Exploring Your Car: 3 Lesser-Known Parts and What They Do

auto parts

Are you one of those people who want to know how cars work but can’t figure it out? Maybe your knowledge doesn’t span beyond tires, the engine and steering wheel. Or maybe you consider yourself something of a handyman and know your way around your car’s inner-workings.

The average car is made up of 30,000 parts, and many of them aren’t easily visible. Understanding some of technology behind your vehicle can make your next repair a lot easier, or at least impress your mechanic the next time you have to take your car to the shop. Let’s get under the hood and take a look at these three lesser-known car parts.

Camshaft

Camshafts open and close your car engine’s valves to let air and fuel in and let exhaust gas out. These rotating metal parts use lobes called cams to apply pressure against different valves.

A lack of oil or other damage to the area could cause them to malfunction, but for the most part, you can expect your car’s camshaft to stay up and running.

Turbo Charger

Often referred to as simply a turbo, this part of your car forces extra air into the combustion chamber to increase your vehicle’s internal combustion and power output. The purpose of a turbo charger is to increase your engine’s efficiency.

Not all cars have turbocharged energy, so you should keep your eyes out when shopping for a new model. Turbocharged engines are more fuel efficient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save more money on gas. It really depends on how you drive and what speed you average.

Catalytic Converter

Air pollution is a major problem across the U.S., especially in large cities with constant streams of heavy traffic. In order to cut back on the amount of pollutants being expelled from vehicles, the catalytic converter was created in 1975.

The part’s sole purpose is to filter harmful toxins from a car’s emissions before they’re released. While small and simple, the catalytic converter makes a major contribution to our well-being.

Some people are natural car buffs while others are just curious tinkerers. Learning more about your vehicle online or from an experienced professional is a great way to maximize its personal value to you and help you better understand how you can utilize it. Read guides, check out YouTube videos and pop open your own hood to take a look around and learn the ins and outs of your vehicle. Soon, you’ll be discussing cars like a pro.

How Smart Mechanics Organize Their Garage

organize garage

Mechanics have detail-oriented and technical minds. They know how to do things well. They know how to do things the right way, too. If you’re an intelligent mechanic who wants to optimize your workspace, then you should focus on strong organizational practices. A neat and user-friendly garage can be the key to daily success as a mechanic, after all.

Intelligent Mechanics Invest in Storage Cabinets

High-quality storage cabinets are a must-have for mechanics who wish to store all of their supplies and tools. It’s crucial for mechanics to invest in heavy duty storage cabinets that are strong and dependable. Flimsy cabinets cannot accommodate bulky parts reliably. They tend to deteriorate rapidly, too. That’s the last thing that busy mechanics need.

Intelligent Mechanics Depend on Storage Bins

If you’re a mechanic who lacks the space for storage cabinets, you don’t have to worry. That’s because you can always turn to the convenience of storage bins. Storage bins are often extremely roomy. Mechanics can place them in all different parts of their garages if necessary, too. Mechanics can safeguard pliers, screwdrivers, brake cleaner formulas, socket adapters, oil filter wrenches and more inside of storage bins. These bins are available in many convenient sizes.

Intelligent Mechanics Go for Storage Unit Rental

Mechanics sometimes have rare tools or parts that they don’t have to use frequently. If you want to stop certain things from unnecessarily taking up space inside of your garage, you should think about going for storage unit rental. Renting a unit that’s accessible through a storage facility can free up a lot of wonderful room in your garage. It can make it simpler for you to access things you use daily as well.

Intelligent Mechanics Get Rid of Annoying Clutter

Few things can be more unpleasant and bothersome than miscellaneous items that waste valuable garage space. If you’re a mechanic who wants to organize your garage well, you should take the time to take care of any clutter you discover. If you find tools that you’ll never use, donate or toss them. If you find random objects that people gave you years and years ago, donate or toss them, too. A tidy garage is essential for mechanics who are committed to success.

Intelligent mechanics are methodical individuals. They’re also people who comprehend the undeniable power of organization. If you want to thrive as a mechanic, you need to keep your garage orderly at all times.

5 Reasons to Choose the Subaru Crosstrek Over Its Competition

subaru crosstrek

Sedan-based crossovers are the current flavor of the season, and for good reason. For car buyers looking at comfort and mileage for a city commute along with the ruggedness and power of an off-roader, a crossover is a wonderful choice.

A crossover like the new Subaru Crosstrek however, is a league apart within this category.

World-renowned Subaru engineering, a captivating design, upgraded suspension along with superior on-road performance, and intelligent features will make you fall in love with this vehicle. All this and more put Subaru miles ahead of competitors in the category.

Let’s take a look at five reasons to choose the Subaru Crosstrek over its competition.

Fuel Economy

The Crosstrek is equipped with a Subaru Boxer engine, providing more balanced, predictable handling and a smoother, quieter ride due to its unique, horizontal layout. It is a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine offering 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft of torque.

Wit this engine on the 6-speed manual transmission, the Crosstrek will get an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon when your driving in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. However, if you opt for the Limited version, you’re Crosstrek will have the Lineartronic CVT Transmission. When driving in automatic mode this transmission naturally adjust to match your acceleration, eliminating the need to shift and preserving the vehicle’s momentum. This added touch jumps your expected mpg to 27 in the city and 33 on the highway.

In comparison, the Toyota RAV4, Jeep Compass, Nissan JUKE, and Honda BR-V (CVT grade), to name a few, rep comparatively lower numbers.

All-Wheel Drive System

On cars with a manual transmission, the AWD system uses a mechanical viscous coupling center differential that evenly distributes power 50:50 front to rear. Models equipped with the CVT automatic use a more advanced electronic system that can vary torque distribution for better traction. The result either way is a superior grip on road or off-road surfaces, with maximum power, fuel efficiency, and safety guaranteed.

The key difference between the Subaru Crosstrek and its competitors is that Subaru offers the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard on every single grade. This feature is available at an extra cost on other car brands, or isn’t even available as an option in some cases.

Ground Clearance

One of the ways Subaru has set itself apart with the Subaru Crosstrek is also its superior ground clearance. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and available X-MODE® with Hill Descent Control — which electronically optimizes the engine, transmission, and other systems for increased traction in slippery conditions — Crosstrek ensures a superior driving experience even on uneven surfaces.

The ground clearance puts it higher off the ground than a Chevrolet Tahoe, and matched up with the heavier, shorter Jeep Renegade. Add to that a suspension that soaks up all the bumps, ruts, and rocks you may encounter very comfortably.

Customization & Comfort

The smartly designed 2019 Crosstrek provides a surprisingly spacious interior with up to 100.9 cubic feet of passenger volume in a compact SUV that remains agile and conveniently sized. A wide rear gate opening makes bigger gear easier to load and with 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, you can fit three in the back with both rear seat-backs up, or fold a seat down for extra cargo space.

The end result is that the Subaru Crosstrek provides more head, leg, and shoulder room than its competitors the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Nissan JUKE, Toyota RAV4, the difference being significantly more so in some case. It also provides more trunk space than most, along with standard roof rails in all grades.

STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Pandora integration comes standard on the 2019 Crosstrek. Wireless pairing and hands-free smartphone operation allow for safe and easy connection to your favorite apps and content.

Also available is an inbuilt TomTom navigation system, along with an 8-inch touchscreen. 18-inch alloy wheels and a Harman Kardon Premium Audio system are available on the Limited trim.

Safety

Subaru has a long-standing dedication and commitment to top-level safety in each and every vehicle built. Every Crosstrek is equipped with stability control, electronic traction, and anti-lock brakes. There is also a rearview monitor plus a total of seven airbags including front, front side-impact, front and rear side curtain, and driver’s knee airbag.

The 2019 Crosstrek offers the newly updated STARLINK Safety and Security system. This advanced technology helps keep you and your Subaru safe whether you’re in your vehicle, at your computer, or on your mobile device. This is standard on the Premium and Limited trims.

The Subaru Crosstrek also features a surfeit of safety options, including Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic pre-collision braking. Headlights with steering-response and high-beam assist are available to help drivers see in low to no light conditions, while reverse automatic braking helps avoid accidents to a large extent.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both presented the 2019 Crosstrek top marks in almost every category during crash tests. With a 5-star overall rating from the government and a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS when equipped with the EyeSight system, the Subaru Crosstrek is one of the most recognized and safest vehicles in the category.

With all of these features, the Subaru Crosstrek trims still come at a price point that is highly competitive, making it one of the most financial responsible choices as well. Add to that Subaru’s reliability and the promise of a top-quality service and you’ve got yourself an absolute winner.   

So are you ready for test drive? Try out the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek today. It’ll be worth you time! 

Avoid Breakdowns: 4 Signs of Major Car Issues Ahead

auto breakdowns

There’s nothing worse than hopping in your car to go someplace fun (or to work, I guess) only to turn the key and discover that it won’t start. Even worse, you could be on the road and suddenly see smoke pouring from the hood. Car problems are inevitable, but you can prevent unexpected disasters and huge repair bills by catching problems early. Below, read about four signs that you could be on your way to a major car problem.

Your Engine Revs More than Usual

Cars make a lot of noises, but if you notice that your engine is revving more than usual, that could be a sign that your clutch is slipping. You might also notice the tachometer accelerating faster than the speedometer. If your clutch is slipping, it’s likely that it is too worn out to engage properly. If you let this problem go on for too long, you could burn out your flywheel, which will mean a heftier mechanic bill. It’s best to have your clutch serviced or gearbox repaired at a professional shop.

Your Fuel Economy is Taking a Dive

It’s always a good idea to have a basic understanding of how far your car can go on a full tank of gas. If you find yourself filling up more frequently, it could be a problem with your compression stroke. One simple fix for this is using a fuel cleaner from any parts store. You could also have your fuel system serviced by a mechanic.

Your Car’s Lights Dim

If you’re driving slowly and the headlights and dashboard lights get noticeably dimmer, that could be a sign of an electrical problem. The battery, alternator, or voltage regulator could be the culprit. Many auto parts stores can check your battery, but for alternator or voltage regulator issues, you’ll need to have the problem diagnosed by a mechanic.

Your Brake Pedal Vibrates

If you drive regularly, you should get a feel for how your brakes usually act. If you notice vibrating when you push down on the pedal, you could have a problem. There are a few possible causes: worn or damaged brake pads, bad brake discs, poor alignment, or worn suspension components. You should check each of these for issues. If not fixed, brake vibrations can lead to significant rotor issues down the line.

Even if you aren’t particularly car-savvy, you should be aware of basic car maintenance. Keep an eye out for these four problems, and you’re on your way to being a responsible car owner!

How to Select a Car in Your Price Range

car price range

A car is one of the fundamental resources required for fulfilled adult life in the twenty-first century. It enables you to easily commute to work, to pick up the supplies you need from the store, and to visit family and friends whenever you want.

It’s also a considerable investment, and as such, you’ll want to be well-prepared when going in to negotiate the purchase of a new or used vehicle to supplement your lifestyle. This guide talks you through this process so that you get the very best deal for your budget.

Used or New?

This is perhaps the first question you should ask yourself when buying a car. It’s also incredibly complex; some new cars will last as long as used ones, though sometimes used cars will clap out within a year or two of your purchasing it.

You’ll have to bear in mind maintenance costs, too, which can often be incredibly pricey on older, used cars. In general, you’re looking to the maintenance history and the mileage to see whether the used car you’re looking at will be better value than a new model.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Insurance

    Insurance rates vary wildly between vehicles as well as between individuals. An older driver with little-to-no claims in their insurance history will find it relatively easy and cheap to secure insurance for all kinds of vehicles; a young driver with a recent history of accidents may not be able to secure insurance on some types of vehicle.

    It’s important to get some quotes from insurance companies before buying your chosen car, in order to understand the additional costs you’ll be tied to in insuring yourself to drive. Oftentimes, a less-powerful, reliable car will be your cheapest bet.

  • Finance

    Nowadays, you’ll not be required to purchase your car outright – you’ll be able to buy it on finance. For those with bad credit car finance can be secured by anyone thanks to online providers.

    If you’re in need of a vehicle with urgency, perhaps because of a new job to which you’ll have to commute, finance might be your best bet if you’ve not quite got the funds to buy outright. You’ll pay a little extra for the pleasure, but it’ll come out of your monthly paycheck just like rent, so shouldn’t put too heavy a dent into your finances.

  • Performance

    If you’re car shopping simply for an upgrade, then it’s time to talk performance. What is it that you wish to upgrade – in-car entertainment, speed, and horsepower, or ride comfort? Do your research online in order to get an idea of which cars are currently rated as the best value in the market, and go from there.

    It’s not unusual for individuals to buy vehicles for the way they look, but be careful as some looks can be deceiving. At the end of the day, your car needs to perform its function, so you should read into the performance statistics and figures before putting pen to paper.

These tips to selecting your next car on a budget will help you make the right decision for your price range.