Services: The More You Know...
As you can imagine...
there are a myriad number of parts associated with the systems located UNDER your
car or truck. To help with your understanding of your vehicle, here are a few components and topics that
could be discussed during the process to correctly repair your vehicle.
A muffler is an integral part of your exhaust system that provides a huge difference
in the overall noise level of your car. The inside of a muffler is made up of a set of tubes with holes
in them. These tubes and chambers are designed to reflect and absorb the sound waves produced by the engine, and
depending on what type of sound you are looking for, can give you anything from near silence to the growl
favored by custom exhaust enthusiasts. Suffice it to say, too much noise just might land you a police
Your vehicles exhaust system contains a number of components designed to 1. Muffle
noise, 2. Remove harmful gas emissions, and 3. Direct the harmful gases away from the interior of the vehicle.
The combustion of the fuel mixture takes place within the engine's cylinders. From there, the spent fuel is pushed from
the engine cylinder into the engine's exhaust manifold, through additional piping, then the catalytic converter, followed
by more piping, then the muffler, more piping, and perhaps a exhaust resonator. The system needs to be air tight to
protect the vehicles occupants and to work properly. The exhaust system is typically designed in such a way as to
make the engine "breathe" more easily to increase fuel efficiency.
Every car on the road today is a potential source of air pollution. Fortunately,
your car is equipped with a catalytic converter that lowers the amount of harmful gas emissions being excreted by
your car. The main emissions of a car are nitrogen gas, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. Most catalytic converters
have 3 stages of catalysts that clean much of these pollutions before they reach the outside air. Catalytic converters
failures typically fall into one of four categories: 1. Thermal failure (overheating) 2. Plugged substrate 3. Thermal
shock or 4. Physical damage.
Despite what many people think, conventional shock absorbers do not support
vehicle weight. Instead, the primary purpose of the shock absorber is to control spring and suspension movement.
Shock absorbers are basically oil pumps. They contain a piston which travels back and forth against hydraulic fluid.
The fluid is pushed through tiny holes, allowing only a small amount of fluid to flow, making the piston move
slowly, which in turn slows down spring and suspension movement. The amount of resistance a shock absorber develops
depends on the speed of the suspension and the number and size of the holes in the piston. Modern shock absorbers
adjust to road conditions.
A strut is a major structural part of your suspension system. Because of its design, a strut is lighter and takes up
less space than the shock absorbers in conventional suspension systems. Struts perform two main jobs: first, struts
perform a dampening function like shock absorbers. They also provide structural support for the vehicle suspension,
support the spring, and hold the tire in an aligned position. Additionally, they bear much of the side load placed
on the vehicle's suspension. As a result, struts affect riding comfort and handling as well as vehicle control,
braking, steering, wheel alignment and wear on other suspension components, including tires.
Springs support the weight of your vehicle, judge how far your vehicle is sitting off the ground, and absorb road
shock. Springs are the compressible links that allow the frame and the body to ride relatively undisturbed while
the tires and suspension follow the bumps in the road. When an additional load is placed on the springs or the
vehicle meets a bump in the road, the springs will absorb the load by compressing. The springs are a very important
component of the suspension system that provides ride comfort.
Brake Rotor or Disc:
The brake disc or rotor is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites, and is connected to
the wheel and/or the axle. To stop the wheel, friction material in the form of brake pads, mounted on a device called a
brake caliper, is forced against both sides of the disc. Friction causes the disc and attached wheel to slow or stop.
Brakes convert motion to heat, and if the brakes get too hot, they become less effective, a phenomenon known as brake fade.
The brake caliper is the assembly which houses the brake pads and pistons that "push" the brake pads against the rotor to
stop the vehicle. Although calipers are of two types, most cars and trucks use a floating caliper (also called a "sliding
caliper") that moves with respect to the disc. Floating caliper designs are subject to sticking failure, caused by dirt
or corrosion stopping its normal movement. This can lead to the caliper's pads rubbing on the disc when the brake is
not engaged. Consequences may include reduced fuel efficiency, extreme heating of the disc or excessive wear on the
affected pad. A sticking front caliper may also cause steering vibration. In NE Ohio, the use of corrosive salts to
combat ice and snow often leads to early brake failure. We can help! Many of our clients have their brakes cleaned and parts
lubricated against sticking each spring. Interested in saving money in the long run? You, too, should have us Spring Clean
your disc brakes!
Brake pads are designed for high friction, and brake pads are what stops your car or truck! Pad and disc wear rates will vary
considerably. The properties that determine material wear involve trade-offs between performance and longevity. The brake
pads must usually be replaced regularly and are considered routine maintenance. Here in NE Ohio, corrosive salts will often
freeze up a caliper. A brake pad replacement in a warm climate is just that: a brake pad replacement. In Ohio, a brake pad
replacement often is accompanied by a caliper replacement due to corrosion. Some cars and trucks are equipped with a
thin piece of soft metal that rubs against the disc when the pads are too thin causing the brakes to squeal. Hearing a
squeal? It's probably your pads telling you that it's time to have your brakes serviced.
Wheel bearings and other vehicle bearings are typically constructed in one of two configurations: 1. Ball Bearing, 2. Roller Bearing.
These "rolling-element bearings" carry a load by placing rolling elements between two bearing rings. The relative motion of the
pieces causes the round elements to roll with very little rolling resistance and with little sliding. Can't picture it? try this: One of
the earliest and best-known rolling-element bearings are sets of logs laid on the ground with a large stone block on top. As the stone
is pulled, the logs roll along the ground with little sliding friction. As each log comes out the back, it is moved to the front
where the block then rolls on to it. Bearings usually fail due to debris getting into the bearing, and the typical indication of a
failing bearing is noise that changes volume and pitch as your speed increases.