Category: Automobile


What is a timing belt and when should I change it?

The engine of a car is made up of elements essential to its operation, such as the crankshaft and the camshafts which must be properly aligned. This alignment must be perfectly achieved from the mounting of the timing belt when it is changed.

Those drivers who do not repair the car on their own have little idea of ​​the structure of the modern car as a whole and in particular the gas distribution mechanism. They have no idea – what is the timing belt, and what functions are assigned to it.

Any engine is a structurally complex unit that instantly responds to all inconsistencies in the operation of the mechanisms and components associated with it. Its maximum accuracy depends on the synchronous rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft, but there will be no synchronized operation if the torque from one node is not transmitted to another using a drive.

Two of the most common types of drives are known – chain and belt, while the belt drive is easier to maintain, and is used to transmit torque most often. The standard timing belt through the pulleys (gears), rollers, tensioners, connects the belt drive as a whole, ensuring the transmission of torque from the crankshaft to the camshaft at the time of engine start.

The timing belt can also be connected to the coolant pump pulley, but some automakers use a conventional drive belt to operate the pump, which greatly simplifies the design of the drive.

The classic timing belt is a toothed belt with internal teeth having the highest possible precision in casting. The shape of the profile of the teeth can be of three types – trapezoidal, rounded and mixed type of profile. The trapezoidal shape of the tooth is considered classical, but the round one is used when increased operational capabilities of the drive belt are required to transmit large torques. The mixed type combines the operational capabilities of the two previous types, but in practice it is used very rarely.

The belt necessarily has a power frame (cord base), which is necessary to prevent premature stretching during intensive work.

To maintain the longitudinal stability of the drive belt, fiberglass is used to make the cord, and the sheath of the belt, in which the cord threads are located, is made of synthetic neoprene rubber. Thus, it protects the cord from premature wear, which provokes a break in the belt.

At the same time, the belt is not initially monolithic – the teeth, which are also made of neoprene, are welded to the belt shell, and the high precision of the casting guarantees uninterrupted transmission of torque, and optimal “adhesion” between the belt and tensioner rollers.

Leading manufacturers of auto parts in the manufacture of a timing belt can use other, no less durable materials.

The resource of any components and consumables was laid down by the manufacturer initially, but not every manufacturer displays this. In the case of the timing belt, its service life depends on the quality of the material from which the consumable is made, and the timing belt is a consumable. And if the manufacturer does not indicate how long it should be replaced, such information should be displayed in the technical documentation for the vehicle. If the timing belt issue doesn’t get solved then the easiest way would be just to sell your car for companies that offers cash for scrap cars service.

  • On average, the vehicle mileage recommended for replacing the timing belt should not exceed the mark of 90 – 100 thousand km, in particular, this applies to both old used and many new foreign cars.
  • On modern machines, especially Japanese and German production, the replacement period can be shifted to 120 – 150 thousand km, but it is recommended to regularly check the condition of the belt drive and with visible signs of critical wear, do not wait for a break, but change it immediately.
  • There are also such car models on which the resource of the timing belt can be within 200 thousand kilometres, but this, in turn, does not apply to the tensioning equipment (rollers) of the belt drive. Their resource, no matter how high quality they are, does not exceed the limit of 120 thousand km, and changing rollers without replacing the belt is impractical and dangerous.
  • It is recommended that the belt be replaced even if the machine is purchased on the secondary market, and the former owner cannot tell the exact date of replacement of the belt drive components.

Clutch problems: causes and solutions

During the operation of a car under the influence of various factors, wear of parts and assemblies occurs. After some time, each car owner is faced with the need to troubleshoot the suspension, transmission, engine, electrical equipment, etc. Some breakdowns are difficult to detect in the early stages, but there are also nodes where even a minor malfunction immediately affects the quality of the car. The last category of breakdowns also includes clutch problems, which we will discuss in our article. If the clutch problem is consistence then you might consider selling car for cash rather then spending more money.

What is clutch and how is it arranged

The clutch mechanism provides the ability to enable / disable the transmission of rotational forces from the motor to the transmission. Such a system plays a crucial role in shifting gears, braking and stopping the car. The clutch provides a smooth connection and interaction of friction discs, which are located on the shafts of the motor and gearbox.

A correctly adjusted clutch mechanism ensures a smooth start to the vehicle. When a car with the engine running is in place, the motor shaft rotates at high speed, and the transmission shaft is stationary. For a smooth start to the movement of the machine, it is necessary that the shafts of the engine and gearbox smoothly rub against each other and support an increase in the speed.

If the connection of the motor and transmission shafts occurs very sharply, then the box shaft in a static position will jam the power unit shaft and the engine will stall (this situation is often encountered by novice drivers who sharply drop their clutch on cars with manual transmissions). In addition, this situation can lead to breakdowns of the clutch mechanism itself.

To prevent problems with the clutch, it will be useful for the driver to familiarize themselves with the device and the principle of operation of this mechanism. The main elements of its design are a driven and leading disk, an on / off system and a push drive

Key signs of clutch failure

As practice shows, clutch problems are often caused by improper operation of the car – too high engine speeds when starting from a place, keeping the foot on the pedals during the ride, etc.

These factors include the excess of the service life of individual components and parts of the clutch mechanism. Quite often, problems with engaging gears are associated with excessive wear on the driven disc. This part, subject to the proper operation of the car, “mileage” over 100,000 km, but if the driver likes abrupt starts and is fond of extreme driving, the clutch disc may not last even 50,000 km.

Problems in the operation of the clutch can lead to low-quality components used during the repair of the mechanism. When choosing auto parts, you should always pay attention to the original parts or products of famous brands.

During the diagnosis of a car, it is possible to identify malfunctions of the mechanism in question, paying attention to external signs of problems with the clutch. At the same time, it is worth considering that similar symptoms can occur with various malfunctions. That is why, to accurately identify the causes in the car service, the mechanism is disassembled.

If the clutch is not fully disengaged, the driver will have difficulty shifting gears while the engine is running. In this case, extraneous noise may be heard, the pedal free play will increase.

When “slipping” the clutch, as a rule, you smell the “burning” friction linings. Such a malfunction is accompanied by problems with the acceleration of the car, overheating of the motor and increased fuel consumption.

Symptoms such as jerking while the clutch is operating, vibrations when it is turned on, and uncharacteristic sounds when it is turned off will be noticeable even to an inexperienced driver.

Have an old car that you want to sell? Clutch is failing all the time? You can sell your car for cash at Kiwi Cash For Cars Christchurch. At Kiwi Cash For Cars, you will get top cash for your old, junk car.

Myth or Fact: Four Legal Misconceptions All Bicycle Riders Should Know About

Just like cars and motorcycles, bicycles are legally considered“vehicles” in the USA. This means cyclists enjoy the same—if not more—legal protection as motorists.

Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to cyclist law. In fact, as bicycling becomes increasingly common in American cities, it seems misconceptions on bicyclist law are also on the rise.

In this post, we’re going to dispel a few of the most prominent myths surrounding bicyclist injury law. Whether or not you’re a cyclist, learning about these legal issues could seriously improve road safety.

Myth or Fact? – Busting Bicycling’s Biggest Misconceptions

Do All Bicyclists Need to Wear A Helmet?

No, bicyclists aren’t legally required to wear DOT-approved helmets in every US state. Indeed, most states have partial helmet laws that only require child and teen bicyclists to wear helmets while riding. There are even a few states with no helmet laws at all.

Of course, just because helmetless riding might be legal in your state doesn’t mean it’s particularly safe. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), well over half of American cyclists killed in crashes were not wearing helmets. The NSC also found that most of the 80,000 bicyclists admitted to ERs annually suffer from traumatic brain injury.

Dozens of scientific studies now confirm helmets can reduce the risk of cyclist fatality and head trauma. For instance, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that bicyclists who wore helmets had an over 85 percent lower risk of suffering serious head injuries. Members of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control also claim bicyclists can reduce crash-related trauma by about 70 percent.

Even though DOT-approved helmets are an undeniably safe choice, bicyclists shouldn’t fear taking legal action if they were injured without wearing a helmet. Just because you were riding helmetless doesn’t mean you don’t deserve compensation.

Do Cyclists Break More Rules Than Drivers?

Many motorists complain of cyclists breaking the rules of the road, but the data doesn’t support this prevalent prejudice. Indeed, a recent Danish study found that cyclists are over 10-times more likely to obey traffic laws compared with motorists.

As you might expect, cyclists are more prone to break traffic laws in areas without dedicated bike lanes. Even in these non-bike-protected areas, however, cyclists were on average more law-abiding than drivers.

Data from this study and others strongly suggest city infrastructure plays a huge role in modifying cyclist behavior. The more bike-protected zones there are, the less chance cyclists will risk breaking the rules of the road.

Are Bicyclists Allowed to Ride in the Middle of the Road?

It’s perfectly legal for cyclists to ride in the middle lane of trafficif they are able to keep up with traffic, or if riding to the right of the road would prove hazardous.While it might irk a few motorists, cyclists should know it’s within their rights to travel in this prominent position if they feel it will increase their safety.

Of course, it’s always recommended cyclists use bike-protected lanes when provided. If there aren’t any dedicated biking lanes, then cyclists should stay as close to the right curb as possible.

There are, however, many cases where both of these options aren’t viable or safe. For instance, cyclists could be traveling down a narrow road, poor road surfaces, or in a bike lane next to many parked cars. When cyclists feel unsafe, they could ride in the middle lane.

Is Riding on Sidewalks Is Better Than Riding On The Road?

Many people assume sidewalks are the safest option for cyclists. While this theory seems to make sense (cyclists are out of traffic, after all), most road safety experts would prefer bicyclists to ride on the road.

One reason cyclists should avoid sidewalks is because it reduces their visibility. It’s very easy for cyclists to end up in drivers’ blind spots, which could have disastrous consequences when turning or crossing streets. Obviously, cycling on sidewalks also puts pedestrians at great risk.

Not only is it unsafe for cyclists to ride on sidewalks, it’s often against the law. Many states and counties have laws prohibiting cyclists and e-scooter users from riding on sidewalks.

So, unless there’s really no other option, bicyclists should always ride on the road.

How to Find Out More Info On Bicyclist Safety

To learn more about bicyclist safety, you should start by searching your state’s DMV webpage. You could also find an overview of bicyclist laws on this interactive link put together by The League of American Bicyclists. Lastly, any bicyclists involved in an accident are encouraged to call a professional personal injury attorney for legal assistance. Talking with a skilled cyclist injury attorney can help you understand exactly how much you’re owed depending on the nature of your crash.

10 Tips to Keep Your Car Winter Driving Safe

As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 115,000 people are injured every year in accidents related to winter conditions like snow, ice, slush or even glare from reflection of the sun. More than 1,300 people die from the injuries that they suffer in those accidents. There are times when due care and caution for your own personal safety and the safety of others just isn’t enough. Sometimes, a motorist’s degree of caution needs to be ratcheted up a notch. That might still not be enough if you haven’t prepared your car to be winter driving safe. Here are 10 tips from winter driving experts for preparing and maintaining your car during the winter months.

  1. Tire Condition: The only parts of your car that touch the roadway are your tires. That’s why the tread on your tires is critical for accelerating, stopping and turning. Use the Lincoln penny test to check for sufficient tread. You’ll find it on the internet. Also look for cracks or cuts that might deflate one or more of your tires.
  1. Tire Pressure: When temperatures get below 32 degrees, tire pressure decreases. Deflated tires can decrease the degree of control that you have with your car. Check your tire air pressure once a week to make sure they’re inflated to specifications.
  1. Your View: Snow and ice can accumulate on all of your windows. Clear them one way or another before getting on the road. An unobstructed 360 degree view of the roadway. Is critical for not only your safety, but the safety of others around you too. A brass scraper is strongly recommended.
  1. The Heater and Defroster: If your heater isn’t working, ice will develop inside of your car like if you’re in an old Volkswagen Beetle. You don’t want to be driving and scraping your windshield on the inside at the same time. Make sure that your defroster vents next to the inside of your windshield are unobstructed too.
  1. Windshield Wipers: If your wiper blades streak during warm weather, they’ll be unfit for sloppy winter conditions. Wiper blades are inexpensive, and they’re invaluable for seeing the road ahead of you.
  1. Wiper Fluid: Replacing windshield cleaning fluid is cheap and easy. That fluid can be a lifesaver on days when there’s precipitation on the roadway.Make sure that the jets that wiper fluid comes out of onto your windshield are unobstructed too.
  1. Lights: Make sure that every light on the exterior of your car is functioning properly, including your emergency flashers. Clear snow from your headlights, fog or driving lights and brake lights before getting on the road. Clear your license plates too.Officer Friendly frowns on obstructed plates. So do traffic court judges.
  1. Safety Equipment: People get stranded in harsh winter conditions every day. A shovel, reflectors and even a piece of carpeting that can be used for traction should be kept in your trunk. A bag of kitty litter can work too.
  1. Change Your Oil: Dirty oil not only results in more wear and tear on your engine, it can make your car harder to start and warm up too. An oil change and new filter before and during winter months will get you and your car warmer faster.
  1. Your Battery: You’re not going anywhere with a dead battery. If you have doubts about whether your battery is going to make it through the winter, buy a new one. Even those can fail, so keep a pair of jumper cables in the trunk of your car just in case.

Any one of the above tips to keep your car winter driving safe can be the difference in getting to where you’re going safely and without incident. Just about all of the tips are inexpensive too. After you’ve prepared your car for winter weather, give yourself some extra time for getting to where you’re going, and slow down. Even the best personal injury law firms suggest that on some days, it’s better just to stay inside. Don’t needlessly endanger your own personal safety or the safety of others.

What colour of car to choose

According to statistics, for more than 50% of car buyers, colour plays a role no less than its technical characteristics. The market is currently represented by a wide range of shades. It is generally accepted that men often choose classic ones – black, blue, grey, white, and women – shades of red, yellow, green or blue. But gender is not a sentence for choosing the colour of the “swallow”. We will tell you about other criteria that can help you answer the question of which colour to choose. If you don’t like the color of your car you can always get it repainted or simply call cash for car service and sell it.

Car colour and driver characteristic

Psychologists have established that the choice of car colour is directly related to the psychological characteristics of the owner and their driving style and made several recommendations.

    • White colour symbolizes a bright dream. It is believed that fair, but emotional drivers choose white. Their driving style is calm and balanced.
    • Black is chosen by people who crave attention to their person. One can say about the owner of such a car – confident and purposeful. Their driving style is more aggressive.
    • Shades of red express passion, as well as a love of power. Owners of red cars are impulsive and hot-tempered; they can neglect the rules on the road.
    • Blue is preferred by people who choose a friendly atmosphere around. They are modest and thoughtful. This is the colour of restraint, attention to detail and calm. Among owners of cars of blue colour, it is seldom possible to meet aggressive. But they are always ready to help on the road.
    • The yellow car and its owner definitely stand out from the stream, which is what they are striving for. Such people, as a rule, are sociable and calm, both in life and on the road.
    • Green is the colour of independent people. It is believed that the owners of green cars claim the title of “troublemaker” because their actions on the road are difficult to predict. At the same time, these people are constantly striving for something new and are distinguished by fidelity and even a share of shyness. Owners of cars of light green shades, as well as owners of red, are distinguished by road aggressiveness.
    • Pink colour gives dreaminess, but only when in moderation. Excess pink indicates a person’s frivolity. However, owners of marshmallow-coloured cars keep their road respectfully towards other road users.
    • Silver is often chosen by rational people who think through every step and do not want to attract a lot of attention. Gray or silver is not suitable for people with an active lifestyle who want to stand out.

It follows that it is better for hot-tempered people to choose a car whose colour has a “cooling” effect – dark or silver. But, one way or another, the colour scheme should be based on your feelings of comfort and safety.


When purchasing a car, it is not enough to pay attention to its shade from an aesthetic point of view. The colour of a car has a different effect on-road situations, on the degree of accident, and is also related to its practicality.

    • White. In a sparse stream, such a car stands out among others, but if the density of the presence of white cars in a small area is high, the colour can merge together. In the snowy season, the accident rate of such a car rises significantly. White does not require special care, because dust and scratches on the canvas are not visible.
    • The black. Such a car often merges with the colour of the asphalt, and at night it even becomes invisible. Black car owners are more often than others the participants of the accident. As for practicality – dirt on such a car is immediately visible, and in the summer the temperature in the cabin rises per minute.
    • Red. The car, of course, attracts attention, and they try to avoid it – the owners are not distinguished by a calm driving style. Red shades tend to burn out quickly in the sun.
    • Blue. It is safe to be on the road with the owner of a blue car in view of his psychology described above. Dark shades of blue require a little less maintenance than black cars. Light shades (blue) are “feminine”, dust is less visible than on a dark car. However, the blue colour of the car reduces concentration on the road, if you go after him for a long time.
    • Yellow. By itself, it activates the activity of the brain. Pollution on such a car is noticeable, but if approached from the point of view of humour, they look even interesting – there is only a long way to go. Due to their distinguished shade, owners of yellow cars rarely become participants in road accidents. However, the risk of incorrectly assessing the distance between road users increases.
    • Green. Along with blue, on dark shades, dust is clearly visible. In addition, in the blooming season, against the background of shrubs and trees, a green car is less noticeable. The light green shade is a stimulant of the immune system, and the dust on such a car is only slightly visible.
    • Pink. Definitely a feminine colour. It’s rare to see a car dirty. On the road, participants in pink iron horses are cautious – there is an opinion that instead of taking seriously the traffic situation, car owners “fly in the clouds.” But, probably, such an attitude develops only because an associative connection is triggered.
    • Silver. Practical colour from the point of view of leaving – pollution and scratches will not be evident. In the summer, reflecting the sun’s rays, the body does not allow to overheat the interior of the car. But in the dark, a grey car is barely visible on the road, so it is recommended to take measures to avoid accidents.

When choosing the shade of your car, you should prioritize correctly – do you need a bright car to attract attention, which plays safety and beauty, or are you a supporter of practicality and does not have a great desire to spend every night with a rag.

Choosing a car colour by zodiac sign

Stars can help in choosing the colour of the car. Nobody cancelled astrology! This, of course, does not mean that you need to blindly trust the advice of stargazers, but you can listen to their recommendations.

    • Aries. Active and stubborn personalities. The choice is given to frisky engines. On the road, they often show childishness, which increases the risk of an emergency. The colour suitable for temperament is red, but taking into account the driving style, you can look at the yellow car. Women are more suitable for blue shades.
    • Taurus. Calm, balanced type. In cars, they prefer reliability and comfort. Taurus can safely choose any colour from light to dark shades, excluding annoying red, which is directly related to the zodiac sign.
    • Gemini. Great connoisseurs of “wind in your hair.” They are inconsistent in their mood, their duality manifests itself on the road. As representatives of the air element, they often buy cars of “heavenly” colours but do not neglect the bright colours – orange or yellow.
    • Cancer. Drivers are prone to worry about their iron horses. Adherents of comfort, practicality and reliability. For representatives of this sign, a car is a second home. Therefore, the colour should be as comfortable. Crayfish often avoid “flashy” colours, preferring calm shades of green, blue, yellow and grey.
    • Leo. The representative of the fire element, a fan to stand out from the others. The car must match its owner, and its colour emphasizes the quality of the individual. Lions often exclude black in their choice but do not neglect navy or burgundy. It is better for a sign to buy a car in bright colours – red or yellow.
    • Virgo. A very responsible approach to the choice of a car, which is subsequently kept clean. The choice of colour comes from practical considerations – white, grey, blue or burgundy.
    • Libra. Balanced by nature, representatives of the zodiac cycle. They value the aesthetics of the car, and therefore they spend a lot of time searching for the ideal. They strive to carefully evaluate everything on the road, but in a critical situation, they do not always have time to make the right decision. More often choose shades of green.
    • Scorpio. They are inclined to choose a car capable of developing high speed. However, they also know how to get out of an accident with minor scratches or even the whole. This sign chooses colours to match the rider’s temperament – all shades of red or yellow, but can also look at black.
    • Sagittarius. Lovers of travel and space. This zodiac sign, as a rule, is well versed in all the new products in the automotive market. Sagittarians buy cars that seem formidable. Selected colours highlight such a car – yellow, purple or green.
    • Capricorn. He chooses a practical no-frills car that can overcome difficult obstacles. They do not like to attract attention, and therefore the colour of the machine is chosen from a wide range of dark or grey.
    • Aquarius. An adherent of comfort loves a large number of buttons and displays. The colour of the car should correspond to the internal content – bright shades will do just the way.
    • Pisces. Unpredictable zodiac sign. Speed ​​helps them to relax, but because of their high emotionality, they often become participants in an accident. Pisces should look at the shades of their element – blue, or green.


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