October 29, 2014

When to Know the Radiator Should Be Replaced

Keeping your vehicle well maintained is important for the overall condition of it. This will also help you to save time, money, and stress in the long run. Besides having the vehicle inspected by us, you can also inspect some parts between visits. It is always recommended that if you notice anything out of the norm, you contact us and bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. One item to check is the radiator. The radiator is an important part of the engine. The engine will get hot while it is operating. This is easy to understand since it is a combustion engine that relies on burning gasoline in order to maintain the power it needs. The engine relies on radiators to get the help needed to maintain power and efficiency. Whenever the radiator is not working properly, it is important that it is either repaired or replaced. It is important to know when you will need to have this part of your engine inspected to decide which you will need. There are a few tips that can help you determine that the radiator is not operating correctly. The first thing is you will get less engine efficiency because the engine will be running hot. You will also notice that it is more of a strain to get any performance out of your vehicle. Of course, you might also notice smoke or steam coming from your engine. This is something that you will need to take into consideration so that you will be able to make sure that your fuel injection is able to provide the power that you deserve as you are driving down the road. Be Aware of the Temperature Gauge The temperature of your engine will cause you to face certain problems like blowing gaskets or even cracking your engine block. Temperatures which run too high will create all kinds of problems which will cost you a lot of money. The ideal situation will include stopping the car and getting it towed as soon as you notice that the temperature gauge is getting into the red. This will help to prevent serious engine damage caused by a faulty radiator. A Decrease in Vehicle Performance Another thing to watch for is a decrease in performance. This is caused by many of the different parts of the engine like the cylinders not being able to operate correctly because of the swelling which happens in the metal. The engine will have to work twice as hard to get the same amount of performance. You might even notice problems that might feel like your vehicle is out of alignment. The decrease in performance is because the coolant has no way to cool down properly because the radiator is not operating correctly. Instead, the coolant continues to heat up as it is cycled through the engine. Noticing Smoke Coming from the Engine Another thing to notice is smoke coming from the engine. This will generally happen whenever the vehicle is completely seized up. If you are lucky, it will happen as the engine starts to get too hot or the coolant starts to fail. It is important to shut down the engine as soon as you see any smoke. This will help in making sure that you will be able to get a tow truck to your vehicle before you do any more damage to the engine. We can then inspect the radiator for you to ensure it is in the best condition.
October 27, 2014

Improve the Safety of Your Vehicle By Checking the Tires

When you inspect your vehicle, one of the reasons to do this is to ensure the safety of it. Staying safe on the road is important no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. There are many different factors which will allow you to be able to stay safe while you are driving. Among the most important factor are the tires. This is because it is impossible to stay on the road and to maintain control over your vehicle if you do not have good tires. This is why it is important that you are able to maintain your tires as well as making sure that you are using the right tools for tire inspection at all times. Among the things that you will need to check the tires are a pressure gauge and a tread gauge. If you suspect a puncture in your tire, you can use soapy water to locate the point of damage. By following a little bit of advice, it is possible for you to be able to have the kind of tires which will allow you to stay safe on any terrain as well as throughout the season. The Air Pressure Should Be Inspected Regularly Something that you should have in the glove compartment is a pressure gauge. This is handy so that you will be able to check the tire pressure whether you are coming home from the office or you are on a road trip. Maintaining good tire pressure will not only provide better gas mileage and safety. It will also help in preventing problems in alignment and more. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tires for you. Inspect the Tread on the Tires The tread in your tire will allow you to stay connected with the road. They will grip enough to propel you forward as well as maintaining a grip while you are going around turns or driving over wet roads. Whenever your tread starts to get low, you might slide more when it rains or when you go fast around a corner. You can use a tread gauge, or you can use a penny. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced. If you notice the tread may be uneven, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Check the Condition of the Tires When you check the tires for the air pressure and tread wear, also check the overall condition of them. This is important because if the tires have damage done to them, it could increase the chance of your vehicle being unreliable. The tires should be checked for any cracks on the sidewall. If you notice the tire leaks air often, it could be from a leak in one of the cracks. If you are unsure what to look for on the tires, make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you.
October 24, 2014

Emissions are Important to Check

To help maintain your vehicle properly, make sure that it is brought in for an inspection on a regular basis. When we inspect it, we can also check for the emissions it produces. Every vehicle will put out some type of emissions. Whether it is directly from the engine or it comes out the exhaust system, there will be some residue from the running engine to deal with. Most vehicles manufactured these days are meant to run a pretty clean engine, when they are in peak operating condition. Older cars or ones that are not in good repair might not have such a great emissions history with the exhaust system. Taking it in for a test by a professional is the one way to find out or simply look at your exhaust pipe as it warms up in the driveway. What Are Emissions from the Vehicle Emissions are toxins and pollutants released by the engine of the vehicle. Certain states have heavy restrictions on how many emissions your vehicle can release without getting a ticket. They need to be inspected annually and get a sticker that says they made it through the testing process and be paid. When you are not inspected and happen to get pulled over by a police officer for another traffic violation, then they can also write you a ticket for not have an emissions sticker on your car. If you are uncertain about the emissions in your vehicle, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect it for you. Regular Maintenance is Important To get your vehicle tested for its emissions, you simply make an appointment with us so we can do the certified testing. Then we will hook up special machinery to the exhaust system of your vehicle. It will be turned on and then monitor the air output from the exhaust. The machine will run for a few minutes and then be turned off. A computer print out from the emissions test will then be read and it details the parts per million (PPM) that are released from your vehicle. This can help to identified if it is economically friendly and what emissions are produced. Regular maintenances are important to matter what because that way we can notice an issue forming before it turns into a much larger problem. If an issue is ignored, it can result in a costly repair bill in the future. Why Emissions Matter Emissions matter because that is air that everyone breathes. For states that are highly populated with a lot of congestion, it could mean many more toxins going in to the air by people who commute on the highways. When states restrict what can go in to the air, it saves the environment from being damaged. The air is cleaner simply by forcing people to keep their cars in good repair so they are not heavy on emissions releases. If you ever have any questions, make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can test the emissions for you. This can make for a safe and pleasant driving experience.
October 23, 2014

The Alternator and Your Vehicle

The electrical charging system in your vehicle is generally made up of three major components: the battery, voltage regulator, and alternator. The battery and alternator will work together to generate power for the electrical components of a vehicle. Alternators are generally found near the front of the engine. They are driven by the crankshaft, which converts the up and down motion of the pistons into a circular movement. When this movement turns the components of the alternator it produces power through electromagnetism. History of the Alternator An alternator gets its name from the term alternating current. Thomas Edison is known for inventing the first light bulb and many other electrical mechanisms. It was actually Nikola Tesla who developed the first alternating current induction motor in the late 1800s. While Edison was out to promote direct current or DC power, it was Tesla who proved that this power was superior. It can produce higher voltage much more efficiently and that is very helpful to run the electrical system of the vehicle. Alternator Components to Inspect Alternators are usually small and lightweight. Most alternators found in passenger cars and small trucks are constructed using an aluminum outer housing since lightweight metal does not magnetize. Aluminum also dissipates the tremendous heat generated by producing the electrical power. If you look closely at an alternator, you will also see vents on the front and back also for relieving heat. A pulley is attached to the rotor shaft on the front of the alternator. When the engine is running, the crankshaft turns the drive belt, which spins the pulley to turn the rotor shaft. The alternator transfers this mechanical energy from the engine into electrical power for the vehicle. Knowing when there is an Issue with the Alternator If your alternator is not functioning, the electrical components of your vehicle will quickly drain your battery. Since automobiles cannot properly function without the electrical system, this can be a big issue. Alternators have moving parts, get dirty, and are subject to stress from the drastic temperature changes. All of these causes can make the internal parts gradually wear out. The most common is bearing failure. The needle bearings allow the rotor to spin freely to produce electricity. When these fail, the alternator will not work efficiently and can completely seize up. This failure will normally cause a loud grinding noise. If you suspect this problem, quickly consult one of our mechanics to prevent a breakdown. Older vehicles with generators tend to require much more maintenance than newer models, but there’s no standard rule for how long an alternator will last. Generally, alternators are less expensive to replace than many other parts of the vehicle. If there are any issues you notice, make sure to bring the vehicle at the first sign of them. Any odd noises or odd smells you notice will mean at least one part will need maintenance done to it. By bringing the vehicle in, you can prevent the problem becoming worse and more costly.