Remanufacturing: The Original Recycling

Ten or 15 years ago, auto technicians would rebuild hard parts for customers right in the shop. Today, that system doesn’t work, because consumers don’t have time to wait and don’t want to pay for the additional labor.

Remanufacturing now solves these problems, and as such, it is one of the largest product categories in the automotive aftermarket. The entire remanufacturing industry generates approximately $65 billion in sales, with the automotive segment representing $37 billion of that total. “This industry is a balancing act, and the business itself is not glamorous,” said Rick Andrulis, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Springfield Remanufacturing. “You never sacrifice quality for cost considerations, so the margins are tight.” Remanufacturing begins with a greasy core that needs cleaning. This duty generally falls to entry-level people, who learn the business by doing the disassembly.

Cores consist of hard parts such as engine blocks, crank- shafts, valves, rod bearings and cam shafts. […]

Are Dirty Cabin Air Filters Preventing You From Breathing Easily In Your Car?

During the hot summer months, contaminants, such as pollen, dust, mold spores and smog, can easily enter a vehicle’s passenger compartment through the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, making the air in the car six times dirtier than the air outside.

Are Dirty Cabin Air Filters Preventing You From Breathing Easily in Your Car?

During the hot summer months, contaminants, such as pollen, dust, mold spores and smog, can easily enter a vehicle’s passenger compartment through the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, making the air in the car six times dirtier than the air outside, cautions the Car Care Council. Motorists can protect themselves and their passengers from these containments by replacing the vehicle’s cabin air filter annually or more often in areas with heavy containments, or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.

Cabin air filters clean the incoming air and remove allergens – especially beneficial to people who suffer from allergies. If your vehicle […]

Bad News: An Engine “Totaled”, Good News: A Remanufactured Engine

Ignoring warning lights can lead to ruining an engine. But don’t be too quick to get rid of an otherwise good vehicle because the engine is shot. Here’s good information on other options.

Bad News: An Engine “Totaled”; Good News: A Remanufactured Engine

It was among travelers’ worst nightmares and a very expensive trip for this motorist. His beloved pickup blew the engine and had to be towed 250 miles home. The temperature gauge didn’t work, nor did the check engine light. By the time he realized the engine was overheated the damage was done.

Exploring his choices, he and his technician considered the pros and cons of trading in the truck, having a new engine installed, overhauling the old engine or installing a re-manufactured engine. Trading in the truck, like “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” was out. The costly option of a new engine was also out. How about overhauling the old one? Also […]

It’s All in the Timing

The timing belt: what it is, what it does, why it should be replaced as recommended and what could happen if it should fail. It’s All in the Timing With automotive engines as with many aspects of daily life, timing is critical. One vehicle component often overlooked during routine maintenance is the engine timing belt. If it fails, the engine will stop and the car will coast to a stop.

The lucky motorist will only have the inconvenience of being stranded on the side of the road until the car can be towed to a repair facility to have the timing belt replaced. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe, if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components. This potential disaster can be avoided easily and relatively inexpensively by replacing the timing belt within the required replacement interval. Timing belts resemble an engine accessory serpentine belt in appearance, only they typically have square teeth […]

Drivetrain Quiz

Drivetrain maintenance is the subject of this multiple choice quiz. Material includes drive train components, including clutch, CV joints, etc. Drivetrain Quiz Your car’s drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component ,and key to dependability. It’s responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels.

The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), Ujoints, CV joints, differential and axles. Most motorists take these components for granted until something goes wrong. That “something” can range from leaks or strange noises to shifting problems to total failure. If you do a lot of stop-and-go-driving, tow a trailer or otherwise subject your vehicle to unusual service, check your owners manual for recommendations. With regular checks and maintenance you can expect two bonuses: a more dependable car, as well as fewer and smaller repair bills.

See how much you know about your vehicle’s drivetrain.

1. If you hear a loud clucking […]

Avoiding a Stalled Vehicle

A stalled car can cause a ripple effect that brings out the worst in drivers. Don’t let your car put you in jeopardy. Avoiding a Stalled Vehicle The stalled car syndrome, more noticeable on our roadways than in our driveways, has been with us for generations. But it becomes more critical with increased population.

Beyond missed appointments or being late for work it also results in the condition known as road rage. Not only can a disabled vehicle have an annoying “ripple effect” that goes beyond the immediate scene, it can be disastrous for the driver who is left vulnerable to roadside crime or to the elements.

“Don’t blame your car,” says Rich White, a Car Care Council spokesperson. “It can’t drive itself to the shop and ask for an oil change or new spark plugs. Considering how dependent we are on our cars, it’s surprising how we take them for granted. An old battery or badly […]

Check Your Cool Quotient With A Cooling System Quiz

This five-question, multiple choice quiz will help you brush up on your knowledge of your vehicle’s cooling system. Check Your Cool Quotient With a Cooling System Quiz A fairly common household disaster is flooding of the laundry area due to a split hose on a washing machine.

Also vulnerable to a similar disaster is your car. A bulging radiator hose, carrying hot water (coolant) under pressure, can rupture. Cooling system neglect is cited as a principal reason for mechanical failure of a vehicle. In addition to the danger and inconvenience of a breakdown, the damage to the engine and transmission can add up to thousands of dollars.

Discovering a leaking radiator, hose connection, a sticking thermostat or other cooling system component that’s on “borrowed time” can save the life of one’s engine. To underscore the importance of proper care of the cooling system, the Council offers this multiple- choice quiz: See how much you know about this […]

Hot Weather the True Culprit Behind Car Battery Trouble

Summer is the season for major car battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. Hot Weather the True Culprit Behind Car Battery Trouble Summer is the season for major car-battery problems. Heat, not cold, shortens battery life, says the Car Care Council. Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, this damaging the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That’s slow death for a car battery.

True, there are more road service calls in cold weather for dead batteries that cause starting failure. That’s when a battery’s output is diminished because of sluggish electro-chemical action that gives the battery its power. Also, colder temperatures increase thickness of the engine oil, making the engine harder to turn over. These factors lead to harder starting. […]

Cold Facts About A/C Refrigerant

How did we ever get along without air conditioning in our cars? It’s a feature we take for granted until, suddenly, it’s blowing hot air. Cold Facts About A/C Refrigerant How did we ever get along without air conditioning in our cars? It’s a feature we take for granted until, suddenly, it’s blowing hot air. In the past few years, many owners have discovered that fixing an inoperative air conditioner can cost a few hundred dollars or more, depending upon the make and model of vehicle.

The reason is that the old standby R-12 refrigerant, trade named DuPont Freon, has been replaced by R-134a. Touted as being environmentally safer than its predecessor, R-134a has been standard since ’94. If your older vehicle needs major repairs to the air conditioning system you can expect to replace refrigerant and the oil in the compressor in addition to the old components.

You also may need to install a retrofit conversion. […]

It’s Time for the 21st Century Tune-up

One of the biggest changes in today’s automotive industry is the perception of a “tune-up.” Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there’ll be 10 different answers. The classic “tune-up” was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs, today’s modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels. It’s Time for the 21st Century Tune-up Times are changing…cars are changing.

One of the biggest changes in today’s automotive industry is the perception of a “tune-up.” Ask 10 vehicle owners their definition of a tune-up and chances are there will be 10 different answers.

The classic “tune-up” was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs, today’s modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels. The tune-up was historically associated with the routine replacement of key ignition system parts like spark plugs and […]