Car Maintenance – Will it Really Help Gas Mileage?

As gas prices continue to rise, the auto industry is out in full force touting the benefits of car maintenance. Many repair shops even have custom “fuel saver” services. While maintaining one’s car is indeed important, does it really save gas? Before we answer this, let’s step back and look at auto maintenance for today’s cars.

The first question we need to ask is – what does my car need (according to the manufacturer) for it to be considered “maintained.” Today’s cars no longer have distributor caps, rotors, points, and a variety of other ignition components – so these don’t need maintenance. Many vehicles now come with extended service parts such as 100,000-mile platinum spark plugs and life-time fuel filters. Oil change intervals have been extended to 5,000 miles or more. The 3,000-mile oil change is ancient history. Coolant flushes and transmission services aren’t needed until 100,000 miles if at all. Yet, even if we performed all the above services, will they increase fuel efficiency? Probably not. Unless your vehicle is misfiring (i.e., not running on all cylinders), you’re gas mileage is likely fine.

So what part of car maintenance adversely effects gas mileage for the average driver of a late model vehicle? Three things: tire pressure, air filters, and excess carbon.

Tire Pressure: Setting your tire pressure is free, and is the best maintenance service you can perform to maintain maximum fuel efficiency. It’s that simple.

Air Filters: Air filters can indeed get plugged after a considerable amount of driving and can then restrict air flow, which will not allow your fuel to burn efficiently. This can also cause excess carbon build-up, which can reduce miles per gallon. The good news: air filters are cheap ($15 to $30), are easy to install, and usually only need replacement every 30,000 miles.

Excess Carbon: There is another auto maintenance service that “can” help gas mileage. It’s called a fuel system cleaning service. Some repair centers call it fuel injector auto maintenance, or a fuel injection service. Simply, chemicals are added to your fuel system through a variety of orifices to clean out excess carbon deposits on your valves, pistons and intake manifold. This naturally forming carbon (in excess) is not good for gas mileage. Excess carbon absorbs gasoline, which would otherwise be used to power your vehicle. However, before you run out and spend the $150 + to have this service performed, there is one important consideration – the service will only work for vehicles that need it. In other words, yes the stuff works, but you’re vehicle may not have any excess carbon build-up. You wouldn’t wash clean clothes – right?

When you see those “fuel saver” services for $100 to $300, they’ll likely include an air filter, tire pressure check, and a fuel system cleaning service. If you’re wondering whether or not your vehicle needs it, ask yourself the following:

1) Do I use quality gasoline consistently? 2) Have I replaced my air filter at least every 30,000 miles? 3) Have I checked my tire pressure recently?

If you can answer these questions affirmatively, you’re probably ok. Buying cheap, no-name gas once-in-awhile is ok. Replacing the air filter and setting your tire pressure is common sense. Also, if you drive like grandma, get out on the highway and press the vertical pedal at your right foot “all the way to the floor” until your vehicle accelerates to speeds at which you’re not all too entirely comfortable. Then repeat a few more times. This will help clean out excess carbon – FREE – less the cost of fuel. Be careful. Watch out for cops.

In summary, follow your manufacturer guidelines for your car’s maintenance – not ones designed by those who stand to benefit most. Use name-brand fuel, set your tire pressure now and again, pop in an air filter, according to your car’s recommended interval, and don’t be afraid to drop the hammer now and again.

RC Drift Car General Maintenance

While RC drift and touring cars are not known for getting covered in mud and filth it is undoubtedly worth cleaning them on a regular basis to ensure they remain in tip-top condition. Fortunately, drifters are on-road cars and don’t get plastered in mud. However, over time, the build up of dirt and grime can affect your cars performance.

We recommend that you clean your vehicle after every time you take it out. Mostly because we just like tinkering with cars! You can get away with cleaning your drift car after every other run. It all depends on the weather and how dusty the track is you have been racing on. Just remember, if you are a professional RC drifter, make sure you car has been cleaned well BEFORE a race event.

Useful tools for top maintenance:

A pack of hand wipes – If you’re messing with you car then you’re going to get your hands dirty.

A Brush – Either a standard paint brush or specialist RC brush is great for removing dust.

A Towel – Emergency towel for soaking up spillages.

Pit Mat – Rubber or plastic pit mats can help prevent lost parts or ruining the kitchen table.

Tooth Picks – Great for scraping dirt out of those hard to reach places.

Cotton Buds – When soaked in white spirit these are perfect for cleaning specific areas of you car.

An Air Compressor – Blast away the dust and dirt with this amazing tool. Also available in a can!

If you’re like us, your drift car body shell is of extreme importance, as we all know looking the part is key to drifting. During your drift career you are likely to scuff your car on many occasions and maybe even crash and roll your car during a race! Your shell will show the marks of these accidents so it’s vital you keep it clean. Most marks will come off with white spirit and a bit of elbow grease. Most dust and dirt can be washed off with a wet towel or a dry brush.

Occasionally you may hit a large puddle when you are driving in the rain. It’s important to remember that your car’s electronics will cease to work when exposed to too much water. Your motor, receiver, speed controller and servos can be costly so avoid placing these parts in contact with water. Should you get any of your electronics wet remove them immediately from the car, use a towel to wipe off any excess water, and place them in a warm, dry environment such as your airing cupboard. Leave the parts there for 24 hours and they should be safe to use again.

TOP TIP: If you will be racing on a wet surface spray the chassis and other parts of the car with WD-40. This will waterproof your car and prevent mud from sticking. Don’t do this on a dry dirt track though, as the dust will simply stick to the WD-40!

If you are fortunate enough to own an air compressor then cleaning your car can be extremely fun. Remove the body shell and all major components and set to work with the compressor. Just be careful not to blow excess dirt and dust in to parts of the car that can be damaged such as the motor or servo joints.

These simple tips can help you to maintain the performance of your RC drift car. By cleaning regularly you will be able to prolong the life of your parts and prevent any unnecessary accidents caused damaged components

Basic Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Owners

Riding motor cycle can be exhilarating. When it comes to maintenance, we all depend on repair shop, but every owner should develop a sense of confidence every time they ride with respect to basic maintenance knowledge. It is highly essential to avoid unforeseen mechanical failures. Basic technical knowhow helps keeping the motor cycle fit and running without hassle. Now, there is no need to get admitted into an automobile training school. Are you thinking of mastering your own motor cycle repair? Absolutely not required! Basic maintenance skill will help you stay independent, save time, save money and save yourself from accidents.

Change the engine oil:

Your motor cycle has an owner’s manual where you can find out the frequency of engine oil change. Generally, technicians advise to change the oil after riding 2500 kilometres. Sometimes, this figure varies as per the type of oil used (mineral, semi-synthetic, fully synthetic). So you can change the oil using a wrench. It’s not that difficult.

Check tire pressure:

You just need a tyre gauge to check the pressure. Generally, manufacturers recommend an ambient temperate I.e, when the tyres is cold to check pressure. Pressure recommendation vary based on specific model. These details can be found in the manual. If the pressure is low, consider filling air. If you have a personal compressor or simply a bicycle pump at home do it now.

Clean the air filter:

Whether it is a paper filter, cotton filter, or foam filter inspect the cleanliness every time you change engine oil. Remove the filter from its housing and clean it properly following manual. If it is a paper filter, you can’t clean it. For satisfaction, blow air for cleaning. If it is a foam one, use air flow and in case of cotton, cleaning fluid can be used. It will help your engine get plenty of fresh air.

Check the battery:

Battery performance depends on quality and maintenance. If the battery is older than 3 years, it’s time to be cautious. You must inspect and change it immediately if it doesn’t keep charge. If you face dim light, problem in start, etc. check the voltage scale test using a multimeter.

Grease cables and chain:

It is very important to oil and grease cable housing, chain and some other jerk fittings. Consider greasing in points like sliding points, pivoting points and rotating points. So lubricate whenever you find these places dry.

Clean the body:

This task should be performed in a regular interval to protect the motor cycle from dirt, and to protect the original paint. Regular cleaning also helps avoid junk in iron parts and maintain a shiny look.

All the above needs a little effort to upkeep the vehicle and enjoy a worry free ride. These maintenance efforts require a little automotive technical knowledge. Once you start doing tem, everything will be easy.

Pinstriping Brushes – 3 Tips on Care and Maintenance of Pinstriping Brushes

If you want to create the perfect pinstriping designs on any vehicle you need to make sure that the brushes you use have been well cared for. In this article we offer some tips on how to care for pinstriping brushes so that they won’t have to be replaced any time soon.

1. The glue used to hold the bristles of the pinstriping brushes to the handle are water soluble and if exposed to water too much then it will become softened. Because of this the hairs will eventually become loose and start to fall out so avoid cleaning them in water if you can.

To clean the brush it is far better if you use a mineral spirit instead. It is best to initially rinse the brushes in the minerals spirits you have been using for cleaning the pallet whilst you are pinstriping. Although the cup in which the spirits is may look unusable remember you are using this to get most of the paint out of the brush.

After you have rinsed in the used spirits now to get rid of even more of the paint wipe the brush with a paper towel. Then having poured some fresh mineral spirits into another cup or jar you will be able to wash the rest of the paint out from it. Remember don’t just to wash the hairs of the brushes in the spirits but also the furrel as well.

You will recognize that your brush is thoroughly clean because no more paint will appear on the fresh paper towel you have used. After you are happy that the pinstriping brushes have been thoroughly cleaned you squeeze a small amount of 3 in 1 oil on to it and then shape it with your fingers. Using the oil prevents any oil that remains not to become and hardened and which could ultimately ruin the brush.

2. Although you may find it difficult to handle the brushes initially you should never be tempted to trim them. Sometimes however there may be a need to remove a small amount of the brushes tip but b before you do so you need to look closely at your pinstriping brush first. If you then decide to trim off any of the hairs then do so very carefully.

When trimming it is crucial that you oil the brush first as this will help it form the natural shape and then lay the brush flat on a sheet of paper or some other white surface. Doing this you will then see just what needs to be trimmed and very carefully using a sharp razor blade trim only the smallest amounts of the brushes hair as you need to from the tip. If you take off too much hair this will make the tip of the brush blunt and it won’t be able to create those perfect pinstripes for you.

3. If you find that your brushes begin to develop kinks or waves in them then you should find this problem relatively easy to fix. To remove these kinks or waves you first need to rinse any pinstriping brushes thoroughly in the mineral spirits and then rinse them very carefully in water. However, you must make sure that the furrel into which the hairs are set does not get wet and then dab the brushes on a paper towel to help remove as much water as possible.

After removing as much of the excess water as you can now add a little dish soap to the hairs and then shape the brush using your fingers. If the problem isn’t too severe then lay the pinstriping brushes flat, but if it is then put it between the pages of a book which will help to press it flat. You need to leave the brushes like this for around a week then after this time rinse the soap out with mineral spirits and hopefully its original shape will have been restored.