Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Interview with Michael: All About Brakes, Part I

by Colette Cooley, Cars for Keeps Office Manager

Michael Chan is our head mechanic at Cars For Keeps. It has been noted and commented on that Michael makes a few extra steps when he's doing a brake job, so I asked him what he does special when replacing the brakes on a car. His first reply was, “I do them fast”.

He also said, “These days when a cars brake pads need replacing, the rotors are usually down to their minimum specifications and the cost of replacing them versus the cost to have them turned is fairly close anyway, and it is good to put new to new together so both surfaces are correct." Michael went on to explain that when he's doing front brake pads and rotors, the hardware really should be changed out for new as well, but if the customer declines, "I will clean them up to get the corrosion off, then put a special lubricant on the slides and hardware to make sure it slides free and clear. "

When Michael takes the rotors off the hub, they are almost coated in corrosion, so he uses another special corrosion hub cleaner on it that gives it "a nice and true surface to mount the rotors, which cuts down on premature wear on the rotors." According to Michael, if the incorrect lubricant is used you may as well not bother cleaning the hub. "You must make sure all the caliper pins are lubricated correctly so as not to get uneven wear on the brake pads. We make sure the tire pressure is at spec on all brake jobs.”

I asked him what people can do to get the optimal performance life out of their brakes, and he came up with a surprising answer which will be covered in next week's blog - so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact or compact cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, with over 35 million sold as of 2007. Over the past 40 years, one Corolla car has been sold on average every 40 seconds. The series has undergone several major redesigns.
The name Corolla is part of Toyota's naming tradition of using the name Crown for primary models the Corona, for example, gets its name from the Latin for crown Corolla is Latin for small crown; and Camry is an Anglicized pronunciation of the Japanese for crown, kanmuri.
Corollas are manufactured in Japan and in Brazil (Indaiatuba, São Paulo), Canada (Cambridge, Ontario), China (Tianjin), India (Bangalore), Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom (Derbyshire) and Venezuela. Production has previously been made in Australia (Victoria). Production in the United States (Fremont, California) ended in March 2010.
The Corolla's chassis designation code is "E", as described in Toyota's chassis and engine codes.

Sam Mitani

Sam Mitani (born May 29, 1966) is a Japanese American writer and author, best known for his work as International Editor for Road and Track magazine. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mitani moved to the United States at the age of two.
His responsibilities include covering and test driving cars from around the world. His expertise and knowledge on Japanese automobiles makes him one of the foremost authority about these popular imports from Asia. He was the first Asian American senior staff member of an English language major automobile publication.
Mitani has also been published in magazines in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. He currently writes a monthly column for XaCAR, and regularly contributes to Best Car, two of Japan’s most popular auto magazines.
His travels around the world inspired him to author a book, Fielding's Malaysia & Singapore The Adventurer's Guide to the Wonders of Malaysia and Singapore. He also co-authored a book about traveling in Asia titled Fielding’s Far East.
Mitani also appears as a guest host for the Best Motoring DVD series. He also has an Emmy Award to his credit for his hosting of the Los Angeles Motor Show for KABC’s Eye on LA television series.
As part of his job, he participated in a number of adventurous races. He ran in the Dakar Rally in 1996 (then known as the Granda to Dakar Rally), as well as two stints in the Malaysian jungle in the Trans Peninsula Rally. He also drove in the Baja 2000, an off-road race through the famous desert peninsula. Also of note, he was part of the first American motorcycle tour of Vietnam since the war. The exploits of this trek was chronicled in Cycle World magazine.
In 2010, he set a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in a Suzuki Kizashi, going 203.7 mph. This run also qualified him to join the exclusive 200 MPH Club.
A practitioner of judo, Mitani holds a 4th-degree black belt he also placed as high as third place at the World Masters Championship International Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

SEAT Ibiza

The SEAT Ibiza is a car in the European supermini class, constructed by the Spanish car maker SEAT S.A., is SEAT's best-selling car and perhaps the most popular model in the Spanish firm's range.
The name Ibiza itself comes from the Spanish island of Ibiza, and its use in SEAT's supermini car inaugurated the firm's new nomenclature in naming models after Spanish locations.
It was introduced in the 1984 Paris Motor Show as the first car developed by SEAT as an independent company, though it was designed by SEAT S.A. in collaboration with well-known firms such as Italdesign, Karmann and Porsche. From the Mk2 version onwards, the SEAT company formed part of the German automotive industry concern Volkswagen Group, and all further Ibiza generations, like the rest of the SEAT model range, have been built on Volkswagen Group platforms, parts and technologies.
The Ibiza spans today four generations, among which it has debuted twice in its second as well as in its fourth generation - a new platform of the Volkswagen Group. All of them were the top seller model in SEAT's range, and a rebadged redeveloped version of the first generation Ibiza remains under licence still in production in China by the Chinese automaker Nanjing Automobile Group.
The Ibiza has been available in either three or five-door hatchback variants and since 1993, saloon, coupé and estate versions are sold as the SEAT Córdoba.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Car Headlight Cleaning: Improving Nighttime Driving Visibility on the Cheap

by Rob Hopp, Cars for Keeps Owner

As the days grow shorter and nighttime driving increases, I figured it was the right time to discuss night vision.

Did you know that the headlamps on your car, truck or SUV fade over the years and miles? The sand and other debris they are constantly blasted with create layer upon layer of tiny scratches over the years, causing the headlights to be glazed with a haze that impairs the light output. In other words, your car's headlights inevitably become duller - and less safe - over the years. Dull and hazy headlights are dangerous for nighttime driving, and they're also unattractive on your vehicle.

When the automobile was first invented, early headlamps
in the late 1880s were fueled by acetylene or oil, similar to the standard household lamps of the time. The first electric headlamps were introduced in 1898 on the Columbia Electric Car by the Electric Vehicle Company of Hartford, Connecticut, and were optional.

Today's automotive headlights are much more effective. The old, relatively flat glass headlight styles that were introduced in 1940 remained relatively unchanged until about 1983, when the U.S. Government first allowed the use of plastics in headlamp design. Plastic headlights combined with newer electric technology allowed the more powerful light output we're used to today. Not only do our modern plastic headlights improve car headlight durability and light output - they're also much easier to maintain.

Many drivers continue to drive as their ability to see in low light or dark conditions is degraded more and more as the plastic erodes. The loss of vision is so gradual, it is easy to ignore. Car owners who do inquire about replacing the lamps or lenses are shocked to find that they often cost over four hundred dollars EACH!

car headlight restorationMaintaining a safe level of nighttime visibility shouldn't be out of the average driver's budget range. That's why Cars for Keeps offers an inexpensive solution. Using a patented four step restoration process, we can restore most dull headlamps to a like new condition in about an hour - at a fraction of the cost of headlight replacement.

If you’re vehicle's headlamps aren’t crystal clear, give Cars for Keeps a call today to see how we can help you keep the car!

Happy & safe driving!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ford Mustang First generation

As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project supervising the overall development of the car in a record 18 months while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed a Taunus (Ford Germany) V4 engine and was very similar in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero. It was claimed that the decision to abandon the two-seat design was in part due to the low sales experienced with the 2-seat 1955 Thunderbird. To broaden market appeal it was later remodeled as a four-seat car (with full space for the front bucket seats, as originally planned, and a rear bench seat with significantly less space than was common at the time). A "Fastback 2+2" model traded the conventional trunk space for increased interior volume as well as giving exterior lines similar to those of the second series of the Corvette Sting Ray and European sports cars such as the Jaguar E-Type.The "Fastback 2+2" was not available as a 1964½ model, but was first manufactured on August 18, 1964.
The new design was styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster in Ford's Lincoln – Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca.

Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie.
To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components, many of which were already in production for other Ford models. Many (if not most) of the interior, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from those used on Ford's Falcon and Fairlane. This use of common components also shortened the learning curve for assembly and repair workers, while at the same time allowing dealers to pick up the Mustang without also having to spend massive amounts of money on spare parts inventories to support the new car line.

Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed in three months from rollout.Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year (a record),[28] and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built.[26] All of these were VIN-identified as 1965 models, but several changes were made at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning August 1964), including the addition of back-up lights on some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, and an upgrade of the V8 engine from 260 cu in (4.3 l) to 289 cu in (4.7 l) displacement. In the case of at least some six-cylinder Mustangs fitted with the 101 hp (75 kW) 170 cu in (2.8 l) Falcon engine, the rush into production included some unusual quirks, such as a horn ring bearing the 'Ford Falcon' logo beneath a trim ring emblazoned with 'Ford Mustang.' These characteristics made enough difference to warrant designation of the 121,538 earlier ones as "1964½" model-year Mustangs, a distinction that has endured with purists.
All of the features added to the "1965" model were available as options or developmental modification to the "1964½" model, which in some cases led to "mix-and-match" confusion as surprised Ford exec hurriedly ramped up production by taking over lines originally intended for other car models' 1965 years. Some cars with 289 engines which were not given the chrome fender badges denoting the larger engine, and more than one car left the plant with cutouts for back-up lights but no lights nor the later wiring harness needed to operate them. While these would today be additional-value collectors' items, most of these oddities were corrected at the dealer level, sometimes only after buyers had noticed them.. The 1966 model was basically unchanged, but featured revised side scoops, as well as the deletion of the four bars protruding from the Mustang emblem in the grille. The Falcon-based instrument cluster was replaced with a sportier unit designed specially for the Mustang.

For 1967, the Mustang retained the original body structure but styling was refreshed, giving the Mustang a more massive look overall. Front and rear end styling was more pronounced, and the "twin cove" instrument panel offered a thicker crash pad, and larger gauges. Hardtop, fastback and convertible body styles continued as before. A host of Federal safety features were standard that year, including an energy-absorbing steering column and wheel, with thick center pad, 4-way emergency flashers, and softer interior knobs. For 1968, the 1967 body style continued, but with revised the side scoops. Side marker lights were also added that year, along with shoulder belts for front passengers on cars built after January 1, 1968. The 1968 model also introduced a new V8 engine, the 302. This small-block engine was designed for Federal emissions standards that were to take effect, and ended up being used in large number of other Ford cars for many decades.

In 1969, Mustang received an even larger body. While still popular, the original "pony car" was getting ever larger, and by 1973, many considered it bulky and clumsy, despite the avaialability of a big-block 429 cubic-inch V8.

Automotive Car. Powered by Blogger.
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More