Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maintenance Tips for a Turbo Car

Everything Oil, healthy turbo engines should be well cooled and lubricated. Use synthetic oil only for your turbo engine because these oils can tackle extreme temperatures. Change oil every 2,500 to 3,000 miles because oil breaks down and gets dirty in time. Always check the oil level and remember to let the oil cool down first before you turn off the engine of your car. Just leave the car idle for a few minutes. It will help you prevent any damage on your engine bearings and oil lines. Check that all turbo bearings are well lubricated before using the car, especially after you have undergone oil change. Check for oil leaks. Contaminants in the engine oil like dirt or carbon, if not collected by the oil filter, can enter the turbo charger.

Supplementary tips for turbo maintenance. Check the wastegate signal hose for any cracks or signs of hardening. Make sure that the throttle position sensor or TPS is working well. Clean the throttle body every 30,000 miles. Do not allow your tires to go bald since it will affect suspension. In a fully powered turbo car, you wouldn’t want to fall onto potholes real hard. Air filter must be replaced every 10,000 miles. Replace the timing belt every 40,000 miles. During long drives and heavy traffic situations, it would be helpful if you have a switch in line with the air-conditioning fan for the turbo system to cool down. Foreign objects into the engine can damage the turbine. Frequent basic checkups of the turbo engine are important to prevent any possible damages. Immediately address any problems so they won’t get bigger and nastier. If the turbocharger needs to be replaced, replace it with a turbo of a different type. Make sure you that you are getting the correct type of turbocharger for your engine so avoid faulty turbo performance, high fuel and oil consumptions, and engine damage. When you have modified your engine, you need to modify your turbocharger as well. Plan your trips well and know when your next stop is to adjust your throttle. In the last few miles of driving, avoid using full throttle and let the engine start to relax to prevent excessive heat build-up in the turbo when you need to turn the engine off. Go to a professional who is an expert in turbochargers for any concerns on your turbo car.

Following the tips above for turbo maintenance can help you get the most out of your turbo petrol car and you can take advantage of:
- More horsepower which you require
- More torque
- Better throttle response
- Smoother operation
- Safer overtaking

The turbo kit you installed has already cost you some amount. If it breaks down on you due to factory defect, you can always claim for warranty immediately. If the turbo car breaks down to due to neglect on turbo maintenance then you will have more costly things to come your way.

Mainting the Life of your Vehicle

Regular maintenance of your vehicle will extend its life perhaps well beyond what you or others may think is its normal lifespan. Today’s cars can easily top the 100,000 mile mark with many cars on the road exceeding 150,000, 200,000, even 250,000 miles. Ask owners of high mileage cars how they got to that point and most will point to their own rigorous and disciplined maintenance schedules as being the chief factor. By carefully and diligently following a maintenance schedule, you can extend your vehicle’s life too. Let’s take a look at several important maintenance steps you must take in order to avoid costly repairs and to help you hold onto your vehicle longer.

Regular oil changes – The 30 minute oil change specialists recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months, while some manufacturers state you only need to change your oil once every 7,500 miles or six months. Opt for more frequent changes than lengthy manufacturer recommended intervals, but change your oil [and oil filter] every 3,000 miles if your car is subject to hard driving.

Change your air filter – Your engine will run better and cleaner if you change your air filter at least once per year; more so if you do a lot of “stop and go” driving or put on many more miles per year than average.

Rotate your tires – Evenly wearing tires will help ensure that your car stops properly and stays on the road. Have your brakes and shocks inspected too to avoid potential handling and control issues.

Transmission fluid – Your transmission isn’t guaranteed to run forever. Change your fluid at manufacturer recommended intervals, generally once every 30 or 60 thousand miles. Neglect it and face costly repairs and potentially fatal [to the car] consequences.

Drain the radiator – Periodically draining the radiator and replacing the antifreeze will help flush out rust and dirt particles that can clog up your cooling system. When the coolant’s rust inhibitors get used up then corrosion will show up within the radiator as well as in the engine block.

Change the spark plugs – Some manufacturers have installed long life spark plugs meaning that changing spark plugs once every 60 or even 90 thousand miles or more is a possibility. Keep in mind that the longer your spark plugs sit in place, the more difficult it may be to remove them later. Optimally, replacing your spark plugs once every 30 thousand miles is ideal.

Examine your exhaust system – Your muffler, catalytic converter, and remaining exhaust system parts can wear out. A poorly functioning exhaust system saps your engine of needed power.

Wash and wax – Yes, your car may mechanically run well, but if the body falls apart, then what do you have left? Regular washings and a once a year wax job should do the trick.

Other stuff – Replace your battery, fuel filter, PCV valve, belts, and hoses as needed and every other part that wears out. Sensors come and sensors go; usually you will only have to replace your knock or oxygen sensors if and when a problem arises.

Ultimately, refer to your manufacturer’s repair book for guidelines as to when to perform maintenance. The key to extending your vehicle’s life is in doing the maintenance when needed to head off costly repair bills. Otherwise you will be neglecting your car to the point where it “dies” prematurely.

You can extend the life of your vehicle. If you aren’t up to the task, hire a qualified mechanic to service your vehicle regularly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tips to Improving your BMW Audio System

By: Wayne Hemrick own the "Ultimate Driving Machine," and even though you may not speak German, you have a pretty good idea of what freude im fahren is. The right BMW car audio can only add to that "Joy In Driving" of course - and the right BMW car audio deserves only the best BMW speakers.

The BMW car audio system is already pretty impressive, but a good thing can always be made better - particularly if your BMW is an older, yet still serviceable model built before the advent of such wonders as the iPod or satellite radio.

In fact, just having the right BMW speakers can be the difference between BMW car audio that is merely "great" and that which is - as the Germans would say - ausgescheisnet!! (the word ausgescheisnet has no direct English translation, but is several degrees beyond wunderbar.)
If you are thinking a upgrading your BMW speakers, you will probably want to go with coaxial speakers, as these are easier to install and include their own drivers and crossovers. These BMW speakers are suitable for most audiophiles, but if your tastes run less toward Muddy Waters or Bruce Springsteen and more toward the the New York Philharmonic or St. Martin-In-The-Fields Academy Orchestra, separates will provide the best sound quality when it comes to those ultra-high violins and piccolos and deep, rumbling contrabasses and tubas.

If you really want to take your BMW car audio to the next level however, consider installing horns. These type of BMW speakers are expensive, and you may need to install an equalizer - but they are second-to-none when it comes to picking up mid-to-high range frequencies.
For those who want to separate the vocals or solo lines from the ensemble, center channel speakers are a good choice. These are specialized BMW speakers that can be installed virtually anywhere in the vehicle; their main function is to bring solo, vocal and melody lines to the forward part of the cabin.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Audi Introduces R8 as Safety Car in Nuremberg

Audi had announced earlier this summer that their one of a kind R8 sports car would debut as the safety car for the DTM touring car championship. Audi's performance team prepared two of their R8s for the German racing series. The second car acted as a "racing taxi" but because the R8 possesses the "genes of a perfect sports car," little was modified on the Audi R8.

The pair of R8 supporting vehicles made their debut at the Norisring Speed Weekend where the Mercedes-Benz beat out the Audi's new A4 DTM with an outstanding 1 & 2 finish! Audi did have a podium appearance taking 3rd.

The Norisring race track in Nuremberg has eight turns, four of them being major direction changing turns and is the only street race in the DTM.

[Source: Audi Motorsport]

  • Audi R8 is new safety car at the DTM debut
  • Mid-engine sports car serves as safety car
    Début for Audi R8 racing taxi
Ingolstadt/Nürnberg – Double début at the Norisring in Nuremberg: This weekend, the Audi R8 will be used as the official DTM safety car for the first time – and as a racing taxi as well.

quattro GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG handed over two of the 420-hp mid-engine sports cars to the German Motorsport Association (DMSB) on the occasion of the "Norisring Speed Weekend". The two Audi R8 cars were prepared specifically for use as safety cars by quattro GmbH at the Neckarsulm plant. "There were not many modifications required, though, because the R8 possesses the genes of a perfect sports car," says Werner Frowein, managing director of quattro GmbH.

Another Audi R8 was carefully prepared by quattro GmbH for use as a racing taxi.

(For more information on the Audi R8, see the review by: Motor Trend )

Friday, October 10, 2008

Porsche 911 - The Automotive Legend

When people think of the Porsche sports car, they usually envision the 911. It is the most well-known sports car in the world. When someone asks their kids what kind of car they would like if they could have any car they want, the answer is many times a Porsche. And if you ask them to draw it for you, chances are it will have a whale tail and the round headlights so many 911's are adorned with. Hopefully Porsche will never delete these styling cues that make the 911 recognizable to all.

While the Lamborghini may be bigger and more prestigious, it just doesn't have the same style and recognizable visage of the 911. While affordability isn't a word that comes to mind when considering a Porsche 911, it is way cheaper than any Italian made supercar. About half the price or less of the Lamborghini Gallardo.

Even the newly redesigned Porsche 911 has many of the classic lines of the preceding body styles. Of course over the years the 911 has come in many flavors, including the Targa top, convertible and the almighty Turbo. Remember the Whale Tail style of the past? Those were the days when Porsche 911 symbolized the excess of the 80's and beyond.

In conclusion, you just have to admit the Porsche 911 is a true automotive icon of both superb performance and styling. While they have come out with many more models such as the Cayenne, Carrera, Cayman and the Boxster, 911 is and will always be the flagship product of Porsche.

Porsche Gift Ideas

Porsche is one of the top names in automobiles and a gift of a Porsche itself can be costly and difficult to wrap up. Alternately you might want to try some of the incredible Porsche logo merchandise that is out there for sale. There are multiple sites and companies out there that offer Porsche gifts without having to wrap up the car and present it.

Porsche gifts can take many different forms, including apparel such as tee shirts, jackets, hoodies, and even down to the boxers or thongs, all of which bear the Porsche logo proudly. Some even offer pictures of the various Porsche cars on the apparel as well.

Porsche gifts can also take the form of other items which will bear the Porsche logo and be an impressive gift to give such as a coffee mug, found at a Porsche boutique or a gift certificate that you can proffer to your Porsche loving friend and let them select their own merchandise so you know they get exactly what they've been wishing for.

The boutique also offers other types of Porsche gifts as well, including key chains, or for the real Porsche aficionado, you can purchase a scale model of different kinds of Porsche for them to build in their spare time.

Children will appreciate the Porsche gifts too when you buy them one of the lovely plush teddy bears of the Porsche toys that can be found online displaying the Porsche logo on his jumpsuit. There are varieties of toys that can be had with the Porsche logos, up to and including a car that is child sized and looks like the full sized original. The radio controlled Porsche is a miniature model of one of the Porsche models and runs by battery power. The wireless remote would absolutely thrill a boy or girl with its likeness to the real deal.

There is also a Porsche radio controlled car with a build in camera that will show you the driving view on a 2 inch screen. Imagine the thrill of seeing where your car is going, under and over, as it displays everything it passes for your entertainment. This kind of a Porsche gift is truly a unique and unusual gift giving idea.

When you seek out gifts to give and the family member or friend is a Porsche fan, if you can't (and not many of us can) give the real thing, it still isn't beyond our means to give them the real Porsche logo and merchandise. The internet is a plethora of playgrounds for those who love the original car logos and the Porsche site offers some Porsche gifts that will suit anyone, including the hard to buy for.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Volkswagen Future

Volkswagen will undoubltedly be a major automotive player in the not too-distant future. From Volkswagen's begginnings with the Beetle, one might expect the company to use a humble approach to making cars. This was true a long time ago, but today, the company is as modern as any, and has its sights set on new terretory.

The Volkswagen Scirocco, a revival VW nameplate which first surfaced at the 2006 Paris Motor Show in the form of the IROC Concept, has been the subject of much speculation since the concept debuted. These latest spyshots confirm that the IROC's large trapezoidal grille will make it onto the production car -- part of its outline can be seen through the heavy camouflage.
The hatchback shape of the rear belies the common designation of the Scirocco as a coupe - though the term has seemingly evolved into a catch-all for any car with a sharply sloped roof. A hardtop coupe/convertible built using hardware from the Eos is widely rumored to be the car's other variant.

Of course, the illustrations pictured of the coupe/convertible are still speculation based on the spied vehicle and available intel, but if proven accurate, foretell an aggressive and attractive-looking car.

Powertrain options are still up in the air as well. The much-maligned 2.5-liter inline-five probably won't see duty in the Scirocco, with the base engine in Europe likely to be the 1.4-liter Twincharger. A performance version powered by the automaker's ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbo four is probably in the plans, as well as numerous diesel powerplants.

The jury is still out on whether Volkswagen will sell the Scirocco stateside and in what form if it did. This Arizona-plated mule is a positive indication of a possible U.S. version, but the question of where the Scirocco fits into VW's lineup remains. Depending on the engine, the hatchback coupe would be muscling in on the territory of the Rabbit and GTI. The hardtop coupe/convertible is probably the easier sell in the U.S., as it could be marketed as a sportier and less feminine alternative to the Eos.

The hatchback is expected to go on sale in Europe sometime in 2008, likely as a 2009 model, with the coupe/convertible possibly arriving a year later.
Volkswagen looks to be one of the leaders when it comes to innovative cars of the future.

Volkswagen History

Today, Volkswagen is the largest automaker in Europe. However, it has not always been this way...

Literally, the word "volkswagen" means "people's car." In Germany, the idea of a people's car wasn't exactly a new one. Before the 1930's, there had been many efforts to create simple cars that everyone could afford, but none met with profound success. Almost all cars before 1930, even if they were designed to be simple enough for the average person, ended up costing more than the average worker's yearly wage.

Meanwhile, the year is 1930, and Ferdinand Porsche had just set up an automotive design company, which became known as the Porsche Büro. The company patented a sophisticated independent front suspension system, which consisted of transversely mounted torsion bars connected to two trailing arms on each side. At the time, this was lighter than most other common types of suspension. In 1931, a German motorcycle company, Zündapp, asked Porsche if he could design a suitable car for them. Porsche came up with a streamlined 2 door sedan, which had lines similar to the Beetle. It was designated the Type 12. Zündapp wanted to put in a 1.2 liter radial engine from one of their motorcycles...this was the end of the line for this design, as it didn't make it any further.

Porsche then designed a car for NSU in 1933 that was known as the Type 32. This car looked even more similar to the upcoming KdF Wagen than the Type 12 did. This car looked similar to the Tatra V570, and shared many mechanical similarities. After World War II, the Volkswagen company paid Tatra for compensation, since Tatra believed its technology and design was pirated in development of the KdF Wagen. Eventaully, NSU dropped the Type 32 project.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Taking Car of Your Volkswagen

The cooling system of your Volkswagen vehicle is an important part in order to keep your vehicle operating efficiently. The cooling system maintains the right temperature of your engine through the circulation of coolant through the engine that picks up heat and passing it through the radiator where it is cooled with air. The coolant in turn passes through a thermostat valve to control flow and through a temperature sensor which controls external air cooling fans.
Volkswagen vehicle cooling systems are comprised of three main parts and these are the VW water pump, VW hoses and VW thermostat, radiator and sensors.

Volkswagen Water Pump:
The VW water pump handles the VW’s cooling system’s pumping function which keeps the coolant mixture moving. The basic VW water pump is gear or belt-driven there are also some cases in other cars wherein a secondary electric water pump is used to improved cooling and flow of the coolant mixture. One of the most important parts of the pump’s operation is the drive belt which is also known on most new cars as the timing belt. However, on older car models, the pump and the belt are external and run off the main crankshaft pulley using a “V” of flat belt.

The maintenance of VW water pump is done simultaneous with the replacement of the coolant, the drive belt and tension adjustment (external type). The timing belt driven pumps should always be done when replacing the timing belt and tensioner.
Volkswagen Hoses

The VW cooling system involves various hoses which includes the Volkswagen radiator hose, control valves, the heater core and the expansion tank. And since these materials are constantly used and are exposed to heated coolant, these parts deteriorate easily and needs to be change more often.

The maintenance of cooling system piping consists of scheduled replacement of all hoses, replacement of coolant plus the replacement of any unplugged or leaking parts. It is a good idea to have all hoses checked at least twice a year to see whether there are abrasions, flexibility, cracks, and leakage. And of course it is vital that whenever coolant is flushed for replacement or even during engine repairs that hoses should be replaced. Radiator hoses, expansion tanks, heater cores, and control valves are commonly replaced due to leakage or plugging. However it is important that a VW professional should be the one contacted to assess the condition of these parts since they know everything there is to know about Volkswagen components.

Volkswagen Radiator, Thermostat and Sensors:
Volkswagen’s cooling system’s temperature controls include all coolant temperature sensors, radiator or expansion tank cap, thermostat, cooling fan(s) and fan clutch. These cooling parts function independently of the engine but maintain the control over the engine cooling which is made by means of sending control signals to the VW’s electronic systems.

The spring loaded valve that opens and closes based on the temperature of the coolant flowing through it is called the thermostat. You can tell that something is wrong with your thermostat when you see a high temperature reading is followed by a drop to normal temperature or a continuously low temperature---this normally indicates a sticking thermostat. Unfortunately, there are other conditions that caused these symptoms and if you are not sure what causing it then better have a VW professional mechanic to check it.

The radiator or expansion tank cap is similarly a spring loaded valve that reacts to system pressure. Its function is to maintain proper system coolant level at predetermined pressures. It should always be replaced with an exact replacement cap with the same pressure setting to obtain optimum function.

A belt-driven fan blade that pulls air through the radiator is usually included on the water pump pulley with a fan clutch to control it. The fan clutch functioned by allowing the fan to turn with the belt at low engine speed and shift to “free-wheel” at higher speeds. A damage fan clutch should not be taken for granted since it may cause your vehicle to overheat.

An electric fan that can function by itself or with an auxiliary mechanical fan is usually equipped for front-wheel-drive Volkswagen. These two types of fans are controlled via a temperature sensor that is found on the radiator specifically on the upper radiator hose or on the thermostat or water pump housing. This sensor is usually an on/off type switch with a fixed temperature setting.

The other common temperature sensors that are found on Volkswagen vehicles include: gauge sender, warning light sender, lambda and/or fuel injection sensor/s and the thermo-time switch. Controlling the engine temperature is critical to obtain high performance and emission control. But unfortunately it is also the system that is one of the most difficult to fix getting a VW professional is highly advised.

On the other hand maintenance of your cooling system sensors is a no sweat task since there is nothing to maintain in the first place, all you have to do is to keep them clean internally and externally. Likewise, checking and replacing all parts at the set factory-recommended time or mileage limit also help to maintain the good running condition of your VW car.