Keeping the correct air pressure in your tires is as important as giving your engine a tune-up. With the right amount of air pressure, your tires wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling, and prevent accidents. Failure to maintain the correct air pressure can result in poor gas mileage, reduce tire life, affect vehicle handling, and cause vehicle overloading.
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Air filters reside in the air-intake system to catch dirt and other particles before they can damage internal engine parts.
Modern cars also have a cabin air filter which catches dirt, debris and airborne allergens which travel through the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Spark plugs are used in gasoline powered internal combustion engines to ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture which powers the engine. The type, size, and style of spark plug varies by make and model of vehicle; using the right parts are crucial to proper vehicle performance.
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The drive belt is a reinforced rubber belt which connects the engine's rotating crankshaft to drive components such as water pumps, alternators, air-conditioning compressors, power-steering pumps or superchargers. Belts are a relatively inexpensive item which are best replaced when worn, or damaged rather than after they fail. Click to learn more
The anti-lock braking system uses speed sensors to determine if one or more wheels are trying to lock up during braking. If a wheel tries to lock up, a series of hydraulic valves limit or reduce the braking on that wheel. This prevents skidding and allows you to maintain steering control.
A dashboard ABS warning light is supposed to come on for a few seconds every time a vehicle is started, however if it comes on while you're driving it may signal a malfunction.
The timing belt is a notched rubber belt which enables the crankshaft to drive the camshaft, facilitating the valves. Without this belt, the engine cannot run.
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Systems and Maintenance
A shock is a suspension component which controls the up-and-down motion of a vehicle's wheels. More accurately referred to as dampers, shocks reduce excessive motion, keeping the vehicle's body from bouncing down the road.
A strut is a type of shock absorber which has a structural role in a vehicle's suspension; it is mounted inside coil springs on strut-type suspensions. The strut includes a shock absorption element as well as serves to position the wheels.
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Modern exhaust systems are usually made of galvanized steel or stainless steel, but that doesn't mean they, or the parts which hold the exhaust components in place, last forever. Heat, debris, road salt and moisture can all cause rust and corrosion in the exhaust system.
Wiper blades should be replaced as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility. Click to learn more
When your air conditioner blows only mildly cool air or no cool air at all, it could be low on refrigerant and need a system recharge. In order to properly service this closed system, a qualified technician must inspect the system for obvious leaks in hoses, pipes, and the air-conditioning compressor, and make repairs as necessary. After a full and complete inspection the remaining refrigerant is extracted and recycled. Fresh refrigerant is then added to the system.
Brake fluid, which is contained in the lines of the hydraulic brake system, is hydroscopic and absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment. When the fluid is fresh, it contains zero percent water and is working at its peak capacity. As the brakes are used, moister seeps in through seams within the system and raises the water content. this results in a diminished stopping ability. Additionally, over time, the moisture can cause internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other components.
The catalytic converter is part of your car's emissions systems, and it plays a crucial role. It is located upstream of the muffler, close to the engine, and it changes environmentally damaging pollutants in the exhaust stream into more benign gases making today's vehicles dramatically cleaner than older vehicles.
Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affects how they make contact with the road.