Frequently Asked Questions About Car Transmissions

Do you suspect that your car’s transmission is on the outs? If so, you may be full of questions. Continue reading to learn some important information about automotive transmissions, including common signs of transmission trouble.

Indianapolis Transmission Repair 317-475-1846

Indianapolis Transmission Repair 317-475-1846

What Does a Car Transmission Do?

Automotive transmissions are designed as automatic or manual. Cars with manual transmissions are also referred to as clutches or stick-shift vehicles. Automatic transmissions are the most common, and probably the type you drive. In basic terms, a transmission’s purpose is to convert speeds and torques along a vehicle’s drive train. This means it automatically changes a vehicle’s gear ratios, allowing it to drive within its narrow range of speeds, but still also providing a wide range of torque and output speeds.

What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

One of the seven essential automotive fluids is transmission fluid. Without it, your transmission cannot operate smoothly. Transmission fluid is intended to lubricate all these inner working parts, while also controlling and reducing heat produced from friction. It cools and lubricates so that everything stays in sync and in optimal working condition. It is an oil-based liquid with a red-like color, and can be purchased at any auto parts store or automotive store. As a car owner, you do not need to check your transmission fluid levels. Instead, have your car or truck serviced regularly, every 6 months or 5,000 miles, by a licensed mechanic.

When Should I Change My Transmission Fluid?

There are several different suggestions for transmission fluid changes, all of which vary depending on your driving style and the conditions in which you drive. This makes it difficult to know which recommendation is right for your vehicle. For automatic vehicles, most manufacturers will suggest changing the transmission fluid every 100,000 miles or so, but professional mechanics recommend doing so every 30,000 to 40,000 miles for optimal safety and performance. For manual transmission vehicles, most manufacturers will suggest changing the transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but professional mechanics recommend doing so every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Refer to your vehicle’s owners’ manual or your local Indianapolis auto repair shop for advice.

Do Car Transmissions Require Routine Maintenance?

Proper maintenance is vital for dependable transmission performance and longevity. Routine automotive services like regular inspections and tune-ups are important routine prevention tactics. Also, using proper fuel and fuel additives can greatly increase the performance and longevity of a car engine and transmission.

What are the Signs of Transmission Problems?

There are hundreds of symptoms a vehicle can experience when there is a problem with its transmission. However, there are 3 signs that you should always be on the lookout for. These include burning odors, transmission fluid leakage, and an illuminated check engine light. If you notice a puddle of red fluid beneath your vehicle, your transmission has a leak. If your check engine light comes on, it could be from a transmission problem. And if you smell a burning odor while driving, it could be a result of dirty transmission fluid.

Indianapolis Transmission Repair Experts

Northeast Auto Service

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Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for professional Indianapolis transmission repair you can trust. Our ASE certified car mechanics provide a wide range of automotive services for all make and model vehicles, foreign and domestic. Call 317-475-1846 to schedule a free inspection and estimate, anytime. Don’t forget to ask us about our auto repair coupons and discounts!

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Common Types of Car Brake Fluid

Car Brake Repair 317-475-1846

Car Brake Repair 317-475-1846

Braking fluid is one of the seven essential fluids needed for all vehicles to operate smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Without brake fluid, not only do your car brakes suffer greatly, you could cause a serious accident without the ability to come to a stop. This is a very dangerous situation which is why no one should ever operate a motor vehicle without a sufficient amount of brake fluid.

There are several different brands of brake fluid on the market to choose from, but there are only three primary types of brake fluid available for cars and trucks. These are classified as either “wet boiling point” or “dry boiling point” and referred to as DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5 braking fluid.

Standard Brake Fluids

As mentioned before, the three primary brake fluids are DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5. The first two, DOT3 and DOT4, are glycol-ether-based fluids. These two glycol-based fluids absorb water, which at the same time, decreases their boiling points. DOT3 has a minimum dry boiling point of 401 Fahrenheit, and a minimum wet boiling point of 284 Fahrenheit.

DOT4 has a minimum dry boiling point of 446 Fahrenheit and a minimum wet boiling point of 311 Fahrenheit. Although they are similar in function, separate types of braking fluids should never be combined in a brake fluid reservoir. It can cause substantial corrosion to your vehicle’s braking system, as well as, let off toxic fumes that are harmful to respiratory health. Also, never allow DOT3 or DOT4 to touch or spill onto car paint. It will eat paint away quickly, leaving you with a hefty vehicle paint job bill.

DOT5 Brake Fluid

In contrast to DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids, the DOT5 brake fluids are silicone-based and DO NOT absorb water. This means the boiling point for DOT5 fluid remains steady and doesn’t change. Since it doesn’t absorb water, any water that gets inside can cause pure water pockets to form, resulting in major brake corrosion.

DOT5 is actually an older version of what’s used on the market today since it causes high compressibility. DOT5 was used in antique cars and vehicles that needed to be water-corrosion resistant, like military vehicles. Now, a newer more applicable version is available called DOT5.1 braking fluid.

Be sure to always discuss your car brake repair needs or concerns with a licensed Indianapolis automotive mechanic. They can give you professional information regarding factory scheduled maintenance for your vehicle.

Indianapolis Car Brake Repair

Northeast Auto Service

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General Factory Scheduled Maintenance for Cars and Trucks

Factory scheduled maintenance services for cars and trucks are an important part of vehicle care and preservation. It is crucial to regularly care for your car or truck to promote longevity, sustainability, and performance. There are several routine maintenance cars and trucks require; some blatantly obvious, while others not as much.

Continue reading to learn about some different types of factory scheduled maintenance services recommended for cars and trucks.

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Oil Changes

Having the oil changed in a car or truck is mandatory in order to achieve safe and proper vehicle performance and functionality. Oil changes should happen once a year or every 7000 miles; depending on the make and model vehicle. In larger vehicles, such as semi-trucks and diesel powered engines, an oil change should be made every 3,000 miles or twice a year.

Additional Fluid Changes

Oil is not the only fluid that requires changing in a car or truck. Brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, coolants, power steering fluids, battery fluid, and more are all examples of liquids that require changing in vehicles.

Tire Rotations

Tire and wheels need to be rotated and balanced on a professional balancing machine every five thousand miles. This process ensures even tire wear and tear. The weight on the front and rear axles of a car or truck differ, which means the wear and tear will be uneven. Switching places and balancing the wheels promotes better drivability and avoids running a flat.

Battery Replacements

When a vehicle begins requiring jump starts, or has dimmer headlights than usual, it may be time to change the car battery. Most people can accomplish this at home, themselves because it is a relatively easy project. A car or truck battery basically just snaps and plugs right in place, making it an easy DIY job for anyone. Typically, car and truck batteries need changed every 3 to 5 years, give or take. It also just depends on the vehicle make, model, and condition.

Filter Replacements

Along with fluids and batteries, filters in a car or truck need replaced after some time. Air filters, fuel filters, cabin filters, and more all require replacement after a few thousand miles.

Coolant Flushes

Coolant fluid is a viscous liquid that supports the temperature levels in a car or truck engine. Flushing the coolant, also called antifreeze, promotes maximum performance in vehicle’s heating and cooling systems. A vehicle’s manual will retain information about when to change out the anti-freeze and how often to flush the coolant.

Bulbs, Hoses, and Belts

Headlights, tail lights, indoor lights, rear lights, check engine lights, and more all need bulb changes every so often. On top of bulb replacements, hoses and belts require a small degree of regular maintenance as well. For example, belts can become squeaky overtime, and hoses can start to leak. These areas and more require minimal routine maintenance for optimal performance and sustainability.

Indianapolis Car and Truck Repair

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Is Your Transmission Trying to Telling You Something?

If you think you hear your transmission making noise, don’t waste any more time and drive directly to an auto repair shop. Never ignore an issue with a transmission. This is because a simple little problem can turn into a large costly one if neglected. Have a small issue fixed before an entire transmission replacement is needed. The type of issue and repair can often times be determined by the type of noise your transmission is making.

Continue reading to learn the common problematic noises and sounds a transmission makes when it needs service or repair.

Indianapolis Transmission Repair 317-475-1846

Indianapolis Transmission Repair 317-475-1846

Noisy Transmission

One of the most common causes of noisy transmissions is defective or corroded gears. The inner workings of a transmission can sometimes experience mounting issues, corrosion issues, and loose or faulty parts. All of these potential issues can happen one at a time, or in combination with each other.

In this case, the noises coming from the transmission would be a result of defective or loose pieces and parts moving around, and the friction they create while doing so. This is certainly a repair that needs immediate attention before an accident occurs or the transmission is destroyed completely. Keep in mind that replacing a transmission can cost anywhere from $800 to well over a thousand dollars, depending on the make and model, and whether it’s new or used.

Loose Transmission

Another common culprit behind strange and unusual transmission noises has to do with the way it’s connected to the vehicle. When a transmission is installed, it needs to be positively secured to the vehicle for safe and optimal performance. Over time, natural wear and tear or careless driving can cause the transmission connections to come loose, creating odd rattling noises. This also should be addressed as soon as possible.

If a transmission comes entirely loose from a vehicle while on the road, it can cause a fatal accident to other car and drivers. It will also require professional Indianapolis transmission repair and replacement, and ample time to have your vehicle put back together again.

One of the seven essential automotive fluids is transmission fluid. Without it, your transmission cannot operate smoothly. There needs to be ample lubrication for all the moving parts and gears within a transmission system. Without lubrication, intense friction and heat causes the parts to burn out and defect. This also causes loud screeching noises.

A simple and speedy transmission fluid re-fill is all your vehicle needs, every three to six months. Be sure to also check the filter to ensure its preventing debris from entering the transmission fluid. If the filter gets clogged up, it can cause weird noises too.

Indianapolis Transmission Repair You Can Trust!

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Call Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for specialized transmission repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are ASE licensed and certified car mechanics who provide a wide range of foreign and domestic auto repair services, as well as, free estimates, coupons, car care advice, and more. Request a free estimate, today.

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The Secret to Better Gas Mileage

When it comes to driving, everyone wants to know how to save money these days; especially with the substantial rise in fuel prices each year. One way to combat these intimidating gasoline prices is to implement strategies that will improve your gas mileage and fuel consumption. So how can you save on gas and reduce your fuel consumption, you ask? Well the answers are simpler than you think!

Continue reading to learn how to save money on driving and gasoline this year.

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Auto Repair Service 317-475-1846

How to Really Reduce Fuel Consumption

One of the primary methods to saving money on rising fuel costs, is to reduce the need for so much fuel to begin with. Controlling your fuel consumption is the first step in saving money on driving. There are several ways to do this. For one, you can organize a carpool for work or school. Not only does this limit the amount of times you drive your vehicle, which saves you money, it is better for the environment and very green of you to do.

Another method is to eliminate excess weight within your vehicle. Excess weight causes a car engine to work harder, thus burning more fuel. By reducing the weight, you are reducing the amount of fuel your engine uses to operate your car. Do this by emptying the truck and backseat of unnecessary items, and limit the number of times you drive with a full car of people.

Another great way to reduce fuel consumption is to not drive at all! Ask yourself if something is within walking distance and take a stroll if it’s close enough. In nicer weather, this is easily doable. Walk to the park or corner store instead of driving. Walk to school or work if it’s nearby.

Another trick is to avoid driving during rush hour or busy times of the day. Idling and sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic can waste a lot of gasoline. Choose early morning, late afternoon, and evening commutes to avoid this situation.

Routine Car Maintenance is the Key

All of these are effective and easy ways to cut back on fuel usage; but the most important step to ensuring you are getting the moist for your fuel, is regular scheduled car maintenance. Factory maintenance like oil changes, filter replacement, fluid re-fills, tune-ups, and tire rotations are vital to getting optimal gas mileage. Be sure to use a licensed and reputable Indianapolis automotive repair shop for optimal results and professional advice.

Where To Get Trusted Auto Repair Near You!

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Basic Instructions for Dealing With an Over Heating Car Engine

At some point, all vehicles will require a repair or two. There is no stopping the inevitable wear and tear that all vehicles face in a lifetime. The important lesson to know is how to handle an unexpected breakdown or repair. Safety, communication, procedure, and more are all vital aspects to dealing with an overheated car or broken down vehicle. There is no need to worry too much about an overheated engine. There are several remedies for this. Continue reading to learn what to do if your car is overheating, as well as, who to call for reliable and fast assistance.

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

When Your Engine Begins to Overheat

You never want to continue driving a vehicle that has an overheating engine. This is for several reasons. Not only is it dangerous for a person’s health and safety, it also jeopardizes the degree of damage to the engine. As soon as you are aware that your car or truck is over-heating, pull to the side of the road and come to a complete stop, immediately. If you are on the interstate, try not to panic from all the traffic. Simply flip on your hazard lights and slowing make the progression to the far right lanes and eventually to the shoulder of the road.

Always Let the Engine Cool Completely

One mistake people often make is lifting their hoods and checking their radiator fluid levels. Attempting this task can result in painful burns from high pressured hot water and steam. It is important to allow the vehicle to cool completely before inspecting any fluid levels and removing any caps.

While you are waiting for the vehicle to cool off, you have a few options. At this point, you can either decide to call for help, whether that means a friend, family member, or professional service; or you can allow the car to cool and remedy the issue yourself if you happen to have the proper supplies to fix an overheating engine. For easy fixes, these supplies consist of radiator fluid, anti-freeze, coolant, and water. If you choose to repair the engine on your own, start by checking the coolant levels. Running out of coolant is one of the most common catalysts behind overheating engines.

Professional Auto Repair Service

If coolant is not the issue, then it is most likely a more extensive repair. This type of situation calls for a professional automotive mechanic. If adding more coolant to your vehicle doesn’t solve the overheating issue, then it is strongly advised to call a local Indianapolis auto repair shop. These shops typically offer services that will tow your vehicle to their lot so they can take a look at the engine. They retain proper equipment and tools to diagnose an engine problem further than coolant issues.

Your Indianapolis Automotive Service Professionals

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When Do I Need a Car Suspension Inspection?

A car’s suspension is one of the most important, basic components of any vehicle. Without it, you could not perform many of the everyday functions a car ordinarily provides. Problems with a vehicle’s suspension should be caught early on to stop small issues from becoming larger, costlier, and more dangerous. So at which times would a driver need to have their suspension checked? And how often do vehicles require regular suspension maintenance?

Continue reading to find out!

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Indianapolis Car Suspension Repair 317-475-1846

Poor Tire Performance and Knocking Noises

When tires begin to show wear and tear, or you notice a knocking noise coming from your vehicle’s undercarriage, it may be a sign that your vehicle needs alignment work. This is a prime example of when to have your suspension inspected. Of course, this is typically included in a standard alignment job; which includes proper suspension configuration, component adjustments, tire balancing and rotating, and more.

Frequent Commuting

For people who drive often, or commute long distances on a daily basis, they will need realignment services on a more frequent basis. You can test your realignment needs with a simple drive test; just drive slowly with intent to come to a stop, and as you slow down to a crawl speed, take your hands off the wheel and check if the car begins to veer one way or another. If the wheel veers to the right or left, the vehicle needs realignment and suspension services.

Difficulty Steering or Taking Turns

You may also need suspension work if your wheel is hard to turn in a certain direction when navigating. Knocking sounds can be caused from loose bolts in the undercarriage, which would need to be removed by a licensed Indianapolis automotive repair shop or mechanic. Additional signs indicate needed suspension work or car repair, such as excessive bouncing, swaying, vibrating steering wheel, and reduced braking ability.

Car Wrecks

Another example of when a car suspension should be serviced or inspected is after a collision or accident. Many people only see the exterior physical damages caused to their vehicles after a fender bender or minor car accident; but there could be more problems beneath the surface. You see, when a car collides with another, the vehicle’s alignment absorbs the impact. This can affect the struts, shocks, tires, and more. Metal within the undercarriage can bend from the momentum of the impact, causing the framework to weaken and problems with the suspension. It is important to have a vehicle inspected by a licensed Indianapolis auto mechanic to ensure accurate industry diagnostics and repair.

Indianapolis Automotive Service

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The Types of Brakes in Cars and Trucks

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Automotive Brake Repair 317-475-1846

Brakes are the most important component on a vehicle and knowing all about them can prevent accidents and help you get them repaired at a reasonable cost. Knowing the different parts to a car’s braking system certainly gives you an advantage at an auto repair shop. It also can help you understand the importance of maintaining and caring for your brakes while driving. Here are some different terms regarding brakes in trucks and other vehicle that can help you learn more about braking systems and how they work.

Brake Shoes

Brake shoes and brake pads are generally the same thing. They are sheet metal linings that support and facilitate friction and manage heat caused by the friction to stop a car.

Drum Brakes

A drum brake is a rotating brake part shaped like a drum that is attached to the wheel of the vehicle. When pressure is applied to the brake pedal, the master cylinder pushes brake shoes against the inner surface of the brake drum, creating friction that stops or slows the vehicle.

Clasp Brake

This type of brake creates friction by pushing the pads and shoes against the outer surface of the brake drum. This creates the friction needed to stop or slow a car.

Parking Brakes and Anti-Lock Brakes

A car or trucks’ parking brake uses cables from the rear brake to prevent a rolling while in its parked position. Anti-lock brakes are a fantastic safety feature that prevents wheel-locking when forced to make sudden stops. This reduces sliding and skidding, and promotes quicker stop times. It is usually a computerized system call ABS. It uses wheel speed sensors to monitor wheel rotation and anticipate when the ABS needs to turn on.

Car Brake Safety

Car brakes are a crucial part to auto safety. If you suspect that your brakes are not working properly or may need some maintenance, be sure to act on that immediately. You may need to have your brake pads or brake rotors replaced, or just a tire rotation. Either way, brake problems are not issues that anyone can afford to ignore. If you are experiencing braking issues, have your car or truck looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

If you plan to change or maintenance your car or truck brakes on your own, be sure to do so only if you have knowledge and formal training repair braking systems. Your car brakes are a very serious repair and a huge responsibility. One small misstep or loose screw in the repair process can be fatal. Again, it is very important to have a licensed mechanic guide you to proper brake repair and maintenance

Indianapolis Brake Repair and Service

Northeast Auto Service

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Common Causes for Parasitic Draw in Automotive Batteries

Parasitic draw sounds like something that would describe an illness or insect, but instead has everything to do with automotive batteries. Continue reading to what parasitic draw is and what causes it to happen in car batteries.

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Car Battery Replacement 317-475-1846

Parasitic Drain

Parasitic draw, also called drain, is the electric current that flows through a vehicle, both while it runs and after the ignition is turned off. You know how you can forget to turn off your headlights, and then your car won’t start the next day? Well, this is just one example of parasitic drain. Modern cars and trucks can easily come equipped with over 50 onboard computers tied together in a single system. This means there are numerous operations using electricity in vehicles, even when the engine is not running.

Once the engine is turned off, most cars computer systems will enter sleep mode, and reduce the amount of parasitic draw to less than 0.05 of an amp. Alarms, stereo systems, clocks, interior lights, engine management computers, GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, charging docks, seat heating modules, and more are just a few operations that can drain a vehicle’s battery while the engine is off. Even bad instrument panels are known to cause parasitic drain. If one or more system fails to “go to sleep”, it can use up enough electricity to discharge a battery overnight.

Sometimes if the battery doesn’t discharge too much, the alternator can restore the energy when the car is driven. This process is called “deep cycling the battery”, in which the battery is deeply discharged and then restored. If a vehicle is experiencing this up and down cycle of battery problems, the issue needs to be fixed in order to make it stop. But can you stop parasitic drain? Or at least slow it down? Sure, as long as you are conservative with your car’s computer system use, and provide proper battery maintenance, you should experience the minimal standard for parasitic drain. But after a while, even the best quality car batteries die and will need to be replaced.

Proper Battery Maintenance

Talk to your local Indianapolis auto repair shop about your vehicle’s factory scheduled maintenance needs, and learn the right way to care for your battery. They can teach you what’s necessary for your vehicle’s battery life, as well as, all other areas of car maintenance. It is important to have your vehicle serviced at all the right intervals in order to increase safety, performance, and longevity.

Indianapolis Auto Service

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Simple Instructions for Engine Cleaning and Detailing

Regular scheduled maintenance and routine care are imperative when it comes to cars or trucks. The engine is one of the most vital components to maintain. Regular engine cleaning for any make or model car and truck will protect it from major damages and costly breakdowns. There are several ways to approach cleaning a car engine; however, it’s strongly recommended to understand and educate oneself on the best practices of engine maintenance. Continue reading to learn the easiest and most effective ways to clean a car engine at home.

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Indianapolis Engine Repair 317-475-1846

Step-By-Step Guide to Engine Cleaning

First, find an area outside that is far from a storm drain or sewer. You do not want the soapy runoff to enter these trenches because it can have harmful effects on the surrounding environment. There will be engine sludge and other waste that you will need to responsibly dispose of; so find a place ahead of time and have a plan to make the process smoother.

If your engine is very heavily soiled, it is helpful to turn it on and let it run for five minutes or so. This will loosen accumulated dirt, grease, and debris. Do not let the engine run too long because it will become too hot to touch by hand. Once this is done, remove the negative battery and the positive battery cables. Be sure it is in this order.

You are almost ready to start cleaning at this point, but you still need to make sure water and soap will not enter parts of the vehicle. Grab some plastic tarp, or bags, and use them to cover the electrical components and other areas that you don’t want to get wet.

Locate a thick bristled brush, such as a stiff paint brush, and begin scraping away the accumulated fragments and dirt on the engine’s surface. This makes the lathering process more effective. To start this step, mix a solution of dish detergent, preferably liquid, and warm water. Dish detergent has grease-fighting elements in it that cut through engine grease well.

Use the thick brush to apply the solution and scrub the engine inside and out. This step requires a little elbow grease, so be prepared to put in some effort. The more you scrub the more thorough the cleaner the engine will turn out.

Use a garden hose to lightly rinse the soap and residue away. Be sure to let the engine dry completely before turning it over. Driving with a wet engine can inflict serious and costly damages. Remove the plastic and store for the next scheduled cleaning.

Indianapolis Auto Mechanics

Factory Scheduled Maintenance Indianapolis IN

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For more information about car engine care and regular scheduled maintenance, call our professional Indianapolis car mechanics for free advice and information. Feel free to discuss anything you can need; from tips to improving your gas mileage to fuel system repair. Here at North East Auto, we care about helping our community in any way possible. We provide free estimates, DIY advice, auto repair coupons, fair rates, and more.

Trust our licensed and trained auto repair technicians to give you accurate and honest advice for car Indianapolis car engine repair, care, and maintenance in Indiana.

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