Monday, September 17, 2007


Intake Manifolds perform a very basic function. Simply put, it's job is to take the air as it enters the engine and direct it through intake passages into the runner ports located in the cylinder heads. Air entering the cylinders is mixed with fuel and power is produces from the combustion process. Intake manifold design greatly influences the performance of the engine throughout it's operation range.

One of the keys to making power in an internal combustion engine is to increase the flow and speed of air entering the engine. This can be accomplished several ways. One is to force the air into the engine by mechanical means such as a supercharger or a turbocharger. Both of these mechanical devices compact the air molecules, providing a denser oxygen charge and thereby producing more power. Air is also drawn in as the pistons descend in the cylinders, resulting in natural aspiration (breathing).

Driven by government specifications for fuel mileage and emission level control, new vehicle manufactures are forced to lighten automobiles. To reach this goal, the use of lightweight materials such as aluminum, plastic and other space are materials are utilized. One of the areas targeted for weight reduction is the engine itself. the use of plastic materials in engines includes areas such as valve covers, switches, ignition systems, fuel injector components and intake manifolds.

Dissimilar materials, in this case, plastic and aluminum, have different expansion and contraction rates. The use of plastic for intake manifolds has created problems unique to this material. Subjected to poor/improper service, deteriorating anti-freeze, inadequate ventilation and under hood temperatures that can average between 210 degrees and 247 degrees Fahrenheit, plastic intake manifolds are jailing. Original equipment manifolds have thin wall construction throughout the whole casting. deterioration anti-freeze in high mileage poorly maintained vehicles, thins the walls of the coolant passages resulting in coolant entering the combustion chamber and/or and external coolant leak. Another common failure is a result of exhaust gasses, (directed through the exhaust gas recirculation passages during normal engine operation) corroding the thin walls of the original equipment manifold resulting in loss of coolant. Engine backfires that occur can cause distortion of the intake manifold with resulting damage to the fuel rail assembly and have the potential to cause an engine compartment fire.

Results can include but not be limited to; external coolant loss, overheating, engine misfire, coolant entering the combustion chamber and out the tailpipe, wet spark plugs, warped sealing surfaces, damaged fuel rails and/or severe engine damage.

Symptoms will vary with each vehicle. Use the suggestions below to aid in diagnosing the vehicle.
*The beginning of any quality repair is always a visual inspection. Pay special attention to the area beneath the throttle body. Look for obvious coolant leaks.
*Perform a coolant pressure test. CAUTION: Not all coolant leaks are external. If coolant is entering the cylinders via the intake, the engine may be subjected to hydrostatic lock (Coolant cannot be compressed) Severe engine damage could result.
*Heavy steam vapors escaping from the exhaust system indicate coolant loss via the cylinders. The cause can be either intake manifold or head gaskets. HINT; after removal of the intake manifold, thoroughly inspect the area around the EGR passage for damaged coolant passage ways (3.8L)
*Blown head gaskets typically will affect only two adjacent cylinders. Two wet spark plugs in adjacent cylinders usually indicates a defective head gasket or possible warped cylinder heads.
*Defective intake manifolds would produce wet spark in all the cylinders. Pull 2 or more spark plugs at random cylinder locations and check for fluid (Anti-freeze) present in the plug.
*If repairs to the head gaskets are deemed necessary, replace the intake manifold as a preventative measure to avoid a potential and costly comeback (the manifold may fail shortly after the repairs).
*Misfiring engines will set the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) on and misfire trouble codes will be present. A scan tool will be needed to erase the codes and turn out the MIL light after repairs are completed.
*If no coolant loss is present, suspect vacuum leaks at the mating surface areas (Manifold warping is common here).

Shop for your new replacement Intake Manifold at Monster Auto Parts
Monster Auto Parts intake manifolds have been redesigned and improved. The wall material has been reinforced in the failure prone areas commonly found on original design intake manifolds. All coolant passages are reinforced to prevent leaks from reoccurring. Thicker intake walls over all and a better fillet design help to prevent warping of the manifold at the gasket mounting surfaces.

Information provided is designed and intended for professional installers. If you are unsure about terminology, procedures or other instructional references, please consult a professional installation repair facility.


*Always compare the replacement unit to the original before installation
*Always start with a cold engine. Removing exhaust bolts from a hot engine may damage the cylinder head threads.
*Clean mounting surfaces are required for all exhaust manifolds.
See the shop manual for any warnings or special instructions for the vehicle application.
*Use caution when replacing exhaust manifolds on aluminum head.
*Never reuse the exhaust manifold gaskets.
*Torque all bolts to manufacturer's specification. See the shop manual for torque specifications and sequences.
*If the original exhaust manifold is cracked and/or has a blue color, check for a rich running engine or an ignition system failure. If this condition is not corrected, repeat failure will occur.
*For ease of installation, replace the catalytic converter and manifold as an assembly on the 1996-98 Honda Civic, especially with high miles.
*Be sure to reuse all brackets and braces. Failure to do so will result in premature failure.
*Prior to installing the Oxygen sensor into the replacement manifold, inspect the Oxygen sensor threads for damage. Failure to do so will result in damaged threads on the replacement unit.

Be sure to use anti-seize on the oxygen sensor threads to prevent galling of the threads.

Shop for your new replacement Exhaust Manifold at Monster Auto Parts

Information provided is designed and intended for professional installers. If you are unsure about terminology, procedures or other instructional references, please consult a professional installation repair facility.


The cooling fan motor, located behind or in front of the radiator, is a small, direct current motor that rotates metal or plastic fan blades to pull or push air through the radiator. As this air passes over the radiator's fins and tubes, it draws heat away from them and reduces the temperature of the engine coolant.
The fan can be driven by a drive belt off of the crankshaft or it can be operated electrically. Regardless of the design used, inspect the fan blades for stress and cracks.

Electric fans are also inspected for damage and looseness. If the fan fails to turn on at the proper temperature, the problem could be the temperature sensor, the fan motor, the fan control relay, the circuit wires, or the controller. To isolate the cause of the malfunction, attempt to operate the fan by bypassing the control. On a computer-controlled system, this can be done by using a scan tool to activate the fan. If the fan operates, the problem is probably in the coolant temperature sensor.
It is also possible to check fan function by jumping the fan relay to attempt operating the fan motor. If the fan operates, the relay may be the faulty component; however, additional tests will have to be performed on the control circuit of the relay.
A jumper wire can also be used to jump battery voltage directly to the cooling fan. If the fan motor fails to operate, check for proper ground connections before faulting the motor.
To direct air flow more efficiently, many manufacturers use a shroud. Proper location of the fan within the shroud should be at least 50 percent inside the shroud. If the fan is outside the shroud, the engine may experience overheating due to hot under-hood air being drawn by the fan instead of the cooler air. If the shroud is broken, it should be repaired or replaced. Do not drive the vehicle without the shroud installed.


The fan that draws cool air across the radiator can be driven by either a belt or electricity. Rotating fans can be dangerous. Some are controlled by an automatic switch and can start unexpectedly. When working on electric fans, keep in mind that electric cooling fans should be disconnected when working around them.

When replacing a radiator fan motor, always refer to the vehicle's service manual. The following is a general guide for cooling fan replacement.
· Disconnect the negative battery terminal at the battery. This is necessary on vehicles using electric fans, but some vehicles may require the relocation of the charging system components.
· Drain the cooling system.
· Loosen or remove the hose clamps, then remove the upper and lower hoses from the radiator.
· Disconnect the transmission cooling lines and plug them off, if equipped.
· Disconnect the electric fan motor connector, if equipped.
· Remove the fasteners attaching the fan module to the radiator.
· On some vehicles equipped with air conditioning systems, it may be necessary to discharge the system. This is the case if the radiator and condenser can not be separated in the vehicle.
· Remove the upper radiator cross member or mounts.
· Disconnect and plug the air conditioning lines at the condenser, if needed.
· Remove the radiator and fan module as one unit if possible.
· Separate the fan module from the radiator.
· If required, separate the radiator from the condenser.
· Remove the old fan module.
· Install the new fan module onto the radiator.
· Reattach the fasteners attaching the fan module to the radiator.
· If equipped, connect the electric fan motor connector.
· Reinstall the radiator.
· Refill the cooling system.
Shop for your new replacement Radiator Cooling Fan at Monster Auto Parts

Friday, September 14, 2007


Fan Blade Operation:
In an engine cooling-system, the fan blades pull the air through the radiator core and over the engine to remove heat. A fan belt or an electric motor usually drives the fan. Conventional belt driven fans can rotate continuously (sometimes called Flex Fan) while others are controlled by thermostatic/centrifugal clutch. Some electric fans are pull fans and some (which mount on the front of the radiator) are push fans.
Fan blades can not be serviced individually, to replace fan blades you must replace the entire fan assembly.
Refer to your vehicle's service manual for fan replacement procedures. Below are general replacement instructions.
To replace a fan blade:
· Disconnect the negative battery cable.
· On cars with power steering, remove the drive belt.
· On engines with a Thermactor, remove the belt.
· Loosen and remove the accessory drive belts.
· On cars equipped with a fan shroud, remove the retaining screws and position the shroud rearward.
· Remove the fan from the engine.
· Reverse the procedures to complete the installation
Shop for your new replacement Cooling Fan at Monster Auto Parts


Fuel Tank Operation:
A storage tank for fuel in a vehicle
The fuel tank should be inspected for leaks, road damage, corrosion and rust on metal tanks, loose, damaged, or defective seams, loose mounting bolts, and damaged mounting straps.
· Leaks in the fuel tank, lines, or filter may cause a gasoline odor in and around the vehicle, especially during low-speed driving and idling.
· A weak seam, rust, or road damage can cause leaks in the metal fuel tank.
· The best method of permanently solving this problem is to replace the tank.
· Another method is to remove the tank and steam clean or boil it in a caustic solution to remove the gasoline residue.
· After this has been done, the leak can be soldered or brazed by a properly equipped specialty shop.
· If the tank is leaking because of a puncture or small hole, it can be plugged by installing a sheet-metal screw with a neoprene washer.
· Holes in a plastic tank can sometimes be repaired by using a special tank repair kit.
· Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions when doing the repair.
· When a fuel tank is leaking dirty water or has water in it, the tank must be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.

Shop for your new replacement Fuel Tank at Monster Auto Parts

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Air Conditioning systems are constantly subjected to extreme temperature changes. Failures associated with age and operation can range from worn out clutches, leaking hoses, leaking seals, condenser and/or evaporator failures, to catastrophic compressor bearing failures. Often the compressor idler bearing seizes preventing the serpentine belt from rotating. Bearing seizures cause the belt to break, leaving the driver stranded. Air conditioning system repairs can be quite expensive, often exceeding the value of the vehicle. Repairs, depending on the number of parts that have to be replaced, can range from $1000 - $2000.
An engine with a seized A/C compressor idler bearing cannot be driven. A torn or broken serpentine belt due to a seized A/C compressor idler bearing has no drive for the water pump, power steering pump, A/C compressor, etc, effectively rendering the vehicle inoperative. The owner of an older vehicle with high miles may not wish to invest in a repair that can cost from $1000 - $2000 dollars.
Choices range from replacing or repairing the A/C compressor to repairing the complete A/C system. Installing a salvage yard compressor is another choice, but not always preferable. The salvage yard unit may also fail quickly. In some cases it may be possible to bypass the compressor with a shorter belt, but not always. Often the vehicle is not repaired and is junked.
Remove the defective A/C compressor and install a new A/C Bypass Pulley Assembly from Monster Auto Parts, Install an OE sized belt to return the belt drive configuration to the OE Specifications and allow the other systems that require a belt drive to operate normally.


Window Regulator Information Page
Window regulators and motors help raise and lower windows of the vehicle. Since we use our windows frequently, window regulators and window motors are some of the most used parts in any vehicle. For this reason, window regulators and window motors are subject to failure.
Some of the common reasons for window regulator and window motor failure include excessive strain caused by forcing the window, old or worn pulley and cable lines, and general wear. Monster Auto Parts carries some of the most reliable and dependable long-lasting replacement window regulators and window motors available. They are NEW window regulator assemblies, not re-built. All window regulators and window motors are pre-assembled direct replacements for quick and easy installation. All window regulators and motors at Monster Auto Parts come with a one year warranty.

Tips on how to replace a window regulator.
Visit your local dealer for a copy of the dealer service manual procedure.
Many dealer customer service or parts counters will let you copy this information if you ask. Some may charge for it, but either way, having the correct procedure and diagram will be a great help.

*Test your window to be sure it is aligned properly so it goes up and down without obstruction.

Do many slow tests up and down to look for issues when you have installed the regulator BEFORE you have put the entire door back together.

Monster Auto Parts offer All NEW window regulators, not re-built
*Completely assembled for easy installation
*Direct bolt on and plug in
*One Full year warranty
As you would be sitting in your vehicle;
*Left hand drivers side,
*Right hand passengers side
Front window regulators are not interchangeable with the rear.
The left hand side is not interchangeable with the right hand side.
There is a difference between the two door model window regulator and the four door.
Shop for your new replacement Window Regulator / Window Motor at Monster Auto Parts


Component dis assembly should be done with care and purpose to help ensure that the parts go back together properly. Always keep track of the sequence in which parts are removed. Make note of special characteristics or marks on parts that can be installed more that one way, such as a grooved thrust washer on a shaft. It is a good idea to lay the disassembled parts out on a clean surface in the order that they were removed. It may also be helpful to make sketches or take instant photos of components before removal.When removing fasteners from component, keep track of their locations. Sometimes threading a bolt back on a stud, can prevent mix-ups later. If nuts and bolts cannot be returned to their original locations, they should be kept in a compartmented box or a series of small boxes. A cupcake or muffin tin is ideal for this purpose, since each cavity can hold the bolts and nuts from a particular area (i.e. oil pan bolts, valve cover bolts, engine mount bolts, etc.) A pan of this type is especially helpful when working on assemblies with very small parts, such as the carburetor, alternator, valve train or interior dash and trim pieces. The cavities can be marked with paint or tape to identify the contents.Whenever wiring looms, harnesses or connectors are separated, it is a good idea to identify the two halves with numbered pieces of masking tape so they can be easily reconnected.


Car Care Checklist
This is customary for the majority of drivers and vehicles. However, always look at your owner's manual for specific recommendations from your vehicle manufacturer.
Oil, Filters, Fluids
Engine Oil and Filter
*Check level with engine off at every fill-up.
*For maximum engine life, change oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles.
Chassis Lubrication
*Many newer cars are lubed-for-life--many others still require this service.
*Steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication
Fuel Filter
*Replace is restricted or water contaminated. Restricted fuel filters shorten life of fuel pump.
*Replace filter every 2 years/24,000 miles.
Engine Air Filter
*Inspect filter at each oil change.
*Replace annually or when torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs or wear.
Automatic Transmission Fluid
*Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park or neutral, depending on manufacturer instructions.
*For maximum performance, change every 2 years/24,000 miles.
Differential, Manual Transmission and Transfer Case (if equipped)
*Check fluids at each oil change.
*Replace fluids every 4 years/50,000 miles using factory recommended lubricant.
Windshield Washer Fluid
*Check fluid level monthly
*Use washer fluid only.
Power Steering Fluid
*Check fluid with engine off using either 'Full Cold" or "Full Hot" indicator lines on dipstick.
*If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.*Replace fluid every 2 years/24,000 miles.
Cabin Filter
*Replace annually, or more often in areas with heavy airborne contaminants or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.
Coolant (Antifreeze)
*Check level at reservoir -- never open a hot radiator cap.
*If low, add 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze/coolant and distilled water.
*Change coolant every 2 years/24,000 miles, on most vehicles.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Take Control of Rising Gas Prices: Don't Let Your Money Evaporate
Fight skyrocketing gas prices by taking control of your vehicle's unnecessary fuel consumption, advises the Car Care Council. Consumers can add miles to every gallon they pump by following a few easy and inexpensive maintenance steps with their car, SUV, minivan or pickup truck.Most motorists don't realize that it's the little things that don't take a lot of time or cost much that can really make a difference when it comes to saving money at the pump. Loose or missing gas caps, underinflated tires, worn spark plugs and dirty air filters all contribute to poor fuel economy.Gas saving maintenance and driving tips that really work:Vehicle gas caps - About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.Underinflated tires - When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.Worn spark plugs - A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plus causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.Dirty air filters - An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture - too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.Fuel-saving driving tips include:Don't be an aggressive driver - Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.Avoid excessive idling - Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.Observe the speed limit - Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.Combining errands into one trip saves gas and time. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the truck. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by a percent or two.We have all heard these tips and tricks before, some of them are really eye openers, and the numbers can add up to some spare change in your pocket.


The purpose of the Monster Auto Parts Automotive Bolg is to have a place to post and share ideas within the aftermarket and OEM community of do-it-yourselfers. We are always open to suggestion and comments from anyone who have perhaps built a better mouse trap, or just found a better way, a shortcut, or to share a story or two.