The black box. You have probably heard of it in reference to airplanes usually, unfortunately, after the plane has crashed. Perhaps you are wondering if there is such a thing as a land vehicle black box — specifically, do cars have black boxes? Here’s what you need to know.
Posted on: Jul 15 2019
The opportunity to drive for the first time is one of the most exciting milestones of a teenager’s life. Being able to drive represents freedom, independence and the first step to adulthood, so that first car is a big deal. Your teen, of course, would love to have the most expensive, cool-looking, sporty new car on the market, but you have to be the voice of reason. Right?
Sinking a ton of money into a brand-new car for your child is not recommended for many reasons. One, teenage drivers get into accidents at the highest rate, meaning not only can you expect to pay insanely high insurance premiums on a new car for a teen, but there’s a better-than-average chance that the car won’t survive (while in pristine condition) long enough to justify the expense. Two, the cost of your teen’s car is probably coming out of the family budget, which is often already strained by things like the cost of the car or cars you already have.
Finally, there are plenty of dependable, very reliable used cars on the market to choose from that can be a great value. But how do you know which ones they are? What are the best cars for teens when looking for used cars?
Posted on: Jul 1 2019
If you take your car to the mechanic for scheduled maintenance/tune-ups, you have probably been told that you need a radiator flush. But is flushing the radiator really necessary, or is the service largely unnecessary? What does radiator fluid do, exactly, and when do you need your radiator flushed?
What Does Radiator Fluid Do?
Radiator fluid, better known as coolant or antifreeze, keeps your radiator cool, as you might expect. Car engines run hot, especially in warm weather, and without something to dissipate the excessive heat generated by the engine, your car can overheat and fail very quickly.
What Does a Radiator Flush Do?
While radiator coolant is very important, like most fluids running through a system, it can build up unwanted contaminants and collect debris over time. Over time, your radiator coolant can cause radiator corrosion, generating rust, scaling or other debris that you do not want in your car’s radiator or engine. A coolant flush resolves this problem – it’s basically a blood transfusion for your cooling system. A flush involves forcing several gallons of cleaner, water and new antifreeze through the system to get rid of all the old antifreeze and the contaminants that may have built up in it.
Simply draining the radiator may get rid of most of the old antifreeze but could leave some coolant and contaminants behind, which would then mix with and pollute your new antifreeze and cause overheating. You want a full flush, a forced removal of anything old so you can pave the way for new fluid.
Besides removing the used antifreeze from your radiator, other benefits to flushing your radiator can include removing the rust and scaling that has built up on the radiator as a result of the old coolant, as well as lubricating and lengthening the life of your water pump. Additionally, if you use the right additives during your coolant flush, it can help prevent future leaks, foaming, corrosion and debris build-up.
If you do go to a mechanic for your radiator flush rather than doing it yourself, make sure the mechanic does a full cooling system inspection to find any leaks in the system that may need fixing. If you flush the radiator but ignore any leaks, your engine is likely to overheat again shortly after the flush.
How Do You Know When You Need a Radiator Flush?
Several signs may indicate that it is a good idea to get a radiator flush right away. If your car overheats, for example, it often means that there is either a leak in your coolant system or that the coolant is contaminated in some way. If your coolant level seems relatively full even though your engine has overheated, it is probably a good idea to flush the radiator.
Other signs that an immediate radiator flush is necessary includes coolant leaking underneath your car, grinding or knocking engine noise, visible debris in your coolant and steam or an odd smell rising from your hood.
How Often Should You Perform a Radiator Flush?
Opinions vary on how often you should do your radiator flush. Some experts say every five years, some every three, some annually. Most agree that if you have a new car with less than 10,000 miles on it, there should be no need to do a radiator flush for at least a year. If there are no other signs that you need to flush out your radiator, you should do it at least every 30,000 miles or according to your owner’s manual recommended schedule.
How Do You Do a Radiator Flush?
Getting your radiator flushed by a mechanic should run you less than $40. If your mechanic is trying to charge you more, or you’d rather take care of business yourself and save some cash, here’s how to flush your own radiator.
- Open the radiator cap and coolant reservoir cap.
- Find the radiator drain by consulting the owner’s manual. Place the container you will use to catch the flushed antifreeze underneath the drain.
- Once the container is properly situated, open the drain. Gravity will do the rest, forcing all the antifreeze to flow out into your container.
- Pour in your radiator flush as directed and fill the rest with water to about an inch below the top of the radiator opening. We recommend Hy-per Cool Radiator Cleaner & Super Flush. This is the highest-performing radiator cleaner and flush you can buy — a proven formula that cleans the entire system in 30 minutes or less.
- Close the caps and run the engine for ten minutes or so with the heater on full blast.
- Allow the engine to cool down, then drain the radiator again, refill the system with water and repeat the process.
- Drain the radiator again, and this time add your antifreeze.
Once you finish, be sure to thoroughly clean the area to get rid of any spilled antifreeze, and wash yourself thoroughly to get rid of any coolant or cleaning fluid that may have gotten onto your skin.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Flush Your Radiator?
Is a radiator flush necessary? What happens if you don’t do it? If a mechanic has suggested you flush your radiator because you are experiencing difficulties with your car, such as leaks, steam, rapid overheating or strange odors coming from the hood, then not flushing the radiator will mean you will continue to have these problems and your car’s performance will suffer as a result. If flushing the radiator will solve these problems, it’s much better to do it now than to ignore it and find yourself paying for a much more costly repair later.
If you are just wondering whether or not you can skip the recommended scheduled radiator flush, what you can expect to happen is that corrosion, sediment and other unwanted products will continue to build up in your coolant system. Eventually, this will likely lead to damage to gaskets or other components, meaning leaks, overheating and those other problems that are usually signs that your vehicle requires a radiator flush. It’s much better to do the radiator flush now than after it has started doing damage to your car’s engine.
For more information about Hy-per Cool Radiation Cleaner & Super Flush, contact Hy-per Lube now.
Posted on: Jun 15 2019
One of the problems you want to avoid when it comes to your car is having your engine coolant mixing with your oil. This can cause serious damage to your car, and if you discover it happening, you need to address it immediately.
But first off: how do oil and coolant get mixed together and what exactly can you do about it?
Why Is There Oil in My Coolant?
If there is oil in your coolant or vice versa, it generally means there is a failure in one or more of your engine’s gaskets or seals. Your engine is designed so that there is one system that controls engine oil to lubricate your vehicle and another that manages coolant to keep your car from overheating. Your cylinder head gasket (aka “head gasket”) is the part of your engine that prevents coolant or oil from leaking into one another. If you have a broken or damaged head gasket, you can expect your oil and coolant to start mixing.
Oil and coolant can also end up mixing if your engine overheats and either destroys the gasket or cracks the cylinder head. An accident that cracks the cylinder head or damages the engine block can result in oil and coolant mixing as well. We talk to customers all the time that have this problem.
Is Coolant in Engine Oil Dangerous?
As we pointed out and as you could probably guess, having your coolant and oil mixed is terrible for the health of your car. In basic terms, your car’s engine oil is designed to lubricate the internal components of your car so that they operate smoothly rather than grinding each other up via heat and friction.
You coolant has another purpose: it is designed to keep your car from overheating. The consequences of diluting either substance should be clear — but in case it’s not, the answer is that you can expect overheating and/or severe damage to your engine if you try to drive around with coolant leaking into oil or oil in the coolant reservoir.
How to Fix Oil in the Coolant Reservoir or Coolant in Your Oil
If you have oil mixed with coolant in the reservoir, you will notice a thick, milky or gravy-like substance that is a tell-tale sign that you have this issue. You will want to clean the reservoir thoroughly and flush the radiator with water. Similarly, you will want to check your oil dipstick and see if it shows an oil-coolant mixture in your oil tank. If so, you will want to change out your oil as well.
When changing the oil and coolant, we recommend adding quality products like our Hy-per Lube Oil Supplement. Hy-per Lube Oil Supplement seals piston rings and valve guides, which can prevent or reduce leaking issues. It can also give your oil greater protection, restore fuel economy and performance and extend the service life of your oil by as much as 50 percent.
You may also benefit from our Hy-per Cool Super Coolant, which is compatible with virtually every type of antifreeze and proven by independent Dyno-testing to lower engine temperatures up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the life of these solutions will vary according to the severity of the leak, the key is repairing it as soon as possible. If you are dealing with a blown head gasket, a cracked cylinder head or a cracked engine block — and if the leak is too severe — you may have to have a professional mechanic have a look.
With any luck, the problem will be minor, and the right stop leak/chemical fix will do the trick. However, if after your fix, your car quickly starts to overheat, turn off the vehicle and bring it in for repairs immediately. Your engine may already be severely damaged, and if not, it quickly will be if you continue to use the vehicle in its current state.
How Much Will It Cost to Fix Coolant in My Oil?
The temporary fix will only entail the cost of the replacement fluids and the stop leak products — it’s actually quite affordable. However, your long-term solution of fixing whatever gasket or component is causing the leak could be considerably more expensive. The worst-case scenario, the one you hopefully will not have to face, is that you have a crack in your engine block. If this is the situation, there is nothing to do but replace the engine, which typically runs about $4,000 to $8,000. Again, this is the worst-case scenario.
If you only have to replace the radiator and fix the transmission, it should not cost you more than $400 or $500. However, if your head gasket is completely destroyed and must be replaced, it could run you a couple thousand dollars, including parts and labor.
Hyper-Lube: Quality High-Performance Products for Your Car
If an accident damages your engine, there is little protection that proper vehicle maintenance can offer. But in general, using high-quality products and additives in your engine can often ward off problems like oil and coolant mixing.
If you’re looking for great products to help you get the most out of your oil and coolant, look to Hy-per Lube. Our experience with quality chemical additives for vehicle performance date back more than 60 years, to when Harold Hilton first formulated Hy-per Lube Oil Supplement back in the early ’50s.
We are constantly researching and perfecting our formulas, and today’s Hy-per Lube products are formulated with cutting-edge technology to maximize the benefits to your vehicle.
For maximum performance and protection, you need Hy-per Lube. We have a number of products to suit your vehicle’s needs. Remember that these products can potentially add extended life, performance and fuel economy benefits that can well outweigh the cost of the product.
To find a Hy-per Lube product near you, use this convenient store locator. Or, to discuss any of our products with a qualified expert, please feel free to contact us online right now.
Posted on: Jun 1 2019
Our legendary zinc replacement additive provides wear protection under extreme pressures
When it comes to delivering the required extreme pressure wear protection for motorsport and classic cars, today’s standard motor oils fall short. But there’s a reliable and affordable oil additive that can help.
Hy-per Lube Zinc Replacement Additive (p/n HPZ212) is designed specifically for vehicles and industrial engines in high-stress and demanding conditions and environments. It offers a simple and efficient way to keep cams, lifters and rocker arms safe and eliminate significant wear.
When motor oil manufacturers began reducing levels of ZDDP (Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphate) in their products to protect catalytic converters from premature damage, the change left owners of many types of older or high-performance vehicles built with flat tappet camshaft engines without the necessary wear protection. It’s a need that has only been growing with time, as modern oils continue to leave this hole unfilled.
The lack of the appropriate levels of ZDDP can result in camshaft wear, piston scuffing and damage to lifters and the valvetrain. This damage could mean reduced oil pressure, compression loss, lower fuel economy, leaks, smoking, noise, lost power and shorter engine life.
“When engine oils had more ZDDP, they were able to continually replenish the sacrificial coating on metal parts,” says Clay Parks, vice president of development for Hy-per Lube. “Today’s oils need help protecting those metal parts to limit excessive wear and parts failure. Our Zinc Replacement Additive delivers this protection better than high-content zinc motor oils.”
Hy-per Lube Zinc Replacement Additive contains an exclusive polymer ester formula, which when added to any motor oil, bonds to the metal surfaces to allow the parts to move more smoothly. These additives allow a tremendous amount of pressure to be applied to metal-on-metal surfaces without the additives losing their original properties or causing extreme wear to the cams, lifters and rocker arms.
Our zinc (ZDDP) replacement formula is compatible with all motor oils, including synthetic, and can be used in any vehicle year, make or model. The additive does not contain heavy metals, reduces cold-start wear after long periods of disuse and is safe to use with all engines, even those with catalytic converters. Gasoline-powered vehicles manufactured before 1996 and diesel-powered vehicles made before 2004 especially benefit.
Questions about whether this product is right for your car or industrial machine? Give us a call at 800-345-6572, or message us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to help. If email is more your thing, you can contact us here and we’ll answer any questions you may have.
Proven in racing, off-roading and even harsh-condition daily driving, Hy-per Lube Super Coolant helps engines run up to 25 degrees cooler while boosting performance.
Whether cruising around town or spending a weekend at the track, you need assurance that your coolant will provide the best possible protection from engine overheating. Chance are, if you are reading this, you also care about maximizing performance and keeping heat soak at bay.
Heat is generated in the cylinder head and as temperatures increase, so does the likelihood of pre-ignition and power loss unless ignition timing is retarded. This can also result in overheating and engine damage, unless enough heat is transferred into the coolant, carried to the radiator and then out into the air. That’s where Hy-per Lube Super Coolant comes in.
Hy-per Lube Super Coolant is a track-proven formula that reduces engine cylinder head temperatures to guard against overheating and allows the engine ECU to safely advance ignition timing, which results in maximum power output. It accomplishes this by reducing the surface tension of coolant, allowing it to more deeply penetrate metal surfaces at critical heat transfer areas inside the engine and radiator.
This results in more heat being transferred away from cylinder heads and a reduction in engine operating temperatures. Independent dyno tests prove that Hy-per Lube Super Coolant helps street applications using a 50/50 mix to run 8-10°F cooler, and racing applications using straight water to run up to 25°F cooler. Actual cylinder head temperatures can be reduced by up to 50°F.
But it’s not just for summer – Hy-per Lube Super Coolant also provides faster engine warm-up during cold weather. It is formulated to protect all metals found in cooling systems, including aluminum. Super Coolant provides complete protection from rust, corrosion, and electrolysis. This is particularly important in straight water applications where there is no corrosion protection being provided by the corrosion inhibitors in antifreeze. It is safe for use on all racetracks.
Super Coolant is compatible with all types and all colors of anti-freeze, including Dex-Cool. One bottle treats systems from 12 to 20 quarts.
If you have any questions about Hy-per Lube Super Coolant, leave a comment below, or hit us up on Facebook. We’re happy to help.
We get this question all the time when talking to customers on our tech line: What is the best type of water to use in my cooling system?” In this post, we would like to address this topic, as the plethora of misinformation regarding this topic has easily made it the most misunderstood.
Many people have “heard” that distilled water is the best water to use in a cooling system. This is wrong! While it is certainly true that distilled water’s purity prevents electrolysis and scale/deposit formation, it unfortunately comes with a potentially very damaging side effect. (more…)
Used cars have their advantages, and just because they carry the “used” title doesn’t mean the process needs to be a total crap shoot. Perhaps you’re looking for a reliable choice for your teen, or just a way to avoid paying an unnecessary amount of money to get that new car smell. Buying a used car can be tricky, and sadly, good honest salesmen are few and far between. Don’t give yourself any unnecessary stress. Follow these steps to make sure you’re choosing the right car.
In your initial used-car-hunting stages, you can do some simple tests to see if the car is worth the next step (taking it to a mechanic.) The first thing to look for is rust and dents on the exterior. Rust can turn into a huge problem on used cars, especially if there has been no attempt to treat it. When you’re done looking on the outside, look for similar problems under the hood. Try the quarter test on the tires, and look for other issues like interior seat ripping and bad headlights. If there are no blatant, forewarning issues, it’s very important to take your car to a mechanic. The mechanic’s bill is just a small price on such a major purchase. (more…)
Posted on: Jul 29 2013
When it comes to your car, you don’t want to trust just anyone to make the repairs that you need. And if you don’t know how to fix your car yourself, you’re really limited when it comes to options for good mechanics. You don’t want to get nickel and dimed, but at the same time, you want to be sure that your car is well taken care of and is actually going to receive the care that it deserves.
So if you’re feeling somewhat in the dark when it comes to finding the right mechanic, read through these quick tips, and next time your car is in need of some TLC, you’ll be glad you know what you’re looking for!
Posted on: May 7 2013
If you live in an area where it tends to drop to frigid temperatures in the winter, you’re probably experiencing just that right about now. How much do you dread those early mornings heading off to work, leaving your warm and comfortable home to venture out into the cold for your morning commute to the office, only to leave the warmth of your car to once again brave the cold to go into work?
Well, guess what – your car dreads that feeling, too. In fact, mistreating your car during the cold winter months can lead to serious long-term damage and can even contribute to shortening the life of your car. So before you hop in and drive off on those sub-zero mornings, take these 4 tips into consideration to help preserve the life and health of your car. (more…)
Posted on: Feb 6 2013