Without power steering, it will make it almost impossible to steer a car. If you notice that the vehicle becomes difficult to turn or steer, make sure to schedule an appointment with us. Anytime you notice something out of the norm, it is best to have it inspected. Fixing an issue at the first sign can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Various problems that occur with a failing power steering unit can be traced directly to some kind of problem with the pump. One noise an incredibly shrill screeching, squealing, or screaming sound. Another obvious sound occurs when you turn your steering wheel sharply to the left or right while driving, or even when you’re idling and just barely move the steering wheel and a chirping noise starts repeating over and over. When this happens, the wheel is also extremely hard to turn.
When a power steering belt slips, there will be a shaking feeling in the steering wheel. This shaking will happen as you try to make a turn and will be accompanied by the screeching sound described above. The exterior of a power steering belt can appear like it’s in good shape and on tight. A power steering pump will fail if a belt is not tight enough. If a belt breaks or slips off the drive train, it means the pulley is not working properly. A slipping belt can also transfer heat from the drive belt to the power steering pump’s shaft and pulley system. This heat can damage seals and bearings in the pump. As a result, you will experience jumpy or choppy steering.
Power steering fluid
Inadequate fluid will cause steering wheel slippage, making the steering wheel hard to turn. In addition, you will hear a constant humming sound. Correcting this problem is a simple fix. When you hear a whining or humming sound the pump and lines need a total fluid flush
The condition of your power steering fluid can also indicate something about the condition of the pump. The color of new fluid is clear, yellowish clear, and red with a distinctive odor. A whining sound along with fluid that has turned to a nasty gray color definitely indicates a problem with your pump.
A tire rotation is something that can help keep your vehicle operating efficiently and at top performance levels. The key to avoiding uneven tire wear is regularly moving each tire to a different corner of the car. This way, each tires experiences a variety of wear patterns over time, and wears out at the same rate as the other tires.
When tires need rotating
Your car’s owner’s manual should tell you how frequently tire rotation is recommended. Schedules range from every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. As a rough estimate, rotating your tires every other time you change your oil should keep them wearing evenly. The exact rotation pattern depends on the vehicle and the tires themselves. Again, the owner’s manual should describe the recommended pattern for particular car. The standard pattern is to move the front tires straight to the rear, and move the rear tires to the front, but cross them over (so that the right rear ends up on the left front). The reverse pattern is also common. The exact pattern isn’t really that important as long as you are consistent each time you rotate the tires. Just make sure every tire spends some time at each corner of the car.
Importance of Rotations
Don’t overlook tire rotation. Just a few minutes of maintenance will keep your tires wearing evenly, improving your car’s handling and overall performance. If you are not sure when to have the tires rotated, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the correct schedule. You can also schedule an appointment so we can inspect the tires for you as well. When we check the tires, we can check the condition of them. The air pressure will be checked to ensure that the tires are properly inflated. The tread wear will also be inspected. With proper tread, your vehicle will be able to handle the road more efficiently when you drive.
Towing a boat or trailer can difficult if you are not used to it. There are some tips you will need to do before towing. The most important thing is to bring your vehicle in. We can inspect it to make sure the parts are efficient. Another thing is that we will make sure your vehicle is up to tow what you need to. This can help to ensure the performance and safety when you drive.
Make sure to review the towing capacity of your specific vehicle and ensure it is capable of handling the weight of your trailer and cargo you are towing. Also confirm that the trailer hitch is capable of handling your trailer’s loaded weight. Your owner’s manual will show the maximum tongue weight it can safely support. Ensure that the vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), vehicle weight when empty, and the payload, the weight of all people and cargo in the vehicle, and the tongue weight of the trailer, do not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), the maximum operating weight of a vehicle. Make sure to not exceed the GVWR maximum load capacity, which can be found on the Certification/Tire label on the driver’s side or door.
There are several things to check on your vehicle. The first is to check the tires. Refer to the tire pressure label placed in the driver’s doorjamb for proper inflation pressures for the tow vehicle. Ensure that your tires on your trailer are filled to the correct tire pressure as shown on the trailer tire pressure sticker or trailer tire sidewall. The trailer tire sidewall will show the tire manufacture date. Most trailer tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are more than six years old. Check the speed rating on the tires for both your tow vehicle and trailer and ensure that you never exceed that speed while on the road. Most trailer tires are rated at 65 mph unless stated otherwise on the sidewall.
Don’t forget the lights
One of the most overlooked parts when towing is the light system. Check that the turn signals, tail lights and brake lights function properly by having a partner stand behind the vehicle while it is in park and you are testing. This will help others know when and where you will be turning. If a light is out, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.
The suspension of your vehicle is important. If the suspension is in poor condition, make sure to bring the vehicle in. This way we can inspect it for you to ensure everything is working. You may not realize when the suspension has become damaged. More often than not, the suspension is already damaged by the time you notice. Proper vehicle and tire maintenance will help decrease the chance of damage. There are also some things you can do to help prevent the issue.
Tire care is crucial for maintaining proper suspension, which is why you should have your tires rotated on a regular basis. Tires wear more evenly if they are rotated every 5,000 miles or so. If you follow the car’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can even have the tires rotated at every oil change. When the tires wear out, though, have all four replaced at the same time to ensure even wear.
Many forget to check the air pressure in the tires. But this is not something you want to forget. Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive and easy to use. Since tire pressure is affected by temperature changes, you’ll want to test the tire pressure at least once a month in the morning while the tires are still cold for accurate readings.
When a car’s suspension needs repair, there are several warning signs that are hard to miss. The vehicle may bounce or sway, the front end may dip when braking, or you’ll feel the car pulling to one side during turns. If your vehicle is riding rougher than it once was, bring it in. Suspension problems do not have to put your family in danger. Properly maintaining your vehicle helps reduce the chance of an issue.
Having regular oil changes done for your vehicle is important. You may remember being told the oil should always be changed. But do you know why exactly? While you may know to keep your vehicle maintained, knowing why is also important. In order for your vehicle to operate efficiently, the oil will have to be changed. If you are not sure how often that is, contact us. We can advise you on the correct oil change schedule. The vehicle will also be reliable, as the fluids will be in the best condition.
When oil changes are needed
Knowing exactly when to change the oil on your vehicle can be based on how you drive. Some factors include how you drive, and the condition of the engine. Others can be the environment you drive in, and what type of traffic. You can look in the vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended schedule, or contact us. Sometimes you will need to change the oil more frequently if situations arise. If you have jackrabbit starts or heavy acceleration, frequent oil changes may be needed. If you drive on dirt roads frequently it may contaminate the oil quicker. Also, an old engine will burn oil quicker than a newer engine.
When your vehicle operates, the oil has a process it goes through. Oil undergoes thermal breakdown due to high operating temperature. When this occurs, the oil becomes less effective as a lubricant. Without it parts of the engine rub together and wear each other out.
Why oil is important
Oil also contains additives that have the ability to neutralize acids. Over time, these additives get used up and stop being effective. Oil can absorb water, dust, and combustion byproducts and also hold them in suspension. Eventually, the oil gets saturated with this stuff and cannot absorb any more. Then that stuff remains in the engine and can cause corrosion. By having oil changes done, you can help keep the engine operating as efficiently as possible. Always remember to notice any strange noises. If this happens, schedule an appointment so we can inspect it for you.
Driving in the spring is a wonderful feeling. The snow and ice from the winter is melting. The sun is also out more. But while you will want to drive safely on the road, also make sure you are aware of the condition of the road. If you see puddles, they could be hiding potholes. Hitting a pothole can be dangerous because it will do damage to your vehicle.
Why damage occurs
Damage from a pothole occurs when the tire exits it. With a disproportionate amount of weight on the submerged tire, the force of impact it has exiting the pothole is severe. One of the most common parts that can get damaged are the tires. The tires of a vehicle are always in contact with the road. When the tire enters a pothole, the force on the tires, which is relatively balanced on a level surface, is no longer evenly distributed.
Tires hitting potholes
As the tire drops into a pothole, the vehicle is no longer level, and the weight begins to shift more heavily on to the tire that is relatively lower than the tires on the regular road surface. The damage occurs when the tire exits the pothole. With a disproportionate amount of weight on the submerged tire, the force of impact it has exiting the pothole is severe. As it hits the edge of the pothole, a massive, concentrated force strikes the tire directly. This force, if severe enough, misshape the tire, rupture it, or even bend its rim. Maintaining optimal air pressure in tires can help prevent these types of problems, as it cushions the impact, the fact remains that hitting the right pothole in the right spot can leave a driver stranded regardless.
Other damage from potholes
Other damage you may notice could be dents or leaks. The tires of a vehicle are made to keep it a certain distance above the ground. While a tire is in a pothole, the entire vehicle moves lower to the ground, and the abrupt movement can cause the suspension to compress, dropping it even closer to the road’s surface. If the vehicle makes contact, the result can be anything from scratches to damaged mechanical components. If you hit a pothole, bring the vehicle in. No matter how big or small the potholes are, they can do damage to your vehicle.