7
Apr

The Top 3 Ways To Increase Motorcycle Performance

Let’s face it. If you own a motorcycle chances are that you’re thinking about performance. Motorcycles have been around since the early 20th century and since their inception people have been trying to increase their power. These 3 easy and inexpensive modifications will not only increase your motorcycle’s performance but give you confidence and know-how to keep your bike in top shape.

Air Filters

Motorcycle performance starts with air and air filters are the first point of contact your engine has with the outside world. Air flow plays a critical part in your engine’s performance and a simple way to think about this is; more air = more power but more air = worse filtration so you’ve got to play the balancing game to find the right mix.

Stock airboxes on most bikes are quite adequate but a simple upgrade can quickly increase horsepower as these focus mainly on filtration and not performance. The trick is not to let too much air in because it may contain contaminates that could be harmful to your engine. Race bikes use very unrestricted air filtration because they are strictly focused on power and more air equals more power but they also breakdown and rebuild engines constantly and that’s not what I want to spend every weekend doing, I want to ride! And remember, keep your filters clean and you’ll keep your bike happy.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs make your motorcycle’s world go ’round, that is to say without them it wouldn’t go ’round at all and quality spark plugs can help your motorcycle’s performance a great deal. Spark plugs need to be changed out 20-30 thousand miles according to manufacturers standards but a great deal depends on how hard you ride. If you are a more aggressive rider you may need to change them more frequently and since they are relatively inexpensive they are well worth it to improve motorcycle performance.

The top choices in spark plugs today are platinum and iridium, both are well advanced of the copper relics providing better power and longevity. Benefits of new spark plugs include: Optimal combustion, better fuel economy, smooth and easy starts and better emissions. These are all key when it comes to your bike’s engine and how long it will last and how well it will perform.

Fuel

Fuel plays a very important role in motorcycle performance. Use the wrong fuel and you could be sacrificing power, performance, and even the life of your motorcycle. Premium fuels have less additives that could potentially harm your bike and have a higher octane rating translating into more power, a cleaner burn and a healthier motorcycle.

Prolonged exposure to subprime fuels can have lingering effects on your motorcycle. Pinging, knocking and backfiring are all potential side effects from using a lower quality fuel. Motorcycles are high-powered machines that require the best gas to run optimally and by using high quality fuel you can ensure that your motorcycle will perform at it’s best.

If you use these 3 performance tips you can be sure that you’ll increase power, lower service intervals and stretch the life of your motorcycle all while giving you an increase level of confidence and enjoyment. Each of these have a litany of options so be sure to do some research and find out what parts match your riding style and your desired outcomes. Motorcycle performance has everything to do with the rider and without a rider it’s just a pretty paperweight.

7
Apr

The Best Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

A motorcycle maintained in top form is always a safe one to ride on. Following a set of rules when it comes to the maintenance of motorcycles will help in keeping the vehicle in top form. This will in turn aid in the smooth functioning of the motorcycle making it safe to ride.

Keeping the bike clean and rust free is the most important rule. This is the first step of maintaining the bike. On cleaning a bike you would be paying a lot of attention to the various parts and would easily be able to identify a faulty part. This will help in replacement which improves the ride.

Cleaning of the motorbike can either be done with or without water. When using water it is always wise to use plain water and a soft cloth. One can use a little bit of mild detergent but care must be taken to avoid overuse of soap. This detergent has to be dissolved completely in a bucket of water. It is absolutely not recommended to spray water with pressure because then the water might get into some of the sensitive electrical parts and ruin it. Particular care is to be taken to avoid spraying water into the air filter area.

It is advisable to avoid dissolving the chain lubricant when using detergent because it might get washed and if this happens ensure to lubricate it again before riding. Looking at the tires and wheels can give you indication of excessive wear and tear which needs to be replaced at once.

The surface of the bike is prone to damage on exposure to the sun and various chemicals therefore it is better to apply a wax coat over the painted surface. The availability of thin-film covers in the market made of urethane clear membranes helps reduce damage caused. This will also give the bike a glossy look preventing the yellowing of the bike with age.

Polishing the bike with wax requires a lot of consideration. The wax polish needs to be resistant to high temperature because the machine working expels heat. Care has to be taken to choose chrome resistant polish on chrome surfaces to prevent damage and scratching on the chrome based areas.

Plastics and vinyl parts need to be cleaned using particular products intended for that purpose. Using of petrol for cleaning purposes is not recommended at all. Ensure the protection of your bike by covering it completely when not in use.

7
Apr

Care And Maintenance Tips For Your Dirt Bike This Winter Season

The winter season can bring out the lazy side in almost everyone. However, before you get ready to relax and enjoy the cold season in the comforts of your home, if you are a dirt bike enthusiast, you should take the precautionary steps to make sure your motorcycle is properly protected and stored this winter.

To make sure that your ride will be ready to go when the snow starts to melt, follow these useful dirt bike care, maintenance, and storage tips:

If your bike has a carburetor, drain the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor bowl. To do this right, keep the gas cap off completely for 24 hours to dry everything out. If you don’t, there will be some leftover fuel. This usually turns tacky and just ends up blocking the jets which, of course, can affect the running efficiency or performance of your motorbike.

Remove old oil. Over time, a running engine’s oil changes from a clean, gold-colored fluid to dirty, black sludge. In just a few months’ time, the contaminants in old oil can corrode into some engine parts and do some serious damage. As such, don’t forget to change the oil and filter plug before storing your ride this winter season to avoid a troublesome situation later on.

Consider running the bike for a few minutes every week. By following this tip, you will prevent fuel from “sleeping,” and if you rev the bike up several times a week, fuel would course through the jets and this will keep the jets clean throughout the winter.

Look after the bike’s tires. If possible, store your bike with the tires off the ground. This is because taking the weight off your wheels is the best way to avoid flat spots or uneven wear. If this is not, possible, fill your tires to the maximum recommended volume, put your ride on its center stand, and rotate the front tire once a week to keep the flat spots away.

Wash, dry, and wax your dirt bike before storing it. In general, the metal on your motorcycle tends to accumulate moisture, which can easily cause rust if your dirt bike is left unattended for a long period of time. Washing, painstakingly drying, and waxing your dirt bike before putting it away for the winter will help prevent corrosion and other damage.

Lastly, if you have a battery-powered bike, make sure to maintain the battery’s charge. You can take out the battery, but this can be too much work for you. As such, simply charge the battery every week whenever you start the bike to prevent fuel from sleeping.

7
Apr

4 Car Diagnostic Tools You Need To Have

The modern cars are complex and require some expertise to know the problems that they are having. The cool thing is that there are many tools in the market that you can go with in order to identify the problems that your car has. These tools include:

Multimeter

A multimeter helps you to test the electrical current throughout your car. The sensors on your car convert the multimeter readings to voltages that the car computer can understand. Using the tool you will be able to check the sensor’s output voltage in order to verify a faulty wiring system. You will also be able to know if your system has a bad part that is creating out-of-spec signals that might be problematic in the future.

Vacuum-pressure gauge

The tool helps you to identify a problem in your engine. When the engine has problems, the problem is usually due to fuel, air or spark. The tool covers the air department so that you are able to work through the maze of vacuum lines in order to identify a leak or cracked tube that might be causing problems.

Fuel pressure gauge

The unit helps you to know whether the engine is getting enough or too much fuel. This helps you to eliminate some of the problems that your engine might be having.

OBD code reader

If you own a car you know the panic that comes in when the “Check Engine” light comes on. The first thing that many car owners do is rush to the nearest garage to have the car inspected. With the OBD code reader, you no longer have to panic when the light comes on. All you need to do is connect the tool to your car and you will know the exact problem that your car is having. This saves you money as you don’t have to hire someone to do it for you. You also avoid the guess work game that results in more problems.

There are many types of OBD code readers in the market that you can go for. You only need to choose the one that is ideal for you. If you want the most advanced tools, there are those that connect to your phone and send you all the details that you need to know about your car.

7
Apr

5 Tips for Saving Money on Auto Repair Services

To survive in the current harsh economy, one needs to come up with ways of reducing expenses. Auto repair services are expensive, especially if the car is severely damaged. Car owners need to come up with ways of reducing the amount of money that they spend on these services. Here are some golden tips on how to save money on auto services.

Check the Owner’s Manual

Most cars come with a scheduled maintenance guide that lists all maintenance tasks that should be done regularly. Taking time to read this manual can give one insight on how and when to spend money on repairs. The maintenance is recommended by the car manufacturer and is dependent on the car model.

Locate a Reputable Repair Shop

The best repair shops are committed to providing nothing but the best auto repair services to their clients at an affordable price. Such shops are run by certified personnel who have the skills and expertise required to install, repair, and maintain various parts of the car such as brakes, suspension, and steering. Consult family, friends, and coworkers to find the right shop. The internet is another reliable platform that one can use for research.

Carry Out Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance refers to procedures that are done to reduce the risk of other serious issues. An oil change will go a long way in increasing the efficiency of the engine. To get a clear perspective of the quality of services, evaluate the manner in which the technicians perform the maintenance. The best shops can generate a list of maintenance services that are related to the car’s model and the current mileage listing. People who are on a tight budget should pare down the list and request only the most crucial tasks.

Monitor Warning Signs

Technological advancement has led to the development of computerized systems that monitor the functionalism of various parts of the vehicle. For instance, if the “check engine” light comes on after starting the car, one should have it checked by a professional to avert secondary mechanical issues such as total engine failure. Reading and understanding the user’s manual will help one interpret the warning signs correctly.

Get Discount Parts Online

Hundreds of accredited websites sell replacement car parts at discounted prices. However, one should be vigilant not to fall prey to fake online platforms that sell counterfeit parts at reduced costs. It is recommended to carry out background research on the site before placing the order. More importantly, check if the parts are compatible with the car to avoid regrets down the road.

Finally, learning how to do some simple auto repair tasks can reduce expenses significantly. There are a ton of reading materials and videos online that one can access to get information and skills on how to do some vehicle repairs correctly.

7
Apr

Seven Tips For Finding Excellent Car Service

The best car service is preventative, not patchwork. The last thing car owners need nowadays, with increasingly busy schedules, is frequent trips to the mechanic. It’s especially frustrating with easily fixed or recurring problems. Here are some tips to avoid breaking the bank the next time your vehicle breaks down.

Check Out Reviews First

With the spread of customer reviews on the internet, it’s quite easy for a consumer to find personal accounts of a business with a quick search. On occasion, reviews will be staged or not representative of the service, but a perusal of a range of reviews may give you a reasonable expectation of what to expect. An old fashioned review from a trusted friend – especially a car lover – never hurts, either. You can’t put a price on experience.

Shop Around

Most mechanics will offer free estimates. It helps to get the estimate for your car service on paper as proof. This document can also be used as leverage with other mechanics. Sometimes the cheapness of the price can suggest poor workmanship, but you certainly don’t want to be swindled.

Ask To See A Certification

ASE is the most common certification, and a trustworthy business should have no issue presenting you with such certification. This will establish a baseline of experience and knowledge. A shop that possesses an American Automotive Association rating is a good sign too, as it guarantees that they have been pre-screened by an objective source.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions, Even If You’re a Novice

Beyond a price estimation, it is very helpful to ask questions that you may consider basic. Such as, which parts will need to be replaced? How long will the work in question take to complete? Can I see the problem area of the car? Even more intensive questions about the process of fixing the vehicle should not fluster a reliable mechanic. These questions will make you feel comfortable with the car service and prove to the mechanic that you take your car’s care serious.

Go With Your Instinct

This tip is harder to pin down, and will mean different things to different people, but it remains relevant. Simple things, such as the cleanliness of the shop, may be symbolic of the overall service. Furthermore, if a mechanic is giving vague answers or treating customers in a hostile manner, it’s probably a clear sign to get out while you can. Getting a car fixed is rarely a pleasant experience, so there’s no need to add extra stress to the process.

Find a Location Near Your Home

This is especially important if you don’t have a friend or family member to follow you to the mechanic and drive you home. Finding a route home or to work via public transportation may be pivotal, depending on how long the car will be out of commission.

Warranties and Specialists

This tip will mainly pertain to people whose cars need to be fixed at a dealership. It also applies to those who own a car that has to have specialty parts replaced. Do research and determine whether a mechanic has expertise in your particular make and model. Additionally, an honorable mechanic will supply warranties on new parts. Make sure to establish this warranty before they get to work on your car.

7
Apr

Important Steps For Selecting An Auto Repair Shop

When a car breaks down, most customers just want to get back on the road soon without paying an extreme price. However, a little research and patience can go a long way in finding an auto repair shop. In fact, doing the due diligence now means that the next trip to the mechanic won’t be anytime soon.

Find the Best Local Options
There are a few advantages to finding an auto shop in the neighborhood. First, you can ask neighbors and friends for their personal recommendations and experiences. Local shops will value customer loyalty and trustworthiness because they depend on word of mouth to create new customers. Secondly, the car can be dropped off and picked up easily, hopefully avoiding the process of arranging rides to and from the store. Lastly, a strong connection to a neighborhood shop can result in fair pricing to keep the customer coming back.

Check Customer Reviews
Even if the auto repair services aren’t close by, or there are no referrals from friends and family, there are a variety of internet reviews sites worth checking. A lack of reviews online may suggest inexperience. Of course, most stores will have a range of good and bad reviews, but the overall trends about price, customer service, and quality work are worth reading about.

Compare More Than Prices
Shop around and don’t always go with the cheapest option. Some auto repair shops will use a customer’s impatience against them and raise the price when they sense a lack of negotiating skill. Remember that they need the customer and not vice versa. It is hard to wait when your primary mode of transportation needs fixing, but patience can pay off both now and in the future if it results in a good business relationship.

Prepare a List of Questions
In a similar vein, don’t be afraid to ask questions. General questions about their experience, certifications, warranties, and work timeline let a mechanic know that you take this exchange seriously. Of course, getting an estimate on the price is the best way to ensure you’re not getting ripped off, and it helps to do some amount of previous research to understand what a fair price might be. Shopping around and comparing prices can assure the best possible deals.

Get to Know the Mechanic
Establish a good working relationship with the shop to get peace of mind for future auto repairs. Rarely will this be the last visit to a mechanic. Fair pricing, communication, and a serious disposition will result in a good deal for all parties. Furthermore, if you leave a good review online or promise to come back, the relationship will find solid footing.

No matter how the search plays out, remember to trust your instincts and do what feels comfortable. No one wants to deal with a tense or strained business deal. Be patient, have confidence, and rely on those who have been through it before.

7
Apr

Basic Oil Change Tips

From the first car I owned, until just recently, I have always changed the engine oil. My father taught me how. He was a truck mechanic in the U.S. Army and then, as a civilian, he worked in plant maintenance. I would say that my father passed on the ‘mechanic gene’ to my older brother and me.

When it comes to changing the oil in one’s car, the first thing needed is to consult the owner’s manual to find the type of filter and how many quarts of oil are needed. Other items are a good drain pan, and funnel. These can be purchased at the auto parts store. It’s a good idea to have a basic set of tools. An extra tool that makes oil changes easier, in my opinion, is an oil filter wrench (specialty tool). I use a socket and ratchet set when I change oil. I’ve also known people who would use an adjustable wrench. I don’t consider this a good idea because you can slip off of the drain plug and damage the flats.

At the auto parts store, you can look up the type of filter required for your car. I would recommend buying the oil in a five quart container so you can pour your used oil into it after the new oil is poured into your car’s engine.

Once you’ve got your supplies and tools, it’s time to get under the car. You might not fit and you’ll have to jack the car up. One other good investment would be ramps. I always save a big piece of cardboard to lay on when I’m under a car. I have a creeper too, but it sets to high for some cars I’ve worked on. Start your car and let the engine idle for about 5 minutes. That way the oil is warm and will drain much easier.

Crawl under your car and make sure the drain plug, you’ll be removing, is on the engine pan. Some new cars have a transmission drain plug. Have your tools with you when you get under the car, and select the proper socket to use. It may be metric or standard. Make sure to have your drain pan close by when you remove the plug. When the oil from the plug hole is down to a few drips, re-install the plug. Locate the engine oil filter. If you’re not sure what it looks like, take the new one out of the box. Some filters are easy to get to, to change, others are not. Use an oil filter wrench, if you have one, and turn the filter counter-clockwise to remove it. Make sure the drain pan is under the filter, if possible, to catch the oil spilling out. Next wipe some oil on the seal of the oil filter and install it, turning it clockwise until it’s tight, then turn it 3/4 of a turn more, this insures it won’t leak.

The next step is to put oil in the engine. Most engines take 5 quarts with a filter change, but consult your owner’s manual. Also, double-check you are pouring the oil into the engine and not some other service port. I know it sounds crazy but it does happen.

Once you have serviced the engine with oil start it up and check for oil leaks by getting under the car, the drain plug and filter should not be leaking. No leaks and oil pressure in the green? Congratulations on a job well done.

7
Apr

Tips to Choose a Mechanic

Whenever your automobiles or devices damage you think of the mechanics. The mechanics are the person who has learned all the technicalities of the said device and knows every part well. He is the one who can repair it and bring it back to life.

Thus, if you are having a broker tape recorder or your cars clutches are not working well you need to go to the mechanic. Of course, the mechanic of a car would not repair your tape recorder. Every device needs a different kind of mechanic. Choosing a mechanic is not easy. You need to take care of certain things while you are choosing one.

Check the certificate of the mechanic

If it is a matter of your brand new expensive car then you have to do this on its behalf. This is because a certified mechanic has to go have the technical skills and knowledge. This enables them to have years of experience. If one has a manufacturer’s certificate then that is a more agreeable one.

Check the reputation of the company

You can check out the reviews online so that you know well if the company is a good one or not. There are certain sites which offer reviews for people like you and me to check. I turn it allows to get the best deal from the right company as it monitors against fake reviews.

Check the shop’s affiliation

Every shop has been marked on the quality of services they offer. Do not choose the ones that do not have an affiliation. The marked ones are graded and of course, the top grade means that your automobile is in safe hands and you can expect a good servicing.

The mechanic should be ready to show the problem

Be ready to know the problem from the mechanic. This would make you aware if they are checking well and why at all the problem has occurred. The more idea you have the better you will be able to handle it the next time. You are the owner, so, I think it is fair enough for you to at least know the problem.

If you feel that something is wrong with a shop then never go for it. It is always a better idea to choose the one that allows you to be around when they are repairing. This will make sure that you are in the right place and later on you do not have to regret.

7
Apr

Your Own Guide to Brake Shoes Replacement For a Vehicle

Brakes are among the most important safety tools for any vehicle. Most people only look into how fast a vehicle can go, but it is equally important to consider how quickly and effectively a vehicle can be brought to a complete stop. A good set of brakes on a vehicle can draw a line between life and death in dire cases. This is why it is important to keep a look out for the wearing of your brakes and invest in good spares when opting for a brake shoes replacement at timely intervals. Here is a guide to help you understand the importance of choosing the right kinds of suit your vehicle and ensure that the vehicle has optimal stopping power at all times.

Drum vs. Disc
Disc brakes and drum brakes are the two most commonly used braking systems in modern vehicles. A disc brake has two disc pads on either sides of a brake rotor. When the brakes are applied, a caliper action forces these discs to squeeze against the rotor, which in turn slows down the wheel, eventually stopping it. These are usually found in the front wheels of modern vehicles.

The drum brakes, however, have a set of brake shoes that are set up on the inside of a brake rotor. When brakes are applied, these are expand and push against the wall of the rotor in order to bring the vehicle to a complete halt. Drums are part of an older technology and are traditionally used in the rear wheels vehicles. In both cases, the braking mechanisms use friction to stop the vehicle. Thus, brake shoes replacement should be done on a regular basis as the wear down, or at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. This is in order to ensure that your vehicle has optimal braking power at all times.

Disc brakes are considered to be safer and more efficient than their drum counter parts because discs can dissipate heat much more efficiently when compared to drum brakes. Discs are also generally more consistent in their operation. These properties make discs one of the most desired braking systems for vehicle manufacturers. However, disc brakes are costlier than drum brakes, owing to their complexity in manufacture, thus vehicle manufacturers still rely on drum brakes to do 50% of the braking in most vehicles.

Types of brake shoes
Car brake shoes are of four types, and the classification is based purely on their compositional materials. They are-

Semi Metallic Brake shoes: Like the name suggests, these types of made of a combination of metallic and organic materials in the ratio of 30:70. These are highly durable, and are among the most commonly used brake shoes. However, they do wear out the rotors faster than their counterparts under extreme braking conditions since the material does not dissipate heat efficiently.

Non Asbestos Organic brake pads: Commonly known as NAO, these are made of organic materials like glass, rubber, fiber or even Kevlar. They are quite soft and do not make as much noise as the metallic brake shoes. However, they do wear out quickly even under nominal conditions and tend to create a lot of brake dust.

Low Metallic NAO: These are Organic that are infused with trace amounts of metal such as copper or steel in order to improve braking efficiency and heat dissipation. However, the addition of metal also increases the generation of brake dust and noise when braking.

Ceramic Brake shoes: Ceramic are high end products that are made of ceramic fibers infused in filler materials. These are extremely quiet and produce virtually no dust when compared to the metallic and NAO type. They do not wear out the rotors as fast as others do. However, they are quite expensive and are used primarily on higher end vehicles.

Choosing the type of vehicle you drive and what you can afford. Generally, smaller or slower road cars can use semi metallic shoes with no adverse consequences. However, if you need to replace brake shoes of bigger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, or faster cars, you might have to invest in more expensive low metallic or ceramic.

How to choose the right brake shoes

One of the first things to consider when choosing brake shoes is your driving requirements and the type of vehicle you drive. This includes the most common types of terrain you will be driving on, the ambient temperature of where you live, how much traffic you encounter on a regular basis and the quality of the roads.

Next, you will have to think about the type of brake you will buy. For regular city traffic a semi metallic should do just fine. However, if you find the need for better/ stronger braking capabilities you will have to invest in ceramic type. If you are unsure of the kind of brake shoes your vehicle needs, you can look into the manufacturer’s specification to find an appropriate set.

Once you have decided on the type of brake shoes replacement you need. You will then have to choose from the numerous brands that are available in the markets. This can be a harrowing process, considering the number of options you have at your disposal. This is why it is necessary to do optimal research before buying brake shoes. In most cases, it is recommended that your replace the existing with the same make and model that the car manufacturer had installed. If you know a trusted mechanic, you can take his help in determining the right brake shoes for your vehicle. With a professional by your side, you will be able to find and install the right kind of brake shoes to suit your driving style and vehicle.