Education

Drivetrain Quiz

Your car's drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component, and key to dependability. It's responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels. The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), U-joints, CV joints, differential and axles.

Consumers Can Avoid Problems by Watching for Warning Signs

When it comes to your car's safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware of the signs that indicate a car's brakes may need maintenance or repair.

For routine maintenance, it's important to check the vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Citizens and Vehicles, Getting Older, Working Harder

Thanks in part to advancements in health care, our 65 and over population, presently at 13% of the total, will be 20% by 2030 (source Washington Post). Technology has worked wonders in extending the life of our vehicles, too. Median car life has nearly doubled to more than 9 years. “As a result of technology the quarter million mile vehicle no long is a miracle,” says Rich White of the Car Care Council. Engines and drive trains are superbly refined, as are fuels and lubricants. Equipment developments and the personnel training to go along with them have added to this formula for long life.

Bad News: An Engine “Totaled” Good News: A Remanufactured Engine

It was among travelers’ worst nightmares and a very expensive trip for this motorist. His beloved pickup blew the engine and had to be towed 250 miles home. The temperature gauge didn’t work, nor did the check engine light. By the time he realized the engine was overheated the damage was done.

Myth: Only New Car Dealers Can Do Warranty Service.

True or false: Until your vehicle is out-of-warranty, all maintenance services must be done at the car dealership or your factory warranty will be void. Although you may have answered “true,” the correct answer is “false,” according to the Car Care Council. It’s the law that independent repair shops can provide the services to maintain your new car warranty.

Take Control of Your Vehicle’s Safety - Check Its Suspension

Like your car’s brake system, the steering and suspension systems are key to your car's safety. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. The Car Care Council recommends having your vehicle’s steering and suspension systems checked regularly, at least once a year and usually with a wheel alignment.

Ceramics: The Next Stop In Breaks?

A new, innovative brake pad technology is keeping drivers happy and making the jobs of brake installers easier.

Noise, vibration and brake dust concerns have historically been the greatest causes of customer angst after a brake job. Today, however, advanced ceramic brake pads are alleviating these issues for a growing number of drivers and eliminating frustrating comebacks to repair shops.

Replace Your Vehicle’s Belts, Hoses Regularly

Losing a belt today can mean big trouble for the engine because serpentine belts are used on most engines to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. If a belt snaps, everything is lost and you may be stranded. Older cars use individual V-belts for these various accessories. A blown hose could result in an overheated engine and can cause additional engine damage.

When Brakes Talk, Drivers Should Listen

When it comes to driving safely, it’s easy to take your vehicle’s ability to stop for granted – until you really need it.

According to brake expert Akebono, your brakes often reveal possible serious situations when they make noise, pull, judder – another term for vibrate – or feel soft. Addressing these symptoms promptly enhances your safety and may save time and money in the long run.

Plenty of Opportunities for Careers in Auto Repair

An indisputable fact of American life: our enduring love affair with our vehicles, some defining this as our freedom of mobility. Freedom becomes the active word.

Another fact of American life is our shortage of people to repair these 233 million vehicles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' forecasts that repair shops nationwide face an annual shortage of about 35,000 auto technicians through 2010.

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