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How to minimize electrical power consumption of a car

How to minimize electrical power consumption of a car

It is often desirable to minimize electrical current draw of the different electrical loads of a car. This minimizes stress on components like Alternator, Battery and Electrical cables. This in turn prolongs the life of those components.
Some advise are actually discouragement of non-standard practices that causes higher current draw than modifications.

Ensure that battery terminals are tightened. When the point of electrical cable connection with the battery is not tight, it forms a point of high resistance to current and at that point, the electrical current would be converted to heat, thereby increasing power consumption.
Replace old and degraded cables. Example is the cable that runs from alternator to the battery. When this cable is old and has developed more resistance t..

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When you should change engine air filter earlier than recommended

When you should change engine air filter earlier than recommended

The engine air filter is one preventive maintenance item that is often overlooked. There are two air filters in a typical car; the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. In this article, we are going to be focusing on the engine air filter.
The engine air filter is responsible for filtering the intake air to prevent dust and other debris from gaining access to the engine.
In environments where the presence of dust is minimal, users skip air filter replacement without any adverse effect. Sometimes, they simply blow away the dust that has accumulated on the filter using compressed air. This should not be a regular practice though because at a point, the air filter should still need replacement.
In environments that are very dusty, it is beneficial to replace the air filter earl..

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Effects of cooling system thermostat removal in hot climate

Effects of cooling system thermostat removal in hot climate

There is a myth that is quite popular in some countries with hot climate, even among mechanics - "cooling system's thermostat is not needed in the car". 
This believe is not necessarily true even though the importance of the thermostat is not as much as it is in a car in a cold climate. 
Listed below are some of the effects of thermostat delete;

The engine does not warm up on time. One function of the thermostat is preventing the coolant from circulation until the engine has attained a particular temperature. When the thermostat is not in place, the coolant begins to circulate right from the moment the engine is started. This extends the time the engine takes to attain operating temperature. The cooler the ambient temperature, the more time it will ..

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Car kickstarter relay solenoid teardown - Inside the kickstarter solenoid

Car kickstarter relay solenoid teardown - Inside the kickstarter solenoid

This blog post is meant to satisfy the curiosity of people who may have wondered what is in the kickstarter solenoid. The solenoid is often a sealed unit such that once it develops a fault, it is simply replaced. 
We cut one kickstarter solenoid open with a hand saw as shown in the image of this post. The part that is often problematic which is the high current relay contact is our area of interest.
 
Sometimes, when the solenoid fails, we hear only a click sound when we attempt to start the car. This is because the relay contact has failed.
Why is this relay necessary? 
This relay is there because the kickstarter is meant to work only during engine cranking period. The kickstarter is fed electrical energy and this energy is then converted to mecha..

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Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) turns chocolate brown or mud-like

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) turns chocolate brown or mud-like

Automatic transmissions are very delicate part of automobiles. They ought to be handled with care and owner or users ought to have a good level of maintenance culture. 
One of the practices that kill automatic transmissions is the use of incompatible automatic transmission fluid in the transmission of a hybrid car. 
Automatic transmission fluids transform in different ways depending on the cause, ranging from age, overuse, water intrusion into the transmission, transmission overheat, clutch wear, incorrect fluid and so on. .. 
The one we shall discuss here is quite uncommon and that is automatic transmission fluid looking like chocolate or mud. 
We are going to be using a case study; a 2010 model Toyota camry hybrid. 
Before we as..

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Causes of burnt or blown cell in hybrid vehicle battery pack

Causes of burnt or blown cell in hybrid vehicle battery pack

One might wonder what can possibly cause just a single cell to get blown amongst many other cells in a hybrid vehicle battery pack. Users who encounter this situation are left with questions rather than answers. Even technicians are sometimes at loss on the cause of this type of situation.
There are two major causes of blown hybrid pack cell. I will explain them one after the other.

High terminal resistance: As the hybrid vehicle and the battery pack age, the terminals of the cells develop high resistance due to the connection of the cells. Normally, preventive maintenance cleaning should be done on these terminals to ensure good contact and uniform resistance of the terminals across the cells. Now, let us look into how the high resistance causes a cell to get blown. From basic o..

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How to clean cooling  system that is contaminated with engine oil or transmission oil

How to clean cooling system that is contaminated with engine oil or transmission oil

A very frustrating situation can arise where either the engine oil or automatic transmission fluid finds its way into the cooling system and mixes with the coolant solution.
This can happen through the following;

Leaking cylinder head gasket
Cracked cylinder head
Faulty engine oil cooler
Faulty transmission oil cooler
Human error (pouring engine oil into the coolant reservoir or expansion tank) 

Removing oil from the cooling system can be a very difficult task to accomplish and it is one that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. 
Luckily, commonly available dishwashers are very effective for getting rid of oil from the cooling system.
Before starting this cleaning process, ensure that the cause of the coolant and oil mixing is al..

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