Replacing the Tuning Box or Diesel Remapping: Which Is Best for Your Diesel Car?

Despite the fact that every car owner enjoys the pleasure of driving his personal car, there is one common problem from which all them suffer as their car gets older. In fact, this problem is not the recently grown problem but persists since the cars became popular among the masses. Well, you will agree that having a personal car is the symbol of status of all the car owners, but as their vehicle gets older there is a decline in its performance in terms of fuel efficiency or in simple words average of fuel consumption delivered by it. To combat the problem they have to undoubtedly visit the mechanic for improving the performance of their car.

Interestingly, with changing time there is a change not only in the methods of car manufacturing but also in the methods of its maintenance and servicing. The cars manufactured before 2000 were mainly controlled manually and therefore the mechanics enhancing the performance of the vehicle did every task manually. At that time the mechanics mainly used to change the diesel tuning box or chip for improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle bought for their workshop for enhancing its performance. But, as the time changed and the use of computers increased in our day to day activities, the car manufacturers started making use of the computers for controlling the functionality of different components. The tuning box or chips got replaced with the engine control unit that was placed below the bonnet closed to onboard diagnostic port.

The car engine control unit had a software installed in it that controlled the whole mechanism of the car including its fuel consumption and power generation efficiency. To improve the performance of car the mechanics now have to re-write or remap the settings of the software installed in the engine control unit of the car. Remapping the engine control unit is the process of enhancing the performance of any vehicle by simply installing or rewriting the program. As the whole process is based on the computers it required the mechanics to be computer savvy and well versed with the process of remapping the engine control unit. With this, it also gave birth to debate that which process of good that is replacing the existing diesel tuning box or remapping the control unit.

There is a group which strongly endorses replacing the diesel tuning box or tuning chip whereas another recommends about diesel remap. Among both these groups, there is another group that opposes both the methods and says that all of them finally decline the performance of an engine. All these debates have gradually developed a huge confusion among the car owners that which process they should adopt for enjoying improved fuel efficiency of their car.

In this regard, it would be first beneficial to understand that basic difference between both these procedures.

Installing: Installing the tuning box or tuning chip is the simplest method which doesn’t require any expertise on the subject matter, and a person with little mechanical skills can install a new tuning box or tuning chip into your car. The only thing which needs to be kept in concern while conducting the whole operation is to install the component at the place from where it can be protected by the rainwater and electric shocks. The worth mentioning benefit of replacing the tuning box or tuning chip is that if you want to re-install your older box or chip you can easily get it installed back into your car.

On the contrary, remapping engine control unit needs the mechanic to be well versed with the use of a computer for programming the software with new parameters that result in an improved performance of the vehicle. As the process is stagnated to rewriting the existing program of the software there is no need of taking the place of wiring and other components to protect them from any type of damage arising due to water or any type of electrical interference.

Efficiency: Although both the process will deliver the same results, depending upon the expertise of the mechanic carrying it on your vehicle. However, there might be a slight difference in the performance, which is mainly due to the condition of the engine, as an impact of which sometimes even the cars manufactured by the same manufacturer during the same year deliver different results.

The tuning box is mainly embellished with pre-installed settings, the only thing which requires to enjoy desired results is getting it installed by an expert mechanic having vast experience of installing the tuning box. Whereas, during remapping, the mechanic has to locate the maps and rewrite the news maps depending upon the condition of the engine.

Servicing: Whether you are changing the tuning box or remapping the engine control unit, an important factor that you need to keep in concern is to get your vehicles serviced accordingly from time to time and drive the car according to the standards determined by your car mechanic conducting the operation.

How to Deal With an Overheating Car Engine

Vehicles today are designed with motors that produce powerful amounts of heat. Every time you drive your car, the radiator transfers heat from the engine using thermal heat exchange, which prevents the vehicle from overheating. But in order for a car radiator to function properly, it must have sufficient amounts of liquid coolant running through its core. When it doesn’t have sufficient levels of radiator fluid (coolant), or it is defective in some way, your car engine will over heat. In the case that your car radiator ever fails you, be sure you know exactly what to do.

What To Do When Your Car Starts to Over Heat:

PULL OVER

When a car has just overheated, attempting to drive it further can risk harming the engine. You should never drive an overheating car because the engine (and other important inner components) can sustain irrevocable damages. It can also be dangerous to you and anyone in or around the vehicle. For instance, head gaskets can blow, engine parts can melt, and smoke can accumulate in large masses.

So the first thing to do when you notice that your car is over-heating, is pull over to a safe part of the road. It is recommended to try to pull into a neighborhood or parking lot if there is one there at the moment; otherwise, simply find a flat surface on the side of the road.

ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL

Once you have pulled over and turned the engine off, be sure to turn on your hazards to alert people of your position. This is especially important at night. Keep all car lights on in the evening if you are ever pulled over on the edge of a street. Many people make the mistake of opening their hoods right away and touching the radiator cap; this is a huge mistake! The car engine and radiator will be very hot and can cause second and third degree burns. Always allow your vehicle to cool off for at least fifteen minutes, depending on the amount of time spent driven prior to the break down. This way you can protect yourself from accidents and injury.

CHECK FOR FLUID LEAKS

When the vehicle has completely cooled, check around and underneath it for any signs of leaking. This could indicate a wide variety of issues, from a cracked radiator to a faulty radiator hose. If there is no sign of leakage, take a look at the oil. Remove the dipstick and concentrate on the color. If it is dark brown and sludgy-looking, this means the liquid coolant might be seeping into the engine. This can result from a blown head gasket or cracked engine block. Even if the oil looks normal, these damages may still be the underlying problem.

CONTACT A MECHANIC

The best thing to do in a situation like this is call a mechanic shop once you have the car pulled over. They are the professionals that can accurately diagnose the issue behind your overheating vehicle. When antifreeze and coolant aren’t the answer, trust a licensed auto repair technician to figure it out for you. Use a directory to contact a towing service that can transport your vehicle directly to the auto repair shop, and give you a ride there too, all in the same trip.

5 Tips to Help You Troubleshoot Your Brake Booster

The brake booster in a vehicle makes use of the vacuum of an engine to amplify the force that the drive exerts to stop the vehicle. This device is fixed between the master cylinder and the brake pedal. As soon as you hit the brake pedal, this device increases the force you applied, thus slowing down the car within a few seconds. If you want to troubleshoot your brake booster, we suggest that you follow the tips given below.

1. Brake Pedal Won’t Pull Down

You may have this issue when you press the pedal in the process of starting up your vehicle. The brake is supposed to pull down a little bit in response to your action. However, if this doesn’t happen, know that you have an issue to resolve, which is related to the vacuum of your vehicle.

The problem may arise due to the vacuum or fluid leakage because of the worn out hose, piston or valve. In this case, you will need to replace the faulty component to fix the issue.

2. Vacuum Failure

When the engine of your vehicle accelerates, the vehicle shouldn’t have the vacuum failure. But if this happens, you may need to check the check value and get it replaced if it’s the cause of the problem. It can be found inside the inlet fitting. Once replaced, if the issue is still there, you may want to replace the brake booster.

3. Locked-Up Brakes

You may want to use fresh brake fluid if your brakes don’t release properly. What happens is that hygroscopic brake liquid tends to absorb moisture. Moreover, an excessive amount of water in the fluid may lead to vapor lock. As a result, the wheels of your vehicle may have to bear more pressure.

4. Air Noise

You may hear the air noise from under the dash of your vehicle. According to experts, this is not an issue. The sound is generated when you apply the brakes and the air gets into the filter of the booster. You can reduce the noise easily. All you need to do is move around the silencer.

5. Brake Pedal Won’t Return

If the brake pedal won’t go back after you have released it, you can troubleshoot it. You may have a faulty brake booster spring. According to experts, if your vehicle has a broken spring, the brake light may stay on even if you have released the pedal. Aside from this, the broken spring may cause overheating issues as well.

How to Buy a Brake Booster

It’s important to keep in mind that a power brake system is one of the most important parts of a vehicle. So, make sure you buy a high quality power brake booster, as this is a matter of life and death. If you fail to stop your vehicle in an emergency, you may have a serious accident. Your life is in your hands.

How to Clean a Car Battery

So much happens to a car in its lifetime. There will be instances where the best component will become worn or dirty because of years of driving. There could be instances where the oil got dirty and was only cleaned or purged weeks later. The battery of your car can be cleaned at a workshop or in your own home.

Before starting the job, the obvious needs to be stated – make sure that the car is turned off unless you are a fan of getting burned with extremely hot electricity. You could also short the circuits which could damage the electronics of your car.

  1. You will need to determine the configuration of the terminals as there are different types. Determining the configuration will help you to pick the correct wrench to loosen the nuts that keep the cables in place.
  2. Now, you need to unfasten the cables (negative and positive respectively) from their posts. Twisting might be necessary to release the cable as they might have been put on quite tightly.
  3. Before continuing with the process, checking for leaks and cracks is a must. Car batteries lose acid and could corrode the rest of the components of the engine. If you do see any cracks or leaks, the battery must be replaced.
  4. Cables and clamps could also have cracks along the wiring. They could easily be replaced with new parts.
  5. This is the part where a basic household item is required to clean the battery: baking soda. The ratio to mix baking soda and hot water in a small container is 1:17. This is usually a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of hot water.
  6. Then it is time for the scrubbing and cleaning. A toothbrush would be ideal for this process so that your hands don’t come into contact with the battery.
  7. Dip the toothbrush into the baking soda and hot water mixture, and scrub away at the corrosion build up. Usually the clamps and cable posts contain the most build up and will need the maximum amount of cleaning.
  8. Once all the corrosion is off, it is an absolute necessity to rinse away any baking soda and loose corrosion with cool water.
  9. The battery has to be completely dry before replacing the cables and clamps to avoid short circuiting the system.

Make sure that the entire car is working perfectly before taking long trips. This would include the electrical components such as the battery and the mechanical components such as the wheels, tyres and engine parts.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.

How To Repair Car Dents In Simple Ways

Old or new, a car definitely does not look good with a dent on the body or door. Dents can range from small dings to big dimples caused by bumping or crashing into something. Car dent repair is a simple matter if the damage is small. You don’t need to take it to an auto repair shop and spend hundreds of dollars just for fixing a small dent. Let’s check out a couple of ways of how to repair car dents without taking professional service.

How To Repair Car Dents 
Some simple methods of dealing with small dents and dings have been described below:

Just Paint It Up 
If the dent is nothing more than a simple flaking of paint or scratch on the surface, you can fix it just by a simple coat of paint. However, remember to use sandpaper to remove rust or paint scrapes before applying the prime and paint.

Use A Rubber Plunger 
If it’s a sizable ding with no crease in the middle, using a rubber plunger would be the best solution. It can pop back the steel surface if it hasn’t been creased badly. Place the plunger over the dent after moistening its rubber edges and pump a couple of times to establish a suction. Pull the plunger towards you. With a little force, a couple of tries will be sufficient to pull out the dent. The plunger method will work if the surface is large such a fender or door and made of metal

Try With A Hammer 
If it’s a small dent on a steel surface, try to repair it with a flat-ended rubber mallet. It is firm enough to fix a dent in a car but is less likely to leave any ugly marks on the surface. Wrap a flat metal piece with a piece of rag and place it directly on the dent. Now, use the mallet to bang the area from the underside.

Use a small hammer for a small ding and a big one for large car dent repair. Besides, be very careful about not to bang the surrounding area of the pitted part as it is likely to create a few more bumps.

Glazing Putty For Tiny Dings 
Glazing putty is an excellent option for filling up the places with chipped paint or tiny dimples. Apply it to the spot with a putty knife and then use primer and paint as the final touch ups. It’s very simple as you just have to follow the directions on the package.

Tips for Replacing Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers are essential in all cars to protect the mechanisms. Depending on what type of car you have will determine how much spring the shocks will have. These nifty and important parts also keep the tyres in contact with the ground. They also help to control the movement of the suspension and springs.

The devices work on hydraulic pumps that control the impact the car makes against the road. You will notice that an off-road vehicle will not pick up small imperfections on the road because it has such a powerful device. It also ensures that you have proper braking response to avoid hectic accidents.

Checking your shocks should be done if you dive during heavy braking, hit bumps very hard, or the car is leaking shock fluid. Normal driving can also affect the quality of the shock absorbers over time.

You may need a spring compressor to remove the springs on the shock absorbers. The compressor is necessary if the springs are interrelated or integrated. You will need to be careful when doing this as the springs are loaded with high pressure and sudden releasing could be dangerously damaging.

Using a jack stand to lift the car will help you when replacing the parts. You will need to lift the one side of the car at least thirty centimetres off the ground to make the process easier. Similar to changing the tyre, you will need to remove the wheel too. You will be able to see the shock absorbers as they look like springs. This is where you will need to use the spring compressor for safe removal. You will also come across three bolts that will need to be removed using a socket wrench.

Installing new parts is the simple part. You will need to use a torque wrench when tightening the bolts to ensure stability. Putting the wheel and tyre back in place will complete the replacing of the shock absorbers.

It is important that you take the car for a slow drive to test the stability of your work. If you start to notice strange sounds it would be wise to have a mechanic check out the problem. Wiggle the car and go over humps as well to test if the shocks have been installed correctly.

Lack of properly working shock absorbers could result in damaged wheels and wheel axles then you’ll need to visit a wheel supplier for a new set of wheels. The wheel axle is part of the drive shaft and could lead to a hectic repairing fee if damaged.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

5 Types of Vehicular Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Handling routine maintenance on your own, rather than outsourcing professional auto service, can save a driver up to $150 or more each year. This may seem like a nominal figure, but it certainly adds up year after year. And who wouldn’t want an extra couple hundred dollars in their wallet for the holidays?

Performing your own vehicular maintenance on the areas of your car that are DIY-approved can save drivers time and money. It is vital to only perform car maintenance that does not require the tools and training of a professional mechanic. Stick to the DIY-approved vehicular maintenance checklist and keep your car safe and running smoothly. Continue reading to learn the five types of routine car maintenance you can do all on your own!

Oil Changes

Yes, you can change your own oil and oil filter without the help of a professional mechanic! All you needs are the right supplies and a little foreknowledge, and you are ready to change your car’s oil all by yourself! Acquire a new oil filter, an oil pan to store the dirty oil, a car jack, a socket set, a funnel, and a couple bottles of the motor oil your car uses. Safety goggles, rubber gloves, a flashlight, and a few clean cloths wouldn’t hurt either. The oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, or sooner depending on how often you drive.

First, run your car engine for a few minutes to warm the oil up because warm oil flows easier. Then, lift your vehicle off the ground with the car jack and place the oil pan beneath your vehicle.

Next, unscrew your oil cap located under the hood, and the oil drain plug beneath your car. This plug generally looks like a single bolt underneath your car’s oil compartment. Double check your vehicle owners’ manual for instructions on locating the oil drain plug.

Put on your rubber gloves and use a socket wrench to unscrew the drain plug a few rounds, then use your hands to unscrew the rest of the way. Allow all the dirty oil to drain out completely. Replace the drain plug and then change the oil filter. Once this is all done, you can use your funnel to pour your new, clean oil into your engine.

The next step is replacing the oil filter. Simply unscrew the old filter, allow any excess oil to drain, and then replace and tighten the filter. If you are not using paper filters, use a tiny bit of oil to lubricate the edges of the new filter before screwing it back into place.

Air Filters

Aside from oil filters, your vehicle has air filters that need replaced on a routine basis. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any local automotive store or general store. Expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per filter. If you neglect to change your air filters, overtime you will notice a major decrease in gas mileage and vehicular performance. Luckily, this is a maintenance job you can do all by yourself! It is a simple ten minute process that is easy to learn how to do. Just follow your owners’ manual instructions!

Coolant

Without coolant, your car’s engine would be in pretty bad shape. In fact, it would fail to operate entirely after a short amount of time without coolant. Also called radiator fluid, coolant is imperative for the operation and performance of any vehicle. It prevents the inner workings of a car engine from overheating as a result of constant friction and heat production. If you have an overheating engine, the number one cause is lack of radiator fluid. Simply purchase a bottle or two at your local automotive store, locate the coolant cap beneath your hood, and pour the solution right in!

Headlights

Did you know you can change a burnt-out headlight all on your own? It’s true and not many car owners know it! Since this can get you a traffic ticket or worse, cause an accident, a burnt-out headlight is an immediate repair. And since you don’t need to make an appointment with an auto shop, you can get this problem repaired right away. All you need is a basic tool set and a new bulb!

Windshield Wiper Fluid

It may seem trivial, but windshield wiper fluid is one of the 7 essential car fluids every vehicle requires for functional operation and safety. And you can re-fill your windshield wiper fluid any time it runs low. Simply purchase a bottle of windshield fluid and pour it down the correct tube under your car’s hood. Do this as often as you need to, keeping in mind that you will probably need to do this more often in winter.

5 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Windshield Repaired Immediately

The windshield plays a major role on any automobile; without it, it would definitely be impossible to drive comfortably. This is however a part of your car that is also exposed to lots of factors and it is prone to getting cracked or chipped. You can of course decide to go for complete replacement of the windshield depending on the extent of the damage, but it would be better to consider repairing it as soon as you see cracks and chips instead of waiting for the problem to worsen calling for a replacement. There are so many reasons why immediate repairs are better and they include the following.

1. Repairs attract lower costs

Whether you have auto glass coverage in your auto insurance or not, repairing your windshield is a much better option in terms of cost compared to replacement. It is also a quicker option to get you back on the road in no time at all. Auto repair companies offer mobile services so you they can come where you are to do the repairs within a short period and you are on your way.

2. Immediate repairs save you bigger issues

Ignoring that crack or chip on the windshield can easily lead to total collapse. The cracks keep spreading and eventually the glass will give way, leaving you with no choice but to go for a replacement. It can also pose dangers when you let the cracks stay on for too long since it can collapse and cause physical harm to you and other passengers. The other issue that could arise with such a glass is water seepage into the vehicle, thus causing damages to the interiors. Repairing the glass prevents spreading of the cracks and retains glass strength saving you from the possible effects.

3. They retain windshield strength

The structural integrity is compromised when your windshield is chipped or cracked. Whereas it could have taken a dense object to crack it, remember that even the smallest of objects could worsen the crack as long as it is present. The repairs will greatly improve and retain integrity of the glass. It may actually serve you for a very long time before requiring a replacement.

4. Repairs are important to keep the vehicle sealed

The windshield in its proper state keeps weather elements out and also ensures that temperature controls are effective and efficient. When you have cracks on this glass, then your heater and air conditioner end up being inefficient. Repair works will not only save you from such insufficiency but will also save you from cold air and frosting especially during winter.

5. Repairs are friendlier to the environment

Considering that replacing your windshield means the old one is discarded, you could end up harming the environment. Remember that this glass is made of layers of plastic and glass which can be bad for the environment especially if not recycled. Repairing it prevents it winding up in the landfill making a significant positive impact as far as the environment goes.