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BLAKE'S TIPS ON FUEL SYSTEMS

Fuel Systems Fuel systems on modern automobiles have come a long way in the last few decades, although the basic principle remains the same. The purpose of the fuel delivery system is to transport gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine where it is consumed to generate power. There are fewer and fewer items in these systems that require maintenance; however, there are still several items on many cars that require periodic cleaning or replacement. These items include fuel filters, fuel pumps and fuel injectors. The fuel filter’s job is to intercept any debris in the fuel supply before it gets to the sensitive fuel injection components in the engine. All gasoline at the pump contains small particles of dirt and impurities from the underground storage tanks at the gas station. Some stations have cleaner gas than others. Over time, the fuel filter picks up enough of this debris that the fuel flow rate suffers. This can put stress on the other components in the ... read more

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BLAKE'S TIPS ON BRAKE FLUID

Brake Fluid All brake systems on modern automobiles are hydraulic systems. In these systems, the force applied to the brake pedal is transferred through fluid pressure to the calipers that squeeze the brake pads together at the wheels, causing the vehicle to stop. This fluid is mineral-based on most cars, and synthetic on some higher end sports cars. Brake fluids are by nature hydroscopic (they have a tendency to absorb water from the air over time). All manufacturers recommend flushing of the brake fluid system at specified intervals. There are many rubber seals and components in the brake systems. As water pollutes the brake fluid, it turns darker and it causes rubber parts to swell. This can cause failure of components, as well as dangerous brake fluid leaks and introduction of air into the brake system. Air, unlike brake fluid, can be compressed under pressure. This is why air in the brake system causes a spongy brake pedal feel and reduced stopping a ... read more

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BLAKE'S TIPS ON DISC BRAKE SYSTEMS

Disc Brake Systems Everyone dreads hearing noises from their vehicle’s brakes. However, those noises can be your friend when determining if it is time to inspect or repair your brakes. The brake pad is the friction surface in your brake system that causes the vehicle to stop. These pads wear over time, and their lifespan varies greatly due to system design, pad compounds, and driving habits. Most brake pads are equipped with pad wear indicators (these are commonly called “squealers”). The “squealers” are small metal tabs on the sides of the brake pads that are designed to contact the surface brake rotor (or disc) just before the pad is worn out. A screeching metallic noise when stopping or while reversing is a created by these indicators. If heeded, this can prevent the pad backing from contacting the rotor and cutting into its surface, destroying it. If the pad surface runs completely out, a “grinding” noise will result. By the time a grinding noise is h ... read more

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