Squeaky Belts

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Squeaky belts in in cars are very common. Make sure that the belt that is squeaking is inspected and replaced if necessary!

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Intake Filter

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Make sure to replace your intake filter as the owners manual requires. A dirty filter could be causing poor MPG’s!

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What to do if Your Car Overheats

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When the mercury begins to rise outside, it’s common for car engines to get overly toasty too. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure a temporary jump in temperature doesn’t lead to long-lasting trouble. To help you know what to do if your car overheats, here are 5 easy steps.

  1. First, always carry an extra bottle of coolant (also called antifreeze) in your car, as well as a jug of water. Engines typically overheat because the coolant’s low, so topping it off will usually solve the problem. Failing that, water will also temporarily do the trick. Plus, that water could be a lifesaver on long, sweltering summer drives. Just don’t drink it all.
  2. When you see the temperature gauge creeping into the red or a notification light glowing, immediately turn off your air conditioner (since the AC puts a lot of strain on your engine).
  3. If the problem persists, crank your heater up to full blast. It could make the next few miles a pretty brutal experience, but the transfer of heat away from the engine might just save its life.
  4. Should the preceding steps fail, pull over as soon as you can. Turn off the engine. If you can pop the hood from the driver’s seat, do so — but don’t risk opening it by hand until the engine has cooled, especially if you see steam wafting off the engine. It typically takes a solid 30 minutes for an engine to cool down enough for it to be safe to handle. If you’d rather let a professional handle the problem, it’s time to call for a tow truck.
  5. Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. It’s usually a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have sprung a leak. Take a quick look under the car. If you notice a drip or puddle, chances are the coolant tank is leaking.
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WHAT IS A TURBOCHARGER?

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A turbocharger is an exhaust-driven air pump consisting of a pair of turbine wheels, not unlike pinwheels, on a single shaft. One turbine is positioned in the exhaust stream; when the engine revs, the exhaust makes it spin. This turns the second turbine, which is part of the intake system that directs air into the engine, and acts as a pump.

In order to develop boost, the engine must be working hard enough to produce significant exhaust pressure to spin the turbocharger. This results in “turbo lag” — the engine does not get a power boost at lower engine speeds, and it feels as if the car is hesitating instead of accelerating. Newer, more technologically advanced cars have less turbo lag than older cars. The advantage to using turbocharging to boost power is that when the turbo is active, the engine uses fuel, whether it be gasoline or diesel.

The benefit of turbocharging is that carmakers can use smaller, gas-sipping engines to get the same power and acceleration as a larger gas guzzling engine.

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Types of Exhaust Smoke

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Blue/Gray Smoke: Blue/gray exhaust smoke is an indication of oil burning in the combustion chamber. These are possible symptoms and causes:

Valve Seals: Leaking valve seals will cause blue/gray exhaust smoke.

Valve Guides: Excessive clearance between the valve stem and the valve guide allows oil to leak past the gap into the cylinder.

Piston Rings: Worn or damaged piston rings will cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

Worn Cylinder Walls: Worn cylinder walls cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

PCV System: A stuck closed PCV valve causes excessive crankcase pressure, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

Black Smoke: Black exhaust smoke is an indication of a rich fuel condition. These are possible causes:

Fuel Injectors: A leaking or dripping fuel injector will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Pressure Regulator: A stuck closed fuel pressure regulator will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Return: A restricted fuel return line will cause a rich fuel condition.

White/Gray Smoke: White exhaust smoke is an indication that coolant is burning in the combustion chamber. These are possible causes:

Cylinder Head: A crack in the cylinder head (around the coolant jacket) will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Engine Block: A crack in the deck of an engine block near the coolant jacket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Head Gasket: A damaged or blown head gasket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber resulting in white/gray smoke coming from the tailpipe.

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Summer Tires vs All Season Tires

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When debating between all season tires vs summer tires, the differences between the two types can be easily misunderstood. Depending on your vehicle, driving conditions, and personal preferences, one may be a better option than the other. When choosing between summer and all season tires, it helps to understand the benefits and limitations of each.

ALL-SEASON TIRES

An all-season tire offers a balance of capabilities, providing acceptable performance in wet and dry conditions, as well as traction in snow.

Built for the average driver, all-season tires have moderate tread depths and rubber compounds that are engineered to provide longer tread life than summer tires, which have shallower tread depths. All-season tires are offered in many types/models, sizes, load capacities, and speed ratings for use on a wide variety of vehicles from economy cars to sedans to mini-vans to pickup trucks. They tend to provide ride comfort, handling, and other performance attributes suitable for most drivers.

All-season tires perform well in warm weather, but they may offer less grip than summer tires, sacrificing some steering, braking, and cornering capabilities. This trade off is necessary for all-season tires to be able to provide acceptable performance in light winter conditions and provide longer tread life.

All-season tires are capable of providing traction in winter, but are not the best tire to use in extreme winter driving conditions. Drivers who encounter extreme winter weather may want to consider switching to snow tires in the winter.

Because all-season tires offer a blend of summer and winter performance, they are often a good option for drivers in moderate climates and driving conditions.

SUMMER TIRES

Summer tires are ideal for high performance vehicles, and are built for speed and agility. They offer increased responsiveness, cornering, and braking capabilities. This is typically attributed to specialized tread patterns and rubber compounds that allow for improved precision on the road. The tread patterns of summer tires have less grooving and put more rubber in contact with the road. They are design­ed to provide maximum road-holding grip. The tread compounds of summer tires are designed to remain more flexible, allowing for better traction and grip. Summer tires may have shallower tread depths that allow for more stability when pushed closer to their limits.

Dimensional characteristics (such as the tire’s width, aspect ratio, and rim diameter), speed capability, and other design features make summer tires more suitable and capable for increased performance in wet and dry conditions on high-performance, sports-oriented vehicles. Surprising to some, summer tires provide better performance in wet driving conditions, thanks to unique tread patterns that help evacuate water and resist hydroplaning.

When it comes to winter driving, all-season tires may be more suitable than summer tires, given their blend of summer and winter performance capabilities, but we recommend considering making the switch to winter tires to get optimal traction and performance in extreme winter conditions.

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