The Dodge Challenger

In the muscle car area of the 60’s and 70’s the Dodge Challenger was on the most significant cars to come off the assembly line. After 40 years the Challenger is once again driving down the roads of America. The new Challenger still features the styling cues similar to the first models and maintains serious horsepower to the rear wheels making this car a true street fighter. But like its predecessor from years ago, the new Dodge Challenger is loaded with modern day safety features and refinement.

The Dodge Challenger offers strong acceleration with either the V8 which is no surprise, but the V6 in no slouch either offering plenty of get up and go. Also unsurprising is the bulky feel in corners that are tight, but its character on the road more than compensates for it. The current muscle car uprising in recent years has made a comeback, like the resurrection of the Camaro and Mustang, but the Dodge Challenger still holds its own and is a pleasure to drive on a day to day basis.

The Challenger still features the exterior stylish lines from its 1970 predecessor, such as the fastback roof line and long looking hood. When you take a look under the hood, the Challenger is powered by a shortened version of the Dodge/Chrysler 300 engine (Certified Car Care).  The Challenger offers great passenger space and luggage capacity due to its split folding seats and large dimensions.

Maintenance Schedule For Your Ford F-250 Truck

Is it about time for an oil change in your Ford F-250 truck?  A simple oil change may not sound like much, but it is one of the most important maintenance services you can do to your truck to keep it running for years to come. If you are looking to get the most mileage out of your Ford truck and save money on future repairs, then maintaining a good service schedule is crucial. This includes oil changes, overall inspections of the truck and regular maintenance. When a problem does arise, do not ignore it, have it repaired immediately to avoid further damage. This will help in making sure your Ford truck goes that extra mile.  A good maintenance schedule will keep your Ford F-250 running like new and help from having breakdowns in the middle of nowhere.

Along with a good maintenance schedule you will want to periodically check your hoses, fan belts, water pump, power steering pump and alternator. Making sure these items are in good working order will keep your Ford truck alive for thousands of miles. If you are not mechanically inclined then you can refer to a local automotive shop to check these items. They will be able to identify any problems and make the recommended repairs.

Pros and Cons to Rear and Mid Engines in Dune Buggies

You are an adrenaline junky and are looking to purchase and build a dune buggy of your own. There are so many things to consider when investing in a buggy, but one of the biggest is the location of your engine. To learn more about mid engine vs rear engine dune buggies read below. states that depending on what type of driver you are and what kind of tricks you want to pull when driving, will determine what kind of engine you are after. A rear engine will obviously make your buggy much more back heavy than a mid engine. The heaviness of the rear allows drivers to pop wheelies without much effort, making for an exciting ride. Rear engines are also great if you are looking to slide some rear donuts from time to time. As far as maintenance goes, providing regular repairs on a rear engine is extremely easy because the removal process is a piece of cake.

Mid engine dune buggies have different capabilities than a rear engine. Many say that they have better turning abilities because the buggy’s weight is distributed evenly. The even weight distribution also gives most drivers a better sense of stability. Another perk of a mid engine is they allow you to keep your foot on the gas when driving in tight spots and through turns without popping an unwanted wheelie.

There are many differences when comparing rear engine vs mid engine dune buggies. It is advised to take both out for a spin before deciding which engine is right for you.

How And When To Clean Your Furnace

When it comes to your home heating furnace, dirt is the biggest problem that causes most heaters to run inefficient or fail. Dirt will effect three components in your furnace, the motor, the blower and the filter system. Let us start with the furnace filter. The filter should be cleaned or replaced before the beginning of the heating season. Then depending on the amount of use it will get during those cold winter months it should be checked and cleaned once a month. In order to check the filter you will need to remove it from the heater and hold it up towards the light. If you cannot see light coming through the filter it is clogged and will need to be replaced. If you are using a disposable filter in your furnace you can look on the side of filter and the size of the filter will be printed on the frame. When replacing the filter make sure and check to see the arrow on the filter is pointing in the correct direction. The air flows from the return air duct and towards the heater, so the arrow will be pointing towards the heater and away from the return air duct. If you are using a cleanable air filter simply rinse it off and let it dry before reinstalling it.

Next we will want to look at cleaning your blower assembly and the housing of the motor. If your furnace is designed with a squirrel cage type fan you will want to close attention to cleaning the openings since they are easy clogged with dirt and will make your furnace run less efficient. In order to clean the blower you will need to take off the panel that covers the filter. This will give you access to the panel or blower on the front side of the furnace. Once you have access to the blower unit, it can be removed by unscrewing a few screws from the blower and slide it out. You now can clean the assembly and reinstall it. If this scope of work is beyond your capabilities, then you should look for a qualified heating repair company that can do the work for you.

When To Flush Your Air Conditioning System In Your Car

If the compressor on your cars air conditioning system has failed or the system is contaminated, the entire system will need to be flushed with an approved A/C cleaning solution.

When the compressor fails it contaminates the air conditioning system with metallic debris. Most of the contaminates collect in the condenser which then leads to blockage reducing your cooling performance. If the debris passes through the condenser and gets into the liquid line, it most likely will plug the expansion valve and orifice tube. This can reduce the flow of the lubricating oil and refrigerant resulting in compressor damage and loss of cooling.

If sludge is found in the A/C system it means there has been moisture contamination. The sludge looks like a thick black liquid and can plug the expansion valve or damage the compressor. The receiver drier is supposed to prevent moisture contamination from happening. The drier can only hold so much moisture and once it is saturated sludge begins to form. When flushing the system it is a good idea to replace the drier.

Another good reason to flush your ac system is if you are changing your coolant from a R-12 to a R-134a refrigerant.

Once the flushing is complete it is a good idea to install a high side filter to your system. This will protect the expansion valve and orifice from any debris that might remain in the air conditioning unit.

How To Avoid A Dead Battery In Your Motorhome

Replaced RV Battery

How many times have you taken your motorhome out of storage and found the batteries are completely dead? You went through your pre storage checklist and made sure lights were off, circuit breakers were off and still your batteries come up dead. Why is this happening?

Almost every motorhome or RV has what is called a parasitic draw from their 12 volt electrical system. Usually what causes the parasitic draw will be the radio, LP gas detector or the refrigerator. Your inverter, even shut off can draw a small amount of current. After a few weeks all these draws can drain your battery bank to its knees. This is why you want to install a battery cut off switch and avoid the parasitic draw.

There are several battery switches that offer various functions and come in a variety of sizes. The most common switch is a cut off switch that goes between the battery and the positive connection. Another type has a key that can be removed when shut off to avoid someone turning it back on or being able to start your motorhome if used on the starter battery. If you are willing to pay a little more you can get a switch that will disconnect between two battery banks and ensure that all 12 volt devices are not getting to the battery.

If you will be installing a cut off switch, it is recommended to place it on the positive side of your DC circuit. Most cut off switches can be found at your local RV parts store or automotive store.

Temporary Radiator Hose Repair

Radiator Cap

Being stranded along the side of the road is no fun, especially when your car radiator is pouring smoke out of the hood because it has overheated. Before you get on your cell phone and call a towing company there might just be a quick fix that can get you home or to your local mechanic. Once the engine has cooled off, open the hood and see if you can see where the steam or leak is coming from. If the leak is coming from one of the radiator hoses there is a chance you can make a quick fix to get you out of your predicament. After locating the hole in the hose make sure and dry it completely.

If you are carrying duct tape with you then the fix got a whole lot easier. If not any hardware store will carry it. You will want to tear off a 3 inch piece of your duct tape and wrap it around the hole in your radiator hose. Start at the center and apply the first piece of duct tape. Next tear off a piece of duct tape that is long and start about 3 inches above the smaller piece of duct tape you put on. Wrap the duct tape around and around tightly pressing it into place. Once you are satisfied your duct tape is applied correctly you will want to check your radiator fluid and make sure it is not low. If it appears low you can add regular water to get you home. Below is a list of how the fix should play out.

1) Make sure you engine has cooled off
2) Locate the hole and dry it off completely
3) Put a 3 inch piece of duct tape over the hole.
4) Add additional duct tape around the hose covering the first piece of duct tape.
5) Check your radiator fluid level and add regular water if low.
6) Take your car home or to a mechanic to fix the hose

What Is The Check Engine Light?

Check Engine Light

Your cars check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system or OBD. The computer in your car will monitor and control the vehicles performance and regulate such items as ignition timing, fuel mixture, engine speed and can even tell your automatic transmission when to shift.

When the OBD system comes across a problem it cannot adjust it will have the computer turn on a warning light or check engine light and store the code in the computers memory. These trouble codes will help in identifying the cause of the problem such as a misfiring engine or a bad sensor. In order to read the code you will need to have a scanning tool or take it to your local automotive repair shop or dealer. Car manufacturers used the OBD system originally to aid technicians in troubleshooting and pinpointing the malfunction in the vehicle. What the OBD system looks for will depend on the year, make, and model of the vehicle.

The original computer system in a vehicle varied widely in there capabilities and most systems would only check the various electronic sensors to make sure they were hooked up and working. When the OBD II systems came out federal regulations made it mandatory that all auto manufactures were to install this system into their vehicles. Its main purpose was to act like a built in emission monitoring station that would alert you if a problem has occurred in your emission system. If there is a problem, your check engine light will come on and cannot be turned off until a scanner is hooked up and the problem is diagnosed.

Downtime For Your Fleet Vehicles

Fleet of Trucks

Downtime on your fleet vehicles is often a concept that is misunderstood.  Downtime is a measure of time when the vehicle is available for use, but is not time for a scheduled service or repair. If the fleet vehicle is not in use by its assigned driver and the vehicle goes in for service this is not considered downtime since the vehicle was not in use.

Take, for example, a sedan that must be available to a driver 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The sedan is dropped off for service at 5:45 p.m. on Friday. The work is completed and the driver is notified by 5 a.m. Monday. The total downtime is 15 minutes. Because the bulk of service time occurred during off hours, downtime is limited.

Understanding how downtime is measured allows configuring the shift or service hours associated with each fleet vehicle and equipment piece. Shifts should be defined in a master table screen (e.g., system settings and defaults) and linked to an asset or group of assets. This step allows the system to accurately calculate downtime based on the vehicle shift, opposed to a 24/7 clock, which counts as downtime the total time from the point the work order was opened until the driver is notified the vehicle is available.

With this information, services hours, shop shifts, etc., can be set to manage downtime. A good fleet operation will have an average downtime of less than 5 percent when properly calculated.

What Are The Signs My Brakes Are Going Bad?

Replace Car Brakes

The braking system on your car usually goes unnoticed since you cannot see it. The first sign of a brake problem is usually when noises start coming out when you apply the brakes.

Here are a problems that might help you determine if you need to replace your brakes:

Your brake pads have become crystallized and hardened from heating up over time and no longer have the ability to stop your car.

If your brakes have oil or grease on them this is going to affect your braking power. Most common reason for oil on your brake pads is an oil seal going bad or a leaky differential. The oil will find its way to the pads and damage them.

Your brake booster can get a loss of power due to a bad diaphragm or vacuum leak resulting in poor to know breaking power.

Your rotors or brake drums can develop hot spots in them from your brakes overheating which leaves your brake shoes or pads with nothing to grip to.

When your car wants to pull or grab when applying the breaks this could mean a few things. Most common is brake fluid leaking from the system, a brake pad is frozen or the brake shoes are not adjusted properly.

One of the most common problems is when your breaks make a grinding or squealing noise. This is usually a sign that your brake pads are worn or glazed and are ready to be replaced. When your brakes start to squeal this is an indication that it is time to have your brakes checked. Most people ignore this symptom until they hear a grinding noise which indicates your brake pads have worn down to the metal. By waiting to you hear the brakes grinding will end up costing you more money for the repair.