Unless you're a diehard auto repair enthusiast, there is no piece of equipment you own more baffling than your vehicle. You probably know the basics of car operation, but when it comes to more complex systems, you rely on an auto mechanic to tell you what's going on. But if you want to increase your knowledge about overall vehicle maintenance and repairs, here are the answers to three common questions about basic auto repair and service.
Is It Possible To Clean Dirty Battery Cables On My Own? -- If you notice white flakes around your battery cables, it indicates corrosion, which can affect the charging capacity of the battery. Cleaning battery cables is a DIY job that isn't difficult if you take certain precautions. First, mix three teaspoons of baking soda with water to form a thin paste. Next, make sure the car engine is off, and remove the battery clamps. Use a cloth dipped in the baking soda mixture to wipe off the corrosion on the terminals. Reconnect the clamps and apply some petroleum jelly to protect against future corrosion.
What Does the term 'OEM' Parts Mean? -- OEM is an acronym that stands for Original Equipment Manufactured, and it refers to spare parts made by the company that shipped your vehicle. OEM parts are the highest quality parts available for your car, and are typically more expensive than aftermarket parts that aren't made by your original vehicle maker. If budget is a consideration, then aftermarket parts are a good option, but they they won't have the same quality as OEM parts, which could mean that you'll have to replace them sooner.
Is It True That Using the Air Conditioning Lowers Gas Mileage? -- Yes, and to understand why, it's necessary to explain in simple terms how your vehicle runs. When you turn on the key in the ignition, the battery charges in order to get the engine to turn over. As the engine runs, the alternator recharges the battery to ensure that there's sufficient juice to keep the engine operating. When you turn on the AC, the alternator has to work harder to recharge the battery that controls the engine because of the increased power requirements. That means your engine has to draw more fuel from the gas tank to keep everything running at the same time. Therefore, the more you use the AC, the more fuel the engine needs, which means you'll get less miles out of a tank than if the AC was turned off.
If you have other questions about your car, head on over to an auto shop like Reconditioning Services.