Chassis Number- How to find and verify your car chassis number

The first thing that comes to your mind when you buy a new car is probably the model, brand specifications, features, and capacity, among others. No doubt, these details are significant markers of a car, but other significant markers are often overlooked. These include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), also known as the Chassis Number of your car, and the Engine Number.

These details, which are equally relevant, if not more, might seem unimportant while purchasing a new or a used car. However, these elements are like the DNA of your car, shedding light on the manufacturing and registration details of a car. Not only do they play a critical role during its purchase or sale, but they also aid in buying online car insurance or locating the motor insurance particulars of your car. Since these numbers aren’t in the limelight, they seem pretty challenging to locate and, thus, be ignored.

The VIN is like a unique 17-digit alphanumeric identifier for your car, more like the vehicular equivalent of a thumbprint, exclusively allotted to your car by the manufacturer. These codes distinguish your car from other models and are used by registration authorities to register your car. This code can also be utilized to track your car if it gets stolen.

Your car chassis number reveals essential information about the vehicle, including its year, country of manufacture, its make, engine type, etc. Each number of your car’s 17-digits VIN signifies a critical detail about the vehicle, some of which have been listed below.

  •       The first number of the VIN is the car’s production location
  •       The second and third numbers are the particulars of the car’s producer;
  •       The fourth number is the vehicle’s category, namely car, bike, etc.;
  •       The tenth number is the year in which the car was manufactured;
  •       The last six digits of the VIN: the car’s unique serial number.

Where can the VIN code be found?

There are several parts of your car on which the VIN code is imprinted, and these parts include:

  •       The dashboard on the driver’s side;
  •       Under the hood of the car near the engine;
  •       Beneath the spare wheel in the car’s boot;
  •       Under the front grille of the car;
  •       The driver’s side door.

Keep in mind that different car manufacturing companies often opt for different car parts to imprint the code upon. Thus, you can find your car’s VIN on its body and also find it on the car’s registration certificate as well as the car insurance policy.

Bonus:

Alongside your VIN code is the engine number of your car, which is equally important. Usually, your car Engine Number is found printed on the outer covering or engine casing of the vehicle’s engine. Like the car’s chassis number, the engine number is used for identification purposes, but they are not the same, i.e., they are two different but unique numbers. Often, car manufacturers ensure that the number is visible and easy to locate when you open the hood.

In addition to the engine’s casing, your car’s engine number can be found in the following manner:

  •       The registration certificate of your car
  •       The insurance policy for your car
  •       The car owner’s manual
  •       Contact your car dealership

 

GEAR OIL LEAKAGE: WHY IT HAPPENED AND HOW TO STOP IT

As a car owner, one of the ‘never-good’ signs that your car may exhibit is a small puddle of oil underneath your vehicle when it is parked. It indicates many things, one of which is a gear oil leak. Usually, it forms a grease stain on your garage floor or driveway, but most importantly, this leakage can cost you a lot of money if nothing is done about it.

A gear oil leak isn’t the same as an engine oil leak from your car engine. Leakages from the gearbox are often caused by a lot of things ranging from

  1. A bad seal or gasket, loose/missing bolts or nuts,
  2. A crack in the case somewhere, or

a couple of other reasons, of which you need to ascertain which one is prevailing in your scenario. Moreover, as oil continues to flow from the gearbox, it contributes to maintenance costs and the environment due to the obvious safety risks involved with exposing everyone to the gear oil. 

Thus, the first thing to do is find the leak and determine the cause before coming up with a quick fix or deciding on a repair like a complete replacement.

There are temporary options that can mitigate such leaks, all thanks to technological advancement in the industry. These solutions aren’t proper fixes but simple patches that can reduce the damage of such leaks. What is needed to stop such a leak is to take down the machine and repair it. However, you can implement these solutions below until the gearbox is taken out of service and properly repaired.

One of such quick fixes for gear oil leakage is adding compound matter to the gear oil. This act aids to “Band-Aid” such leakages. Similar to the radiator sealant, these compounds form deposits at the point of leakage when introduced to the oil. However, it would be best if you did this only after careful consideration and testing to ensure that there will be no ill effects on the oil or gear itself. Alongside the compound deposits are fluids and pastes known as seal enhancers, which are produced with synthetic bases, causing the seal material to swell. With such swells, the leakage reduces. Another quick solution for gearbox leakages is grease filling, filling the gearbox with grease. By doing this, the gears get lubricated effectively.

Note that after adding anything to a component other than the appropriate lubricant, it should be removed and the interior surfaces flushed to eliminate all risks of cross-compatibility. When the machine can be taken out of service, the seal should be replaced and the gearbox flushed to remove any traces of the sealing compound that has been introduced. All seals should also be replaced to reduce future leakage.

 

It’s always advisable to speak with a professional technician about issues surrounding gear oil leakage to avoid any household injuries from unaided exploration of your car engines!

Vehicle Health History Report – How to check it with ease

Our lives are governed by our ability to have in-depth knowledge about every aspect of life itself – from our health, safety, and investments; we make findings to gain a background understanding, so we aren’t left at risk. This explains that research is paramount in every aspect of our lives – your car inclusively.

Just like everything else, your car has its secrets, and if you don’t know where to find the truth, they can cause you a lot of grief. Thus, studying your vehicle history reports provides you with a wealth of data about your car, from its damage history to its maintenance records. This information provides you with knowledge and insights to guide you when purchasing such a vehicle, so you enjoy more years of reliable and safe transportation.

A Vehicle Health Report is a visual inspection of every aspect of your car, i.e., the tires, brakes, wheels, exhaust, steering, wiper blades, as well as crucial fluid levels. This report provides diagnostic, maintenance, and recall information so you can stay on top of your vehicle’s requirements and be alert of possible problems. This way, it becomes easier for you to make an informed decision about any potential issues that might occur in the future.

What does the Vehicle Health Check cover?

  •       Lights / Electrics Checks: Mandatory lights (external); Horn/wipers / washers
  •       External / Internal Checks: This includes Brake noise / feel, Seat belts – security & operation, Clutch / transmission operation, Glass / mirrors / wiper blades, Engine noise / smoke
  •       Under Bonnet Checks: Fluid levels (oil, water, coolant, screenwash), Fluid leaks (oil, water), Battery condition/drive belts
  •       Brakes / Hubs Checks: Brake fluid condition / temperature, Master cylinder / servo, Linings – pads / shoes, Discs / drums, Hoses / pipes / cables / wheel bearings
  •       Underside Checks: Exhaust system/catalyst, Steering/suspension, Driveshafts/gaiters, Oil leaks
  •       Wheels / Tyres Checks: Nearside front, Offside front, Nearside rear, Offside rear, Spare, Tire pressures
  •       Fluid Checks: Coolant, Brake fluid, Screenwash, Engine oil

The VHC information also aids buyers of used cars to make informed purchasing decisions. This is because the report contains some of the information listed below:

Airbag deployments: This shows lingering issues with the vehicle, especially if it was involved in a severe accident in the past. Information details the condition of the frame, drivetrain, or electronics, i.e., if these parts, especially the airbags, were repaired and re-inspected properly.

WINDSHIELD CRACKS: HOW TO RECTIFY IT QUICKLY

It’s a normal day; the hustle has begun, and traffic builds up. You’re driving down the highway, minding your own business, when suddenly, something smashes into your windshield, directly in your line of sight – Whack! You didn’t see what caused it, but as your heartbeat returns to normal, you are faced with a new reality

Having a cracked windshield will disfigure your car. The big question here is, what can you do when your car’s windshield gets cracked? Would you be without your car for a day or two while dealing with the glass shop, or would you deal with it yourself.

A cracked windshield is like a cracked mirror or phone screen – it isn’t pretty, neither is it usable and if proper caution isn’t taken, such cracks could lead to the replacement of the entire windshield. Cracks in the windshield are the most common maintenance issues people have with their car. There are several ways your car’s glass can get a crack – it could be a deliberate or accidental action caused by all manner of debris, nuts, rocks, bolts, or birds flying up from the road. Also, the crack level varies from tiny chips to larger cracks, making it difficult for you to continue driving your car.

Thus, this article is a knowledge giveaway on what to do and how to handle the crack on the windshield! The first step to handling your windshield crack is to measure and determine the extent of your windshield damage. As stated earlier, there are small and large cracks, so you should identify the extent of the damage done. This is important as it ascertains your next step.

If the crack on your windshield is less than three inches, then there are a couple of solutions that would save you from replacing the windshield. The solutions fall under two categories in the instance where the crack is within a three-inch frame. You can stop the crack from spreading further into the glass by following any of the steps below:

  1. Apply ABROs Flowable Silicon Sealant onto the affected areas of the glass.
  2. Use a windshield repair kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions: If you attempt to use a repair kit on damage more extensive than recommended, it might result in a compromised windshield. With a compromised windshield, you wouldn’t be comfortable driving since your line of sight when driving will be disturbed.
  3. Limit parking your car directly under sunlight exposure – Although this cannot be avoided entirely, you can limit the number of times it is parked under the sun

Regardless of how small the crack is, you should take immediate action on your windshield cracks to avoid the build-up of dirt in the crack, which will make it quite challenging to work on it.

However, if it’s more than 3 inches, then the damage is substantial such that the location of the crack tends to affect your vision while driving. Therefore, it needs a professional repair or a complete replacement.

In such an instance, it’s recommended that you talk to a rep at any of our Quick Lane branches for solutions or glass specialists that repair cracked windshields with chemical processes. If you go with a repair option, such action tends to almost wholly take away the crack on your glass, and it feels like magic because it is glass.

If a repair isn’t possible, this calls for a replacement. In this instance, such damages occur during collisions or deliberate shield smashing; making a windshield replacement is the last resort. Professionals only do replacements because of the technicalities involved in removing and calibrating several sensors attached to car windshields. In this instance, please do not attempt to do it yourself to avoid the glass from crushing or cutting into your skin.

After a repair or replacement is done, kindly inspect the interior part of the car by spraying a large volume of water on the glass from every angle. By doing this, you’ll ensure that there are no holes in the windshield.

 

Conclusion

Driving with a cracked windshield isn’t safe nor is it attractive. You should give your car the immediate attention it needs; you either stop the crack yourself or meet a professional so you can make the most of your driving!

 

5 signs of a bad alternator

It all begins with a few problems popping up for a brief moment – Flickering gauges, dimmed headlights, stalling, then strange growling noises and an odd smell. It might seem your car is haunted, but that’s false; it’s most likely a failing alternator, and if such isn’t given its due attention on time, the failed alternator may lead to the death of your car.
You might have heard or know what the alternator is all about, and you probably know it’s a key component in your Vehicle’s electrical system. But what does it do? The alternator plays a vital role in your Vehicle’s operation such that it keeps the battery of your Vehicle fully charged so you can successfully turn on your car and use electronic accessories such as your radio and headlights. How does the alternator do this? It turns the energy from the crankshaft into practical electricity through induction that powers your Vehicle’s electrical systems and keeps your battery fully charged. Hence, it provides the power needed to start the car.
Because the alternator is critically connected to other vehicle systems, it can drastically affect the car’s life. However, you can prevent this from happening by paying attention to the signs below to make it a little easier for you to diagnose car trouble caused by the alternator.
The indicator light
Your car most likely has a dashboard warning light titled “ALT” or “GEN.” that alerts you to a problem with your alternator. These lights are often the first indicator that something is wrong with your alternator. They are triggered when the output of your alternator drops below a certain level.
Be on the lookout for this warning light even if you are not experiencing any problems.
The trouble with the Headlights
Another strong signal that your alternator may not be working correctly is flickering, pulsating, or dimmed headlights. Your alternator provides energy to all accessories, including the headlights; thus, when it begins to fail, it won’t be able to power your headlights effectively, causing instability.
Other electrical failures
Just as with your headlights, a failing alternator will cause the failures of other electronics of your car; from power locks to windows, air conditioning, internal lighting, etc., these will operate at a slower speed than average or stop working altogether.
Strange noises and smell
Usually, many things can cause noise and smell in the car, so this might seem vague or harmless. But when you begin to have alternator problems, you’d notice unusual rattles that may result in growling or whining noises coming from under the hood of the car. These noises are also accompanied by the foul odor of burning rubber or wires, which is an indication that the alternator is frayed or being overworked, causing them to heat up unsafely and emit a foul odor.

Car stalls or has difficulty starting.
Your car needs some power to ignite the gasoline in your engine regardless of if it’s running on gasoline. If there isn’t enough power to keep the spark plugs and engines alive, then you’d have trouble starting the car. Usually, the sign starts with a starting trouble or a stall while running, but if this sign is ignored, then your car eventually won’t start at all. Although several other mechanical issues can cause stalling or hard starts, you should always keep a sharp eye and be aware of what the symptom means so you can pinpoint the problem. Get your alternator checked before you get stranded.
Dead Battery
Sometimes, your car battery fails on its own, but a bad alternator can lead to the death of your battery. Once your alternator fails to give power, it fails to recharge your battery, and that can cause the battery to drain. If your battery is already dead, it is recommended that you have the alternator checked before replacing the battery, so you don’t have to go through the same problem twice.

The alternator plays a critical role in the operation of any gasoline-powered vehicle because there’s a need for energy to power the Vehicle – this is in contrast with electric vehicles. Lots of energy is provided for the Vehicle’s normal operations since such cars are driven by an electric motor and battery combination.

5 Warning Signs of Worn Brakes

When it comes to car usage and maintenance, car brakes are an important part that must not be neglected. Driving around with bad brakes can be very hazardous, leading to brake failures and ultimately, accidents. Hence regular brake servicing and sometimes, replacement is advised. Thankfully, more often than not, before brakes go on to fail, they give warning signs.

So, let’s look at 5 warning signs that your brakes are worn and due for servicing or a change. 

Brake Light On: 

While this may be normal if your parking brake is engaged, your brake light shouldn’t be on when your parking brake is not engaged. If your brake light appears on your dashboard without engaging your parking brake, this is an indicator that you need to get your brakes checked. It may just be your brake system warning light, or your car’s way of letting you know that you have a problem. The Antilock braking system (ABS) warning light on your dash is a strong indicator that you need to get your car to a repair shop. 

Squealing, Squeaking or Grinding Noises: 

If you start to hear a metallic noise or squealing sound when you apply your brakes, this may mean that it is time to change your brake pads. Being made of steel, your brake pads making contact with your rotor is what gives off this sound. While this may not seem an imminent problem, you are better off changing the brake pads immediately as further wear could lead to damage to your rotor which is more expensive to repair. Grinding noises could be an indicator that you’ve allowed your brake pads to wear completely. This is not a good sign as it could mean that your rotor is already getting affected. You should look into it immediately. 

Vibration, Wobbling When You Brake: 

If your steering wheel starts to wobble or if you feel a vibration when you apply your brakes, then you want to listen to your brake system – it has a message for you. These vibrations could be an indicator that your rotor is uneven and needs to be checked. It could also be that your brake caliper is not releasing properly. Another cause may be that your brake components are damaged. When you feel these vibrations or wobbles when applying your brakes, it simply means it is time to visit a repair shop like the Quicklane auto repair shop by Coscharis.

Leaking Fluid: 

When your brake fluid begins to leak, it is time to replace your master cylinder. Your braking power comes from the hydraulic pressure between your master cylinder and the brake lines. So, if you’re experiencing a leakage, this could affect your braking power and ultimately cause a brake failure. 

Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal: 

If you apply your brakes and notice a lower resistance in the brake pedal, then you need to service your brakes immediately. Soft or spongy brake pedals are indicative of air or moisture in the braking system or a faulty master cylinder. Whatever the case may be, your brakes need urgent attention. 

 

Any of these signs implies it’s time to change your brake system or pads to avoid risk to safety while driving and while avoiding damage to other car parts dependent on the brake pads. Lucky for you, you can learn how to change your brake pads by yourself in 5minslearn how to change your brake pads by yourself in 5mins with these simple steps.

CAR MAINTENANCE HABITS TO MAKE YOUR TIRES LAST LONGER

Hardly does anyone like plunking down money to shop for new sets of tires; this is because It takes time and costs money.  Regardless of the size of the vehicle, tires are a huge investment that can last as long as possible.  However, longevity is based on regular care and maintenance of the tire tread, tire pressure, wheel balance, alignment, and rotation.  These maintenance habits tend to extend the life of your tires and improve your car’s ride so your car can run as efficiently as possible.

Here’s a look at some quick maintenance tips that can make your tires last longer and improve your safety on the highway today;

Practice Good driving habits

Your driving habits come first in having a stable tire.  Fast starts, fast turns, and speeding and fast stops tend to cause more tire wear.  These acts also heat the rubber and cause a faster breakdown.  This also includes the apparent acts such as bumping and slamming speedily into curbs, potholes, logs, and rocks.  These incidents might not puncture the tire, but constant scraping and slamming against curb and potholes will constantly wear down the rubber until it eventually gives out — probably sooner rather than later.

Regular Check-Up

Often, most damage done to car tires goes unnoticed, and it’s not until the tire begins to fail that most car owners notice the crack, leak, or puncture.  However, you can proactively recognise these damages by inspecting the tires every few weeks for such damage.  Once the damage is noticed, you can get your tire repaired before it fails.  Look out for bulging pockets on the sidewall, Nails and screws, Gouges and scrapes on time so you can repair it on time.  This is a critical component of extending the life of all your tires.

keep up with your wheel balance, rotation, and alignment services

Have you ever noticed your steering wheel vibrates or the car seats shake when your vehicle reaches speeds of 60-70 miles per hour (mph)?  If this occurs, then there’s a problem with your tires.

Wheel alignment, tire balance, and regular tire rotations are vital maintenance requirements that will maximize your tires’ life and provide a safer driving experience.  For instance, the wheel balance has to do with how each tire sits to the vehicle.  Usually, these tires become unbalanced due to the typical wear and tear or from driving in rough road conditions.  On the other hand, wheel alignment refers to the tires’ relation to one another; thus, it is essential in keeping the vehicle driving straight and balanced.  Otherwise, the vehicle will pull to one side, with excessive wear on either side of the tire.  Quite similar to balance and alignment, keeping up with tire rotation for every 7,000 miles will ensure all four tires are wearing down evenly.  For every tire rotation, it is recommended that you also check your wheel alignment.

 

Stay On Top of your Tire Pressure

Another great way to extend the life of your tires is to check your tire pressure every couple of weeks.  Naturally, Tires lose a little bit of air over time, especially during the cold season, but it fluctuates midway into the fall and spring, making it necessary to do a check a little more often.  Checking it lets you maintain the correct air pressure to decrease wear and tear and reduce the risk of a blowout.

Keep Your Tires Clean

Tires are naturally tough, but you should take the time to occasionally clear the rough debris, mud, sand, and gravel from your tires to reduce the wear on the tire surface, which could affect their ability to stay firmly on the ground in an emergency. Consider a budget friendly and credible product such as the Abro Siliconized tire shine  after washing your tires to prevent dirts from accumulating on the surface once you get back on the road.

Millions of cars ply the road daily, and regardless of their size or brand, they have one thing in common -tires to ride on.  These tires come in different kinds; some are small, plain, and inexpensive for passenger vehicles, and some are big, expensive as a 24-inches with flashy rims.  What matters is how durable these tires last up for you, and it all comes down to how you intentionally maintain them because even the cheapest tires can last long if you imbibe healthy maintenance habits to them.

 

How to change brake pads in 5 minutes

In the second quarter of 2020, brake pad failure accounted for a total of  112 accidents i.e 5% of the total road accidents on Nigerian highways according to a study that was carried out by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, which makes it important to know what brake pads are and how to fix them on our cars to prevent adding to the huge existing numbers. 

 

What are brake pads? Brake pads are parts of the disc brakes used in automotive and other mechanical systems. Brake pads are composed of steel backing plates with friction material bound to the surface that faces the disc brake rotors.Brake pads are responsible for the friction of your tires against the road, slows down, and stops your car. Your brakes are what’s responsible for stopping the wheels from spinning, the brake pads are responsible for the resistance needed to cause this action. 

 

In order to prevent accidents or bad braking systems, you need to do two things 

  • Check your brake fluid regularly
  • Change your brake pads regularly 

 

 

If your brake pads are completely damaged, here are the 5 steps to change them yourself at no cost;

 

  1. Remove the wheels & slider bolt – Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel. Then jack up the car and place a jack stand under the car’s frame. Lower the jack so its weight rests on the jack stand. Fully remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel. You now have access to the brake assembly and can safely reach under the car. Find the two slider bolts (sometimes called “pins”) that hold the caliper in place. 

 

            

 

  1. Pivot the caliper up – with the caliper up, it is very easy to inspect the thickness of the brake pads to confirm that they need to be changed. 

 

 

  1. Remove old brake pads and Slide in the new brake pads – Simply slide the old brake pads out, Always replace the old brake. Slide-in place the new pads slide into place as easily as the old ones did when they came out, though sometimes the new clips will be tighter. The ears of the new pads should slot nicely into place on the grease you applied.

 

 

  1. Retract the pistons and Monitor the brake fluid level – 

 

Before you can lower the caliper into place, these pistons need to be retracted (pushed back) so that they will clear the new, thicker brake pads. 

 

  1. Reposition the caliper and Reinstall the slider bolt – With the pistons retracted, the caliper should slip over the pads with little effort. Sometimes the fit is tight and the caliper will slide on the newly installed brake pads. 

 

 

Reinstall and retighten the slider bolt. Straighten the car’s wheels, re-mount the tire and tighten the lug nuts. 

 

 

Having replaced your brake pads, test-drive the car under safe conditions to make sure everything is working properly, being especially careful of the first few stops. Be aware that your brake pedal might have a higher engagement point. You will quickly get used to this change. Enjoy using your new brakes knowing there are now thick brake pads to stop you safely.

 

How to maintain your spark plugs for more than 6 months

Spark plugs function just like small lightning bolts, this is because they generate the electricity required to ignite the fuel or air mixture in an engine’s combustion chamber. Spark plugs play an essential role in creating power for the engine to start and run. One spark plug is required for each cylinder of the engine. As a result, each spark plug requires a wire to connect it to the coil’s distributor. Spark plugs appear to be simple devices, and in theory, they are. They do, however, necessitate precise timing in order to function properly. The bulb-like tip on one end connects to the wire head, which generates the high voltage required to send the energy that ignites the engine. A ceramic insulator is required for protection because the charge can range from 40,000 to 100,000 volts. The alternator generates electricity, which travels through the coil, distributor, and the core of the spark plug to the opposite end with the hook-like appearance.

 

Your car will not start or go anywhere if it does not have a healthy spark plug. And, because spark plug health is directly related to engine performance, it stands to reason that weak or bad spark plugs cause problems, whether it is problems with cold starting or misfires during acceleration. Furthermore, without a good spark plug, your ride will not be able to sustain maximum power, and your vehicle’s fuel economy will suffer. 

 

Some people usually have a lot of issues with their spark plugs and have to change them monthly or bi-monthly. However, there are lots of tricks you can adopt to make your spark plug last at least six months. Spark plugs can last for several years, depending on how far you drive and how well you maintain your engine. Typically, the electrode is the part of the spark plug that gets faulty and makes you have to change it. Because your engine is so intricately connected with your engine the best way to keep it healthy is to treat your engine right. Here are some tips to keep your spark plugs working for a long time:

 

  • Avoid Spark Plug Deposit Build up.
  • Avoid constant overheating 
  • Avoid oil leaking into your combustion chamber.
  • Avoid carbon build up.
  • Always do a thorough cleaning before taking out your old spark plug and replacing it.
  • Inspect new spark plugs to make sure they are not damaged before fixing them in your car.
  • Make sure you check on your spark plugs regularly to identify any damage or wear so you can fix it.
  • Always make sure your spark plugs are properly gapped.