Category: autos

Oil changes: is there a rule of thumb for how often?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor inquires about oil change frequency. I suddenly wondered: Is there a “rule of thumb” for mileage between oil changes? Of course, the manufacturer’s advice for any specific model should be followed. Moreover, newer cars often

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Autos: tire pressure gauge accuracy

Maintaining vehicle safety, for me, means self-tutoring. The tutor shares an experience with tire pressure gauges. 24 or 35? I noticed the car tires might look a bit low, so wondered about their pressure. I found a gauge and checked

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Auto batteries: reserve capacity vs Ah (Amp*hrs)

The tutor defines two terms relating to auto batteries. The reserve capacity (RC) of a car battery is given in minutes. It’s the duration the battery can discharge 25A at ≥ 10.5V. Ampere hours (Ah), on the other hand, is

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Physical chemistry: vapor pressure: why a car may be harder to start in the winter

The tutor implicates the Clausius-Clapeyron equation to explain why combustion is more difficult at lower temperatures. To burn, a fuel must evaporate.1 In colder temperatures, fuel has less tendency to evaporate. For two specific temperatures (T1 and T2), the Clausius-Clapeyron

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Electricity: getting a shock from the car

The tutor shares some research about why he gets shocked leaving the car. When the weather turns dry and summery, I love it. However, I face a summertime hazard: getting an electric shock when I leave the car. Sometimes the

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Autos: routine maintenance: signal bulb replacement

The tutor shares his experience changing a signal bulb on the minivan. While I drive much more now than I used to, I’m not a casual driver. I try to minimize the risk of problems by keeping the car maintained.

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Driving: rain-x and Fog Relief

The tutor brings up two products he finds indispensable. I’m not a casual driver, but I have to drive sometimes. More often, my wife does the driving. I try to make the car as easy and safe as possible to

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Energy efficiency: electric cars vs gasoline-powered cars

The tutor continues to investigate energy alternatives. The comparison between electric and gasoline cars might depend on your point of view. Someone told me a while ago that electric cars are 50% efficient.  I was surprised to hear that number,

Auto batteries, part two: cold cranking amps and internal resistance

The tutor continues to explore auto batteries (aka car batteries).  While this topic is rare during tutoring, it’s probably relevant to virtually everyone at some point….   I recall, decades ago, a friend of mine bought a new battery for

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Auto batteries: seasonal reflections

Tutoring high school chemistry includes electrochemistry.  The tutor shares some reflections about auto batteries as winter approaches.   I recall more than one mechanic talking about how a device might work fine for a long time but have a hidden

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