What's the common cause of caliper wear and breakdown? I just changed the brake calipers of my Lexus CT200h, and I want to know how I can prevent premature wear.
Brake calipers, like the brake rotors, are designed to last for years. Over time, however, these brake parts can get damaged due to heat and corrosion. If the brakes of your vehicle aren't properly maintained and checked, the caliper can get corroded and may leak. The stop-and-go grind can also contribute to caliper wear. Using worn-out pads and the metal-on-metal grinding can likewise affect their condition and quality. Since road salt and weather can cause corrosion, yearly brake inspection is highly advised to update you with the current condition of essential brake components and to identify brake issues early on. For the recommended brake service and maintenance, consult the owner's manual for the specs and other relevant information.
Why does driving in locations with high temperatures or warmer climate shorten the service life of the engine oil? What can be done to prevent accelerated motor oil degradation?
Too much heat can lead to the oil breaking down faster than it should. Engine deposits and sludge may form eventually. Oil may thin out due to high temperatures, and this can cause metal-on-metal grinding and damage to some engine parts. This can only get worse for vehicles that do some towing or carry some heavy loads. In this case, you should be using a higher-grade oil, one that suits the requirements of the vehicle.
Why do they say that synthetic motor oil may cause leaks? Is there any truth to this claim?
Synthetic oil doesn't cause or create leaks. However, if there's an opening somewhere, synthetic oil can easily leak because it has smaller molecules than the regular type of oil. This means that it can get through the smaller holes or openings faster. Conventional oil would leak as well but this would be exposed in a larger crack.
How can you tell if the transmission fluid is already old and needs to be changed? I'm not sure what to look for when checking the condition of the fluid. What are the common symptoms?
The transmission fluid is already old and needs replacing if the color has already turned dark and it looks dirty. If the fluid seems cloudy, then you should consider having a fluid exchange. The burnt smell is another sign you should watch out for. Don't let the fluid level drop too low. Keep it at a safe level. If your fluid inspection reveals that there's significant fluid loss, then you should top off the system. Otherwise, the fluid may fail to coat other transmission parts, leading to lack of proper lubrication. As a result, the smooth drive of the vehicle may turn sluggish. Gear shifting can be prolonged as well, leading to rough transmission. Use the vehicle manual as a reference for fluid inspection and exchange. Be sure to use the right type of fluid for the vehicle.