Straight And True In Ca: Wheel AlignmentMay 25, 2015
Most Antioch folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Ca car owners is a periodic alignment inspection.
Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in Ca. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Antioch.
Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your SUV. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the SUV may not steer properly.
One or more wheels on your SUV can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Ca street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Antioch driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.
If you have had wheel damage to your SUV, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Reliable Automotive tech will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Reliable Automotive in Ca, we can take care of that for you.
Your owner’s manual or Reliable Automotive service advisor can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an automotive analysis more often. Ask your thoughtful service advisor for a recommendation.
If your SUV is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your SUV pulls to one side when you drive around Antioch. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.
Ca motorists should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.
When you get a diagnostic examination, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.
This may seem like a lot of bother for Brentwwod car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Ca residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.
Power Steering Service At Reliable Automotive In CaMay 25, 2015
Many Ca drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Ca as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.
The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Reliable Automotive in Ca use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.
Power Steering Service At Reliable Automotive In CaPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects SUV components from rust and corrosion.
Ca car owners should be aware that auto makers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At Reliable Automotive, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.
Unfortunately, many Ca car owners don’t realize how important it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.
Ca drivers should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Reliable Automotive in Ca.
In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are vital mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Reliable Automotive includes an inspection of steering components.
If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service professional do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Reliable Automotive today at 925.777.9234.
Ca Antioch Winter Prep Service For Your AutoMay 25, 2015
When winter approaches in Antioch, Ca drivers break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Antioch area winter conditions. Your SUV needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Ca motorists want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your SUV to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in cold Antioch winters.
There are some specific things Ca motorists we need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Reliable Automotive in Ca. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.
In the cold months around Ca we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service professional to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.
It is also a really good idea for Ca drivers to have their battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a Antioch drivers. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.
Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote Antioch road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is vital if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.
3291 East 18th Street
Ca, Antioch 94509
Winter in Ca, Antioch always makes motorists think of their windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the Antioch winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.
The final thing for Ca auto owners to consider is their tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it hurts fuel economy too. You may need special winter tires in Ca as well. Your thoughtful Reliable Automotive tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.
If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.
This is a an essential safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow on Antioch s is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.
Ca Alignment ServiceMay 25, 2015
Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.
Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.
The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.
There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Reliable Automotive can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.
3291 East 18th Street
Ca, Antioch 94509
Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.
Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.
Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in CaMay 25, 2015
Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle.
Your SUV engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.
Call Reliable Automotive at 925.777.9234 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Ca Antioch service center on 3291 East 18th Street, 94509
It’s critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.
The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It’s vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.
In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bend or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.
It’s a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it’s at 60,000 miles. For others it’s at 90,000 miles or more. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles, or have passed it, make sure you check your owner’s manual or with your Ca Antioch auto service advisor at Reliable Automotive for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don’t let this one slip by.
Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Reliable Automotive for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.
Most people in the Antioch area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you’re having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Ca Antioch auto service advisor at Reliable Automotive to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn’t currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.
As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don’t need to be replaced like belts.
We’ve already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Reliable Automotive in Ca Antioch so you can begin to prepare for the expense.
We at AutoNetTV are committed to helping you make your driving experience as safe and economical as possible. Reliable Automotive, your Ca service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of their knowledge and experience, and check out http://AutoNetTV.com for more great auto tips.
Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your Antioch DrivingMay 25, 2015
Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Antioch knows this makes sense.
Some of us in the Antioch area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.
SUV Weight Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.
All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Antioch, and everywhere else.
Lose the junk and save some money.
…And you really only need one of those spare tires.
Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Reliable AutomotiveMay 25, 2015
Anyone that drives a car in Ca knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your SUV cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the SUV’s engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn’t Brentwwod drivers just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Antioch weather. That would spell disaster for your SUV’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your SUV. Antioch car owners should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your SUV’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your thoughtful Reliable Automotive tech for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto makers.
Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.
Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the SUV cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.
But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Reliable Automotive tech if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your SUV cooling system.
You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your SUV engine by using the wrong antifreeze.
One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.
Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Reliable Automotive to keep you on the road and help your life in Ca run more pleasantly.
Clean FuelMay 25, 2015
Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the SUV engine.
Ca car owners don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your SUV engine will run.
Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your SUV ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.
Clean Fuel – Clean Performance for Ca DriversThe harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner’s manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Ca motorists should change it before it becomes clogged. Your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service professional can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.
If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your SUV engine will sputter when you drive at highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Ca, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.
Ca car owners take note: A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.
Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.
That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice.
Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to costly repair bills for Ca car owners. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your thoughtful Reliable Automotive service specialist will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.
Good car care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at Reliable Automotive. It may save Ca motorists money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved gas mileage, safety and peace of mind.
Deciphering the Reliable Automotive Menu BoardMay 25, 2015
Let’s talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Ca, Antioch service centers like Reliable Automotive have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don’t know what these services really are unless they ask. Let’s go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.
Feel free at any time to give Reliable Automotive a call at 925.777.9234 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Ca, Antioch auto center at 3291 East 18th Street 94509.
First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.
Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.
Alignment. Service centers like Reliable Automotive make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.
Battery service. Service centers like Reliable Automotive inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery’s ability to hold a charge. If the battery’s still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.
Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.
The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.
Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.
Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.
Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don’t require service very often, so people don’t think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.
Engine air filter. This filters the air that’s burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.
Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.
Contact Reliable Automotive, your Ca, Antioch auto repair center, by calling us at 925.777.9234.
Get Where You’re Going With Power Steering Service In CaMay 25, 2015
Today we’re going to talk about power steering service in Ca. If you took an informal poll around Ca you’d probably find that most have never heard of power steering service. That’s not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Ca aren’t aware that it needs periodic service.
If you’re younger than a certain age, you’ve probably never driven a car or truck without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you’ve ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it’s a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.
Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that’s hard, especially around downtown Ca. That’s why old cars had such big steering wheels; to get enough leverage to steer.
Steering Most vehicles in Ca have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.
Some vehicles in Ca use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We’re also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We’ll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.
At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.
So ask your Ca service advisor at Reliable Automotive or check your owner’s manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It’ll extend the life of your power steering components.