Articles:

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

Like a (less painfull) dentist Visit

It's comforting for Gilbert drivers to know that Spectrum Car Care Center has exacting standards and procedures for taking care of your car. There are inspection procedures and auto service procedures. When Gilbert drivers come in for a routine service like an oil change, our technicians will give things the once over. They look to see if parts need to be replaced, such as your windshield wipers or air filter. They'll check what your owner's manual recommends be done at your mileage. They'll come to you with suggestions for things to be taken care of, along with a prioritization, so you'll know if there's anything urgent. They will also let you know of things that will need attention in the coming months. Look, it's really like going to the dentist for regular check-ups. No one wants to hear that they need dental work done – it's unpleasant and costs money. Same thing with your car or truck ... read more

What are the signs that I need a brake job?

Signs of brake problems often fall into one of two categories for Gilbert : making noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal. Let's start with the noise. Most brake pads have an audible brake wear indicator. This is a small piece of metal that rubs on your brake rotor when the brake pads are worn to the point they should be replaced. The noise is a chirp or soft squeal. This noise gives Gilbert drivers enough warning to get their brakes serviced while there is still enough brake pad left to enable you to stop safely. Gilbert residents who ignore the chirp find that the sound changes to a grinding noise. That is more serious. It means that the friction material on your brake pad is worn away and metal parts of the brake are grinding against the rotor when you press on the brakes. Obviously, this metal-on-metal means that your brakes aren't stopping very well. It also means that your rotor is being ... read more

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BRAKES

Tires: Four seasons versus Winter

There's more to winter tires than Gilbert drivers may think. Those days of clunky, tractor-like snow tires are long gone in AZ, replaced by high-tech winter tires with special rubber compounds and advanced tread designs. In Gilbert winter temperatures, the rubber in summer tires becomes hard and inflexible, and they don't grip the road as well. In contrast, winter tires use special rubber compounds that are more pliable when the thermometer drops below 45 degrees in AZ, giving you better road contact; so even if you don't get much snow, winter tires will really add to your cold weather safety in Gilbert. Winter tires may also use a micro-pore rubber compound that increases surface area so they can bite into ice and packed snow on Gilbert roads. The tread on winter tires needs to clear out water, snow and slush as the tire turns so it's ready to take another bite when it comes back in contact with the road. But summer tires can actually be dangerous b ... read more

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Wheels

Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil

Gilbert drivers who are a couple quarts or liters low on oil don't have enough oil to lubricate their engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy. Same goes for dirty oil. It doesn't reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your Gilbert gas pump rolling higher and higher. The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When your transmission is in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down. So, it's important to keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance by getting a transmission service at Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert

Six Ways You Could be Killing Your Car

Six Ways You Could be Killing Your Car

Owning a car can be a dream or a nightmare depending on how well you take care of your vehicle, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The following are six things that many motorists do that can harm their car and their wallet. Ignoring the check engine light. Ignoring an illuminated check engine light can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning light could alert you to an engine problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy. Failing to change fluids and filters. Many fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Checking fluid levels regularly, along with the filters, helps ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and extends vehicle life. Neglecting your tires. Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, needing to be replaced sooner, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileag ... read more

Engine light on = Evap System problem

The oil and fuel in your vehicle give off vapors that are very harmful to the environment. Evaporative emissions control systems – EVAP for short – are mandated in all cars and trucks. The job of the EVAP system is to capture these vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program. The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the top 5 reasons for a Check Engine light to be illuminated. A qualified service technician at Spectrum Car Care Center pulls the trouble codes and begins a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault. With the proper equipment, the technician can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The necessary repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine light. While EVAP problems don’t generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact tha ... read more

Cooling System Repairs

We all know how important the cooling system is. Coolant/antifreeze circulates around the engine, absorbs heat and then dissipates it in the radiator. Cooling system failure can cause extensive engine damage. There are a couple of fine points that may be useful to you. One is about minor coolant leaks. It’s tempting to put off repairing small cooling system leaks; we just keep topping off the coolant. There are several problems with this. First, coolant is messy. It doesn’t just evaporate away. The puddle is harmful to the environment and is toxic to pets. Second, the cooling system needs to maintain a certain pressure to do its job. A leak compromises the pressure. Third, small leaks can unexpectedly become big leaks that leave you stranded. Fourth, you need to keep the correct balance of coolant/antifreeze and distilled water to maintain proper boil and freeze properties. Another point is corrosion protection. Antifreeze/coolant contains a package of anti-corrosion addi ... read more

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