Articles:

Cooling System Service. Keeping your engine cool.

Cooling System Service. Keeping your engine cool.

Gilbert drivers often ask questions about the cooling system, the system that cools your vehicle engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. Let’s examine the topic in two areas: first, the coolant itself and second, the parts that make up the cooling system. The coolant is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat. First, you need to have the proper amount. If you don’t have enough coolant, it can’t keep your vehicle engine cool. You also need the right kind of coolant. Different makes of vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion. Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh. Over time and miles of driving, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted, and the coolant can actually start to eat away at the vehicle's cooling system parts. Your owner’s manual and your Spectrum Car Care Center service advisor can help yo ... read more

Fuel Saving Tip: Cleaning your fuel system will save you money!

Fuel Saving Tip: Cleaning your fuel system will save you money!

A lot of gas is wasted in dirty fuel delivery systems.  Let’s start at the tank.  The gas tank gathers of dirt, rust and sediment over the years.  That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank.  A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently. The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time.  This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine.  A fuel system service will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.   The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors.  They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a specific spray pattern.  When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently. See your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor for when fuel system cleaning is recommended

Power Steering 101

Power Steering 101

Steering is one of the things we take for granted in our vehicles. Let’s break it down into two areas: first, the power assist and second, the actual parts that steer the vehicle. Most people under 40 have never driven a car or truck without power steering. Most vehicles today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer. The pump is usually driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles have an electric pump. Some vehicles even have an electric motor that directly powers the steering. The important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will start to leak. You can postpone that day by having a power steering service from time to time. We will drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. This removes water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts. Ask your service advisor for the recommended change interval. What about the mechanical steering parts? Is there anythin ... read more

Things That Damage Your Suspension: Hitting a pothole, a curb, a rock in the road...

Things That Damage Your Suspension: Hitting a pothole, a curb, a rock in the road...

Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and over long distances, holding your tires’ footprint on the road.  Eventually, components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in AZ. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Gilbert, AZ, highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Gilbert roads or hauling heavy loads.  In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like hitting a pothole, a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.  During an inspection, your Spectrum Car Care Center service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this important safety and handling work.  When you replace your ... read more

A/C Not Blowing Hard? Check the Cabin Air Filter

A/C Not Blowing Hard? Check the Cabin Air Filter

Question: My car has a bad odor when I run the heater or air conditioner. My friend said I might need a new cabin air filter – what's that? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer:cabin air filter is a special filter that cleans the air that comes into the Gilbert drivers' passenger compartments – or cabin – of their vehicles. Most new vehicles sold in AZ now have a cabin air filter. A cabin air filter catches dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants before they can get into your cabin. It's kind of like the filter on your furnace in your Gilbert home, cleaning the air you breathe inside your vehicle. As Gilbert drivers can imagine, it eventually gets filled up and can even start to get smelly. So – you just have it replaced. Now some are really easy to access and others are tougher to get to. Your friendly and knowledgeable Spec ... read more

Clean Working Headlights Could Save your Life

Clean Working Headlights Could Save your Life

You may be surprised to learn that 40% of traffic fatalities take place at night even though there’s 60% less traffic.  It goes to show how important proper visibility is to nighttime driving. Obviously, a clean windshield is important – so are good wiper blades.  Your headlights play a big role as well.  There are two main concerns.  One is with the headlamp, or bulb.  The other is with the lens.  The fact of the matter is that headlamps go dim over time.  You just need to replace them.  Some vehicles come with a standard bulb which you can replace, or you can upgrade to a halogen bulb that’s much brighter.  Halogen costs a little more, but you’d be amazed at the difference. It’s a good idea to replace your headlamps once a year.  The idea is that your lamps never dim to the point that they become a safety issue.  Just take care of it at a fall oil change so that your lights will be bright for the ... read more

Avoiding blind spots

Avoiding blind spots

When we drive on our Gilbert AZ streets, we encounter blind spots. We can greatly reduce our blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments to your vehicle before you start to drive. First, adjust your rear view mirror to give the best possible view directly to the rear of your vehicle or other vehicle type. You don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or your dazzling smile. The rear view mirror should look to the rear. Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car. With your vehicle mirrors adjusted this way, you'll have maximum coverage. Of course drivin ... read more

Used Vehicle Inspection

Used Vehicle Inspection

It’s always exciting to get a new car – even when it’s used. But it can feel like you’re going out on a limb a bit when you buy a used vehicle. I mean, people sell vehicles for a lot of reasons. Maybe they just wanted a new car, maybe there was something wrong with it, and maybe there was something really wrong with it. It’s a great idea to order a report from a vehicle history service. This can uncover title problems and may reveal serious accidents or flood damage as well as any recall notices for the vehicle. Maintenance and repair records are a plus, but most sellers don’t have them. Of course the best thing is to get a professional to perform a used vehicle inspection. The inspection will go much deeper than just how good the vehicle looks and drives. You’ll get a feel for the vehicle’s overall condition, the status of major safety systems and an indication of how well it has been maintained. You’ll get a goo ... read more

What are ball joints?

What are ball joints?

Most drivers in Gilbert, AZ know ball joints are an important part of the suspension system. Visualize a ball attached to a spindle with the ball enclosed in a cup. This allows the joint to move in several directions, kind of like how your hip works. Most vehicles have two or four ball joints on the front, depending on the type of suspension system. The joint allows the wheels to move up and down as the tires go over bumps, as well as allowing the wheels to turn as you steer. The ball joints are continuously working and are subject to normal wear. Most ball joints on modern vehicles are maintenance free, meaning they are sealed and cannot be lubricated. Once the lubricant breaks down or leaks out due to a broken seal, the ball joint will wear more quickly. You may hear a clicking or popping sound from a corner of the vehicle when turning and/or going over bumps as a ball joint is failing. Your steering may begin to feel sloppy or stiff, depending on how the joint is wearing. You may ... read more

Do I Need a New Battery?

Do I Need a New Battery?

Today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before.  This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sunroofs.  And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos.  Plus, there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off.  And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements.  But the fact is; batteries just wear out over time.  Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes bat ... read more

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