How to Check Spark Plugs (9 Conditions to Look For)

how to check spark plugs

Quite a variety of gasoline-fueled piston engines are offered in today’s automobiles. One thing all have in common is spark plugs. And spark plugs are a periodic maintenance item in your car. A properly functioning spark plug will take the electrical signal from the car battery to the ignition coil and create a spark to … Read more

SOHC vs DOHC (What’s the Difference?) 

SOHC vs DOHC engine

Single overhead and dual overhead camshafts have been a part of automotive, marine, motorcycle and aircraft engines since the early 20th century. Some of the first cars with a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) were the British designed 1902 Maudsley and the American 1903 Marr Autocar. Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) appeared in a French Peugeot which … Read more

How to Change Spark Plugs (Step-by-Step)

Spark plugs may be simple to replace or annoyingly difficult. It all depends on how many covers, hoses, wire harnesses and other miscellaneous parts you must either move or remove to gain access to the plugs. And if the engine is jammed into a tiny space, that can make getting to the plugs even more … Read more

Straight Cut Gears vs Helical Gears (Pros and Cons)

straight cut vs helical gears

Today, gears are a major part of our lives. Mostly hidden by appropriate enclosures, they do their work in all manner of servile devices from washing machines to laser printers to chainsaws. Many aspects of life would be far different and more difficult without gears. Two specific types of gears are in common use worldwide. … Read more

LSPI: Low Speed Pre-Ignition (and What to Do About It) 

low speed pre-ignition damage

Around 2012 or so, the first of the small displacement and high performance turbocharged four cylinder engines began to emerge in scaled-down sports sedans and hatchbacks. The Ford Focus ST and the Mazdaspeed 3 come to mind. Manufacturers were then attempting to squeeze a bunch of brake horsepower (bhp) out of small displacement engines and … Read more

V6 vs V8 Engine (Which is Better?)

v6 vs v8

Whether shopping for a new vehicle (especially a truck), you’ll often be presented with more than one engine option. Right up there with the 4-cylinder vs 6-cylinder debate, is the V6 vs V8 argument. Should you go for the extra power of a V8 or for the better fuel economy of a V6? Unfortunately, it’s … Read more

Brake Lights Won’t Turn Off? (3 Common Causes)

The brake (or stop) lights are part of the rear light installation on your car, truck, or SUV. Brake lights began to appear on automobiles around 1905. Drivers then were using hand signals to indicate to cars behind that they were about to stop or turn. Hand signals remain in vogue today for bicyclists and … Read more

4 Symptoms of a Bad Oil Control Valve (and VVT Solenoid)

variable valve timing engine

To understand the variable valve timing (VVT) solenoid and associated oil control valve (OCV), it will help to know the history of this device and how it benefits our cars, SUVs and light trucks today. The valves in the engine of your car, SUV or truck operate to control the flow of air, fuel and … Read more