Get to Know the Different Car Sensors

Owning a car is exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility. It’s important to become familiar with car sensors, how they work, and what happens when they don’t. Here are seven sensors in your car that you should know about.

Engine Speed Sensor

The engine speed sensor is a sensor that is attached to the crankshaft to monitor the spinning speed of the crankshaft. The crankshaft controls the fuel injection and timing of the engine. When the speed sensor stops working, you may begin to have issues with cruise control, improper shifting, and your check engine light will come on.

Fuel Temperature Sensor

The fuel temperature sensor ensures the car’s fuel consumption is efficient. This sensor tells the engine control unit to adjust the amount of fuel it injects. When fuel is warm it is less dense and burns more quickly. Cold fuel is more dense and burns more slowly. If this sensor fails, your car won’t be affected, but its use of fuel will be. The check engine light will come on when this sensor isn’t working.

Spark Knock Sensor

The spark knock sensor ensures fuel is burning efficiently. Spark knock (detonation) is a form of combustion that occurs when multiple flame fronts occur simultaneously inside a combustion chamber instead of just one flame growing smoothly and expanding. A spark knock detonation can be caused by fuel being subjected to too much heat, too much pressure, or both. You may hear a pinging or knocking noise when this happens.

Oxygen Sensor

An oxygen sensor, or lambda sensor, is important to your car’s exhaust system. It’s used to measure the proportional amount of oxygen in a liquid or gas. The sensor sends data to the management computer of the car’s engine. The sensor will keep emissions in check and warn you when they are excessive. A faulty oxygen sensor can also contribute to poor idling and higher fuel consumption.

Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor is critical to the performance of the car’s engine, good gas mileage, and low emissions. The sensor calculates the volume and density of air that the engine takes in. This ensures that the correct amount of fuel is used. Should the sensor become faulty fuel usage will go up and the car may stall. As long as a mass airflow sensor is functioning well it doesn’t need to be replaced.

Tire Pressure Sensor

Tire pressure monitor sensor (TPMS) will warn you of any tires on your vehicle that are under-inflated. The indicator is yellow and shaped like a horseshoe. When this appears, don’t ignore it. An under-inflated tire can create unsafe driving conditions and accidents.

Throttle Position Sensor

The function of the throttle position sensor is to monitor the throttle position of the vehicle. This sensor is located on the butterfly spindle/shaft so that it can monitor the position. When this sensor fails, your check engine light will illuminate. Other signs of a throttle position sensor failure may include: rough or slow idle, stalling, and lack of power when accelerating.

Knowing about the various sensors in your car is important. If one needs replacing you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run by doing so.

Get to Know the Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat is a class of mid-large size family cars. The term Passat in German means “trade winds.” Here’s what you should know about the Volkswagen Passat.

History of the Passat

The first generation of the Volkswagen Passat (known as the Volkswagen Dasher in North America) was launched in 1973. The first Passat was developed partly from the Audi80/Fox. Originally offered were two and four-door sedans as well as three and five-door versions, which looked similar.

The five-door station wagon was introduced in 1975 and sold in North America as the Audi Fox.

The Passat originally used the four-cylinder OHC 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines. In 1978 the Dasher received a complete facelift similar to the one done in Europe the year prior. The Dasher only differed slightly from the Passat in the areas of bumper, safety, and emissions modifications.

How the Passat Has Developed Over Time

The second generation of the Passat launched in 1981 as the Passat B2. The B2 was bigger and faster than the first generation. The B2 also introduced four-wheel drive se tup dubbed Syncro, which was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The third generation of the Passat, the B3, launched in 1990 in North America. This generation was sold as a four-door saloon or five-door estate.

It was at this time that the Passat ceased to be sold as a hatchback and would be known as the Passat in all markets including North America. The B4 Passat was basically just a facelifted B3 (1993). The grille was introduced to give the car’s front end a more aggressive look.

The newer generations (B5, B5.5, 6, 7) of Passat models have included upgrades such as projector-optic headlights, tail lights, and chrome trim. The non-turbo 1.8 was discontinued and the eight-valve 1.6 liter became the least powerful petrol engine.

A new base “GL” model was added to the 2003 Passat range that would offer a W8 six-speed manual transmission. The B6 Passat was first on display at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The B6 no longer shared a platform with Audi at this point.

2018 Volkswagen Passat

The current generation of the Passat is available as a sedan and a wagon. The Volkswagen Passat is packed with the latest technology and safety systems. Features include forward collision warning with automatic rigging, turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder standard, front-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. The cabin is quiet and there is plenty of space for all passengers, even tall ones won’t feel cramped. The infotainment system is user-friendly and wellorganized.

Higher-level trims also include lane-keep assist, parking assist, and a rear cross-traffic alert. The 2018 Passat comes in six trim levels: S (standard), R-Line, SE, SE with Technology, SEL Premium, and V6 SEL Premium. Each trim level (standard aside) comes with its own added features. The R-line includes VW Car-Net App-Connect, the SE includes a power tilting and sliding sunroof, and the SEL premium includes leather seating surfaces and LED headlights just to name a few.

The Volkswagen Passat has been in production for some time and the car improves with each generation. Get used Volkswagen parts by visiting this link.

Decorate Your Vehicle for the 4th of July

Are you looking for a great way to show your American pride? Consider dressing up your car for the 4th of July! This day is typically celebrated with family, friends, concerts, BBQs, picnics, baseball games, and fireworks but it can also be fun to display your patriotism for the world to see. Whether you’re going to be driving around or staying home, your vehicle can help express your pride for the holiday. Here’s more information:

Dress Up the Windows

Vinyl window clings are a good way to decorate the windows of your vehicle for the 4th of July. Just make sure they don’t impede your line of sight in any way. You can even use these window clings on the plastic panels of your vehicle. Just make sure they’re clean first. Use flags, stars, fireworks, “USA,” and of course, the red, white, and blue colors.

Use Temporary Paints

Temporary paints, such as Duplicolor’s Car Art Paint, are a great way to decorate your vehicle for the 4th of July. Use paints to write messages such as, “Happy 4th of July” or “Happy Independence Day” on the side of your vehicle. You can also paint stars, stripes, fireworks, the American Flag, and other Independence Day symbols on your car using patriotic colors such as red, white, and blue. These paints are made for this purpose, so they will withstand wind and rain, but are easily removed with soap and water.

Decorate the Roof Rack

If you have a roof rack, you can attach ribbons to it, which will wave as you drive. Just make sure you the ribbons aren’t too long. You can also wrap colored streamers around the roof rack to give it some 4th of July spirit. If you’re going to be in a parade for the holiday, you might consider attaching balloons to the roof rack. You can either have them lie flat or have them raised slightly so they bounce around a little. You can also attach small flags to your roof rack.

Decorate With Colored Tape

Consider using colored painters tape to attach signs to your vehicle for the 4th of July. If your sign is white with red writing, blue tape will be perfect. You may even be able to find Duct Tape with a 4th of July theme! If you don’t want duct tape directly on your vehicle, you can use it as a boarder on your sign. You can even create stars and stripes out of duct tape to decorate signs with. Don’t leave any kind of tape on your vehicle too long though as it may become more difficult to remove. It might be a good idea to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area of the car to see how it handles tape.

More Ideas to Consider:

  • If your vehicle has an antenna, you can attach some red, white, and blue colored ribbons.
  • Use a 4th of July themed license plate frame.
  • Pom-poms in red, white, and blue colors attached to the vehicle.
  • Attach red, white, and blue fringes or banner pennant to the bumper or sides of your vehicle.

Make sure that anything you’re attaching to your vehicle is securely fastened and won’t come fly off while you’re driving. You can find everything that you’ll need at most party supply stores. This is a fun way to show pride for your country!

Getting to Know the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an executive range of cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. These cars are luxurious, stylish, and incredibly popular. They are high performers and fun to drive, but they are also very safe. Here’s what you should know about the E-Class:

About the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was first produced in 1993. The first E-class was a face lifted W124, which was first introduced in 1984. The E-Class is in its fifth generation. In European countries, it has also served as taxis and police cars due to its size and durability. E-Class Mercedes-Benz cars are a top-selling model having sold 13 million by 2015.

E-Class Features

As the most advanced E-class to date, this car features technology never offered before. It sets itself apart from the competition. Imagine a car that could protect your ears in the event of an accident. The E-Class can do that with the use of pink sound. Pink sound technology pre-triggers your ears to protect themselves when your car senses an impending accident. The E-Class also features “Car-to-X,” which is a system that lets you know of driving conditions before you can even see them.

You’ll be able to change your route to avoid poor conditions. Pre-Safe Impulse Side is a safety measure that will reduce forces of impact by taking you further from the point of impact. Touch-sensitive control buttons on the steering wheel allows drivers to control navigation and entertainment without having to take their hands off the wheel. Just another safety feature the E-Class has to offer.

Not only is the E-Class technologically advanced and safe, it’s also aesthetic.

E-Class Design

The E-Class is elegant both on the outside and the inside. It features a large screen (12.3”), sharp graphics, and clear menus. The seats in the E-Class are designed to fit the body, which creates comfort. A wide selection of colors to choose from for the exterior of the E-Class include: Black, white, Lunar Blue Metallic, Dakota Brown Metallic, Cardinal Red Metallic, Selenite Grey Metallic, and more. Models include the E 300 Sedan, E 300 4MATIC Sedan, and E 400 $MATIC Sedan.


The E-Class was built to perform. They are front engine, rear-wheel and optional four-wheel drive. The 9-speed transmission responds quickly and efficiently to changing driving conditions and needs. The turbo engine allows less fuel usage, but more power as it self-tunes every few milliseconds. Air Body Control is an air suspension feature that coordinates two electronic systems that allows the E-Class to handle in a balanced and polished manner.

With DYNAMIC SELECT, you can switch to whatever mode you’re in the mood for and the conditions you’re driving in. If you’re driving windy mountain roads, you might choose sport mode. Other modes include ECO, Comfort, and Race Mode. The great thing about the E-class is that you can create your own mode as well. This is called Individual Mode. These different modes will give you access to better gas mileage when you need it and less when that’s not a concern.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a car with style and safety.

History of BMW

BMW, which stands for Bavarian Motoren Werke has a long and interesting history that involves more than just cars. In fact, they were in the business of building airplane engines long before they started making automobiles.   Here are a few things you should know about BMW’s history:

Origins of BMW

BMW originated in Germany in 1916 as BFw (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke). BFw primarily made aircraft engines. Rapp motors was one of Bfw’s constituents and also became part of the merge into BMW. After WW1 Germany was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles from producing warplanes and engines for these planes for six months. As a result of the treaty, BMW began manufacturing automobile engines.

In 1923 BMW decided to manufacture its first motorbike, the R 32. In 1929 BMW became an automobile manufacturer (when they bought Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach). This resulted in their first car, the Dixi 3/15. BMW didn’t design this car though because it was actually an Austin, which originated in England. The design and chassis created by Austin was under license to be used around the world. Sales of the Dixi were good despite the fact that it was the Depression. However, Dixis were popular for racing at the time. In 1932 BMW designed and built its own car, the 3/20 PS being its first. The 3/19 sedan was produced between 1935 and 1937. It was a reliable family car. By 1940 BMWs were synonymous with affluent German lifestyle.

Impact of WWII

When WWII began, much of the company’s attention was diverted to the war effort. Though cars were still being manufactured during this time, the design and development resources were significantly cut. BMW played such a large part in the war effort that their factories were bombed. After the war, BMWs Munich factory would produce pots, pans, and once again, motorbikes. Their motorbikes would be popular for both on the road and for racing. BMW didn’t produce another car until 1952 with the 501. When the V8 engine became available, the 501 was replaced by the 502.

BMW Sports Cars

BMW’s first sports car was the 3/13 1. It was not only elegant, but also fast, reaching speeds of 75 mph. This car was built in 1935 and 1936. Only 242 of these sports cars was produced, but this car would lead the way for the BMWs that were to follow. In 1936 BMW released the 3/28. It reached speeds 90 mph. This model came with a choice of gearboxes: one for competition or one for the road. This car has become a classic and popular with collectors. In 1937 BMW set a record for the fastest motorcycle in the world.

Notable BMW Cars

In the 1950s BMW produced a bubble car called the Isetta, which was designed by an Italian refrigerator manufacturer. Despite their small size and interesting look, they were a popular seller, but didn’t produce much profit. In 1972 BMW debuted its first electric car, which contained 12 batteries and could drive 19 miles at a time. While innovative, only two prototypes were built. In 1999 BMW began to produce cars outside of Germany beginning with a factory in Russia.

Today, BMW is still known for its luxury cars and people all over world enjoy driving them.

How Does an Automatic Transmission Work?

An automatic transmission can seem like magic. Also known as auto or self-shifting, the automatic transmission doesn’t require you to shift gears manually in order for them to change. It happens as you drive. The automatic transmission uses a combination of fluid, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Here is an overview of how an automatic transmission works.

What is a transmission?

A transmission is what allows a car move into different gears. Without a transmission, your car would be stuck in one gear regardless of the speed and power required to move your vehicle. If you’re driving up a steep hill, your car’s needs are different from if you’re in rush-hour traffic in the city. Basically the automatic transmission helps your engine spin at an optimal rate for the driving conditions and all you have to do is press the brake or gas pedal.

Parts of the Automatic Transmission

Parts of the automatic transmission include: a torque converter, oil pump, band breaks, planetary gear set, clutch packs, valve body, output shaft, and hydraulic system.

The torque converter is what stops your car from moving when you turn on the engine. It connects and disconnects power from the engine and is found between the engine and the transmission. Once you put the transmission into drive and your car is moving, the rest is automatic.

The planetary gear set is the heart of the automatic transmission. It’s what allows you to reverse and achieve five levels of forward drive. This one set of gears produces all the gear ratios. The planetary gear set is made up of three components: the sun gear, the planet gear, and the ring gear.

The band breaks are responsible for gears in the planetary gear set to be tight or loose allowing them to spin at different speeds.

The valve body can be considered the brain of the automatic transmission. The different valve passages direct different pressures of transmission fluid to different areas. Depending on how much pressure you put on the gas pedal will determine where the transmission fluid goes in the valve body. The clutch pack is then activated and will smoothly shift the transmission into a different gear.

Transmission (or hydraulic) fluid acts as a coolant and lubricant within the transmission system and helps to prevent corrosion. It transmits power from the engine to the transmission. Its role is important in the automatic transmission.

How an Automatic Transmission Works

When you turn on your car, the engine is on, but the car doesn’t move. When you step on the gas, the torque converter pump spins faster, sending transmission fluid toward the turbine. This fluid force is what turns the wheels. The operation of automatic transmission is all about transmitting different rotation speeds into the ring and sun gears. By holding the planet carrier, sun, or ring steady, a different gear ratio is achieved.

As you can see, the automatic transmission involves a lot of parts and movements to work. As complicated as it all seems, it’s hard to deny that it’s an impressive system!

Summer Car Maintenance Checklist

Summer car maintenance might not seem important, but it’s just as important as the winter car maintenance you do to prepare for snow, ice, and rain. Summers are hot and dry and this can impact the running of your car and even your personal safety. Here is your summer car maintenance checklist.

Check Your Battery

The last thing you want during the summer heat is to be stranded somewhere because your battery died. You want your battery to be corrosion free. If you notice the battery and cables need to be cleaned, take the time to clean them. You also want to check your battery charge. If you need a new battery, don’t put it off and hope for the best. It’s better to spend the money on it now and avoid additional costs later if you do need a tow.

Test the Air Conditioner

Whether you’re staying close to home this summer or planning a road trip, you need to make sure the air conditioner in your car is working properly. Hot temperatures outside will heat up the interior of the car and make your summer drives uncomfortable. Make sure that all vents are working and blowing clear air. If they are dusty, you’ll want to clean them to prevent dust and dirt flying around the inside of your car.

Check Fluid Levels

Coolant is especially important during the summer. You radiator works extra hard during the warm summer months to keep your car from overheating, so make sure that’s topped off. Check to make sure levels of steering fluid, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and motor oil are at optimal levels. Make sure you top off the fluids before you begin driving and that you use the right products for your car’s make and model.

Test the Tires and Brakes

In addition to brake fluid, you’ll want to check the condition of your brakes, brake pads, and hoses. If they need replacing, take care of this immediately. Depending on where you live, the harsh winters can be hard on the brakes, especially in areas that need to use a lot of salt on the roads because salt can corrode the breaks. You should also check your tires to make sure the tread isn’t too worn or that here isn’t a leak originating from corrosion on your rims. Checking tire pressure should be done on a regular basis also as temperature fluctuations can cause pressure loss. Incorrect pressure can lead to poor performance and reduced gas mileage.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

It’s hopeful to think nothing bad will ever happen, especially if you’ve done all of your summer car maintenance, but sadly this isn’t the case. Unexpected things can and do happen. Your car should always be equipped with items you might need in an emergency. This includes, but isn’t limited to: a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, blankets, jumper cables, a spare tire, and a flashlight.

Preparing your car for summer is as important as preparing it for winter. Every season has a set of conditions that can impact your car. This list will have you prepared for driving in the summer!

BMW 3 Series Used Buyer’s Guide

2012 BMW 328i
​The compact entry-level 3 Series reigns as ​BMW’s #1 volume-leading bestseller and is the most popular model in the marque’s lineup. It was introduced in 1975 as the successor to the New Class 02 Series and has remained in regular production ever since. With a base price that competes with many other contemporary midsize family sedans such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion, the 3 Series is arguably the most mainstream of all of BMW’s present-day crop. It’s far more than just a basic commuter car, though. The 3 Series, like its larger sibling, the elite ​7 Series high-end luxury saloon, epitomizes the BMW trademark amalgamation of style, luxury, and performance but unlike that premier flagship vehicle, the 3 Series is attainable and has attracted a broad array of new customers ranging from suburban families to urban millennials. What was once previously exclusive to only the more ​affluent of citizens is now one of the most commonly-seen vehicles on American roads today.

However, the widespread popularity of the BMW 3 Series also saddles it with one of the worst depreciation percentages on the market today: a painful 46.9%. That might not mean anything to someone who leases from a dealership every 3 years, but it really sucks for those who bought brand new from the showroom. But as the old saying goes: “One’s loss is another’s gain.” High depreciation for the 1st owner can be a bargain buy for the 2nd or 3rd in line.

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