Steering and Suspension

May 20, 2016

The Steering and Suspension of Your Vehicle

                    Part of keeping the vehicle maintained is to bring it in for a regular inspection based on the recommended schedule. If you are unsure how often this should be, make sure to contact us. By maintaining the vehicle regularly, you can help keep the parts and components working efficiently. It is important to remember that if you notice anything out of the norm between visits, you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. This can increase the safety and reliability of the vehicle when you drive.   The power steering is what helps turn the wheels of the vehicle, when you turn the steering wheel. When you move the steering wheel of your vehicle, a micro processing chain of action takes place. This sends information from the steering wheel, to the wheels on the vehicle. This information is the speed, and the direction of the turn. Once this information is sent, a sensor determines how much power assist you will need to complete the turn. All of this happens in a tiny fraction of a second that seems completely instantaneous.   With poor suspension, your drive down the road will feel different. For instance if you were driving down a bumpy road, your car would jostle up and down. It would also not move well to the contours of the road, causing serious steering issues. The suspension helps your vehicle to turn properly and without incident, stay in contact with the road, and absorb or isolate the shocks of poor road conditions. All of these allow you to drive. If the vehicle becomes too hard to steer or turn, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the steering and other parts for you.
June 11, 2015

The History of Power Steering

When you drive your vehicle, you may think of it as second nature. There was a time that the vehicle was not as efficient as it is now. One of these items is the power steering. Without power steering, it would be very difficult to operate the vehicle. That particular operating knowledge resides within the senior population and with antique car enthusiasts and owners. Today’s population is composed of two complete generations, with an upcoming third group, that have only driven cars manufactured with power steering. As long as car owners keep up the required maintenance schedule, to include power steering service, the steering will remain flawless and easy. Those who learned to drive in the up to the early 1950s experienced the stiff hard turning and parking ratio behind a steering column without power steering. Yet there was another major component that contributed to the steering situation, the rear wheel drive. Power steering is controlled with front wheel drive, which makes maneuverability much easier and manageable. When Power Steering Started Commercial power steering came into being with the 1951 Chrysler Imperial and then with the 1952 Cadillac. The first patent to include power steering was U.S. Patent 646477, issued in April 1900. During World War II heavy military mobility equipment highlighted the need for steering maneuverability. That form of power steering greatly assisted the British and American armies. Today’s highly refined system is the result of over 130 years of research, design and improvements. How it Affects Tires and Brakes Besides not having power steering before 1951, car steering was governed by rear wheel drive. The tires had inner tubes and were not as wide as today’s all weather tubeless tires. Vehicles required a second set of tires for colder weather and were appropriately named snow tires. Brakes on the older vehicles were hydraulic. Without modern anti-lock capability brakes that got wet due to standing water on roads often would malfunction and had to be pumped to help restore usability. The Safety Features of Seat Belts and Air Bags Today’s seat belts are designed more like a harness that constrains both the seat and upper body areas of riders. The older vehicles had seat belts that only strapped across the lap. Front seats were often bench style to accommodate three people with three lap belts. There was no buckle-up law and unless something or someone obstructed the rear view window, there was no limit on how many people could ride in the back seat. Air bags are a modern safety feature that undoubtedly has saved many lives every year. The older cars were much heavier, the speeds were lower and minor accidents or fender benders caused less damage to both riders and vehicles. Today’s lighter, faster cars need the added safety features that help preserve life even when involved in minor mishaps. If you notice that there is an issue with the seat belts or air bags, make sure to have it fixed as soon as possible.
May 1, 2015

Tips to Keep the Vehicle in Ideal Condition

The vehicle that you have was chosen because of the many different things that it would provide for you. One of the things that it can provide for you is the kind of driving which will take you to your accustomed summer destinations. This includes making sure that you will not end up on the side of the road as well as making sure that you will be able to get to your destination with as few gas stops as possible. There are a few components that will help you in making sure that you will be able to enjoy the kind of driving that you want to accomplish. Mufflers play a bigger role in summer driving than you can know. The alignment will help to make sure that you are driving safer while you are on the road. It is also important to make sure that the brakes are being inspected so that you will be able to avoid any kinds of accidents. By paying attention to these things, you will enjoy driving during the summer a lot more. The Importance of a Good Muffler One of the components which is often ignored whenever you are going to the mechanic is the condition of your muffler. This is actually a very important part of being able to get maximum efficiency form your vehicle. The reason why it is important to have a good operating muffler is because it will help to make sure that the exhaust is able to exit your vehicle as quickly as possible. The faster it can exit, the easier it is to burn more fuel. Check the Tires and Alignment Driving straight down the road is not only a matter of convenience. It can also help to keep you safe and make sure that you are getting better gas mileage. If the alignment is off, you will have to turn the wheel to compensate for its drag. If you are not paying attention, it can cause you to drive into another vehicle. Of course, if you keep the wheel turned, it means one of the wheels is being dragged along. This will create a huge drag which is not fuel efficient. A simple alignment check will help to eliminate this problem. Bring the vehicle in and we can check the tires and alignment for you. If needed, we can also rotate the tires. This will help to keep them lasting as long as possible. Always make sure to Inspect the Brakes The brakes are one of the most important safety features in a vehicle. They help you to stop at a light as well as avoid collisions and more. It is important to get these inspected before making a long trip this summer. This way, you will be able to leave home with the knowledge that you will most likely be able to get home without incident. If you are getting them checked often, you will only need to replace the pads for your vehicle which is a fairly inexpensive procedure.  
September 25, 2014

The Importance of Having the Tires Aligned

Keeping the tires in the best condition possible for your vehicle is important. The tires are the only part that has contact between your vehicle and the surface of the road. To help keep the tires lasting as long as possible, make sure you have regular maintenance done when it is recommended. Besides inspecting the tires for what condition they are in, also make sure that they are aligned, rotated, and balanced based on the appropriate schedule. Having the tires properly aligned and balanced means the tire will have a longer road life and be safer for you to drive on. Improperly aligned tires can cause undo wear and tear on the tire, the rim, the brakes and even the suspension system on the vehicle. Notice any Wear and Tear on the Tires When the tires on your vehicle are not aligned properly, it means they are off-balance in one direction or another. This can lead to faster wear on the tires when you drive on them. Tires tilted to the inside will wear out on the inside first even though the outside of the tire looks good. One tire can be tilted more than another tire, causing uneven wear. Good alignment is necessary in order to keep the tires all in the same condition. If you are unsure of the alignment with your tires, make sure to bring the vehicle in. We will be able to inspect and notify you if there is an issue with the tires. Noticing an issue at the start can help prevent further damage to the tires or other parts of the vehicle when you drive. Having tires in good condition can also help improve the safety and reliability when you drive. Tire Rotations may be needed Another way to help keep the tires in good shape with even wear is to have them rotated every few thousand miles. Tires from the front can be moved to the back and the back ones can be moved up front. Tires can also be moved side to side so you can have ones that wear on the inside then wear on the outside. Tire rotation is just another way to keep the wear on the tires balanced so they have a longer life. Rotating the tires can also help make sure they are wearing as evenly as possible. if you notice that the tread is wearing unevenly, make sure to schedule an appointment to bring the vehicle in. Having the Tires Replaced When tires start to show signs of losing their tread or even becoming bald, have them replaced sooner rather than later. Tires that are low on tread will have less grip on the road. Vehicles with less grip are then are prone to accidents. Many accidents are caused from a combination of items such as wet road conditions, speed of the vehicle, and the conditions of the tires. Having the tires inspected is the best way to increase the safety of the vehicle when you travel.