February 27, 2017

Why the Fuel Tank should be Half-Full

  You have probably heard how important it is to keep the fuel tank fuel, and at the very least, keep it half full. While some people think they are saving money by letting it get as low as possible before filling it up, you may actually be doing more harm than you realize. It is important to keep the fuel tank filled up as much as you can. That way your vehicle will be ready to go if you should need it in an emergency situation. Also, if you happen to get lost where gas stations are infrequent, you will be able to drive further with a full tank of fuel.   Emergencies   The most important reason to keep the fuel tank up is for emergency situations. You are less likely to be stranded someplace due to a lack of fuel. Also, you can benefit from a full fuel tank if you happen to be stuck in traffic for a long period of time. If you need to travel in the middle of the night for an emergency for yourself or someone else, you can be reassured there is enough fuel to get you to your destination or a gas station that is open.   Prevent Condensation   If you run your fuel near empty consistently, you may find yourself having to have more vehicle repairs more often. The reason for this is because of condensation and evaporation. Every time you open the fuel tank, gas vapors escape. When the fuel tank is mostly empty, there is also a lot of free space to collect water. When the vehicle is run near empty, the fuel has more room to create condensation. If the condensation gets into the fuel lines when the temperatures are cold out, it could cause freezing in the lines.   Protect Fuel Pump   Since gas is lighter than water, the water will get closer to the fuel pump. If water goes through the fuel pump first, it can result in repair bills that could have been prevented. Also, it will make for a hard start for your vehicle and cause the starter to wear out sooner. Water will wear on the fuel pump because the water does not lubricate the fuel pump like the fuel does. The water can also cause damage to the fuel injectors over time and frequency. This will all result to a larger repair bill. Keeping the fuel tank at least half full, especially in the winter, is a great way to help your vehicle be as efficient and reliable as possible.
February 17, 2017

Inspecting your Vehicle in the Winter

  The most important thing you can do is to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenances. We can inspect the vehicle to ensure it is working effectively and efficiently. Parts can be inspected to make sure they are in the best condition possible. They will also be inspected so other parts do not get worn or damaged. This can help to reduce the chance of a costly repair bill. If you notice anything out of the norm between visits, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can.   The tires are the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the road’s surface. It is important to maintain and inspect the tires so they are in the best condition possible for when you drive. The air pressure should be inspected regularly, especially during the winter. This is because the tires can lose as much as one pound of air pressure for every ten degrees the temperature drops. If you are unsure how much air pressure should be in the tires, the correct amount can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual. It can also be found on the inside of the driver’s door. Make sure to keep the air pressure to the correct amount on the tires. This can help to prevent excessive wear and tear on them. It can also help prevent suspension issues with your vehicle. Tires with the proper amount of air pressure can also provide good traction on the roads. Besides saving money from repair bills, the proper amount of air pressure can also help you to get the best mileage possible.   Another way to help maintain your vehicle is to have the oil changed when recommended. The oil is important because it helps the engine and other moving parts to operate at peak efficiency. Having the oil changed when recommended can help the engine to last as long as possible. This is because the new clean oil can help to lubricate it, rather than oil that has dirt and contaminants. Bring the vehicle in, and we can help to advise you on a schedule for the oil changes. By making sure the oil is changed on a regular basis, you can ensure it is operating efficiently when you drive.   When checking the battery, make sure the terminals are clean and tightened. Inspect the posts to ensure they are clear from any dirt and debris build up. This can lead to the battery not providing enough power to the rest of your vehicle. If the battery is older, chances are you will need to replace it. Bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the battery for you, as well as what condition it is in. By having your vehicle inspected on the recommended schedule, you can help provide a safe and reliable drive when you travel.  
February 8, 2017

Knowing How the Cooling System Works

  To keep the vehicle operating efficiently, you will want to make sure the engine is in the best condition possible. The engine in your vehicle produces incredibly high levels of heat and the cooling system is essential in cooling the engine of your vehicle enough to avoid damaging the parts inside it. Without a cooling system, your engine would quickly reach temperatures that would damage most of its components. Every engine is designed to function in a very specific temperature range. If it gets colder, the engine’s oil is too thick to move efficiently, and the moving parts in the engine don’t get lubricated properly. Any hotter and the engine is vulnerable to being damaged by heat. Heat damage is one of the leading causes of engine failure. Excessive heat can cause cracking in the engine block, cylinder head and manifold as well as accelerated wear to bearing surfaces in the engine bearings and valve train.   The coolant, or radiator fluid, used in your car’s cooling system is perhaps the most vital part of the system. Coolant flows throughout the entire cooling system, dissipating the heat created in the internal combustion engine. It is specifically designed to retain important properties while it is in the demanding environment of a vehicle’s engine. If you notice you have to replace the coolant often, it could be a sign of a leak.   The water pump is a mechanical pump pushes the coolant through the radiator and the engine. Since the water pump is mechanical, it requires a belt to turn the rotor. This type of belt is commonly referred to as the serpentine belt. The thermostat detects the operating temperature. It is also designed to regulate the flow of coolant from your radiator to your engine. When your engine reaches a certain temperature the thermostat releases the flow of coolant and when the engine is cooler, it restricts it.   Knowing where the radiator is located is also important. It is a square or rectangular shaped metal box that fits in front of your engine and draws in cooler ambient air from the outside to help cool the radiator fluid. A radiator is usually made out of a metal such as aluminum, or in some cases copper, that conducts heat very well. It includes a series of tubes and fins where the fluid passes through and is cooled by air drawn into the radiator. Hot coolant flows into the radiator and is into tiny passages connected to the small metal fins. As the coolant moves through the passages, heat is transferred into the fins. Heat is then radiated into the air and away from the engine. Once the coolant has gone through this process, its temperature is drastically reduced. The radiator cooling fan is usually located directly behind the radiator itself. Its function is to pull air through the radiator when the vehicle is operating at slower speeds. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to bring the vehicle […]
January 31, 2017

Improve the Visibility out of the Windshield

When you drive you will want to make sure the vehicle is in the best condition possible. You will want to make sure that you bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. One part that we can inspect is the windshield. The windshield, for many drivers, is the most used item of their entire automobile. It is also one of the biggest parts of keeping drivers safe on the road. It is all that stands between drivers and the open road. Most blades are not hard to snap off and replace, nor are they expensive. An inspection of the wiper blades also is easy, simply run your hand and your eyes on one at a time and feel along for holes in the edge or torn pieces of rubber that could render the windshield wiper ineffective. If it leaves significant streaks or does not appear to be hugging the contour of the glass, than it might be time to look into a replacement wiper blade. One item that goes along with the windshield and the windshield wiper blades is the washer fluid that will help them clean. Often green or turquoise, this fluid is one of the ones that should be checked before any likely adventure in the rain or in questionable weather. Windshield washer fluid keeps bugs from impeding your vision as a driver, and thus allows you better vision of the road and better planning when obstacles come up. In the event that the unthinkable does happen though, and your windshield does require repair or replacement, there are many options available and some of them do not even require a direct fee. If you have full coverage of your vehicle, most of the time little cracks and even possibly big ones are entirely covered by the insurance. It is recommended to have the windshield replaced as soon as you start to notice damage or issues to it. Cracks and divots can impair your vision. This may allow you to not see an object in the road ahead. Cracks and chips will typically grow and get larger as time passes. There can be repairs to the windshield if the chip is small enough and caught early. If you notice any issues, make sure to contact us and we can inspect the windshield for you.