March 25, 2016

Ways to Improve Fuel Efficiency

                  There are several things you should inspect on your vehicle. By doing so, you can help improve the fuel efficiency as you drive. If you are not sure how often to bring your vehicle in, make sure to contact us and we can advise you how often the vehicle should be brought in. By changing a few driving habits, you can be changing the gas mileage you get.   You can help improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by simply changing a few driving habits. The most effective change is to accelerate slowly and to brake over a longer distance. Speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration all lead to wasting gas. You should also use cruise control when acceptable. This helps keep driving speeds at a steady and constant moderate pace. If you try to anticipate stoplights and signs, you will get better gas mileage. It is also important to slow down when driving. Gas mileage decreases once you go above 60 miles per hour.   By keeping your vehicle maintained properly, you can also help with fuel efficiency of it. Having it in for a regularly scheduled maintenance check up will help ensure your vehicle is running the best it can. Be sure to check the tire pressure of your vehicle and by keeping your tires properly inflated it can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Also checking the alignment of your wheels is important as well. Uneven tire wear can lower gas mileage and the tires will wear out more quickly.   Also lighten your load when you travel and carry with you only the necessities. For every extra 250 pounds that you haul, the car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel. Also reducing anything that causes drag with your vehicle, such as luggage racks and bike racks will help you get better mileage. When you are done filling your vehicle, make sure your gas cap is on tight. Improperly sealed gas caps will let fuel vaporize and lower your fuel efficiency. If you ever notice the fuel efficiency is poor, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you.  
March 18, 2016

What is the Alternator

                  The alternator is a part of the engine that produced electricity. It is a generator which is powered by the engine. Whenever the crankshaft is rolling, there is a belt which is attached to the alternator. This will generate the electricity that other parts of the car will use. It is an integral part of making sure that the engine and the rest of the vehicle will have the power that it will need in order to operate correctly. The lines running in and out of the alternator lead to the battery and to the rest of the vehicle.   The alternator also assists in operating the air conditioning, radio, headlights, and GPS without any loss of power in the engine. The alternator is an integral part of the hybrid vehicles because it helps in making sure that the vehicle will be able to generate enough electricity so that it will be able to operate while the engine is not running. You will notice an increase in power whenever the alternator is working properly.   If there is an issue with the vehicle starting or if it shuts off right away, it could be a sign that the alternator is failing or has failed. Often, you will notice that the lights in your car are dimming while you are driving at night whenever you have a faulty alternator. This is something which needs to be addressed immediately. If it is not, it will completely drain your battery and cause you to have to replace that as well. You can bring the vehicle in and we can test the battery and check the alternator for you.    
March 11, 2016

Signs of Poor Brakes

            Keeping your vehicle in the best condition possible is important. One part that you should not overlook is the brake system. The brakes are one of the most crucial parts to the vehicle. Paying attention to the warning signs that may indicate a need for service could help prevent an issue or accident from occurring. In the vehicle, a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid will trigger a set of padded clamps that are the calipers. This will then cause them to squeeze together on a disc that is the brake rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and the rotor will eventually stop the vehicle.   When you apply the brake pedal, you may notice a squealing, squeaking, or grinding noise. These noises can indicate that you may need to have the brake pads replaced. Hearing a grinding noise could indicate that the brake pads have already worn through completely. The noise is caused by the metal of the calipers grinding against the metal of the rotors as you apply the brakes. With worn brake pads, you have the possibility to damage the brake rotors, and it results in a more costly repair bill.   As you apply the brakes, you may notice that your vehicle pulls in one direction or the other. The may be caused from a caliper that is sticking. The caliper could stick because it causes friction with one of the wheels and not the others. Then your vehicle would pull to the side where the caliper is stuck. While pulling does not always indicate an issue with the brakes, it is a good idea to bring the vehicle in. It could be caused from tires that are poorly aligned or worn out.   You can also be aware of brake problems if the pedal vibrates when you apply it. This will usually indicate that the brake rotors are warped. The uneven surface will brush against the brake pads, resulting in the vibration feeling through the brake pedal. Brake rotors will usually warp when they are under extreme stress for an extended period of time. If the brake pedal almost goes to the floor before the vehicle stops, it could indicate worn brake pads or an issue with the hydraulic system. There may be air in the brake link or a brake fluid leak. If the brake pedal grabs immediately with the slightest touch, there could also be an issue with the brake system. The rotors may have worn unevenly or the brake fluid has become contaminated. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you. This will help you to have a safe and reliable ride.
March 4, 2016

Signs the Battery is Going Dead

              Keeping your vehicle in efficient condition is important. One of the most important parts of your vehicle is the battery. Without the battery, your vehicle will not even start. Having a regular maintenance check can be beneficial to determine when the battery may need to be replaced. There are some signs you might notice if your battery is starting to lose power. If these happen, bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Sometimes your battery will just need to be charged. Other times the battery may need to be replaced, because with time and age, the battery has worn out. One of the most obvious signs is if the battery light illuminates on the dashboard. Most vehicles have a light on the dashboard that will turn on as the battery is becoming faulty or going bad. The battery warning light does not always indicate a battery that is dying. It does however appear when there is a problem with the battery.   You can also notice if there is an issue based on the electrical system of your vehicle. This includes the headlights, radio, fuel injection system, and the heating or air conditioning system. When the battery starts to go dead, all of these things will lessen in function when the vehicle is running. The more electrical items that are running the harder it will be to start your vehicle. It will also be hard to keep your vehicle running, as it may start to stall out. If you notice the headlights starting to become weaker, chances are the battery may be starting to drain. If your vehicle does not start, or even has trouble starting, this may be related to the battery starting to go bad. When you turn the ignition to start the vehicle, you may hear a noise that sound like clicking or ticking. This can be a strong indication that the battery has been drained. By bringing in your vehicle, we can inspect it over.   Anytime you notice an issue with the battery, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to have a safe and reliable vehicle when you need to drive. If you are not sure how often to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance, we can also recommend the correct schedule for you.