Automobile Lighting Technology (Part 2: The New Player)
By P Sanchez Last time, we discussed the traditional types of headlight bulbs, the incandescent bulb of classic cars, halogens – the current global standard, and the high-performance HIDs of the last decade. But there’s a new technology that has been implemented virtually everywhere that needs light generation: from smartphone and flatscreens, to indoor and portable lighting, and of course, headlights. we’re talking about LEDs.
Automobile Lighting Technology (Part 1: Standard Bearers)
By P Sanchez
There was a time when the only kind of light bulb that automobiles had was the incandescent. Yes, the incandescent light bulb, the same kind that you now only see as an emoji icon for “idea”. Modern production methods of the last century made the incandescent light bulb cheap and reliable enough for the masses and it enjoyed decades of ubiquity as a primary electrical lighting source, including headlight bulbs for cars of yester-years
But its design changed little since the days of Thomas Edison and even with its last iteration, the incandescent light bulb is still relatively inefficient in converting electricity to light, with most of the energy wasted in heat. By today’s standard, the typical incandescent light bulb’s soft yellow-tinted glow is only good for setting a romantic ambiance to an indoor space, and not so good for lighting the evening highway.
But it’s almost 2020 and we’re closer to the perfect evening driving vision with the advancements in headlight bulb technology. We got choices now, three types of lighting, in fact, differing in performance and cost. We’ll go through each of them and by the end, you can hopefully determine which is best for you.
Does your beloved car squeak and creak when driving over a rough patch of road? Is your car showing its age and you’re longing for the days of quiet ride and confident handling? Is this line of questioning starting to sound like an introduction to a cheesy infomercial for a cure-all automobile product? Well, it’s not because we’re continuing our little discussion on understanding those annoying sounds our car aging cars make.
Squealing, squeaking, chirping, creaking and moaning. Does driving your car sound like you’re listening to a podcast of National Geographic’s “Night in the Rainforest”? If so, you’re in for some potentially serious car trouble. Realize that all machines will breakdown eventually, it’s just a matter of time. Simpler machines have it good, fewer parts, fewer things to go wrong. And the modern automobile? Hundreds of moving parts. It’s a minor miracle that a few of them can last more than a decade with just minor maintenance (I did only say “a few”).
Of course, only an experienced mechanic can tell for sure what ails your beloved car but it helps a mechanic greatly in diagnosing your car trouble if you can specify the symptoms best you can. (Another word of advice: don’t just leave your car at the auto shop without giving the mechanic a rundown of what’s wrong. They’re mechanics, not psychics.)
It’s interesting that there is at least one situation where going “neutral” actually polarizes people. This is a certain case when driving cars with automatic transmission. The use of neutral gearing has stirred more debate among regular drivers and car enthusiasts than the blue-or-gold dress, or even the Laurel vs Yani sound clip. Even experts in the field like long-time mechanics and purported engineers have opposing opinions whether shifting to neutral is advisable at any point of typical driving.
In this installment of the Auto Repair Blog, we’ll weigh in on the merits of both camps and hopefully arrive at a conclusion regarding the use of neutral gearing.
Recently, a research conducted by IMR Inc. shows the top 10 repair jobs that vehicle owners and car repair shops do to cars.
Oil and oil filter changed* Wiper blades replacement* Replace air filter* Scheduled maintenance New tires Battery replacement* Brake work Antifreeze added* Engine tune-up Wheels aligned/balanced
Quite a few of the items on the list (the ones with the asterisks) are very doable DIY jobs which is great especially if you are trying to save a couple of dollars in labor. Plus, you can’t beat the sense of fulfillment of attending to the needs of your car like a bonafide grease monkey.
But why have a professional do all the hard work for you? Aside from the huge convenience and the time saved on your part, I’ll present other notable reasons why DIY is not always the best way to go.
Last time we took a little stroll back in time and saw how driver and passengers deal with the cold in their private vehicles during the decade following the 1900s which were the formative decades of the automobile. For this article, we’re checking the parts that make the modern automobile heating system and know a few of its troubleshooting techniques.
We’ve talked in length about the A/C system in cars, a little history, how they work and some common troubles that could happen. Cooling the cabin is cool and all (pun intended) but it’s not quite useful if you’re living up the chilly north. So it’s time to touch on the “H” part of a car’s HVAC system: Heating.
As a first part, we’ll go a little bit in the interesting history and development of in-car heating. Later on, we’ll talk about its basic parts of modern heating systems and the possible troubles you should watch out for (and things you can do to fix them).
Driving in a hot and humid day without air-conditioning is the pits. The prospect of sweating it out in your car will make you seriously consider your ridesharing options or ditching your commuting plans altogether. That's why having a good climate control system is more than a perk, it's a must-have.
It’s important that car owners are keenly aware of the performance of your A/C system and knowing when it’s time to take your car to a car a/c repair specialists. Let’s look at a few common complaints about troubled A/C systems and get an idea of the possible reasons why they happen.
Whether it’s refrigeration, room air-conditioning or automotive A/C, most cooling system use the same operating principles and share analogous parts. So to understand how an A/C system works (and how it can fail), we’ll first have to know its major parts and function.