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No Child Left Behind- Innovation in Child Seat

The Evenflo Sensorsafe Car Seat is something great for parents who are afraid to leave their little ones in their car. We all know how critical it is to leave anyone in a non-running car even for a few minutes here in AZ so this is a very good product. This is from Consumer Reports: Here's how it works: The SensorSafe chest clip works in conjunction with a receiver connected to your car’s onboard diagnostics port.  Evenflo claims that when a child is secured in the seat, the SensorSafe technology will alert the driver with gentle chimes in one of two scenarios: Upon turning off the ignition at the end of a trip, or If the chest clip is unclipped during a trip To ensure this technology w ... read more

Car Maintenance Checklist Infographic

Car Maintenance Checklist Infographic

Here's something very interesting that I found a few weeks back on the Car Care Council web site (btw tons of great info there regarding maintenance and repairs if you're interested in that kind of stuff). It's a simple do it yourself car maintenance checklist for your car. This infographic helps you understand what items should be inspected, either by you or your mechanic. It's all about avoiding breakdowns and saving money by determining if there is a maintenance need before it becomes a bigger problem. When you come for an oil change we always make sure that these items are checked but because of longer period between oil changes you have to be aware of this and make sure that you're taking the time to go through that list yourself. It doesn't take very long and it's pretty st ... read more

Roadside Emergency Kit for the College Bound

Roadside Emergency Kit for the College Bound

It's back to school time and college students across Arizona (and other part of the country) have or will soon be packing up their cars and heading off to college. If you are searching for that perfect gift for the college-bound kid in your life, the Car Care Council suggests putting together a roadside emergency kit. “A roadside kit is easy to assemble, not too expensive and extremely useful, plus it could be a life saver in the event of an emergency,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “While it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected while on the road, the best option is to avoid breakdowns and car trouble wherever possible. Performing basic maintenance and observing a regular service schedule can hel ... read more

Automotive Battery 101

Automotive Battery 101

In today's Spectrum Car Care Center auto care blog, we are focusing on battery maintenance. Eventually your car battery will fail and you will need to replace it. In fact, 70% don't even make it four years and it's even worse here where they usually last about two years. There are some things that you can do, however, to make their battery last a little longer. It's all about the flow of electrical power. When you start your vehicle, the battery uses power to get your engine cranking. As your engine runs, your alternator generates electricity to run all your electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control, power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos – the list goes on. Any leftover electricity goes to recharge your vehicle battery. Then you turn on your radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and ... read more

Dashboard Warning Light - Part 2

Dashboard Warning Light - Part 2

We wrote a blog a few weeks back about the vehicle dashboard warning light and since then I came across a great site that explains what they all mean (there's a few that I didn't even know that they exited).  Click HERE to review them. You can also make a game out of it by answering what each of them are doing! And for those of you that have a warning light that just won’t go away just come over the shop and we'll let you know what's going. We'll plug our scanner and we'll get to the root of the problem. The nice thing about this is that newer cars save all the "bad codes" and we're able to retrieve them and a certified ASE technician can analyze them better than anyone else.  If it's usually pretty straigh ... read more

Replace your air filter and save money (and your lungs)

Replace your air filter and save money (and your lungs)

When driving around Gilbert, your vehicle engine needs clean air to burn the fuel – and it needs a lot. In fact, a typical vehicle needs about 216,000 gallons of air for every tank of gas. All that air passes through a filter that catches the dust and dirt. Eventually the filter gets completely full. Because the filter can only hold so much, dirt starts getting through. This dirty air passes through the mass airflow sensor, and starts to accumulate on the delicate sensor element. The mass air flow sensor measures how much air is getting into your engine. When the airflow reading is incorrect, your vehicle engine doesn't get the proper amount of fuel. It runs rough and doesn't perform as well as it should. Eventually, the sensor is so damaged it needs to be replaced – which is pricey. In fact you could buy a case or two of air filters for the cost of a sensor replacement. Of course, that dirty air keeps on going through to your vehicle engine where it ... read more

Dangers of DIY A/C Recharge Kits

Dangers of DIY A/C Recharge Kits

Unless you’ve been locked in your air conditioned house for the last two months, you may have noticed that summer is here in AZ and it’s the usual extreme heat. We’ve had a few customers coming to the shop since then with the worst that could happen while driving their car… the A/C is blowing hot air. So now what? You could go to your repair shop to get a proper diagnostic or you could do what some people do and try to fix it yourself by buying one of these DIY manual recharge kits that let you add refrigerant into your system and save  some money. Sadly like everything else in life if it’s “too good to be true” well it is too good to be true! Here’s why: 1) Manual recharge systems do not evacuate the fluid in your system – instead they add refrigerant on top of your current levels. It’s like adding new oil on top of old oil. Topping off fluids does not solve any problems but only temporarily covers up the symptoms. In ... read more

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Fixing the Dreadful Engine Light

Fixing the Dreadful Engine Light

  If you’re like me you’ve seen your share of engine light in your life. For those lucky ones who has never seen it, it’s an amber colored light that shows on your dashboard. Surprisingly the issue may be a very simple fix in newer vehicles like your gas cap not being screwed on tight enough or a worn gas cap, causing the vehicle to fail the self-diagnostic evaporative emission test. So first thing you should do is go to their gas cap and verify that it is tight. If that was the problem, the light will turn off and everything will be fine within one or two days. And you should definitely get this fixed before getting your car going through the  emission testing. Here’s a very important advice, we advise drivers to resist the temptation to have someone “clear” the codes to turn off your vehicle check engine light. This erases important diagnostic information that your repair shop technician needs to diagnose the underlying problem for the ... read more

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Why should I care about the EGR valve?

Why should I care about the EGR valve?

How automakers have been able to consistently build more powerful engines in vehicles that get better fuel economy while at the same meeting increasing environmental standards is quite amazing. One of the little miracles that helps make this happen is the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve. What does it do? The EGR valve routes some exhaust back into the air intake system in both gasoline and diesel engines. The exhaust gas takes up some space in the engine cylinders, replacing some of the oxygen-rich air that would otherwise be in there. This means that the fuel burning event is cooler. Cooler combustion means fewer harmful nitrous oxides are produced. Pretty simple right? What can go wrong? Well your EGR valve can get gummed up, messing the timing and amount of exhaust that is supposed to be recirculated in the engine. You’ll recognize that some of the symptoms of EGR valve problems are rough idle and poor engine performance. At that point, performance can be restored by cl ... read more

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Steering maintenance is pretty straight forward

Steering maintenance is pretty straight forward

Steering is one of the things we take for granted when it comes to maintenance and bad things could happen fast if things break down. Let’s take a look at 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. So beside all the technical talk, the important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will start to leak. The good news is that you can postpone that day by having a very simple power steering service on a regular basis. This means draining the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. This removes water and contaminants that can corrode power ... read more

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