ENGINE - TUNE-UP, BELTS, HOSES AND COOLING
In the past, engine tune-ups were much more time consuming because they required a motorist to check a variety of parts. Engine tune-ups formerly included checking the distributor, cap, rotor, ignition contact points, condensers, carburetors, and more. Today, these items are generally no longer included in engine tune-ups because a vehicle’s electronic control unit controls the engine timing. While not as many parts need to be checked today, engine tune-ups still include the inspection of a variety of components. These include spark plugs and wires, oil and oil filters, and fuel filters. Regular tune-ups will ensure your engine is running efficiently and reliably. Engine tune-ups can help prevent breakdowns and extend the life of an automobile. A well-tuned engine will help keep a vehicle operating at maximum performance levels, which is why routine maintenance is so important.
During a tune-up, our service staff will check your spark plugs, which are responsible for igniting the gasoline and air mixture that fuels your engine. We can also check your spark plug wires, which transfer voltage created by your spark plug. Old wires can burn out and cause a misfire. We will check the condition of your fuel filters, which help stop debris from reaching your engine. A clogged fuel filter will lead to poor acceleration and poor engine performance. Similarly, we can look at your air filter, which prevents debris from entering the combustion engine. Restricted airflow makes your engine work harder and causes your vehicle to lose horsepower. During our tune-up, we can ensure optimal performance of these parts and more. Please adhere to your owner’s manual for recommended service intervals, and contact us when your engine is ready for a tune-up.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
Oil is a lubricant that keeps your vehicle functioning properly. Oil plays an essential role in the engine of your vehicle, where it helps alleviate friction between various moving components. Without the protective layer that oil provides, the heat created from friction would melt an engine’s parts together. As oil runs through your vehicle’s system, it also collects sludge, grime, and other contaminants that can harm the engine. In turn, the oil filter catches these contaminants and helps to prevent them from mixing with the oil. However, the filter can only hold so much. Over time, the small bits and miscellaneous muck will break down the filter’s defenses. When this happens, the result is dirty oil. In addition to being less effective overall, dirty oil can cause permanent damage to some parts of your vehicle. As such, oil and filter changes are considered an important part of vehicle maintenance.
HEATER HOSE REPLACEMENT
Heater hoses play a crucial role in a vehicle’s heating system, which operates in conjunction with the cooling system. Running engines produce a tremendous amount of heat that will need to be transferred away from the engine in order to prevent overheating and subsequent breakdowns. Heater hoses are responsible for carrying coolant to prevent overheating. Coolant or antifreeze flows through the engine, absorbs the excess heat, and carries the heat away from the engine. More specifically, heater hoses are responsible for transferring coolant away from the engine to the heater core, where the warm air can be blown inside the compartment of your vehicle by engaging the adjacent fan. Heater fans blow through the heater core to heat the vehicle and cool the antifreeze inside of it. The hoses transfer the coolant back into the path of the cooling system at a lower temperature so the coolant can continue to regulate consistent temperatures inside the engine.
RADIATOR HOSE REPLACEMENT
Your car or truck’s radiator hoses, which connect the engine to the radiator, are important components that maintain consistent internal engine temperatures. The upper hose connects to the top of the engine, while the lower hose connects to the bottom. Coolant flows through the engine to cool internal temperatures and works with the hoses. Radiator hoses carry hot coolant away from the engine and into the radiator, a large tank with small channels where the coolant flows to dissipate heat. Radiator fans, which are located behind the radiator, help cool the antifreeze or coolant once it enters. The radiator hoses also carry the coolant back into the engine to absorb the heat created during the combustion process. Once the engine reaches operating temperatures, the hot coolant cycles back to the radiator where it is cooled again. Because the engine can reach extreme temperatures, the coolant is often extremely hot. Over time, hot coolant can cause radiator hoses to deteriorate from the inside out.
SERPENTINE BELT REPLACEMENT
As the timing belt synchronizes engine processes, the serpentine belt powers peripheral processes in the engine compartment, like the power steering pump, water pump, cooling fan, air conditioner, and alternator. The serpentine belt receives its name from the snake-like path it takes through the various steering and electrical components it powers. Belt tension also plays an important role in serpentine belt maintenance. A properly tensioned belt helps promote long belt life while ensuring that all components are not overloaded or strained during operation. Serpentine belts are tough, built to sustain years of continued and heavy use, but they do have a natural life projected by every manufacturer. Periodic inspections of your serpentine belt will help prevent breakdowns, though replacing your serpentine belt is a natural part of overall car maintenance. If you suspect trouble with your serpentine belt, please give us a call or contact us for assistance.
TIMING BELT REPLACEMENT
The timing belt, or timing chain in some vehicles, is a drive belt that synchronizes the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft and camshaft with the opening and closing of your engine’s valves. Depending on the vehicle, it may also rotate the water pump. When the crankshaft turns, the timing belt turns the camshaft, which opens and closes the engine valves to allow the pistons to move up and down. Your vehicle’s engine operates in four phases: intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. During the intake phase, intake valves open and exhaust valves close as fuel and air enter the cylinders. As the air and fuel is mixed, compressed, and ignited by spark plugs during the compression and combustion phases, the valves close. The remaining air and fuel is pushed out of the exhaust valve during the exhaust phase. The timing belt is responsible for synchronizing this process and for opening and closing valves during normal engine operation.
COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH & FILL
In your vehicle, fuel is converted into heat energy, which means the internal temperatures in your engine compartment can increase dramatically in a short period of time. If your engine overheats, it can cause major damage to various components and cost you a significant amount of time and money to fix. The efficiency of a cold engine is low in comparison to a warm engine, and cold engines are prone to pollution. Your vehicle’s cooling system helps maintain a constant internal temperature. Ethylene glycol is mixed with water to make antifreeze, which is used in cooling systems to regulate your engine’s temperature. Your engine’s coolants must be capable of withstanding cold temperatures without freezing and warm temperatures without boiling. Aside from maintaining constant engine temperatures as it passes through the cooling system, antifreeze prevents corrosion and lubricates engine components to ensure that everything moves and performs properly. A cooling system flush is necessary for maintaining proper performance levels.
COOLING SYSTEM PRESSURE TEST
In a vehicle with a combustion engine, fuel is converted into heat energy, which means the vehicle can get very hot very quickly. The cooling system reduces internal engine temperatures and prevents possible overheating by dissipating and removing heat from the vehicle’s engine. Cooling systems use antifreeze to control the internal temperature of the vehicle. Engine coolants, like antifreeze, have to withstand low temperatures without freezing and high temperatures without boiling. The antifreeze in your cooling system is composed of ethylene glycol and water. This mixture improves the boiling and freezing points of antifreeze and makes it effective at controlling a vehicle's temperature. Aside from keeping your engine cool as it circulates throughout the cooling system, antifreeze also prevents corrosion and helps lubricate the engine to keep it in proper working order. If your cooling system experiences a leak, it’s crucial that you get it checked out sooner rather than later.
The radiator on your car helps keep your engine cool. An overheated engine will lead to a breakdown, so radiator maintenance is very important to the overall functionality of your vehicle. The radiator sits at the front of the engine bay and is constructed with slim, hollow channels that run from the inlet tank to the outlet tank. Liquid coolant gets pumped through a sequence of tubes to the engine, where the liquid is warmed by the working engine. After the coolant passes through the engine, it makes its way to the radiator, which is constructed so that the flowing liquid is cooled by air passing through the radiator. The air is allowed in through the grill on the front of the car. Once the liquid is cooled down again, the coolant cycles back through the engine to absorb more heat in a continuous cycle to keep the engine working at optimal temperatures.