Articles:

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

The axles - transferring power from the engine to the wheels

Gilbert drivers should know that the axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to the wheels. They're strong parts that last a long time – but they can run into trouble. Axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced. And sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Lubricant leaks out, and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears. When this happens you might hear strange noises coming from the axle. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be at the rear end. If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be up front. Of course, with an all-wheel drive, the sound could come from either front or back. It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning. There are different kinds of axles, each with their own potential problems. Your friendly and knowledgeable Spectrum Car Car ... read more

10 Overlooked Services

Let's talk about the service schedules for Gilbert drivers. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten. At Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert, we have a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked. They're all very important for Gilbert and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order. 1. Power Steering Service Be honest – have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Spectrum Car Care Center if it's time for a power steering check-up. 2. Wheel Alignment When your wheels are out of alignment, your vehicle pulls to one side. It's pretty annoying, but it's also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out re ... read more

What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt?

Question: My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to repair his engine. What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Gilbert drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here's a brief overview of what the timing belt does: Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it's pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is important that the opening and closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly. Beyond that ... read more

Why Drivers Need To Change Their Transmission Fluid

Why Drivers Need To Change Their Transmission Fluid

It's easy for Gilbert drivers to forget about servicing their transmission because it doesn't need it very often, but proper transmission service keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you see in used fluid is actually bits of clutch material. This grit flowing through your transmission under pressure eats away at seals and gaskets which can lead to leaks. The transmission operates at very high temperatures – much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency. At best, your vehicle transmission won't operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to costly damage. When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your vehicle engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy . That's why we recommend you change ... read more

I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help!

I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help!

Question: I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help! Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: The simple answer for Gilbert residents is to follow the vehicle's recommended service intervals listed in your owner's manual or in your service center's database. But the team at Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert sympathizes with Gilbert residents because of the confusing intervals for modern vehicles. The days of simple rules of thumb that applied to most vehicles are long gone. For example, let's look at an oil change: manufacturers' recommendations run anywhere from every 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) to 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). This big range comes from engine design and recommended types of oil - so Gilbert residents really do need to read and follow the recommendations for their specific vehicle. Your ow ... read more

Preventing costly repairs

Preventing costly repairs

You’ve probably seen auto parts delivery trucks in Gilbert making their rounds. Every part has a story behind it. Unfortunately, some of the stories are tales of repairs that could have been prevented. One stop may be to deliver an engine air filter and a mass air flow sensor for a customer’s pick-up. His service advisor has been recommending he replace that dirty air filter for the last couple of oil changes. The guy’s been saying no to save a couple of bucks. Now dirty air has been getting into his mass air flow sensor for so long that it’s ruined. Talk about stepping over dollars to pick up a dime. Perhaps the next stop is for a fuel system cleaning kit and a set of four fuel injectors. This nice lady has never had her fuel system cleaned. Over the years, gum and varnish have completely ruined her fuel injectors. Her tech will replace the injectors and clean the system, removing carbon deposits from her valves and combustion chamber. Her engine will be maki ... read more

What's the harm in putting off replacing my engine air filter a little longer?

What's the harm in putting off replacing my engine air filter a little longer?

Question: What's the harm in putting off replacing my engine air filter a little longer? Spectrum Car Care Center Answer: That's a fair question from Gilbert drivers because the harm takes a while to manifest. Let's take a small step back and talk about what an engine air filter does. The air all around us contains dust, dirt, pollen, spores, etc. Some areas and times of the year have more contaminants in the air. The job of the air filter is to keep that stuff out of your engine. The benefit to Gilbert drivers is obvious. Now your engine uses a lot of air – like 12,000 times the volume of air as fuel – so the engine air filter has job to do. When the filter gets full and can't hold any more dirt, all th ... read more

Houston we have a problem. Check Engine light is flashing!

Houston we have a problem. Check Engine light is flashing!

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

GREAT TIPS TO SAVE ON GAS AND USE LESS FUEL

GREAT TIPS TO SAVE ON GAS AND USE LESS FUEL

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel here in the Gilbert and Chandler areas. It presents the cost savings in a way Gilbert drivers can relate to, no matter what kind of vehicle we drive. Here's an example: Having your engine properly tuned can save up to 4%. If you're paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas in Gilbert, you could save 14 cents a gallon. Dollars Per Gallon              $3.00  $3.50  $4.00 Tune Up 4%                          0.12    0.14    0.16 Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to 40 percent for AZ auto owners. That's a whooping $1.40 in savings per gallon ... read more

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