Improving Your Mini Cooper Gas Mileage

Most engines (and all Minis) use an electric spark to start the burning of the fuel/air mixture which in turn powers the car. If the engine is to run properly this ‘electric spark’ must happen at the exact right time. Setting your timing means that you adjust the time the plug fires relative to the position of the piston. Piston position is defined as follows: at the very top of the cylinder the piston is said to be at the TOP DEAD CENTER. At the bottom of its stroke it’s said to be at BOTTOM DEAD CENTER. The crankshaft is marked in 360 degrees. At top dead center, the crank is at 0 degrees. At bottom dead center the crank is at 180 degrees. Timing is measured in degrees and most often ‘before’ top dead center. ( BTDC degrees)

It is most often measured either with a timing light (which is a “stop motion” strobe light which fires with the spark plug and “freezes” the crankshaft timing mark for observation), or mechanical setup (static timing). Your ignition timing changes as you drive. The number of degrees BEFORE TOP DEAD CENTER (BTDC) is called the ADVANCE. This is done mechanically (centrifugal advance), or by vacuum (vacuum advance), or by a combination of these. Whatever the setup, advance increases with engine RPM and decreases as the engine goes under a load.

SYMPTOMS OF INCORRECT IGNITION TIMING

Symptoms of incorrect ignition timing are poor fuel economy, sluggish acceleration, hard starting, backfiring, or “pinging” or “spark knock”. Too little spark advance will cause low power, bad gas mileage, backfiring, and poor performance. Too much advance will cause hard starting and pre-ignition.

PINGING, SPARK KNOCK, OR PRE-IGNITION

Pinging or spark knock is properly called “pre-ignition” and is often incorrectly called “valve noise” because it sounds very similar to loose valves that need adjusting. The difference is that loose valves will make a noise all the time, whereas pre-ignition happens on acceleration or under a -ignition can be caused by too much spark advance or from too low octane gas. If your car does this from time to time, you may not need to do anything. you might use a higher grade of gas, but that does cost a lot of money! I tell people to just not let their car do it: either get on the gas or get off the gas and the “ping” will go away.

Auto Dent Repair

Auto dent repair is the method of removing vehicle dents, which happen due to collisions. It can be done on all types of autos. The time taken for the whole process depends on the size and position of the dent and the technician’s ability. It also depends on the magnitude of dent.

Normally, two types of auto dent repairs are in evident.

? Paint refurbishment repair and

? PDR (Paintless Dent Repair).

Paint refurbishment repair – is well suited for the larger dent and the method involves a variety of processes such as pulling or hammering out dents, grinding, chiseling, and sanding. Technicians make use of a variety of tools; pullers, dent hammers, drills, fender picks, and rivets depending on the type of dent.

If the dent is too large or cannot be repaired, the whole panel or section of vehicle is removed. In such cases, pulling or pounding out is done before the panel or section is removed, and the new portion is attached by welding. Once the above process is over, the repaired area is primed for further painting.

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) – is generally used for smaller or minor dents, dinks. Dents are removed with the help of specialized tools, the paint or the original factory finish of the dent section remains as such and the cost involved in painting is eliminated.

PDR ? The right treatment for your car!

Nowadays you see cars around in need of desperate attention and due to the credit crunch; no one wants to take the risk of cashing out for replacements. However, there is an easier way. Repairs are so much easier, faster and more affordable than replacements; it?s the perfect option for you and your car.

All-new 2009 Mazda6: Sophisticated And Smart

The all-new 2009 Mazda6 was specifically designed to cater to the demands of the North American market. The car is visually different and bigger than Japanese and European counterparts and offers plenty of Mazda’s characteristic Zoom-Zoom energy.

The 2009 Mazda6 gets bold new bodywork, a stylized grille flanked by jewel-like headlamps that flex into flared fenders with prominent wheels. A 4.5-inch stretched wheelbase, expanded width and dimensions, give it a more aggressive stance. The car?s sleek aerodynamic profile improves the co-efficient of drag by 10 percent. The Mazda6 comes in 7 trims: I SV, I Sport, I Touring, i Grand Touring, S Sport, S Touring, S Grand Touring.

Power comes from a 2.5L four-cylinder base engine (i models) mated to either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. The step-up 3.7L V6 powers the S Sport, S Touring and S Grand Touring. The only transmission option is a six-speed automatic with a manumatic sport shift feature. The North American Mazda6 is available only as a four-door sedan.

The 2009 Mazda6 i SV includes standard features such as AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, power accessories, air conditioning and a tilt/telescoping steering column with multifunction steering wheel. Sport trims add cruise control and keyless remote; Touring features a power driver’s seat, trip computer, and pushbutton start, while Grand Touring gets dual-zone A/C, full leather trim, dual power/heated buckets, Xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Options include a navigation system and a Bose audio/moonroof group for the two top trim levels and a Convenience Package for the Touring.

The 2009 Mazda6 is of the style and scale that will attract enthusiast buyers in the C- and D-sedan segments. The midsize sedan segment is the most competitive and the Mazda6 will take on some of the most popular cars in the auto industry. This new entrant takes Mazda sophistication to new heights, adding new four-cylinder and V-6 powerplants with a punch that was lacking in its predecessors.

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Things To Do To Keep Your Car From Getting Stolen

So you have a new car. And you have saved three years worth of your salary to buy it. Or maybe you were approved a loan that obligates you with monthly payments for the next five years. How would you feel if suddenly, your car gets stolen just like that? It would be a sinking, painful feeling for sure. Well, there are ways to stop that from happening. Here’s what you can do to keep your car from getting stolen.

1. Don’t park in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
If you’re new in the place, it is best that you don’t park there at all. If you have to stop and ask for directions or anything, look for a gasoline station or convenience store to do that. These places are equipped with surveillance cameras so thieves are not likely to hang around there too much. But just the same, you have to be very careful.

2. Equip your car with an alarm system.
While an alarm system would do nothing but squeal for all its worth, it could scare the hell out of a possible car thief. At least, the people around him would know that he’s not the owner of that car because the alarm wasn’t switched off when he approached. Hopefully, the thief will run away and leave your car alone.

3. Never leave your car unlocked and running.
Even if you intend to leave your car for half a minute, it is never a good practice to leave your car unattended, running, and unlocked. You don’t know if there’s a car thief near you. If your car is in this state, it would take the thief a quarter of a second to slide into the driver’s seat, lock the car, drive away, and leave your running at your heels.

4. Engrave your name somewhere on the more expensive parts of your car.
While this might not always work, leaving some sort of a personal identification on your car may help you recognize it in the future. You never know but your car stereo may be stolen. Or it could be something as simple as the side mirrors of your car. Thing is, leave some marks on your car so even if they’re detached, you will still know that they’re yours.

5. Invest on a garage.
You might never suspect any of your neighbors taking your car away. But you will never know if somebody from ten cities away drops by the neighborhood with the sole intention of stealing a car in the middle of the night. Cars parked on plain view are easier to steal during the night. So don’t waste your garage if you have one. If you don’t have a garage, build one. And use it at all times.

6. Don’t hide second set of car keys somewhere in the car.
Car thieves are intelligent people. Don’t underestimate them for a second. It’s bad practice to put a second set of car keys under the skirt of your car. Somebody may chance upon it and leave you crying helplessly. If it works for your house, don’t do the same for your car.