Replacing Serpentine Belt on a Car

Category: Auto Tuning

accessory belt

 If the serpentine belt breaks on a car the alternator will quit charging and the water pump may not work, causing the car to overheat. Before the belt breaks it is good to inspect it for cracks on the inside where the ribs are located. Also if the belt is worn the topside of the accessory belt will look rough instead of smooth. In the picture you can see the arrow pointing to the belt tensioner. Depending on where this is located will judge how tough of a job it is to do. There is a breaker bar connected to the tensioner in this picture. The breaker bar is a 1/2 inch drive bar. Some tensioners will have a nut to place a wrench on instead of this square hole for a breaker bar.

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Ignition Switch

Category: Auto Tuning

ignition switch location
Ignition switches are a common problem with cars. When an ignition switch dies, the engine will still spin over but will not start. The 12 volt power will never go to the ignition module to power the ignition coils. Ignition switches are similar on all cars and this procedure should work on most. This car is a sunfire and shares the same parts with a cavalier. First you will need to remove the three screws on the underside of the steering column cover.

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Aftermarket Steering Wheel Replacement

Category: Cool Cars


This aftermarket steering wheel conversion is being done on a Mazda Miata but it can be done on any other vehicle the same way. Some people change the steering wheel for looks and for more leg room. You will also shed a few pounds, this steering wheel shed 10 pounds, not a lot but every bit helps. First either find the fuse for the airbag or remove the battery cable so that you don’t accidentally make the airbag go off. Make sure that the steering wheel is turned to where tour wheels are straight foreward. To remove the steering wheel, start with the four bolts in the back side of the wheel. These nuts will allow the air bag to be removed.

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How to replace an Ignition Lock

Category: Auto Tuning


The ignition switch lock is not hard to replace. The switch first needs to be exposed by removing the colomn area covering it. Older cars use a clip or a pin that can be pressed, that will allow the switch module to slide out. Many newer cars use a clip and a pin to slide the switch out. Many times you will need to rotate the key to a certain position for the switch to slide out. The older switches use mechanical connections to transfer the voltage from the battery to the starter and the ignition coil. Newer ignition switches use a electronic switch called a proximity sensor. The prox. sensor sees an internal metal tab and will switch the 12 volts on. The switch allows the car engine to spin over, start, then stay running.

Water Pump repair

Category: Auto Tuning


A water pump circulates water from the engine and through the radiator to keep the engine cool. Most cars need a water pump somewhere around 120,000+ miles. Some cars like Hondas have the pump by the timing belt and some are driven off of it. These type of cars should replace the water pump at the same time the timing belt is replaced. The water pump is easy to replace in comparison to the timing belt. If not replaced, the water pump tends to die soon after replacement of the new, tighter timing belt. Many newer front wheel drive cars have the water pump on the left side of the engine. The pump is driven off an accessory belt that will need to be removed first. The belt tensioner will first have to be loosened. Many times the alternator acts as the tensioning device.

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Air Conditioning Retrofit R12 to R134

Category: Auto Tuning

Auto air conditioning can easily be changed from old R-12 to new R-134 refrigerant. The new style R-134 refrigerant can be used in R-12 systems as long as the oil is included with the installation of the new refrigerant. No new seals or any other components should need to be replaced. Your car’s system should be completely empty of the old R-12, which is supposed to be contained and removed by a certified refrigerant technician. When doing anything with ac you should first understand that there are two sides of the system. The high pressure side will be the side with the smaller diameter lines, this side is very high pressure and should be avoided. The low pressure side will have the larger diameter lines and will have the condenser. The condenser looks like an aluminum canister of about 4″ in diameter and appx. 6″ long. The fill port will probably have a plastic cap on it. The port is a valve that looks like a air fill on your car tires. You will need a kit composed of an adapter and the hose used to fill the system with. Some types of cars need different adapters.

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