Articles:

Question of the day: Item Most Stolen from Vehicles?

Question of the day: Item Most Stolen from Vehicles?

What item is most often stolen from vehicles? Is it: (A) Stereo (B) Wheels (C) Air Bag (D) DVD System Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft – approximately 50,000 a year nationally in the United States. New airbags cost about $1,000 for Gilbert but go for $50 to $200 on the black market. Stolen airbags are making their way back into vehicles that have been in an accident in Gilbert. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all. That is definitely a part you don't want to take a chance with, so we recommend following the following guidelines: Use a reputable collision repair center like Spectrum Car C ... read more

Suspension Problems?

Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles/kilometers, holding your tires' foot print on the road. Eventually components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth AZ highways, your vehicle 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, upgraded shock 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 a car inspection at Spectrum Car Care Center, your Gilbert service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this important safety a ... read more

The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change

Some new are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 10,000 miles, or 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, or more. Following these recommendations is very important to avoid engine damage. When Gilbert drivers go too long between oil changes, oil starts to turn to sludge. This causes small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail. What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every vehicle engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions in AZ lead to more rapid sludge formation. Severe driving includes short trips around Gilbert or trips in freezing AZ conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate. Severe conditions are at the ... read more

What is an alternator and why do I need one?

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power window, and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over. When you constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause. In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your Spectrum Car Care Center technician has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your problem. The initial symp ... read more

Tire Tread Depth

When talking about stopping power, we tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn't enough: we have to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power. Let's focus on stopping in wet conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water. To move water out of the way, the tire has channels for water to flow through. Look at a tire and you'll see channels that run around and across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better. The deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ... read more

The Maintenance Mindset

We generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may have not applied it to our vehicles. For example, we water and mow the lawn every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. We go to our Gilbert dentist twice a year, take our clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids for a checkup before school starts. So people in AZ really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to their vehicles. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you'll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, we learn our lesson and start to take better care of things. Unfortunately, Gilbert drivers too often learn the hard automotive lesson when they have to take their vehicle to their Gilbert auto center on a tow truck. So many times, a little routine maintenance would have prevented a breakdown. Here's something that will help: The ke ... read more

SOME LIKE IT COLD!

SOME LIKE IT COLD!

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR!   Time to get ready for the summer! The month of May is around the corner and sooner than later it'll be 100F outside. If your vehicle A/C system is not blowing very cold air you might just need a quick Freon recharge. It's an inexpensive service but it has to be done correctly. Don't get tempted by the DYI stuff that you'll find at the store because the wrong amount (or product) could cause some serious and costly damage to your system. We have the latest and greatest A/C machine that measures and puts the right amount and the right product in the system. As a bonus we also add dye to the product this way if there's a leak we'll see where it's coming from. Of course we're running a $79.99 special - see below.   Also it's also a good idea to check your cabin air filter if the air flow coming out of the vents is weak. It's usually located behind the glove compartment ... read more

Time to talk air conditioning

Let's talk about air conditioning service and repair issues. Most of us in Gilbert don't give our air conditioning a second thought as long as it's making cold air. But it's a complex and expensive system that we should think about before it starts blowing hot air. The refrigerant in the air conditioner contains a special oil that lubricates and cools the A/C parts. When enough refrigerant leaks out, your air conditioner still makes cold air, but the parts don't have enough oil to protect them and they wear out faster than they should. So it's important to service the air conditioner as recommended by your service center. Replacing old refrigerant has another benefit: refrigerant tends to gather moisture and become corrosive. That causes leaks in the system which can be expensive to repair. Fresh refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the system operating at peak efficiency so it doesn't have to wor ... read more

The cost of repairs explained

Full-service automotive service center, profit margins are a lot narrower than many people imagine. Cars are far more complex, thus the tools and diagnostic equipment are also more complicated and . Diagnosing why your Check Engine light is on may require a machine that costs $18k. Ask a senior technician how much he/she has invested in tools, initial education and ongoing training. For example, a carburetor used to be a pretty simple part to maintain and repair. Nowadays, an electronic fuel system repair in Gilbert requires a technician to have a higher level of knowledge and expensive diagnostic equipment to read and interpret the numerous trouble codes. And it doesn't end there. Shops must pay subscription fees for database services to locate and order the right parts. Buying or leasing shop space has risen along with other commercial real estate prices in Gilbert. All the technology that makes today's cars safer, more reliable, more fuel-efficient, more comfortable, more ... read more

A bad situation but it could have been worse...

Spectrum Car Care Center Tech Question: I was driving on the freeway in AZ and my vehicle engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive the short distance to my meeting and then found a shop in Gilbert. It turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: This guy's story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving when your engine's overheating you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your vehicle engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns. Now there's no way for Gilbert drivers to predict when their water pump will fail – they just wear out. This fellow's water pump ... read more

If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call Spectrum Car Care Center (480) 821-1455 For Assistance.