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Popular car parts

Snow chains or winter tyres – which should you choose?

Thanks to our mild climate, winter tyres and snow chains for cars aren’t a mandatory requirement in the UK. Only a minority of drivers choose to fit winter tyres and accessories, many of whom live in remote rural areas such as the Scottish Highlands or North Pennines. However, as weather conditions are becoming increasingly unpredictable, more drivers are weighing up their options to ensure that their car is winterproof.

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How to clean a motorcycle carburettor

Although it’s been a long time since the carburettor was superseded by the fancier, more accurate fuel injection systems, it can still be found on many motorcycles and smaller engines. The carburettor hasn’t died out just yet thanks to its simplicity, inexpensive design and proven reliability.

 
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Fuel pressure regulator: where it is located, how it works, and failure symptoms

The fuel pressure regulator or FPR is an essential component of the fuel delivery system which is designed to ensure a stable supply of fuel to the engine and maintain ideal pressure levels across the fuel injectors, particularly when there are dramatic changes in RPM or the vehicle’s demand for fuel.

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Car wheel hub assembly: failure symptoms and replacement

Wheel hubs are vehicle components mounted on the drive shaft, connected directly to the brake disc and located in the centre of the wheel. They rotate around the axle, which is connected to two bearings. Their primary function is to provide the rigid wheel journal with a rotating joint. In a sense, they act as the interface between the wheels and the body. These components are extremely robust and designed to withstand extreme loads. As a result, damage only occurs in the event of severe mechanical impact or accident. The wheel hubs are either cast steel or forged, the latter being much stronger. Does all this sound interesting? If so, read on, because in this article we will answer some FAQs about wheel hubs.

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What an inlet manifold is and its failure symptoms

The intake manifold, aka the inlet manifold, essentially acts as an air distributor, supplying the engine with the air needed for combustion. Without this oxygen, the motor wouldn’t be able to convert fuel into power.

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Suspension ball joint: function, failure symptoms, and replacement cost

Car ball joints are a lot like the joints in human hips, allowing the suspension components to move up and down and pivot without disconnecting or generating excessive friction or wear. They are used to connect the steering knuckles to the front and rear car suspension arms (control arms).

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Snow Chains vs. Snow Socks: Which are Better?

For some years now, snow socks have been a practical substitute for snow chains. A snow sock is characterised by its particularly simple installation. This is because snow socks are simply pulled over the tyre, making them very easy to fit. In addition, car snow socks are designed for modern vehicles that use electronic safety systems such as ABS and ESP and do not interfere with their operation. Furthermore, there is no risk of scratching your alloy wheels with snow socks.

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Car Radiator: Function, Problems, and Symptoms

The radiator in a car is a low-maintenance and maintenance-free component. Inside the aluminium metal frame is part of a closed water circuit in which cooling water circulates when the engine is running. The cooling water dissipates excess heat and protects the engine from overheating. The temperature of the cooling water is displayed to the driver on the instrument panel.

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Tyre valve: types, symptoms and replacement costs

The main purpose of tyre valves is to maintain the correct air pressure inside the tyre, consequently affecting the safety and fuel efficiency of the vehicle. They also allow you to add more air or release pressure from the tyres. The valve is attached to a stem on the wheel which holds the pressure inside the tyre and is the access point for adjusting the air pressure. These components are typically made from rubber due to its flexibility. However, the material deteriorates over time as it ages and is vulnerable to damage due to the tyres’ exposure to the elements. The tyres are also subjected to extreme forces while driving and the valves frequently deform as a result. If a valve is damaged, the result could be a flat tyre or a sudden blowout.

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Car control arm: symptoms and replacement cost

A control arm, also known as a suspension arm, is a key component of a car’s suspension system. It acts as a direct link between the car frame and the wheel hub assembly or steering knuckle. As well as being a connection point, this component is designed to help stabilise the vehicle by allowing the chassis and wheels to move in unison when the vehicle is moving and going over bumps, for example. The car control arms are attached to a swivelling ball joint, which allows the car wheels to be steered in either direction when driving. The hinge joint on the other end of the arms ensures that the wheels maintain contact with the road surface in all conditions.

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Towbars: Types, Usage, and Installation

If you are the type of person who enjoys caravan trips into the countryside, you may want to take another vehicle with you for an off-road adventure. In this case, you will definitely need a towbar. Here we will take a look at the three most common types.

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What is a strut bearing and how can I tell if it’s bad?

You know this from the various forums you visit: some write strut mount suspension bearings, others just strut suspension bearings, and others just shorten it to strut mounts. The difference between the mounts and the bearings is one of perspective. As a hobby mechanic, you know that mounts and bearings are often used interchangeably – and yet they are two different things.

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Idle control valve: function, symptoms, and replacement cost

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, idling is when the engine is left running but the car stays still. The idle air control (IAC) valve plays a key role in ensuring that the engine idles smoothly and at a consistent RPM. It is located on the car throttle body, which regulates the amount of air flowing into the engine for combustion and, consequently, the speed of the motor. The more you press on the accelerator pedal, the more air the throttle releases into the intake manifold, increasing the engine power. Releasing the pedal will reduce the airflow and RPM. When idling, the IAC valve essentially takes over, supplying enough air to keep the motor running stably and prevent stalling.

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Car Distributor: what it is, when to replace it, and common problems

The ignition distributor distributes the ignition sparks to the correct car spark plug. Furthermore, it must also trigger the ignition spark at exactly the right time with the respective adjustment to the engine speed. The high voltage generated by the ignition coil reaches the distributor via the central connection of the ignition distributor cover. The rotating distributor rotor receives the high voltage via the central contact. The high voltage is passed on via the outer rotor contact to the corresponding cap distributor output so that the spark can be passed on to the plugs via the ignition cables.

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Car Carburettor: function, breakdown symptoms, and problems

A carburettor is a device with which a fuel-air mixture can be produced for a petrol engine. In the past, practically every petrol engine had a carburettor, whereas today at least larger engines (e.g. for cars) generally work with fuel injection. Engines with carburettors are referred to as carburettor engines (in distinction to injection engines) for clarification purposes.

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Track Rod End: function, symptoms, and MOT fail

The track rod end – also known as a tie rod end – is a component of the car's steering system and is largely responsible for its function. In the event of a defect, the steering characteristics of the vehicle will deteriorate drastically and may even fail completely. Here we tell you how to carry out a diagnosis on the track rod end to find out if it is defective.

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Alloy wheels vs steel wheels - which is better

Which one should you choose? Steel or alloy wheels? You may think the only difference between the two types is the aesthetics, but the choice you make can also impact the vehicle’s fuel economy, unsprung weight, and performance.

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Wheel Bearings: why they make noise and how much it costs to replace them

As a rule, most drivers are unaware of the wheel bearings' job. Yet car wheel bearings are real workhorses. They are part of the chassis of a car and serve to guide the drive shafts and axles. Although the wheel bearings of a car are subjected to great forces during driving, they can withstand a mileage of 180,000 kilometres. This is remarkable, because over this distance a bearing rotates about 100 million times! However, the constant rotation and strain of driving leads to wear and tear, so it can happen that you have to deal with the replacement of one or more wheel bearings every now and then.

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Power steering pump: failure symptoms and replacement costs

The power steering system is what enables you to steer your car without much effort. Without it, you’d need to have very strong arms to get anywhere because of the sheer weight and size of modern vehicles. There are three main types of systems: a fully hydraulic system, driven by a serpentine belt; the electro-hydraulic system, which is driven by an electric motor; and fully electric power steering, which eliminates the need for pressurised fluid.

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Faulty diesel injectors: symptoms and replacement costs

Diesel injectors administer the right amount of fuel to the engine before every combustion stroke. Whether they are fuel car injectors for diesel or petrol, they are susceptible to faults in both types of engines. In the past, fuel injectors worked mechanically, but today they are electronically controlled solenoid valves that have become true precision instruments. The nozzles are connected to other components and sensors relevant to combustion via the engine control unit.

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Car Thermostat: how it works and replacement costs

The car’s thermostat is one of the key parts of a vehicle cooling system. It regulates the flow of the coolant from the radiator to the engine. It’s quite a small component with a very big job – maintaining your engine at safe operating temperatures by delivering the coolant to one of the two coolant circuits. It is designed to last the entire service life of a vehicle and usually doesn’t require any servicing. However, damage to the thermostat can occur due to contaminated cooling water or wear and tear caused by the age of the component, which must then be repaired as quickly as possible to ensure proper engine operation.

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Diesel fuel filters: symptoms, problems, clogging and replacement

There is no difference between petrol and diesel fuel filter for car. Both are standard fuel filters that remove impurities from the fuel and also separate water. While fuel quality in the UK is generally very good, pollen, dust, or paint chips can be added with every tank and pumping operation on the way from the refinery to the car fuel tank.

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What are car suspension bushes and how much does it cost to replace them

Bushes (aka bushings) are basic but critical components of modern suspension and steering systems. The majority of these components are made from rubber and fitted to parts of the system where there is a joint, such as the suspension control arm or the shock absorber for car. They can also be made from polyurethane or metal. The parts work in a similar way to the protective cartilage in our bodies, providing a cushioning effect. They support the suspension components, allowing them to move freely and smoothly, as well as absorbing shocks and vibrations. They also minimise sounds while driving, including metal clunking and squealing noises.

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Piston Rings: Functions, Properties, Symptoms of Malfunctions and Replacement

Hardly any component in your engine is as underestimated and at the same time overestimated in tuning as the piston rings. Very often there is a big gap between what is expected of the rings and the investment that is made in them. It seems that with no other component do opinions differ so widely when it comes to performance and oil consumption. That's why you'll find out here exactly what these little components are all about, what they do and how they work, as well as how to tell if something is wrong with them.

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Choosing summer tyres: 2017 market overview

We put together rankings of the top summer tyres in 2017 based on the test drives carried out by several reputable car industry magazines. Our rankings include both recent favourites and the latest offers on the market. The parameters taken into account were road performance, braking performance, road grip coefficient, wear resistance, comfort level and affordability.

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