Don’t Push the Panic Button! We’re Here to Help You Stay Calm.

September Tech Tip Don't Panic

Manufacturers spend millions of dollars in research and development to construct automobiles that are as safe as possible with components like airbags, seatbelts and anti-lock brakes. Unfortunately, there are several, affordable items not always included with the purchase of a vehicle that can help keep things under control in an emergency situation.
– Jumper Cables
– Distilled Water (for drinking or refilling radiator)
– First-Aid Kit
– Duct Tape, Rope & Tow Strap
– Blanket or Large Towel
– Knife and Mutli-Tool
– Tire Pressure Gauge
– Food
– Paper Towels or Tissues
– Valid Registration and Insurance Card

Squeaky Clean

Rain On My Shield

Roughly 90% of the decisions we make behind the wheel are based on a clear, unobstructed view of the road.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a part of the country littered with rain, snow, sand, dirt or mud, your specific environment slowly weakens your wipers ability to clean your windshield.

Modern cars have more sloped windshields which improve fuel economy, but it also puts more strain on wiper blades and wiper arms and high speeds.  Wiper arm spring tension is a vital component to the wiper blade being able to work effectively, as well as the number of pressure points in a wiper blade.

rain ride MGD©

Beam design wiper blades allow the blade to follow the curvature of your individual windshield and provide more consistent and complete contact in all weather conditions.

It is recommended that you change your wiper blades every 6 months or 6,000 miles (roughly every other oil change).  At each wiper change, inspect the spring and of your wiper arms.  You want a good snap!

 

Time For a Cold One

Temp

1933 saw the first air conditioners installed in cars as an aftermarket item and it wasn’t until 1939 that the Packard Motor Car Company offered the cooling device as a factory option.  Many summers have past since then and A/C has become a standard option on just about every vehicle in the world.

Now, we will save you the boring lecture, and jump right to the cliff notes, on how this life changing system works.  With the summer heat upon us, here are a few signs that your A/C system may be in need of repair.

  1. If the air coming out of the vents isn’t as cool as you remember
  2. If you are unable to remove moisture from the windows with the defrost function
  3. If you hear a belt squeal or knocking under the hood around the A/C components
  4. If you do not hear any components turn on under the hood, or the engine RPM dip, when you turn on the A/C

Save Some Money and Hug a Tree

 

Print

Starting in the early 1980’s, O2 sensors or Oxygen Sensors have been standard equipment on cars and light duty trucks. Since 1995-1996 the number of sensors per car has doubled to improve efficiency.  They are a vital part to the emission and fuel systems, and as they wear they can affect your vehicles performance.   If your vehicle is experiencing any of the following symptoms than a faulty O2 sensor may be part of the problem and should be changed to avoid further and more costly repairs:

 

–          Check Engine Light

–          Poor/Reduced Fuel Economy

–          Failed Emissions Test

–          Hesitation/Surging Engine Revs

Bosch recommends that cars 1990 and newer replace their O2 sensors every 100,000 miles.  By doing so, you can expect to see an increase in Fuel Economy of 10-15% (roughly $100 savings/yr) and a decrease in emissions, which will help reduce your carbon footprint.

 

Put a Little Spark Back in Your Relationship

Spark PlugsMan or woman, most of us have a love-hate relationship with our cars. They can throw us back in our seats making us hang on for dear life, they can haul our toys for a weekend of fun but they can also drain our wallets or leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately they do not tend to do the latter without warning.

If you are experiencing any of the following than maybe it’s time to inspect your electrical system (spark plugs, wires, ignition coils):
– Decrease in Fuel Economy
– Cylinder Misfires
– Check Engine Light
– Reduced Engine Power
– Rough Idle
– Trouble Starting Your Vehicle

Just because vital engine components, like spark plugs, wires and coils, are designed to last up to 100,000 miles doesn’t mean they will. They should be routinely inspected.

April is Car Care Month

April-Car-Care

April is car care month, which reminds driver to give their vehicle a thorough checkup, before the summer driving season.

“We encourage our customers to take care of their vehicles year-round and the onset of spring is a perfect time to inspect vehicles for wear and damage caused by winter driving,” said Alan Gamblin.

Many services are best left to the pros, while customers can do others themselves. Along with routine services like an oil and filter change, brake check and fresh wiper blades, ACDelco experts – General Motors’ original equipment and independent aftermarket parts brand – recommend the following:

Go with the pros:

  • Oil change– Having the oil and oil filter changed, at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer, is likely to generate the single biggest return on your investment in routine auto service and maintenance. Replacing the dirty oil and filter will help protect the internal parts of the engine from premature wear. It’s important to use the recommended grade of oil for your vehicle for the best protection and fuel mileage.
  • Spark plugs– Many are designed to last 100,000 miles, but they can get dirty or fail prematurely. Ignition wires lose insulating ability over time, and the connection to the plug or ignition coil can degrade. Having plugs checked and, if necessary, replaced, can improve vehicle performance and fuel economy.
  • Examine belts, clamps and hoses– Tighten or replace as necessary.
  • Replace worn or damagedsuspension components – Like struts, shocks, tie rods and bushings, which take the brunt of spring potholes and bumpy gravel roads.
  • Test the battery– Heat can tax a battery as much as cold. Modern batteries are about more than cold cranking amps. ACDelco batteries also provide optimum reserve capacity – for all the electronic devices used in today’s vehicles.

Do it yourself:

  • Sunroof– Inspect weather strips and remove debris from drains before they leak into vehicle. Wipe the sunroof seal and roof sealing area with a clean cloth, mild soap and water.
  • Cabin air filter– Replace this filter to improve airflow through the interior climate control system and help remove pollen, allergens and stale odors. Most owner’s manuals explain how to do it.
  • Radiator and condenser– Sand and salt can corrode and damage these elements, which are what you see through your vehicle’s grille. With the engine off, use a garden hose (do NOT power wash) with medium spray or open flow to wash away dirt and salt. This simple step can improve engine cooling and air conditioning performance
  • Spare tire– Make sure it’s properly inflated and that you have a portable compressor, a jack and a tire iron in the event of a flat.

You can call Gamblin Motors at (877) 459-1449 to set up an appointment for their vehicle’s springtime services.

When The Stars Align

Alignment (2)

Just as a Chiropractor can align your spine to relieve a back ache, the suspension on your vehicle needs an alignment from time to time to prevent premature wear on tires as well as steering and suspension components.   There are a handful of easy ways to determine whether our vehicle is in need of an alignment.  If you have noticed one or more of these key indicators you should have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician immediately.

–          Uneven tread wear

–          Vehicle pulls to the left or right under braking

–          Your steering wheel is off center when driving straight

–          Steering wheel vibration

* Low tire pressure can also create some or all of these symptoms.  Be sure to always check your tires for proper inflation. 

What’s the difference between AWD, 4WD, RWD, and FWD?

Your Wheels

Vehicles act differently on snow and ice depending on whether they have front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. With winter in full swing, We’d like to provide you with a brief spin through the options. Remember, almost every new vehicle from Chevrolet and Buick includes an electronic traction control system that intervenes automatically to improve performance in slippery conditions.

Front-wheel drive (FWD): Simply put, engine power is channeled to the front wheels to propel the vehicle. FWD is the most popular and prevalent system in the market because its compact setup enhances fuel efficiency and frees up more room inside the vehicle. Plus, the weight of the powertrain is concentrated over the driving wheels, so it offers good traction when it’s slippery.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD): As the name implies, engine power is sent to the rear wheels to propel the vehicle. In passenger cars, RWD reigned until the advent of FWD in the early 1980s. But RWD can more effectively handle higher engine power and higher vehicle weights, which is why it’s still favored in large trucks, larger performance vehicles, purpose-built race cars and law-enforcement pursuit use.

All-wheel drive (AWD): Don’t confuse all-wheel drive with four-wheel drive. Both engage all four wheels, but they’re designed and operate differently. Generally, an AWD drivetrain operates as a FWD or RWD system – most are FWD. AWD system pre-emptively sends power to front and rear axles on every launch to prevent wheel slip, then backs down if no slip occurs. Power is transferred automatically via a single-speed transfer case. (A transfer case connects to the transmission to split power between the front and rear wheels.) The beauty of AWD is no driver effort is needed to activate the system.

Four-wheel drive (4WD or 4×4): Four-wheel drive typically features a two-speed transfer case with high and low ranges for maximum traction. 4WD vehicles typically operate in RWD until four-wheel traction is required; and while most systems are driver-activated, many offer a setting that automatically engages the high range when it’s slippery. The driver must still engage the low range. Found in large, rear-wheel-drive trucks and larger SUVs with additional ground clearance compared to passenger cars and crossovers, 4×4 still provides the best traction and capability in off-road.

 

“No Charge” Battery Tips

Battery

Most car battery manufacturers will tell you that on average a typical battery will last about 48 months (4yrs).  Here are a few simple checks you can do to help prolong the life of your battery and diminish the chance of hearing that devastating “click” when you turn the key.

-Have your battery terminals cleaned regularly to avoid the build-up of corrosion.

– Always start the car before operating any electrical accessories and then drive the vehicle allowing the alternator to recharge the battery.

-Have your starter and alternator tested regularly to ensure they are performing at the optimal rate.

-Secure your battery to avoid excessive vibrations which can damage the battery connections or other vital electrical components.

-Insulate your battery from both extreme hot and cold conditions.

-Invest in a quality battery charger that will maintain an optimal charge in your battery when your car is not in use for an extended period of time.