how to either replace (if needed) or clean the MAF sensor on your own using isopropyl alcohol. This will remove the dust, dirt and oil that can build up over time causing the cars air flow reading to suffer and in turn giving it a bad idol, throttle response and week performance, along with a check engine light (CEL).. It is a very simple DIY that at the very most will cost you the price of a MAF if you decide to completely replace it or a few dollars for some rubbing alcohol and a little bit of time.

All part numbers for the different maf’s and places to buy the VW 5 point specialty torx bits are included in the DIY should you choose to use them.

How To Clean Your Throttle Body VW Audi DIY

Over time the throttle body gets covered in carbon which in turn blocks air flow when it’s closed and gives a rough idol. Most TB (throttle body) cleaner cans tell you to remove the TB hose, spray inside and you’re good to go! I’ve tested this method and it does not work. While it makes the throttle plate look clean and pretty it does not remove any of the built up carbon that is blocking the air flow.

With this DIY you do have to remove four screws but I guarantee you will notice a huge difference over just spraying some cleaner in it if your TB does have carbon build up. Once the TB has been removed you will need to replace the gasket ($2 at Autozone, part # in DIY).

All part numbers and tools are included in the DIY as well as a little section on cleaning the IAT sensor. At the bottom of the article there is a segment about twisting the tb 90 degrees for better air flow distribution which I would like to hear some feedback on. This DIY was preformed on a 1.8t so depending on your model location will be different

VW Jetta GTI Golf Transmission (Trans) Flush

This is a very simple DIY to change out the tranny fluid in your MK4. Beside for a specialty part (part # included) if you own a GLI or 20th Edition for the drain plug every platform is the same. So whether you have a 1.8t, VR6, or 2.0L this DIY shows you how to drain out that “lifetime” transmission fluid and replace it with either OEM or something that shifts a little smoother.

This DIY is for manual cars, not for Automatic cars. If you have an automatic don’t consult me!

Climate Control lightbulb DIY VW MKIV

This is an easy diy that cost about $2 compared to the dealership price of $60. If your sick of fumbling with your ac controls at night because the light has burnt out then this DIY is for you.

The bulb can be bought for a couple dollars at your local parts store and you can buy a foot of 1/4″ hose for a quarter at your local hardware store.

Just make sure you use padding on your ac knob when you pull it off to keep your car looking good.

How To Install a Boost Gauge & Wires MKIV Jetta GTI Golf

Installing a boost gauge properly can be a bit of a pain without the right directions on how to hook up the electrical side. Most instructions are very bland on where and how to connect the wires. So in this diy I focused mainly on the electrical side because I’ve noticed that it is the least covered and comes with the most questions. Who wants a boost gauge they can’t see at night?. Vacuum line install is also included.

The wire connections will be the same across the board whether you have a jetta, golf, new beetle or GTI 1.8t. I’ve also included a section explaining the switched and continuous power sources located under the dash that should help with hooking up aftermarket alarms and stereo units (75x, 30x).

1.8t Temperature sensor DIY VW

If your gauge has quit moving or fluctuates up and down then more than likely your temperature sensor has gone bad. I’m not sure why but the temperature sensor also has a great influence on how your car drives and functions. Changing the sensor out will cost you 10-20 dollars and about ten minutes of your time compared to the couple hundred that the dealership charges. This diy contains the part numbers and directions to get the job done. But heed the warnings, coolant is extremely hot and will spray and burn. So please practice safety first and only do this diy on a car that is cool and has sat overnight.

How To Change Spark Plugs & Coils in 1.8t VW Audi Engines

This DIY covers 1.8t’s across the board. Jetta, GTI, Golf, Passat, New Beetle, Audi A4 the procedure is all the same as well as your choices in spark plugs that you want to use for your car.

Finding the right plug and gap for your car (especially if it’s tuned) can take a little trial and error. I’ve found that I like copper plugs one step colder at the recommended .28 gap for my tuned car. Now for a garage to change them every 5000 miles for me because they’re copper would cost me $100 each time and I can guarantee they wouldn’t get the gap right. So even if your using the basic stock plug out of the box, why not do it yourself save money and know that the job has been done right.

Because you are required to remove and unplug your coils to change your spark plugs this diy also covers as a diy for replacing coils. Inside the diy you will find a link that shows you how to test for bad coils.

Cut Short Shifter Rod MKIV Jetta GTI

I Keep seeing this topic come up of cutting the shifter rod and combing it with the Audi TT shift weight for a cheap short shifter in our MKIV’s. For about ten years I have been cutting down the rod just because of my preference over stock. I wrote a little DIY of how I like to get it done and if you really want a top notch short shifter of the cheap combine your cut rod with the Audi TT weight and some 42dd shift bushings.

DIY for Removing Airbag & Warning Decals From Sun Visors

Sun Visor Decal Removal DIY

Removing the airbag and seat belt warning decals on the sun visors give the car a cleaner look. The visors blend into the headliner as opposed to having those ugly white red and orange decals scream out at you every time you get in the car. To remove them is a nice simple DIY that only needs rubbing alcohol and paper towel to make it happen. It is a cheap ten minute mod that does give your interior a more blended look.

VW 2.0L Front Brake Job DIY

This DIY covers how to change the brake pads and rotors on the 2.0l Jetta, Golf or GTI. It was written for the MKIV platform. This job is very simple and can save you some serious cash only taking a couple hours for a novice home mechanic. This is your breaking system, so make sure you don’t slack on your replacement parts and how you put them back together.

Cheap Oxygen Sensor DIY for 2.0l VW

VW 2.0l 02 oxygen sensor DIY

02 Oxygen sensors can be incredibly expensive. With some research I’ve found that instead of the stock OEM bosch sensors people have been using bosch oxygen sensors that are made for ford cars in their older MKIII cars. I could not find any info on using the sensor in an OBDII car so I tested it out for myself in my 2000 2.0l jetta. For the price of one universal sensor you can replace both 02 sensors with this DIY. I used bosch part #15718 for the front and back 02 sensors. In this diy I will show you how to remove the 02 sensor, cut and crimp on the new wires and replace it. It is a very simple and cheap diy that will save you hundreds compared to having the dealership replace it for you.

 Change VW Fuel filter DIY 1.8t, 2.0l, Vr6 Engine Mkiv

This Diy if for every MKIV MK4 out there (TDI excluded). The location of the fuel filter is the same on every car. A lot of small problems start at the fuel filter so why not replace it. It cost no more than $15-$20 and only takes about thirty minutes to change. This is another part that vw states is for the life of the car, but they still have no problem telling you it needs to be changed for $300!!

Broken Rear Seat Latch DIY for Jetta, GTI, Golf

How to Fix a Broken Rear Seat Latch DIY

Nothing is worse than going to pull your seats down to make some room in your trunk and finding out that the latch no longer wants to cooperate.

Apparently this is a big money maker for your local WV/Audi dealership. It cost around 5-10 dollars in parts but most places charge in the hundreds to fix a broken seat latch. Doing it yourself will take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you can figure out how to release the latch with a flathead screwdriver so you can proceed with the DIY. All and all it is very simple and besides for time it will only cost around $10 to fix. The DIY contains part numbers for the latch but you will need to tell the dealership the color of your interior so you get the right color code.

Removing the Intake Manifold for Polishing and Gasket Replacement

How to Remove Intake Manifold VW Audi 1.8t DIY

I wrote this DIY because after pressure checking my GTI almost every runner off the manifold was leaking vacuum/ boost. Once I pulled off the manifold I noticed that the previous owner had only just lightly bolted down the intake manifold and it also had tears all along the gasket. To replace the gasket is only a $10 part and it will help remove leaks as well as give your manifold a nice fresh seal. No specialty tools are needed, all you will need is a fresh gasket, 10mm socket wrench, and a 5mm alan socket or key.

While the manifold is off, this DIY gives you the opportunity to check/replace PCV breather hoses, polish your intake manifold and replace all your N249/N211 valve hoses if they are worn out.

How to Replace Cam Tensioner & Valve Cover Gasket 1.8t DIY

If you have oil spray around the edges of your valve cover or the holes near your spark plugs, then more than likely the valve cover gasket is leaking. Changing the valve cover gasket is a very easy and cheap job but if oil is leaking/spraying out of the driver side of the valve cover more than likely the cam chain tensioner gasket and half moon seal will also need to be replaced. For those gaskets a specialty tool will also be required (tool and gasket part numbers are included in DIY).

If you are just pulling the valve cover for a nice polish then replacing the gasket is a very easy job. If you are also replacing the cam gasket and half moon then this job is a little harder but can still be done by the everyday average DIY’er. Even though the complete job is a stressful pain in the A, it still should be doable in about an hour.

FPR hose Replacement DIY MK4

This is a quik DIY on showing you how to replace the leaking braided hose connected to your fuel pressure regulator and intake manifold. It also covers removing and replacing your FPR whether you are replacing your 3 bar or putting in a 4 bar.

How to Replace a Tie-rod MKIV VW

Jetta GTI Golf Tie Rod Replacement DIY

I’m pretty positive that every MKIV platform vw from 2000-2005 uses the same suspension set-up so no matter what VW you have this DIY should cover the procedure. My local shop wanted a couple hundred dollars just to replace the outer tie rod. I bought two complete rods and borrowed the tool from Checker auto parts for a total of $60. Make sure you rent the right tool as a few of my local auto shops did not carry the right one for VW (found out the hard way). The part number for the tool is in the DIY.

1.8T DIY’s VW Audi

All these DIY are “do it your own risk” I try to include every part number, tool and step that is needed for each DIY. If you do have more questions please post them on the DIY page that corresponds to the DIY you are working on or they will more than likely go unread and deleted.

If you would like to request a certain DIY that has not been covered please leave a message here in the comments and I’ll see if its something I can cover and write an article on.

The Autocar Performance Show 2017 Is Back In Its 12th Season

Image result for autocar performance show 2017The Autocar Performance Show is a one-of-a-kind show dedicated to the car and bike enthusiasts in this country. As the name says, this is a show about ‘performance’ machines and the entire gamut of the performance products. From the most powerful production cars and bikes in the country to crazy customized machines. From modifications that enhance vehicle performance to accessories that make cars look better and the latest sound systems to multi-media technology. It is the second biggest auto show in the country. And it’s not just viewing pleasure, at the show, visitors can get a firsthand experience of the off-road thrill of a Tata Hexa at the Hexa 4×4 Experience Zone and a rush of adrenaline with the Maruti Suzuki Autocross.

This year’s line-up includes hot favourites like the Ford Mustang, Nissan GT-R, Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet, Jeep Wrangler, along with the best from Bentley, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Triumph Motorcycles, DSK Beneli and DSK Hyosung amongst others.

The Autocar Performance Show this year will also have a zone dedicated to car buying advice where people looking to buy a car can seek advice from the expert’s one-on-one, for free. The editorial team from What Car? India magazine will guide visitors through the car-buying process, helping them arrive at a right decision. What Car? India is the essential car-buying guide, with honest verdicts and purchasing advice across every segment.

A special feature of this year’s show is the ‘Intern with Autocar Contest’. This contest is a chance for students to intern with the Autocar India in the editorial or photography team. Entrants must click pictures at the show or write a show report and mail it to [email protected] One writer and one photographer will win a chance to intern with Autocar India.

The show will also showcase 2 student entrepreneurial projects from Auto Institute – an E-Vehicle, a single-seater zero emission electric powered prototype providing a mileage of 35km/hr on a single battery charged and an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) which is a conversion of Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle which cost 1/4th price of tractor and can do many farm chores faster, easier and more economically.