Preparing Arizona Trees For Monsoon Storms

For a longtime native of the Arizona desert such as myself, the monsoon season is a familiar part of late summer. It typically spans from about mid June through the end of September. Its coming replaces the dry heat with high humidity, and offers some spectacular displays of lightning and thunder. Unfortunately, they also leave in their wake many badly damaged trees, sometimes also resulting in damage to property.

The term “monsoon” derives from the Arabic “mausim” meaning “season” or “wind shift.” It is, quite literally, a shift in wind direction that causes the meteorological event. During the winter, Arizona’s wind flow comes from California and Nevada. During the summer, wind directions shift. The wind then comes from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, bringing plenty of moisture along with it-up to one-third of Arizona’s annual rainfall! It is this wind shift that puts into motion the roughly three months of not just rain, but also dust storms, violent thunderstorms, and even tornadoes in rare cases. Especially damaging are “downbursts.” These are strong “vortex rings,” characterized by a vertically rotating circle of air. At the base of a downburst are heavy outward bursts of wind near the earth’s surface. Depending on their size and duration, a downburst may be called a “macroburst” or a “microburst.”

For more extensive information about the Arizona monsoon, I recommend reading the article by ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences entitled “Basics of the Arizona Monsoon & Desert Meteorology”.

It is this wind of the monsoon storms that causes the most storm damage to trees in Arizona. When preceded by heavy rain, a tree may be even more vulnerable to heavy winds, because in soil that is overly saturated, even a tree with healthy roots has a weaker hold. In this case, the bulk of the root system will become exposed if the tree falls over. Even one’s best efforts cannot prepare a tree to withstand the fiercest of winds accompanying monsoon storms. However, there is a lot of preparation you can and should do to greatly diminish potential storm damage to your trees. Most importantly, do not ignore and neglect your trees. Look at them now and then!

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, states that “Three-fourths of the damage that trees incur during storms is predictable and preventable.” Here are some defects to watch out for that make trees more vulnerable to wind and other severities of the weather:

Dead wood is unpredictable because it is brittle, and cannot give under pressure like living tree branches.
Cracks are clear indicators of potential branch failure, where there will be splitting sooner or later.
Poor tree composition (branch structure) is harder for the layman to identify. Look for excessive leaning, long horizontal limbs, crossing branches that rub against each other and create wounds, and narrow crotches (V-shaped instead of U-shaped). Multi-trunked trees need special attention and care. Two trunks or leaders that are of identical diameter and have a narrow crotch are not a good sign. To prevent splitting, choose one to be made dominant by stunting the growth of the other through pruning (called subordination).
Decay, as evidenced by fungal growth or hollow cavities, is a sign of weakness.
Pests, such as the palo verde borer, can exacerbate a tree’s health problems, but they typically target trees that are already sickly.
Root problems, such as stem-girdling roots, while sometimes harder to detect, have the most impact on a tree’s inability to stay upright. Keep in mind that roots are a tree’s anchor. If a significant portion of a mature tree’s roots have been crushed or cut, or if the tree is still root-bound from the box it came in from the nursery before it was planted, you may consider removing the tree before Mother Nature removes it for you (without warning). Weak roots and a thick canopy is the deadliest combination during a storm.
Can you see some sky through the tree? Keeping your trees thin is the single most important thing to do to “storm-proof” them. Quite simply put: the thicker a tree is, the more susceptible it is to damage in heavy winds. Even for a tree that is otherwise perfectly healthy, overly dense foliage poses a safety hazard during stormy weather. A dense canopy will not allow the wind to easily pass through, and the resistance to wind can cause branches to break or even bring the entire tree down. This especially applies to weight at the ends of branches, which is why stripping only the lower parts of the branches is not adequate (and leaves the tree with a funny lion-tailed look).

For more detailed information about storm damage, please read Steve Nix’s article called “Causes and “cures” for Tree Storm Damage”.

Your trees will receive the best care from a Certified Arborist-a professional who has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Through experience, they can quickly recognize potentially hazardous defects in a tree before they become major threats, or that you may not have noticed yourself. If left to worsen, these defects can lead to branch failure, splitting, or loss of the entire tree. Keep in mind, though, that it is not only your arborist’s responsibility to care for your trees. There is a lot you can do, too.

Here are a few more basic tips for avoiding storm damage:

Plant new trees with their mature size in mind. Do not plant in shallow soils, too close to buildings or wires, or in steep banks. Some trees are more brittle and susceptible to breaking. Do your research before planting to save yourself the headache later (pun intended).
Water, mulch, and fertilize the trees regularly and properly. Prevent the soil from becoming compacted.
Prune annually (or every two to three years, depending on the variety) even while the trees are still young. Having your trees trimmed by a professional who understands healthy tree structure is your best bet for avoiding problems.
Avoid excavating around roots. If some excavation is necessary, take measures to minimize cutting or any other impairment of the roots.
Do not top trees! This common but incorrect practice guarantees eventual failure of branches.

Though their intensity may vary year to year and from area to area, some form of a monsoon season comes to Arizona every year. Anticipate its inevitable arrival in advance for maximum protection, and do not wait until after the monsoon is already underway before thinking about the safety of your trees, property, and family. Practice proactive tree care! Any money spent in preventive maintenance of your trees would most likely be dwarfed by the unexpected expense of a tree that falls down in your yard, even if it doesn’t result in tree damage to buildings, cars, fences or other structures that would expensive to repair. An ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure! Once a tree is damaged, there is often not much that can be done to fix it. As stated on the website of a group of specialists based in Nova Scotia: “Once a tree is removed it takes years to grow back and we may never see it replaced in our life time. Remember, trees are an investment in our future.”

SOURCES: Eastwood, Steve. “Monsoon in Phoenix: What is the Arizona Monsoon?” http://www.About.com

Arizona State University: School of Geographical Sciences. “Basics of the Arizona Monsoon & Desert Meteorology”

“Prepare your Trees for Winter.” Seattle Department of Transportation: City Arborist’s Office: Urban Forestry

Nix, Steve. “Causes and “cures” for Tree Storm Damage.” http://www.About.com

“Simple Tips to Reduce High Wind, Tornado Damage.” www.FEMA.gov

“Storm-Proofing Trees.” Arbor Plant Health Care: Tree Pruning and Preservation Specialists.

Claire Charlton is co-owner and manager of Arboreal Tree Experts, a highly rated Mesa Tree Service company that performs expert Tree Trimming and Tree Removal services. Her husband, Nathan, is an ISA-Certified Arborist with extensive climbing experience who can safely trim or remove trees that have been damaged during a storm. Arboreal Tree Experts won the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2006 and 2007 and has performed tree trimming and tree removal services for hundreds of satisfied customers in Arizona since 2000.

An Introduction To Arizona Golf Resorts

Are you a golf enthusiast who wants to try Arizona’s dazzling golf resorts? Or do you want to try some of Arizona golf resorts while on a vacation there with your family?

Whether you’re into golf or not, you can’t go wrong by choosing Arizona’s golf resorts. This state, which is best known for its desert landscapes, is home to many lovely golf resorts: Prescott and Flagstaff in North Phoenix; Tucson, Green Valley, and Turquoise Valley in the South. Aside from these, Arizona is also the home of many scenic, affordable, and intriguing golf resorts, including those in Chandler, Mesa, and Scottsdale.

If you’re into golf and want to try a swing or two in these Arizona golf resorts, you’ll be delighted with the varied courses being offered by different golf resorts. You will surely find the right level of difficulty and challenges proportionate to your skills. If you’re simply a vacationer, on the other hand, you’d love the intricate landscape and scenery at Arizona golf resorts. There are also other things to enjoy like recreational activities and fitness exercises.

Tips on Finding Your Way to a Good Arizona Golf Resort

If you’re having a travel agency arrange your vacation, be sure to study their catalogues carefully before deciding. Most travel agencies have tons of information about a certain destinations. You might as well peek into them and find out what best suits you and your family.

Since most of these agencies are offering packages, be sure to know what things are included: Check the rental fees, transportation, hotel accommodations, food, etc. Also consider the length of the vacation packages they’re offering because you don’t want your vacation to be cut short when you just love the place. If you’re going to a golf resort for pure vacation, find a package that will include optional activities.

There are also Arizona golf resorts that offer golfing lessons. If you’re just beginning to find your way into golf, you should start taking lessons at golf resorts. They offer practical lessons on an actual course. Some of these golf resorts offer free lessons while some may charge. Ask your agency about it.

If you are going on an Arizona golf resort vacation by yourself (without any travel agency help), it would be advisable to arm yourself with the right information about these resorts. The Internet or some travel guide magazines will help you in this quest to find valuable information about golf resorts in Arizona.

Golf Resorts [http://www.e-GolfResorts.com] provides detailed information on Golf Resorts, Florida Golf Resorts, Arizona Golf Resorts, Caribbean Golf Resorts and more. Golf Resorts is affiliated with Online Golf Games [http://www.WetPluto.com/Free-Golf-Games.html].

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Arizona Bee Pollen

Arizona bee pollen is renowned for being one of the best distributors and harvesters for bee pollen in the entire world. Bee pollen is similarly known as the best distributor of nutrients packed into one single granule of endless health benefits as well as allergy treatment.

What is Arizona Bee Pollen?

Arizona bee pollen is collected from very select locations where there is minimal pollution and away from fields sprayed with chemicals such as fertilizer and pesticides. In fact it is not unheard of to hear of electric cars being the only source of transportation in these areas as their dedication to you is a high quality product that you can trust.

Arizona bee pollen is the pollen collected by bees that has been processed using procedures such as cleaning the pollen. In order for pollen to be distributed it also has to have every single drop of moisture removed from it, and so it is more readily available to the consumer. This process is said not to destroy or nullify the nutrients or enzymes found in Arizona bee pollen.

How is Arizona Bee Pollen Sold?

Arizona bee pollen comes in a variety of forms and in just as many dosages. To start with, Arizona bee pollen is sold in tablet form. Propolis, the bee glue that holds a comb together is used as a binder and is added to the pollen from the hive in a delicate process. This renders the Arizona bee pollen tablet. It is a convenient way to carry around.

There are many forms of bee pollen, each is just as efficient as the other in providing your body with the nutrients that we as a society cannot obtain from our diets that are not high in nutrients, but high in added chemicals and removed nutrients. Our food has become nutrient deficient and we must rely on other available sources to give our bodies the necessary nutrition it requires.

When selecting a reputable supplier of bee pollen such as Arizona bee pollen, it is essential to remember that the process in which some manufacturers collect and handle the product has awful results. The bee pollen can even be rendered as a dead food according to some studies, whereby when heat was applied; the bee pollen lost all of its nutrients and was called a dead food. Find out where your supplier gets the bee pollen from and ensure no heat is used in the processing.

The product we personally use, located in the pristine source of New Zealand, is the most natural bee pollen source we have come across – [http://www.bee-health-product.com]

We have been using this supplement for over 3 years with excellent health results. We have achieved a general sense of well being and new improved energy levels.

We highly recommend you check out our bee pollen supplement of choice [http://www.bee-health-product.com] for further information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/454457

A Wild, Roaring, White Water Rafting Adventure Through The Upper Salt River Canyon, Globe, Arizona

Discover an ancient canyon wilderness, rich in riparian nature and pristine, natural beauty, and enjoy a fun and exciting outdoors adventure, white water rafting the Upper Salt River. Located just 135 miles from Phoenix, near the town of Globe, the roughly 52 mile stretch of the Upper Salt River, after receiving run off from the nearby White Mountains during early spring, is home to some of Arizona’s best Class III and Class IV river rapids. Even if you are a beginner, white water rafting doesn’t require having prior experience or training is relatively inexpensive and best of all, it’s a thrilling and exciting adrenaline rush and a great way to experience nature and the outdoors with your friends or family. So if you consider yourself an outdoors adventurer, and would like to experience something new and exciting to do, that’s not expensive and close to Phoenix, then I highly recommend you go white water rafting down the Upper Salt River, Globe, Arizona!

I really enjoy the adventure of white water rafting and have previously been down the Snake River in the Teton’s National Park, Wyoming, as well as the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. I had heard about white water rafting trips down the Upper Salt River here in Arizona, however, I had never done it before because the season for running the Upper Salt is very unpredictable as well as very short. To time it just right when the perennial run off and water flow is at its optimum and peak, ideally you’re looking at about early-mid March. However, this is dependent on how much snow is received up in the mountains each winter. The season for running the Upper Salt they say actually extends from as early as February until mid May. So when I saw that there was a local group called the Desert Mountain Paddlers, led and organized by Ron Russell, who was planning a white water rafting trip down on the Upper Salt River, I quickly invited my friends and got signed up at a discounted group rate through Canyon Rio Rafting, based out of Flagstaff, Arizona, and the professional outfitter company who runs the Upper Salt River.

It was a beautiful spring morning during the first week in April that my friends and I met Ron Russell, aka “The Canoe Guy” and the rest of the Desert Mountain Paddlers team and began our day’s journey, heading out US 60 east, aka “The Old West Highway” and arrived in Globe by 7:30am. After a short break for food and restrooms at McDonalds, we made a left onto US 60-Hwy 77 North and enjoyed the beautiful mountain drive for another 30 minutes until we finally arrived at the top of the hill overlooking the Salt River Valley below and were all completely stunned and amazed at how absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous it was. Wow!

We drove down the steep hill, and after crossing over the bridge, made a quick left onto the short dirt road where by 8:30am we had finally arrived at Canyon Rio’s meeting and parking area. We got out and were warmly greeted by the staff of Canyon Rio who quickly provided us the equipment we would be needing for our day’s river rafting adventure including full wet suits, nylon splash jackets, helmets, paddles and PFD’s (personal flotation devices). We were advised by Canyon Rio in advance, to not only bring with us bottled water but also, when river rafting early in the spring season when water temps are very cold and outside air temps a bit more chilly than in summer months, to wear clothes that are made of either synthetic or quick drying fabrics, and shoes that are old sneakers or river sandals with socks that are neoprene or wool material to keep your feet and body from getting too cold.

Once fully suited up, and with our paddles in our hands, we began to walk down to the river’s edge together where our river guide, “Scratchy”, a veteran river guide with 9 years experience behind him, met us and provided an excellent introduction to river rafting including learning how to use a paddle, as well as what to do in case of an emergency, such as falling out of the raft, what to do should the raft get flipped over. After this thorough overview, we were finally ready for what was sure to be a very adventurous and also very scenic 9 mile river rafting journey down the Upper Salt River! After getting together for a few quick group photos, we eagerly got into all of our 6 man rafts and one by one launched out onto the river by about 10 am.

The Upper Salt River Canyon, about 4000 feet elevation, was windy and chilly that morning, I’d estimate somewhere in the 50’s in temperature as we began our journey and I was happy to have been provided a full wet suit as well as a wind breaker for added warmth. As we were slowly drifting down from our river launch site, I looked up and was just completely amazed at the very beautiful, pristine scenery of this wilderness area, which stretched 52 miles from Globe all the way down to Roosevelt Lake. Located on ancestral Native American Indian grounds, the Upper Salt River Canyon is highly restricted by the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and is only accessible by river raft or kayak with a permit.

It only took a few minutes on the river before we came to our first rapid, the “Bump & Grind” rapid, classified as a “Class II” rapid. And wow, what fun that was too! But that was just a warm up. There were a whole lot more to come, we were headed for an entire series of excellent “Class III” rapids, and although we had missed the peak flow a few weeks earlier, the river’s cfs, or flow rate, was still very good that day, “Scratchy”, our river guide advised, so we were in for a real adventure! How rapids are classified is really pretty subjective, I learned. Basically it’s determined by water levels, flow rates, obstructions or obstacles in the river’s bottom such as rocks and boulders or anything that would cause the water, always flowing down hill, to spin, swirl or cause to spill over such as a water fall. Rapids are rated anywhere from 1, which is your scenic float, all the way up to 10, and extremely dangerous. However, if you’re a beginning to intermediate river rafter, like myself, the Class II & Class III river rafting trips are perfect and the Upper Salt River offers some of the best rapids in the entire western U.S.

After warming up at the “Bump and Grind”, Class II rapid, and with the rest of our team of Desert Mountain Paddlers now closely behind us, we looked up and were excited to take on the next rapid, our first Class III rapid of the day, the “Maytag” rapid! Wow, now that was fun! But that was just the beginning of the adventure! From there it was all Class III”s, an entire series! With our team behind us and mostly out of sight by now, we continued on to move on to the next rapid and the next, the “Grumman”, the “Mother Rock” and the “Overboard” rapids, rocking, splashing and spinning, crashing against the waves and twirling through the torrent of current of the Upper Salt, I almost got tossed out of the boat twice!. Wow, what a wild, thrilling and exciting adventure ride!

After successfully running the “Overboard” Class III rapid, we veered our raft over to the river’s edge to wait for the rest of our team to arrive. This was turning out to be one heck of a wild river run, and I noticed I wasn’t the only one to get tossed out either! There were a few solo kayakers also attempting to run the river that day and one of them got flipped over and tossed out of his kayak! Thankfully, after swimming through the rapid while still hanging onto his kayak, he eventually he made it and was okay. We waited along the river’s edge until everyone had made it successfully through the last rapid and once we had all of our rafting team back together again, we continued on.

From here we had a break from the rapids and had a chance to enjoy some of the gorgeous canyon scenery and wildlife that is along the Upper Salt River. So absolutely beautiful and majestic, I found it so amazing that the Upper Salt River Canyon is a backcountry wilderness area, consisting of about 32,000 acres, that has managed to remain completely remote, and untouched here within the state of Arizona. What a great day and adventure this had been so far, I thought to myself.

It was a little after 12 noon when we arrived at Canyon Rio’s camp site on the river and where we’d pull our rafts over to the shore and have a picnic lunch and mid-day rest break. And what a lunch it was too! Canyon Rio really provided us a delicious and fantastic lunch, that had it all, right down to the last details too. Wow! We were really enjoying everything but by 1:30 pm, and after a quick group photo with our river guide extraordinaire, “Scratchy”, it was time to get back in our rafts again and begin the second part of our journey and adventure down the Upper Salt River.

After pulling our rafts out and continuing on from camp, and next taking on the “Exhibition” Class III rapid, the scenery was even more beautiful and spectacular as we quickly approached the gorgeous Cibecue Canyon, the crossed Cibeque Creek. After running the Cibecue Rapid, a Class II rapid, we turned a corner to the left and continued to enjoy the journey heading down this very serene and tranquil stretch of the Upper Salt River until we came to what would be the best but final set of rapids of the day.

Once again we were advised by our excellent river guide “Scratchy” what we were to do as we approached first the “Three Way” rapid, a Class III rapid, followed by the “Salt River Draw”, a Class II rapid, then on to our final rapid of the day, the “grand finale” and saving the best for last it seemed, as we crashed, splashed, bumped, grinded and glided our way down through the rocking and rolling “Mezcal Falls”, a Class III-IV rapid that was absolutely the best one of them all! Wow, what a total adrenaline rush!

After pulling to the side to wait for the rest of our team to successfully make it through “Mezcal Falls”, we then floated for a few more final minutes on the river until we finally reached the end of our 9 mile river rafting adventure by about 2:30pm, and the access point where Canyon Rio was waiting for us to transport us back to the parking area where our cars were and by 3:30pm we had arrived back at the parking lot, ready to head back home to Phoenix again.

In all, what an incredibly fun, exciting and scenic outdoors adventure on the Upper Salt River! Really a great day spent with friends and everyone from the Desert Mountain Paddlers group. And also, an excellent river rafting expedition put together by the professional and experienced team of river guides from Canyon Rio Rafting. So if you’re looking for something new, exciting, fun and adventurous to do, then I highly recommend you be sure to check out white water rafting down the Upper Salt River, Globe, Arizona!

Laura K. Halik is a writer and published author with over 20 years experience of outdoors travel throughout the state of Arizona and the western region. She is passionate for nature, the outdoors, travel and adventure. Laura enjoys hiking, canyoneering, white water rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, writing, and photography. She is also a co-hiking leader and organizer in a hiking and outdoors adventure club for advanced and experienced hikers.

Throughout her professional career in international business, Laura has worked and traveled frequently throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region. She lives with her family and pets in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more adventures in the great outdoors, visit “The Great Outdoors Adventure Travel” website located at [http://www.thegreatoutdoorsadventuretravel.com].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7087065

How to Plan a Cactus League Spring Training Trip to Arizona

Are you crazy about baseball? Is “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” your favorite tune? Are you passionate enough about your home team to follow them across the country? If so, you’re going to love planning a Spring Training trip to Arizona in March which includes everything from airport parking to the best seats in the stadium. And even if you’re not that nuts about America’s favorite game, you’ll still have a great time soaking in the sun and watching major league players go head to head in pre-season (in Arizona referred to as the Cactus League).

What Baseball Teams Play Where

Cactus League teams include: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Where are the teams based during Spring Training, which takes place throughout the month of March? Scottsdale is the temporary home to Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants; Mesa hosts the Chicago Cubs; Phoenix is where the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s train; Goodyear is the spring home for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians; Surprise hosts the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers; Tempe is where the training facility of the LA Angels is located; Glendale is where you’ll find the LA Dodgers; Maryvale hosts the Milwaukee Brewers; and Peoria hosts the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

When you make your airline reservations, you’ll want tickets that fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. As soon as you’ve got your flight booked, reserve offsite airport parking so you don’t have to worry about arrangements for your car.

Getting Your Spring Training Game Tickets

There’s a couple different choices for game tickets when you plan a Spring Training trip to Arizona. You could start by selecting a hotel close to the stadium where your team plays and contacting them to book a Spring Training package. Usually the hotel package includes your room, tickets to the game and sometimes breakfast or happy hour hors d’oeuvres and transportation to the stadium. Check with several hotels to see which one offers the best deals. For a quick overview, visit the Chamber of Commerce or Visitors and Convention Bureau websites in the locale you’re considering. And although the information is not disclosed, you might get lucky and stay at the same hotel that is housing your favorite team!

Keep in mind that when you stay in Mesa, for example, to watch Chicago Cubs’ games, the hotel package is likely to only include tickets for those games at Hohokam Stadium and not any at other stadiums across the Valley of the Sun. So if you want to watch several teams at various locations, you will be better off buying the tickets yourself.

If you buy your tickets online early enough, they can be shipped directly to your address. If you are more of a last minute planner, however, it’s best to order directly from the stadium and have your tickets held at the will call window.

Although prices are much lower than you’d paid for regular season games, you may be surprised at how expensive Spring Training games can be. Most of the stadiums offer lawn seats (where you sprawl on a blanket behind the field), which are the cheapest option. And don’t forget you can’t bring your own food to the stadium (although you can bring unopened water bottles) so that’s another expense. Still, this is an inexpensive way to enjoy a great spring vacation that’s fun for the whole family.

If you’ve never experienced a Spring Training trip to Arizona in March, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Arizona’s weather is beautiful at this time of year and what better way to enjoy it than to take yourself out to a ball game?

S. Hurley Hall runs the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking provider ParkRideFlyUSA.com/blog. It covers travel destinations, business travel, travel gadgets, travel tips and more. Join our email list and be the first to hear about special offers that make your trip less expensive and more enjoyable. Book your airport parking reservations before you arrive at the airport. Hurry! Visit us at Park Ride Fly to receive a 10% discount on your airport parking for a limited time.

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How Does Automatic Transmission Change Gears

As drivers, we know how the transmission works: we push the clutch in, change the gear and then continue driving normally. Manual transmission also teaches us how to perform clutch control without stalling or rolling on an incline. So how does an automatic car change gears?

There are more parts in this system that makes it a more complicated system. An automatic car has something called a torque converter. For the car to move forward, whether manual or automatic, torque is needed for the initial momentum.

The torque converter is a fluid link where its job is to connect the engine to the transmission and the transmission to the driven wheels (Front Wheel Drive or Rear Wheel Drive).

The engine is connected to the transmission in a bell housing. This is where the torque converter is. The transmission also contains something called planetary gear sets which provide different gear ratios.

The engine’s flex plate is also connected to this torque converter. So the torque converter basically takes the place of a clutch in an automatic car. When the crankshaft rotates it also rotates the converter. This is how the torque converter will disconnect and connect the engine’s power to the load being driven.

The torque converter has main components that make automatic transmission successful. These include:

  • The impeller – connected to the engine which is responsible for driving the turbine using viscous forces on the transmission fluid.
  • The turbine – connected to the transmission input shaft that sends the torque force to the transmission.
  • The stator – which sits between the impeller and the turbine. It lessens churning losses.
    The lock up clutch.

During the compression of the fluid it returns from the turbine that works against the impeller and its rotating movement that also acts on the engine.

The stator redirects the fluid so that the majority of the velocity gets driven towards the impeller which then adds to the torque produced by the motor. It can only rotate in one direction if the impeller and turbine are moving at the same speed. Stators do not apply torque when on a highway, only when coming to a stop or accelerating.

A planetary gear set consists of a sun gear and planet gears which rotate around the central sun gear, like our solar system. A planet carrier gear connects the planet gears with a ring gear that meshes them. The planetary gear set prevents certain components from moving when using clutches and brakes. This alters the input and the output of the system that changes the overall gear ratio.

Depending on which component is fixed it will determine the final gear ratio. If a ring gear is stationery or fixed, the ratio will be shorter than if the sun gear is fixed or stationery.

Brakes Noises Solutions

There will come a time whilst you are driving that you will have problems with your brakes. You might not notice it immediately but once you start to hear the noises, know that there is something wrong.

First thing’s first. Slowly pull over to the side of the road as soon as you start to hear these noises. Make sure that you keep a good distance from the road in case you have a flat tyre instead and need to change it.

These are the different noises your brakes make that you should be fully aware of:

Grinding – grinding is usually the sound of two metal pieces rubbing together. So know that this means that you have a severely damaged brake pad. Without a brake pad, there is nothing that is stopping you safely. It is recommended that you do not continue to drive as it could prevent you from stopping at a traffic light.

Knocking from the rear – this constant annoying sound you hear when applying brakes indicates that there is a problem with the rear drums. There could be a possibility that the brake or rear drum has been resurfaced which is causing that knocking sound. Fixing this problem can be done by yourself but it would be wise to get a technician to fix it.

Squeaking – this is a sign that wear has been done to the brakes. If not fixed it could be dangerous to you. The squeaking sound is usually caused by a wear indicator. This lets the driver know that wear is being detected. Make sure that you get the brakes replaced immediately. You can still drive a good distance before being in danger but make sure that they get replaced soon.

If you are aware of the problem whilst you are driving and know that the problem is dangerous to you and other drivers make sure that you switch your hazard lights on and drive slowly and calmly. If your brakes don’t work at all, release the accelerator and slowly move into the side lane. With the car losing momentum you will eventually come to a stop. Engine braking will also assist the car to slow down. Engine braking is achieved by gearing down.

When you are close to coming to a stop, pull up the hand brake slowly so that your wheels don’t lock up thus making you swerve around dangerously.

The Mercedes Tuning – What Are The Reasons To Tune Your Vehicle?

We are very well aware of the shooting fuel prices in the market. Hence, it is crucial to tune your Mercedes, so that it delivers great mpg. There are many reasons of the Mercedes tuning like better acceleration, enhanced torque, great economy, more power, healthier engine etc.

We have seen rapid growth in the technology in the field of automobiles. The super chip tuning technology is developed especially for the premium cars like Mercedes. The tuning is efficient for both the petrol and diesel version of car. It will ensure that your car gives best performance without any hassle.

Importance of tuning

Once the vehicle is tuned, it will reduce the emission and improve the performance by 15%. It is quite obvious that tuning will help your vehicle in multiple ways. However, you must tune the vehicle timely to avoid any inconvenience. The experts recommend visiting to the mechanic once in three months. The professionals will make sure that none of the part needs repairing.

As the fuel prices have increased, so does the dependency on vehicles. It is crucial to keep your car in good shape. If you maintain the car properly, then the car will run efficiently for long years without any hassle. Else, it would require regular repairing that will ultimately lead to lower mpg and reduce the performance.

What to consider while tuning the exhaust system?

The exhaust system of the Mercedes includes a front pipe, exhaust manifold, catalyst converter, silencer, exhaust tip and tail pipe. While tuning the system, muffler is the easiest to deal. The professionals will replace the stock muffler with high performance muffler.

As a result, you will get a free flow exhaust system. You must keep in mind that the inlet and outlet pipe of the muffler is of the same size as front and tail pipe. Check out the diameter of tail and front pipe. They must have same dimensions for better performance. Other terms of the exhaust system is a little complicated to understand. You must have knowledge of the engine’s power band, exhaust back pressure and usable RPM.

If excessive pressure is produced by the system, then it will have a negative impact on the performance of the engine. This will restrict the flow of exhaust gases. As a result, the engine will be inefficient to expel exhaust gases. Ultimately, it would lead to much reduced engine power.

Dos and the don’ts

Make sure that you never attach pea-shooter instead of the exhaust system to the engine. You must also not install a 10 inch wastewater pipe. In case the exhaust pipe is big enough, then it will lead to much reduced flow velocity of the gases. You have to keep in mind to get the exhaust back pressure perfect.

While tuning the exhaust system, the professionals aim to increase the power of the engine by the right exhaust tuning.