Friday, October 21, 2005

Car not Starting Problem

My wife's car could not be started yesterday. First I tried to jump start, it was started. After it ran a while. I turned it off. But I could not restart it. I suspect it is the battery problem. After I bought a battery from Walmart. It worked.

The problem could come from battery, cable connection, corrosion, plugs, starter, alternator.

First sure, you want to make sure you have enough gas.

Battery?
Turn the ignition on, with the engine off, switch the windshield wipers on. If they move way too slowly, much slower than usual, the battery is probably discharged.

If the battery is relatively new, it can be recharged. All you need to do is to boost your car and let the engine run for a while to charge the battery. If battery is more than three - four years old, you will probably need to buy a new one. Sometimes, an old battery may even die with no apparent reason, even if day before it was OK.

Starter?
If you don't hear the cranking sound when you're trying to start your car, means that starter doesn't work

Plugs, Cable?
When you switch the ignition ON before starting a car, check whether "check engine" light come ON. If no light on, it means no power coming to the engine computer. It might be a broken wire, faulty relay, burnt fuse, etc.

Car Tire Pressure

We have an article before in ccWeekly discussing to maintain proper tire pressure is important for safety and money.

I replaced my tire recentl in costco.com. I learned something new. Costco inflate tires with Nitrogen. Why nitrogen?

  1. Plain old air 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Oxygen molecule size is smaller than Oxygen. Oxygen escapes from  tire 3-4 times faster than nitrogen.

  2. Air contains moisture. The moisture in air will expand and contract with ambient temperature changes. This results in fluctuating tire pressure.

  3. Nitrogen is an inert, dry gas. It helps to stabilize a tire’s inflation pressure.

  4. A stabilized tire can maximize vehecle handling and tire life. Your tires have even contact with roads. Your tire will prematurely wear on the shoulders if under-inflated; wear in the middle if over-inflated.

  5. A stabilized tire can maximize can maximize fuel efficiency.

It won’t harm yourself to top them off with regular air if necessary. But the more air you  put in, the less benefit you will get from the remaining nitrogen.
Also Michelin recommends to rotate and balance tires every 5000 miles. Also alignment is important. If you notice unusual tire wear or that your vehicle "pulls" one way or the other, the wheel alignment may need to be reset. If you notice your vehicle vibrating on a smooth road, your wheels may be out of balance. My tires wear out at 25000 miles because I did not pay attention to alignment.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Toyota's Priuses recall was caused by software glitch

In May some owners reported cars going haywire - warning lights on the dashboard would suddenly all flash and the gasoline engine would die. The driver was usually able to get the car off of the road on electric power alone and restart it.

The problem was traced to a software bug in the car's computer brain. Repairing the glitch is fairly routine and not related to the hybrid system itself. The fix takes about two hours.

The gas-electric power plant saves fuel and barely pollutes - with still good performance. EPA list Honda's two-seat hybrid Insight the first and Prius the second most fuel-stingy car this week.

Toyota sold 53,991 Priuses in the 2004 model year and 81,042 through September of this year, Autodata reports. The Japanese automaker has vowed to build about 100,000 this year as high gasoline prices lure buyers.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Top 10 Fall Foliage travel destination

1. Franconia Notch State Park and the Kancamagus Highway,
New Hampshire

2. Groton State Forest,
Vermont

3. Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor,
Massachusetts & Rhode Island

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
Tennessee and North Carolina

5. Catskill Park,
New York

6. Bald Mountain State Recreation Area,
Michigan

7. Ozark National Scenic Riverway,
Missouri

8. Starved Rock State Park,
Illinois

9. Shenandoah National Park,
Virginia

10. Lost Maples State Natural Area,
Texas