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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fall and Spring Checkup In Gig Harbor, WA

When I was a kid in , my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service. My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense. Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family , most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes. Your owner's manual or service advisor at can tell you the right oil to use. Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against b ... read more

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Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among motorists, manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?Here are some questions to ask yourself: Are most of your trips less than four miles?Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero temps?Are most of your trips off-highway?Do you drive often in dusty areas?Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around ?Do you drive in very hot or very cold weather?Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to or ? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets? Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between ... read more

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The Right Automotive Fluids For Drivers

The Right Automotive Fluids For Drivers

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for car owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well for car owners and could even cause damage. In addition to new grades of engine oil, many s now leave the factory with synthetic oil. car owners should always use the recommended grade and type of oil in their engine. All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at in . Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage. Most passenger vehicles on roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your power brake sys ... read more

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Synthetic Oil For Autos

If you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around , as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle. Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles? Synt ... read more

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Wheel Balancing

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? You can tell if your tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on freeways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat. Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at , it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the tire technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration. Most car owners are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after b ... read more

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