Fluid Levels

January 12, 2018

Parts to Inspect if the Radiator Starts to have an Issue

The radiator in your vehicle actively dissipates heat that builds up in the cooling system. As coolant runs through the radiator, the walls of the internal passageways start to develop a thick layer of scale. Debris running through the cooling system may also cause a blockage to develop in those tight radiator tubes. When this happens, the radiator’s cooling abilities drastically decrease. When one component fails to work properly, other parts throughout the cooling system also run the risk of failure. The three parts that commonly cease working after the radiator goes bad are the thermostat, water pump, and heater core. Each engine size and configuration has a specific ideal operating temperature. To control the temperature, the thermostat sits at the end of the bottom radiator hose and directly regulates the flow of water through the cooling system. When the engine reaches ideal operating temperature, the thermostat opens and allows the cooling system to flow freely. When the radiator stops working correctly, too much pressure is put on the thermostat, often causing it to stop working. When the thermostat fails, the valve inside gets stuck either open or closed. With a closed thermostat, your engine will immediately start to overheat. You can tell the thermostat is stuck closed by carefully touching the radiator hoses. The top one will feel hot, yet the bottom hose will remain cold. When the thermostat sticks open, the engine will never reach operating temperature, which negatively impacts gas mileage. The water pump uses an impeller to continuously move coolant through the hoses and passageways of the cooling system. On most engines, the impeller is actually made from plastic materials. Any contaminants or tough debris breaking away from the radiator will cause abrasions and other damage to that part. If the radiator stops cooling the fluid before it moves past the impeller, the high temperatures could also cause damage to the plastic parts. Make sure you notice if your vehicle starts to run hotter than normal, or your vehicle is overheating. By making an appointment, we can inspect the vehicle for you.
December 21, 2017

Issues with the Engine

    If a warning light illuminates on the dashboard of your vehicle, make sure to take note of which one it is. It is important to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for where the issue is. If the light starts blinking, it will indicate a much more serious problem. These lights are connected to sensors that monitor all that your vehicle does. If something is wearing or has become damaged, the computer will use these lights to alert you to what the issue might be. Common lights could be low oil pressure or the check engine light. The check engine light could mean one of several things wrong with it, so it is important to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. The issues could range from the gas cap not being on tight, all the way to a severe issue with the engine.     Driving the vehicle should be a smooth and pleasant experience. It should be free of any jerking, surging, or pulling. If you notice the vehicle pulling or surging, it could indicate an issue with the spark plugs. Another reason for the poor driving could be clogged fuel lines or a clogged fuel filter. It is always best to bring the vehicle in at the first sign of any of these issues. Preventive maintenance can help to reduce the chance of this happening. Also, regular oil changes and belt replacements are needed at the correct intervals to help provide your vehicle with the best driving experience.     A way to notice if there is an issue with the engine is if you hear a tapping or clinking noise. This could mean that there is an issue with the cylinders of the vehicle. Another noise to notice is a grinding noise. If you hear the grinding noise when you attempt to start the vehicle, the motor might need to be inspected. If the grinding happens when the vehicle is shifting between gears, it could indicate an issue with the transmission.   A well maintained vehicle will help it to be efficient and safe when you drive. If you notice any issue, make sure to contact us as soon as possible so we can inspect the vehicle for you to ensure it is operating correctly.
November 1, 2017

Coolant Flushes are Important for your Car

  When you own a car, you will want to keep it in the best condition possible. Part of this includes noticing when there is something out of the norm with your vehicle. You should also bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in, make sure to contact us, and we can advise you on the correct schedule. You will need to have the coolant inspected for your vehicle as well, because coolant flushes help provide the best efficiency for your engine and radiator. The function of the coolant is to transfer heat, lubricate, and inhibit corrosion.   The main purpose of the coolant in your engine is to remove the excess heat through the radiator.  Engine coolant is also called antifreeze because chemicals are added to keep it from freezing in cold climates so you can continue to operate your vehicle.  The engine coolant is circulated through your engine block, radiator and heater core by the water pump.  The water pump spins near the same RPM as your engine, so its bearings need to be cooled and lubricated.  The antifreeze in your vehicle therefore is also a lubricant for the water pump.   The main reason to regularly change your antifreeze is to protect your engine from internal corrosion.  Antifreeze contains different chemicals to maintain the pH levels and to keep the various materials from corroding.  Over time, these chemicals are depleted or precipitate and will no longer protect your engine and cooling system from corrosion. It will also reduce costly repair bills, leaks and components failing.   Replacing your vehicle’s coolant is the best way to prevent future cooling system problems.  Every time you replace the coolant, it is best to perform a cooling system flush as well.  This will ensure that any depleted antifreeze, precipitants or corrosion products are completely removed from your vehicle’s cooling system.  With the old antifreeze removed the new antifreeze will be able to better resist corrosion and with the precipitants and corrosion products removed, heat transfer will be restored to its maximum.   Whenever you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us, so we can inspect the vehicle for you. This can help you to have a safe and reliable vehicle when you drive.
October 6, 2017

Why the Fluids are Important

  The fluids are essential for the vehicle operating at top performance levels. Make sure to inspect the fluid levels on a regular basis. They should be filled to the line indicated on each reservoir. If you notice that a fluid decreases and you have to add more to the reservoir often, it could be an indication there is a leak somewhere in the system. If the leak is ignored, it can cause issues for the vehicle when you want to drive it. With several fluids to check, make sure you inspect them all. They should be free of any dirt and contaminants that will affect the condition of the fluid. Also make sure to bring the vehicle in on a regular basis so we can inspect the fluids for you as well.     Along with checking the fluid levels, also remember to have the oil changed when it is recommended. Keeping he oil fresh and clean will be able to allow the parts to work effectively with one another. Without the oil, parts of the engine will cause friction with one another and extra strain. If you are not sure how often the oil should be changed, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the proper oil change schedule that is beneficial for you and your vehicle. When you bring the vehicle in, we can also inspect the oil filter for your vehicle. The oil filter is important because it catches dirt and other pollutants that could be in the oil.     Along with checking the fluids in your vehicle, also make sure to inspect the windshield wiper fluid. This is important because in order to have the windshield wipers work effectively, you will need the fluid to help wash away any dirt or road grime. It is always recommended to keep some extra wiper fluid in your vehicle, just in the event where the reservoir runs empty. No matter what the weather is, or the time of the year, having the windshield wiper fluid topped off is best. This improves the visibility when you drive on the road. A clean windshield can allow you to see the road effectively, as well as noticing any drivers that are around you.