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Archive for May 2014

AutoSurgeonInc Helps You Decipher the Menu Board: Part 2

Posted May 30, 2014 12:00 PM

Michigan service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Lansing drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

AutoSurgeonInc fuel system cleaning: Over time, the vehicle fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

AutoSurgeonInc headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It's usually good to change them every year or so.

AutoSurgeonInc inspections: Lansing drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they're going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle's ready for a Michigan summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used vehicle and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

AutoSurgeonInc oil change: There are several options: Some Lansing centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

AutoSurgeonInc PCV valve replacement in Lansing: PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It's a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. It just needs to be changed now and then.

AutoSurgeonInc power steering service: Often overlooked. Your friendly and knowledgeable AutoSurgeonInc technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the vehicle system running well for a long time.

AutoSurgeonInc serpentine belt service: That's the belt that powers the vehicle engine's accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You'll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that'll shut you down.

AutoSurgeonInc shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Lansing drivers don't notice when it's time to change them. If they're worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

AutoSurgeonInc transmission service: This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It's like an oil change for your transmission.

AutoSurgeonInc tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

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



Air Conditioning Maintenance at AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing

Posted May 20, 2014 12:00 PM


Warm weather or cold, Lansing drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most Lansing people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At AutoSurgeonInc, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing.

The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Lansing vehicle owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At AutoSurgeonInc, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Lansing drivers need to be aware that there's one more thing that isn't directly related to air conditioning service but does impact the quality of the air in your vehicle. And that's your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that come from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it's dirty. If you don't, it'll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your AutoSurgeonInc service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they're doing your air conditioning service.

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



AutoSurgeonInc Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Posted May 14, 2014 12:00 PM

drive All Lansing service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.

Your friendly and knowledgeable AutoSurgeonInc service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

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



AutoSurgeonInc Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Posted May 6, 2014 12:00 PM

 

Welcome to the AutoSurgeonInc automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear.

Let's focus on stopping in wet Lansing conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Lansing drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new AutoSurgeonInc tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Lansing roads.

So that's why it's so important for Lansing drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

At AutoSurgeonInc, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Lansing streets. A safe stop from Michigan speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch.

Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Lansing residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Lansing want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.

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



Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance for Lansing Drivers

Posted May 2, 2014 12:00 PM

Hello, Lansing residents. Let's talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Lansing auto owners don't need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your vehicle engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner's manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Lansing drivers should change it before it becomes clogged. Your friendly and knowledgeable AutoSurgeonInc service advisor can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.

Good vehicle care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner's manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at AutoSurgeonInc. It may save Lansing auto owners money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved safety and peace of mind.

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



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