Category Archives: Car Maintenance
Wheels are aligned with specific settings, and different models can have different settings. But hitting potholes, curbs or even just the usual bumps you encounter daily on the road can cause your wheels to become unaligned.
Poor wheel alignment affects your handling, and it can create a pull on your vehicle that can be very straining during long drives as you’re constantly fighting to keep your vehicle going straight. Over time, poor alignment can also damage other components, and causes your tires to wear our unevenly, and therefore more quickly. That’s why it’s important to have a technician inspect your wheel alignment periodically.
The automatic transmission system in a modern car can have up to eight speeds, making it a very sophisticated piece of machinery. While transmissions are designed to last a long time, they do require regular maintenance to operate smoothly.
Transmission fluid is vital to a smooth transmission. Because it cools and lubricates the transmission components, it’s crucial that you always have enough transmission fluid. When there isn’t enough fluid, the transmission will run hotter and may wear out sooner. Transmission fluid also provides the pressure needed to transfer the power from the engine to the transmission – not enough fluid and your transmission won’t shift properly.
If your transmission isn’t shifting as smoothly as it should, let your Service Advisor take a look at it. Regular maintenance and taking care of small leaks will help your transmission lasts as long as possible.
Transfer Case Service
Your transfer case transfers engine power to your vehicle’s front and rear axles. Some transfer cases are lubricated with gear oil, while others use automatic transmission fluid. Transfer case fluid cools and lubricates the gears, chains, bearings, shafts and other parts.
Over time, the fluid deteriorates and doesn’t protect as well and small metal particles can contaminate the fuel, causing the transfer case to wear prematurely. So it’s important to drain it periodically and replace the old fluid with fresh fluid. Of course, it’s also important to use the right fluid for your vehicle, and our qualified technicians can help you choose the right one. Ask your Service Advisor about when you should have a transfer case service.
Tire Rotation and Balancing
Tires are rotated to even our tread wear. We rotate the tires so that all the tires do some duties on the front as well as getting a bit of rest on the back of the car. Most of the tires move from front to back, but patterns can vary on different vehicles.
Wheel balancing is required when there are some heavy spots on the tires that can create unbalance problems. Unbalanced wheels bounce as you drive along the road and can cause annoying vibrations at higher speeds, and also cause your tires to wear out prematurely. So a simple tire rotation and wheel balancing can help save you from more costly repairs or purchases down the line.
The timing belt is the part of your vehicle that keeps your valves operating in time with your engine so that it runs properly. Your timing belt synchronizes critical engine functions and makes sure valves are opening and closing at the right time, so a worn or broken timing belt can cause very expensive engine damage. Not only that, but if your timing belt is off, your engine just won’t run.
Like any other moving part, belts wear out naturally. But if you replace your timing belt on schedule, you’ll likely avoid the downtime and expense that can result from a broken or slipping timing belt. Ask your advisor when your timing belt is due for replacement.
There are two different areas to consider when it comes to steering: first, the power-assist, and second, the actual parts that steers the vehicle.
The power steering pump provides boost to help you steer easily. The important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps will eventually wear out and holes will start to leak, but you can postpone that by having a power steering system serviced. Our technicians will drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh one, which will help remove water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts. Your steering parts can also be lubed to help them operate more smoothly.
It’s a good idea to take care of problems early on, before they start to stress other components and cause a chain reaction of damage.
Spark plugs provide the spark needed to burn gas in your engine. The “spark” made by your spark plug is like a tiny bolt of lightning; it’s that powerful. Each time it sparks, a wee bit of material is lost from the electrodes. Over the millions and millions of sparks that happen over the thousands of miles you drive, enough material is lost from the spark plug to affect its performance. That’s one reason they need to be replaced.
It’s also critically important to have the right type of spark plug for your vehicle. Engines are design to run with different internal temperatures. Spark plugs are design to run with specific temperatures as well. Your special advisor will be able to determine the right plug for your vehicle and when to replace your spark plugs as well.
The serpentine belt is the belt driven by the engine as it turns. It powers your alternator, conditioner compressor and power steering pump. Your vehicle won’t run if the serpentine belt breaks. Also, it’s important for the belt to be tight. There is a portion of your engine that puts pressure on the belt to keep it at the right tension. If the belt is too loose, it will slip. Belt wear can’t always be seen, but can be measured by a trained technician using a special tool that measures the depth in the grooves of the belt to see if it needs replacing.
Studies show that 20 percent of vehicles on the road today need a serpentine belt replacement. A worn belt can break without warning, so the best thing is to replace your serpentine belt before if it is worn or damaged.
The power brake system provides you with the breaking power you need to stop safely. If you have a problem with your brake pedal, it’s usually a problem with the fluid leaking somewhere along the line. It could be a hole or an internal leak in the cylinder. Lose enough fluid and you won’t be able to stop at all! If you notice any decrease in stopping power, or if your pedal seems mushy, it could be a problem with your power brakes.
Also, replacing brake fluid prevents corrosion damage to your braking system. Make sure you use the correct type of brake fluid for your car. The wrong type of brake fluid could cause a total breakdown of the power brake system, so ask our technicians to help you get the right type of fluid for your vehicle.