Component Confusion Part I: Spark-ing Controversy
Question: How do I know if I need to upgrade my spark plugs?
NGK Iridium IX Performance Spark Plugs
These days it seems there are ten different spark plug variants for every one vehicle application – what’s up with that? What happened to the days when a car had more cylinders than spark plug options? When I started researching this topic I soon found myself up to my eyeballs in new and different spark plug technologies and pages upon pages explaining how they would indeed make your car better, faster, and stronger. Many brain cells were sacrificed trying to distill the abundance of information into something concise and effective but fear not! Those little neurons didn’t die in vain! (more…)
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Fluid Factoids Part I: The Mystery of Motor Oil
Question: How do I know what type of engine oil is right for my car?
If you Google this topic you’ll get thousands of different answers from thousands of different sources. The debate over engine oil has been raging for decades and spans far beyond the age-old “synthetic vs. conventional” dispute. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and without it–well… you know what can happen. So if you’ve ever found yourself standing in front of the “wall ’o’ oil” at the local parts place with a blank stare and a puddle of drool slowly accumulating under you, then hopefully this article will help make your next oil purchase a little less er… drooly. (more…)
For most of us, the weather has turned pretty hostile. And while working on your Mustang in the middle of a snow storm may not be a great plan, the cold weather doesn’t mean that your ‘Stang has to stay penned up in its corral until spring. There are plenty of easy mods you can do in a few hours when the weather happens to give you a break.
Universal Winter Preparation
Image from justinmatson on Flickr
Whether you’re in California or New England, these tips for winter preparedness will serve you well.
- Check your tire pressure. The change in temperatures will affect your tires, and they need to be properly inflated in order to grip the road. Not sure what your tire gauge should read? Check the side of the tire or the driver’s doorjamb for the recommended psi.
- While you’re at it, check your fluids. It sounds like a minor thing, but making sure that you have the correct amount of washer fluid (one that’s designed not to freeze in cold conditions or includes a deicing agent is ideal), coolant, etc. will not only help your ‘Stang cope with the cold weather, it’ll help prevent maintenance-related breakdowns.
- Wash your car, preferably about once a month. Instead of looking at all the road salt that’s crusted on your car and thinking ‘well, that’s gross!’, take it to your local car wash. If you’re doing it yourself, make sure you clean the undercarriage, too. It sees its share of salt and is just as vulnerable to rusting as the body.
- Consider a car cover if you’re not going to be driving your ‘Stang for a while. It will protect your investment from the snow, salt, slush, and environmental contaminants until you’re ready to hit the open road again.
Question: I want to lower my Mustang; do I need anything other than lowering springs?
Lowering springs are one of our biggest sellers, and if you want to slam your Stang to the pavement and tighten up your handling they’re undoubtedly the way to go, but installing just springs could lead to a slew of other problems down the road. Check out our article on suspension basics and terminology, it will help you visualize what’s going on with your suspension from stock to slammed.
A Shocking Revelation…
$200-$300 for a 1”-2” drop seems like a steal, but in a few thousand miles your OE shocks and struts will be crying for help – aftermarket shocks/struts are a must. Lowering springs are shorter than factory, so they compress the factory shock/strut beyond what it’s designed to handle. The additional pressure will eventually break through the seals, resulting in a “blown” shock/strut. Lowering a car over stock shocks/struts causes the suspension to react uncharacteristically and can result in bottoming out and/or loss of control of the vehicle. Tokico HP shocks/struts are a great match for any aftermarket spring and would be my recommendation for a daily driver or non-track car. Adjustable shocks struts are great for street/track use, but keep in mind that they do not change the ride height – they allow the dampening to be fine-tuned for race applications.