October 25, 2016

Reasons to Inspect the Belts and Hoses

  When you inspect your vehicle, it is important to check the belts and hoses as well to make sure they are in good working order. The belts help the engine to run smoothly so the power can be dispersed throughout the vehicle. They also help to have your vehicle operate efficiently and effectively. Sometimes you may be able to see an issue with the belts, but it is always best to bring in your vehicle so we can look at everything. The hoses should also be inspected in your vehicle, as there are several of them. These hoses transport fluid to different areas of your vehicle in order to power it.   A hose that leaks can result in your engine overheating or other issues if you choose to ignore it. Hoses work together with the belts to keep the vehicle running efficiently and maintaining proper operating temperature. Make sure the hoses are securely connected to prevent any leaks or other serious issues. The belts are also important to your vehicle, as the timing belt allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. If this belt breaks, the engine will stop working completely. This also can cause major damage to your vehicle’s engine.   If you hear a squealing or other noise coming from under the hood, it may be a loose or damaged belt. If a belt slips or breaks, waiting to have it fixed could possibly cause damage to your vehicle. A damaged belt can cause your power steering to stop working. If the belt comes off at any time, it can cause your engine to lock up, which can be a major issue and expense. While belts break down with heat, mileage, and age, it is a good idea to have regularly scheduled maintenance done to make sure all the belts are in good working order.   Anytime you notice odd noises or your vehicle is handling strange, bring it in immediately so we can inspect it for any issues that might be going on. With age, the hoses can become hard and brittle due to exposure to the heat. Hoses can also split, blister, or crack. If you notice this, the hoses need to be replaced as soon as possible. By bringing in your vehicle, we look and feel for any areas of the hoses that are mushy, swollen, or folded. Proper maintenance of the hoses can protect your vehicle’s reliability and prevent even more costly repairs down the road.
October 14, 2016

Checking the Fluid Levels on your Vehicle

  Keeping your vehicle properly maintained is important. Vehicle fluids include brake fluid, engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, transmission fluid, and battery fluid. Fluid level information and the location of each fluid reservoir can be found in the owner’s manual for your particular vehicle.   Engine oil should be checked each time the vehicle is refueled. Most engines, but not all, have a dipstick to indicate the oil level. Typically the handle is yellow. You can check the oil yourself, or bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the oil and other fluid levels for you. If you check the oil yourself, make sure to turn off the engine, and then remove the dipstick. You will want to wipe off the end of the dipstick with a paper towel and place it back in. When you take out the dipstick, look at the level at the tip. The stick will have marks on it. The “add” mark typically indicates one quart low. If an engine is leaking oil then the price of repairs can vary depending on which repair is needed and the make and model of the vehicle.   Most other fluids will either have a dipstick, similar to engine oil, or a transparent reservoir. If the fluid is in a transparent reservoir, then there will be marks on the reservoir that indicate the acceptable level of that particular fluid. The major exception is the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid may or may not have a dipstick and it will not be in a transparent reservoir.   The following items are important to remember when checking the other fluids in your vehicle. Low brake fluid indicates a problem that should be checked as soon as possible. Never open the cooling system/radiator cap if the engine is hot. A low coolant level indicates a possible leak, which needs to be checked soon. Adding more coolant will not resolve an overheating problem with the engine. Low power steering fluid is an indication of a leak that should be investigated.   The most common interval for changing oil on modern vehicles is every 5,000 miles. Refer to the owner’s manual for your specific vehicle and for fluids other than the oil. The owner’s manual will have a maintenance chart that every vehicle owner can use to be sure the correct maintenance is performed at the right time. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the vehicle for you.  
October 5, 2016

Knowing When to Replace the Windshield Wipers

  When driving, one of the most important things is the visibility you have. This is to help you avoid an accident or hitting something. While it might be easy to opt for the lost cost windshield wipers and parts, this could end up costing you more in the future. Cheaper parts would have to be replaced more frequently. You would also run the risk that they wear out and do not provide you with the best visibility when they operate. Make sure to notice the signs that the windshield wipers could be going out. This can help you to have the cleanest window possible when you drive. If you are unsure about the condition of the wipers, or a good replacement for them, make sure to contact us. We can recommend what type of windshield wipers that would be beneficial for your vehicle.   The blades of a windshield wiper are important components that hold the wiper in place. Though drivers tend to pay very little attention to the blades in the windshield wipers, research shows that the more efficient the wipers are, the safer you are in the automobile. This is because of a clear and unobstructed field of vision. There are different factors that affect the performance and the shelf life of the blades. A few of them include the slope of the wiper, which makes blades more exposed to air and incoming moisture. Also the squeegee effect that is caused due to the spring tension in the blade arms, which can be prevented by using optimum windshield wiper fluid. The material of the blade and the claws that hold the blade and transmit pressure are important to inspect as well.   No matter where you live, it is important to replace your windshield wiper from time to time. It is recommended to change the windshield wipers at least once every six months. Typically, people will change them at the start of fall and at the beginning of spring. While you replace your windshield wipers, do not forget to buy the latest technology wipers that have wonderful performance and are branded. Bring the vehicle in, and we can recommend the right kind of windshield wiper.   When you are looking to shop for your windshield wiper replacements, you must also keep in mind about performing a diligent check on the other system components. Recommended checks in your vehicle include the levels of the windshield wiper fluid, windshield water pump and hoses, rear wiper equipments, front side and headlight wiper replacements, wiper motor efficiency, and others. If you notice anything out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to have a pleasant driving experience.