Articles:

The Multi-Tasking Serpentine Belt

Let’s talk about serpentine belts, specifically: what they do and how frequently they need to be changed? The serpentine belt is a single, continuous belt that operates multiple devices in an engine including the alternator, air conditioner, water pump, and power steering pump. In engines that have v-belts, individual belts operate these components and the automobile can have up to four different belts. The advantage of a serpentine belt is its efficiency. Having a single belt increases fuel economy and available power. The disadvantage of a serpentine belt is if it breaks several critical functions of the engine are lost and the engine will conk out leaving you stranded. How often do you need to change a serpentine belt? It depends. Serpentine belts are tough so they can handle a lot of wear before they completely fail. Typically, a belt will last around 60,000 to 100,000 miles. That is why a good rule of thumb is to have your belt inspected at 60,000 mile and replaced at ... read more

An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure Pt.1

Avoiding performing recommended maintenance service can come with a hefty price tag. Here are four important steps you can take to protect your vehicle.   1) Change the Oil Regularly   First up is the simple oil change. Bottom line – if you change your oil on schedule, your engine will be properly protected. Go past the recommended mileage interval, typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on driving conditions, and sludge begins to build up in your engine. This sludge can clog small oil passages that keep important parts of the engine from being cooled and lubricated. That is never good for your engine. If your engine has variable valve timing, as most do nowadays, or a turbocharger, then these expensive components are at high risk for failure and expensive replacement. If you’re not sure how often you should change your vehicle’s oil, ask your Service Advisor.   2) Change Timing Belts and Chains Timely   Many vehicles come equipped ... read more

What Should I Choose? Explaining Octane Ratings

What Should I Choose? Explaining Octane Ratings

No matter what kind of engine your vehicle has it will require the right fuel to work properly. When you get to the pumps though there are often three or four different fuels with names like “Regular”, “Premium” and “Plus”. The reason these fuels have these names is because of their octane rating. They should also be marked with a number between 87 and 91. The octane rating is simply how compatible a grade of gasoline is with a particular engine. After you add fuel to your gas tank and get on the go the gasoline is compressed with air in the combustion chamber of your engine. When the pressure reaches a certain point it can cause the gas to spontaneously combust and you hear a “knocking” sound. That’s what you don’t want to happen. This is what is known as an uncontrolled combustion and it happens more often when you use a low octane fuel with a car that has a high performance engine. When this happens it causes the gas to c ... read more

Why People are Hesitant to Have their Vehicle Serviced

There are around 162 million vehicles in the United States that go without being serviced when they need it. A recent report suggests that around 80% of the cars on the road right now have at least one service repair that isn’t being addressed. While some of these can be small and simple things, there are others that present major safety concerns for the driver and everyone around them. So what stops people from having their car serviced? There are a number of reasons why people are hesitant to have their vehicle serviced, even for something as minor as an oil change. How comfortable one feels about car care can be a major deciding factor. If someone feels that the decision to have the car serviced might not be the right one they won’t go through with the service. People who don’t understand cars too well will often hesitate to ask questions out of fear of looking ignorant. You need to understand that the technician wants to answer your questions. They want you ... read more

Supporting Local Nonprofits - Starbright Foundation

Supporting Local Nonprofits - Starbright Foundation

"Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime." - Herbert Ward   One of the great privileges of running a small business is being able to give generously to community organizations and charitable causes. We've been looking at local organizations to support and we're proud to be associated with pastor Michael Chalberg and the  ... read more

Keeping Your Car Running Smooth at the Right Temperature

Keeping Your Car Running Smooth at the Right Temperature

Have you ever noticed that you start to slow down when the summer starts? You likely find yourself looking for some shade and a nice cool drink to get back to speed. The same thing happens to your c ar. When the engine starts running hot the Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS) messages the control computer in our engine to start controlling a lot of different processes including the fuel injection, ignition timing, the variable valve timing and transmission shifting. When the engine warms up it takes different timings and a different mix of fuel to keep going properly. Unfortunately even coolant temperature sensors succumb to time and begin to stop working properly as time goes on. Having the CTS replaced is one of the most common vehicle repairs that there is. It’s also really simple and inexpensive to have done. If you notice that your car is using more fuel than usual, you have trouble starting it, or the exhaust pipe is emitting black smoke then you could have a bad sensor. A f ... read more

When the timing chain system gets worn down...

When the timing chain system gets worn down...

Every day millions of people wake up to the sound of ringing, buzzing or beeping; whether from an alarm clock or a smartphone. As long as we can resist the urge to hit the “Snooze” button almost everyone sets aside the time they need in the morning to shower, get dressed, and start the day off right. Over time the whole family sets into a routine and, on a good day, everyone proceeds to the right place at the right time to keep everything moving smoothly. Every so often the alarm clock doesn’t go off. It’s not been set right or there was a power surge overnight, or you failed to compensate for Daylight Savings Time. No matter why the main thing is that things don’t start off right. You wake up when the sunlight hits your face and you know that you’ve got less time than you need so everyone goes into overdrive and runs around in a bind rush that throws the usual schedule out the window. The alarm clock and what it does to keep your morning routine in ... read more

How to Check your Fluids Levels Part Two

How to Check your Fluids Levels Part Two

In our last post we detailed how to check 3 of the 7 fluids that you can find in your car. Now we’ll take a look at the other four; the coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid. When you check your coolant levels you need to check the coolant overflow reservoir. This reservoir has little markings on it that show you coolant levels when the engine is hot or cold. If the levels are too low you need to add more coolant to the radiator, but you should never open the radiator cap with a hot engine because this could result in serious injuries. Power steering fluid is different from engine coolant in that it can be checked while it’s warm. In fact some manufacturers will suggest you warm up the engine while others will suggest keeping it cool. That’s why you should consult the owner’s manual for your car to see what the recommendation is for your car. To check the fluid levels you need to first find the power steering tank and tak ... read more

How to Check Your Fluid Levels Part One

How to Check Your Fluid Levels Part One

Did you know that your car contains seven fluids and that, in order to keep your car running safely, you need to check all of them on a regular basis? We understand the importance of checking your fluid levels so we put together this two-part series to teach you all about the different fluids and how you can check them. Part one will look at gasoline, motor oil, and brake fluid. You’ll likely learn how to check the gasoline levels of your vehicle and put more gas in within the first week of owning the car. If you don’t then you won’t be getting very far in your second week! When you get a new car you should take a look through the owner’s manual. This manual will tell you everything you need to know including how much fuel you should keep in your car and how to check fluid levels. If you can’t find your owner’s manual then you can likely find a digital copy to download on the manufacturer’s website. You should be able to find it with a quick s ... read more

What is a Reflash?

What is a Reflash?

Technology these days are smarter than ever. It started with phones, then it was TVs, and now even refrigerators are “smart”. Cars are also becoming smarter. Computers these days are becoming a major feature in automobiles. Of course computers have been a part of cars for decades now, dating back to the CPU powered engine management systems (E.M.S) that became the standard in 1991. They were even in cars before then too. The CPUs in cars have always been focused on engine performance tasks and are used to regulate the air-fuel mixture, the ignition timing, idle speed and transmission shift points. Like every other kind of computer in the world these computers need to be upgraded from time to time. When a car is brand new the CPU is programmed to handle a brand new engine. Unfortunately your car engine doesn’t perform the same way it did after 100k miles. This is when you should consider having a reflash performed. A reflash is basically when the software of your car ... read more

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