Archive for November, 2011
Ah.. you got a swank new Mercedes and you are mighty pleased with your prized possession. Everything is fine for a few months and then you suddenly realize that there is some problem with the performance of the car. The mileage has gone down and even while idling sometimes the car boots up. You wonder what is wrong with the car. Clueless, you take the car to the mechanic and get the car problems sorted out. I am sure many of you must have gone through this and probably repented because there was a chance that the mechanic duped you and also gave you a big fat bill. All this due to lack of information about how to diagnose car problems. So we thought why not write about it for ourselves and other car owners! Take a look!
Car Problem Diagnosis
Although you need not be an Einstein for diagnosing car problems, you will surely need to be very observant and alert about the functioning of the car. After all, it is a complex machine. So we start with the basics in car repair.
It is extremely important to know the systems within the car engine and how they work. You need to have a thorough knowledge of your car’s inside out. A slight change in the sound of the engine while driving and you should be able to at least take a guess as to why has that change in the sound has happened. The systems within the engine have to be understood, which will help you deal with various auto repair questions. This is where half of your job of gaging car problems will be sorted out. Observation and frequently checking out the engine with someone who is thorough with what all can happen with a car engine can prove to be really helpful.
A number of systems are working within the system – the power steering system, the alternator, the brake fluids, the relay and the fuel injectors, spark plugs, pistons, shafts and so many other things. All of these are crucial for car problem diagnosis and troubleshooting car problems.
Some Common Problems
Sometimes what happens is that even the smallest and even the most minor of the problems gets us in a fix because we do not know how to diagnose car problems. Here are some most common problems and the possible diagnosis for them.
Car not starting is an issue which is faced by perhaps 95 out of 100 people. If there is no spark and the engine does not start, one of the reasons could be a bad spark plug or spark plug wire. If there is corrosion (which you will find out after checking), replace the spark plugs. A dead or corroded battery can also be the reason for the car not starting, which even though very obvious, is missed out on by car owners. Troubleshooting car electrical problems will have to be checked out in this regard.
To diagnose car problems, as I mentioned, you should be acquainted with the car well. So another problem which people may not give a thought to is the fuel mix. Bad fuel mixture can be harmful for the intake valves. The intake valves of the engine have to be free of debris and clogging. It affects the overall performance of the car.
Engine overheating is another one amongst the umpteen common car problems. No to diagnose this car problem, you need to have an ear for the sounds the engine emits. In case the engine is overheated, there is a hissing sound from the engine, resembling air or steam. Here either the exhaust system or catalytic converter will have to be checked.
Car problem diagnosis also involves keeping a close eye on the proper compression of air and fuel in the engine. In the absence of that, the combustion of these two resulting in kick starting your engine will not work.
These were just a few things to be done to diagnose car problems which do not just end at these! For instance, you have cleaning fuel injectors or power steering pump noise. This is just the trailer when it comes to diagnosing car engine problems!
On a serious note though, for car problem diagnosis, another effective way is to keep on scanning through the manual of the car whenever you get time. The manual will help you understand a great deal about the car and its working, and you will be able to self diagnose car problems, for instance diagnose car noise Last but not the least for car problem diagnosis, schedule routine servicing for your beauty, just as you would for yourself to ensure that everything is fine! I bring down the bonnet here on my words about diagnosing car problems! All the best!
The human brain is a very complex organ, and no doubt a very crucial one as well! Right now you are probably chatting with your friend on Facebook, while listening to the latest song released by your favorite artist, munching on chips, thinking about your day tomorrow and that report you need to submit at school or office, also probably thinking about someone special (!) and you are also reading this article. Can you imagine the amount of coordination required to do all these things simultaneously, without faltering? No machine ever created by man can come close to doing this, and it would be safe to say that the human brain is the fastest and most efficient ‘computer’ to have ever existed.
eeping such a hungry giant satiated and running 24/7 must require a lot of energy and also efficient minions to work for it! Neurotransmitters are the workforce and the language of the brain – they carry signals to and from the brain cells, or neurons. Many neurotransmitters have been identified over the years; one of them is “the happiness hormone”, as it is sometimes referred to, or serotonin.
Chemical Nature and Synthesis of Serotonin
Chemically, serotonin is an amine, derived from the amino acid tryptophan. The chemical name of serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT).
Most of the serotonin in the body is synthesized by the enterochromaffin cells in the gastrointestinal tract. In this respect, serotonin has been shown to affect levels of appetite. It works in close relation with another neurotransmitter dopamine; dopamine increases appetite, while serotonin decreases it.
A part of the body serotonin also comes from brain cells called serotonergic neurons, and it is this fraction that is associated with your moods, emotions, state of mind and the feeling of well-being.
What’s Your Mood Today? – Serotonin and Social Behavior
As stated above, serotonin affects the level of appetite. But serotonin also affects your mood! How do these two things correlate?
We all have heard of at least some version of the Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. There are two aspects to the survival of an organism in its surroundings – the ability to acquire food, and the ability to compete with others for food and survival. In comparatively lower or simpler life forms such as fish and worms, serotonin helps the organism to gauge the availability of food in its surroundings. However, mere availability of food is not enough for survival; and therein comes the ability to compete with others for food. The stronger individual has better chances of acquiring food in the presence of competition, making him dominant and more confident than the rest. In this respect, serotonin has been shown to be associated with a sense of social hierarchy or social status; and your social status definitely affects your mood!
In simple words, people with higher social ranking have greater authority or ‘power’, and tend to be more confident. They have the ability to divert or ‘flee’ from a problem they may be facing as they are in a position to be able to do so! They are hence happier people, more satisfied with their lives. Such people can be said to be in a state of well-being and are more-or-less content with the life they are living.
On the other hand, subordinates rank lower in the social hierarchy. Subordinates can thus be intimidated by a situation or problem in their lives. The general feeling is one of being helpless. They are hence compelled to face a problem and do not have the option to escape it, or ‘flee’ from it. Obviously such people could be less satisfied with their life and thus, less happy.
‘Mood-food’ – Serotonin from Food
We often hear elders say, we become the food we eat. In the light of this sentence, serotonin can be viewed as the bridge between the food we eat and our general sense of well-being, or our ‘mood’. As stated earlier, tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin in the body. If we consume foodstuffs that are high on levels of tryptophan, the serotonin levels in the body go up. Such foodstuffs include bananas, walnuts, plums, mangoes, eggs, oats, cottage cheese, milk, poultry and even chocolate! This explains why we feel happy after eating a chocolate. This also points to another interesting fact; when people go on a crash diet, they tend to feel depressed within a couple of weeks; this happens because the serotonin levels in the body are depleted beyond the normal level. Similarly, a cranky baby often settles down after a feed as the serotonin level of the baby is restored!
I hope you now have an idea about how serotonin affects mood. Serotonin and the foods that boost serotonin levels of your body, play a key role in controlling your mood. This aspect of serotonin has hence been used in different therapies to treat depression and mood swings by means of prescribing serotonin supplements in the diet.
So the next time you feel blue on a rainy day, go have yourself a chocolate bar, and you might just feel fine again