Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Try A Head Gasket Sealer Before Blowing Your Cash

Head gasket leaks, what are they and what can you do about them?

A head gasket ha a seal, but when the engine severely overheats it ruptures the metal ring around the piston and the antifreeze will leak in. This is a blown head gasket.

There are a few things you can do to test if you have a head gasket leak or not
  1. Are you constantly adding coolant to the radiator. If you're constantly losing coolant but don't have any leaks on the ground (related to anything else you've tested - if it's an oil leak, you shouldn't confuse the two).
  2. White smoke or steam coming out of the tailpipe. As antifreeze gets in, the piston will be pushing water/coolant right up into the spark plug which will end up firing out of the tailpipe as steam, which will look like white smoke.
  3. Check engine light will be on. If your electronics work correctly, it should pick this up.
You'll also notice a significant dropoff in power for the vehicle if you've got a leak. Your four cylinder will feel like a three cylinder or your six will feel like a five. Either way, the performance will lag and if you're even a remotely attentive drive you'll know.

If you notice these yourself, you can take it to a shop and see if there's a non-head gasket repair solution like a valve job where they can rebuild your cylinder head, which is MUCH cheaper than a full on head gasket replacement. If that's not the case, and you have a car that's not a newer high end car, it's worth a shot using a sealant product. There are many on the market, one of the most popular being from Blue Devil. If you read the reviews on sites that sell this product (third party, these are legit) you'll see the success rate is quite high. If you've got a care with plenty of miles on it, you really don't need to spend more than it's worth to fix a blown head gasket when you can buy a cheap can of product and potentially fix it. No, I'm not recommending you try this out on your 2013 BMW, but there's definitely a place for this and it can certainly save you money.

If you've had luck with this product or similar products, please let me know, I'm always looking for other methods to help our readers save a few bucks.



Monday, April 15, 2013

You Learn Something New Every Day

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA a...
The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA
As part of a train crew, I have been very fortunate to travel around the United States. Throughout my travels, I have been able to see a lot of beautiful scenery such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon as well as many attractions including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Empire State Building. I truly enjoy visiting some of the United States’ popular destination, but it isn’t the best part of my job.

Over the years, I have met a lot of people as they travel from place to place. Some people are only traveling for a short period of time, while others spend a week or more on a train exploring the United States for vacation. No matter how long passengers are on the train, I enjoy getting to know as many of them as I can and have learned a variety of new things from the people I talk to, which has become the favorite part of my job.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to start rattling off a bunch of “life lessons” passengers have taught me. Although I do enjoy listening to the lessons people pass on, it isn’t what I have learned most from passengers.

Generally, passengers are not from the large popular cities we stop at along our train tours so when I talk to them, I get to learn about cities in the United States that aren’t as well-known as well as unique facts that individuals share with me! Honestly, who would have guessed that Montana has more cows than people? I had no idea until a passenger told me!

After a while, I started writing a lot of what I learned on trips down so I could keep a record of all the bizarre things people told me. Like the last train trip I worked on, I spoke with a lady from South Carolina that worked for a company that created custom-made lanterns. She showed me a variety of fixtures that were very beautiful and described the creative process they go through for each project which I found interesting to learn about, but it wasn’t what I wrote down. Until I met her, I didn’t know that there was such thing as gingko farms let alone that the world’s largest gingko farm was in Sumter, South Carolina. It is crazy what one person can teach you during a short conversation.

Between the cities we stop in during train tours and the people I meet, I really believe the phrase, “You learn something new every day.” And I look forward to what fun fact I will learn each day.  

About the Author

This post was provided by a contributor from America by Rail, a leader in fully-escorted train trips. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Funicular Railways aka ‘cable railways’ - a must for rail enthusiasts!

Funicular Railway of Penang Hill, from Viaduct...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I know not everyone is into Funicular Railways but not knowing what they were I decided to look into it a little further and came across a 'top 5' list of the best ones in the world and to my surprise I have actually been on one. A Funicular Railway is defined as 'a cable railway on a steep incline, especially such a railway with simultaneously ascending and descending cars counterbalancing one another'.
I'm sure all you rail buffs would know that! Then I thought people that love trains must go on tours of railways around the world? Maybe the travel industry should look into organizing big train trips for train buffs to places such as The Ghan (Australia), The Rocky Mountaineer (Canada) and the China Orient Express (China). I'm sure there must be people out there that would love to take a luxury train vacation to these destinations??
Anyway, here is the 'top 5' list of Funicular Railways around the world:
1.     Gelmerbahn, Switzerland
2.     Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
3.     Wellington, New Zealand
4.     Salzbergbahn, Austria
5.     Scenic Railway, Australia

For more information check out…SMH.com.au - they ran a great article and it has detailed information on each one and also prices and booking agents! You can check out this list of Funicular Railways to find a railway near you too!  
I have been on the Scenic Railway in Katoomba, Australia (2.5 hours west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains) and I thought that it was one of the scariest things I have ever done but I definitely recommend it!  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Welcome

Welcome to my new blog All About Trains!

I love going on train adventures! I decided to start a blog so I can share all the fun I have when I travel by train! I promise you guys will love my stories and I can't wait to start sharing them with you guys!