Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Special Tax Break Available for New Car Purchases This Year

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers who buy a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns next year.

“For those thinking about buying a new car this year, this deduction may give them a little more drive to make their purchase this year,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This deduction enables taxpayers to buy now and get cash back later on their tax returns.”

The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.

The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.

IRS also alerted taxpayers that the vehicle must be purchased after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify for the deduction.

The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return. The IRS reminded taxpayers the deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recharging Your Car's Air Conditioner with Refrigerant

When servicing automotive air-conditioning systems, vehicle owners generally have several options to recharge a/c systems with refrigerant. One option is to top-off your car's system with refrigerant, and another is to evacuate and recharge the system. Both of these options will provide cool air in the passenger compartment for some period of time. Neither service, however, involves permanently fixing the a/c system leaks that allowed refrigerant to escape resulting in a lack of cool air. You might therefore also choose to have any leaking components in your a/c system repaired or replaced.

By stopping the leak, you will prevent refrigerant from leaking into the atmosphere. The refrigerant in older vehicles is CFC-12 (also known as Freon, a brand name), which is no longer manufactured in the United States because it depletes the ozone layer. As nationwide supplies dwindle, it is becoming increasingly expensive to purchase CFC-12, so that fixing a leak may be more economical in the long run than continuing to purchase CFC-12. This document will provide answers to certain questions you might have about recharging your car with refrigerant during the course of a/c servicing.

  1. What's the difference between a "top-off" and an "evacuation and recharge"? Why would I want one service or the other?
  2. I came into the shop with some refrigerant in my car, so why is my technician charging me for the full amount of refrigerant charge -- shouldn't I get credit for the amount I came in with?
  3. My technician told me that EPA regulations prohibit topping-off the refrigerant in my car without getting the leak fixed first. Is this true?
  4. My technician told me he could not locate the leak in my system, so he topped-off the refrigerant in my car, but did not perform any leak repair. Now it seems to be low on refrigerant again -- I know the leak is still there. What can I do?

What's the difference between a "top-off" and an "evacuation and recharge"? Why would I want one service or the other?

A top-off involves simply charging refrigerant into your vehicle. An evacuation and recharge service includes removing whatever remaining refrigerant is in your vehicle, removing impurities from that refrigerant using recycling equipment, recharging it into the vehicle, and adding new refrigerant to replace whatever has leaked out. The cost of both the top-off and the evacuation and recharge will usually include a performance check, and may include a test to discover the source of your leak.

Topping-off alone is less expensive than the evacuation and recharge service. So why would you consider the more expensive evacuation and recharge? The manufacturer of your vehicle has determined that a specific amount of refrigerant -- 2.2 pounds, for example -- is correct for your car. When you bring your vehicle into a service facility, your technician has no way of determining precisely how much refrigerant is left in your vehicle's system. As he tops off the system, then, he relies on his experience to guess how much refrigerant to charge into the system; however, he may undercharge or overcharge the system, thereby affecting system performance. Most recent models have a feature that shuts an overcharged a/c system down in hot weather.

On the other hand, during an evacuation and recharge, once the technician has extracted all remaining refrigerant from the system, he will then be able to charge the system with the precise amount of refrigerant recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer.

Some technicians may tell you that evacuation and recharge is better for the system than a mere top-off because, after the refrigerant is evacuated, it gets cleaned in the recycling equipment, and it's a good idea to clean the refrigerant in your system. There is, in fact, no reason to clean the refrigerant in your system unless you open up the system. If you request that your technician repair or replace system components in order to fix leaks in your system, then he will need to open the system and should recycle the refrigerant.

I came into the shop with some refrigerant in my car, so why is my technician charging me for the full amount of refrigerant charge -- shouldn't I get credit for the amount I came in with?

Your service technician has no way of determining precisely how much refrigerant is left in your vehicle's system, so it will be extremely difficult for him to determine how much credit to give you. As a result, many shops charge a flat fee for the service, whether it's a top-off or an evacuation and recharge. Other shops may charge a fee for the labor, and a separate, flat fee for a set amount -- perhaps two pounds -- of refrigerant, whether they've actually charged 1.8 or 2.2 pounds into the vehicle.

EPA requires that shops use special equipment to recover and recycle refrigerant. Some shops pass that cost through to their customers by charging a recycling fee; others choose not to charge a separate fee, but instead to keep whatever refrigerant they recover, in order to make up for the cost of the recycling equipment.

In order to find the source of a leak, the technician will need to add refrigerant to the system if only a small amount of refrigerant remains, and the refrigerant is at a pressure of less than 50 pounds per square inch. However, if there are at least a few ounces of refrigerant already in the system, a technician should not need to add refrigerant in order to identify which components will require replacement. (Keep in mind that a greater quantity of refrigerant -- usually a minimum of 1-1.5 pounds -- must be in the system in order to determine if the system will provide cooling.)

Once the technician has provided his diagnosis and estimate of repair costs to the customer, the customer may decide not to have the repairs performed. The technician should then either remove all the refrigerant that was installed in order to perform the diagnosis, or, if the customer prefers, the technician can top-off the system.

Technicians may occasionally tell their customers that any refrigerant that was in the vehicle when it came into the shop cannot be returned to the customer due to federal regulations. No such federal regulation exists, however.

Even though you are entitled to the refrigerant that was in your vehicle when you brought it in, you should keep in mind that technicians are unable to determine precisely how much refrigerant they have removed from a/c systems -- their recovery equipment does not indicate the amount extracted. So if your technician attempts to remove any refrigerant he added to your system in order to perform a diagnosis, he can only rely on his experience to make an educated guess as to when to turn off his recovery equipment.

My technician told me that EPA regulations prohibit topping-off the refrigerant in my car without getting the leak fixed first. Is this true?

EPA regulations do not dictate any particular service, as long as your technician is certified to work with refrigerant and any recycling equipment he uses meets EPA standards. EPA does not require that leak repair be performed before refrigerant is charged into a vehicle, although certain states and localities may require leak repair.

In addition, EPA does not require that the refrigerant be evacuated and cleaned prior to recharging the system with refrigerant. In other words, if your technician tells you that EPA requires evacuation and recharge and does not permit top-off, he is mistaken. If you are unsure about any EPA regulations governing auto air-conditioning, call the Hotline at 800-296-1996.

My technician told me he could not locate the leak in my system, so he topped-off the refrigerant in my car, but did not perform any leak repair. Now it seems to be low on refrigerant again -- I know the leak is still there. What can I do?

Leaks can be identified most, but not all, of the time. Your technician may have difficulty locating very small leaks in your a/c system, even if he is very careful and uses the most sophisticated equipment available.

Keep in mind that even when pinhole leaks cause slow emissions over long periods of time, your system may seem to lose its cooling capacity suddenly. This is because most motor vehicle a/c systems have controls that shut off a system when the system pressure drops below a certain point.

In order to maximize the chances that your technician can locate the leak, make sure he uses an electronic leak detector certified under the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1627 standard. Note that the system does not need to contain a full charge of refrigerant to locate the leak -- a few ounces of refrigerant (about 10% of the normal charge) is sufficient to perform the leak check. Some technicians may also use a trace dye and a black light to help find persistent leaks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Planning for Freight on Inland Waterways

The U.K. Government wants to encourage more freight to travel by water instead of road where this makes sense. To achieve this will often require engagement with the planning process. It is vitally important that the planning process is used effectively.

This Good Practice Guide has been produced for the Government by the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities to show, through practical advice and examples, how good planning can help support and encourage the use of inland waterways for freight transport.

It is designed to help policy makers and planners, bodies responsible for the management and use of waterways, carriers, regional development agencies and any other bodies with an interest in exploiting the potential of inland waterways.

Case studies highlight how different organisations have worked together to resolve specific issues by implementing good practice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Youth Awareness Programme

The Urban Art Project at Heathrow

In June 2001, an eight-metre wall at Heathrow Airport was spray painted in graffiti as part of an Urban Art Project by Hillingdon's Youth Awareness Programme (YAP). Eight young people aged 19 to 25 (naming themselves the YAP Stars) spent a week creating the artwork. BAA Heathrow commissioned the artwork.

The objective for BAA Heathrow was to enhance the experience of passengers and staff using and working at the airport. It was seen as a commercially viable project and the commission was professionally structured and managed. Now completed, the artwork will be photographed and reproduced into 'actual size' prints for display in terminal lounges and walkways used by passengers.

The YAP was given a brief for the project incorporating BAA's requirement for the designs to relate to aviation and travel. The young people produced their designs on this basis. Working on this project was unpaid and voluntary. It was said to be a very positive and responsible experience for the young people involved. The young people's families were invited to the unveiling of the artwork and the young people were given a VIP tour of Heathrow. The YAP manager considered the whole process was important as a means of showing the young people that they were valued.

Heathrow's Managing Director commented in the press release that accompanied the unveiling of the artwork that:

"the creative work of these talented young artists will also help to enhance the environment of the millions of passengers who pass through Heathrow every year and the many staff who work in the terminals"

The YAP manager commented in that same press release that the project had created:

"a win-win situation by benefiting businesses, the local community and young people who are able to channel their raw energy into something positive"

Although the press release for the artwork at Heathrow referred to the development of the YAP Stars to help tackle graffiti and vandalism in the Borough, the YAP manager commented that the project is primarily about promoting expression and channelling the young people's skills and energies into positive outcomes. As such, it is not an anti-vandalism project, although the involvement of the young people in urban art projects does raise awareness about their environment and a greater sense of ownership and responsibility.

Uxbridge town centre subways

The origins of the YAP stars

The YAP in Hillingdon is one of ten projects managed by the national charity In-volve. The other projects in London are based in Newham, Merton, Sutton and Thamesmead. Hillingdon's YAP aims to provide a holistic youth support service that empowers and enables young people to make informed decisions. The Hayes and West Drayton Single Regeneration Budget Partnership Board, the Drug Action Team, the local authority and the health authority contribute monies to Hillingdon YAP.

In the initial stages of setting up the urban art project, young people were invited to a meeting to discuss their interest in graffiti. It was evident from the views expressed that young people are interested in graffiti and it was not just about writing their name or spray painting but also about music, skateboarding and break-dancing. The YAP identified that graffiti and vandalism were symptoms rather than the problem, and what these young people wanted was a voice and for the community to listen to what they wanted to say.

Engaging the young people in artwork was seen as a solution and an outlet for the young people's talents and energy. As a first step, the YAP sought to gain the young people's trust and involvement in a public art project. The young people needed to feel that the project as real and would value them.

Gradually the interest built up and the young people first worked on a kickabout area in Hayes that had long standing problems from racist and sexist graffiti. The young people involved in this vandalism were then involved in the painting and artwork. The success of this initiative led to other contracts. Including a skateboard area in Uxbridge and the painting of murals in some of the Borough's subways.

In the subways at St Andrew's roundabout in Uxbridge town centre, eight young people created murals with themes from the RAF and underwater scenes. The young people were helped in this and the BAA Heathrow venture by A. Dee (the Artful Dodger) who is a member of the YAP staff. A. Dee is well known and respected in the international graffiti subculture. Hillingdon Borough Council provided the funding with the aim of tackling graffiti in the subways and creating a pleasant and less threatening pedestrian environment. Past experience had shown that efforts to remove the graffiti only had temporary success.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Emergency Transport Technology

Emergency Transport Technology (ETT) of Milperra, is part of the Byron Group, and employs 115 people (140 globally). ETT is a world-leading ambulance and emergency vehicle manufacturer, and consults in providing ambulance services internationally.

The company has received assistance from the NSW Government to exhibit at Arab Health 2009 in Dubai. The funding came from the NSW Government’s Bio and New Export Opportunity programs.

Emergency Transport Technology head office, administration and manufacturing facilities in Milperra, are supported by workshops in Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne, and internationally by a sales office in Malaysia, China and Dubai. It has an accredited paramedic training academy in Malaysia.

Emergency Transport Technology has two fully equipped test facilities in-house. One is a dedicated in-vehicle test area for testing fittings and fixtures inside the vehicle. The other is for testing components such as seat strength, restraint belts, harnesses and other components.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Car Development in Racing

The challenge for each Indy Car Team is the same every year. Design and develop a race car that is safe, durable, and competitive in different racing conditions. Durability is required to complete the sixteen race schedule. In addition, cars must meet the demands of four different types of racing circuits, each course requiring a different aerodynamic and mechanical setup.

    Street: A narrow, temporary course ranging from 1.6 to 2.1 miles in length, with tight turns and a long straightaway. The Long Beach circuit (lap record 108.198 mph), tests the durability of the gearbox, braking system and low speed acceleration.
    Road: Laguna Seca Raceway (lap record 112.296 mph), is an example of a road course with hills. A road course is a wide open track that ranges in length from 1.9 to 4 miles. It has both slow and high speed corners and wide enough for passing. The suspension system, downhill braking and power are stressed on this type of course.
    Short Oval: Phoenix International Raceway (lap record 172.804 mph), is a one mile, long oval track. Short straightaways and banked turns are characteristics of this type of track. The short oval tests the suspension and aerodynamic setup of the car.
    Speedway: The speedway is an oval track with banked turns and long straightaways. The one lap record at the Michigan International Speedway (2 mile oval), is 234.275 mph. At Indianapolis (2.5 mile oval), the record is 232.618 mph. High, sustained speed requires aerodynamic efficiency.
The job of the team engineer is to prepare a competitive, safe car that can be adjusted quickly. Alan Mertens, Galles-Kraco car builder and race engineer says, "You spend the whole year chasing a moving target, but that's the definition of development of motor racing, it doesn't stand still very long." Feedback is provided by onboard telemetry, driver input, and mechanical failure. Information gained from an accident is also used to develop stronger, safer cars. Currently, the Indy Cars are considered to be the safest race cars in the world. Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) is the governing body which sets safety rules and regulations for Indy Car World Series competition. CART is also responsible for organization of events and the car and engine specifications. A technical inspection is required for each car before racing to insure all rules are observed. 1994 Indy Car Specifications:
  • Chasis:
      length= 190" to 195"
      height= 32"
      width= 78.5"
      weight= 1550 lbs. Weight distribution 45% front and 55% in rear.
      rear wing height(Speedway)= 32"
      rear wing height (Oval/Road)= 36"
  • Engines:
      Turbocharged 4-cycle overhead camshaft with a maximum of 8 cylinders with 4 valves per cylinder. Illmor, Chevy, Ford and Honda reflect these specifications. These engines produce 750-800 horsepower at 12,800 rpms with a top speed of 240 mph. Car performance = 0-60 mph in 2 seconds and 0-100 mph in 4 seconds.
  • Fuel:
      Valvoline methanol is required. Each fuel tank can hold a maximum of 40 gallons of fuel and each car must have a minimum fuel efficiency of 1.8 miles per gallon. Methanol is used for safety reasons. It is not as explosive as gasoline. To minimize refueling hazards (1.1m mpeg movie) each entry must have a three-man refueling team. In addition, shutoff valves are required at both ends of the fueling hose.
  • Tires:
      Each team is allocated 28 tires per car per race, (200 miles), or sixty tires per car in 500 mile events. The wheels are cast magnesium 15" in diameter and 10"-14" in width. Heating of the tires is prohibited. Tire heating equipment is costly, and places a financial strain on teams seeking sponsorship. This CART regulation helps maintain a competitive balance in the series.
  • Chasis Construction:
      The chasis is constructed to afford maximum protection to the driver. Carbon fiber, aluminum or a combination of both may be used to build the chassis. All new designs must undergo primary and secondary impact testing.
Saftey rules and regulations have challenged engineers to become more inventive as the cars have become more complex. This has forced teams to concentrate on the total aerodynamic package of the race car. Bobby Rahal (Rahal/Hogan Racing) explains, "When something is designed, you must take into account the discipline that it's being used for and how you'll enhance that. The chassis and aerodynamics are inseparably linked. There's no question about it." Reduction in engine size is a good example. The 1993 Chevy Indy V8/C is a much more compact, streamlined version of the older, Chevy V8/A. The size of the engine has been reduced, to limit drag on the car. The net effect improves the aerodynamics of the car, and results in improved car performance. Team designers consider aerodynamic efficiency to be the most important element in developing a competitive race car.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Diesel Engines Power

Why Clean Diesel?

Reducing emissions from diesel engines is one of the most important air quality challenges facing the country today. EPA established the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) to promote diesel emission reduction strategies. NCDC includes regulatory programs to address new diesel engines as well as innovative programs to address the millions of diesel engines already in use.

Diesel engines power the movement of goods across the nation, help construct the buildings in which we live and work, help build the roads on which we travel, and carry millions of children to school each day. While diesel engines provide mobility and are critical to the nation’s economy, exhaust from diesel engines contains pollutants that negatively impact human health and the environment. Diesel engines emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and air toxics, which contribute to serious public health problems.

NCDC’s Innovative Strategies

More than 11 million diesel engines in operation today do not meet EPA’s new clean diesel standards, yet these engines can continue to operate for 20 to 30 years. EPA established innovative programs to accelerate emission reductions from older diesel engines to provide more immediate air quality benefits. The goal of these innovative programs is to address in-use diesel engines by promoting a variety of cost-effective emission reduction strategies, including: switching to cleaner fuels; retrofitting, repairing, repowering, and replacing equipment; and reducing idling. EPA has made significant progress toward this goal by engaging in partnerships, fostering innovative technologies, and providing funding assistance to accelerate the introduction of clean diesel technologies.

NCDC programs are creating demand for diesel emission reduction technologies. The purpose of EPA’s Verification Program is to evaluate the emission reduction capabilities of a given technology. Through this process, EPA helps to instill confidence in our stakeholder community that the verified emission reductions will be achieved. The verification process includes a thorough technical review of the technology as well as tightly controlled testing to quantify emission reductions.

Through NCDC, EPA has collaborated with thousands of partners to reduce the health effects of diesel emissions across the nation. These diverse and committed partners include state and local governments that have created incentive programs to reduce emissions from both public and private fleets; businesses and industry groups that have provided technical assistance and devoted millions of dollars to retrofit diesel engines; and environmental or community groups that have successfully advocated for and managed effective projects to help reduce the public health impacts from diesel emissions.

EPA has created a toolkit to support state and local governments in their efforts to reduce diesel emissions.

NCDC’s Regulatory Programs for New Diesel Engines

EPA has finalized new clean fuel and vehicle emission standards that will lead to dramatic emission reductions in new diesel-powered engines.

The 2008 Locomotive and Marine Diesel Rule will result in PM reductions of about 90 percent and NOx reductions of about 80 percent from engines meeting these standards, compared to engines meeting the current standards. By 2030 this program will reduce annual emissions of NOx by about 800,000 tons and PM emissions by 27,000 tons and those emission reductions continue to grow beyond 2030 as fleet turnover is completed.

The 2007 Heavy-Duty Highway Engine Rule will cut harmful pollutants from new highway engines by more than 90 percent, resulting in annual reductions of 2.6 million tons of NOx and 110,000 tons of PM when fully implemented.

The Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule will cut emissions from new construction and agricultural and industrial engines by more than 90 percent, resulting in annual reductions of 738,000 tons of NOx and 120,000 tons of PM annually when fully implemented.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Natural Gas Vehicles Work

Light-duty natural gas vehicles work much like gasoline-powered vehicles with spark-ignited engines. This schematic shows basic CNG fuel system components.

CNG enters the vehicle through the natural gas fill valve (A) and flows into high-pressure cylinders (B). When the engine requires natural gas, the gas leaves the cylinders and passes through the master manual shut-off valve (C). The gas travels through the high-pressure fuel line (D) and enters the engine compartment. Gas enters the regulator (E), which reduces the gas pressure used for storage (up to 3,600 psi) to the required vehicle fuel injection system pressure. The natural gas solenoid valve (F) allows natural gas to pass from the regulator into the gas mixer or fuel injectors. The solenoid valve shuts off the natural gas when the engine is not running. Natural gas mixed with air flows down through the carburetor or fuel-injection system (G) and enters the engine combustion chambers where it is burned to produce power, just like gasoline.

Some heavy-duty vehicles use spark-ignited natural gas systems, but other systems exist as well. High-pressure direct injection engines burn natural gas in a compression-ignition (diesel) cycle. See Development of the High-Pressure Direct-Injection ISX G Natural Gas Engine.

Heavy-duty engines can also burn diesel and natural gas in a dual-fuel system. See City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation LNG Heavy-Duty Trucks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Electric Based Vehicles

Electric Car

Electric vehicles (EVs) are propelled by an electric motor (or motors) powered by rechargeable battery packs. Electric motors have several advantages over internal combustion engines (ICEs):

  • Energy efficient. Electric motors convert 75% of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels—internal combustion engines (ICEs) only convert 20% of the energy stored in gasoline.
  • Environmentally friendly. EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants, although the power plant producing the electricity may emit them. Electricity from nuclear-, hydro-, solar-, or wind-powered plants causes no air pollutants.
  • Reduce energy dependence. Electricity is a domestic energy source.
  • Performance benefits. Electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance than ICEs.

EVs face significant battery-related challenges:

  • Driving range. Most EVs can only go 150 miles (or less) before recharging—gasoline vehicles can go over 300 miles before refueling.
  • Recharge time. Fully recharging the battery pack can take 4 to 8 hours.
  • Battery cost: The large battery packs are expensive and usually must be replaced one or more times.
  • Bulk & weight: Battery packs are heavy and take up considerable vehicle space.

Researchers are working on improved battery technologies to increase driving range and decrease recharging time, replacement frequency, weight, and cost. These factors will ultimately determine the future of EVs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Car Clubs

Joining a car club could save you nearly £2,000 a year and make servicing, maintenance, tax, insurance and MOT costs a thing of the past.

Research undertaken for transport charity Carplus, higlighted that despite the fact that London's car owners are investing thousands keeping their cars on the road:

* Over half of them spend less than three and a half hours driving per week

* More than half quote difficulty in finding a parking space as a reason for not wanting a car

How it works

* Register with a car club to receive a smartcard and PIN

* Book your car

* Swipe your smartcard to gain access to your car and enter your PIN

* Return the car to its dedicated parking bay when you're finished

The cost

Most car clubs will charge you:

* An annual fee or deposit of £100 to £200

* £4.00 - £5.00 for the first hour and £2.00 - £3.00 for subsequent hours

* Around 15-20 pence a mile for a typical urban journey

Some clubs also take a booking charge.

London car clubs

* City Car Club
* Streetcar
* WhizzGo
* Zipcar

Friday, September 11, 2009

Portable Air Compressors

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Strike Force™ Portable Air Compressors

Units: About 64,000

Supplier: All-Power America, of City of Industry, Calif.

Importer: Advance Stores Co., d.b.a. Advance Auto Parts, of Roanoke, Va.

Hazard: The compressor’s motor can overheat and ignite the protective cover, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Also, the cover might not prevent internal components from being touched, which poses an electrical shock hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received four reports of fires. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recall involves the 4.6 gallon, 3.5 HP Strike Force™ brand portable air compressor and includes the following model and serial numbers:

Model NumberSerial No.
BMM2524 (25254)JWAPC4005xxxxxxxxx
AC251FT (2516)YFJAC4005xxxxxxxxxx
APC4005 (4005)CSCC4005xxxxxxxxxxx

The compressor has twin air tanks that are black-colored. The model and serial numbers are located on the compressor’s housing.

Manufactured in: China.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Automobile Collection

If you have a passion for autos, you'll want to check out the Free Library's Automobile Reference Collection. One of largest gatherings of automotive literature in the world, the collection offers extensive information on passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and carriages, aiming to provide a comprehensive record of automotive history.

The collection includes technical manuals, sales literature, photography, books and periodicals. You can find up-to-date repair information for domestic and imported cars, as well as the current value of automobiles, no matter how old. Many people also use the collection to look at wiring diagrams and specifications.

Most people think of automobile sales literature as handouts at dealerships promoting the current year's models. But for the auto enthusiast and researcher, sales literature is an invaluable source of information. In addition to providing photographs and illustrations of older cars, these brochures often include technical specifications as well as color and accessory options. From the streamlined elegance of a 1937 Pierce Arrow to the practical economy of a 1961 Volkswagen, chances are you'll find something of interest among the Automobile Reference Collection's 34,000 pieces of sales literature.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Automotive Service and Repair Sector

The automotive service and repair sector covers all aspects of servicing motor vehicles including automobiles. The Department of Commerce formerly classified this industry under the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code 753; the sector is now classified under the 1997 North American Industry Classification System as 811.

The automobile assembly sector covers all aspects of assembling automobiles. The Department of Commerce formerly classified this industry under the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code 37; the sector is now classified under the 1997 North American Industry Classification System as 336.

The auto salvaging sector includes establishments primarily engaged in dismantling motor vehicles for the purposes of selling parts. The Department of Commerce formerly classified this industry under the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code 5015; the sector is now classified under the 1997 North American Industry Classification System as 4211.

Additional Compliance Assistance information is provided based by statute (e.g. Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act) or through compliance incentives and auditing. Note that multiple statutes may apply to your entity. Information on EPA's compliance monitoring program also is organized by statutory programs. All regulated entities may be subject to EPA's statutory and civil enforcement program.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Recovery for Auto Communities

The Department of Labor's electronic and telephone tools can assist automotive workers in their efforts to find jobs, training, education, and support services in their communities.

This web page describes these tools and summarizes additional resources available to workforce professionals and other intermediaries who can assist autoworkers with their transition.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Modern Global Automobile Industry

Today, the modern global automotive industry encompasses the principal manufacturers, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, and DaimlerChrylser, all of which operate in a global competitive marketplace. It is suggested that the globalization of the automotive industry, has greatly accelerated during the last half of the 1990's due to the construction of important overseas facilities and establishment of mergers between giant multinational automakers.

Industry specialists indicate that the origins in the expansion of foreign commerce in the automobile industry, date back to the technology transfer of Ford Motor Company's mass-production model from the U.S. to Western Europe and Japan following both World Wars I and II. The advancements in industrialization led to significant increases in the growth and production of the Japanese and German markets, in particular. The second important trend in industrial globalization was the export of fuel efficient cars from Japan to the U.S. as a result of the oil embargo from 1973 to 1974.

Increasing global trade has enabled the growth in world commercial distribution systems, which has also expanded global competition amongst the automobile manufacturers. Japanese automakers in particular, have instituted innovative production methods by modifying the U.S. manufacturing model, as well as adapting and utilizing technology to enhance production and increase product competition.

There are a number of trends that can be identified by examining the global automotive market, which can be divided into the following factors:

Global Market Dynamics - The world's largest automobile manufacturers continue to invest into production facilities in emerging markets in order to reduce production costs. These emerging markets include Latin America, China, Malaysia and other markets in Southeast Asia.

Establishment of Global Alliances - U.S. automakers, "The Big Three" (GM, Ford and Chrysler) have merged with, and in some cases established commercial strategic partnerships with other European and Japanese automobile manufacturers. Some mergers, such as the Chrysler Daimler-Benz merger, was initiated by the European automaker in a strategy to strengthen its position in the U.S. market. Overall, there has been a trend by the world automakers to expand in overseas markets.

Industry Consolidation - Increasing global competition amongst the global manufacturers and positioning within foreign markets has divided the world's automakers into three tiers, the first tier being GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen, and the two remaining tier manufacturers attempting to consolidate or merge with other lower tier automakers to compete with the first tier companies.

1st Tier Company Mergers - Volkswagen-Lamborgini; BMW-Rolls Royce
2nd Tier Company Mergers - Chrysler-Mercedes Benz; Renault-Nissan-Fiat
3rd Tier Company Mergers - Mazda-Mitsubishi; Kia-Volvo

This section presents literature that examines three major automotive markets in North America, Europe and East Asia. This material is intended to provide a thorough examination of industry trends, structure, and the effects of global market dynamics of the automotive industry within each region, as well as their interrelationships, followed by literature researching the East Asian automotive market.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Algonac State Park--Spare Parts Car Club 22nd Annual Classic Car Show

The Spare Parts Car Club will be holding their 22nd Annual Classic Car Show in the picnic area from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more details contact the park at (810) 765-5605. All motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the park entrance and headquarters. Cost is $24 for a resident annual and $6 for a resident daily. A nonresident annual is $29 and a nonresident daily is $8.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

F402 Engine Test Program Set Spare Parts

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, NJ plans to procure F402 Engine Test Program Set (P/N 3654AS5900-1/-2) spare parts. The requirement is for 21 different types of spares for a total quantity of 124. This procurement is set aside for small business concerns. A solicitation will be issued which will include drawings. The spare parts will be delivered f.o.b. destination to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort SC within eight (8) months after award. All vendors must be registered in the Central Contract Registration (CCR) Database. The internet website is It is mandatory to register with the CCR since a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number and CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code is required to conduct business with the Department of Defense. In addition, all invoices will be electronically submitted in the Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF). Information regarding WAWF is available in NAVAIR Clause 5252.232-9513 Invoicing and Payment (WAWF) Instructions located in The solicitation will be posted on the NAVAIR homepage located at Select “Doing Business” and then “Open Solicitations.” Look for amendments on the web page. Hard copy of solicitations and amendments will NOT be mailed to contractors. The solicitation will be posted on the web, on or about 4 September 2009.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Auto Parts & Supplies Industry in Mexico

Automotive accessories are considered all of those parts that are sold to enhance the appearance of the vehicle, to increase performance, to replace original parts with up-graded luxury items such as seat covers, door and window handles, chrome plated exhaust pipes, larger sized wheels and tires, etc. for cars, pick-ups, and trucks. Although there is a large amount of local production of these products, the majority of them are imported. The importance of this sub-sector is evidenced by the tremendous size of the annual accessories trade show, SEMA, which is held in Las Vegas, Nevada every year. SEMA exhibitors traditionally display thousands of new products in every show, and for the last several years, the greater part of exhibitors has been from Asian countries, especially China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

China’s goal in Automotive

China’s goal to develop its automotive industry into a key industry of the national economy by 2010 is quickly coming to fruition. It is now the 3rd largest automotive market in the world, trailing only the United States and Europe. China now has 6,322 automotive enterprises, which are scattered in five sectors: motor vehicle manufacturing, vehicle refitting, motorcycle production, auto engine production, and auto parts manufacturing. This includes approximately 100 OEMs, with 40 producing passenger vehicles, and over 4000 auto parts/accessories companies. All tiers of the industry are being driven by the booming sales of the OEM sector. Nearly 80% of the revenue for the auto parts and accessories market is through new vehicle sales.

In 2006, seven million new motor vehicles in China are expected to be sold, according to statistics from Automotive Resources Asia Ltd.. As of November 2006, China had already produced 6.6 million vehicles, a 27.92% rise over 2005’s figures. The total output value of the automotive sector for Q3 2006 was $143 billion dollars.

China’s fulfillment of WTO requirements has helped drive new vehicle sales. As of July 1, 2006, China fulfilled its WTO requirements by lowering import tariffs for auto parts and accessories to 10% and import tariffs for new automobiles to 25%. The reduction of tariffs on automotive parts and China’s agreement to eliminate local content requirements after WTO entry have placed domestic automotive parts manufacturers in direct competition with their international counterparts.

The main goals for automotive components, parts, and accessories manufacturers are to improve technology and quality and to develop design capability. Most of the domestic automotive parts manufacturers’ R&D capabilities are limited due to the small scale of their operations and a shortage of capital as compared to international companies. In the next five years, the Chinese Government will continue to encourage foreign investment in automotive component development and manufacturing. In the meantime, there is a growing market for imports and American products are generally highly regarded by Chinese customers.

Many U.S. firms have already begun exporting to this quickly growing market. U.S. automotive component firms enjoy a good reputation for quality and many U.S. firms are already well known to Chinese end-users. Domestic OEM firms encourage U.S. suppliers to establish plants in China or work more closely with local firms to upgrade product quality. As more parts are sourced locally, the total cost of production decreases, as there is no import tariff on locally made products.

The reductions in automobile tariffs will make it much more cost effective for U.S. firms to export finished vehicles to China and reduced tariffs on parts will allow companies to import essential components that cannot currently be found domestically. Additionally, as China’s restrictions on trading and distribution are reduced, American companies are gaining the right to distribute most products, including automobiles and related parts, in any part of China, whereas formerly, foreign companies could only distribute parts to one interior destination in China and they were not allowed to ship or distribute products between cities without employing a Chinese freight company.

Shanghai and its surrounding provinces (Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui) are the centers for component manufacturing, representing around 44% of national production. Shanghai is home to Shanghai General Motors, Delphi, Visteon, and other notable American automotive companies and, as such, provides a good starting point for U.S. automotive component exporters to begin to explore the Chinese market. Other major automotive centers in China include Guangzhou (South China), Chongqing (West China), and Changchun (North China).