Choosing a car mechanic that’s honest and true to his profession takes much of experience at times. Once you have bought the car, you have the freedom to take your car to a private mechanic for maintenance rather than the dealership itself. There is a difference between taking your car to the dealership for its scheduled service and taking it to an automotive mechanic. The dealership service centers are authorized and also have your car’s service schedule which is intended to keep your vehicle in top working condition. So, a lot depends on what needs to be done in your vehicle. Since the private auto mechanics are cheaper as compared to the ones at dealerships who usually overcharge, people usually try to opt for the former.
A vehicle identification number, or VIN, is a 17-digit alphanumeric number. Since 1981, global automotive manufacturers have utilized a complex numbering system called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely describes a vehicle. This number provides a coded description of the vehicle including: Manufacturer, Year of Production, Place of Production and Vehicle Characteristics.
You may not feel the need of understanding and decoding VIN but if you are interested to know more about your vehicle then you must know what it means and how to decipher it.
Each VIN is unique to the vehicle and provides significant information about the vehicle. A VIN can also allow a service provider to accurately know the model/ type of car and its corresponding parts.
A VIN is also useful prior to buying a car as it can provide information about any damage or illegal modification or theft.
Where to find the VIN of your Car?
• Dash of the car by the bottom of the windshield on the front passenger side.
• Sticker on the B pillar on the driver’s side
• On the engine block for some cars
• On the underside of the hood on some newer vehicles
• Registration and insurance certificates of the car
Decoding a VIN
Each VIN is broken into three sections mentioned below.
1. World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI.
2. Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS.
3. Vehicle Identifier Section or VIS
#AutomenProTip: Some car manufacturer lets the consumer lookup VIN on their website. There are also many 3rd party websites that let you decipher the numbers and their meanings for absolutely no cost. Just go online and search for “online VIN decoder” and select any from the top results.
World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI
The first three digits are the WMI that gives the information about the country, manufacturer and the type of vehicle.
The first character in a VIN may be either a letter or number and tells you the geographic area of manufacture. This is where the car was actually made, and it may be different from where the manufacturer is located.
|A – H||Africa|
|J – R (except O and Q)||Asia|
|S – Z||Europe|
|1 – 5||North America|
|6 or 7||New Zealand or Australia|
|8 or 9||South America|
The 2nd & 3rd digits of the VIN will tell you the manufacturer and make of the car.
Some examples include the following:
For example, in VIN “1TNEK13ZX3R298984,” the “T” indicates a vehicle manufactured by Toyota.
Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS
VDS is a five digit alphanumeric number used to specify a type of vehicle and may include information about the model, platform, engine and transmission.
Vehicle Identifier Section or VIS
VIS gives information about the year of manufacture and the manufacturing plant along with the sequential serial number of the vehicle.
The 10th number indicates the year the car was manufactured. It begins with A for 1980, the first year a standard 17-digit VIN was used. Subsequent years follow the alphabet of to “Y” in the year 2000.
In the same VIN example “1TNEK13ZX3R298984,” the “3” indicates the vehicle was manufactured in 2003.
The 11th digit tells which plant actually assembled the car. This digit is specific to each manufacturer.
The 9th number is a check digit used to prove the VIN is not a fake. In VIN “5XXGN4A70CG022862,” the check digit is “0”.
#AutomenProtip: To find out credibility of a VIN verify the check digit as it uses a complex calculation so it cannot be easily faked. You can find many free sources on the internet that will allow you to verify the check digit.
Decode the remaining numbers
The rest of the numbers provide the production or serial number of the car and is what makes the VIN unique to that specific car. To find out this manufacturer-specific information, you can check their website for a decoding sheet.
At Automen, our team uses only genuine parts that have been matched to your car’s VIN. This ensures that there is no mismatch of parts at the time of service.
Unsure of about which parts are suited for your car, then get in touch with our team on 8010696969 or log onto www.automen.in to know more.
Have you ever filled diesel in a petrol car or vice-versa?
You may think this as a very foolish act, but believe us when we say that this problem is more common than you think. It may happen due to the following reasons:
1. Driver or Petrol station attendant is distracted
2. Driver is not aware of the fuel type of the car
3. New variants of car launched – for e.g. petrol Innova has recently been launched
But it can be easily prevented if you are alert when refilling your car.
However, if you have done this or if you wish to prevent the dangerous outcomes of such a mistake then you should know what to do and how to not let it become a pain and ultimately avoid a costly repair.
What happens if you put diesel in a petrol car?
Diesel is a much denser fuel than petrol and it doesn’t get evaporated like petrol does. As soon as your car starts moving the petrol in the fuel lines is replaced with diesel and the first part that gets affected is the fuel filter, which will tend to clog up quite quickly as diesel is relatively more oily. The next thing to get affected are the spark plugs. In a diesel engine, the diesel is compressed to ignite but in a petrol engine the petrol is ignited with a spark generated by spark plugs. Diesel, being heavier than petrol coats the spark plugs ceasing them to generate any spark and ultimately cutting out the engine.
Signs of Diesel in a Petrol car
- Engine Misfiring
- Engine Won’t Start
- Engine Cuts Out
- Dense Smoke Comes Out Of Exhaust
What happens if you put petrol in a diesel car?
It’s altogether a different horror story if a diesel engine is topped up with petrol as diesel engines are not as merciful as petrol engines and this mistake can lead to a more expensive damage.
Some parts in diesel engines, such as the fuel injection pump, highly depends on diesel’s lubrication properties to run smoothly. But petrol does not offer such lubricating properties and can therefore damage it.
Symptoms of Petrol in a Diesel car
- Black Smoke
Driving with the wrong fuel can lead to your car’s engine seizing and costing you a bomb to repair. Speak with our team on 8010696969 if you need Assistance in such a situation.
If you drive a car, then you must be familiar with dashboard lights and what do they mean. However, the check engine light is one of the most mysterious lights that comes without warning and no explanation.
There are multiple reason that may trigger the Check Engine Light but we have assimilated the top 5 reasons that can cause the Check Engine Light to flash on your dash.
You may not be able to fix the problem that’s causing this light to come on yourself however, knowing the problem by diagnosing the symptoms can help you become vigilant.
After reading this blog, you will be able to safeguard yourself from any sort of cheating or trickery of shady repair shops who are ready to just steal your money away for a simple quick fix.
1. Oxygen (O2) Sensor Malfunction
The O2 sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in your vehicle’s exhaust system.
A faulty sensor can cause damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter. It also leads to black smoke being emitted from your car and will most likely not pass the emission test of Pollution Under Control (PUC).
2. Fuel cap is loose or damaged
One would not believe that something as small as a loose or damaged fuel cap can cause the check engine light to come on. But, it’s true in such a scenario you will lose fuel through evaporation which is certainly not good for the car’s fuel economy.
3. Catalytic converter needs replacing
A catalytic converter of a car is used to convert harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. And whenever, there is some problem with it your check engine light is triggered alerting you to look for a problem in the catalytic converter.
A faulty catalytic converter will result in reduced performance and fuel economy and your car may run at a higher temperature.
4. Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)
A car’s mass airflow sensor is responsible to measure the amount of air entering the engine to determine the amount of fuel required to run the engine efficiently.
A faulty MAF sensor can lead to an increase in emissions, causing the car to stall, and ultimately decreasing the car’s mileage.
5. Spark Plugs or Plug Wires need replacing
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle and spark plugs wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs.
If any of the spark plugs or spark plug wires goes bad then you will notice a reduction in car power and poor performance. You car engine will misfire resulting in reduced fuel economy.
Faulty spark plugs or spark plug wires can also damage the catalytic converter and O2 sensor of the car leading to an expensive repair job.
Now, you know some of the most common reasons that cause of Check Engine light and how to diagnose it.
Apart from knowing the size of the tyre, most of us have no clue about why these numbers are there and what do they mean.
Every car manufacturer prescribes a certain type of tyre based on several factors such as weight of the car, engine power, mileage and traction, overall price of the car etc. However when we go to replace these tyres, we simply go by the advice of the tyre retailer and in many cases, generally the tyre with the maximum commission for the dealer is the recommended one.
To make sure you don’t fall into this trap, we decided to unravel the mystery behind these numbers and help you understand them better so that you can take an informed decision before your next tyre purchase.
Whenever you’re going to buy new tyres for your car, do check this simple guide to know which tyres are suitable for your car.
- P/LT/ST/C: Most tyre markings start with one or more letters. In the picture above, it starts with P which tells us that this tyre is designed for Passenger Vehicle. However, there are many other tyres that are designed for different type of vehicles, for example, LT for Light Truck or SUVs, ST for Special Trailer, C for commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks and vans.
- Tyre Width: Next comes, a three digit number that tells us the cross-sectional width of tyre in millimeters. The tyre width, 185 is measured from the widest point of the inner sidewall to the widest point of the outer sidewall when properly mounted.
- Aspect Ratio: It is a two digit number that indicates the distance of the sidewall from the wheel rim to the outside of the tread. We have 75 as the aspect ratio. A higher aspect ratio means a higher-profile tyre with a taller sidewall while a tyre with a low aspect ratio will have a shorter sidewall.
- Tyre Construction(R, D, B): The letter that follows the two-digit aspect ratio tells us the tyre’s construction. We have the R rating which means that the tyre has Radial construction. Radial tyres are the one where the internal body plies of the tyre radiate outward from the center. If there’s a D instead of an R, the tyre has a Bias Ply construction, meaning that the internal body plies of the tire are crisscross in a diagonal pattern. In Bias Belted tyres (marked as B), the internal plies crisscross like in a D construction, but there’s also an extra layer of reinforcing belts under the tread area. Belted tyres are rarely seen these days while 98% of cars have Radial tyres.
- Diameter (in inches): This denotes the diameter of the wheel. The number 14 means that the tyre should be matched to a 14-inch diameter wheel.
- Load Rating: This tells us how many pounds a tyre can safely carry. The number 82 is assigned to a specific load carrying capacity of 1047 pounds (per tyre).
- Speed Rating: A Speed Rating of S means that the tyre can easliy achieve a speed of 180 km/h. It tells you how fast this tyre can go. For more information on speed ratings refer to the table below.
After figuring out the which tyre will be the right fit for your car and driving style, next you should choose the tyres which are apt for the weather condition you mostly drive in. If you drive in extreme climates, make sure you choose Snow tyres for colder regions or Wet tyres for areas with heavy rains
If you’re unsure about which tyre will be the best for your car then speak to the experts at Automen on 8010696969 to know the best tyres for your car.
Need For Speed – a term originally coined for a car racing video game, has overtime been used in movies, race tracks and everything that can be made to go faster. More specifically when we talk about fast cars. ☺
Car speeds can be derived from a powerful engine or from additional boosters. The thought of having enormous power in a car besides the engine power has always attracted many people and that is why engine tuners have turned to ‘Forced Induction’.
Forced Induction is a process that pumps more air, which is sent to the combustion chamber for bigger combustion explosions. This ultimately results in the generation of extensive power.
So, how does an engine generate the kind of power that will fulfill your Need for Speed?
There are 2 ways that can get you the boost you need. These are TurboCharger and SuperCharger.
A Turbocharger is an air compressor driven by exhaust gases. On the other hand, a Supercharger is also an air compressor, but is driven by the crankshaft of the engine, usually connected with a belt. That’s one of the prime differences between the two. This also means that the supercharger takes the power from the engine to run whereas turbocharger runs off waste energy created by the engine.
Turbocharger is made of two major components that handles the entire function of the turbo. They are namely, Compressor and a Turbine that are mounted on a common shaft. Turbine is rotated by the exhaust gases of the engine, which in turn rotates the compressor. Due to high speed rotation enormous heat is generated in the middle section of the turbo. Water based cooling or some other form of cooling system is provided to prevent the temperature of the turbo from rising.
Both, the turbine and the compressor section are properly sealed in order to prevent the mixing of gases. The turbine section is equipped with a filter to ensure the air going to the compressor is free of any impurities.
Working of a Turbocharger
The turbine uses exhaust gases energy and convert it into rotational motion. This rotational motion drives the compressor that pulls in the ambient air from the surrounding and pumps compressed air with high density and pressure into the intake manifold.
It is no different from the Turbocharger as it is used to provide boost to the engine to add more horsepower.
However, the only difference is that is doesn’t take power from the exhaust gases but it takes power directly from the engine. It is connected to the engine through a belt that is responsible for rotating it.
Working of a Supercharger
The superchargers are powered by the engine which is connected with a belt drive that is mounted on the crankshaft. When the engine runs, the crankshaft rotates which in turn, rotates the belt drive that is connected to supercharger which then compresses this air and pressure it into the intake manifold just like the compressor section of the turbocharger.
TURBOCHARGER VS SUPERCHARGER
Turbocharger usually have a lag, as it takes time for engine to release the exhaust gases everytime the rpm is low. However, the Supercharger is run by engine itself there is notably no lag and you have instant power every time you rev the engine.
|Inactive at low revs or idle and thus doesn’t provide immediate boost||Provides immediate boost|
|Works with both big and small engines||Works best with bigger engines|
|Can spin up-to 250,000 rpm, as they are not mechanically linked to the engine||Can spin only up-to 50,000 as they are mechanically linked to the engine|
|Used to increase power and decrease emissions at the same time||Used to increase power only, emissions mostly always increase after an supercharger installation|
|They generally increase the fuel efficiency of the vehicle||They generally decrease the fuel efficiency of the vehicle|
|Complicated to install and expensive too|| |
Comparatively less complicated to install and cheaper too
|Will not last as long as superchargers||Will have greater life over turbochargers|
Image Credits: Tyler Hartle
There are many options and solutions to add that extra boost to your car, be it a Turbocharger or a Supercharger, but no matter what you choose, we urge you to always wear your seatbelt and drive responsibly.