December 30, 2016

Issues with the Temperature Sensor

  To make sure that your vehicle is operating in the best condition possible, make sure to go to regular maintenances. One issue that might start to form is a problem with the coolant temperature sensor. This is an important part that will enable the control unit to send alerts if there is an issue with the engine. This could mean that the engine is overheating, or if the temperature is rising in the system. If the sensor becomes damaged, it is important to bring the vehicle in and have it replaced as soon as possible.     The coolant temperature sensor operates based on the difference in temperature that it will encounter. As the temperature of the engine changes, the potential difference output of the device will also change. This is then measured by the control unit of the engine. As the temperature rises, the resistance of the coolant in the vehicle will drop. The voltage output is then sent to the electronic control unit of the vehicle. This constantly measures the resistance for the coolant in the vehicle. When the coolant temperature sensor constantly monitors the coolant resistance, it will send the information to the control unit of the engine.     The coolant temperature sensor is usually in close proximity of the thermostat of the cooling system for the vehicle. There may also be two temperature sensors in some vehicles. One will send information from the engine system to the control unit. The other will send information from the control unit to the dashboard. If there are two sensors, one of them is the coolant temperature sensor. The other one is for sending the information to the dashboard of the vehicle.     One of the most common signs to know if the sensor might be bad is if it does not function properly. This is usually shown by the engine overheating on a regular basis. The coolant might be leaking and result in the temperature sensor malfunctioning. In most vehicles, a bad coolant temperature system will result in the check engine light illuminating on the dashboard of the vehicle. Another sign is if the vehicle uses more gasoline than normal.   Black smoke may also come out from the exhaust pipe. This can mean that the coolant temperature sensor in the vehicle is defective. It is always best to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. If a new sensor is needed, we can alert you to the issue. This can help keep the vehicle running safely and efficiently.
December 20, 2016

Having a Battery in Good Condition

  A battery that has a clean connection and is fully charged can help benefit you and your vehicle. If the battery is starting to get weak and it is hard to start your vehicle, this may be an indication your battery is starting to fail. When you bring your vehicle in for regular scheduled maintenance inspections, a battery test can be done to determine what condition your battery is in.   The most important thing you can do to help maintain your battery is to make sure it is clean. It is equally important to make sure all of the battery’s components are clean and clear as well. If the battery is showing signs of corrosion, a replacement may be needed in the near future. If any dirt or debris on the battery starts to form, it may cause the battery to drain. This is especially common in tight spaces of the battery. It is also important to clean the terminals of the battery where the connections are. The harness clamps should also be looked at and cleaned if needed.   An important part to a well working battery is to make sure it is holding a charge properly and efficiently. You should have your battery brought in to have it tested if you start to notice that your vehicle is starting slow, or does not start at all. It is possible to have a battery that is overcharged, which will result in it not working as well or efficient as it should be. This can be hard to diagnose because an overcharged battery will act like a battery that is losing power.   Without the battery for your vehicle, you will not even be able to start your vehicle. If your battery fails when you are traveling, it can be a stressful and inconvenient issue. By keeping the battery in good condition and making sure it, as well as all of its components, is clean you can help to preserve the life of the battery as long as you can. If you are experiencing any issues with starting your vehicle or the battery losing charge, bring your vehicle in so we can inspect the battery to see what the issue might be.
November 29, 2016

Inspecting the Vehicle in Winter

The winter months can present many challenges for you and your vehicle. While modern vehicles are designed to handle inclement weather conditions, there are some basic steps every driver should take as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. Replace or Refill All Fluids The best way to winterize your car is to start by checking your fluid levels. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the fluid levels for you. Coolant—It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information on this mixture. Make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line. Oil—Make sure to have the oil changed on a regular basis. This will help keep the parts operating efficiently with one another. Wiper fluid—Often overlooked, you will need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear. Inspect or Replace Your Tires Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure. If you have never checked tire pressure yourself, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can check the pressure and properly inflate the tires if they need it. Cold Weather & Battery Capacity The battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter. Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. To read the level of charge in your battery, you will need to turn the engine off. Some batteries have a built-in hydrometer eye that tells you the amount of voltage remaining in the battery. If you prefer, a handheld hydrometer can be used to collect the same information. While you are inspecting your battery, look around for the manufacture date. Knowing how old your battery is can clue you in to when it will begin to lose charge. Pack an Emergency Kit Keeping a safety kit in your car all year is a good idea. Things like road flares, a jack, a lug wrench, and a first aid kit should be at hand no matter what. Items to include in your winter safety kit can include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, a bag of kitty litter or sand incase you get stuck in slush, ice scraper, a small shovel, and non perishable snacks. Prevent Frozen Doors Door locks can freeze in cold weather and break your key if you try to force them open. You can purchase glycerine that you can use for de-icing. Think about where you keep it, however, because if the de-icer is in the glove box of your frozen-shut car, then it will not help you out. You can also place a tube at home in the garage and also in your desk at […]
November 21, 2016

3 Tips for your Vehicle this Winter

  In the winter it is important to keep your vehicle operating in the best condition possible. This is because you will want to have an efficient vehicle that is operating at top performance levels. The best way to ensure that the vehicle is working correctly is to bring it in for regular maintenances. By having the vehicle inspected, we can look for parts and components that might be starting to wear. This way we can advise you on the best way to have them repaired or replaced. Having the parts in the best condition can help save you time, money, and stress in the long run. This is because if a part is starting to wear, it can do further damage to other nearby parts.   The Battery   One reason that the battery might be starting to lose power is due to the cold weather. The colder temperatures can sometimes cause the battery to go dead without any warning. Even if the vehicle sits in the garage, you will want to make sure that the battery is properly charged and in great condition. If you notice that the battery is starting to wear out and the vehicle is becoming hard to start, make sure to bring the vehicle in. The poor power could be caused from a faulty alternator, slipping drive belts, or a loose or corroded battery terminal. All batteries can lose strength over time. It can sometimes happen to new batteries that you just purchase, although this is less common. If you drive only short distances with the lights and other accessories on, it can cause the battery to drain. When the Vehicle Will Not Start With the onset of winter temperatures, owners of a wide variety of vehicles find that their engine will not turn over, or that it runs roughly when first fired up. Depending on the make and model, a frozen relay or valve may be the culprit. Batteries also lose significant capacity as the temperature drops, compounded by thickening motor oil that puts a greater load on the battery. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can locate the reason for why the vehicle may not be starting this winter. The alternator, battery, and other parts will be inspected for the efficiency and performance it has. Replacing the Windshield Wiper Blades   To help maintain the best visibility possible, make sure that you have the windshield wipers replaced on a regular basis. They will start to lose their effectiveness in as little as six months. Streaks or missed expanses of glass are signs that the blades should be replaced as soon as you have time. To help extend the life of the wiper blades, make sure to clean the rubber edge periodically with a paper towel and glass cleaner. It is recommended to replace the blades twice a year. If you are unsure if the wiper blades should be replaced, make sure to contact us and we can recommend when […]