New Radiators

Many car owners use a variety of quick fixes, such as leak sealing products or duct tape, to get a few extra miles out of an old radiator. In the long run, however, replacing the whole radiator is the only solution. Recognizing the difference between a radiator that needs to be repaired and one that needs to be replaced can prevent roadside breakdowns.

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Mass Air Flow Sensor

A vehicle’s mass airflow sensor, or MAF, is the component that measures the flow and density of the air flowing into the combustion chamber. It helps the car’s computer regulate the ratio of air to fuel. It’s a critical engine performance component, so if it fails or begins to fail, you should have it replaced immediately.

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Map Sensor

An engine’s MAP, which stands for manifold absolute pressure, sensor monitors the amount of pressure in the intake manifold, which is where air and fuel are introduced to the engine. The vehicle’s throttle body helps to increase or decrease the pressure in the intake manifold by opening or closing a specific amount. The MAP sensor will adjust the amount of fuel versus air taken into the engine, based on its pressure readings.

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Lifter Valve

What will make noisy valve lifters quite making noise depends on why the valve lifters are making noise. The the valve lifters are making noise due to a bad lifters they will have to be pulled out and re-bored. If the noisy valve lifters are due to a bent push rod, this will need to be replaced to fix the noise.

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Intake Air Temperature Sensor

A car’s intake air temperature sensor (IAT) changes the way it operates based on the temperature of the air in the vehicle’s intake. If the IAT sensor is not working properly, it can affect the way its computer makes temperature based adjustments. A malfunctioning IAT sensor can cause several problems with vehicles.

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Idler Arm

Vehicles with conventional steering use idler arms to connect the ends of the tie rod to the vehicle’s front wheels. Over time the bearings in the arm’s bushings become worn, causing slack in the connection. Generally the only symptom of a bad idler arm is for the steering system to develop “play,” causing the vehicle to not respond to minor movements of the steering wheel. To diagnose a bad idler arm you only have to observe the connections as the wheels are turned.

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Idler Air Control

The idle air control valve — also known as the idle speed control valve — regulates the idle speed of your engine. This is controlled by the engine’s computer. Sometimes parts go bad, which results in your car idling strangely or stalling. This article will tell you how to check an idle air control valve.

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Front Suspension

Suspension Types: Front

So far, ou­r discussions have focused on how springs and dampers function on any given wheel. But the four wheels of a car work together in two independent systems — the two wheels connected by the front axle and the two wheels connected by the rear axle. That means that a car can and usually does have a different type of suspension on the front and back. Much is determined by whether a rigid axle binds the wheels or if the wheels are permitted to move independently. The former arrangement is known as a dependent system, while the latter arrangement is known as an independent system. In the following sections, we’ll look at some of the common types of front and back suspensions typically used on mainstream cars.


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Differential Assembly

A rear end or differential rebuild is in your near future if the pinion seal is leaking or the differential is exhibiting excessive gear noise. Often, you hear gear whine or noise that becomes louder with increased vehicle speed, and the common result of over-worn gears or failing bearings. If the differential clunks or consistently thumps when the vehicle is cornering, most likely the rear end will fail soon.

If your differential is exhibiting these symptoms, a disassembly and rebuild needs to be performed.

Tear-Down Process

Every rear end has a differential. There are many types available, but I will concentrate on the most common types, which are the open (or standard) differential and the limited-slip differential.

Every manufacturer has its own unique proprietary name for these limited-slip rear ends, but all differentials essentially function in the same way. I chose the Ford Traction-Lok as an example to rebuild, but keep in mind that it is very similar to the GM Eaton-style differential and others. These are relatively simple mechanical devices that are quite effective when compared to an open differential. If your limited-slip differential is worn out, you will end up laying down one of the most monstrous, single-wheel peels possible.

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Cylinder Head

In an internal combustion engine, the cylinder head (often informally abbreviated to just head) sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block. It closes in the top of the cylinder, forming the combustion chamber. This joint is sealed by a head gasket. In most engines, the head also provides space for the passages that feed air and fuel to the cylinder, and that allow the exhaust to escape. The head can also be a place to mount the valves, spark plugs, and fuel injectors.

In a flathead or sidevalve engine, the mechanical parts of the valve train are all contained within the block, and the head is essentially a metal plate bolted to the top of the block; this simplification avoids the use of moving parts in the head and eases manufacture and repair, and accounts for the flathead engine’s early success in production automobiles and continued success in small engines, such as lawnmowers. This design, however, requires the incoming air to flow through a convoluted path, which limits the ability of the engine to perform at higher revolutions per minute (rpm), leading to the adoption of the overhead valve (OHV) head design, and the subsequent overhead camshaft (OHC) design.


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