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Fuel Saving Tip: Belton Tune Up

Posted June 25, 2018 08:49 AM



Have you ever gone to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That's why they tune up together.

Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your vehicle. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.

We call this... (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.

So check your owner's manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Belton service advisor at Jones Automotive what he thinks.

...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.

Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



Maintaining Your Diesel in Belton

Posted June 19, 2018 10:46 AM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the Belton area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Belton diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.

Diesels are popular in Texas because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Texas as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Texas, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Belton drivers dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles also perform as well as other passenger vehicles. Most people don't notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer around Texas, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don't all Belton people drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven't told me about. That's true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Texas. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Belton. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Texas, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Texas drivers depends now on the current price of fuel and how far you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Belton area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Texas becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Belton are similar. You may be thinking, wait:  You just told me that filters are more and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Belton auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

 Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785



The Jones Automotive Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Posted June 12, 2018 08:57 AM

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?

Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for Belton drivers. A lot of us in Belton don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.

A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.

The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehicle you drive. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located in the back. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is located on the front, but it is usually called a transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials: one on the front, one in the back and one in the middle. This center differential compensates for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Your differential contains strong gears that need to be protected from dirt, debris, water and other contaminants. A differential is sometimes referred to as a “gear box.” The work of these gears is to transfer power from the vehicle drive train to the wheels.

Your differential needs fluid to lubricate and cool the gears. This fluid, even though enclosed in the “gear box,” can get dirty because the gears grind down over time, releasing tiny bits of themselves into the fluid. Also, the additives in the differential fluid break down and need to be replaced. That's why preventive maintenance for your vehicle needs to include servicing the differential.

Your owner's manual can give you recommendations on how often to service your differential. But you should also consult with your friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive professional. Jones Automotive can give you some good auto advice on whether your vehicle needs to be serviced more frequently. For example, if you drive in hot or cold Texas weather conditions, your differential will need to have its fluid changed more often.

Severe conditions will also affect your vehicle care routine and your differential. Check your owner's manual for a definition of “severe service” conditions that affect your vehicle. Examples may include driving with frequent stops and starts, a lot of short trips around Belton, hot or cold Texas weather conditions and towing.

Off-roading is particularly hard on a vehicle's differential. If you are an off-roader, especially if you cross Texas streams or waterways, it is important that you service your differential more frequently than the recommendations suggest.

Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of Belton auto repair shops. A smooth ride is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.

 Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785

 



Automotive Tips from Jones Automotive: Air Conditioning Inspection

Posted June 04, 2018 10:58 AM

Most auto manufacturers recommend an interval for an air conditioning system inspection. The inspection uncovers leaks, worn hoses and assesses the condition of the other components.

Environmental laws in some around Belton require leaks to be repaired before refrigerant can be added. Also some parts manufacturers require other components to be replaced along with certain failed parts in order to maintain the new part warranty. This is because a given failure may be the result of another worn or damaged part that will, if not replaced, prematurely damage the new component.

Jones Automotive in Belton is fully equipped to restore your flow of cool air.


Jones Automotive
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3785