September 23, 2013

6 signs the Battery may need attention

The battery is an important part for your vehicle. It is what provides power to your vehicle. Without a battery, the vehicle cannot even start. There can be several warning signs that the battery is starting to wear down. Sometimes a recharge will be needed, while other times a new battery will be required. If you notice any issues, it is best to bring your vehicle in and we can test the charge on the battery. To help preserve the life of the battery as long as possible, always check it regularly to make sure it is clean from any corrosion or debris that may have built up. The vehicle may start slowly This is one of the easiest signs to notice. When you attempt to start your vehicle, the cranking of the engine may be slow and sluggish. It may even take longer than normal to start the vehicle. While there are several reasons why a vehicle may start slowly, it is best to bring it in so it can be diagnosed correctly, and the issue can be resolved. The Check Engine Light comes on The check engine light will illuminate as the battery power becomes weaker. Some system indicator lights could mean there is an issue with the battery, engine, or even a loose gas cap. If the lights starts flashing, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible so the issue can be fixed. Low battery fluid The battery typically has a part of the casing that is translucent. This way, you can always keep an eye on the battery’s fluid level. You can also inspect it by removing the red and black caps on it if they are not sealed. There is however a majority of modern car batters that permanently seal these parts. If the fluid level is below the lead plates inside the battery, it is time to have the battery tested. If the fluid level drops, it is typically caused by an overcharge of the battery. The battery case swells Noticing a swelling or bloating battery case, it is an indication the battery has gone bad. This can be caused from excessive heat that causes the battery case to swell. It will start to decrease the life of your battery, and over time, the battery will go dead. An odd smell If the battery is starting to have issues, you may notice a sulfur odor from around the battery. This is caused from the battery leaking. If the battery leaks, it could also cause corrosion around the posts where the cable connections are. If you notice the posts have a build up of debris, make sure to clean it off so the battery can have the best connection possible. The age of the battery The life of the battery can range from three to five years, depending on the battery. Other factors that play a part in how long the battery lasts are driving habits, weather, and the amount of frequent short trips. These factors can drastically shorten the actual life of your vehicle’s battery.
September 16, 2013

4 Symptoms of your vehicle’s Battery going dead

The battery is important for your vehicle because it supplies the power to it. Without the battery, your vehicle will not even start. Also, the engine will not even turn over. Having a regular maintenance check can be beneficial to determine when the battery may need to be replaced. There are some signs you might notice if your battery is starting to lose power. If these happen, bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Sometimes your battery will just need to be charged. Other times the battery may need to be replaced, because with time and age, the battery has worn out. The Battery Light illuminates The most obvious sign that your battery may be encountering issues is if the battery light illuminates on your dashboard. Most vehicles have a light on the dashboard that will turn on as the battery is becoming faulty or going bad. As the battery nears the end of power it has, the dashboard light will be on constantly, or even be flashing. The battery warning light does not always indicate a battery that is dying. It does however appear when there is a problem with the battery. When this turns on, you should bring your vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect the vehicle as well as the battery. Issues with the electrical parts of your vehicle Another way you can notice if there might be an issue with the battery is by observing the electrical system of your vehicle. This includes the headlights, radio, fuel injection system, and the heating or air conditioning system. When the battery starts to go dead, all of these things will lessen in function when the vehicle is running. The more electrical items that are running the harder it will be to start your vehicle. It will also be hard to keep your vehicle running, as it may start to stall out. If you notice the headlights starting to become weaker, chances are the battery may be starting to drain. Your vehicle does not start If your vehicle does not start, or even has trouble starting, this may be related to the battery starting to go bad. When you turn the ignition to start the vehicle, you may hear a noise that sound like clicking or ticking. This can be a strong indication that the battery has been drained. By bringing in your vehicle, we can inspect it over. Sometimes it will need a charge rather than being replaced. After testing the battery and knowing the condition of it, we can alert you to what your options are. The life span of the battery On average, most batteries last from two to five years. If you have had the same battery for more than five years, and your vehicle is starting to lose power, it is more than likely the battery. If your vehicle has been sitting for a long length of time, the battery may have worn out naturally. Not starting the engine can decrease the life span of the battery greatly. One way to know for sure is to have the battery tested to see if it is still viable.
September 9, 2013

Shocks and Struts on your vehicle

The shocks and struts are an important component for your vehicle. They help to provide you with the most comfortable ride by supporting the force of bumps and potholes you drive over. Without shocks and struts, all the bumps and vibrations encountered with everyday driving would be felt. What the Shocks do The shocks of your vehicle help to absorb the bumps you hit with your vehicle. It helps to stabilize your vehicle, as well as to have it ride evenly by keeping the tires on the ground. They help keep the tires from bouncing and losing contact with the road. They also help to keep the body weight from shifting and rolling, which may lead to a loss of vehicle control or handling. Shocks that are in good condition can help the vehicle to maintain traction on the road. It also helps to stabilize your vehicle when stopping, turning, or encountering accidental bumps and potholes. Each tire has a shock connected to the suspension on the vehicle’s frame. The hydraulic cylinders provide motion damping by restricting the fluid flow through a series of internal valves. As the wheel moves, the shock valve slows and stabilizes the movements. Why the Struts are important The struts are the parts that attach the suspension to the vehicle. It also helps to insulate the tire noises and vibrations from the vehicle. Most of the front strut mounts contain a bearing plate that serves as the steering pivot. This bearing affects the steering movement smoothness and response. As the vehicle goes over bumps, the up and down impact will push and pull at the strut mount. This cushions these impacts to reduce jarring that can be transmitted into the vehicle. With age and everyday wear, these struts can begin to deteriorate and will need replacing soon. You can notice this because more noises and vibrations will become evident when you are driving. Clunking noises, loose, stiff or noisy steering can be other signs that a strut is going out. You can look at the tires for alignment or wearing issues. You can also inspect the strut itself for any corrosion that may be on it. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it and locate the issue. Benefits of proper Shocks and Struts The biggest benefit is it will provide a nice, comfortable ride for everyone in your vehicle. It will also help eliminate excessive bouncing that occurs with every little pothole or small bump you hit. If you have shocks and struts that have worn away, you are not at risk for your safety while driving. It does however increase the distance it takes you to stop your vehicle on rough or bumpy roads. This is because there is increased sway due to weak shocks or struts. This also increases the risk of skidding on wet or slick surfaces. The worn shocks and struts can lead to suspension wear on your vehicle.
September 4, 2013

3 Ways to extend the life of your vehicle

The best way to extend the life of your vehicle, as well as save money, is to have your vehicle in regularly for scheduled maintenances. You can follow the schedule set up by your mechanic, or follow the one recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This way we can inspect your vehicle’s parts to make sure they are in a good operating condition. You can also extend the life of your vehicle by doing some inspections yourself. By checking the fluids, tires, and monitor how you drive, you can help maintain the vehicle’s condition. Check the fluids in your vehicle The fluids in your vehicle should be checked regularly to make sure they are at the proper amount recommended. This includes the coolant, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Even if your vehicle does not leak fluids, it may develop a leak quickly. This can result in one of the fluids becoming too low, and if ignored, other parts of your vehicle may become damaged. Checking the color or smell for some of these fluids is equally important as checking the level that the fluids are at. Some fluids are held in see through plastic reservoirs so you can visually see the level they are at. Some fluids also contain dipsticks so you are able to see the amount that is held in the tank if it is not see through. The oil color should also be looked at. It should be relatively clear and not black. Oil that is black in color has been in the engine too long, and you should get an oil change as soon as you can. Monitor how you drive Another important factor is how you drive your vehicle. You can help maintain the brakes by adjusting your starting and stopping while driving. Ease into a start or stop instead of having a jackrabbit start or slamming on the brakes. After starting the vehicle, drive off slowly and gently until the vehicle reaches an operating temperature. Cold starts are hard on your engine, gas mileage, and the environment. Starting a vehicle immediately can cause condensation in the exhaust and excessive amounts of water can accumulate in your muffler, which may lead to it to rust. Warming up a vehicle will help reduce the strain on the engine while the oil is still cold and thick. Have proper maintenance for the wheels The tires are the most important part of your vehicle, as they provide the contact to the road’s surface. One of the things to do to keep the tires maintained is to have them rotated. This can help to reduce uneven wear and tear for the tread. This can help to extend the life of the tires as well. It is also wise to check the air pressure of the tires. Under inflated tires can lead to decreased gas mileage. Over inflated tires have a greater chance of getting punctured by sharp objects on the road. If you notice any issues with your tires, bring in your vehicle so we can inspect it for you.