Archive for April, 2014

How to Check for Worn Wheel Bearings

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Suffice it to say, wheel bearings are essential parts of the suspension system of your vehicle. They help hold the weight of your car and let the steering wheel rotate with the least friction possible.

Just like any automobile part, wheel bearings can go through wear and tear as time passes by. Worn wheel bearings can pose serious threats and should be replaced as soon as possible. Driving with your bearings immensely worn-out can cause major accidents when you lose control of your vehicle.

Here are some things to pay attention to:

  1. Observe if there are vibrations or wobbling from your steering wheel as you drive. What happens in these cases is that the steering wheel will shake. In some cases it can cause your car to pull to the side when you step on the brakes.
  1. Listen for any squealing noise which gets louder as your car accelerates. If such noises come from your tires or steering wheel, that would be an indications that you already have worn wheel bearings.
  1. Check if there are grinding noises that come from the steering wheel while you’re driving. A grinding noise is the most typical noise that car owners hear, and it only goes to show that you have worn-out wheel bearings.
  1. Observe if there’s any looseness in the wheel while driving. Any looseness is a red flag that you have a worn-out wheel bearing.


Fixing A Squeaky Belt

Friday, April 18th, 2014

That dreadful sound that you’re hearing under the hood isn’t anything other than a slipping belt. I can only imagine your ears trying to crawl into your head, along with the ears of everyone within a mile radius of you. It’s high time you do something for people you come across and spare them the torture.

Belt squeal, squeaky belt, belt noise? Spare a few minutes of your time and watch this video and learn how to fix a squeaky belt in your car.


Replacing V-Belts with Cogged or Synchronous Belt Drives

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Around 1/3 of the electric motors within the commercial and industrial sectors make use of belt drives. Flexibility is one of the things that belt drives boast of when it comes to the positioning of the motor relative to the load.

Pulleys (sheaves) of different diameters make it possible for the speed of the driven equipment to be adjusted. A properly designed belt transmission system comes with high efficiency, low noise, needs little if any lubrication, and is not very high-maintenance. But there are belts that offer more efficiency as compared to others. To be specific, you can have significant energy cost savings with them.

Most belt drives use V-belts. V-belts use a trapezoidal cross section so as to make a wedging action on the pulleys in order to boost friction as well as the belt’s power transfer capability. Multiple or joined belts are specifically used for heavy loads.

V-belt drives are able to reach a peak efficiency of 95% to 98% at the time of installation. Such efficiency will also be in accordance with pulley size, driven torque, under or over-belting, and V-belt design and construction. Efficiency declines (to a nominal efficiency of 93%), but can much lower with time, especially in the event slippage takes place due to the belt not being periodically re-tensioned.

Cogged belts contain slots that run perpendicular to the length of the belt. The bending resistance of the belt is reduced by the slots. Cogged belts could be utilized with the same pulleys as equally rated V-belts. They are known to run cooler and they last longer. They also have an efficiency around 2% higher as compared to that of standard V-belts.

Synchronous belts, also dubbed as timing, positive-drive, or high-torque drive belts, are toothed and they call for the installation of mating toothed-drive sprockets. Synchronous belts come with an efficiency of around 98% and they get to hold on to such efficiency over a wide load range.

On the other hand, V-belts have a sharp reduction in efficiency at high torque because of cumulative slippage. Synchronous belts need less maintenance and re-tensioning, run in wet and oily environments, as well as run slip-free. However, synchronous belts can be quite noisy, not fitting for shock loads, as well as transfer vibrations.

Q&A : How do I clean the lubricant out of my bearing?

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Q: How do I clean the lubricant out of my bearing?

A: Suffice it to say, keeping your bearings clean is essential. They should be, at all times, dirt-free, moisture free, and lubricated. You can start by wiping off every bit of oil or grease you can reach. For mineral and synthetic oils and greases, you can wipe every surface with hydrocarbon solvent like mineral spirits or kerosene, followed with an isopropyl alcohol wipe.

There is a plethora of cleaners and solvents that you can find in the market and many of them are safe to use. You can opt for citrus based cleaners, but the caveat is they tend to leave behind a slight residue. Solvents, on the other hand, pose a certain level of health threats, but the upside is they provide a superior solution to cleaning even immensely dirty bearings.

If you want to lean towards using a water based cleaner such as a citrus cleaner or a detergent, see to it that you dry your bearings immediately and then re-coat them with lubricant to keep rust at bay.

If you don’t have any of these solvents such as acetone or pure alcohol in hand, you may utilize paint thinner or lacquer thinner. However, you should know that these cleaners are oil based and could leave an oily residue on the inner surfaces of your bearings.

Always wear appropriate rubber gloves when you’re using a solvent cleaner, and make sure you work in a well-ventilated area. Lastly, don’t forget to dispose of your solvent in a safe, environment-friendly manner.