Your vehicle’s belts and hoses are involved in processes within the cooling system, air conditioning system, charging system, and engine. These belts and hoses play crucial roles in functional operations inside your vehicle. The heater hose and radiator hose carry liquid coolant to and from the engine, radiator, and heater core. The timing belt is responsible for maintaining engine precision by synchronizing the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft, which move the engine’s valves and pistons. However, not all vehicles contain timing belts. In place of timing belts, some vehicles use timing chains. On the outside of the engine, the serpentine belt transmits power from the front of the engine to other systems in the vehicle, like the air conditioning system and charging system. Some factors that contribute to wear and tear on your belts and hoses include vehicle age, mileage, belt tension, hose clamp failure, electrochemical degradation, and oil contamination. In the long run, routine maintenance and replacements of your vehicle’s belts and hoses will prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.
When compared to other components in your car, belts and hoses have one of the shortest life spans. These items are constantly exposed to engine heat, vehicle vibrations, and harmful chemicals, which all have the potential to cause cracks and leaks. Some symptoms to be aware of for belts and hoses nearing failure include squeaking, screeching, or grinding noises that begin when starting your engine or appear during vehicle operation. It’s worth noting that grinding sounds near belts are usually associated with a bad pulley bearing rather than the belt itself, as the pulley bearing may freeze up and ultimately lead to a belt replacement. Other symptoms of a bad belt or hose include loss of power, leaking coolant or other fluids, illuminated dashboard lights, rising steam from the engine, and air conditioning failure. While routine maintenance of belts and hoses is always important, summertime is an especially important season to keep an eye under the hood due to increased temperatures, which will accelerate deterioration of the rubber components. Since belts and hoses can be difficult to inspect visually, be sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for scheduled maintenance.
Are you planning to buy a new car? Don’t take chances. Be confident about the car you are buying. Have pre-purchase inspections performed on the vehicle. Pre-purchase inspections involve examining the car’s condition to ensure it is worth buying. At Stil-Mor Automotive, we have pre-purchase inspection experts – mechanics who will scrutinize any car, make, and model and allow you to make an informed decision. Pre-purchase inspections will definitely give you peace of mind when you buy your next used car.
The cooling system consists of a cooling fan, water pump, thermostat, radiator, heater core, heater valve, and various other parts that primarily work together to dissipate and remove heat from a vehicle’s engine. Your vehicle’s cooling system is responsible for reducing the temperature inside your engine and preventing possible overheating. Excess heat can build in a variety of places in your vehicle’s engine. When the engine reaches maximum operating temperatures, the thermostat opens and releases antifreeze from the engine to the radiator, which initiates the circulatory flow to absorb excess heat. The antifreeze is also responsible for keeping other engine fluids from boiling or freezing. After the antifreeze flows through the engine, it cycles back to the radiator, where the excess heat escapes through the radiator’s walls. The antifreeze is cooled by the cooling fan and readied to be re-released into the engine to dissipate additional heat.
Over time, antifreeze breaks down and loses its efficiency. If not drained and replaced, old antifreeze can lead to corrosion. During a cooling system flush and fill, our staff will drain the antifreeze from the radiator, flush the cooling system, and fill the radiator with new antifreeze. The cooling system’s cooling fan circulates air through the radiator and passes excess heat out of the engine. If the cooling fan malfunctions, your vehicle’s engine will overheat. During an inspection of the cooling system service, our experts will check the cooling fan for damage and the fan belt for cracks. Because the radiator is responsible for cooling the antifreeze as it circulates throughout the cooling system, a leak or a broken radiator hose can lead to major engine failure. A radiator pressure test is one way we can check for potential leaks or radiator damage. Ultimately, neglecting basic cooling system and radiator maintenance can lead to a potential radiator replacement and major engine or radiator repairs down the road.
The electrical and electronic systems in your vehicle are responsible for routing power and information in order to dictate the behavior of certain systems. The electrical systems are linked by wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, and relays. Loose or broken wiring, poor pin fits, and broken connectors or switches may lead to intermittent power or a completely inoperative system. When you begin experiencing trouble with your electrical and electronic systems, ask yourself these questions: How often does this problem occur, and how long does this problem persist? The more information you are able to provide to our staff during an electrical and electronic systems service, the quicker we will be able to recreate the same conditions, and ultimately hone in on the exact problem.
If your vehicle experiences an electrical or electronic systems failure, it is beneficial to have the problem repaired quickly. A vehicle with electrical problems may not start, or it may become inoperative. Our experts are able to diagnose and repair problems during an electrical and electronic systems service. We can locate shorts, grounds, open, and resistance problems in electrical and electronic circuits, and we can repair wiring harnesses and connectors along with electrical wiring and solder repair. Our staff is also able to diagnose the cause of uneven headlight brightness, intermittent lights, dim lights, and inoperative lights. In addition, we can service headlights and bulbs as well as correct intermittent turning signal and hazard light operation. Motor-driven accessory circuits, heated glass operation, and electric lock operation are all concerns for our staff as we begin to diagnose the electrical and electronic issue. In the end, our staff will work hard to get you driving a safe and functional vehicle again.
Preventive maintenance is the care and protection of your vehicle against potential major auto repairs. Negligence is the most common and costly way to see money wasted on repairs that could have easily been prevented through regular service intervals. Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage. Car maintenance intervals have been designed to improve the reliability, durability, and resale value of your vehicle. Based upon your driving conditions, these service intervals may arrive sooner than you expect. For example, short commutes can actually hurt a vehicle because most engines thrive during long drives. Driving short commutes, experiencing stop-and-go traffic, and carrying heavy cargo are all aspects of severe driving. However, severe driving can also be reinforced by your environment. Hot or cold weather, mountainous or rough roads, and dusty or salty environments can all affect your vehicle. Because of these innumerable factors, adhering to a rigid service schedule can keep your vehicle operating at maximum efficiency for years to come.
Vehicle components and parts naturally wear out over time, and road hazards can negatively impact critical components. By adhering to the preventive maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual, you will help ensure that your vehicle always runs at optimal conditions. Depending upon the vehicle’s service interval mileage, our staff may inspect the function of your steering and suspension components, fluid filters, belts and hoses, brakes and axles, and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently. Our staff can look at the level of vital vehicle fluids. We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, check batteries, inspect hinges and locks, determine level of ball joint wear, check transmission components, fix exhaust system components, and conduct both tire wear inspection and inflation checks. It is important to schedule preventive maintenance for these and other components to ensure they continue to work as intended. Remember that environmental conditions may affect your ideal preventive maintenance schedule. Depending upon your environment, you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements. Contact us today to learn more about recommended car maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.
The steering and suspension system on your vehicle is responsible for maintaining comfortable riding conditions and driving performance. The steering and suspension system also helps drivers remain in control of their vehicles at all times. The suspension system converts forward energy created by bumps in the road into vertical energy that travels up into the vehicle frame. Suspension system components, like coil springs and shock absorbers, help to dampen the impact of this road force. While the individual components comprising each suspension system may vary, all suspension system components will weaken over time through stress applied during normal driving conditions. Similarly, off-road driving and erratic driving can wear down suspension components more quickly. Regardless of your driving preferences, we have the necessary equipment to identify and correct any issue plaguing your steering and suspension system. Our staff is trained to inspect the steering and suspension components in order to determine whether your service will entail a minor adjustment or a replacement.
Shaky, unsteady, off-center, and stiff steering are all cause for getting a steering system repaired, while excessive bouncing or swaying during bumps and intermittent control while driving and braking are cause for a suspension system inspection. Uneven tire wear is also a potential sign of a suspension problem, though this may also point to alignment issues. Have you hit a pothole recently? Potholes can cause damage to steering and suspension components. Worn suspension components will reduce the stability of the vehicle and the control of the driver. Because suspension system components combine into one working unit, suspension issues that go untreated have the potential to increase the wear on other suspension components, which may result in more extensive repairs down the road. If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact us online or by phone today.
Tires are the connection between your vehicle and the surface of the road. A critical part of your vehicle’s suspension system, tires are responsible for transmitting the forces of driving, steering, and braking to the surface of the road. Although tires are easily maintained, they are often overlooked. The air inside your tires and the design of the tire influence vehicle performance, tire tread life, and ride comfort. Tire maintenance is vital for getting the most out of your tires by maximizing mileage and tread wear. Our staff will help you understand the basics of tire care and maintenance, like when you should seek tire rotation, balance, and alignment. Our staff will also help you understand tire sidewall markings, teach you the best time to purchase a new set of tires, and show you how to choose the right set of tires for your vehicle.
Premature tire wear is caused by poor tire inflation levels and improper tire rotation. Whereas correctly inflated tires tend to have durable sidewalls, under-inflated tires often have flexible sidewalls that result in quicker sidewall wear. Over-inflated tires are also undesirable and will result in excessive center tread wear. Wheel balancing has the potential to relieve some symptoms of improper tire wear, like excessive lean. However, improper tire wear may also be the cause of alignment issues. During any tire repair service, our staff will be able to determine whether a tire balancing or rotation service can solve your current set of issues. Because tire inflation is so important, our staff will take care to follow the inflation standards recommended by the manufacturer during a new tire installation. Overall, proper tire inflation can lead to reduced tread movement, increased water dissipation, reduced rolling resistance, proper traction, and adequate load carrying capabilities. Our tire service work promotes better fuel economy and longer tread life.
Tires operating below inflation standards put the overall performance of your vehicle and the safety of your passengers at risk. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System helps increase your safety on the road by improving your vehicle’s maneuverability, decreasing the tread wear of your tires, reducing your vehicle’s braking distance, and improving your vehicle’s fuel economy. There are two types of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems in existence today—Direct and Indirect. A Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System uses sensors on the inside tire assembly to transmit tire pressure information to your vehicle’s computer. An Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System gauges tire pressure through your vehicle’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) by using speed sensors to measure the rotational speed of each wheel (as tire pressure decreases, the rolling distance decreases, and the rotational speed increases). All TPMS systems require regular maintenance in order to meet maximum performance standards, which requires all vehicles to be equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Your vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) continuously monitors the air pressure in your tires. When there is an instance of low tire pressure, or if the tire pressure drops below the manufacturer’s recommended level of tire pressure, the TPMS will detect and report the discrepancy by illuminating an indicator light on the dashboard of your vehicle. When the TPMS light flashes on the dashboard, you should check your tire pressure, inflate the affected tire to the level indicated by the manufacturer, or bring your vehicle into our shop so that the issue can be remedied by our expert staff. During a TPMS maintenance service, our service staff will run a series of tests to ensure that the system is operating both correctly and at maximum efficiency. If our technicians uncover damage to the system or its accompanying components, they may need to replace valve cores, valve nuts, seals, seal washers, or valve caps. If you are in need of TPMS repairs, maintenance, or replacement services, or if you are in need of a TPMS installation service, then contact us today.
We take good care of your vehicle
An oil change and filter replacement is one of many preventative maintenance services that help promote maximum vehicle performance while extending the life of your vehicle. Oil is responsible for lubricating the working components inside your vehicle’s engine while reducing the amount of friction between them. Because the engine generates a substantial amount of heat, oil acts as a cooling agent as it circulates through the engine. Oil also absorbs other harmful particles created during the combustion process and directs them to the oil filter, which filters out the debris and contaminants for clean, free-flowing oil. Together, the oil and oil filter keep your vehicle’s engine operating at optimal levels of performance. During an oil change, we will replace your engine’s old oil with new oil and replace the oil filter. We will also lubricate the chassis components of the vehicle according to the standards of the manufacturer. At the end of every lube, oil and filter change, our staff will have ensured that your engine oil is clean and the working parts of your engine are properly lubricated.
Over time, as oil becomes saturated with contaminants, excess particles are left behind in the engine, where they can form deposits and cause significant wear to the engine. Over-saturated oil loses its lubrication, which will eventually lead to an overworking engine, excess heat, and engine failure. Excessive heat can also lead to thermal breakdown in your engine oil, causing a change in the oil’s viscosity, and resulting in decreased oil flow. Similarly, dirty oil flows more slowly, causing the engine to work harder, leading to increased engine wear. Our service staff will inspect the oil filter during each oil change, and replace the oil filter in order to keep your oil clean from contaminants. Routine lube and oil changes will keep your engine running stronger and running longer. Contact us online or call us today regarding your next lube, oil, and filter change.
Stay prepared for the sweltering heat.
A climate control system is a complex system that requires routine maintenance for increased seasonal performance and operation. A vehicle’s climate control system is comprised of multiple, smaller systems that work together to maintain a comfortable cabin environment. The climate control system is able to affect and regulate the internal temperature of a vehicle through a cycle of processes. Although the climate control system is primarily used to improve the comfort levels of both drivers and passengers, there are times over the course of the year when maintaining the ideal internal temperature becomes more than a matter of comfort. In severe weather conditions, maintaining the proper internal climate can actually factor into automotive safety. This is why it is important for you to seek climate control repairs at the first sign of trouble.
When your vehicle’s climate control system malfunctions or stops working, it is important to schedule a climate control repair service. In addition to regaining the comfortable cabin environment you enjoyed prior to your system’s problems, you can help ensure your safety as a driver. If you pay attention to the warning signs of an impending climate control system service, you may be able to prevent a broken system and subsequent safety concerns. In addition, your owner’s manual should provide recommended regular service intervals for climate control systems. Catching early warning signs and replacing or repairing climate control system components as necessary will help ensure your ability to control air outflow at all times.
Your safety is our goal.
A fully functioning brake system is crucial to your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other drivers on the road. Your vehicle’s brake system involves highly engineered parts and precise movements that stop your vehicle by converting kinetic energy into thermal energy. When you press down on the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes a system of hydraulic brake lines leading to each of the vehicle’s wheels, where brake pads or shoes press against a disc or drum and create the necessary friction needed to slow the vehicle to a complete stop. Over time, this friction and heat has the potential to wear down the brake shoes, brake pads, calipers, brake rotors, and other braking components. While the components comprising each brake system may vary, the warning signs for impending brake repairs are the same.
Bad brakes display warning signs for impending brake maintenance. For example, if your brakes squeal or grind when in use, then your brake pads may be worn and require replacements. If your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, then this may point to worn brakes, a malfunctioning caliper, or low brake fluid in the brake lines. If your brake pedal presses down too easily—also known as “spongy” brakes—then this may be an indication of too much air in the hydraulic brake lines. Sometimes, your vehicle’s electronic diagnostic system will alert you to a potential brake issue by a service indicator light on the dashboard. While these are only some of the most common signs of potential problems with your vehicle’s brake system, noticing these signs of faulty brakes and seeking out a brake service can save you money down the line. Our staff is trained in maintaining and servicing front and rear brake systems and all accompanying brake system components like brake pads, brake shoes, parking brakes, rotors, drums, and hydraulic systems. If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms of bad brakes, like unusual squealing or grinding noises, then contact us online or call us today to have your brakes inspected immediately.