Automotive Service Warning Lights That Your Vehicle Needs Automotive Repair!

Paying close attention to your vehicle’s warning lights is one of the surest ways to know whether your vehicle needs a minor automotive service, or a more extensive automotive repair. The dashboard lights are color-coordinated according to the severity of the warning (i.e., yellow is caution, red is serious). Each time you start the car, all of the lights and indicators appear as the car’s computer checks each system. When the lights go out, the computer has verified that each of the vehicle’s systems is functioning properly.

If an indicator light remains on several minutes after the car has been started, or if it comes on while driving the car, you should be concerned about it. You will want to treat all dash warning lights like traffic signals.
The two basic kinds of warning lights; Yellow and Red, are further described below:
Yellow Warning Lights –

On most cars, a yellow “Service Engine Soon” light means “proceed with caution.” Your car’s computer system has indicated a potential problem and is alerting the driver.

The computer system is capable of correcting some minor abnormalities, but if the light continues to come on after multiple car starts, it is telling you that you need to consult a technical manual and/or schedule an automotive service. If the light comes on while you are driving but doesn’t come back on again, the computer system probably corrected the problem without any further intervention.
Common problems that may cause the “Service Engine Soon” light to come on are:

* computer-related problems, such as faulty sensors
* anti-lock brake systems
* safety restraint systems, such as air bags
* emissions components

Red Warning Lights –

A Red Warning light indicates an immediate danger to your car and you should immediately pull over and turn off the car. Whatever caused the red light to come on can be a safety issue (i.e., brakes), so proceed with caution as you maneuver to stop the vehicle.

Unfortunately, when the red light comes on, the problem is already occurringthis is NOT a pre-warning. It can be a matter of seconds before permanent engine damage occurs. Call for road-side assistance for automotive repair.
Problems that normally cause red warning lights are:

* low oil pressure
* engine over-heating
* brake failure
* transmission over-heating
* low battery voltage.

Like smart phones, vehicles these days are ‘smart’ and are continuously monitoring the performance of your vehicle.

For professional automotive service, contact our ASE-certified technicians at A&C Automotive & Machine by calling 651-674-4733, or go online at for more information. Since 1985, our auto center has served vehicle owners in North Branch, MN, and in the surrounding areas of Harris and Stacy, MN.

Vacuum sewer – automotive lockout tools – car door unlock

Basic elements Collection chambers and vacuum valve units Vacuum sewer lines Central vacuum station Vacuum technology is based on differential air pressure. Rotary vane vacuum pumps generate an operation pressure of -0.4 to -0.6 bar at the vacuum station, which is also the only element of the vacuum sewerage system that must be supplied with electricity. Interface valves that are installed inside the collection chambers work pneumatically. Any sewage flows by means of gravity into each house collection sump. After a certain fill level inside this sump is reached, the interface valve will open. The impulse to open the valve is usually transferred by a pneumatically (pneumatic pressure created by fill level) controlled controller unit. No electricity is needed to open or close the valve.

The according energy is provided by the vacuum itself. While the valve is open, the resulting differential pressure between atmosphere and vacuum becomes the driving force and transports the wastewater towards the vacuum station. Besides these collection chambers, no other manholes, neither for changes in direction, nor for inspection or connection of branch lines, are necessary. High flow rates keep the system free of any blockages or sedimentation. Vacuum sewer systems are considered to be free of ex- and infiltration which allows the usage even in water protection areas. For this reason, vacuum sewer lines may even be laid in the same trench as potable water lines (depending on local guidelines). The system supplier should certify his product to be used in that way. To achieve the condition of an infiltration-free system and therefore allowing to reduce the waste water amounts that need to be treated, water tight (PE material or similar) collection chambers should be used. Valve and collection sump (waste water) preferably should be physically separated (different chambers) in order to protect service personal against direct contact with waste water and to ensure longer life cycles (waste water is considered to be corrosive).

In order to ensure reliable transport, the vacuum sewer line is laid in a saw-tooth (length-) profile, which will be referred to more precisely afterwards. The whole vacuum sewers are filled with air at a pressure of -0.4 to -0.6 bar. The most important aspect for a reliable operation is the air-to-liquid ratio. When a system is well designed, the sewers contain only very small amounts of sewage. The air-to-liquid ratio is usually maintained by “intelligent” controller units or valves that adjust their opening times according to the pressure in the system. Considering that the vacuum idea relies on external energy for the transport of fluids, sewers can be laid in flat terrain and up to certain limits may also be counter-sloped. The saw-tooth profile keeps sewer lines shallow, lifts minimise trench depth (approx. 1.0 1.2 m). In this depth, expensive trenching, as it is the case for gravity sewers with the necessity to install continuously falling slopes of at least 0.5 – 1.0%, is avoided. Lifting stations are not required. Once arrived in the vacuum collection tank at the vacuum station, the wastewater is pumped to the discharge point, which could be a gravity sewer or the treatment station directly. As the dwell time of the watewater inside the system is very short and the wastewater is continuously mixed with air, the sewage is kept fresh and any fouling inside the system is avoided (less H2S). Advantages closed, pneumatically controlled system with a central vacuum station. Electrical energy is only needed at this central station no sedimentation due to self-cleansing high velocities spooling and maintenance of the sewer lines is not necessary manholes are not required Usually only a single vacuum pump station is required rather than multiple stations found in gravity and low pressure networks

This frees up land , reduces energy costs and reduces operational costs. Investment costs can be reduced up to 50% due to simple trenching at shallow depths, close to surface flexibility of piping, obstacles (as open channels) can be over- or underpassed reduced installation time small diameter sewer pipes of HDPE, PVC materials; savings of material costs aeration of sewage, less development of H2S, with its dangers for workers, inhabitants, as well as corrosion of the pipes may be avoided; sewage is kept fresh no odours along the closed vacuum sewers no infiltration, less hydraulic load at treatment station and discharge sewers absolutely no leakages (vacuum avoids exfiltration) sewers may be laid in the same trench with other mains, also with potable water or storm-water, as well as in water protection areas Lower cost to maintain in the long term due to shallow trenching and easy identification of problems In combination of vacuum toilets it creates concentrated waste streams, which makes it feasible to use different waste water treatment techniques, like anaerobic treatment Limitations vacuum systems are not capable of transporting sewage over very long distances, but can pump long distances from the vacuum station to the next STP or main gravity sewer. vacuum sewerage systems are only capable for the collection of wastewater within a separated system (not for the collection of storm-water) the lines can only reach up to 3-4 km laid in flat area (restrictions of the system due to headlosses (3-4.5 m) (friction and static)) systems should be designed with help of an experienced manufacturer (concepts are usually free of charge) external energy is required at a central point for collecting sewage odours close to the vacuum station can occur, a biofilter may be necessary Integrity of the pipe joints is paramount Application Fields Vacuum sewer systems becomes more and more the preferred system in the case of particular circumstances: Especially difficult situations as ribbon, peripheral settlements on flat terrain with high specific conduit lengths of longer than 4 metres per inhabitant are predestined for the application of vacuum sewerage systems. In the case of sparse population density the influence of the costs for the collection chambers and vacuum stations are less important in comparison to the costs of long and deep sewers on gravity. Missing incline of the ground, unfavourable soil (rocky or swampy grounds) and high groundwater table (with the necessity of dewatering trenches) lead to enormous investment costs in regards to gravity sewerage systems. On the contrary vacuum sewers that are small in diameter can be laid close to the surface in small trenches. Vacuum sewers can pass through water protection areas and areas with sensitive high ground water tables, because there is no danger of spoiling groundwater resources (vacuum sewers have a high leak tightness due to their material; moreover the vacuum itself does not allow exfiltration).

Vacuum systems has also been applied to collect toxic wastewater. Vacuum systems are seen as a priority in many environmentally sensitive areas such as the Couran Cove Eco Resort close to the Barrier Reef in Australia. In seasonal settlements (recreation areas, camping sites etc.) with conventional gravity sewer systems, sedimentation problems can easily occur as automatic spooling from the daily waste water does not take place. High flow velocities within vacuum sewers prevent such sedimentation problems. The Formula 1 race tracks in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi are using a vacuum sewer system for that reason. Even in old narrow and historical villages, the use of vacuum sewer systems becomes more and more important due to a fast (traffic, tourism), cost-effective and flexible installation. Good examples and references can be found in France, such as the village of Flavigny, in Oman at the township of Khasab and Al Seeb. Lack of water in many countries and drastic water savings measures have led to difficulties with aging gravity networks with solids blocking in the pipes. Neither the lack of water nor solids affect resp. occur in vacuum sewer systems. That’s why this technology becomes interesting for such kind of applications. As PE or PVC pipes are used, no solids from ageing pipes will enter the system. All other solid are kept out at the collection chambers. vacuum sewer systems don’t have any manholes to dump big solids into the system. Project Examples The county of Sarasota, Florida and the city of Carnation, Washington are developing a county wide collection system and is incorporating vacuum sewers. In Germany, several hundred well-working systems are operating since the 1970. Especially in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman), vacuum sewer systems become more and more important due to easy and fast installation along with water saving effects and easiness of maintenance. The world’s most famous vacuum sewer project is currently the Palm Island Jumeirah, located at the coast of Dubai City, United Arab Emirates. Approx. 23.000 people will be connected to this vacuum sewer system with only 1 central vacuum station.

The vacuum station is considered to be the biggest vacuum station in the world. The biggest installation in Europe (several vacuum stations) can be found in Gerasdorf (near Vienna), Austria, where many benefits of a vacuum sewer system helped to overcome difficult conditions in this mountainous area. Good examples can be found on the Maldives, the post-tsunami WATSAN project UNICEF – UN, where on several islands vacuum sewer systems have been the best option. Several other project, mainly for resorts, have already been realized on the Maldives. Vacuum sewer systems are not only used in the Europe or Middle East but even in low developed third world countries. Several vacuum sewer systems have been already built or are currently under construction in Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia) for townships and rural areas where the benefit of fast construction time, cost saving trenching and high flexibility have come to full effect. Australia has been one of the largest users of vacuum sewer systems due to the low installation and operational costs. The largest system to-date has been at the Tea Gardens development in New South Wales, which will ultimately handle over 4.500 houses. The Water Corporation in Western Australia is considered the largest single owner of vacuum systems in the world with over 30 schemes now under their operational control. The United Kingdom is well served by Vacuum Sewerage Systems, the region most extensively served are the low lying fenlands of the East of England. High water tables (in some cases less than 1metre below the surface) and poor ground conditions have meant that the local Water Company Anglian Water has embraced the use of Vacuum Sewerage, taking advantage of the system’s requirement for small bore sewer pipes laid in shallow trenches, dramatically reducing the requirement for pumping stations as would be required by conventional gravity sewer systems. The largest Vacuum Sewerage scheme in this region serves the villages of Outwell and Upwell, 4 vacuum collection stations serve some 1500 homes in this agglomeration. On initial costings for a conventional gravity sewer to serve the area, previously served by domestic septic settlement tanks the site would have required the installation of 32 pumping stations. Using a vacuum sewer system, this number of pumping stations was reduced to 4 vacuum stations. Other companies in the UK such as Southern water operate vacuum sewer systems, too. Lately, vacuum sewer systems become popular for industrial and commercial projects as well, where only little domestic waste water occurs and where the flexibility of a vacuum sewer system allows easy coordination with usually plenty of other utilities in the ground.

Good examples can be found again in the Middle East, such as some small industrial areas in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah or the newly built Qatalum Aluminium Plant in Qatar, the world’s largest primary aluminium plant. The well known eco-city of Masdar, U.A.E., uses a vacuum sewer system as well to separate grey from black water. Installation and construction The following section covers some basic information regarding the installation of vacuum sewer system. This section is not complete and should only give a basic overview. Based on long term experience, only HDPE pipes should be used for vacuum sewer system pipe works. The recommended pipe classification is SDR11. Preferences should be given to electro fusion joints rather than butt welding. In general, butt welding shall only be allowed for pipe diameters bigger or equal than 150mm as the internal beads from butt welding methods will reduce the diameter especially for 90mm pipes significantly which can cause blockages inside the pipes. It is most important not to use any 90 connection within the pipe work. This refers to any main or branch lines connections as well as to horizontal direction changes. Only wye-fittings and 45 bends may be used. Using 90 connection will lead to blockages within the system and may create water hammers with temporarily pressure drops affecting the equipment. It is furthermore very important to follow the pipe profiles which should be given by the system supplier. A minimum requirement is a constant slope of 0.2% within the so called saw tooth profile. Upwards slopes and deviations from the given pipe profiles will lead to water sags causing temporarily blockages and pressure drops resp. additional head losses. In worst case, this can lead to a failure of the system. Especially the connection line from the collection pit to the next branch or main line needs to maintain a certain slope as otherwise water sags may cut off the valves from the vacuum inside the pipe system causing malfunction of the valves. Special attention has to be given to the civil works related to the pipe work installation. Over-compaction or damages to the pipes by excavators may result in significant problems during operation. Even if the pipe withstands the pressure tests during construction and after backfilling, squeezed pipes or pipe full of concrete or other construction debris will lead to blockages and water sags during operation.

Although international guidelines give clear recommendations for gate valves (every 400-500m within main lines and for branch lines longer than 200-250m), all important side branches should be equipped with a gate valves. This will allow much faster pressure tests and leak detection during construction and will allow emergency measures if problems occur. Ruling technical guidelines and norms EN 1091 DWA-A 116-1 (also known as ATV-DVWK-A 116, Part 1) WEF (Water Environment Federation) Alternative Sewer Systems (Second Edition -2008) WSA 07 (Australian Code) AS 4310 – 2004 (Australian Vacuum Interface Valve Standard) External links Airvac, International (U.S.A.) Roevac, International (Germany) Iseki, UK Quavac, Netherlands Flovac, International Vacuum sewerage systems on Wikipedia References ^ PCS: Vacuum Sewer Construction ^ Categories: Sewerage infrastructure

Nissan X-Trail The Best Value SUV

Nissan X-Trail The Best Value SUV

The X Trail was added to Nissans off road range in 2001 and is something of an unsung hero. It is a compact 4×4 with practical boxy lines. Dynamically, the X-trail drives great on-road making it better choice than rivaling BMW X3 or Volvo X360. The X-Trail is the best option for those looking for a dependable yet enjoyable 4X4 car. It also returns a great value for money in terms with generous standard kit and strong resale values. The overall look of the Nissan X-Trail remains the same since 2001 apart from the light tweaks it received in 2007, but the X-Trail doesnt really need any change in design as it is a winning formula that still feels fresh and has helped the Japanese manufacturer flourish through the off road vehicle market. The X-Trail has a rugged look thanks to its chunky bumpers and dark scuff plates. Inside it has a luxurious but practical cabin that feels upmarket with high quality materials.

Having said that, the dashboard looks a bit odd with centrally fitted screen which looks like a substandard after market accessory. The X-Trail is powered by a 148bhp 2.0litre and 171bhp 2.0litre diesels mated with a six speed manual gearbox. The gearbox is smooth but it drives a bit firm and on motorways there is a lot of road noise. Having said that, it performs great on the bends thanks to the firm set-up giving it an edge over the agricultural Land Rover Freelander. The X-Trails appetite for revs makes it an entertaining car to drive. However, like other Nissans, the X-Trail is also not the best at stopping and takes 62.6 metre to stop when brakes are applied at 70mph, the rivaling Kia Sorento (larger in size) does the same in 52.6 metres.

The X-Trail managed to score only four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash test rating, which is same as the Toyota RAV4 but one star less than the Land Rover Freelander. However, the standard safety equipment includes six airbags, AntilocCK Braking System and electronic stability control. The four wheel or two wheel drive can be selected with a touch of a button that adds to the drivers confidence. Nissan cars have a strong reputation for reliability and the X-Trail has performed really well in owner satisfaction surveys. It finished ninth in Auto Express Driver Power Survey.

The X-Trail boast 603 litres of boot space which can be increased to 1,773litres on folding the seats, that is 100 litres more than the rivaling Freelander which is larger in sizes. There is plenty of legroom for the passengers at the back and cabin boasts a huge glovebox and lots of cubbyholes. The driver enjoys a comfortable position thanks to highly adjustable seat and steering wheel. All of these make long journeys easy for both the driver and the passengers. The X-Trail returns fuel economy of 44.1mpg which is on a par with its rivals. However, it enjoys high residual values as compared to its rivals plus the kit levels are impressive. The Sport version gets a sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity and CD changer. All of these combine to make the X-Trail an appealing package for buyers.

How Ethanol Car Engines Work

Ethanol cars work in a way very similar to normal gasoline cars, and are a great viable alternative fuel option because of current high gas prices. The only real difference is that ethanol car engines are able to utilize the biofuel ethanol instead of oil based gasoline.

Ethanol fuel itself is extracted from plants such as corn or sugarcane, and refined into an alcohol. This alcohol is suitable to be used as a biofuel in cars and other vehicles. Most hybrid automobile engines that use ethanol can also use gasoline, and are also called flex-fuel engines. The ethanol is injected into the engine in the same way as a non-hybrid automobile engine. Though ethanol gives slightly less miles per gallon than gasoline, it doesn’t create as much air pollution when it is burned.

The similarities between ethanol flex-fuel engines and standard engines make ethanol cars cheaper than most alternative or hybrid vehicles, because they are built in much the same way as a regular engine. Ethanol is actually cheaper in some cases than gasoline, and thus a hybrid that runs on ethanol can be less expensive to operate than a gasoline based vehicle.

Most standard automobiles can even run on a 10% mixture of ethanol in gasoline. Many gas stations around the world offer ethanol as an alternative to gasoline, and in some countries cars are required to run on ethanol.

You can find out more information about Hybrid Cars at along with video news, reviews, and tools such as price quotes and an automotive loan calculator.

The Uniqueness Of The Chevrolet Cruze In India

Reliability, low maintenance, excellent mileage, and superb handling are the key features that a car buyer gives first preference when buying a car. And when the exterior looks automatically fit in with the said lineaments, the effort is further rewarded. General Motors, with its research on changing market trends and taking into account car lovers preferences, designs its cars incorporating all the aforesaid features. This is the reason why GM cars are so popular not only in India but also in some 200 countries. The latest cars by GM to hit the Indian market are the Chevrolet Cruze and the Beat. The Chevrolet Cruze in India is introduced in the diesel version, a lacking feature in the mid sedan category. And GM has filled the gap in the right time. No wonder the car will have many takers; it is just the launch and it has already registered good sales records. The future is yet to come!

The Cruze Chevrolet in India has been launched with a budget friendly price tag Rs 10.99 lakh for the Cruze LT variant and Rs 12.45 lakh for the LTZ variant as per Thane ex-showroom prices. The latter variant has additional features compared to the former model and hence the increased price. The 2-litre VCDi 1,991cc inline-4 diesel engine is operated by a single overhead cam. And the power and torque figures are well appreciated in many a car review. It delivers a remarkable 150PS @ 4,000rpm of maximum power and 327Nm @ 2,600rpm of maximum torque. It comes with a single 5-speed manual transmission option. What more can you ask for when you have no maintenance overhead costs for three years or 100,000 kms the warranty that it comes it. And as confirmed by the maintenance aspects of all other Chevrolet cars, you will hardly need to spend on maintenance on your Cruze even after the warranty period is over.

A keyless entry is one of the distinctive attributes in the Chevrolet Cruze. So, you need not use keys to get in the car. The door opening mechanism involves the use of sensors on the doors. If you have the keys in your pocket, a gentle touch on the door handle will let you experience the opening of the gate. Again locking is also as simple as opening; all you need to do is to pull the handle gently and the doors will automatically lock! Isnt the Cruze designed the smart way in sync with the up-to-the-minute technology? And there is no key hole for the ignition! A start/stop button is fitted towards the left of the steering column on the dash. Once you give a gentle push to the button at the same time pressing the clutch, the engine will instantly start. The insulation features inside the car wont even let you hear the roar of your Chevy Cruze.

An all-time electronic stability program and a standard ABS in the Chevy Cruze have generated rave reviews on web. Users speak volume about the said features including other aspects.