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Signs of suspension problems...

Signs of suspension problems...

Hello, Gilbert - Today we're talking about suspension integrity. Your skeleton provides the structure to hold up your weight. Your joints cushion you as you walk and allow you to change direction. Your vehicle's suspension system is similar: It bears the weight of your vehicle, absorbs bumps in the road and controls the body as you steer. Like the bones in your body, vehicle suspension parts are connected by joints that allow all the components to move as they should. Over time and miles, the joints start to wear and your suspension gets loose and doesn't operate as precisely as before, reducing proper tire contact with the road. An accident ... read more

What can I do to improve my fuel economy?

Question: What can I do to improve my fuel economy? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: There are actually a lot of things Gilbert drivers can do – some of them are pretty easy. One of the first things is make sure their tires are properly inflated. On the inside of the driver's door or door jamb is a plate that indicates the correct tire pressure. Careful – there might be a different pressure for the front and rear tires. Check them at least once a month. Carrying extra weight in the vehicle hurts . Leave unnecessary stuff home. Do we even need to mention driving fast around Gilbert and jackrabbit starts? Gently accelerate and plan your stops so that you can ease into them a bit. This really makes a big difference. Now there are a number of maintenance items that improve fuel economy for Gilbert drivers. Lubricants should be replaced on schedule – dirty ... read more

I need new tires. How do I know which tires to get?

Question: I need new tires. How do I know which tires to get? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: Let's look at selecting new tires in light of three factors: Function, Fit, and Value. Function: This gets at what your needs are for new tires: weather conditions, terrain, temperatures, etc. New family vehicles sold in AZ come with all-season tires. They can be used all year long and do pretty well in most Gilbert road conditions – but they aren't ideal at the extremes. Winter tires have a more aggressive tread for handling snow and ice and they have a rubber compound that helps them have better traction as temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Centigrade. In AZ winter weather, that means definitely better stopping and road-holding characteristics for Gilbert than all-season tir ... read more

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Air Conditioning Maintenance At Spectrum Car Care Center In Gilbert

Most Gilbert area car owners don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. Maintaining your vehicle air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. Along with the refrigerant, a special oil circulates in the system. The oil lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and we all know that air conditioning repairs can be costly in Scottsdale. Air conditioning service at Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compr ... read more

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine light strikes fear into the hearts of some people in Gilbert and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us. First, if your Check Engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components. Get that taken care of right away. If your Check Engine light is flashing, you shouldn't drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Gilbert service center. If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn't go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Spectrum Car Care Center to get it checked out. Most of your vehicle engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and eve ... read more

What's A Serpentine Belt?

What's A Serpentine Belt?

All of us in Gilbert have those days when we have a bunch of errands to run around the Chandler and Scottsdale area. Suppose on your day off you need to get gas, pick up some groceries, swing by your Gilbert ATM and get the kids from school. Now you could make four trips, but that would be a waste of time and money – totally inefficient. Instead, you get organized and hit the ATM first and get some gas next. Then you go to your Gilbert supermarket and pick up the kids on the way home. Way better use of your time. Now you may wonder what this has to do with your vehicle. Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have 5 or 6 belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called t ... read more

The thermostat and your cooling system

The thermostat is part of your cooling system. Gilbert residents' vehicle thermostats perform a similar function to the thermostats in their homes. At home, you set your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature range. When your home gets too hot, the air conditioning kicks on and when it gets too cool, the heater turns on. Now your engine also has an optimal temperature range: warm enough to run efficiently and not so hot as to cause engine damage. Your vehicle's thermostat is a valve between the engine and the radiator. When Gilbert residents first start a cold engine, the valve (thermostat) is closed, allowing the coolant surrounding the engine to warm up to the proper operating temperature. As the coolant gets hotter, the thermostat opens, allowing coolant to flow through to the radiator to be cooled. The thermostat opens and closes to keep the engine within a certain temperature ... read more

Timing chain - making sure that everything is synced up properly

As your engine runs, the intake valves need to open up to allow air into the engine. They remain closed while the air and fuel is compressed and ignited, powering the piston. Then the exhaust valves open to release the exhaust. This all has to be timed very precisely. It is the job of the timing belt or timing chain to make sure all of this is synced up properly. Timing belts are made of a very tough compound that can last for a long time. Timing chains are made of metal and last for a very long time as well. If your vehicle has a timing belt, your vehicle's owner's manual has a schedule for replacing the belt. If your vehicle has a timing chain, there may not be a specified schedule for replacing it, but that doesn't mean that the timing chain system is indestructible and never needs attention. For example, the chain runs on sprockets on the crankshaft and the camshafts. A broken tooth on a sprocket can cause the chain to slip a little. When timing is off a little your e ... read more

Engine air filter - What cleans the air before it's burned in your engine

Engine air filter - What cleans the air before it's burned in your engine

Today we want to talk about your engine air filter. That's the filter that cleans the air before it's burned in your engine. Many people in Gilbert wonder how often they should change their engine air filter. The simple answer is "when it's dirty." That's a function of how much air has passed through the filter, so your vehicle manufacturer will recommend a mileage interval for replacing the air filter. But you can imagine that how dirty the air is would affect how quickly the filter gets filled. If you drive in Gilbert where there's lots of dust, pollution or pollen, your engine air filter will get dirty more quickly and need to be changed sooner. That's why we check the air filter with every full-service oil change at Spectrum Car Care Center. We can visually tell if the filter needs to be changed. Your filter can only hold so much dirt. Once the filter is full, dirt will pass th ... read more

It's that time of year - winterizing your vehicle

Every year, your vehicle needs to be ready for our AZ winter. The last thing we Gilbert drivers want is to get stranded out in the cold in AZ. We need our vehicles to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in the winter for AZ . There are some specific and necessary things that we need to do to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze protection is not set correctly it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your vehicle does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done. In the cold AZ rainy months we always worry about being able to stop in time when it ... read more

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