Archive for the ‘Environmental Protection’ Category

A Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor Tells No Lies

May 15, 2017

Every sensor on or in a computer-controlled car or truck talks to the “on-board PC” in a kind of language you’ve never heard or seen. All of the inputs are in a voltage-speak and are all numbers. All of these signals to and from the PC travel in and out at up to 300 times per second. That is some party line!

Your PC knows the amount of air going into or being inhaled by the engine. It knows the temperature of the air, the barometric pressure, the outside temperature, if it’s raining and if the engine is pinging. It knows if the engine has too much fuel or too little fuel being delivered to it. It knows the temperature of the coolant and the catalytic converter, and it knows how cold it is inside the car and how that compares to the temperature you are requesting.

Most of the voltages start at zero and have a high end of 5, 8 or 12 volts. For instance, 1.0v means low and 5.0v means high. Or 1.0 means cold and 5.0 means hot, hot, hot.

But most scanners convert these numbers to a range we can understand, like 20 grams or 212F or 45% throttle.

The mass air flow sensor (MAF) tells the PC how much air is flowing into the engine; we read that data in grams. So a little air means no foot on the throttle and lots of air means foot to the floor. Think of the mass air flow sensor as a goal post with a filament across the top arms. It actually looks like the filament inside a clear light bulb.

The PC sends voltage to the filament and then monitors the electricity needed to keep it warm or hot. The MAF starts lying when this filament gets covered with trash, bugs and dirt. Pretend you are in a tunnel and naked. You could easily tell how much air is flowing thru this tunnel and what the temperature is. How good of a job could you do if I covered you with 5 layers of clothing, gloves, hats and full face coverings? That is exactly what happens to your MAF: it gets covered up and starts lying about its environment.

We want to see about 5-10 grams depending on the size of the engine. This gram number determines fuel trim. A dirty MAF won’t see all the air, so it tells the PC to trim the fuel down. 1 gram at idle is a problem.

So if you want to save yourself from $45 to over $100, go to the auto parts store. Ask them to point out where the MAF is located on your car, and ask them to show you what it looks like. You may need special tools. Then buy some CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner. The CRC product was developed specifically for cleaning this very delicate sensor.

Pull the negative battery cable. Remove the MAF sensor. DO NOT touch the filament. DO NOT get your wife’s toothbrush out and scrub it. If you damage it, you just cost yourself hundreds of dollars. Just spray it off like you would spray a small painted wire with carburetor cleaner when you only want to remove the paint. Do it maybe 3-4 times and once every 30-40,000 miles.

Let it dry, reinstall, connect the battery and drive away. It will take the PC just a few hours to reset those parameters that just changed because the MAF is now cleaner and working more precisely.

For more content like this visit http://www.carcarenewsservice.org

April is National Car Care Month. Focus on Your Vehicle Investment.

March 16, 2017

National Car Care Month, in April, is the perfect time for motorists to learn more about the very real economic benefits of performing regular vehicle maintenance, according to the Car Care Council.

Each year, community car care events routinely identify that consumers are not taking proper care of their vehicles. Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line, either in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value.

Results of free community car care inspection events throughout the US last year showed that consumers are neglecting their cars. 8 out of 10 vehicles failed at least one component of the vehicle inspection process. Even with an estimated 20% more vehicles inspected last year, the overall failure rate remained unchanged.

Of the vehicles checked, 27% were found to have low, overfull, or dirty engine oil, which affects vehicle performance and damages internal parts. Low, leaky, or dirty coolant in the radiator or surge tank was identified in 26% of the inspected vehicles. Cooling system protects against damage by keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range.

51% of all belts, in the vehicles inspected, were reported as unsatisfactory. 10% of the vehicles required at least one new hose. Roadside breakdowns can be avoided by checking belts and hoses and replacing them when worn.

These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second largest investment. Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs to make sure it is ready for the upcoming spring and summer travel season.

A Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor Restores Lost MPG and Horsepower

January 10, 2017

With the ever-rising costs of fuel, who can afford to waste even one single drop? But it’s happening to you right now if your vehicle has a dirty mass air flow (MAF) sensor.

An MAF sensor constantly measures the amount and density of the air entering the engine so the computer knows how much gasoline to inject into each cylinder. Located after the air filter and ahead of the throttle body, the MAF sensor uses a heated wire (hotwire) or flat film element to measure airflow.

The MAF sensor works by holding the operating temperature of the hotwire at a constant temperature. As air moves over the hotwire, the wire will cool down. More air running across the wire requires more electrical current to keep the hotwire heated.

A vehicle’s computer depends on extremely accurate measurements of air mass and density from the MAF sensor to help calculate everything from the amount of fuel needed to run the engine efficiently (without excessive emissions) to transmission shift points and ignition timing.

If there’s a film or dirt on the hotwire it will insulate it and slow the communication between the MAF sensor and the computer; a situation that can directly cause drivability issues, excessive emissions and poor fuel economy resulting in fewer MPG than your vehicle is meant to reach.

Mass air flow sensors can get dirty in a number of ways. Pollen, dust particles and soot can build up and burn onto on the hotwire of the mass air flow sensor causing incorrect measurements of air flow and density. This can lead to hesitation, sputtering, hard starting, stalling, excess emissions and power loss.

Oil can also build up on the hotwire, caused by excessive blow-by from internal engine wear or, more often, where an aftermarket air filter that requires oil is fitted to the vehicle. Sometimes a consumer will over oil these air filters and the oil will travel directly from the filter onto the MAF sensor leading to malfunction.

Recognizing the need for a product to safely clean fragile mass air flow sensors, CRC Industries, manufacturer of Brakleen® Brake Parts Cleaner and an industry leader in automotive maintenance chemicals, developed CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner, the FIRST cleaner specifically designed for the MAF sensor. Julie Williams, Marketing Manager for CRC, warns: “DO NOT use carburetor or brake parts cleaners to clean MAF sensors. Aggressive chemicals can degrade the plastic housing and sensitive electronics of the MAF sensor leading to malfunction.”

Cleaning your MAF sensor is easy and should take about 10 minutes. First, turn off your vehicle and locate the MAF sensor between the air box and throttle body. Unplug the MAF sensor wire harness and remove the MAF sensor housing. Typically a screwdriver will work, but you may need a TORX® security bit for some models. Place a shop towel under your MAF sensor to catch any run-off. With the straw attached, apply 10-15 sprays of CRC MAF Sensor Cleaner onto the hot-wires, but be sure the hot-wires do not come in contact with the straw or any other object.

Spray all sides of the MAF sensor and clean all wires and connectors. Finally, reassemble the MAF sensor and allow it to dry thoroughly before restarting the engine. This would be a great time to clean or change your air filter, too.

The CRC plastic-safe formula is extremely effective and proven to renew MPG and up to 10 horsepower with dynamometer proven results. You’ll get increased horsepower, better fuel economy (more MPG), improved air/fuel ratio, fewer emissions and a smoother running engine when you clean with CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner.

Do-It-Yourselfers can find CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner at their favorite auto parts store. Or, schedule an appointment with your mechanic and ask him to clean your MAF sensor using CRC MAF Sensor Cleaner, the only product safe for cleaning MAF sensors and backed by proven results. Visit http://www.crcindustries.com for more details.

Protect Your Auto Investment

December 5, 2016

Choose a shop that employees ASE-certified auto technicians to ensure your vehicle maintenance and repair dollars are wisely spent.

Studies from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) show vehicles that receive regular maintenance and service retain more of their value, get better gasoline mileage, and pollute less than cars that are neglected. But today’s computer-loaded systems leave many former do-it-yourselfers hesitant to do much weekend tinkering. What’s a conscientious vehicle owner to do?

How Consumers Benefit from ASE Certification

Finding a competent auto repair professional should not be difficult … and with that guiding principle, the nonprofit, independent ASE was founded in 1972.

The mission was clear: Develop a mechanism by which working auto technicians could prove their competence to themselves, their employers, and to consumers.

The solution: A series of national certification exams covering all major automotive repair and service specialties.

The result: An elite group of automotive service professionals at work in repair establishments throughout the nation.

Why Use ASE-Certified Auto Technicians?

Consumers benefit from ASE’s certification program because it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent technician.

Perhaps years ago, any shade-tree mechanic would do; after all, cars were simpler, less complex. But with today’s high-tech vehicles — family sedans, sports coupes, rugged SUVs, and powerful pickups — the margin for error is small because mistakes are more costly. It makes good financial sense, then, to protect your sizeable automotive investment through regular maintenance and service performed by ASE-certified professionals.

Because the program is voluntary, technicians who have taken the time and expense to earn ASE certification can be counted on to have a strong sense of pride in accomplishment and professionalism — which should be good news for consumers. Moreover, prior to taking ASE exams, many technicians attend training classes or study on their own in order to brush up on their knowledge. The time they spend sharpening their skills translates directly to the work they perform on vehicles every day on the job.

How Does ASE Certification Work?

More than 100,000 candidates sit for ASE exams each year. These exams — the only independent national certification tests available to automotive professionals — are developed and regularly updated by representatives from the service and repair industry, vocational educators, working technicians, and ASE’s own in-house technical specialists. The exams stress real-world diagnostic and repair problems, not theory.

Mechanics who pass at least one exam and fulfill the hands-on work experience requirement earn the title of “ASE-Certified Automobile Technician,” while those who pass all eight automotive exams earn “Master Auto Technician” status. There are also tests for parts specialists, collision repair technicians, automotive service consultants, and segments of the repair industry. however, ASE certification is not a designation for life; technicians must recertify every five years in order to demonstrate a commitment to continuing education and staying abreast of constantly changing technologies.

How to Find an ASE Professional

ASE technicians can be found at every type of repair facility: new car dealerships, independent garages, service stations, franchised outlets, collision shops, tire dealers, parts stores and more. There are more than 360,000 ASE-certified professionals at work nationally. Repair facilities employing ASE professionals usually display the distinctive blue and white ASE sign on the premises and post their technicians’ credentials in their customer service areas.

Employers often include the ASE logo in their advertising as well. Further, establishments with a high percentage of certified pros on staff may display evidence of membership in the elite Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program. ASE-certified professionals are issued shoulder insignia or lapel pins, as well as personalized credentials and wall certificates listing their exact areas of certification.

For additional information and seasonal car care tips visit http://www.ase.com. ASE joins the automotive aftermarket industry in recognizing April as National Car Care Month.

Choosing the Right Repair Shop: A Checklist

ASE certifies individual technicians — not repair establishments. But it stands to reason that shop owners who encourage their technicians to become ASE certified will be just as proactively involved in the other aspects of their businesses as well. Here are some tips on finding a good repair establishment:

•Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.

•Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations; consult local consumer groups.

•Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on location.

•Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.

•Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant willing to answer all of your questions.

•Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees, acceptable methods of payment, etc.

•Ask if the repair facility specializes in or regularly performs your type of needed repair work.

•Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community, or customer service awards.

•Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced courses, and ASE certification.

•Look for the ASE sign.

•Facilities with a high percentage of ASE-certified professionals may also be members of the elite Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program. Ask the shop if it is a member of the program

October is Fall Car Care Month

September 26, 2016

As autumn descends, the Car Care Council would like to remind motorists of the many benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. October is Fall Car Care Month and a great opportunity to make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter and up-to-date on all maintenance.

Taking time out to check on your vehicle’s condition is an important part of taking care of your second largest investment. Results of vehicle check-ups at community car care events across the country last year revealed that 80 percent of vehicles need service or parts.

“Small steps that motorists take today can go a long way toward improving the safety and reliability of their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Regular car care can also help avoid costly repairs down the road, saving both time and money.”

In celebration of Fall Car Care month, many shops across the country will be holding free vehicle check-up events. To see if an event is being held near you, visit the Event Finder on the Car Care Council’s Web site at http://www.carcare.org/find-an-event.

Another way to celebrate Fall Car Care Month without even leaving home is to visit the Car Care Council’s free Car Care Guide online at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. The guide includes information on service interval schedules, questions to ask your technician and how to increase your vehicle’s fuel economy to save money on gas.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information or to receive a copy of the council’s new Car Care Guide for motorists, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Happy Fall! Time to Think About Your Coolant

September 12, 2016

It’s the beginning of fall, and time to consider your coolant.

This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.

As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:

• It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

• It is used to raise the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.

It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze before being added to the cooling system. This 50/50 solution not only prevents freezing, but also preserves proper cooling properties.

Also concerning the antifreeze to water mixture ratio: adding more antifreeze to the mix (once again, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer) to increase its percentage in the mixture is not better. Generally speaking, after the ratio exceeds more than about 65% antifreeze to 35% water, freeze protection can actually diminish, but even worse, heat dissipation can radically decrease, since the water is the primary substance used for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

Keep Your Cool in Hot Summer Cars

July 29, 2016

When it’s hot outside, one of the last places you want to be is sitting in traffic without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the Car Care Council recommends having your A/C system checked annually to make sure it is functioning at its peak performance level when the temperatures are soaring.

“Making sure your A/C system is working properly will give you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Not only are high temperatures harmful to the body with prolonged exposure, but they can provide unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle.”

A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service consists of the following steps:

•Service technician visually inspects hoses, lines, seals and other components for leaks as well as inspect the drive belt for cracks or damage.

•Technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures.

•If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak. Keep in mind that if your vehicle is leaking refrigerant, it is damaging the ozone layer.

•Refrigerant may be added if necessary to “top off” the system, although some states do not allow “topping off.”

•A technician may also check for evidence of refrigerant cross-contamination, which is the mixing of refrigerants.

•A/C service should also include a check of the compressor’s drive belt and tension.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

CDC Reports Asthma Cases On The Rise; Your Vehicle’s Cabin Air Filter Can Help

July 6, 2016

A study released recently by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of asthma cases in the U.S. is on the rise. Nearly ten percent of children and eight percent of the U.S. population at large are suffering from this potentially life-threatening disease. For those among us who confront this challenge on a daily basis, a clean and dust-free environment is imperative – whether it is in our homes, our offices … or even our cars.

While there are filters that purify the air inside homes and office buildings, many are surprised to learn that there are cabin air filters that are designed to keep the air inside our vehicles clean and fresh. With some two and a half million asthma sufferers, and millions more enduring allergy symptoms at this time of year, car owners and drivers should be aware that it’s very likely that their vehicle came factory-equipped with a filter that can remove allergens and particulates from the air that is being breathed in by the occupants.

“A cabin air filter is a simple device that fulfills an important function, especially when driving with the windows rolled up when the A/C or heating is turned on,” said Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, manufacturer and supplier of automotive filters to the North American aftermarket. “A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can actually cause the air inside the vehicle’s interior to be six times more polluted than the air outside.”

According to O’Dowd, “Replacing your vehicle’s cabin air filter regularly provides you with one more condition that can be controlled, especially when someone’s health is compromised. We are trying to educate motorists so they know their car has such a filter and remember to change it once each year.”

Changing the cabin air filter regularly in order to properly clean the air in the passenger compartment is especially important now that pollen is at its worst and motorists are increasingly driving with windows closed and the air conditioning on.

Marketed under the BreatheEasy brand, a new Purolator cabin air filter can capture and hold particles as small as a micron. A micron is a millionth of a meter. By way of comparison, a strand of human hair measures 30-200 microns, a grain of salt is 40-100 microns, bacteria is 0.2-20 microns, pollen is 10-80 microns and soot is 0.02-0.7 microns. Purolator BreatheEasy cabin air filters are electrostatically charged so they capture and retain small particles from entering your car. Consumers should look for this feature to ensure they are getting the most benefit for the filter

“A quality replacement cabin air filter can capture dirt, dust, pollen, fungus, bacteria, pet dander, mold spores, and more,” said O’Dowd. “All these are potentially unhealthy, even for people who are not allergic or asthmatic. Nobody wants to breathe these things, and automakers have designed systems to safely capture them. All the motorist need do is replace the filter every 12,000 to 18,000 miles or as recommended in the vehicle owner’s manual.”

Replacement filters are inexpensive and, in most cases, easily changed by the vehicle owner – even by those who are not mechanically inclined. In some cases, cabin air filters can be replaced in as little as five minutes. Cabin air filters are often located under or behind the vehicle’s glove box, usually with easy access. Most BreatheEasy cabin air filters include well-illustrated, vehicle-specific, step-by-step instructions for replacement. Even before purchasing a replacement filter, motorists can check the procedure for their specific vehicle by visiting http://www.BreatheEasyCabinFilters.com. This Web site also includes a series of informative videos that demonstrate the importance and ease of replacing cabin air filters.

“While breathing unhealthy air is simply inconvenient for some, it can be far more hazardous to the two and a half million asthma sufferers in the U.S,” said O’Dowd. “Fortunately safe and secure protection is both available and affordable.”

Also, available to everyone are the Purolator PROs—a team of experts who will answer any filter-related question from anyone, free of charge, via personal e-mail. Purolator PROs can be contacted through the Purolator Web site at http://www.purolatorautofilters.net. The Web site also includes a wealth of information on every type of automotive filter, including online part number look up, as well special deals and promotions.

For additional articles like this go to the Car Care News Service website.

Is Your Vehicle Safe for Memorial Day Travel?

May 23, 2016

With the Memorial Day Holiday weekend upon us and the summer vacation season fast approaching; there is no better time to “Be Car Care Aware” about your vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. A portion of these deaths can be directly attributed to unperformed vehicle maintenance as each year neglected maintenance leads to over 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

“Proper car care is important at all times, but is particularly critical during the holiday travel seasons,” says Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “When vehicle maintenance is put off too long, you’re potentially putting your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers, in jeopardy.”

With American drivers spending 11% more time on the road this year, according to a study from the Surface Transportation Policy Project, having a safe car and driving safely are both high priorities as we head into summer. Car trouble, usually due to neglected maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans and can also lead to dangerous results.

This scenario usually can be avoided with a pre-vacation inspection. This “physical” for your automobile should address the following systems:
•Cooling
•Braking
•Emission
•Steering/suspension
•Fuel
•Electrical and ignition

In addition, an evaluation of the following should be performed: engine performance, tires/wheels, A.C./heater/defroster, instruments/gages, windshield wipers, horns/lights/mirrors, seat belts and the car’s body, inside and out.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one’s own technician who knows the vehicle.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. For more information and to download your free copy of the Service Interval Schedule, visit http://www.carcare.org.

For additional information visit Car Care News Service.

April 22nd is Earth Day, but You Can Celebrate All Year with These “Green” Auto Tips

April 18, 2016

By changing a few habits, motorists can do their part in helping the environment, say the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE recommends regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits as two easy-to-implement strategies. What’s more, improved automotive habits will help your vehicle last longer and command a better resale price.

The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care:

•Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual.

•Don’t ignore that ‘Service Engine’ light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions that they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will cause your vehicle to pollute much more than it would otherwise.

•Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Not only will you reduce the engine’s effort and, thus, gasoline consumption, your tires will last longer too, saving you money and easing the burden at recycling centers.

•Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

•Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to one trip to eliminate unnecessary driving.

•Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight equals better gas mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag, too.

•If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items from consumer. You can also contact local government for hazardous material drop-off/recycling stations. Remember too that improperly disposed fluids such as antifreeze can harm pets and wildlife.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. More than 360,000 automotive service professionals hold current ASE certifications. They work at all types of facilities, from new car dealerships, to national chains, independent repair shops, fleets, parts stores, and more. There employers often display the blue and white ASE sign, while the technicians wear shoulder insignia or lapel pins identifying himself or herself as ASE certified.

Visit http://www.ase.com for more information and seasonal car care tips.

Locate this story directly on our website at: http://www.carcarenewsservice.org/article/april-22nd-earth-day-you-can-celebrate-all-year-these-green-auto-tips