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March 2016

Automotive Services The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment

Automotive Services The Importance of Proper Wheel AlignmentAfter gas and insurance, tires are often the single greatest expense of owning an automobile. Even a safe driver who observes the rules of the road must replace them from time to time. According to the experts, the average set of wheels lasts around 40,000 miles. Since the average American motorist drives about 12,000 miles a year, they must replace all four tires every three to four years.

Annual Expense

Depending on the size, brand, and performance quality, tires can range in price from $50-$200 each. If replaced as a set, as recommended, the average driver would have to shell out $200-$800 each time. That’s about $60-$230 a year! Fortunately, there are inexpensive automotive services that can greatly extend the life of your tires.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

In spite of its name, wheel alignment has little to do with the rubber that hits the road. A trained mechanic will actually work on your car’s suspension system during this common automotive services procedure. His objective is to adjust the angles of the tires so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This helps ensure that they make full and complete contact with the road.

The Benefits

Because tires are designed to distribute stress evenly, poor alignment invariably results in increased wear to one particular part of the tread. When ignored, the problem almost always results in premature replacement. As we mentioned, this can cost a pretty penny. Alignment helps you avoid unnecessary waste for a fraction of the price. It also helps improve driving performance, fuel economy, and driving safety.

Poor alignment can also be quite dangerous. The reason? Because when wheels are uneven, the vehicle tends to pull to one side. This can make handling your vehicle on a rocky surface particularly challenging since you will be fighting the steering wheel and the road at the same time. It is also a fact that drivers have actually lost control of vehicles on sharp turns when their alignment was terribly out of whack. Last but not least, the lack of a solid base often causes vibrations at top speeds that make driving uncomfortable for all occupants. There may even be an increase in road noise because of vibrations that enter the cabin near affected areas.

The Costs

The good news is that alignment is a fairly straightforward procedure any experienced mechanic can complete. It is not nearly as expensive or as time-consuming as brake or engine work. Most mechanics will only charge $50-$70 for a complete alignment job. As we saw earlier, that’s nothing compared to the price you’d pay for four new tires.

An alignment, one of the most affordable automotive services, can save you big money on tires and repair costs.

Inspecting Your Car Before a Long Trip

Before making a long summer trip, you need to make sure that your vehicle is in perfect running condition. For this purpose, you may just need to first make a short trip to a car inspection station as professionals will check your car in detail and you will be all set to hit the road without any roadblocks.

Car inspection usually requires several things. Following are some of the key aspects of a vehicle inspection process:

Are there are Any Major Works Required?

Primarily you need to get your car inspected for any major repairs that you might have been ignoring for some time. It is suggested to get this done at least a month in advance at a car inspection station in your area. This will give you enough time to monitor any issues that may arise after the servicing or repair.

Checking Your Auto’s Coolant

Next, comes checking and maintaining your car’s coolant, which is a mixture of antifreeze and water. Coolant is required to prevent overheating. At the same time, your vehicle needs to have the right amount of antifreeze if your destination has much lower temperatures than where you live.

Checking the Tires

A long journey is the ideal time to know whether or not your car needs new tires or not. A reputed car inspection station will always give you the best advice on this. Many have ASE certified technicians, who can provide quality service and share great maintenance tips at the same time. Getting your tires checked from a professional is specifically important on long journeys as high speeds can lead to blowing off your tire if it is not in a good condition. While the health of your tires is being gauged, make sure that your spare tire is also handy as emergencies may pop up any time.

Scheduled Maintenance

Many car owners often neglect the importance of scheduled maintenance. However, they need to keep in mind that this is what keeps vehicles in perfect condition. It also ensures safety and saves expenses in the long run. So, just a week before your journey, check if your car is due for any maintenance.

When heading out for a long trip, getting your car inspected from a reputed automotive service center beforehand is always a good idea. This is important for you and your family’s safety that shows immense responsibility towards your loved ones.

Repairing Your Fuel Tank Is a Safety Priority

Promptly repairing your fuel tank at the first sign of trouble is important for safety. The tank for your car carries flammable fuel needed to supply the engine; any condition that leads to leaks can also lead to danger.

Fuel Tanks Can Fail

Fuel tanks for cars and other small vehicles are made of either metal (steel or aluminum), or, more commonly these days, from high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. The plastic tanks can be configured in complex shapes that give auto manufacturers great design freedom in placing the tank over the rear axle to save space and improve safety in crashes. Early fears that the plastic would not last are a thing of the past; although, like any fuel tank, a plastic tank should be monitored for soundness.

Gas tanks are subject to several types of problems that can result from damage to the tank, fuel contamination, and sensor issues. Before attempting to repair a gas tank that is leaking, damaged, or shows other signs of problems, it is imperative to drain all gasoline from it and remove it from the car.

Common Fuel Tank Problems

Fuel tanks can experience several different types of problems:

    • Rust can eat through a metal tank to cause holes or leaks. It can also rust out the straps that hold the tank in place, which runs the risk that the tank can fall off the car. While plastic tanks do not rust, they can have defective or damaged seams that lead to leaks.
    • Since tanks are placed in front of the rear axle, owners can create holes or leaks in gas tanks by drilling into the trunk and hitting the tank. This can happen if owners try to secure a stereo system or trunk organizer and failed to account for the location of the tank.
    • As a result of fender benders and driving over potholes, fuel tanks can suffer from dents and other damage that leave the tank weak.
    • Fuel lines leading into the gas tank can fracture. The extra heat or sparks of the source could cause a fire or explosion
    • Bad or contaminated fuel can cause performance issues and damage other parts. The symptoms are often loss of power, stalling, profiling, and premature fuel injector and fuel pump failure.
    • Slow filling, indicated by a tank that does not want to accept gas, or a gas station hose pump that keeps shutting off, can result from a faulty vapor venting system inside the tank.
  • Fuel sensor issues can show up at the check engine light.

Testing and Repairing Your Tank is a Must

Some of these problems can be quite obvious. If you notice a strong smell of gas inside your vehicle, if you see a puddle of liquid under your card toward the back, or if you experience slow filling, fuel loss, or poor performance, you should have your car examined for potential leaks or other problems, which may be major or minor. To test for leaks, your service facility will run air pressure through your tank to diagnose the problem. While fuel tank problems might be picked up during a routine inspection after an oil change, you should obtain service as soon as you notice a potential problem.

When testing and repairing your fuel tank, choose an experienced repair shop with ASE certified mechanics to diagnose and fix fuel tank issues.

If you are experiencing issues with your gas tank, take it to a certified mechanic and get it diagnosed.

Suspension Systems An Important Component of Your Car

Suspension Systems An Important Component of Your CarLooking forward to maintaining your car so that you can handle it in a better way? Need some good car maintenance tips? Why not focus on improving your car’s auto suspension and instantly improve the overall performance of your vehicle!

Improving car suspension systems have been a very nerve-racking task to bear away. Believe it or not, you may never know how well the handling of your vehicle is until it’s too late. Accident avoidance usually puts a vehicle’s handling to the extreme test. Gearing up your vehicle for these emergency maneuvers may be the difference between getting off the route and maintaining dominance. Improving handling is easy with today’s automotive technologies, and it permits you to ride with bigger surety and trust. Don’t wait for an accident or a close call before you raise your car suspension. The most important section of this system is to make sure that the tires maintain their level of contact with the pavement, and this job is likewise more difficult in a muscle car than in many other vehicles.

Written below are a few points that will unquestionably assist you amend your car suspension and also preserve the best aspects of your vehicle intact:

Tip #1: Analyze Your Current Suspension System

These systems consist of several different primary components. This includes shock absorbers, different types of springs, torsion bars, mounting bars and systems for shock absorbers and more. The best means to improve it is to begin by analyzing your suspension system as it presently endures.

Tip #2: Take care of your tires

It’s important that you start your inspection by checking the condition of your vehicle’s tires. Uneven pattern on the tires indicate the need for tire realignment. They may even recommend replacement of tires to avoid any further harm.

Tip #3: Tighten Any Leaks

One of the biggest troubles with a car suspension system is that, over time and as the car is put to practice on the road, the various elements and valves of the car can arrive out of alignment in a very slight grade. The effect of this happening is that there may be tiny passageways for air to escape, which pushes the engine to run harder in order to achieve the same ends. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten any tubes and valves that connect to your automotive system.

Tip #4: Check your suspension bushes

These brushes play a great part when it comes to providing you the feel of a smooth ride. They act as noise and jerk absorbers to give you a calm driving experience. These bushes are made of rubber and can become soft and bendable with the time.