September 22, 2016

Inspecting the Brakes for your Vehicle

  Noticing a high-pitched squealing sound when you apply the brakes could mean that the brakes need to be replaced or inspected. Many manufactures have wear indicators that are in the brakes and designed to produce a sound to notify the driver that brake work may need to be done. The squealing could also be from a build-up of brake dust from the brake pads being worn down. The brake pads could be glazed over from high heat or rust. There could also be a grinding noise when you apply pressure to the brake pedal. It could mean that the pads were not replaced in a timely manor and something is rubbing against the brake rotors wrong. The brake pads may be coming into rough and uneven contact with the brake rotors. It could also mean that the brake calipers or pistons may be rubbing against the brake rotors.   When you apply the brake pedal, you should feel a firm response that will increase the further you press down on it. A brake pedal that is mushy and can be pressed all the way to the floor may indicate an issue with the brakes. It could mean there is also a leak or a gap in the brake lines that allows air to enter. This can diminish braking power for the pedal. Also notice any vibrations you may feel when you apply the brake pedal. This could mean that the brake rotor is worn or even warped. In order to brake effectively, the brake pads and brake rotors should come into contact cleanly with the entire surface.   Also notice if the brake warning light illuminates on the dashboard, make sure to bring the vehicle in. The computer diagnostic system of the vehicle can display warning signs for areas of the vehicle, and it could mean that the brakes have an issue with them. Sometimes a fuse can go out and cause the light to come on. It is always recommended to bring your vehicle in for an inspection as soon as possible so any damaged parts can be replaced. By noticing an issue at the first sign, you can reduce the chance of further damage in the long run, and keep your vehicle safe and reliable.
September 15, 2016

4 Tips for Maintaining the Tires

  It is important to keep the tires on your vehicle in the best condition possible. Most often, the tires are overlooked until there is a major issue. The tires are the only part that keeps the vehicle in contact with the road. They also help to provide a comfortable ride, as well as easy handling when you drive.   The Air Pressure   It is typical for tires to lose air over time, so it is important to check the tire pressure regularly. The tires should be inflated to the amount recommended in the vehicle owner’s manual. As you drive, the tires create heat that will then increase the air pressure in them. This can cause an issue because it will mask tires that are actually under inflated. Tires that are under inflated have more rolling resistance that can increase the fuel consumption of your vehicle. Under inflated tires also create more heat as they rotate, and it can lead to tire failure.   Checking the Tread   You can check the depth of the tread by placing a penny upside down into the grooves of the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you should invest in a new set of tires. It is always best to replace all four at once rather than just one tire. The tread of the tire helps to keep traction on the road’s surface as you travel. If the tread has worn down, it can make handling the vehicle difficult at times.   Tire Condition   When checking the tread or air pressure of the tire, also make sure to check the tire for any wear. The inside and outside edges of the tires should be inspected for any punctures or damage. Any bulges, cracks, or cuts should be an indication to have the tires inspected for any other issues. It should also be inspected for any uneven wearing that has occurred. If there is uneven wear on the tires, it is usually a sign that your vehicle is out of alignment. Proper alignment can help to provide optimal handling for your vehicle. It can also help to prevent premature wear to the tires.   Remember the Spare Tire   If you get a flat tire while traveling, one of the last things you want to have happen is to get the spare tire and notice it is flat as well. You should inspect the spare tire just like you would the regular tires. This should be done frequently, so the tire will be usable incase you need it. Also, make sure the spare has the proper air pressure recommended by the vehicle owner’s manual. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you.
September 8, 2016

Know why the Check Engine Light is Important

  Noticing any warning light that illuminates on the dashboard is important to be aware of. The light will correspond to an area of the vehicle where the issue is. If between visits you notice a light coming on, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. If the light starts to blink, turn the vehicle off when it is safe to do so. This can help prevent further damage being done to the vehicle. One of the lights that could come on is the service engine soon or check engine light. This is a symbol that looks like an engine. If the light comes on, it is important to not ignore it. When a check engine light is ignored for a long period of time, there could be extensive damage done to the vehicle.   The Purpose of the Check Engine Light   The check engine light is part of the emissions system of the vehicle. It was designed to alert you about emissions problems monitored by the computer. It became standard on vehicles in the 1980’s. Federal law actually mandates that all new cars sold in the United States have a check engine light. In addition to turning on the check engine light in your car, the computer also stores a code that identifies the source of the problem. This helps to allow the problem to later be identified by one of our technicians using a scanner. This same computer also controls and monitors vehicle performance, fuel mixture, ignition timing, regulates engine speed (RPM), and in some vehicles it even tells the automatic transmission when to shift.   What Causes the Check Engine Light to Come On?   There are some common things that cause the check engine light to come on. These things include a loose gas cap, faulty oxygen sensor, bad battery, alternator, baseline parts, hoses, and wires. Sometimes the cause of a check engine soon light is as simple as a gas cap that has not been properly secured. In this case, it is a simple fix to make the check engine soon light turn off. A second cause might be a faulty oxygen sensor. While a faulty oxygen sensor may be over diagnosed, it is still a common cause of the check engine soon light coming on in your car. The main purpose of an oxygen sensor is to examine the amount of oxygen in the exhaust system as compared to the oxygen outside of the system.   The Battery should be Inspected   The third possible cause of the check engine soon light coming on is a bad car battery. Have your car battery tested. Bringing the vehicle in can help determine if the battery is causing an issue with the vehicle. If a bad battery and alternator are ruled out as the cause for your check engine light coming on, we can do a visual inspection of your hoses and wires. This can help provide a safe and reliable […]