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A Clean Connection (Battery Cleaning)

A clean connection is a wonderful thing.  Think of a good cell phone signal or an airline connection with ample time and short distance to the next gate. Good connections are also important for your vehicle’s battery, and one secret to that is to make sure it’s periodically cleaned. If it’s been a while since you have had any service to your battery, bring it in so we can inspect it for any corrosion that might have formed.  Corrosion on the battery terminals will affect the connection between the battery and your vehicle’s electrical system. The amount of corrosion you can expect can be influenced by such things as the kind of climate you live in (dry or humid, warm or cold), if there’s lots of salt on the roads and how old your battery is.   We have tools and chemicals to safely remove the corrosion for an optimal electrical connection. In order to reduce the amount of corrosion re-forming on the battery, we’ll apply a special protec ... read more

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Battery

Flat Tire? Three?s the Charm (Tire Repair)

For most drivers, at some point you’re going to have a flat tire. Depending on how it was damaged, it may have to be replaced.  But sometimes, a repair will do the trick, as long as the puncture isn’t on the sidewall and the hole is smaller than ¼ inch/6.35mm in diameter. Here are the three common ways your tire can be fixed. One way is to put a plug in the hole.  Since most tires are damaged by running over sharp objects such as screws and nails, the small hole from which the air is escaping is on the part of the tire that touches the road. If it’s in the sidewall, it most likely can’t be fixed.   In the plug method, a technician inserets a rubber plug.  It is covered with some sticky, gluey stuff, and is pushed into the hole from the outside. That plugs the hole and stays in place, thanks to the glue. Friction from driving heats it up and seals the deal.   Another method is to patch the hole.  For this, your tire has to fir ... read more

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Tires

The ?Man-Made? Engine Oil (Synthetic Oil Change)

If you own a newer vehicle, your vehicle’s manufacturer may require that it use synthetic oil instead of conventional oil.  Synthetic oils are more stable, don’t break down as easily, and provide better engine protection than conventional oil. All those things can prolong the life of your engine and help it run better. Imagine the damage that could happen to your engine as it operates at high speeds and very hot temperatures.  Oil reduces the friction between the metal parts.  That’s why it’s important that it maintains its lubricating properties for a long time, which synthetic oil does better than conventional oil.   Clean oil is better than dirty oil because it has fewer impurities.  Synthetic oil is purer because of how it’s formulated and manufactured.  Plus, as the outside temperatures change, the ability of oil to operate in those conditions is important.  
For example, the colder it gets, it’s important f
... read more

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Oil Change

Do I Need Brake Service? (Brake Service)

Think of how many times you put your foot on your vehicle’s brake pedal every day.  And think of how much you rely on your brakes to slow down and stop your momentum.  When it comes to safety systems, your brakes are at the top of the list, and that’s why it’s so important to keep them in top condition. Brakes are something you make sure you keep maintained before they start showing signs of problems. Some of those signs are a grinding sound when you step on the brake pedal, your vehicle pulling to one side when you brake, you don’t feel your brakes stopping you as quickly as they used to, or you notice the brake light is illuminated on your instrument panel.  We ask a lot of our brakes.  They have to work no matter how hot or cold it is outside.  That means whether it’s sunny, snowing, raining, or icy; you’re traveling at highway speeds or school-zone speeds; or when suddenly you find yourself trying to avoid hitting another ... read more

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Brake Service

Strutting Your Stuff (Shocks and Struts)

Ever wonder how your vehicle is able to move over bumps, potholes and other irregularities in the road and you hardly feel a vibration in the cabin? It’s your shocks and struts doing the hard work along with the rest of your suspension and tires.  They keep the ride smooth and are important for your vehicle’s safe operation.  So, how do you know when your shocks and struts are wearing out? One way is to look at the surface of your tire (where the rubber meets the road—where the tread is).  You might see some little indentations in certain spots, known as tire cupping.  If your vehicle takes longer to stop than it used to, takes a dive when you hit the brake pedal or bottoms out (scrapes) on a big bump in the road, that’s another sign, as are loud, odd noises. You may also notice your vehicle sways more than it used to. Every once in a while, look around at your shocks to see what shape things are in.  If you see the rubber cover cracked ... read more

Full Stop (Brake Master Cylinder Replacement)

When you step on your brake pedal, you want to feel confident that your vehicle’s going to stop.  If your brakes aren’t working right, it’s a risk to your safety and the safety of others on the road.  After all, you’re driving a machine that weighs thousands of pounds, and you have to be able to stop that big machine quickly and with control, especially with some of the speeds you travel on the highways.  The heart of your vehicle’s brake system is the master cylinder.  When you apply the brakes, the master cylinder has pistons, springs, and brake fluid.  That fluid amplifies and distributes the force of your foot through brake lines to calipers at all your wheels.  Those calipers squeeze down on rotors or discs, which is what slows down and stops your vehicle. For safety, a master cylinder has two cylinders, one for two wheels, and the other for the remaining two wheels.  That way, if there is a failure in one, you&rsqu ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Steering You Right (Power Steering Fluid Service)

It’s important for safe driving that two of the most important systems in your vehicle work right.  One is the brakes.  The other is the steering.  Nearly all vehicles on the road have some sort of power steering that allows you to direct a very heavy machine with little effort.  There are two types, hydraulic and electric.  Many newer vehicles have electric power steering that uses an electric motor to make your steering easier.  But there are many vehicles on the road that use a system that has been around for years.  It uses a power steering pump, a cylinder, several valves, and hydraulic fluid to make it easy for you to turn the wheel.  If you have hydraulic power steering in your vehicle, it’s important to change your power steering fluid every once in a while.  Over time, the fluid gets contaminated with dirt and other particles.  You might notice your steering is loose, maybe harder to turn and makes a low, strainin ... read more

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Steering

How Cool is That! (Coolant level sensor replacement)

Your vehicle’s engine runs hot.  It should, since it’s a series of little explosions that create the power that gets you going where you want to go.  To keep the engine cool, engineers have designed wonderful cooling systems that use liquid coolant, hoses, and a radiator to transfer the heat from the engine to the outside air.  In order for the system to work right, it has to have the right amount of that liquid coolant in it.  So that you know when the coolant has dipped below the correct amount, there is a sensor that keeps an eye on it.  When the coolant gets low, that sensor lights up a signal on the dash to alert you.  It may literally say “Check Coolant” or it may have a picture that looks like an old-style bulb thermometer sitting in liquid.  Your owner’s manual will usually tell you exactly what the one in your vehicle looks like. If that sensor system isn’t working right, you could wind up driving for a lo ... read more

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Cooling System

Let?s Shift Gears (Transmission Fluid Replacement)

If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you probably never think about gear shifting.  When motor vehicles were invented, all of them had to be shifted manually.  But that wonderful self-shifting transmission, referred to these days as simply an “automatic,” changed everything. Automatic transmissions have a lot of moving parts, and they are bathed in a fluid that keeps them lubricated and cool. That fluid also is vital to the whole gear shifting process.  As you might imagine, the longer that fluid does its job, the more chance it has to pick up some contaminants.  Sometimes a leak will spring up in an automatic transmission.  Dirty transmission fluid or not enough of it will both create problems. It may cause your Check Engine light to come on, or your transmission may run rough and make strange noises. The best strategy is not to let it get to this point.  That means you should have your transmission fluid replaced at regular i ... read more

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Transmission

Losing Your Cool (Why is My Air Conditioning System Not Working?)

When you turn on the air conditioning in your vehicle, you expect cool air to come out of the vents.  You depend on it, especially in hot weather, but it can also be important in humid weather when you need it to help defrost your windows and windshield. The air conditioning system has a lot of parts to it.  It has fans and blowers to move the air through the vents into the cabin.  It has parts that take hot air and cool it off. An electrical problem can be as simple as a broken switch or a broken blower motor. The air may not be getting cool because a hose in the system is broken or the refrigerant has leaked out.  Two major components are the compressor and the condenser.  The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, one step in the air conditioning process.  The condenser takes that hot refrigerant and cools it down. It also reduces the pressure. Because the climate control system in your vehicle is so complex, it’s best to leave the diagnosis to a ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning
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