Yearly Archives: 2017

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

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

If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call Spectrum Car Care Center (480) 821-1455 For Assistance.