As a mechanic or do-it-yourselfer you have to love it when things that you use every day like a tablet or cell phone can be used to diagnose problems with cars. This article will focus mainly on diagnosing cars with android as I have purchased a Nexus seven and the torque android app to connect my Bluetooth elm 327 to the 7 inch tablet. But if you are an Apple product fan, all of these products work just as well on many of the Apple powered devices such as the iPod touch, and IPads of all sizes. I have a 5 minute video posted below that is slowly gaining traction on YouTube.
It shows off the advanced features of the android torque app. I held off jumping into this arena of using cell phones and tablets to interface with an automotive computer because they just didn’t work well when they first came out. Although they may not be bug free the connections and compatibility is much improved from just a year ago. In fact my OBD II android application automatically updated yesterday and it seems to work even better then when I first got it.
When I discuss using android powered devices to diagnose automotive problems with my fellow mechanics they start asking tough questions that I thought you would enjoy the answers to. Continue reading
To follow will be some information on how to deal with frozen windshield washers. In a perfect world washer fluid would never freeze even on the coldest days in the coldest regions. This is why they have the blue colored windshield washer fluid that contains an anti-freeze to prevent this from happening. As a professional car mechanic I can tell you that even though your windshield washer fluid may look blue sitting in the bottle there could be a fair amount of water mixed in with it.
First of all many windshield washer fluids only protect to a few degrees below freezing. Often this is the $.99 cheap stuff that you might find at your local big-box retailer. Heavy duty fluids can cost a few dollars more but if you live in a cold environment this could be money well spent. When you take your vehicle in for an oil change and the shop is responsible for topping off the fluids all too often they stretch the cheap and weak windshield washer anti freeze by adding water to it. It still looks blue but doesn’t have the protection from freezing like when it was full strength. Continue reading
Auto parts careers
Auto parts careers do not usually pay well at the entry level. But if someone has the time and patience not only can this be a fun and rewarding job that can eventually pay well. This is a career that is an excellent choice for those who know about cars but would rather not perform the physical work on them.
Although you may not have to get dirty by turning wrenches a lot of the knowledge required to be in the auto parts business is shared with the knowledge required to be an auto repair technician. Where I work I often discuss highly technical matters with the auto parts counter person.
In fact our parts manager talks to so many technicians throughout the day that she has become quite knowledgeable about the automobile and its systems. She is also on the cutting edge of likely solutions to many different auto repair problems because she gets to see firsthand trends in repairs and failed parts.
Do it yourself auto repair has gained in popularity over the last few years. Some would say that this is due to the poor economic conditions. People are attempting to reduce operating costs on family automobiles anyway they can. This has brought the diy auto mechanic back into the driveway.
Diy car repair 84 Prelude
Another factor behind the boom in Diy car repair is the fact that people are keeping their rides longer. After five years of making payments people are hesitant to dive back in for another five or now available seven-year automotive mortgage.
This means they will be keeping their vehicle, on average of an additional three years past the payoff date. As we all know the older a car gets the more things will require fixing.
Preventative maintenance can not only reduce the amount of future repair costs but in most cases is well within the skill set of the average do it yourself auto repair mechanic.
If we look at the big picture 10 years of car maintenance leaves a large opportunity to save money on auto repairs. Performing even just the simple maintenance items on your own car such as air filter replacement and changing your own wiper blades will help.
If you were able to do all of the maintenance schedule, as outlined in your owner’s manual this would add up to even larger savings over that same ten year period. Most car maintenance is considered to be gravy work by professional mechanics.
The reason being is that compared to some repairs on the automobile regular maintenance is much easier to perform and there for more profitable. Continue reading
Why the vacuum gauge is my favorite diagnostic tool for engine diagnosis.
This tool is not only inexpensive, but also provides the quickest route for diagnosis of restricted exhaust systems and leaking EGR valves.
A leaking exhaust gas recirculation valve will cause a low but steady vacuum reading at closed throttle.
This is because EGR flow increases manifold pressure and lowers vacuum.
The engine is designed to tolerate metered amounts of exhaust gases as the throttle is opened. But the efficiency of the cylinders is too low at idle for the engine to accept exhaust gas into the intake charge at closed throttle.
Hence the egr valve is always closed at idle. Or at least it should be unless it is hanging up or not sealing due to carbon deposits on the pintal.
In cases where the valve is stuck wide open, the engine will not start at all. When you have a stuck open EGR valve and the vehicle will not start you will see a vacuum cranking reading of zero.
Where as if the valve is closed a cranking vacuum reading should be around three to 5 inches of mercury. Continue reading
Online Auto Parts
What about the auto parts counter person. In a previous post I sent a little respect out to the auto repair mechanics of the world.
This led my friend to feel slighted, as his department was completely ignored during my previous post.
So in the interests of fair play this post is about the automotive part specialist. A parts counter person can have several different duties and is commonly called a materials person or specialist.
These dedicated people are found in nearly all car dealerships, as well as both retail and wholesale auto parts stores.
They sell auto parts directly to the customer and issue materials and supplies to car repair mechanics in both body shops and automobile service centers.
My friend, Jim M who is a parts counter person is friendly, professional, and very efficient when working with mechanics and customers.
About automotive part specialists
This career is an excellent alternative for those who know about cars but would rather not work Continue reading