Belts – They Keep Us Moving
What causes failure in belts? They do over 35 million revolutions a year, are exposed to heat, vibration and contamination. They twist, and turn, bend and flex. This produces heat that hardens the rubber that causes the belts to loosen and slip. The rubber then cracks and frays and the internal cords will become brittle and weak. This happens from the inside out so it isn’t visible. Vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing belts every 36,000 miles.
What causes failure in hoses? Tiny cracks develop in the rubber causing the hoses to split, blister and/or leak. Contamination from oil and atmospheric ozone can accelerate the process. Hoses deteriorate on the inside as much as the outside. They can even look fine on the outside and be totally ruined on the inside. Small cracks and pinhole leaks weaken hose fibers. If you squeeze the hose near the clamps or connectors and the ends feel soft and mushy, the hose has been contaminated and needs replacing. Manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 48,000 miles.
Anti-Aging For Your Car
We seem to be an “anti-aging” society. Everywhere you look there is some commercial for an anti-aging herb or cream. They all promise to keep us looking and feeling years younger. Many consumers are proving it is more than possible not only with themselves but their cars too! They are keeping their cars going 200,000 miles and longer! How? By getting their vehicle’s serviced regularly. Ask us how to keep your car’s youth!
Best Value or Just Cheap?
In today’s economy there are many businesses offering ‘cheap’ prices to get a consumer in the door. To me, these businesses aren’t offering ‘value.’ Value is when you want to provide the best possible solution for your customers. Now the best doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, but it doesn’t always mean the cheapest either. For example, when you have to replace a part on your vehicle, you want it to be a part that has good quality and a good warranty and you want that part to last you more than a month or two. We promise value each and every time!
Q: What does a squealing or scraping sound indicates when I apply the brakes?
A: Most likely your brake pads are worn and allowing their wear indicators or sensor to touch the disc brake rotor. When this occurs the sensor emits that high pitch noise to warn you that your brakes need attention. Have the brakes checked out sooner rather than later before expensive damage or brake failure occurs.
Q: What does it mean when I hear a knocking or pinging noise when my car accelerates or climb a hill?
A: This is a sign that the gas and air mixture in your car’s cylinders isn’t burning properly. The sound you hear is the result of the fuel and air mixture combusting unevenly in the cylinder. Pinging or knocking does reduce the efficiency of your engine and over a very long period of time it can cause damage.
Q: What does it mean when my vehicle makes a chirping sound?
A: A cyclic chirping sound from the vicinity of a wheel often indicates a wheel bearing or axle bearing that is failing. Usually the noise will change with the speed of the vehicle. It may come and go at various speeds. This noise should not be ignored, because if the bearing fails, it may cause the wheel to lockup or come loose from your car!
Q: What is that hissing sound coming from under the hood?
A: If you hear a hissing sound while driving or after turning the engine off accompanied by a sweet, sickly odor, it may mean your engine is overheating and/or leaking coolant from the cooling system. The temperature gauge or temperature warning light should also indicate an overheating condition. Steam may also rise from under the hood. We advise you to stop driving as severe overheating can damage your engine. Carefully open the hood. Look for any evidence of coolant leaking from the engine, radiator or heater hoses. If you see steam or smell a sweet odor, it is antifreeze leaking from the cooling system. DO NOT open the radiator or coolant reservoir cap or add coolant until the engine has cooled. Get this checked out right away.
Q: What is that clicking or tapping noise from the engine?
A: A metallic tapping or clicking sound means your engine may be low on oil, or is not developing normal oil pressure. The clicking noise is coming from the valve train. If the oil pressure is low due to low oil level in the crankcase or there is a problem with the oil pump, the hydraulic lifters that open and close the valves may collapse creating an increase in valve lash. This creates the clicking or tapping noise. Stop the engine, let it sit a few minutes (so the oil can run back down into the crankcase), then check the oil level on the dipstick. If low, add oil as needed to bring the level back up to the full mark. If the noise does not go away, and/or the oil pressure gauge or warning light indicates low oil pressure, it’s not a good idea to keep driving your vehicle. Loss of oil pressure can cause extensive and expensive engine damage.
Q: Why is my exhaust system roaring?
A: If your exhaust system has a leak, you will hear a roar coming from under your vehicle that is loudest when accelerating. The noise means your exhaust system needs repairs. The dangerous part is if the leaking exhaust gases, which contain carbon monoxide, get inside the passenger compartment. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. It takes only a small amount of carbon monoxide inside the passenger compartment to affect your alertness, ability to concentrate and react to changing driving conditions. A very small amount can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and bring on stupor in two hours. A one percent concentration of carbon monoxide can kill a person in less than three minutes!
Q: Why do my tires make a thumping noise?
A: You may have a tire out of balance. This causes it to impact with road in a slapping sort of manner, causing the thumping noise. Get it looked at as soon as possible as a neglected tire causes flat spots and eventually ruins your tires.
By now most of us have had a strange telephone call telling us our “extended auto warranty” is about to expire. If you are on a no call list at home, they may have reached you on your mobile phone. Some have been very puzzled because they knew they didn’t have an extended warranty. Some though, assumed it was a call from their dealership, incorrectly as it turned out. Consumer Reports states that whether a service plan is offered by a broker, car dealer, or manufacturer, they recommend skipping it. These ads promoting extended auto warranty may sound good but if they don’t deliver consumers’ have wasted their money. Don’t become a victim. If you really want an extended warranty plan, read the fine print, do your research and don’t be pressured by a fast-talking salesperson.
Does Your Ride Have A Mind Of Its Own?
We get calls from consumers complaining that their car seems to have a mind of its own. It wants to bounce and rock and drift and sway. We know exactly what the problem is when we hear these complaints. It is either your vehicle’s shocks or struts. Usually they wear out slowly and you don’t notice that they are aging, then suddenly, it seems like you can’t keep your tires on the road!
How Are Your Wiper Blades Holding Up?
Wiper blades are one of the most neglected components on vehicles today. Many blades are cracked, split, torn, brittle, worn or otherwise in obvious need of replacement. Others may look okay, but does a lousy job of wiping when put to the test. Ninety percent of all driving decisions are based on a clear unobstructed view of the road, which means good visibility is absolutely essential. All wiper blade materials fall victim to environmental factors. Exposure to sunlight and ozone causes the rubber to age, even if the wipers aren’t used much. Then when the wipers are needed, they streak and chatter because they’ve taken a set and won’t follow the curvature of the windshield. It can be very annoying as well as dangerous. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year so you are always prepared when you need them.