SW Engines Blog

Don't Buy a New Car, Buy a Used Engine!

Five of the Most Beloved Engines in the World

 

Over the last 60 years, there have been hundreds of engines to debut onto the car market. However, some engines have proved to be more beloved that others. Check out five of the most successful car engines ever built.

used honda engine

Honda V-Tec Engine – quite popular in the street racing arena

Honda V-Tec Engine
When the Honda V-Tec engine first hit the streets, car enthusiasts were in awe of its lightweight design and high-revving power delivery. The best aspect of the Variable Valve Timing technology was its unmatched efficiency. Environmentalists also raved about the low pollution of the V-Tec engine. Even today, V-Tec engines are vastly popular in the street racing scene.

 

used lamborghini engine

Lamborghini V12 has a high rev cabaility

Lamborghini V12 Engine
Surprisingly, the V12 engine was the first engine ever produced by Lamborghini. Partly due to its 60 degree design, the V12 engine was able to rev at an unbelievable 9,000 revolutions per minute. The production engine was also capable of pumping out 280 brake horsepower, which was more than enough potency to impress drivers during that time period.

 

used chevy engine

Chevrolet Small Block Engine is known as one of the most versatile engines in history.

Chevrolet Small Block Engine
Chevrolet’s iconic V8 engine, popularly referred to as the “small block”, is toted as one of the most versatile engines in history. Many drivers were shocked that so much torque could be produced from such a compact engine. Although the small-block V-8 engine has changed a tad since its debut in 1955, its basic foundation remains the same.

 

used Ford engine

Ford Cosworth Engine remain in high demand due to their massive horsepower

Ford Cosworth Engine
Initially, the Ford Cosworth Engine was a collaboration project that was designed to be used in Formula One Racing. These engines remain in high demand to their ability to produce massive amounts of horsepower. Even a used engine that has been developed by Ford Cosworth is highly sought-after by performance enthusiasts. Although most people consider it to be a high-performance engine, the Ford Cosworth engine is also one of the most durable gas motors ever created.

 

used rover engine

Rover K Series Engine is a popular engine in automotive history.

Rover K Series Engine
Although this engine experienced a head gasket issue in its early development, it would go on to become one of the most popular engines in automotive history. Unlike some of the other performance-oriented engines, the Rover K Series has a very flat torque throughout its rev range.
All of these engines are still very popular, so you should be able to easily find a low mileage block to fit your needs. Even years from now, they will maintain a legendary status.

 

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Updated: June 30, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

Most Useful Car Tips for Fuel Economy

fuel-gauge

In this day and age, we are helplessly dependent on our automobiles. You may not even be conscious of how much you rely on your car. If tomorrow you couldn’t drive, what would your day look like? Would you be able to work? Would you be able to get anywhere outside of your house? Would you have food that week? Automobiles define life in the twenty-first century, allowing for rapid locomotion and thereby making the world a smaller place. They are commodities which only modern mankind has had the luxury of enjoying. So given the importance of cars to our lifestyles, it’ll behoove you to take a little time to make sure your car is running in most efficient way possible. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most effective, useful ways to save on fuel.

There are a wide range of factors that influence the miles-per-gallon your car gets. Quick acceleration, speeding, and rough terrain may be the most commonly recognized fuel-guzzling culprits. If you want good fuel economy, the number one rule is to drive responsibly. Of course, this is also a good idea regardless of fuel economy. For this article, we wanted to provide you with some slightly lesser known but still handy tips—a few things you can do to get a little more miles for your dollar.

gasoline-price-signWe’ve selected these tips with an eye towards relatability to the average driver. There are tons of possibilities when it comes to fuel efficiency, but don’t worry—we’re not going to tell you to run your car on sunflower seed oil. These tips are simple and logical, and aim to give you better understanding of how fuel consumption and preservation in your vehicle works. We’ve also tried to include tips that you won’t find blatantly self-evident. If you’ve Googled something like “car tips for fuel efficiency,” you’ve probably come across articles telling you to “conserve your trips” and “carpool to share fuel costs.” No bull—we’re here to give you some useful tips that (hopefully) will be news to you. We’ve included the essentials, but we’ve also kept in mind that you may be familiar with the basics. These are, for the most part, all very simple things you can do that may go a long way. If you keep reading, you may expect to save yourself a little time, money, and effort in the long run. So for the first tips…

 

Lose the top carrier

Just as towing excessive weight strongly cuts down your mpg, a little extra weight on the roof will put a drag on your fuel efficiency over time. If you have a top carrier and don’t find yourself using it that often, do yourself a favor and remove it for everyday driving. When it comes to fuel economy, you can do yourself a lot of good by considering a very simple equation: more weight = less mpg. Every little extra bit of weight directly impacts your fuel consumption. This leads us to the next tip, which is…

 

Clean out your car

A car full of crumpled water bottles and McDonald’s napkins not only looks bedraggled. It may be reducing your fuel efficiency. This might sound ridiculous, but if you’re like most people, you have a lot of extra stuff in your car that’s either needs to be thrown away or doesn’t need to be in there. All of this junk adds extra weight to your vehicle and, over time, costs you extra. Depending on what you tend to keep lying around in your car, this may not be much, but what how can you lose by making the inside of your car look nice to save money?

 

Go easy on the idling

A lot of people will let their car sit and warm up in cold weather thinking this will somehow help the engine get better fuel efficiency when they start driving. That would be nice if it were true. But this is neither beneficial to your engine nor to the environment, according to MotherEarthNews.com, which states that letting your car idle is “the slowest way to bring it up to operating temperature.”[1] In other words, all your car’s really doing when you let it idle is sitting there burning gas. And it may be doing your vehicle even more damage, as EPA.Gov (Environment Protection Agency) states that, in addition to producing unnecessary pollution, idling for more than 30 seconds wears down your car’s internal components.[2]

 


Buy fuel in the early morning

pumping-gasoline-1403981631dYw

This may sound crazier than all the rest. The idea is that colder air equals denser petrol. When petrol warms up, it expands, which means that it fills your fuel tank with the same amount of liquid, but with less convertible fuel. CarBibles.com uses this logic to claim, “If it’s 15°C in the morning and 35°C in the afternoon, you’ll get about 2.5% more petrol in the morning for the same price.”[3] But does this actually work? Depends on the time of year and weather conditions. Test it for yourself! Use this (how-to guide at WikiHow http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Your-Car%27s-Fuel-Efficiency-%28MPG%29) to measure your fuel efficiency first with fuel bought in the hottest part of the day, and then with fuel bought in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe you’ll find a significant enough difference.

 

Keep those tires pumped

Underinflated tires are a major drag on fuel economy. If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle with half-inflated tires, you know how much more work it is to power than a bike with properly pumped tires. It’s no different for your car’s engine than it is for your legs. Cars.com claims that underinflated tires can reduce your efficiency by full miles per gallon.[4] This is tricky, since it can be hard to tell whether or not your tires are fully inflated. Albeit, getting your tires checked may not be as simple and easy as the other tips listed, but keeping your tires full will undoubtedly have a profound impact on your fuel economy, so it’s worth considering.

 

Air filters

A heavily clogged filter can affect what miles-per-gallon you get. If you’ve never changed your air filter before, or if it’s been a while, this might be a very beneficial thing to do. Talk of replacing car parts will put most people on edge. It sounds like an expensive hassle, but don’t worry—this couldn’t be easier! AutoRepair.About.com estimates that this will take you 10 minutes and will cost you less than $20! Check out their 5-step how-to guide on changing air filters out here: http://autorepair.about.com/od/regularmaintenance/ht/airfilter.htm. A little change like this could take you close to no time at all and may go a long way in fuel efficiency and general auto performance!

 

Shift to third gear on downgrades

When it comes to fuel economy, a little change in driving habits can go a long way (and usually these changes are either safer or more convenient anyway). Many people fall into the habit of always driving on their main drive setting, but those other transmission settings are there for a reason. Switching to third gear as you move down a steep incline will keep your car at a constant speed, so you won’t have to ride the whole way down with your foot on the break, which puts heavy wear on your engine and wastes energy (and therefore, wastes fuel). It will keep your engine running at just the right setting without accelerating more than you need to. Many people simply forget that there car has this capability. Use it! It’s easier, safer, and friendlier to you engine!

 

Cruise control

For driving on steady ground (not downhill) it’s handy to employ cruise control (also called “autocruise”), which also keeps your vehicle moving at a constant speed. This prevents you from accidentally accelerating too much and having to push on the brake a little (again, wasting energy and fuel). As a side note, make sure to use cruise control on flat surfaces and third gear on downgrade, not vice versa, as that’s what they’re each specifically designed for. If you can safely employ cruise control on the highway, you’ll save yourself some fuel and money.

 

Air conditioning and electronics

Some people are (understandably) under the impression that things like air conditioning and the stereo unit are run solely by the car’s battery. However, all of these things contribute to fuel consumption. Of course, we’re not advising you to drive without music and broil yourself on a hot summer’s day. But you should be aware, if you aren’t already, that such things have an effect on fuel economy. You might benefit from getting a little fresh air in the summer and rolling your windows down instead of pumping the A/C. However, there’s one other thing you should keep in mind, which is…

 

Wind drag

Driving 65mph with the windows rolled down has a similar effect to opening an umbrella when the wind is roaring. It’ll pull you back and make your engine work a lot harder to maintain 65mph. So while keeping the windows down at low speeds may save you a little fuel, you’ll be better off using the A/C at higher speeds.

 

Simple driving habits

You can save a lot by just keeping in mind how your driving habits affect fuel consumption. Every time you push on the brake at a red light, that’s a little bit of energy/fuel wasted (obviously, we still encourage you to observe traffic laws!). If you can make a habit of releasing the acceleration a short distance before stops, you’ll save yourself a little bit of fuel every time. And when you start moving again, don’t try to accelerate to the speed limit immediately. This will burn extra fuel getting your momentum up again. It’s better to gradually push down on the acceleration so that you steadily pick up speed again.

 

Bonus! Miscellaneous tip for auto-convenience

 

De-ice locks with hand sanitizer

For all you facing the harsh February weather, we wanted to add one other tip for your convenience. This is a pretty classic trick. Keeping some hand sanitizer on you is useful anyway for its conventional use (killing germs while you’re out in public), but if you find that your car locks have frozen, you can simply dab some of it on your locks or your key to fix the problem. Hand sanitizer has a high alcohol content, which makes it an efficient deicer. Try this out some time!

 Final thoughts on fuel economypumping-gas

Despite the tendency of gas prices to rise, the future of fuel economy looks bright. Innovations in diesel and alternative fuels are being made, and though alternative fuels are admittedly still in a primitive state of development, there’s only room for improvement. In the meantime, using these simple techniques will do you a lot of good. Of course, responsible driving and observing the speed limit are always going to be the best ways to keep your fuel consumption down. EPA estimates that the average car gets the most fuel efficiency when driving at 50mph. They state, “You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.16 per gallon for gas.”[5] If you check your vehicle’s owner’s manual you may be able to find the most fuel efficient mph-speed for your specific model, or it may be available online. Finding this out will help you get a feel for how you should drive your car for maximum fuel efficiency. Hopefully by now you have a pretty good feel for how to conserve fuel in general.



[2] 2014, more here: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/about/faq.htm#question1

[3] 2014, Chris Longhurst, more here http://www.carbibles.com/gasmileage2.html

[4] This and even more tips here! http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=fuel&subject=fuelTips&story=mpgSave

[5] Accessed 2/27/2015: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp

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Updated: June 23, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

Replacing Your Engine vs. Buying a Car


Toyota Used Engine

Your beloved car has finally driven its last mile. Now all you can think about is how much money it will cost to fix it. Eventually, you might think; is the car even salvageable at this point? Should I put a down payment on a new or used car?  You are hit with the nostalgia of how reliable your car was, memories made with family and friends and the idea of letting your old reliable car go is as bad as the dead engine itself.  However, there is a way to preserve your beloved car while preserving the money in your wallet as well!  SWEngines.com,where you can buy a used low mileage engine and can save money in comparison to taking to the dealership or taking a chance with your local mechanic who could buy the most available “cheapest” engine they can find as a replacement.

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Updated: June 18, 2015 @ 6:57 am

Tips for Removing a Wiring Harness

engine wiring harness

When electrical issues become a problem in your car’s engine, it may be necessary for you to remove the wiring harness. In order to make sure that you do not hurt yourself or your engine in the process, it is important for you to follow each step in the directions carefully and completely. Before beginning any work, it is always wise to look at the specific process for your vehicle. Read all instructions thoroughly before doing anything and make sure you have all necessary parts and tools on hand. You may also want to have a camera ready so that you can take pictures anytime during the process. This simple precaution can be a great help in remembering how to put things back where they belong.

 

If you get in the middle of this job and get stuck, do not hesitate to stop and ask for help from a mechanic. At the same time, however, don’t be intimidated by the prospect of giving it a shot yourself first. As you remove the wiring harness, you will get to know your engine and gain the experience and knowledge you need to work with your vehicle in the future.

 

Before You Start the Job

 

Prior to jumping into this electrical job, you will want to be sure that you can identify and locate the parts under your engine’s hood. You will need to know where to find the fuse block, AC ductwork, and the firewall hole. You will also be working around the transmission, chassis harness, and the engine connection itself, so get to know your engine and look at an engine diagram to plan the job out before you get started.

 

Next, gather the tools you will need to remove the wiring harness. Make sure that you have several sizes of socket wrenches as well as a flat head screwdriver. You should also have a strong, thin piece of rope that you will use in the process of removing the wiring harness. For difficult wires, you may need a small, precise tool like a dental pick, small needle-nose pliers, or a pair of forceps to prevent breakage.

 

Tips for Removing a Wiring Harness

 

Once you have a big picture of the engine construction and you understand the general process you’ll be attempting, you are ready to go under the hood. Follow these steps:

 

  • Disconnect the fuse block. The fuse block is made of plastic and is located on the upper right side of the engine. Remove the bolt that is in its center, and then remove all connections from the fuse block including the engine itself, transmission, and the chassis harness. You can check your engine diagram to make sure you have identified all the right connections and that you know how to reconnect them later. Some quick research concerning your particular vehicle should steer you to the right location of these items so that you can be sure before you disconnect them.
  • Remove bolts. You should have several bolts that you will need to remove, and they should be located along the windshield area as well as along the side. Using a socket wrench of the correct size for your own vehicle, remove these. It is possible that there will be no bolts in your vehicle. If this is the case, then you can use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the dashboard in order to gain access to the A/C ductwork.
  • Remove the A/C ductwork. Find the tubing and separate at the seams. Once again, double check the engine diagram if necessary, so that you can easily find and remove the right tubing.
  • Remove bolts on the steering column. Look under the dashboard area and find the bolts on the steering column. Remove or loosen them.
  • Locate the wiring. If there are any other bolts holding the dashboard in place, remove them so you can get a clear view. The goal is to get behind the dashboard to see wiring.
  • Connect a thin piece of rope to the fuse block. This step might be a bit tedious, but it will make removing the wiring harness easier later on. From the dashboard side, thread a thin, sturdy piece of rope or string through the firewall hole. Pull it through from the engine side into the fuse block. Tie the rope to the fuse block so that you can use it to pull the wiring harness through late.
  • Take a picture of the wiring. At this point, you would be wise to get out your camera, smartphone, or tablet and take some pictures of how everything looks and where each part connects before you take out the wiring. You might also consider labeling the wires in some way so that you remember where to replace them when it is time.
  • Disconnect the wiring. Disconnect the wires from the the wiring harness. Look for the spot where the wiring harness joins the fuse block and disconnect there as well. In order to remove the wiring harness, you may also have to take off rubber sheaths or bolts. Use the rope you connected earlier to pull the wiring harness through.

 

The process of caring for your vehicle can be a complex one. The more that you know about how the engine is built, what potential problems are specific to your vehicle’s make and model, and how the various parts work together, the easier it will be to keep your engine in good working order. As with anything, however, it is important that you are prepared to do the work. Don’t be afraid to tackle new projects, but be sure that you are knowledgeable enough to jump in without ruining your engine or hurting yourself in the process.

 

If you follow these tips for removing a wiring harness, you will find that it is a fairly straightforward job that will allow you to make a variety of adjustments to your vehicle. As with any job, take the time to research your particular vehicle in order to note any differences or specifics that will affect the way you proceed.

 

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Updated: June 2, 2015 @ 9:33 am

Military Contributions to the Car Industry

As we celebrated Memorial Day yesterday, we all had a chance to think on the things that are possible in this country because of the military.  We have opportunities and freedoms that were, before the founding of this country, pretty much unheard of.  But beyond liberties and safeties, the existence of the military and the need for good equipment, intelligence, and communication has led to many technological advances we enjoy today.

 

military contributions

This was built to take on and conquer deserts. I think it can handle a little rush-hour traffic.

The first and most obvious things that come to mind are Jeeps and Hummers.  Both of these cars were developed because of a need of durable, tough, easily navigable vehicles that had the capability to make their way through a variety of difficult terrain:  swamps, jungles, deserts, snowy passes, and other such obstacles created the need for heavy off-roading vehicles.  This same necessity also resulted in four-wheel drive.  Even the lighter materials used in cars, rather than steel and iron frames, are a product of military research and development.

 

John Wolkonowitz, an auto analyst and auto history specialist, stated that “Just about any material used in a passenger car was probably improved with military research.”  From steering to guidance systems to proximity alerts, the progress in the military auto industry, as driven by TARDEC (the Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center), create impressive new technologies we all can enjoy.

 

For example, the military’s cars and tanks would have more clout and more utility if they were run on electric motors, so that’s an area of auto tech development they’re pushing forward.  Meanwhile, research is working to find a way to convert heat, from the engine or from other sources, to electricity that can power the dashboard and equipment on the cars.  With so many fascinating developments that have high potential in military applications, we can look forward to many new features in the future, benefiting military and civilians alike.

 

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Updated: May 26, 2015 @ 6:03 pm

Take Care of Your Engine – Prevent Overheating

car fire

The chances of this happening are very slim, but it doesn’t hurt to take precautions.

If you think you have problems with getting heated and blowing up at people, imagine what a 2-ton car would do if it lost its cool.  If your engine overheats, it could quite literally blow its top.

Watch for Warning Signs

Your biggest warning that your engine is going supercharged is your temperature gauge.  Keep an eye on it, particularly if you’re driving in heavy traffic, hot weather, or giving your engine a heavy task.

Normal engine operating temperatures range from 195 to 200 degrees.  If your engine starts going over that consistently, your engine is overheating and in danger of serious malfunctions.

What Happens to an Overheated Engine?

The first problem in an overheating engine is that too high temperatures may cause misfiring in your engine, with fuel combusting in all the wrong places.

If the temperature gets even higher, rubber and plastic may start to soften, crack, or bend.  With parts going out of place or out of form, your engine may start to malfunction.

In really bad engine conditions, when the heat is really on in your engine compartment, the metal parts of your engine could soften, warp, and stress.

Keep Your Engine Cool

If your engine is experiencing rising temperatures, there are a few things you can do.  First and foremost, pull over and stop your car.  Check your coolant levels and, if you need to, top them off.  Open the hood of your car to let the air cool your overheated engine.

Do not – I repeat, do not – open the radiator cap.  That thing is under pressure, and if it doesn’t get you, the steam and radiator fluid it’s keeping contained will burn your face.  Or otherwise really hurt.

Calling for help is a good option.  Get a tow truck or find a garage quickly, so a mechanic can tell you what’s going on before you end up on the side of the road with an exploded engine, fanning steam away from the remains of your car.

If you need to continue driving, take it slowly.  Avoid stop-and-go traffic, and turn off your air conditioning.  If you really want to vent air away from your engine, turn your heater on full-blast.  This will draw off the engine’s heat, although it does have the unfortunate side effect of blasting you in the face.  You can turn them out the window to make it a bit easier on you.

Hopefully you don’t need this information, but in the event that your car does overheat, be prepared to take care of it safely.

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Updated: May 19, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

The Big Deal with JDM Cars

SW Engines

Cleanliness is also a large part of JDM car styling

 

Leave it to the Japanese to win the award for “creativity” in automobiles; again! If you’re wondering what a JDM car is, well the answer may be a bit confusing. JDM is an acronym for Japanese Domestic Market. Which means that cars are built in Japan and sold only in Japan for the local market. But hold on, folks! Since the subject you are being taught today is about “car modification” we need to walk down a different path.

You see there are two main types of Japanese vehicle car styling: “Rice” and “JDM.” No we’re not talking about the kind of rice you eat; this rice is the typical Japanese “younger set” style of making your car as visible and loud as possible. Japanese girls love that kind of stuff. You know like adding a different touch to your car like airplane spoilers, engines with holes like the ones SW Engines has for sale in America. Then if you add under car “neon’s” they’ll be able to see you from the planet Jupiter in outer space.

If you’re still a bit confused about all this car rhetoric and the term JDM it’s merely to classify a type of modification that Japanese car enthusiasts enjoy doing in their spare time. Cleanliness is also a large part of JDM car styling and the owners don’t mind telling you that they keep their engine bays cleaner than a hospital floor. Dents, rust, chips and scratches are all “persona non grata” with the JDM car owners. Hyper clean is the mantra for JDM cars, but you can only take advantage of this “fad” if you live in Japan.

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Updated: May 5, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

Crimewave of Clunkers

 

 jeepsm
Your car here for $400!

 Around the end of last August, the legislation in St. Louis, MO, changed a bit.  But that little bit has had a dramatic impact.

The government wanted to allow people to get their old, not working, eyesores off of their property and to a junkyard.  Prior to this legislation, if a car was less than 20 years old, you needed documentation to sell your car for scrap.  Unfortunately, for older cars, this documentation often got lost through the process of living, where it’s hard to keep track of a slip of paper.  Fortunately, this legislation made it easier, stating that cars 10 years and older didn’t need documentation, allowing for an extra decade of lost documentation.  Unfortunately, and here’s where the trouble comes in, you no longer needed to prove that your 10+ year old car was, in fact, yours.

Enter the less savory elements.  If someone with a slight lack of ethics could pick up a decade old car out of a store parking lot, they could ship it off to a junkyard and make a tidy profit off of the car’s scrap value, usually between $200 to 500.  But that leaves the car owner stranded at the store.  As if stealing their car isn’t bad enough, you add insult to injury and let the car owner’s milk spoil.

This little problem is creating a lot of work for the St. Louis police.  In fact, they say that incidents of car theft are increasing while other crimes are generally decreasing.  In general, just make sure you keep your car safe, even if you don’t live in St. Louis.

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Updated: May 2, 2015 @ 7:12 am

Replacing Transmission Oil Seals

tranny3

When your car is leaking transmission fluid, there are several places to check for faulty parts. The leak could be in the transmission pan, torque converter, pan gasket, fluid lines, or oil seals. Placing a traceable, glowing dye in your car’s transmission fluid may be the easiest way to troubleshoot the location of the problem. When you drive the vehicle for a short time, the fluid containing the dye will flow through the system and the location of the leak will begin to glow.

If you determine that the leak is caused by a faulty oil seal, you will need to locate the defective part. It takes patience to access a broken seal, as it often requires disassembling parts of your vehicle to reach it. Your next step will be to decide if you want to replace the transmission oil seal yourself or hire a mechanic to do the work for you. While the job does take some time, it may be worth the effort to save the expense of a professional repair.

Cost to Professionally Replace Transmission Oil Seals

Transmission oil seals are generally manufactured of synthetic rubber, and can receive damage from a number of causes. Sometimes they simply become warped or worn out from regular use. They are consistently exposed to heat, which can crack and fray them over time. Seals commonly break in the input and output shafts.

The price to have a mechanic replace the transmission oil seals on your vehicle can range anywhere from $200 to $600 or more, depending on which seal must be replaced and how much time and effort is required to get to it. The expense of replacing transmission oil seals yourself is surprisingly low, especially if you already own or can borrow the necessary tools. Transmission seals cost around $5 each, so you could easily do the job on your own for less than $20 and a few hours of time.

How to Replace Transmission Oil Seals

As with any car repair, it’s a good idea to begin by checking the owner’s manual for safety guidelines and vehicle maintenance recommendations.

  1. 1.     Gather the necessary tools and parts to complete the repair. You can find the correct type of seal for your vehicle by checking the owner’s manual, looking online, or talking with someone in the customer service department at your local automotive store. In addition to the correct replacement seal, you will need the following:

 

  • safety equipment such as steel-toed shoes, latex gloves, safety glasses, and a portable light source
  • floor jack
  • jack stands
  • wheel blocks (metal wheel chocks, bricks, wooden wedges, etc.)
  • container to catch transmission fluids
  • shop towel
  • set of wrenches
  • hammer
  • seal remover or flathead screwdriver
  • transmission fluid

 

  1. 2.     Experts recommend that you wear protective glasses any time you do vehicle maintenance. Other safety gear, such as gloves or steel-toed shoes, may also be necessary, depending on the type of repair you are working on. It may be helpful to have an alternative light source for working in and under your vehicle.

 

  1. 3.     Prepare and jack up the vehicle. Always park your vehicle on level ground before you jack it up to prevent it from rolling while you are working on it. Put the vehicle in park and engage the parking brake, then place wheel blocks at the end of the car that is not being raised. Position the jack in the appropriate place for your vehicle. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or by contacting the service department at your automotive dealer. Use the jack to lift the vehicle and put the jack stands in place, then lower the vehicle onto the stands. Wiggle the vehicle a little to make sure it rests securely on the stands.

 

  1. 4.     Remove the vehicle’s parts to access the faulty seal. Once you’ve located the leak, follow the diagrams in your owner’s manual to determine which parts must be removed and how to take them out in order to access the seal. Remove the bolts and driveshaft universal c-clamps at the pinion. Place a container below the tail shaft to catch any leaking transmission fluid, then remove the driveshaft from the transmission.

 

  1. 5.     Replace the damaged seal. Use a seal remover or flathead screwdriver to carefully remove the broken oil seal. Be very careful not to scratch the transmission or you will have to replace the tail shaft to prevent further leakage. Put the new seal in place, gently tapping the edges in with a hammer, if necessary, to get it all the way in. Applying a lubricant to the seal before installing it may help it to go in more easily.

 

  1. 6.     Replace the automotive parts in the correct order. Push the driveshaft back into place, then reposition and tighten the c-clamps. Replace and tighten the bolts.

 

  1. 7.     Refill the transmission fluid. If the fluid you drained off earlier appears clean, you can reuse it to refill the transmission. If it is dark, then you will need to dispose of it and refill the transmission with new fluid. Make sure you have enough fluid on hand plus a little extra to refill it accurately. Turn on your engine and shift through all the gears to make sure the fluid is evenly distributed.

 

  1. 8.     Clean up your work area by removing tools and extra parts from your work area. Wipe up any spills and remove the drain pan. Replace the jack, remove the stands, and lower the vehicle until it rests on the ground. Remove the jack and wheel blocks.

 

Once you’ve completed all the steps for replacing transmission oil seals, you may want to take a short test drive to make sure all the leaks have been repaired. When you return, you should see no sign of transmission fluid.

Replacing transmission oil seals takes time and patience, but it can save the cost of hiring a mechanic to do the work for you. Always use caution and the correct tools and parts to prevent injury to yourself or your vehicle.

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Updated: April 28, 2015 @ 12:20 pm

V6 Engines vs. 4-Cylinder Engines

 

In a country where anything bigger has long been presumed superior, such value statements are being tried yet again.  The USA is finding that downsizing engines is not so horrible as was once presumed; in fact, for the most part, Americans are gladly taking the switch from V6 engines to 4-cylinders.  This is, of course, easier when they don’t have to sacrifice engine power to do so.

 

The Growing Trend Towards 4 Cylinder

 

old engine

V6? Old News.
Maybe not quite yet, but they’re taking a popularity dip.

The 4-cylinder engine was once shunned as a clanky, unreliable, underpowered piece of trash to have under your car’s hood.  A V6 engine, on the other hand, delivered power and performance.  Now that’s all changed.

 

While V6 engines are still delivering power, dedicated engineering work on the formerly-neglected 4-cylinder has resulted in engines that deliver all of the power needed, and sometimes power fairly equivalent to a standard V6.  And they do all this while delivering better fuel economy.

 

The drive towards 4-cylinder engines has been driven by two major factors:  an increased desire for fuel economy and government regulations on car emissions.  With these two motivating factors, car companies have made cars lighter and engines more efficient, sturdy, and compact.  While V6 engines are still around, their popularity, and even their availability, is waning as the small 4-cylinder engine begins to take center stage.

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Updated: April 21, 2015 @ 4:04 pm
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