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Auto Repair

When it comes to an automobile of any kind, it cannot be over emphasized the importance of preventative service and quality repair work. Anyone who has neglected to do preventative maintenance or opted for cheap cost over quality repair work can attest to the disastrous experience as being substantially costlier than it needed to be. Having said that, a fundamental understanding about the mechanics of a car remains a distinct advantage to the preventative maintenance approach. This article will cover common preventative services as well as common repairs. It should prove a practical guide for any novice.

Firstly, let us discuss the basic mechanics of an automobile. A mere glance under the hood will produce a delightful, complicated display of wires pipes, components, and tubes. To the everyday driver, this could certainly be overwhelming. The best way to simplify the mechanics of a car is to separate it into nine parts, categories, or groups, whichever suits you best. Theses nine parts, groups, or categories are the engine, the transmission, the suspension, wheels, tires, brakes, electrical system, steering, and body work. One interesting statistic is that the economical life of an average car is 80,000 miles of driving. However, with the application of preventative maintenance, the same car can go many more miles

Air Conditioning Service & Repair

Yearly checkups are vital to keep your air conditioning working properly. Especially, before the warm summer months. While different vehicles may require different solutions, a standard air conditioning repair involves the evacuation of all refrigerant from the system. Then, some parts may need to be replaced: hoses, o-rings, accumulator. Finally, the air conditioning needs to be labeled properly to show that it has been properly repaired.

Car Batteries

Let’s jump to the heart of mechanics, literally, and discuss the battery and its care. One general but very important fact about an automobile’s battery and proper maintenance is storage. A battery stored unused over a long period of time will discharge. This discharge usually occurs as a result of an internal leak. As a result, it is recommended that a battery charger be kept on hand. They are a must to have during winter. This is mainly because, in the winter season, a fully charged battery only produces about two-thirds of its power. However, a mere trickle charge for a half hour will warm it up and ensure that it starts at 100 percent full power capacity.

Belt Service & Repair

Belt maintenance in an automobile will include the fan belt for the crankshaft, the belt drive for the engine, the fan belt for the pump shaft, the v-belt for a belt-drive transmission, the fan belt for the engine cooling system, and the fan belt associated with current electrical systems. These belts will need replacing, generally, over a period of time. However, note that harsh conditions cause fan belts to deteriorate more rapidly.

Brake Service & Repair

The braking system of an automobile is another fundamental component of preventative maintenance and common repairs. Brakes stop an automobile by generating friction between the automobile and the brake drum or brake disc. This friction causes a necessary force that slows the car and changes the energy of the momentum of the vehicle into heat which disperses into air around the brakes. Brakes should always be properly adjusted to ensure efficient braking distances. Excessive heating of the automobile’s brakes could result in fade. The brake pads and brake lining also wear faster at higher temperatures. Brake fade is caused by vapor formation in hydraulic fluid that has not been replaced by the recommend interval.

Computerized Steering Alignment

Another essential element of automobile preventative maintenance and common repairs is steering alignment. It is important to have your steering aligned every year. If not done, it will adversely impact the way your car drives. While you may want to go straight, your vehicle may opt for making a turn. A computerized steering alignment fixes this by adjusting the angles of the tires. This will markedly improve how your vehicle drives as well as extending the life of the tires.

Computerized Engine Analysis

Preventative maintenance of a vehicle requires proper engine analysis, which is generally computerized in today’s automobile industry. Regarding engine analysis, it is always best to start with common faults. These faults are most likely a cause and are usually remedied quite simply. Some examples of common faults include the starter not turning on the engine with dimming headlights; the engine turns slowly, but will not start; or the engine turns normally, but still won’t start. Some simple remedies for these common faults consecutively are charging the battery; replacing the battery; cleaning the battery connections; replacing the battery cables; tightening the battery or starter motor connections; freeing the starter; removing the spark plugs; replacing defective starter solenoid; cleaning Bendix unit; and repairing or replacing the starter. These are just a few faults with associated solutions. However, there are numerous common faults and solutions in engine analysis.

CV Joint and Drive Axle Service & Repair  

Constant-velocity or CV joints give input and output shaft speeds without fluctuation, over a wide range of angles, hence the basis for its preventative maintenance requirements. When an automobile drives on an uneven surface, the rear axle assembly rises and falls as the springs flex, causing the rotating propeller shaft to change its angle correspondingly. The axle’s movements continuously alter the distance.

Engine Service & Repair

Engine maintenance plays a substantial role in extending the life of an automobile and reducing the associated costs as well. Cutting corners on preventative maintenance and repairs is dangerous and not recommended. Engine oil should be used and changed as instructed by the automobile’s manual.

Electrical Systems Service & Repair

The electricity required by an automobile’s electrical system is supplied by the battery and the generator. However, in more modern cars, an alternator is fitted and more amply supplies the necessary current for electrical components. The main purpose of the electrical system is to provide ignition to the compressed petrol. The electrical system is divided into circuits with different functions and controls. These circuits include the ignition, the starter, the charging circuit, the lighting circuit, and the accessories circuit. Do note that a blown fuse is usually an indication of trouble elsewhere in the electrical system.

Exhaust Service & Repair  

An automobile’s exhaust system is responsible for two-thirds of all emitted pollutants. Positive Crank Case Ventilation (PCV) makes sure that hydrocarbon fumes generated within the engine does not reach the atmosphere. Instead, these fumes are re-consumed by the engine. These features are commonly referred to as antipollution packages. Additionally, similar fumes, from the gas tank and vented through a carbon filter pack, are designed to scrub off the hydrocarbon content.

Oil Change

When it comes to an oil change, with regards to preventative maintenance, there are three kinds of oils that are used, mineral, synthetic, and vegetable. However, engine manufacturers recommend using mineral based oils only. The purpose of engine oil is to separate the moving parts of an engine and seal off hot, high-pressure gases. If the engine oil is too thick, it will seal but not allow moving parts to slide easily, resulting in increasing fuel consumption. If the engine oil is too thick, the film that should be separating the moving parts will break down.

Front End Service & Repair

When reference is made about the front end of a vehicle, it usually includes the front axles, front engine mount, front suspension, front wheel arrangement, and front wheel drive. Make it a point to check for wear and tear of these parts. Careful attention should be paid to undue play or looseness of front suspension struts.

Radiator & Cooling Repair

Radiators have a distinct function in automobiles. This function is to dissipate heat from the hot water circulating in the cooling system. A radiator is made up of a top tank and a bottom tank, with a cove of thin-walled metal tubes between them. Hot water goes into the top tank from the water jacket downwards through the core, where it heats up. The tubes have fins to give more contact area for cooling the air. This cooled water then passes into the bottom tank and returns to the engine by the water pump. Winter weather can cause a radiator to freeze. This can be avoided by adding a chemical. This chemical is usually an ethylene glycol compound. When this chemical is added to the water, it lowers the freezing point. Good-quality antifreeze has a sodium-based inhibitor added. This prevents corrosion.

Shocks and Struts  

The basic principle of shocks and struts is to offer an automobile a suspension system to cushion its passengers. Shocks or shock absorbers are officially called dampers or hydraulic dampers. An effective suspension system must have springiness and damping. Springiness means that there is an elastic resistance to the weight load, and damping means the ability to absorb some of the momentum and energy of a spring, after it has been compressed. On the other hand, struts are used as an independent front suspension. Struts also absorb road shocks and are also made of a coil spring surrounded with a hydraulic damper.

Tire Repair

Tire repair is very common and should be a priority for preventative maintenance. There are many causes for the wear, tear, and damage to tires. Tires can be damaged or excessively worn by mechanical faults; bad driving; or inadequate maintenance. Once worn or damaged, they are a danger to the driver and passengers. Common causes of tire faults are speed; stops and starts; road surfaces, toe-in and toe-out; camber; castor; lack of balance; oil and fluid; and inflation. Systematic tire rotation is recommended to maintain an even wear on all four tires and also extends the life of the tires.

Transmission Maintenance and Repair

Transmission maintenance is preventative maintenance that can save an automobile owner potentially thousands. It is important because it is made up of all the mechanical parts of the car that contribute to carrying the power from the engine to the wheels, like the clutch, gearbox, propeller, drive shaft, rear axle, and the differential assembly. Some common maintenance performed on the transmission are clutch adjustments; changing the oil in the gearbox; ensuring that the propeller shaft is not knocked or bent; inspecting the rubber gaiter or boot covering the universal joint of the drive shaft, and checking the oil levels of the rear axle and differential.

Wheel Balancing

Another important aspect of preventative maintenance is wheel balancing. Unbalanced wheels create a disturbing vibration which may affect the steering control, even at slow speeds. There are two ways of balancing, static and dynamic. Static balancing is usually done with the wheels almost stationary. Actually, small lead weights are attached to the wheel rim to counterbalance the heaviness of the rim and tire. However, a wheel that has been statically balanced could still need dynamic balancing. A wheel that needs dynamic balancing wobbles rapidly from side to side. Do note that a new wheel should always be balanced before being fitted and needs rebalancing after 500 miles or if the wheel is moved to another position on the vehicle.

Get A Quote on Tires

Vehicles are a major part of our lives. They get us to work, the get us to school, they get us to family dinners, and they get us anywhere else we need to go. Unfortunately, the tires that propel our vehicles do not last forever – and we all know that without them, we cannot go on with many of the events in our daily lives. Run down tires can be dangerous and need to be replaced. When the time arrives for you to replace yours, get a quote on tires from One Stop Automotive. Let’s take a look at some things you need to know when asking for a quote.

The first thing that you will want to know when getting a quote is the number of tires that will be included within the quote. You will want to know whether the quote includes one tire, two tires, or a complete set of tires. If the quote includes a complete set of tires, you will also want to know if that set includes the spare tire. This may seem like an obvious question to ask, but it is one that many people forget and unfortunately, end up losing money because of it.

Another thing you will want to consider when getting your quote is which type of tire you want your quote on. Do you live in a location that has extreme summer and winter weather? Do you drive on gravel roads often? Do you travel a lot on the freeway? The conditions in which you drive will greatly affect the tire you choose and will therefore also affect your quote. Be sure that you know exactly what characteristics you are looking for in a tire when you request your quote.

When looking for a quote on tires in Clearlake, you will also need to ask about any warranties and the cost of labor. If you don’t know how to remove your old tires and put on your new ones, you will need a mechanic to do it for you. It is important to have this cost factored into your quote. You should also ask about any warranties that are covered in the quote. Does the quote cover potential punctures, flats, or other defects? These are all important things that you should know that could save you a great deal of money down the road.

In sum, when you shop for car tires, you do need to do your research. You need to know what you are looking for and you need to know what questions to ask when requesting a quote. When getting a quote on tires from One Stop Automotive, all of your questions regarding the number of tires, the type of tire, the warranties included, and the cost of labor will be answered.