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How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle misadjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
What are the symptoms of a vehicle with incorrect alignment?
Have your vehicle checked if you notice:
How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
The importance of Total Alignment:
We offer high quality four wheel alignments with the Hofmann geoliner 550 aligner that features the next generation of imaging alignment technology patented by Snap-on Equipment. The geoliner 550 alignment system uses high-definition cameras encased in heavy-duty magnesium pods that mount to the rear wheels. A set of non-electronic, shatter-proof imaging targets are mounted to the front wheels to complete the system. Measuring information collected by the imaging system is transferred via Bluetooth wireless technology to a Windows-based computer console.
Click HERE to watch a video of the Geoliner 550 in Action.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Can Saves Lives
Most people ignore their tires, yet tires are undoubtedly a critical safety component on a vehicle. Where the rubber meets the road affects traction, handling, steering, stability and braking. Because of this, a sudden tire failure can have serious consequences, especially if it occurs when operating at high speeds.
Nearly 250,000 accidents occur in the United States per year due to low tire pressure.
About 75% of roadside flats are preceded by a slow leak or under inflation.
According to a recent survey, America could reduce its fuel consumption by 10% and save a collective $2 billion a year by keeping tires properly inflated.
NHTSA estimates that tire pressure monitoring systems could prevent as many as 79 deaths and 10,365 injuries each year in the United States.
What is the effect of under inflation?
An estimated 23,000 accidents and 535 fatal accidents annually involve blowouts or flat tires. Maintaining proper tire air pressure is not only a major safety concern but can also affect the handling and performance of your vehicle.
Why is it more expensive and time consuming to have tires serviced rather than rotated?
Technicians use special diagnostic tools to test and recalibrate sensors any time a tire is moved from one location on the vehicle to another. A sensor must be tested to make sure it is functioning correctly and also must be reprogrammed whenever tires are moved from one position to another during rotation. OEMs recommend a sensor service kit be installed every time a tire is serviced. These kits include replacement parts to properly service the sensor. Sensors are powered by a battery that usually has a life of 6 to 8 years. The sensor has to be replaced when the battery fails because the batteries are not replaceable.
The engine in your vehicle is what keeps your car running and working. It is no surprise that if your engine isn’t in great shape that your car won’t be either and you’ll need to visit your local auto repair shop. There are a few ways that you’ll know that your engine is in need of repairs:
Check Engine Light Turns On
A check engine light indicates a serious problem with your ignition, fuel or emission system. If this light comes on, it is a serious problem and needs immediate attention.
When your engine stops running and your cars stalls, this could indicate a problem with the electrical system in your car or the fuel system. The engine is unable to ignite the gas in the car’s cylinders and requires attention from a certified technician.
Engine Clicking or Ticking
If your engine starts to sound like your watch, you may be having a problem with the car’s oil pressure. A damaged or clogged oil pump could be preventing oil from reaching all of the components necessary to run the vehicle.
To keep your car running at its best, it is important to keep the engine in optimal condition. Take your vehicle for its scheduled maintenance, perform yearly emissions tests and visit Art’s Automotive with any questions or concerns you have regarding your car.
The best way to prevent long-term and costly problems with your vehicle is to keep up with its preventative maintenance schedule. One major key to successfully making sure you are doing all you need to do is to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Regardless of your vehicle’s make or model, its owner’s manual will contain a maintenance schedule. Every make and model is different, and standby beliefs such as “You have to change your oil every 3,000 miles,” may not apply to your car.
The maintenance schedule within your owner’s manual is provided by the people who understand your vehicle the best—the company that built it. The manufacturer provides suggestions for how often you need to change your oil, filters, driving belts, timing belts and more.
While some preventative maintenance—such as topping off fluids—can be performed by the vehicle’s owner, other, more complicated procedures should be done by experts like the team at Art’s Automotive. Our team can keep your vehicle in top shape by performing the following maintenance:
By following your vehicle’s owner’s manual and having your vehicle inspected and maintained regularly, you can greatly reduce problems and save money in the long run. Let the expert team at Art’s Automotive help your vehicle stay in good condition.
Engine oil is what lubricates a car’s engine, allowing it to run smoothly and last longer. Car owners must maintain a car’s engine by changing the oil and using the oil appropriate for their cars make and model. Every car comes with a “check oil” light and an oil filter under the hood. These components allow car owners to monitor their oil levels and add oil as needed without having to hire a mechanic.
Changing the Oil
An important part of routine car maintenance is changing the oil regularly. The necessary frequency of oil changes has become a point of contention among experts. The Engine Oil Bible maintains that engine oil can’t be changed often enough, but Nordic Group insists that, with the advent of detergent oils and multi-weight oils, some vehicles can go as far as 6,000 miles before needing an oil change. The best course of action is to check the owner’s manual and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
An obvious benefit of changing one’s own oil is saving money, but oil change services frequently advertise bargains. If the “check engine oil” light comes on while driving, this is a strong indication that the car is running low on oil. A driver does not need a mechanic to add oil. However, if the oil light stays on or lights up shortly after adding oil, there may be a leak, and a mechanic should look at the car.
Your vehicle’s electrical system is responsible for routing power and information in order to dictate the behavior of certain systems. A linked system of wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, and relays is what makes up the electrical system. Poor pin fits, broken connectors or switches, and loose or broken wiring may lead to intermittent power or a completely inoperative system.
A vehicle with electrical problems may not start, or it may become inoperative. Our technicians are able to diagnose and repair problems during an electrical service We can also diagnose the cause of uneven headlight brightness, intermittent lights, dim lights, and inoperative lights. In the end, Art’s Automotive will work hard to get you driving a safe and functional vehicle again.
Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Brake System Components That Can Fail
The master cylinder, the heart of the vehicle’s braking system, holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will become ruined.
The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old and dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The brake lines connect to the master cylinder through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve. It regulates the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials, while the disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely, letting the metal of the calipers and cylinders they are attached to grind against the rotors and drums and damage them. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip sounds only when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.
The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes form a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Art’s Automotive. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.