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Advice on how to safely operate a vehicle in winter
When the temperature drops, the engine oil thickens and loses its ability to spread. Additionally, if the oil flow is restricted during start-up, the engine parts are not lubricated properly. This may cause serious damage, which manifests itself e.g. in the form of excessive engine oil consumption, low compression pressure and a drop in engine power. Without the flow of oil, friction of metal on metal in bearings may lead to damage to the engine during start-up or reduced efficiency (stresses the Expert at Master-Sport Automobiltechnik (MS) GmbH).

In order to protect the engine at low temperatures, the engine oil must be resistant to excessive thickening and must remain liquid for easy and continuous flow. Most of the mineral oils tend to significantly thicken, as paraffin molecules crystallize at low temperatures. Unlike mineral oils, synthetic oils contain less paraffins; therefore, they remain liquid at much lower temperatures and provide excellent protection for the engine. Some viscosity grades of fully synthetic motor oils are designed to work even at very low temperatures. Also, the engine starts quicker and the wear and tear is minimized.

Notwithstanding the fact that there is oil in the engine, the vehicle should be started properly when the temperature is less than -10. What should we remember?

Avoid unnecessary rotation increase


Seeing how cars are started on winter days, we often see the driver starting the engine, and pressing the gas pedal two, three times to increase rotations. One couldn't do worse. As mentioned above, thicker oil does not lubricate the motor bearings and metal grinds on metal. When you pump gas, you force higher engine speed, while not guaranteeing proper lubrication. The situation is even worse in the case of turbine engines. As a turbine rotates at a speed of up to 250,000 rev/min (note how a diesel engine has up to 6000 rev/min and a gasoline engine up to 8000 rev/min), and its lubrication is supplied from the engine lubrication system(!!!), any increase in the rotation in a cold engine slowly and systematically murders the turbine's bearings mechanism.

Fire up and go


Another myth propagated by some drivers is that you should leave the engine at a standstill until the coolant warms up. In theory, the most advantageous is when you start up the engine and go right away. Then the friction associated with moving (often on slush), the operation of the crankshaft and transmission shafts in thick oil, produces faster operating temperatures than an engine running at halt. In practice, it is possible to start the engine and remove snow from the windows with the engine running. However, waiting until the engine reaches a higher temperature and only then moving the car is a mistake.

The first moments of driving


We must remember that low temperatures adversely affect not only the oil in the engine and the gearbox. Shock absorbers malfunction as well, and an increase in the density of the fluid and the operation of the valves in the damper is so greatly reduced that the first couple kilometers will make you feel as if you were driving a wagon (more on shock absorbers in a separate text). Then we have a situation where instead of damping swings of the car body, we have the metallic impact of car parts. This time before the shock absorber starts to work properly may cause damage to the shock absorber, as well as damage to shock mounts at the body and arm - which are exposed to the transmitted vibrations.

Careful with towing


When there is a problem starting the engine, many drivers decide to tow and start the engine by manually moving the crankshaft not using the starter, but the rotating wheels. Unfortunately, few people know that this increases the likelihood of rupture or skip of the timing belt. This is the result of adverse working conditions of the timing belt. While the starter rotates the crankshaft in a sustainable way, in the case of towing, there is a rapid release of the clutch and sudden forcing of rotation. The belt may then not withstand such severe stress and might skip or break. This unfavorable phenomenon is also intensified by negative temperatures, where oil becomes very thick, putting large resistance upon starting the engine.
So remember. In winter, start the engine gently and drive the first couple kilometers slowly and carefully (avoiding potholes). Furthermore, rather than relying on well-wishing neighbors who would tow your car, you should have a new efficient battery
And most importantly - the oil must meet the appropriate lubrication standards (more info about the selection of oil: see “Engine Oil, or what to look for”)
When the car is braking, kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy of the braking element, due to friction on the pad-disc interface. Hence, it is extremely important for the braking element to work properly with different vehicle weights (both vehicle with only a driver, but also with a full (...)
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Speaking of modern suspension, we usually think of rockers, shock absorbers and torsion rods, even though the suspension and anti-sway system of the car body is much more complex. One of the basic components of the suspension is ... the suspension spring. Theoretically, it is only a piece of wire t (...)
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Engine oil is an agent that is the real "engine bloodstream", and its parameters and physical properties determine the efficiency of the unit, fuel consumption and the time of correct operation. It is distributed along the so-called main oil line,which is a system of channels providing lubricant sup (...)
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Typically, those buying brake pads only look at the price of the product. After all, they are certain that the manufacturer of the pads has made all the checks, inspections and analyzes while adapting them to the model, and the price is only the result of the "manufacturer's brand." Well, wrong. Al (...)
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The fuel filter is to reduce the flow of contaminated fuel to the injection elements. It is particularly important for modern petrol injection systems, and common rail systems used in diesel engines, since in modern injection systems components fitting is in microns. Fuels are clean, so what's the (...)
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When designing the brake system designed to reduce speed/stop the vehicle, brake discs and brake pads are treated as one structural item. All calculations of the braking efficiency and changes in effectiveness resulting from the increase in the temperature of friction elements are calculated for a p (...)
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The oil in a combustion engine is to provide lubrication of moving points of contact, and its respective properties (defined by standards ASE, or API) allow choosing it depending on operating conditions. However, the oil is contaminated during operation, resulting from the mixing of unburned fuel pa (...)
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Master-Sport Engineers have drawn attention to the issue of stopping the car, depending on the technical condition of the car and the driver's predisposition. Theoretically, the braking distance (as referred to by car manufacturers refer and the journalists emulating them) is the path you will tra (...)
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– Master-Sport raising OE standards Master-Sport focuses on innovation in Poland Intellectual property is sometimes the best driver of competition between technology providers, and for the professionals involved in R&D, an opportunity for creative engagement in the field of improving the safety of (...)
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Shock absorbers are one of the most important, but also one of the least appreciated elements in the car. They are responsible for maintaining continuous wheel contact with the road and the driving comfort through appropriate suppression of vibrations transmitted to the body. What is the purpose of (...)
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