Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle
Posted May 26, 2019 10:38 AM
If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Belton, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?
As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Belton area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.
First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.
Some vehicles around Belton come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.
Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in Texas for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.
The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.
The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at Jones Automotive have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Posted May 19, 2019 07:27 AM
Your vehicle has a way of letting you know when something's wrong. Consider a vibrating steering wheel. It certainly didn't do that when it was new, so that shake is trying to tell you something.
There are a few things that can cause your steering wheel to vibrate as you drive down the road. One of the most common is out-of-balance tires. You may not only feel that wobble in your steering wheel, you might also feel it in the tires. Sometimes it's not there when you're driving at lower speeds through residential areas, and sometimes it starts when you hit highway speeds.
So what is tire balance anyway? Well, you have a rubber tire that fits around a metal wheel. It should have the same weight all the way around. If it doesn't, it will start getting the shakes. Ever load your washing machine so that all the clothes are at one side of that drum that spins? When it hits the spin cycle, it can throw that washer against the wall.
That's the same thing that's happening with an out-of-balance tire/wheel combination. A technician has special equipment to figure out where to put small weights on the wheel to get things back in balance again. But it could be that you hit a pothole some time ago and bent the rim. Or your tire isn't as round and even as it once was. That could be due to age, damage or wear and tear. The technician will know and offer you options.
Another possibility for that vibrating wheel is a faulty brake, such as warped rotors or a sticky caliper. All of these issues can be evaluated as part of regular, routine maintenance with us. There are many things that cause vibrations in your wheels. But you don't want any bad vibes when it comes to your vehicle.
Wishy-Washy in Belton
Posted May 12, 2019 09:29 AM
Perhaps you've found yourself driving when something all of a sudden splashes on your windshield, obstructing your view. You know that sinking feeling when you try to turn on the windshield washers and no fluid comes out. Now you're blinded even more. What can you do?
The best thing is to make sure your windshield washer fluid is always topped off and ready for these situations. You probably figure you'll grab a bottle of that blue stuff you see in the store. But is that really the right choice?
One thing you know ISN'T the right choice is plain water. It can freeze when temperatures drop. Plus, when it's close to the freezing mark outside, spraying water on your windshield can freeze, turning it literally into frosted glass and blinding you suddenly. Water freezing in your vehicle's washer lines can also damage them.
There are different types of windshield washer fluid made for different climates. Many have alcohol to prevent them from freezing; their label will usually tell you at what temperature they'll start to freeze.
Some washer fluids will have detergents in them so they can cut through contaminants and dirt. Still other washer fluids have a chemical in them to prevent streaking.
Also keep in mind some washer fluids are made to be put in your fluid reservoir as is; others are made to be diluted.
No matter what washer fluid you pick, make sure you have plenty of it in your vehicle. Our pros at Jones Automotive can top off your levels with the right kind of fluid. That's also a good reminder to have your windshield washer system working properly. Your technician can check not only the washers but the wiper blades and motor to make sure all are in top condition. The worst time you can discover it is usually when you need it most.
When "Oh, no!" Turns Into, "All right!"
Posted May 05, 2019 03:03 AM
Things we don't expect happen to our vehicles. And let's face, no one really wants to spend money on an unexpected repair. But if you are putting off going to your vehicle repair facility because you're dreading bad news, you might just be putting off some good news.
There was one minivan driver who'd had the same van for years and never had a problem with the power sliding doors. Then one day, the electrical switches in the door pillars stopped working. The key fob would still open them, but the door switches wouldn't do a thing.
Of course, the van driver feared the worst: an electrical problem, a major computer failure, mice chewing up the wires. So, he put off going into the repair facility for a couple of months. One day, it was time for his regular oil change and the service advisor asked him if there was anything else going on with the van. The owner mentioned the door problem but said he didn't want to spend a fortune on it.
He waited for his van, and it wasn't long before the service advisor came out with good news. The doors weren't working because a switch on the overhead console had been turned off. (It was a safety feature to allow parents to disable them.) The owner had accidentally switched it when he was unloading the van. It was the first thing the technician had checked. Flip the switch back and all was working as usual.
Another example? A mother was driving a minivan with her two kids inside on a hot day when she felt the front end shaking violently as she drove down the road. Fearing something major had broken in the van (and fearing for the safety of her kids), she pulled into a fast-food restaurant parking lot and started to look underneath to see if it was anything obvious she could see.
She couldn't see any broken parts, but she also didn't feel safe getting back in the van with her kids. So, she called her local service facility and asked if they could send someone to look at it. When the technician arrived, he took it for a test drive on the same road on which she'd described having the trouble. Then he put her van up on the lift. His conclusion? Nothing was wrong with her van. It was the street she was driving on. Crews repairing it had left the surface full of potholes, and that was causing her rough ride.
Ultimately, what these two drivers feared would be an expensive trip to the shop resulted in each driver getting different news than they had expected. One learned something new about his vehicle. The other? Well, the technician saw that her tires were badly worn and convinced her to get them replaced, perhaps preventing an accident and giving peace of mind for a mom with two kids.