Which Drivetrain Is Best?

If you are in the market for a new car (or a used car) there is a lot that you need to consider. One important thing to keep in mind is the kind of drivetrain that you want your vehicle to have. Each has advantages and disadvantages and it’s important to understand each in order to make the right decision when purchasing a vehicle. The four different types of drivetrain are all wheel drive (AWD), front wheel drive (FWD), rear wheel drive (RWD), and 4WD (4 wheel drive).

Front wheel drive (FWD) means that the power coming from the engine is relayed to the front wheels of the car or truck. With FWD, the front wheels are pulling the car to create movement. The rear wheels are only following the front wheels and don’t receive any power on their own. The pros to a FWD vehicle is that it typically gets better fuel economy and emits less carbon dioxide. Since the weight of the engine is located over the driving wheels, a FWD vehicle can maintain better traction in the snow. However, car enthusiasts claim that FWD vehicles are less fun to drive.

Rear wheel drive (RWD) means that the power coming from the engine is relayed to the rear wheels. The rear wheels are responsible for pushing the car forward, much like a bicycle. The front wheels do not have a power source and are able to move and turn because of the power coming from the rear wheels. Because the weight of the drivetrain on a RWD vehicle is spread more evenly than a FWD vehicle, it has better balance. This is why most sports cars are RWD and RWD cars are considered to be more exciting to drive. The cons of an RWD vehicle are that they do not perform well in poor weather conditions like rain or snow because it is more prone to loss of traction on slick roads.

There are two different kinds of four wheel drive (4WD) systems. A part-time 4WD system lets the driver select if the power from the engine is relayed to only two wheels or to all four wheels. The default setting is typically rear wheel drive. A full time 4WD system permanently engages all 4 wheels.

All wheel drive is essentially the same thing as a 4WD drivetrain, but there is no option to relay power to only two wheels. Power is relayed to all four wheels at all times. The term AWD can be used for vehicles with more than 4 wheels in which all of the wheels are powered. The biggest advantage of an AWD vehicle is that it provides the best traction in all kinds of conditions. The cons of an AWD vehicle are that it is much heavier which hurts acceleration and uses more fuel. AWD is also the most expensive drivetrain option.

Car Bumper Manufacturers in China

China has begun to emerge as the economic force to reckon with in the global market. Its billion strong population has made it possible to break through almost all the markets, and these include the car bumper market. It seems that there is no dearth to car bumper manufacturers in China. Below is a list of some of the more visible Chinese manufacturers who have made their presence felt online, plus an overview of their companies.

Xiamen Kingtom Rubber-Plastic Co., Ltd. Is established and located in the province of Xiamen. This ISO 9001 certified company is 400-strong with 60 production lines. They are specialized in rubber and plastic parts for sanitation, automobiles (which includes car bumpers) and electrical appliances. Their monthly capacity is around 400 tons finished items, so items can be delivered in less than a week. Their vision is to turn their company into a large scale company operating for the international market.

Changshu Jianan FRP Products Co., Ltd. specializes in FRP (or fiber reinforced plastic) technology. They have a comprehensive range of products: from the automobile bumper to the motorcycle casing to the cable jacket, they all have it. Although they have a much lesser number of employees – 120 – they do have a vast factory area of over 12,000 square meters, and their annual production capacity is 10,000 MT. Also, the proximity of their location makes it convenient for them to transport their deliveries on time. They mostly cater to the international market, with their products reaching as far as UK, Australia and America. Their annual sales are US $2,200,000 and their main buyers are the Hitachi Medical Corporation and the Import Trenz, among others.

The Haiyan Zhenda Automobile Fittings Factory, established in 1976, has been a leading manufacturer of auto parts, including brake lining, rubber parts such as the car bumper, and engine bolts. They are an OEM supplier to major vehicle assemblers, and they are vouched for by their ISO 9001 and TS-16949 certifications. It is no wonder then that their sales top US $10,000,000 annually and that half of the products they make find their way throughout the world.

The L&C Auto Parts is relatively young compared to the abovementioned. It was established only in 19990, although they have been in fact steadily growing over the years. Their annual sales tip $ 8,000,000. Their main products include the car bumper, the guard rail, the solenoid, the armature, the exhaust manifold, et al. Their two main factories specialize in producing hardware car parts for assembly and creating starters and armatures, respectively. They place great stock in the quality of their products as evidenced by the investment they put in their R&D and QC departments.

The Anhui Technology is a large trading company that supplies mostly the US and European markets. They have a variety of product offerings, from appliances to chemicals to machinery. This contributed to their export volume of $524, 000,000 last year. Their branch, the Anhui Technology Auto Parts & Accessories, offers automotive break parts, automotive suspension parts and accessories (the car bumper being one of these) and automotive battery terminal/fittings.

The Shanghai Tengkun Consulting Co., Ltd. offer a broad range of products, from auto spare parts (like the car bumper, car mirror, or car tire) to furnishing parts and telecommunication equipment. Their products have proven to be a hit in the Japanese, European and North American markets. They are engaged in the export and import service, and also have a Commission agent for their documentation works agency and inspection agency.

And to think that this is only a drop in the sea that is the car bumper business, and the ocean that is the automobile industry. The plethora of car bumper choices is a boon for consumers who wan the best value their money can buy.

Nissan Maxima SE 3.0 Common Problems and Solutions

I have recently had the privilege of working on the 2000 Nissan Maxima Se 3.0V6. This is a great car, with some common issues reported from other Nissan Maxima owners. One common problem is the intermittent rough idle and the SES light coming on. There are a lot of mechanics telling tall tales about the root cause of these problems, so I thought I would investigate it further.

The first thing we will look at is the SES trouble codes. If the SES light trouble codes show “Primary Ignition Failure”, this is generally pointing to the ignition coils. The code may designate a cylinder, or it may say “Multiple Ignition Failure.” Obviously, if you are lucky enough to get a code telling which cylinder it is, replace the ignition coil for that cylinder. Pay close attention to the location of the cylinder when ordering the part, as the front and rear cylinders have different ignition coils. They are easy to replace in the front. Simply remove the plastic engine cover using the appropriate hex head screwdriver and then remove the 10mm bolt holding the coil in place. Un-clip the plug from the coil and remove it. Pop the new plug in place and clip the wiring plug back in. Now put the 10mm screw back in, and tighten it down. Replace the cover and that’s it. Experienced mechanics can get this done in less than 10 minutes. If you are a novice, prepare for a half hour.

The rear cylinders are also easy, but will require a long extension. i would recommend 6-12 inches for the extension. Locate the 10mm bolt holding it in place and remove it. Unplug the wiring plug, and replace it. Bolt it back in and that’s finished. Be careful not to drop the bolt down in the engine though.

What if you get the multiple ignition failure code? Do you replace them all? You can, but the coils run about $70.00 each. Multiply that by 6 and you have a fairly expensive bill. If you have someone else do the work, you can expect to pay over $500.00 for the coil replacements. There is a very simple way to find the bad coils. Remove the engine cover from the front of the engine. Now remove all the 10mm bolts securing the ignition coils in place. Place the ignition coil bolts and the engine cover screws in a ziplock bag and put them in the glove box. Drive the car for a few days until it starts running rough again. leave the car running, and using a pair of channel locks or large plyers (preferably ones that are insulated), pull each coil out one at a time. If the engine DOES NOT change its idle when an ignition coil is removed, you know you have found the bad coil. Replace that coil. Leave them unsecured and drive it some more. Repeat the process until the car returns to normal. In my experience, I have never replaced more than 2 coils. This will end up saving hundred of dollars in diagnostic fees, parts and service.

Good luck, and stay TUNED!

Should I Buy My Car Audio Product At Ebay?

Car audio at Ebay? Yes, you can get a good car audio system at Ebay. All you need to do is to log on to the net and sign-in at Ebay. This will not only save your fuel but also your time. So what is actually included at eBay under car audio? Let’s take a peep in.

Sub-categories under car audio at eBay

The various categories included at eBay under car audio are…

o Car alarms and security

o Car amplifier

o Car audio in-dash units

o Car CD changers

o Car speaker and speaker systems

o Car subwoofers and enclosures

o Car video and navigation

o Installation products

o Parts and accessories

o Signal processors

o 12-volt portable appliances

There are, however, several issues you’d have to bear in mind if you intend to buy your car audio system or accessories at Ebay…

1) You run a huge risk. eBay does not give you any guarantee on the product you’re buying. All they provide is an interface for your transaction.

Therefore, if you’re not experienced in using auction sites you’d be better off buying from an established car audio site.

2) You may be buying from a dissatisfied user who just wants to get rid of the stuff.

3) You cannot have any support if issues arise. You bought from another user, not an authorized outlet.

4) You’re less likely to buy the latest and best. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are more after making a bargain purchase than owning a reliable system that will serve you well.

If you do decide in spite of these and other setbacks, do yourself a favor: Research the seller and make sure you’re not buying from a crook.

My best bet for your car audio system remains a car audio dealer who has expertise, not Ebay.