Posts made in March, 2015

How To Know When Your Clutch Is On The Way out

You may not be too interested in the mechanical workings of your automobile. It gets you from A to B, after all. Yet if you sense that there’s something wrong with the transmission, it pays to have at least some understanding of potential causes. This could help you take action sooner, saving money and inconvenience. So, how do you know if your clutch is about to give up the ghost?

An Overview of How a Clutch Works

In order for the engine (which generates the power), to transfer that power into forward motion, the engine itself needs to be selectively connected to the gearbox. The gearbox then transfers the power to the wheels. The clutch is the mechanism that connects the two together. It varies the amount of power, according to different road conditions and necessary speeds. As you can see, the clutch is vital, as without it the car will not be able to function properly in different driving conditions and situations.

How Do You Know If It Needs Attention?

Overheating

If you sense difficulty moving forward, accompanied by a burning smell or smoke from underneath, the clutch could be overheating. This condition is often caused if you rest your foot on the clutch pedal in a manual car while driving in slow traffic.

Leaking

If you find that you’re driving along and the car slips out of gear for no reason, this signifies that the clutch is worn and has to be replaced, or there could be an oil leak from the engine onto the clutch plate itself.

Sticking

If you find that it is very difficult to disengage the clutch pedal in a manual car, this means that the clutch is “sticking.” This happens when the hydraulic linkages fail, resulting in a loss of pressure and a failure to engage. If you know where to look under the bonnet, check the clutch fluid reservoir to see if there is enough fluid within. It’s likely it will be empty, signifying there is a leak somewhere.

Slipping

If you’re driving uphill and notice that the car is in a much higher gear, while travelling slowly (in an automatic) then this indicates that the clutch is slipping. In layman’s terms it means the plate is worn and will need to be replaced. You may find that your manual car cannot get traction until the clutch pedal releases almost all the way up to the top. This means that the clutch is worn all the way down and needs to be replaced.

For more information, contact a business such as Quickstop Brake & Clutch Centre.

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Basic Trailer Ramp Alternatives for Your Specialty Car

If your hobby calls for you to transport cars on a regular basis you may be looking for a way to make your life a lot easier when loading or unloading. Most commercial trailers will, of course, come with a stock ramp, but it is typically designed for “middle-of-the-road” applications or a standard vehicle, whatever that may be! However, if you have a specialty car—like a racing car, for example—then this may not be good enough. What are your alternatives to help you load and unload?

Consider Extensions

There are number of different aluminium trailer extension ramps on the market that can help with your convenience and productivity. You won’t have to worry so much about the low ground clearance of your racer. Extensions are available with different variations of ‘rise’. This describes the elevation from the leading edge of the extension to the point where it connects with the original ramp door.

To determine the correct amount of rise, you need to take into account your car’s ground clearance, the actual height of the trailer deck above the ground and the overall length of the original door ramp, when it is open. This will enable you to choose the right extension.

Mounting Extensions

Aluminium trailer ramp extensions can be permanently mounted to the back of the original trailer door and therefore folded up conveniently for storage. Remember, however, that you need to adjust the suspension on the back of your trailer by upgrading the helper springs as needed. This will help to counterbalance the extra weight of the ramp extension when stored.

Adjust Your Trailer

Bear in mind that you may need to get special risers to place underneath the leading edge of the original trailer door. By providing this bolster at this point you can help to keep the leading edge of the original door level with the new extension. When the car is being loaded or unloaded this will take a lot of strain away from the hinges of the original door. You can check to see whether you need this or not by watching what happens when the vehicle is first being loaded. If the action causes the original door edge to be held off the ground, this means that risers should be sourced.

If you don’t want to mount a ramp extension within the door itself, then you might like to consider buying standalone assist ramps. They come in different sizes and different lengths according to the degree of lift you want. When you’re finished with these extenders you can just slide them underneath the car for storage.

To get a better idea of your options, contact local services such as Sureweld.

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