Inspect the Belts of the Vehicle











When having the vehicle inspected, every part should be checked. This even includes the belts of the vehicle. These are important because they help the engine, cooling, air conditioning, and charging systems operate effectively and smoothly. There are several belts that help to make your vehicle run. The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft mechanically synchronized for engine timing. The serpentine, V-belt, and fan belt all transmit power from the front of the engine to the accessories that are ran, such as the air conditioning, charging system, and fans. Always make sure to take your vehicle in for its regular inspection, as the belts will be checked and looked at to make sure they are in good condition. You may come across insistences from time to time where a belt will slip off, even if it is still in good condition.


Reasons to Inspect the Belts


It is important to keep the belts maintained and always make sure to inspect them. If V-belts or Serpentine belts fail, it will more than likely cause your vehicle to breakdown. A broken belt is always bad because when it snaps, all the power to whatever the belt turns, will be lost. That means the water pump quits circulating coolant through the engine, the power steering pump quits assisting the steering, and the air conditioner quits cooling. Many newer vehicles have a single serpentine belt that will drive all of the engine’s accessories, which means when the belt fails, everything will stop working. If you get the belts inspected and replaced periodically, it can minimize the risk of a breakdown caused from a belt failure. If you notice a belt squealing, especially on the fan or air conditioner, it may be a sign a belt is starting to go out. The alternator, power steering pump, air pump, or air conditioner compressor may become noisy due the excessive belt tension, which is another indication you may need a belt replaced soon.


Purpose of the Belts


Different belts serve as different things to your vehicle. The timing belt is a notched rubber belt that allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. This opens and closes the valves in synchronized movement with the engine’s pistons. If the timing belt breaks, the engine will stop working and more than likely cause major engine damage. If the belt slips, it could open at the wrong time and be stuck by your engine’s pistons. You will notice this from a slapping noise coming from your engine. The serpentine belt powers the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, as well as others. When this belt breaks, all of the engine parts it powers will stop, which could lead to your engine to overheat and be damaged. Any warning noise that sounds like screeching coming from you engine usually is an indication it is starting to break.


How the Belts Benefit the Car


It is important to keep the belts inspected and maintained to avoid possible issues in the future. Your engine can lock up, power steering can stop, and all things powered by the belts can quit. Depending on which belt and the severity, your vehicle can even start to overheat. Belts can slip or can break down with heat, mileage, and even age. That is why it is important to always have them examined, as we will be able to let you know when the belts should be replace.

Know when you Need New Tires


Choosing the right type of tire for your vehicle is important. You need to be aware of three things when deciding if you need new tires: tread wear, exposure to the elements, and tire age. If you are not sure what type of tire your vehicle should have, make sure to contact us. We can recommend what tires would be the most beneficial.

Tread Wear on the Tires

With this easy test, a penny can buy you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety. Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are shallow and worn. If this is the case, your tires need to be replaced. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than one sixteenth of an inch of tread depth remaining. This means you probably do not need new tires. The most important reason to worry about tread wear is safety. When your tire treads are worn, your car may respond poorly in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow. With good treads your car will grip the road better. Also, having insufficient tread is considered illegal in many states. Also, worn treads can make other parts of your car wear prematurely. If you notice that the tread is starting to wear, make sure to schedule an appointment and bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

How the Weather Affects the Tires

Exposure to heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays may cause structural changes to your tires. These changes are not usually a concern in moderate climates. If your vehicle sits for a length of time, the tires can start to develop some issues. Sitting out in the elements can cause the tires to have dry rot. By properly storing the vehicle and inspecting the tires, you can help prevent the issues from developing.

Know the Age of Your Tires

How old are your tires? Regardless of tread wear, vehicle manufacturers generally recommend you replace your tires at six years. Most tire manufacturers recommend you replace your tires at ten years. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on your specific tires. You can also contact us and we can check the tires and recommend when new ones would be needed.


Signs to Replace the Tires



The tires are an important part of your vehicle to help drive it. Without good tires, the chance of a breakdown can increase. Make sure to inspect the tires for the correct air pressure, as well as making sure the tread is wearing correctly on them.


The main function of the tread on the tires is to divert water from beneath the tire. This will help improve the traction and also avoid hydroplaning on wet roads. The tires become unsafe when they are worn and once the tread is down too low, they are no longer safe. You can also look to see if the tires have tread wear bars. These are small bridges that form between the tread on the tires. Look at the tread pattern and you will see the start of those bars that start to form between the treads or run across the tires. As the tires wear, these bars will become even with the tire’s tread. When you notice this, it may be time to get the tires replaced.

You can check the tread on the tires by using the penny test. Place is upside down with Lincoln facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tires should be replaced. You can also bring the vehicle in, and we can inspect the tread on the tires for you. If you notice any irregular tread wear, this could indicate that a tire is not aligned properly. It may be time for the tires to be realigned or rotated. If you are not sure about the condition of the tires, but notice they are worn, schedule an appointment so the tires can be inspected for the condition and safety when you drive.

By having the tires and vehicle inspected on a regular basis, you can help ensure that the vehicle can work at top performance levels. If you notice any unusual wear or inflation to the tires, make sure to bring them in. Also check to see how often a proper tire rotation or alignment should be done. Keeping the tires in the best condition can also help you to save money at the pumps. This is because the vehicle won’t have to use as much fuel or power to keep the tires rotating efficiently when you drive. Having the tires properly inflated and aligned will help provide you with a smoother and more comfortable ride.


Tips for Fall Care for your Car and Tires



Now is a great time to inspect your vehicle for the upcoming winter season. There are several things you will need to check on a regular basis. This will help keep the vehicle in a reliable condition for you and your passengers. Make sure to schedule an appointment for your vehicle. We can inspect the parts and components of the vehicle so they are in the best condition possible.




The battery connections should be kept clean, tight, and free of corrosion. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it is recommended to check the battery and charging system. There can be some signs that the battery might be starting to fail. If you notice the vehicle is becoming more difficult to start, bring the vehicle in so we can test the battery.

Check that the heater, defroster, and windshield wiper blades are operating properly. The heating performance is critical for interior comfort in the vehicle. The defroster should be working efficiently to improve the safety and visibility when you drive. Now is also a great time to check the windshield wipers. If the wiper blades are torn, cracked, or do not properly clean your windshield, they should be replaced. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, be sure to also check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.

The tires will also need to be inspected. This includes the tire pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.

Another thing that needs to be checked on the vehicle is the brake system. This will include the brake rotors and brake pads. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.

Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability, and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes.


Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Operating at Top Efficiency Levels


Car ownership comes with many privileges, but it also has some responsibilities as well. The responsibilities mean that you have to spend more money, but the money that you put into your car as far as maintenance will be far outweighed by the benefit that you will get from having a more dependable and efficient car. It can also decrease the number of auto repairs that you need in the future as well, simply because issues can be caught earlier and this can make a really big difference.

Have Maintenance done to Prevent Further Damage

While you may feel as if your car payment is already stretching your budget, there are other costs that are associated with it that can cause you to spend more than you may have planned. From oil changes to power steering service to air conditioning service to car repairs, every car needs service and maintenance to keep them working in the way that you need them to. If you are considering buying a car that is at the top of your budget, you may want to rethink that to make sure that you are able to afford the maintenance and repairs of your car as well.

Inspections Now can Save on Issues Later

While you may feel as if you can let the maintenance to slip, by spending money on keeping it maintained you can actually save money in the long run. A well maintained vehicle will run better, which will increase your fuel efficiency and decrease the need for auto repairs that come about due to not having the proper maintenance. Oil changes are one maintenance task that you want to be sure that you fit in. This keeps all of the parts of the car lubricated, so that they will work well and not have to work as hard to give you power.

Drive the Vehicle with Care

While most people think that they can just drive their cars all wild and they will hold up well, you may want to rethink this. While you can, of course, get power that you are looking for when you need it, keeping it running at maximum power all of the time can cause it to wear out much quicker than you would like. This does not mean that you have to drive like a granny, but it does mean that you need to drive it with common sense and respect for the machine that it is. If you are buying a car, you want to be sure that you include the responsibilities of car ownership in your considerations as well. From maintenance to repairs to helping you to get the maximum mileage from it, you want to take the time to consider your budget to make sure that there is room for all of those extras that may crop up. This will be your way to get maximum value and use from your car, as far as mileage, dependability, and power.

Signs that the Tires Should be Replaced


When you need to have a part maintained or inspected, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible. While some details on car maintenance are pretty obvious, others may not be. When the air conditioner does not blow cold air you take it in to get fixed. When the odometer reaches the mile marker that states you need a new oil change, then you drive in and have the oil changed. The same goes for when any of the lights on the dash of your car come on. A light might indicate a problem, so you head on in to your repair shop and check it out. But do you know when the time comes to replace the tires? There are actually several factors that can contribute to tire wear and mean a tire or the entire set of tires needs replacing. Make sure to know what to look for with the tires, or bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

Notice how the Vehicle Drives

When you purchase tires, they are given a rating for how many miles they are expected to last. For instance, your tires are expected to last approximately 40,000 miles. The only problem is, that does not mean your car may actually drove 40,000 miles on those tires. The number of miles is based on optimum conditions that include good weather, nicely paved roads without bumps and potholes and perfect air pressure in the tire. All three of which are items that fluctuate over the span of time you own your tires. Pay attention to where you drive the most. Notice if the conditions are excessively bumpy. The road will have a lot to do with the wear and tear on your tires. One way to tell if it is getting close to retirement on the tires is how they handle. Notice if your car pulls one way or the other often while going down the road. It might be a good idea to check the tread and see how thick it is and if it might be time to replace the tires on your car.

Bring the Vehicle in to be Inspected

If you do not know anything about wear and tear, go to a professional and have them inspect your tires. The best place would be for a mechanic at a shop or a dealership to check your tires. They will see how much tread is left or if there is worn or bald spots on them. If a tire is showing short treads, you have a little bit of times to shop around and get prices for tires. When you have bald tires, it is time for tire replacement and you should not wait since they could make driving hazardous for you. Bald tires and ones with little tread do not have good traction in the rain or in the snow. Driving on tires at high speeds in those conditions could set you up for hydroplaning and even a potential accident.

Safety Tips for Your Vehicle


When you own a vehicle, it is one of the largest investments you will probably make. It is important then to keep the vehicle in the best condition. There are a few ways that you can make sure your car stays in tip-top shape as long as you own it. A car can last for several years with the correct care and maintenance being performed on it. There are also things inside the car which should be checked so that all of the passengers inside the car can be safe from any harm that may occur on a trip. The maintenance inspection or preventative measures should be performed by a mechanic, so make sure to schedule an appointment with us. Mechanics are professionals who know their engines and everything that they should do. When there is a problem, we will tell you and give you a quote on getting those problems fixed. Never let safety issues go for the sake of saving money. Cars can be expensive, but when they are safe for you and your family to ride and drive in, then it is worth every expense.

The Brakes should be Inspected Regularly

The brake pads wear down over time and need to be replaced. And with brakes, you cannot give them a shelf life like you can with tires because every person drives differently. One person may be really hard on brakes and they wear out in 20,000 miles. Another person may be easy on their brakes and they last for 40,000 miles. The only way you know how long your brakes will last is when you have them checked out us, and we can measure how much is left on the brake pad.

Check the Seat Belts so they are Secure

Seat belts are what keep you safely in a vehicle as it drives. Every seatbelt in the car should pull out and clamp in to a holder. Children in the backseat might also need a restraint seat. Check your state laws and see what type of seat is required for the age of your child to safely travel in the vehicle.

Why Tire Pressure is Important

Incorrect air pressure can lead to a lot of problems. When tires do not have the right pressure in them, they can wear faster or unevenly. Tires that do not have proper tread in places can lose control in slippery conditions and cause you to be in an accident. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure can make them last longer and prevent you from being in an accident.

Top off the Fluid Levels

When you get your oil changed or even during a yearly maintenance check, your vehicle’s fluids should all be checked over. There is transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, anti-freeze and even the oil that needs to be checked regularly. If the fluid is bad or low, it can be replaced so no long term damage happens to the components of your car. By having regular inspections done to your vehicle, you can help keep it lasting as long as possible.

The Battery that is Right for your Vehicle


Your car battery is your lifeline to a running vehicle, so if it dies, your vehicle will not be able to operate. If your current battery is more than five years old it is smart to start looking into buying a new one, and we can help you determine the best choice for your car. Keep in mind that not all car batteries are the same, and you cannot just walk into any store that sells batteries and pick blindly. Each vehicle fits a different size and having one that fits poorly is dangerous. Before heading into any store you should always consult your owner’s manual to see which battery is made for your car. You can also contact us and we can recommend what type of battery would be best for your vehicle.

What You Need to Know About Batteries

If your car is still under warranty you should always visit the dealership in which you purchased the vehicle from to get the new battery. They will surly know which one is for your car, and can install it properly and without hassle. When you are choosing your battery the two most important factors you should be looking at are the group size and cold cranking amps. The group size is the thing that defines the batteries dimensions and the placement of the terminals. Most of the cars made by one manufacturer will all have the same group size, but a different group size than vehicles from other manufacturers. The cold cranking amps measure of a battery’s ability to start your vehicle in cold weather. When your car has been sitting in the cold for a long period of time the oil thickens and slows the chemical reaction making it the hardest time for your engine to turn over. Cold-cranking amps specify how much current the battery can deliver to the starter at zero degrees Fahrenheit. These are different than the cranking amps that are measured at 32 degrees, and usually display a much higher number.

What to Take Into Consideration

Aside from the group size and cold cranking amps, you should also take into the consideration the reserve capacity of the batteries. This helps you if your alternator were to fail by showing you how many minutes your vehicle will run on the battery alone. Not all batteries have this posted right on their label, so you may need to check the booklet that comes with it. The newer batteries will last longer and help the life of your vehicle. To see what the date that the battery was stamped at, you will have to do some deciphering. Most batteries have a date on it or attached to a label that will start with a letter and the second digit will be a number. This indicates the month and year the battery was made. For example, D12 means April 2012. Be sure to stick to these recommendations because choosing one that is too small or big, or has too low or high of a rating could be harmful to your vehicle and your wallet.


What to do if the Service Engine Soon Light comes On

The Service Engine Soon light strikes fear into the heart of every car owner. Whether you have a new car or an older one, seeing this light means that your car needs attention. By taking the car to a qualified ASE Master Care Technician, you will be able to have your car connected to the diagnostic computer to see what diagnostic codes that your engine is giving off. These codes give clues to the mechanic to let them know what service or repairs that your engine needs to work more efficiently. This is a great benefit of the computer aided engines, as they allow you to know what is going on that you may not even notice as of yet to catch problems early. It is always important to have the vehicle inspected to ensure that everything is working at top performance levels in it.

Diagnostic Codes to be Aware of

There are 10,000 different diagnostic codes that your car can give and this means that you need someone who knows what they are doing to help you determine why the Check Engine light or other engine notification light is on. While this is a great diagnostic tool, it can be quite confusing as well, since there are so many different codes. There are many unimportant codes as well, so having someone that you can trust to hook your car up and check the diagnostic codes can help you to determine if you really need service or repairs right now or not. While you may panic when you see these codes, it does not necessarily mean that you are in for a huge car repair bill. The only way to know that, however, is by going to a certified technician that can diagnose why the check engine or service engine light is on to allow you to make an informed decision.

What you Should Do if You Notice an Issue

You do not have to go to a master technician for help, however. It can be as simple as not screwing the gas cap on tightly enough, so you want to be sure that you check all of the different hints in your car owner’s manual as well to be sure that it is not something that you can take care of yourself. From a loose gas cap to a bad spark plug wire to the engine getting wet somewhere it did not like, there are several unimportant reasons why your engine light may have come on as well.

If the Light Illuminates

If you have been seeing the check engine light on your car display, you will want to first look at your car manual to see if it is something that you can easily fix yourself. While you may sense impending doom when you see the check engine light, it does not have to be that way. By bringing the vehicle in, we can inspect the vehicle for the issue that it might have.

Why the Tires Need to Be Inspected


The tires are one of the most important parts of the vehicle. When purchasing tires, there are a few things you will need to do. Among the most important things that you need to do when buying tires is to conduct a tire inspection. By maintaining tires while you are driving your vehicle, you will be able to get more out of the tires you ultimately purchase. Making sure that you are paying attention to the condition of your tires at all times will help you to stay safe and to get better gas mileage.

What Options you have for Tires

If you are looking to buy new tires, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the size of the tire. Every vehicle requires a specific kind of tire. If you do not have the right size of tire, it can create problems in the performance of the vehicle. It can even cause safety concerns if the tire you purchase does not match the rest of the tires. Also pay attention to the appearance of the tire to make sure that it is new. Look for any signs of wear on the tire as well as any scratches in the wall of the tire.

Check the Tires on a Regular Basis

As your tires start getting older, the tire inspection changes to looking at the condition of the tire. Tires will eventually wear out, but you need to make sure that the tires are not wearing unevenly. If one part of the tire is wearing out faster, it means that the tire alignment may be off. You should also be looking to see if there are any punctures in the tire. Another part of the tire inspection is that you should be looking at the tire pressure in your tires. If the tire is unable to maintain correct tire pressure, it could be an indication that there is a puncture which needs to be fixed. It can also mean that the tire is not sealed properly on the wheel.

Maintain the Tires so they Last Longer

The best way you can maintain your tires is to make sure that you are not accelerating or braking too fast. Not only can this deplete the tread by grinding the rubber for the tire on the road. It can also be bad for the rest of your vehicle. Always make sure that you are having your tires rotated. This switches which side of your tire is facing out as well as changing the location of the tire on your vehicle. This promotes even wearing for the tires and maintains the tread longer. Tire rotations are recommended to be completed every other oil change. Check the tread of your tires by inserting a penny into the tread on the side with the head. If the tread does not cover the head of Lincoln, it is time to get new tires. You can also bring the vehicle in, and we can inspect the tires for you.