Car fuel filter removes the dust and rust particles from the fuel line. If these particles are not filtered out, it might end up clogging the fuel line and possibly lead to many problems in your car / bike engine.
Car fuel filters are made into cartridges containing filter papers and are found in internal combustion engines. One of the main reasons these are made into cartridges is because fuel filters have to be replaced periodically.
Make sure to check up the fuel filters on a regular basis but most of the time the fuel filters can be cleaned and reused.
A Bad Fuel Filter:
A bad fuel filter can lead to some major problems in your vehicle, if it is left unattended.
It can damage your car’s fuel injectors and injection pump. This is due to the dust and dirt which stick to the filter element and clog up the fuel line. This can choke your engine by not allowing proper fuel flow and the engine would not be able to deliver power and torque to its maximum potential.
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Filter:
Engine Might Misfire:
Clogged fuel line results in poor fuel flow. Improper mix of fuel and air mixture might lead to improper combustion in the engine. This leads to engine misfires; your vehicle’s acceleration will take a hit if this happens and also engine might shut off due to poor fuel flow in the fuel line.
While driving your vehicle might suddenly stop and might come to a halt. If this occurs, we conclude there are some issues with engine. The engine might stall for a variety of reasons but one of the most overlooked reasons are damaged fuel filters.
Bad fuel filters do not allow the proper amount of fuel to enter the combustion chamber which finally results in stalling of your vehicle.
Engine Might Become Inactive:
During acceleration engine might become inactive and it may become a trouble in the traffic.
Again, this is due to the poor fuel flow to the engine which leads to lower power delivery.
Fuel Pump Might Get Damaged:
Fuel pump is the component which pumps fuel into the engine, since the fuel filters are damaged the fuel pump has to exert more pressure the usual levels to pump fuel. This puts strain on the internal components of the pump and reduces its life.
Benefits of replacing Fuel filters regularly:
You can experience smoother ride in general and this is mainly because of the proper fuel flow to the engine. Your vehicle’s engine can run optimally thanks to the proper fuel flow without overworking the fuel pump.
Some Notable benefits of regularly replacing car fuel filters are:
Increased fuel efficiency:
One of the most noticeable benefit would be increased fuel efficiency.You save money every time you drive your car or bike.
Better power delivery:
The vehicle’s engine can function at optimal levels because of proper fuel flow which results in better power delivery and torque. Throttle response will be more responsive comparatively than before.
Extended engine life:
Proper maintenance of fuel filter can help protect your vehicle’s engine from many potential problems and extends the life of the engine.
Don’t forget the fuel filters!
Replacing fuel filters not only extends the engine’s life and safeguards many internal components but also results in safer ride for you and your family.
Everyone who owns a car has experienced a no-start condition irrespective of the battery status. When your car denies your command, it can be quite depressing. Now you must be wondering why on the face of the Earth won’t your car start when you just got your batteries checked last week, and they were in top-notch condition.
Well, as a car owner you must know the science behind starting your car. Before you hear the sound of the turned-on engine, there are certain connections which have to be made in the ignition circuit. If any component of the ignition circuit goes malfunctioning, then you would face troubles starting your car engine and be late for work again.
Let’s see what could be the possible causes for your car to fail on you.
Faulty ignition switch:
Imagine your ignition circuit with six components arranged linearly. The first component being the battery and the last one being the starter motor. Now the ignition switch forms the second component of this linear arrangement. It indicates the battery to start the engine. If your ignition switch has gone malfunctioning, then this signal will fail to take place thus preventing your car from starting.
Problem with the starter:
Still have the picture of the ignition circuit in your head? Ok, so the last component of the circuit was a starter motor. If your motor is flawed, you can expect a defective car. The starter basically takes the electric current from the battery to start the engine. Well if it can’t do that, it is no good to you. Consider replacing your starter or check if the connection isn’t too flimsy.
No supply of fuel:
Of course, everything requires energy to function. If your car isn’t getting its nutrients, then it is not going to run to its full potential. For the engine to start the fuel must be supplied smoothly into the ignition chamber. If you fail to do proper maintenance of your fuel pump filter, and other components which allow the fuel to be transmitted to the engine effortlessly then, your car might fail to start.
The spark is gone!
Relationships are as good as dead when there is no spark. It’s the same with cars. For your engine to start a spark has to be ignited via the spark plug. If the spark plug has gone dysfunctional due to over-heating, dirt, or any other reason, then your car will not start.
Did you check the gas bar?
Well well, did you check if your car has any fuel at all before deciding to take your girlfriend on a date?
Is your anti-theft system on?
Sometimes when your anti-theft system is on you will be unable to turn the key after inserting it in the keyhole. You can try fidgeting the steering wheel and simultaneously turn the key.
Wires form an integral part of any electrical circuit. And for a circuit to come alive all the wires must be in working condition. Considering checking your ground wire, connecting cables, and other wires if your car doesn’t start.
Weekends are themselves a means to quench the thirst of long trips for bike and car lovers. What if there is a vacation? The thirst to drive becomes an insatiable hunger, which would get eradicated only on hearing the continuous vroom of the automobiles. With engines revving up and throttles roaring, here are a few tips for riders that would make the long drives more fruitful without any hiccups. Note that these are measures that need to be carried out at least five to seven days before the long drive so as to give complete effectiveness to the pleasure of the ride.
The things that are about to be discussed below may vary in priority depending upon the make, model and various other factors like last servicing, condition, handling, maneuvering, etc. But all of these tips, if followed, would lead up to unforgettable trip that could forever be etched in the albums of memory.
Fuel related issues:
The tank must be checked and filled to the brim always en route to a long ride, especially when the passage of travail is new to the rider. This applies especially to bikes, because there might be problems like the fuel not reaching the engine from the reservoir (the fuel tank). This improper supply of fuel to the engine might mostly due to the blocks in the passage leading to the engine, due to the accumulation of foreign particles like dirt and impurities. The passages must be cleaned so that the driver does not find himself/herself in the middle of the road in the hot burning sun with nobody to come to help (except for GoBumpr, if it is Chennai, maybe).
This might be caused due to fuel injector problems (considering the diesel engines) or spark plug issues (in case of petrol variants). This would cause improper mix of fuel and air to be injected into the chamber, thereby rendering the operation of the vehicle gradually ineffective, regarding the diesel engines; for petrol engines, this would create increased starting troubles.
In bikes, the spark plug issue can be managed for quite some time if the vehicle is facilitated with both kick-start and self-start. While self-start facilitates the quick ignition of an engine than the kick-starts, it does not play an effective role when the vehicle has not been operated for quite some time (say two to five days); this is because the engine slowly comes to the temperature of the surrounding environmental conditions, and it takes some time for it to regain the temperature required for ignition. So at this point, even with vehicles with self-starts, it is sensible to use kick-starts to get the engine heated. Though this takes relatively higher time for the vehicle to start, it provides an effective solution for a long ride.
One common mistake that most of the bikers do is pressing the self-start switches continuously for longer period, say 5 to 8 seconds. In reality, the button should never be pressed beyond 2 to 2.5 seconds because it just acts as a contact point to start the engine. Pressing it continuously has two main disadvantages. Firstly, the main functionality of a self-start is to initiate the engine, which means it loses its effectiveness beyond 2 seconds, after which it needs to be pressed again. Secondly, it would overwork the accessories that lead up to the engine, thereby reducing the lifetime of the switch.
Most of the riders would not mind this very much, but display comes as one of the notable points to be taken care of in both cars and bikes. Without the proper working of speedometer, the driver might tend to forget the gear at which the vehicle is running; this would eventually lead up to confusion, while coming to a halt.
The next accessory is the odometer. This is very much essential because one needs to keep track of the mileage of the vehicle and the distance covered consecutively between two successive fillings. This would also be an indicator to show if there is any regular maintenance checks required (for example, first servicing after driving 3,000 kilometers, etc.)
The accelerator, brake and clutch – the pulse of the vehicle – need to be checked for effective operation. In some cars, the pedals might become loosened up from their usual positions, thereby rendering them ineffective.
This problem is more prevalent in bikes where the clutch wires become slack and the clutch almost always remains in the half pressed position (technically referred to as the “off clutch” condition). The clutch is used to engage and disengage gears during the gear change, and it must either be fully pressed (during gear change) or not pressed at all (at top gears or constant speeds, called as cruising). This would spoil the gearbox in in the long run, causing jamming of gears.
Though this involves several components technically, the silencer is one accessory that requires a periodic check. Especially when long drives are on the cards, the silencers need to be cleaned up effectively so that the exhausts do not get clammed up there. Accumulation of solid exhausts would mean improper ejection of burnt gases, and when this problem builds up, the internal components get heated up, the vehicle might stop then and there, and in the worst case, there are possibilities of explosion.
The exhaust gases can also act as an indicator for the engine oil replacement; this can be understood better when thick black smoke comes out of the exhaust during throttling at neutral gear position. This would mean that the engine oil is dry and needs to be replaced soon. So before planning for long trips, keep track of the exhaust system, which usually does not seem important, also.
Engine oil is in the correct concentration during initial stages. But as the vehicle gets driven, the concentration gets marginally high and hence the lubricating properties usually come down with usage. The engine oil might change color from pale brown to a kind of brackish black. The degree of this black color decides the fate of the engine oil, and it all boils down to periodic replacement. So even if it is not due for an engine oil replacement, it is better to use new oils for long travels.
Though this replacement of engine oils would mean variation in the physical properties like the viscosity and fluidity, this is one important aspect to be done before a long travel.
Riders for long distances are the true metaphors of the saying, “Miles to go before I sleep.” But miles can be covered with smiles only with all the checkboxes ticked successfully.
Automobiles – both bikes and cars – can no longer be categorized exclusively into the sphere of mechanical engineering, with the increasing emphasis on electronic components. From the spark plug to sensors, and gear shift to cruise control, contemporary vehicles have become an ensemble of various other fields that come to the limelight based on their functionality, other than the traditional ones – the most important of them being the electronic ones.
Batteries are one of the most, or rather the most important components that form the nucleus of the electrical and electrical side of the vehicle. Be it horns or wipers or air conditioners, the conglomerate of cathode, anode and electrolyte are the saviours coming to the rescue.
The prescribed battery life for any automobile ranges from 4 to 5 years, but not every battery lasts till the “calendar life”. Before we delve deep into the battery life extension, let us give a glimpse into the basic aspects of a battery.
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Sneak peek into battery ratings:
Batteries used in on-road automobiles are usually of 12 V capacity, but the current rating or amperage can vary depending upon the size and capacity of the vehicle. The overall charge and discharge rates of the battery are described by the term ampere-hour (A.h). Some of the ratings are 26 A.h, 40 A.h, 90 A.h, etc.
For example, the indicator lights of a Tata Indica takes up to 2 A of current. Considering 40 A.h battery for this scenario, this means that 40/2 = 20 hours. Hence, the battery would last for 20 hours from the full charge condition before draining, provided indicator is the only electronic component being operated. This is arrived at by taking into account another bullet point that it is not being continuously charged by a medium.
How do the car batteries charge themselves during the operation of a vehicle?
A: What if the battery drains while the vehicle is being driven?
B: It wouldn’t.
A: You kidding? How come?
Here comes the alternator. Alternator is a device which runs throughout the operation of a vehicle, charging the batteries and enabling them to act as the source for fulfilling the functions of the accessories. Alternator is coupled with the battery in series to provide a constant current charging to it.
Some more information about batteries:
Batteries are of different types like lithium ion batteries, nickel cadmium batteries, etc. but the lead acid accumulators are the most commonly used type in automobiles, because they are cheap and provide long life. With the advent of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), the lithium polymer batteries are coming to the fore now, but still the dominance of lead acid accumulators cannot be shaken.
Tips and tricks:
The various issues with batteries that can be solved with proper maintenance are as follows:
Corrosion in the terminals is one of the simplest yet fatal problems that tend to bog the battery’s performance down. Corrosion happens due to the continuous usage of battery for long time, and the corroded particles may be found forming patches near the terminals.
This problem can be overcome by cleaning the terminals with a mixture of three spoons of baking soda and one spoon of warm water, and then wiping away the residues with a piece of clean cloth free of any dust particles.
If the issue is not properly addressed, the corrosion may form a separate layer and would prevent the conduction of current from and to the battery thereby disabling the function of the automobile.
Mounting the battery with appropriate supports is always essential. Mounting will mostly be in the form of clamps that hold the battery in place. This would prevent the dynamic vibration of battery; vibration would cause electrical disasters like short circuits, fluctuations, sparks and would damage the components under the hood (bonnet).
Maintaining the water level of the battery could be commonly seen in the households with UPS installed. There are several knobs that usually show the increase or decrease of water levels in the battery. For example, if there are four such knobs and at least two of them do not contain water in the lids, it is time to quench the thirst of the battery, only with DISTILLED water. This is available in all petrol pumps nowadays.
Insulating the battery with a proper covering layer would increase its longevity significantly; insulators are surfaces with no or negligible electrical conductivity. Facilitation of these surfaces would mean that even if there are some wires dangling out, making contact with the battery, there are absolutely no or very less chances of short circuiting. Dielectric grease is popularly used for insulation purposes.
Isolate the battery and disconnecting the battery terminals from the contact positions, during a certainty that you would not drive the vehicle for a long time, say a week. The batteries would be draining minimal quantities of the stored energy even when the vehicle is switched off because there are components like the clock, which keep running. So it is always advisable to keep the batteries disconnected during long absence of driving.
Make sure all the electronic accessories like the air conditioner, wiper, head lights, indicators, etc. are switched off before you start the vehicle from halt. This would prevent the battery from getting drained immediately and is also a significant indicator of its longevity.
Image courtesy: pixabay.com
Make long trips as much as possible, because batteries require some time to get charged. Short trips would mean that the batteries are charged for only limited time, which implies that they are not fully charged. The problem is that charging and discharging, is alternated at a rapid rate, would repeatedly modify the temperatures of the chemicals in the battery, thereby making them susceptible to failure.
Batteries are the arteries of automobiles. Charge them and treat them well, so that they don’t demand much charge from your pocket every now and then. Safe journey!