Using a Digital Multimeter for Car Repair

digital multimeter auto specsIf your car repair involves any electrical systems, then you need to have a digital multimeter. And with today’s high-tech vehicles, it’s pretty much impossible to work on any part of the car without running into a sensor or electrical circuit of some kind. There are several brands of digital multimeters that are specifically designed for automotive repair work. At the very least, your chosen multimeter should provide the basic functions needed by auto mechanics.

When shopping for a digital multimeter, make sure you focus on brands that are designed to be used when repairing cars. These units will be more rugged and stand up to the abuse and occasional accidents that are part of automotive service. They will also have specific dials and buttons that will make your repair work go more easily. Digital multimeters built for auto service are usually more easy to read-you never can predict whether you will be using it by the roadside at night or in full sunlight in your driveway.

The most basic features that a mechanic requires in a digital multimeter is the ability to measure voltage, current and resistance. Knowing the values of these three things make it possible to diagnose almost any electrical problem. For example, measuring the resistance of your spark plug wires is a common way to determine whether they need replacing or not.

An example of an excellent auto service digital multimeter is the Fluke 77-4. It has a large, easy-to-read display (which is backlit for low light work) and is compatible with the latest safety standards. Voltage ranges can be determined automatically or set manually. The meter is accurate to with 0.3% and has a lifetime warranty.

Don’t make the mistake of working on your vehicle without having a digital multimeter on hand. You can find excellent models ranging from $30 and up.

Why Every Mechanic Needs an Automotive Code Scanner

automotive code scannerThe fact that today’s automobiles are complex machines means that likewise, there ought to be complex ways of detecting the slightest trouble so that it is immediately rectified. Modern automobiles contain thousands of connections and parts, and if any of them happened to malfunction, it would take time before the exact problem was identified, let alone repaired. However, thanks to the automotive code scanner, it is possible to regularly and continuously monitor the vehicles functioning, using the OBD.

OBD means on-board diagnostic systems, which is like saying that if an engine malfunctions, an error code is generated and then stored in the cars computer. In case of a complex problem, a light will come on and let the user of the car that it is time the car was taken for repair. Although not all cars can work  or function with the automotive code scanner, most cars that are manufactured nowadays can,  and in 1996, all cars  and light trucks in the US were required to adhere to the OBD 2 standard, which would make it possible for the automotive code scanners to  function in them.

Earlier versions of this time saving gadgets were too big, and expensive. However, as technology advances, the automotive code scanners have come in small sizes that can be comfortably fit in the toolboxes, and sell for around $100. As such, no serious mechanic can afford to be without this gadget in the toolbox. The modern versions of the automotive code scanners are hand held, and the three most common brands include the Actron, Autoxray, and Equus. Each brand ranges from simple gadgets, to complex ones, but almost all of them can read the codes and inform the driver when the car needs immediate repairing. The more complex ones display on the screen more important data, and they have LCD screens.

Automotive Floor Jacks Make Lifting Easier

Automotive floor jacks make the work of lifting up your car quite easy. This is to say that, for example, the process of changing a wheel from your vehicle takes much less time when you are using this type of jack. Most of them are hydraulic, and therefore you do not have to use the last bit of your energy as you try to lift your vehicle inch by inch. A hydraulic jack requires less energy, and once you have attained the desired height, you can lock the jack, so that is holds your car at a fixed position.

However, the most important thing about an automotive floor jack is that it guarantees your safety, since you can operate it from a safe distance. While most ordinary jacks are ideal for emergencies like wheel changing, an automotive floor jack is the ultimate jack for working underneath the vehicle. When such a jack is used together with jack stands, one is completely safe, and can work under the vehicle without fear off the vehicle coming down on top of you.

Automotive floor jacks, for all their advantages and ease when using, are extremely affordable, and this is probably because they come in various sizes, with different capabilities. The lightweight ones can lift up to 1 ton, while others lift up to 5 tons, and all at reasonable prices. To determine the right jack for your car or truck, you must know the weight of your vehicle. There is no real advantage to be gained by purchasing a jack with capacity that far exceeds your vehicle’s weight. Some vehicles are so close to the ground that hydraulic jacks would not function well, but with proper consultations with a mechanic, you can create some space just to get the jack under the vehicle.

The Case for Using Fuel Injector Cleaner Regularly

Gasoline deposits that are usually left in the fuel injector nozzles can be harmful to vehicles. These deposits are known to form a kind of hard varnish once the engine is shut off, and with time, they are likely to build up and clog the injectors. Though some people try to use some additives and detergents to help mitigate the problem, this does not always completely resolve the issue. Therefore, it is always good for one to use the right fuel injector cleaners, and it is recommended that injectors be regularly cleaned.

By using the best fuel injector cleaners, you are sure greatly improve your car’s performance and keep it in top form. The good news is that since most companies have realized and acknowledged the relationship between gasoline deposits and the engine’s performance, fuel injector cleaners are now designed to perform several tasks. Besides cleaning the fuel injectors, they also clean the combustion chambers, valves, and ports. Others are so efficient that they also clear sulfur deposits.

For cars that use diesel, a special cleaner is designed specifically for such engines. Such fuel injector cleaners make use of detergents to clean and remove fuel deposits, and prevent them from returning. They also help keep rust and corrosion at bay. Fuel injector cleaner for cleaning diesel engines may have other additives including lubricants that enhance performance even in low temperatures. As the owner of your vehicle and its engine, you should always determine the right type of cleaner for your engine. Some cleaners are designed for standard output engines and others for high performance engines. Still others are meant specifically for smaller fuel lines, like motorcycles. The best cleaners offer thorough scrubbing of the fuel lines, and experts recommend doing so at least twice a year.

Keep Your Engine’s Cooling System Operating at Peak Efficiency

When you get stuck in traffic on a hot day, do you worry about your car overheating? Your car’s cooling system is designed to keep your engine operating at optimum temperature. But it needs your help to keep working at peak efficiency. You need to check your radiator for damage and dirt buildup from time to time. You also need to check your coolant level on a regular basis.

The radiator is located at the front of most cars. You can visually inspect the outside of your car’s radiator simply by raising the hood and taking a look. The front of the radiator is protected by the grill of your vehicle, so actual physical damage is not likely. However, it is possible that dirt, mud or bugs could build up over time. It would be a good idea to remove this buildup periodically with a water spray when washing your vehicle.

The inside of your radiator is filled with a fluid known as coolant or anti-freeze, depending on the season of the year. Using plain water in a radiator used to be OK during the summer in the old days, but today’s engines run a lot hotter and water just won’t do. The special formulation found in coolant or anti-freeze keeps it from boiling at high temperatures and prevents it from freezing at low temperatures.

To check your coolant level, raise the hood of your vehicle. Most cars today have a coolant reservoir that is marked to show when proper levels are reached. It will usually have a full-hot and full-cold marking. If the engine is hot, use the full-hot mark. If the engine is cold…well, you get the idea.

If your system needs additional coolant, you can poor it right into the coolant reservoir. Don’t remove the radiator cap, especially if the engine is hot. Radiators build up a lot of pressure and you could seriously burned or injured by hot fluids spewing from the radiator top. Most manufacturers recommend a 50-50 mix of water and coolant, unless you are driving in extreme conditions. You can buy coolant and add your own water, or for convenience, you can purchase pre-mixed coolant.

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