AUTONET TV


Archive for August 2012

Shocks and Struts For Lansing Bumps and Bounces

Posted August 28, 2012 12:00 PM



If you're like most of us in Lansing, you want your car to handle well. That's the job of your suspension system.

There are different types of suspension systems, but they all work on the same basic principles. First, there are the springs, which bear the weight of the car. The most common springs are coil or leaf - although we see air springs and torsion bars more often. The springs do most of the work.

Visit our Lansing location for an inspection of your suspension.
Auto Surgeon Inc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940

But if all you had were springs, your vehicle would be bouncing around like a bobble head. That's where the shocks come in. They control the rebound of the springs and smooth out the up and down motions. They also keep the tires on the road, and you in control. Some Domestics use struts. Struts are a combination of shocks and springs, together in a more compact system.

Shocks wear out slowly over time, so it's hard to notice when they get badly worn. One way to tell is to look for an uneven, cupping wear on your tires. If the shock or strut is leaking fluid, it needs to be replaced. If your car feels floaty in turns or if the front end dips a lot when you stop, it is time to get your shocks checked. Your owners' manual will tell you when your shocks should be changed - it's usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles or 24,000 and 50,000 kilometers .

When you replace a shock, be sure to replace all four. Then your car will have an even suspension and will handle much better. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive. No, not your traffic violations, but how often you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in rough terrain. If you do a bunch of that, you'll need a heavy duty shock.

Regular shocks use hydraulic fluid and air as their dampening system. Premium quality shocks and struts use compressed nitrogen gas instead of air. Gas shocks don't get air bubbles that affect the performance of regular shocks. If you do a lot of high performance driving, off-roading or just want added comfort and control, think about getting premium gas shocks or struts.

Replacing your struts may take your car out of alignment, so be sure to get an alignment at the same time. So, to smooth out the bumps on the road of life, change your shocks and struts when they need it.



The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change for Lansing Drivers

Posted August 21, 2012 12:00 PM

People in Lansing have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000 km to 13,000 km) or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners like those in Lansing were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles/12,000 km. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Severe driving around Lansing includes short trips under four miles (six and a half km)  or trips under 10 miles/16 km in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Lansing just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule or to the standard schedule.

Some types of vehicle will give oil change reminders. But it's important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It's programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Lansing service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it's a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what's needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you're realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.

 AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Posted August 14, 2012 12:00 PM

All new cars and light trucks in Lansing, Michigan, since 2008 have come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, or 'TPMS'. The TPMS system detects when a tire becomes under-inflated and lights up a warning light on the dash.

So what's the big deal for Lansing drivers? Well, underinflated tires can be a real safety concern for in Michigan. First of all, they don't handle properly and that can lead to an accident. Second, underinflated tires can overheat and cause the tire to come apart, which can also lead to an accident.

Government regulations requiring TPMS systems aim to reduce accidents in Michigan and save lives, a very worthy goal. There are also positive environmental effects because underinflated tires are fuel wasters – lose 1 percent of their fuel economy for every 3 pounds of pressure below ideal. So proper tire inflation can save you a tank of gas a year. And your tires last longer so you won't have to replace them as often.

There are two kinds of TPMS systems. So-called direct systems have a battery powered sensor in each wheel that measures tire pressure. The sensor sends a signal to a receiver that illuminates the warning light if pressure is low on a tire.

Indirect systems use a computer program to detect underinflation by measuring wheel rotation speeds and other data.

Lansing drivers will have to replace TPMS parts as they wear out. Obviously, the batteries in the sensors will run out someday. Road salt and grime can damage sensors too. The system needs to be reset when you rotate or change your tires.

Because the TPMS system is so important to your safety, you should make the repairs when needed. And remember, TPMS is no substitute for regularly checking your tire pressure – at least once a month.

Ask us for more details.



Can Car Scent Keep You Safe on Michigan Roads?

Posted August 8, 2012 12:00 PM

Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and it might keep you safer...
The average American commuter in Michigan spends two and a half hours daily in their vehicle.
The government says 100,000 auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)
So what does this have to do with how your vehicle smells while you're driving around Lansing?

Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?

Is it:

  • A. Strawberry
  • B. New Car
  • C. Pine
  • D. Warm Vanilla Breeze

It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the vehicle, according to AroMetrics.

And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.
And you thought they just smelled nice.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Saving Lives in Lansing with Tire Pressure

Posted August 3, 2012 12:00 PM



All new passenger vehicles on our Lansing, Michigan, roads now have tire pressure monitoring systems – TPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are underinflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about them.

First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is 20 percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is 34 pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won't come on until the pressure is at 28 pounds. That's significantly underinflated, enough to raise safety concerns.

The worst is tire failure. A severely underinflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also underinflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it's costly to not stay on top of proper inflation.

What's the practical value of the TPMS system? Well, it's twofold. First, it can alert you when your tire is losing pressure due to a puncture or a bent rim. That's an important warning that you might not have gotten until next time you gassed up.

The second is that we all occasionally forget to check our tire pressure. So it's a fail-safe system to let you know there's a problem brewing.

Other things can cause your TPMS system to go off. The system also monitors itself. The sensors that are mounted in the wheels have little batteries that send a signal to the monitor. The batteries go dead over time and the TPMS system will let you know. And the sensors could break. Also road salt from our Michigan roads can ruin them.

There's also a hassle factor that your Lansing, Michigan, tire center has to contend with. For example, when you have your tires rotated in Lansing, the TPMS system has to be re-calibrated so that it knows which tire is on which corner of the car. Same is true for when you have new tires or winter tires installed. Flat repairs, as well.

That takes extra time. And it requires the right equipment and training. Special – and expensive – tire change machines need to be used with some sensors. It's all complicated by the fact that there are a number of different TPMS systems in use so the tire professionals at AutoSurgeonInc need equipment and training for each kind. Tire centers have had to raise the price of some of these basic services to offset their increased costs.

Also if you add custom wheels on your vehicle, you need to put in new TPMS sensors if your originals won't work on the new rims. If you don't your TPMS light will be on constantly and you won't have the benefit of the warning system.

All in all, the mandated TPMS systems will save lives, so they're worth the added hassle and expense.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Search



Archive

June 2011 (16)
July 2011 (4)
August 2011 (5)
September 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
November 2011 (4)
December 2011 (5)
January 2012 (4)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
July 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
September 2012 (4)
October 2012 (3)
November 2012 (5)
December 2012 (4)
January 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
March 2013 (4)
April 2013 (4)
May 2013 (5)
June 2013 (4)
July 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
September 2013 (4)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (3)
December 2013 (6)
January 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
April 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
August 2014 (4)
September 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (5)
January 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (5)
April 2015 (4)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
July 2015 (5)
August 2015 (4)
September 2015 (4)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (4)
December 2015 (2)
February 2016 (2)
March 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (5)
June 2017 (4)
July 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (4)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
November 2018 (4)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (2)
March 2019 (4)
May 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (2)
August 2019 (2)
September 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
June 2020 (1)
July 2020 (1)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
June 2021 (4)
July 2021 (4)
August 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
December 2021 (4)
January 2022 (6)
February 2022 (4)
March 2022 (4)
April 2022 (4)
May 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
September 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
November 2022 (4)
December 2022 (4)
January 2023 (5)
February 2023 (4)
March 2023 (4)
April 2023 (5)
May 2023 (4)
June 2023 (4)
July 2023 (5)
August 2023 (4)
September 2023 (2)
October 2023 (1)
January 2024 (1)
February 2024 (4)
March 2024 (1)

Categories

Air Conditioning (17)Alignment (16)Alternator (6)Auto Safety (6)Automotive News (10)Battery (20)Brake Service (4)Brakes (22)Cabin Air Filter (8)Check Engine Light (6)Cooling System (19)Customer Detective Work (1)Dashboard (3)Diagnostics (6)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (4)Drive Train (9)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (2)Exhaust (12)Fluids (17)Fuel Economy (10)Fuel Pump (1)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (49)Headlamps (7)Inspection (10)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Maintenance (59)Monitoring System (3)Oil Change (7)Older Vehicles (4)Parts (8)PCV Valve (2)Safe Driving (1)Safety (6)Serpentine Belt (6)Service Intervals (9)Service Standards (13)Shocks & Struts (10)Shocks and Struts (1)Spark Plugs (2)Steering (16)Suspension (3)Timing Belt (6)Tire Pressure Monitoring System (1)Tire Rotation and Balancing (4)Tires (10)Tires and Wheels (44)TPMS (3)Transfer Case Service (1)Transmission (11)Trip Inspection (4)Warranty (2)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (81)Wheel Bearings (2)Windshield Wipers (9)Winter Prep (7)Winter Tires (1)

Partners

NAPA AutoCare Center
ACDelco
ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
IATN (International Automotive Technicians' Network)
Motorcraft
Car Care Aware

What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

Just a word of thanks for the top notch done to Wema's Carolla and for the thoughtful communication with our Tanzanian exchange student. Not only did you fix her car, but also handled arranging towing, all in a narrow window of time. Wema is delighted to have her car back, running better than ever. Couldn't be more happy with your service! quotes-image
, 01/05/2021
reviewicon
My son limped his vehicle into Auto Surgeon's parking lot . The vehicle is on its last leg and we just needed to get it up and running for a few more weeks til my son graduates. The proper repairs were out of the budget so Bill came up with a solution that made sense for this vehicle, Bill didn't have to adapt for us but he did, and the price was more than fair. Don't hesitate to call Auto Surgeon for any repair.quotes-image
, 12/04/2020
reviewicon