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April 2016

Selecting Gear Lube for Your Engine Parts

Gear lube is the type of motor oil used for transmissions, differentials, and transfer cases in trucks, automobiles, and other heavy equipment in order to prevent metal-to-metal contact that can cause severe damage. It has a higher viscosity, or thickness, than regular motor oil. This helps the lubricant to move through the moving parts when there are no pumps present to push it through the system, which is the case with much of the heavier equipment.

After viscosity, it is important to consider which type of gear lube you need. There are many different types, but most fall into these three broad categories:

Rust and Oxidation Inhibited (R&O).

This type does not include antiscuff additives or other agents, but it does a good job of preventing corrosion and excess foam. It is designed for moving parts that operate at high speeds but with low, consistent loads. It is not intended for use in engines that are prone to spikes in activity.

Antiscuff.

This is also known as an extreme pressure (EP) lubricant, and it performs far better than R&O oils. The antiscuff lubricants contain special additives that make them stronger and able to carry larger loads. One of these common antiwear additives is sulfur phosphorous, which works to alter the machine surface to prevent the adhesive in boundary lubricants from wearing away. Other additives include molybdenum-disulfide (moly), graphite, and borates. An advantage to these additives, compared to sulfur phosphorous compounds, is that their activation does not depend on high surface temperatures. However, sulfur phosphorus additives can eventually harm machine surfaces, especially yellow metals. Engines that perform well with antiscuff gear lube are those that operate under heavy loads or at slow speeds, as well as those that have regular spikes in activity.

Compound.

This type of lube is mixed with a synthetic fatty acid to increase its strength and lubricity. It is commonly used in worm gear applications, where the gears move in a regular sliding motion and are built from metals that may corroded if antiscuff lubricants are used. Compound lubricant is also known as cylinder oil, since it was originally used for steam cylinder machinery.

Finally, you will want to choose a base oil that’s suited to your particular equipment and application.

Mineral Base Oils: This type is suitable for most uses. It allows for greater film thickness in certain applications. However, the inherent properties of this type make it unsuitable for many high-temperature applications. After the refinement process, many inorganic compounds remain. Three in particular-oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen-can allow oxidation, acid development, and sludge formation.

Synthetic Oils: This type is an engineered product designed to generate a chemical reaction based on the machine’s pressure and temperature. The high-purity chemical components have strong molecular bonds, so they are less likely to break down or allow oxidation. These strong bonds also keep the lube from getting too thick when it’s cold or too thin when it’s hot. They generally offer more consistent protection in sliding applications.

When considering the type of gear lube for your vehicle or heavy equipment, the owner’s manual is the first place to find the recommended viscosity, type, and base oil. Alternatively, a service professional should be able to recommend something for your machine, based on the type of equipment and your use. Having the right lubricant is essential to keeping your machines running efficiently and effectively for many years.

 

Do I Need A New Muffler

It’s not difficult to know if your muffler needs replacement, generally your car will be louder than normal. Mufflers are not repairable, they wear out, rust out or sustain damage and replacement is your only alternative.

Where should I take my car for a new muffler?

A few decades ago there were muffler shops all over town. Mufflers are better engineered and last longer than they used to, which has led to a decrease in the number of muffler shops across the nation. There are still plenty of places to get your muffler replaced.

Muffler shops still exist because not every auto repair shop is equipped to replace mufflers. Most mufflers need to be cut off and the new muffler welded in place. In addition to welding, muffler repair shops have tube bending equipment to custom bend a new exhaust pipe from your engine to your tailpipe if needed.

Some general auto repair shops will be equipped to replace your muffler. If you suspect you do need a new muffler, ask your mechanic if this is a service they perform. There are literally thousands upon thousands of muffler shops in the United States.

Choosing a muffler

Generally speaking, car mufflers usually don’t go out while the vehicle is still under warranty. They last quite a bit longer. When it does come time to replace your muffler you have many choices. You can take your car to the new car dealer to get the exact replacement part for your vehicle, but be prepared to pay more than you would at a muffler specialty shop or a general auto repair shop.

You need not replace your muffler with the exact part number from the Ford dealer or Toyota dealer. Replacement mufflers are designed to replace the original mufflers from the vehicle manufacturers no matter what year, make and model of car you have.

There are also a wide variety of brands of mufflers, some are engineered to let the engine breath better giving you a boost in horsepower. Consult with the repair shop performing the repair to see which mufflers are available for your specific vehicle. Keep in mind, the muffler is part of the emissions system, you don’t want to void your factory warranty or do anything to keep your vehicle from passing a smog check or emissions testing in the future.

Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter is an integral component of your exhaust system. Its function is to convert toxic gases into less toxic gases before emitting them from your exhaust pipe.

Catalytic converters do fail. One of the most common failures is clogging. When the converter becomes clogged, you may find that your vehicle does not accelerate as well. If the fuel system cannot release burned fuel, it cannot take in as much fuel to burn.

If the converter rusts, you will also have a noisier exhaust system and may smell fumes in the car’s interior. The converter is normally located just under the divider behind the front seats.

Don’t try to diagnose a bad catalytic converter. Most often your car will have drivability problems that lead to diagnosis of a bad converter. Many times you will find out when your vehicle does not pass emissions testing or an annual smog check.

Some catalytic converters are bolted on and some are welded on from the factory. Either way a quality repair shop can replace the catalytic converter for you.

Muffler repair components

Pipes leading to a muffler, from your catalytic converter often rust out and need replacement. Tailpipes will sometimes rust the muffler connection. Hangers also break. If your exhaust system is lower than normal, or dragging under your vehicle, you probably need new hangers. This is usually a low cost repair, but should be performed quickly. Dragging exhaust system components will damage them. The metal can also produce sparks that might start a fire.

You can extend the life of your exhaust system by ensuring that you drive far enough during wet or cold weather to heat up and dry the exhaust system. If you only drive a few miles every day your exhaust components may actually wear out quickly. When you first start your vehicle in cold or wet weather, moisture forms inside the pipes. If the moisture is not removed by heating the exhaust system, the pipes will rust prematurely.

How to Avoid Expensive Auto Repairs

If you do not take good care of your car, you are very likely going to incur great costs when you head to the auto repair shop for repairs, replacement and other maintenance needs. Your car is an important part of your life, and you should strive to ensure that you do everything possible to keep it in good shape, and in doing so, avoid expensive auto repairs. Here is what you should do:

Follow the maintenance schedule as outlined in the owner’s manual.

The manufacturer of your car includes a maintenance schedule that is to direct you on how and when to touch up your car for maintenance purposes. This schedule is your best guide as it comes from someone who understands the car properly, and all its components and the needs of every one of them.

Fix problems soon enough

Pay attention to your car so that you can detect when something is amiss. And if at all you detect something wrong, get it checked out immediately. If you allow little problems to exist without getting fixed, they will escalate into something much bigger that will not only be expensive to fix but dangerous to your safety as well.

Change fluids, filters and spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer

You might think you are saving some money by not changing these as recommended, but waiting longer than the time the manufacturer has stipulated only serves to damage your vehicle. So that in the long run you end up spending more money in getting your car repaired.

Inflate tires properly

Tires that contain too little air or too much of it are dangerous not just to your car, but your safety as well. This is because such tires are prone to excessive wear and tear which can result into a blow-out.

Synthetic oil

Consider upgrading your motor oil to a high-performance synthetic oil which will not only prevent certain problems associated with common motor oil, but improve your car’s performance as well.

Unusual noises

Unusual noises on your car might be an indication that something is wrong, and for this reason you should check the owner’s manual to ascertain what is usual and what is unusual. If the unusual noises persist, take your car to an auto repair shop where the repair professionals can check to see what is amiss.

Drive carefully

Avoid expensive auto repairs by driving your car carefully, so that you can minimize the chances of wrecking your vehicle, which would definitely necessitate extensive repairs. If someone borrows your car, make sure they are careful drivers and remind them to handle your vehicle well. This is especially important if you are lending your car to someone who has just started to drive.

Know what you can handle and what you cannot

If your car needs some repairs, do them only if you are sure you can adequately deal with them. Otherwise, let the auto repair shop deal with auto repair problems that are beyond your scope. Tinkering with your car when you are not sure about what needs to be done is only going to worsen the problem, and lead to expensive auto repairs.

Be in Control of Your Steering and Suspensions

The most important control mechanism in your car, as a driver, is the steering wheel. The cozy and smooth ride that you enjoy is usually the product of good steering and a good suspension system. Many people also don’t know that a broken suspension system can affect the steering wheel which means the problems you’re experiencing with the steering wheel might have originated from the suspension system.

More importantly, both of these parts play a critical role in your car: good steering ensures that a car is safe for the occupants, while the suspension makes the passengers comfortable and keeps the car from falling apart a lot faster. This is why the steering and the suspension should be checked regularly.

Steering Wheel Problems

When there are problems with the steering wheel, the car may pull itself in a particular direction. The wheel can also shake as you drive which can make it harder for you to keep the entire vehicle along your intended path. At other times, the steering may completely get locked in a single position, making it impossible to steer. This, of course, can result in immediate and catastrophic disaster in cases where the car ends up veering off the road at high speeds. A steering wheel that is in perfect working order will make steering more accurate, safe and reliable. Other steering wheel issues include fluid leakages and overly tight belts.

Steering problems can be caused by a broken suspension system. A vibrating wheel is also usually the most obvious indication that the wheels are loose or unbalanced. This is why a steering problem requires such immediate and serious attention. It is usually a sign that things are terribly wrong in another part of the car.

Suspension Problems

When the suspension system has issues, your car will not handle bumps and rough roads as well as it generally should, and the tires will wear out unevenly. You might also hear noises when you go over bumpy surfaces. You might ignore the problem thinking that your car can hold out for some time before you visit the garage, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. A suspension problem often causes problems in other parts of the car. In general, your car will wear down much faster, which means ignoring suspension problems will eventually result in more visits to the garage than necessary over time.

If you are someone who expects the very best performance from your car, there is no choice but to have your car undergo a thorough inspection of the suspension and the steering wheel to ensure that they are in perfect condition. Essentially, steering wheels and suspension systems are important for cars because they ensure safety and comfort for the passengers, longevity for the car, and a considerably reduced maintenance budget. Be in control of your car’s steering and suspension system through regular inspections, and you will be certain to enjoy its life of service.