Category Archives: Parts

Spark Plug Tips and Info for Maximum Engine Performance

Spark Plug Tips and Info for Maximum Engine Performance

This week, we’d like to take a quick look at an aspect of your car that you might hear about frequently, but might not know that much about: spark plugs. These tiny wonders help to start the series of reactions that allows your engine to produce power in an efficient and smooth way. Thus, it’s important to make sure that your spark plugs are properly maintained. Read on to learn more info and spark plug tips! What Do Spark Plugs Do? Spark plugs have the task of igniting the vehicle's fuel/air mixture through an electric spark, thus allowing the fuel to combust. Without the spark plugs, the engine cannot convert the fuel into usable mechanical power. Spark plugs fire at a rate of about 25 times in one second during driving. If any sparks are missed, you’ll often feel it as a glitch or stumble in the engine’s output. Misfires are typically attributed to worn spark plugs. Conventional spark plugs should thus be replaced immediately when needed; every 30,000 m ... read more

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DIY Upcycled Car Parts

DIY Upcycled Car Parts

As this month is all about getting the most value out of your car, there comes a point where fixing up an old car just isn't worth it anymore, or there are parts that are no longer usable. But what to do with the old junker? If the car still has a special place in your heart, getting $50 for scrap might feel like a letdown. Why not immortalize your car by upcycling its parts into something completely different? Upcycling is a relatively new concept similar to recycling, but it's giving a whole new life and a better quality or value to something that would otherwise have been thrown away. Car parts are inherently ideal for upcycling projects - they're already durable, they are difficult to break down so their base materials can be remade into a new object (which is what recycling car parts does), and they can very easily be made to be a better quality item as something not used in a car. Read on for clever DIY upcycling projects from old car parts! Furniture from Car Parts ... read more

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Top 10 Standard Car Features That Used To Be Luxury

Top 10 Standard Car Features That Used To Be Luxury

With each new year brings a new round of auto shows around the world, and each new car model offers car makers a fresh chance to wow the world. Car evolution happens so quickly now that car features that were luxurious just a few years ago now come standard on even the most base models of cars. Ten years ago you were lucky if your mid-level sedan came with AC, power windows and locks, and a CD player. Now, you'll never see a car advertised with those things because they're all expected - and cars now have an adapter for your iPod in addition to the standard CD player. It also makes us wonder what luxuries we see now will become standard in the next 5 to 10 years (a cooler in the back seat for chilled champagne, anyone?). Top 10 Standard Car Features that Used to be Luxury Airbags: Someone, somewhere, decided that the wealthy shouldn't have greater safety than the rest of us. Which is great. By law, all cars must have had ... read more

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Mission Valley Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

Mission Valley Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

The push for fuel economy has two benefits: using less gas, and fewer emissions. Cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. People may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago. Mission Valley folks that were around in the early 60's may remember that the PCV valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine. When fuel is burned in the sedan engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase. Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge ... read more

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OE vs. Aftermarket

New car dealerships are happy to leave you with the impression that you should have all of your scheduled car maintenance performed at the dealership during the warranty period. Some go so far as to imply that your warranty protection depends on it. In fact, nothing is further from the truth. Federal laws in both the United States and Canada specify that you do not have to have your vehicle serviced at a dealership to maintain warranty protection. The laws further state that a vehicle manufacturer cannot mandate that you use their particular brand of replacement parts or fluids. This certainly means you have many more service options, but what about quality? First off, it is important to know that vehicle manufacturers do not make all of their own parts. They look to thousands of independent suppliers to manufacture the parts that go into your car or truck. Many of these same manufacturers that make the parts that are original equipment for a new vehicle ... read more

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Emergency Items For Your sedan

Local San Diego roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days, so you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip. Your close-to-home kit for around San Diego would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You'll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Additionally, if you need help towing a car, Convoy can assist you with this. Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card. People who live in areas with frequent s ... read more

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Headlamp Replacement

Like everything automotive, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. We can all drive more safely at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility down the road, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is important because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as the country's population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome. Most new cars come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on the road, they're very bright and have a bluish tint. From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many people complain about HID ... read more

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Battery Replacement

Modern cars and trucks run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today's vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the car battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, eve ... read more

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Serpentine Belt Replacement

Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator-which charges the car battery, the water pump-which cools the engine, the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are especially tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. But, with time they wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You have to stop the car or it will overheat, potentially causing major engine damage. And it probably won't be at a convenient time or place. You might even need to get your car towed to a San Diego automotive service center. That is why manufacturers recommend a belt ... read more

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Timing Belt Replacement in San Diego

Today we want to talk about timing belts. They’re something that many San Diego drivers don’t know much about and yet your vehicle won’t run if it’s broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner’s manual, it’s not the kind of thing that most San Diego car owners remember because it’s not well understood. Let’s review what a timing belt does. As you know, the engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust ... read more

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