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Driving Knowledge Useful tips

Do you know how to use overdrive?


A switch with "O/D" written on it on or around the shift lever of an automatic vehicle and its surroundings. Do you know what it is for and when to use it? What is overdrive (O/D)? Cars have a transmission, in order to start from the stopped state and increase the speed. This is easy to picture if you imagine the gears of a bicycle. Bicycles with gears can start moving without exerting much force, and can run much faster than bicycles without gears. Cars also have at least 3 gears. Some even have 8 or 10 speed gears. Starting ...

Knowledge Useful tips

Do automatic cars also engine stall?


When most people hear of a car stalling, they think of manual-transmission cars, and situations like failed hill-starts or stalling when starting after waiting at traffic lights. However, in fact, even automatic cars can stall. Why does this happen? The cause of stalling in automatic vehicles Here, we will introduce the engine stalling by symptoms. 1.Quiet stalling without warning On occasion, a vehicle might suddenly stall without any warning when running. There is a possibility that trouble may have occurred in the ignition system. Specifically, there is a problem with spark plug or plug cord. Because the spark plug does ...

Maintenance Useful tips

How long will a car battery last, and when should you replace it?


How long is the life of a car battery? Here, I will write about the signs of the end of the life of the battery, and the ideal time to exchange it. Life of a car's battery The lifetime of a typical battery is about two to five years in an ordinary gasoline car. The reason that it varies from two to five years is that the lifetime of the battery depends on how the person uses their car. In addition, the lifespan also changes with the quality of the battery. If the price is cheap, its life may be ...

Accessories Knowledge Useful tips

What are the “recirculation” and “fresh air mode” buttons on a vehicle’s air conditioner for?


There are two buttons on a car’s air conditioner. One is the “recirculation” button, and the other is the “fresh air mode” button.   How to use these buttons is one of the things commonly reported as unknown by vehicle owners, so here I will tell you about their distinctions. What is “recirculation mode”? Recirculation is used is to circulate the air inside the car. Selecting this button closes an air duct in the front of the car so that the air from outside the car does not enter the car. What is “fresh air mode”? Selecting this button introduces ...

Knowledge Maintenance Useful tips

Noise and vibration from the engine! Why does knocking occur?


If there are unusual sounds that have never been heard from the engine or vibrations that are different from usual, it makes us very uneasy, right? Perhaps the engine is causing "knocking". What kind of phenomenon is knocking? Knocking refers to a phenomenon in which abnormal noise and vibration are generated from the engine. These sounds can be heard as a kind of "rattle rattle", "cancan cancan" or "kinkin kinkin". It is called knocking because noise sounds like the sound of knocking on a door. Why knocking happens There are several types of knocking. For each type, I will introduce ...

Driving Useful tips

Driving techniques for vans and heavy trucks


Compared with ordinary vehicles, vans and heavy trucks require certain techniques for driving because their body size is so large. I will introduce these techniques. Vans and trucks common tricks Sitting in the driver's seat and looking around Vans and heavy-duty trucks have a higher line of sight than ordinary cars, but there are still plenty of places the driver cannot see. These are known as blind spots. In order to be able to see these blind spots, vans and heavy-duty trucks have mirrors which are not present on ordinary cars. You should carefully check to see what is visible ...

Driving Knowledge Useful tips

Understanding the functions of the shift lever of an Automatic car


Automatic transmission vehicles have a shift lever, but some people only use P and D. Understanding the functions of the shift lever will allow you to use your automatic vehicle more functionally. The Function of each range of the shift lever Written on the shift lever of an automatic vehicle are letters, rather than numbers. In an automatic vehicle, the letters or numbers are called the "range". Below is a summary of each range. Other buttons Several other buttons exist in and around the shift lever of automatic vehicles. Operation button The operation button is used to move the shift ...

Knowledge Useful tips

Why is the accelerator pedal always on the right, and the brake pedal on the left?


Accelerator on the right, brake on the left. Currently, if you look at any car on the road, they all have the same pedal configuration, so we think that it is natural. Is there any reason for this pedal placement? I investigated to try to answer this simple question. Is it decided by law and the automobile industry? In order to manufacture and sell vehicles that can use public roads in Japan, manufacturers have to conform to the "road safety standards of road transportation vehicles" established by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan. I investigated, to see ...

Knowledge Useful tips

How to unlock if you’ve been locked out while your key is in the car


People sometimes gets in a trouble that the person left the car key in the car and locks him/herself out. There is no need to rush. I will explain how to deal with this lock-out situation. How to unlock You can unlock by yourself. However, please be advised that there is a possibility of damage to your vehicle so unlock at your own risk. Use a wire hunger This is a classic way to unlock. No cost incurred. You could unlock the door with a wire hanger if your vehicle was an older model. Between the window glass and the ...

Knowledge Maintenance Useful tips

What will happen if diesel put into a petrol vehicle?


You are supposed to fill a diesel vehicle with diesel and a petrol (gasoline) vehicle with petrol. What would happen if you put incorrect fuel to the vehicle? I will explain the symptom the vehicle may have when you have accidentally pumped diesel to a petrol vehicle and vice versa-. Symptoms of incorrect fuel contamination Putting petrol to a diesel car It will lower the engine power significantly if diesel has been mixed with petrol in the fuel tank.  Also, some other unusual symptoms may be seen, for example, odd idling, the engine noise, vibration, or black smoke from the ...

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