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What is a master cylinder, and how does it operate? Even though it’s an essential component of your car’s brake system, it often goes unrecognized. In this article, we’re discussing the history of the master cylinder and how they work.
What does a master cylinder do?
The master cylinder is a tube in your brake system that lets you move hydraulic force from one part of the system to another. The original force comes from your foot pushing down on the brake pedal. That force gets moved through it to your brake calipers. These clamp down on your rotors to stop your vehicle.
People who know a thing or two about cars will tell you that the heart of your car is the master cylinder. Like your heart pumps blood out through your arteries, the master cylinder pumps brake fluid out through brake lines.
Pushing down on the brake causes the pushrod to enter one end of the master cylinder. Inside, there’s brake fluid, springs, and two pistons. Likewise, pistons operate like plungers. They move the brake fluid through it and out to the brake lines. The brake lines carry them to your four wheels. Springs push back against the force of the brake pedal. This is why your pedal returns to its normal position when you take your foot off of it. To make sure no air enters the master cylinder, there’s a reservoir of brake fluid above it.
Today’s master cylinders have two brake lines. In our metaphor, the brake lines are arteries, so they transport fluid out of the master cylinder. Each brake line leads to two wheels which are diagonally-opposed. This is done as a safety measure to make sure your brakes will still work, even if one of the brake lines has a leak. The two brake lines move the brake fluid into cylinders on the brake calipers. This force causes the caliper to clamp down on the rotor, stopping it from moving.
Who invented it?
The first person to make a brake system using liquid pressure in cylinders and tubes was Malcolm Lougheed. He invented his hydraulic brake system in 1918. These were an improvement to mechanical brakes, because they required a lot less force to operate. However, this original hydraulic system tended to have lots of problems with leaking.
Chrysler improved on Lougheed’s original system, and renamed them Chrysler-Lockheed hydraulic brakes. These were used in their vehicles from 1924 all the way up to 1962. Car manufacturers all ended up converting to hydraulic braking systems by the 1940s.
The dual-cylinder brake system was invented in 1960 by Wagner Electric. This system had a dual master cylinder so it could separate rear and front hydraulic lines. This meant that if one line leaked, the other one could still operate. In other words, your brakes wouldn’t die if there was a leak, because the other line could still operate. The federal government mandated the use of dual-braking master cylinders in 1967. It’s estimated that doing so prevents 40,000 accidents each year.
Now that you know a little more about your master cylinder, take some time to appreciate it. If you think you have a maintenance issue with your master cylinder, give us a call. Our experts at Service Garage of Blaine are here for you. Schedule your appointment today at (763) 792-4949.
The history of the check engine light is interesting. These days, it’s easy to overlook the car features we’re used to seeing. Consider the check engine light. Have you ever thought about how it came to be in history? If so, you’re in the right place. We’re covering the complete history of the check engine light, so stick around to learn something new.
History how exactly does the light work?
Before we dive in history, let’s review some basics. A check engine light is also known as a malfunction indicator lamp, or MIL. It’s a warning light run by your car’s computer system that tells when there’s an engine malfunction. The check engine light is a red or orange light that’s usually found on the dashboard. Sometimes it looks like an image of an engine, but other times it will appear as a phrase, like “SERVICE ENGINE SOON”. If the light is visible but not blinking, it indicates a non-urgent issue. If the light is blinking, it means there’s a more serious problem that needs immediate attention.
When the check engine light gets activated, the engine control unit saves a diagnostic trouble code (DTC). This code is read by a scan tool to identify the issue. An activated MIL can point to a wide range of vehicle issues, with some more serious than others.
History when the check engine light standardized?
In 1996, an on-board vehicle diagnostic system, known as OBD2, was invented. It became a requirement for all vehicles sold in the United States as part of a federal directive to reduce vehicle emissions. SinceallnewvehicleswereequippedwithOBD2technology,it resulted in a system of DTCs that were implemented across the board. This is the system we still use today that allows check engine lights to function the way they do. Because of this system, our skillful technicians at SVC Garage of Blaine can use scan tool technology to easily diagnose vehicle issues. The scan tool shows what DTC triggered the check engine light so we can resolve the issue right away.
How has the CEL evolved over time and History?
Before OBD2 and the DTC system that came with it, there wasn’t a centralized system for automobile issues. There were check engine lights dating back to the 1980s, but not in all vehicles. They only existed in vehicles with computerized engine controls. These check engine lights were more simple in comparison to what we have today. They could only detect vehicle issues specific to an automobile manufacturer. Because of this, it was a lot harder for auto technicians to detect the reason for a triggered check engine light.
The most primitive form of the check engine light was called an idiot light or warning light. These lights served as tell-tales. They only turned on when a major issue or breakdown was imminent. Unfortunately, they didn’t give any real warning of a vehicle fault. History shows the Hudson Motor Car Company was the first manufacturer to use the idiot light in cars. They began installing them sometime during the mid-1930s. As soon as check engine lights gained traction in the early 1980s, idiot lights were discontinued to avoid confusion between the two.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the 1930s. Today, knowledgeable auto technicians can detect vehicle issues in a flash. Oftentimes, check engine lights are triggered for minor issues. Resolving these issues can prevent you from having a bigger problem down the road, saving you time and money on vehicle repairs.
That wraps up our brief history of the check engine light. The next time you see that your car’s check engine light is on, just be glad you’re not living in the 1930s. Think of that check engine light as your car’s way of letting you know it needs a little love, and give us a call.
8 Reasons Your Car’s Check Engine Light is On and What You Need to Do About It
You’re cruising along with the windows rolled down when suddenly you notice your check engine light is on. Such a bummer. There are lots of reasons the CEL gets activated. Today, we’re talking about 8 of the most common causes and what you need to do when this happens.
1. Oxygen sensor
One way your car’s CEL can be triggered is a faulty oxygen sensor. This sensor detects how much oxygen is in the exhaust. When it’s not working properly, your car will use up more gas than it needs. If this issue goes unchecked, it could damage the catalytic converter, costing you thousands of dollars.
2. Loose or missing fuel cap
The CEL will also be activated by a loose or cracked fuel cap. The fuel cap keeps debris out of the gas tank and prevents vapors from leaking out. This is an easy and inexpensive repair, but don’t procrastinate. Not replacing it will lead to increased fuel emissions and poor fuel economy.
3. Catalytic converter
A clogged catalytic converter will also trigger the CEL. Your engine’s catalytic converter changes carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. Since this isn’t a part that needs regular maintenance, it’s indicative of another underlying issue. Unfortunately, replacing this part is expensive. Investing in routine maintenance will help you avoid a clogged catalytic converter, saving you time and money down the road.
4. Spark plugs and spark plug wires
The CEL will also turn on if there’s a problem with your spark plugs and wires. These parts light the fuel and air mixture in the engine. If the spark plugs or wires are old or faulty, you’ll have weakened engine performance and bad fuel economy. Thankfully, replacing spark plugs is a minor repair. But, if the issue isn’t resolved in time, it can lead to a clogged catalytic converter or damaged oxygen sensors.
5. MAF failure
Your car’s mass air flow (MAF) sensor measures how much air enters the engine. This tells your car how much fuel is needed for it to run properly. If there’s a malfunction, you’ll definitely see the CEL. A common cause for MAF failure is not changing out the air filter regularly. If an issue with the MAF sensor goes unchecked, it can affect other parts of the engine, leading to more serious repairs in the future.
Your car’s battery is essential to its operation. An undercharged or faulty battery will definitely trigger your vehicle’s CEL. Since today’s batteries don’t require maintenance and only need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years on average, this isn’t a common reason for the CEL.
7. Vacuum leak
A vacuum leak will also cause your car’s CEL to turn on. Typically, a vacuum leak happens because the rubber linings crack or get stretched out. If you have an issue with your car’s vacuum, chances are there’s another engine part that’s affected. That’s because the vacuum controls lots of things, including the heating and A/C vents, cruise control, exhaust, and brake booster.
8. EGR valve
An issue with your car’s EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve will also trigger your CEL. The EGR system takes a small amount of exhaust gases back into the engine intake. This lowers the combustion temperature. The EGR valve controls the gas flow from the exhaust manifold to the intake manifold. If the flow is more or less than normal, your car will let you know with the CEL.
There are lots of reasons your car’s CEL may be on, and it’s not always easy to see why. Luckily, our skilled technicians at Service Garage of Blaine are here to help. While it may be tempting to put off, it’s best practice to schedule an inspection as soon as you see the CEL. Give us a call at (763) 792-4949 to schedule your appointment today.
Your Check Engine Light is On – What Should You Do?
What steps should you take when you see that dreaded check engine light? As you know, it can point to a lot of different issues, both major and minor. Whatever you do, don’t just ignore it. Doing so could end up causing you bigger problems in the future. Today, we’ll talk about the steps you need to take when you see your car’s check engine light.
Should I keep driving?
When you see your check engine light, it’ll either be blinking or illuminated. If it’s illuminated, it indicates a problem that’s typically not an emergency. You should still get it checked out as soon as you can, but it’s not a major crisis. If the light is blinking, then you need to pull over right away. This means there’s a major engine malfunction that needs immediate attention. In any case, whenever you see the check engine light, examine your car for anything that indicates a dangerous problem. If you notice loss of power, hear strange noises, or see engine smoke, you may have a serious engine malfunction. If so, avoid driving your car if you can. Doing so can lead to more damage. If possible, get your vehicle towed to a nearby service provider for diagnostics.
Troubleshooting the check engine light
If there are no indications of an engine malfunction and if your check engine light isn’t blinking, you may be able to troubleshoot the issue. The first place to check is your fuel cap. A loose fuel cap can set off your car’s check engine light. Inspect your fuel cap for any cracks or damage and tighten it. This may turn the check engine light off, and you can be on your way.
Another spot to look at is your oil dipstick. Check to make sure it’s properly seated. You’ll also want to make sure that the oil fill cap is tightly secured. This is found on top of the engine valve cover. Taking these steps can also deactivate your check engine light. To get a better idea of what’s triggering your check engine light, you may want to invest in an OBD2 scanner. This handy tool can detect which diagnostic trouble code (DTC) activated your car’s check engine light. To read the DTC, you’ll have to connect the OBD2 scanner to the data link connector. This is typically located underneath the driver’s side dashboard.
You can pick up a high-quality OBD2 scanner for under $100. The DTC will point you in the direction of where the engine malfunction is coming from, but it won’t give you a lot of specific information. Using a scan tool can help you understand the severity of the problem. From here, you can decide to make the repair yourself, or bring your car in for professional diagnostics. Resist the urge to panic when you see your car’s check engine light. Stay relaxed and take note of the situation. Formulate a plan to troubleshoot. Seek help immediately if you have an urgent problem. If your problem is not urgent, make a plan for maintenance.
At Service Garage of Blaine, we can diagnose your vehicle issues fast to get you back in action in no time. Give us a call at (763) 792-4949, or schedule your appointment online today. Our experienced technicians are always here to help.
There is much more to notice than just the headlight bulbs burning out. As a matter of fact, the effectivity of your headlights can hamper due to the fog of the headlight lenses. Most people think headlight restoration won’t make much of a difference, but once you get the job done, you will feel an increase in visibility and brightness.
WHAT HEADLIGHT RESTORATION?
Most headlights are made with thick plastic that includes polycarbonates, not like the glass ones used in the old cars. The plastic lenses are more scratch and dent resistant as well as durable. But over time, the plastic gets exposed to UV rays, and the external layers begin breaking down. These changes cause the lenses to absorb blue light and releases a yellowish light. But fortunately, cleaning the foggy headlights is relatively simpler.
SIGNS THAT THE HEADLIGHTS NEED A RESTORATION
The signs that add up and make it essential for you to to get a headlight restoration done are:
- Poor nighttime visibility is one of the prominent signs to notice the issue.
- Another way to find out would be foggy headlights
- And finally, scuffed or scratched lenses are an indicator for you to do headlight restoration
LONG TERM ISSUES IF IGNORED
Such a crucial task cannot be left ignored. To avoid or delay a headlight restoration task would be like inviting trouble for yourselves and the passenger sitting next to you. To clean the headlights is somewhat an easy job and doesn’t take much of your time. However, most people ignore it because they believe it would take too much of their time, but that is not the case.
On average, it takes 10-20 minutes on each headlight. So it isn’t a bad idea, after all, to invest 30 minutes of your life and save yourself from major damages.
Now that you know the importance of getting the headlight restoration, you can hire a professional to check your headlights for you. Blaine Auto Online provides you with both experience and expertise to keep your vehicles in topnotch condition. And you can acquire these services right here in Blaine, MN.
There are a few warning signs you may notice when the brakes start to have issues with them. One of the most important parts of your car is your brakes. According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, roughly 22% of the vehicular issues are caused due to brake failure, rather than the driver error. Driving safely is only half the battle – Having a well-maintained and proper functioning braking system is also crucial.
Different types of brakes
There are 5 common types of brakes used in cars: frictional, servo, electromagnetic, pumping, hydraulic, and servo. These brakes have different functions and are used in different types of cars. For instance, the electromagnetic brake system is commonly used in hybrid automobiles.
In order for you and others to be safe on the road, you need to check if your brakes are performing the right way. Here are 5 signs that show your brakes are going out.
1. Warning Lights Turns On
In some vehicles, there is an warning light that turns on when the brakes are worn out. This feature is more common in newer car models. If your brake light turns on, you need to consult a professional to take a look at the brake pads and get them replaced asap.
2. Vibrating Brake Pedal
The second sign your brakes might be wearing going out is the vibrating pedal while applying brakes. If you are finding it difficult to apply brakes with your current brake pedal, then that’s not normal. You need to get your braking system checked immediately to avoid any further damage to the car and prevent accidents.
3. Squealing or Squeaking Noise
This is one of the most common signs that indicate your brakes are functioning properly. However, the squeaky brake sound can be normal in some weather – having such sounds during all year long is not a good sign and indicates there might be a problem.
4. Grinding Noises
If you don’t get your brakes pads replaced even when they have completely worn off, you will most likely hear a grinding or metallic noise when applying brakes. This can severely damage your car rotors and cost you more money on the repairs.
5. Burning Smell
A burning smell coming from your brakes and wheels means you could have an overheated clutch or brakes. If you continue to drive your car, it could lead to total brake failure.
Front vs. Rear Brakes
Front brakes tend to wear down faster than rear brakes, in some cases twice as fast. The front brakes have a 75% contribution in stopping a car while the rear brakes ensure the car is aligned and doesn’t drift too much on the road.
We hope you now have a clear understanding of how to identify brake issues in your car. Remember, no compromise is bigger than the health and safety of your loved ones. If you are looking to change, install or fix a reliable braking system, drop by at Blaine Auto Online at Blaine, MN, for the best deals on the braking system today.
Brake repair for your vehicle is an important maintenance task to have done for it. The brakes in your vehicle basically comprise of a water-powered clip that eases back and stops the turn of the wheels. With normal investigations and upkeep, your stopping mechanism ought to stay solid and moderate without significant vehicle brake fix. In any case, if your brakes are screeching, granulating, or the vehicle shivers when you step on the brakes, they’ll need master consideration.
Signs of the brakes going out
Brake repair is needed if you notice issues with braking. Brake rotors are huge circles that sit within the wheels. At the point when you hit the brake pedal, the brake cushions embrace the rotors, easing back them and your vehicle. It would be best if you had rotors to be smooth and even in thickness. After some time and a great many wheel insurgencies, it’s typical for the rotor surface to get slight varieties. Rust can likewise, in some cases, create. During brake overhauling, the essence of the rotor is regularly trued to address these imperfections.
In case you’re encountering a delicate brake pedal, have an assistance specialist search for liquid spilling from the ace chamber or somewhere else in the slowing mechanism. The ace chamber is the unit that makes the force for your brakes. It has a supply like the one for your wiper liquid that contains brake liquid.
Brake Repair for the car
Front brake cushions and rotors will, in general, wear quicker than back brakes. Twice as quick now and again. In a vehicle, slowing down can prompt the nose jumping down in the front, which may expand controlling reaction. But, does it need to be a big deal having excessive wear and tear in the front?
Different types of brakes
- Plate brakes comprise a brake rotor that is appended straightforwardly to the wheel. Water driven weight from the ace chamber makes a caliper crush the brake cushions on either side of the rotor. The contact between the cushions and the rotor makes the vehicle moderate and stop.
- Drum brakes comprise a brake drum connected to within the wheel. At the point when the brake pedal agreements, water-powered weight squeezes two brake shoes against the brake drum. It makes rubbing and makes the vehicle moderate and stop.
- Crisis brakes, otherwise called stopping brakes, are an optional slowing mechanism that works autonomously of the administration brakes. While there is a wide range of sorts of crisis slows down, practically all crisis brakes fueled by links which precisely apply strain to the wheels. They are commonly used to keep a vehicle fixed while left, yet can likewise be utilized in crisis circumstances if the fixed brakes come up short.
- Electronically monitored slowing mechanisms (ABS) are found on most more current vehicles. If the fixed brakes are applied out of nowhere, ABS keeps the wheels from securing up request to shield the tires from sliding. This component is particularly helpful when driving on wet and tricky streets.
So, are you having brake problems in your car? Then, connect with Blaine Auto Online. Providing you with the service of best brake repairs right here in Blaine, MN. Keep your car brakes functioning at its maximum! Contact us now!
Customarily, auto mechanics recommend replacement of a vehicle’s air filters every 3,000-6,000 miles. Present-day air filters perform better and last longer. The two air filters present in your car, namely, the cabin air filter and the air intake filter present in the engine, can last 10,000-30,000 miles under the favorable driving conditions. But people need to be aware of the fact that these channels/filters, despite everything, need scheduled replacement.
Why should you replace an air filter?
It is easy to understand the relation between the AC system and a cabin filter. At the point when the cabin air filter is blocked with dust and debris, it can stop up the AC and heater. If your mechanic checks the AC or cooling without first evaluating the health of the cabin air filter, you could pay the expense of extra repairs. With any service for the air filter, it’s critical to change a faulty and dirty filter regularly. Simply cleaning the air filter and reinstalling it doesn’t protect your AC enough.
The impact of a dirty air filter on fuel economy
While a dirty filter can have adverse effects on the engine’s performance. It is reasonable, considering your vehicle can utilize more than 10,000 gallons of oxygen for each gallon of fuel consumed. Replacement of an old filter can go far towards expanding the vehicle’s productivity. In other words, changing a grimy filter can increase average gas mileage by 10%.
Reduction in airflow
A stopped up filter can diminish the volume of air that can go through. It implies air going through the AC eases back down, in this way decreasing the progression of air into the lodge of the vehicle. Car owners may need to turn up the fan settings on their climate control system to make up for the diminished wind stream, putting a strain on the AC as it attempts to blow more air into the lodge/cabin.
An exhausted cooling system with a reduction in the wind flow is less ready to keep a steady air temperature in the cabin. The air temperature increment brought about by a stopped up cabin filter might be progressive, contingent upon how the channel is obstructed, just as different factors, for example, the outside temperature and measure of daylight warming the air as it goes through the vehicle’s windows. At the point when the air temperature begins to rise, the forced air system basically can’t deliver enough cold air to cause a reduction in the temperature.
So, are you having air circulation problems in your car? Then give the Service Garage of Blaine or Blaine Tire & Auto a call. Providing you well-constructed cabin air filters right here in Blaine, MN. Keep your air clean and your ride cleaner! Contact us now!
Listen to this Article
Inspecting and having regular maintenance done for your vehicle is always important. This not only helps you to stay safe on the road, but it will help prolong the life of the vehicle. Following the recommended maintenance schedule will help determine when parts start to wear down. The owner’s manual will recommend when certain tasks should be performed. Also make sure to contact us, and we will be happy to advise you on a schedule for maintenance. This will help to have a safe and reliable vehicle as you drive this summer.
Inspecting the Wipers
Those in the Blaine and Lino Lakes area know how quickly weather can change. When driving, this will affect the windshield wipers the most. As they operate, make sure they clear the rain quickly and efficiently away from the windshield. If they do not, the visibility will decrease. Notice if the blades make any vibration or chatter noise as they go over the windshield. This can indicate that they are wearing down and a new set will be needed. Since wipers are inexpensive, it is always recommended to change them when they are no longer in ideal condition. If the vehicle has a rear wiper, that should be inspected and changed as well.
An overlooked part of the vehicle are the tires. They are important since they are the only part that makes direct contact with the road. Driving will start to cause extra wear and strain on the tires. If the vehicle is hard to maintain control of, especially on wet or slick roads, the tread wear should be inspected. As the tread wears down, the tires will lose grip and traction on the road. Checking the tread can be quick and easy, using just a penny. Place it upside down in the tread groove and if you see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread has worn down. We can also check the tread of the tires and determine if a new set of tires would be needed.
Driving during the summer can bring it’s own challenges. This can include road construction, heavy traffic, or deer that will run onto the road. Minnesota ranks in the top ten for number of deer collisions in a state. Not only can hitting a deer dangerous, but it can be expensive as well. Each year, these collisions cost over 4 billion dollars in damage. This results in a lethal combination of cars and deer. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there is a rise in collisions. This is mostly from more roads being built through wildlife habitats, which force them to move.
Always be aware of deer crossing signs. If these are on the side of the road, then that area is heavily populated with several that cross the road. As you pass by trees that are close to the road, there is an increased chance of deer or wildlife running out of there. This is mostly because the trees will hide the deer and they will not be seen until the last second. When driving past a field, there are more open areas so they can be seen easier. Plus there is larger distance between the field and the road.
Also remember to never swerve when a deer runs out onto the road. This can cause an accident with the vehicle beside you because you side-swipe them. If there is a semi beside you, the accident will be worse. It can also increase the chance that you lose control of the vehicle and risk going in the ditch, flipping, or rolling it as well. Overall, there will be less damage by just hitting it. If there is an area and they are on the side of the road, remember to slow down. More often than not, there are always more than one, so you will want to pay attention carefully.
Driving in severe weather during the summer can be difficult. While winter presents blizzards, summer has thunderstorms, down pour rain, and even a tornado. By staying alert and aware of the weather, you can be prepared for the type of weather you might be driving into when traveling. When it starts raining, turn on the windshield wipers. Doing so will remove the rain and precipitation from the windshield. When the wipers do not clear it away or are damaged, make sure they are replaced. Schedule an appointment and we will be happy to replace the wipers with a new set.
When driving when it rains, turn the wipers on
When the wipers are operating, remember to turn on the headlights. If it rains, visibility will get worse and it will be harder to see. This also makes it more difficult for other drivers to see you. By turning on the headlights, the safety is improved. When driving I fog, remember to set the lights on low beams or fog lights. When the fog is so heavy that the visibility is poor, pull over when it is safe to do so. Waiting a few extra minutes until the fog has cleared is better than driving blindly through it.
As severe weather hits and it starts to down pour, reduce the speed that you are driving. With heavy rain, the pavement will have an abundance of water. This will result in an increased chance of hydroplaning when driving. It can also cause safety issues if you are driving too fast. Also be aware if there is flooding or running water on the road. Since you cannot tell how deep the water is, it is always best to turn around and find a different route. Within a few seconds, you can lose control of the vehicle. So always be aware of the road conditions, even if it is raining out.
In the summer you will want nice cold air to blow from the air conditioner of your car. You may notice that once you turn on the car, the air is not cold, since it takes a few minutes for that to happen. If several minutes go by and the air is still warm, there is a problem with the air conditioner. Contact us and we can schedule an appointment. Staying cool and comfortable will be a priority when you drive, so make sure that the air conditioner is always working efficiently and blowing cold air.
Always check under the vehicle if you start to notice any issues with the air conditioner. If the hose has a hole in it, then refrigerant will leak out. This will then reduce how efficient the air conditioner is working. It will also show signs of having only cool air instead of cold. Without it, the air will only be warm, even if the air conditioner is on max. If you see a puddle under the vehicle after it has been parked for several minutes, make sure to contact us. This will help the air conditioner get back to blowing out nice cold air.
Warm air may mean a build up
Also be aware of any leaves or build up that might be around the condenser of the air conditioner. Check under the hood, and any leaves or twigs that might be blocking it should be removed. This will cause issues with the airflow of the air conditioner as is operates. It will not be able to cool it as needed, and result in warm air. Also make sure the vehicle is brought in so we can check the fins for any damage or if they are bent. Anytime there is an issue, it is always best to have it fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.