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Archive for March 2017

Automotive Tips from AutoSurgeonInc: A Broken or Damaged Timing Belt

Posted March 27, 2017 3:12 AM

The timing belt rotates the cam shafts which open and close the valves that allow air, fuel, and exhaust to flow through the engine as it powers your car when you drive around Lansing.

An old timing belt can lose a “tooth” in the belt allowing it to slip. The engine could stop or misfire. Timing belt slips – or a broken timing belt – can be disastrous on some engines. In “interference” engines, open valves can get in the way of the piston when the timing belt breaks or slips. When that happens one or more valves can be bent requiring expensive engine repairs.

It is important for Lansing drivers to replace their timing belts as recommended in their owner’s manual to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Ask the team of professionals at AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing if it’s time for your timing belt to be replaced.

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



The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at AutoSurgeonInc

Posted March 20, 2017 8:56 AM

Service to a vehicle's power steering system is part of preventive maintenance for  Lansing auto owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your vehicle's wheels would have to come from you.

The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer vehicles have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

Lansing drivers should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your technicians at AutoSurgeonInc will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. AutoSurgeonInc can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner's manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, drivers in Lansing who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system you should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough Michigan driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Lansing drivers should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at AutoSurgeonInc. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

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



Problems with Suspension Solved at AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing

Posted March 12, 2017 7:01 AM

A vehicle's suspension system is tough. It can last for years and after lots of driving for Lansing drivers. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Lansing drivers to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection at AutoSurgeonInc . An ineffective suspension system will decrease the driver's control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks reduce the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your vehicle might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately a safety feature of your vehicle, it's always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it's time for new shocks. Your technician at AutoSurgeonInc will check your shocks visually. If they're leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any one of these symptoms warrants an inspection of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Lansing drivers should never put off suspension repairs. If you experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to — or better than — the original shocks on the vehicle. The original equipment was for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Lansing drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Lansing drivers. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your vehicle's handling performance, then you should upgrade to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Lansing or tow a trailer, then you should definitely be getting heavy-duty shocks.

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



Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for Lansing Drivers

Posted March 7, 2017 5:31 AM

When people in Lansing talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Michigan? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.

It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, Lansing drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Michigan areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at AutoSurgeonInc about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don't expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don't drive on Lansing roads with a frosted windshield. That's a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in Michigan. They're out in the Lansing sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can't clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It's a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you repair bill.

Lansing drivers can purchase new wiper blades at AutoSurgeonInc or at any Lansing auto parts store. They cost about the same. But at AutoSurgeonInc we'll also throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don't forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at AutoSurgeonInc in Lansing, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it's good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we're on the subject, AutoSurgeonInc advises Lansing drivers to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with windshield washer fluid. Don't ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can't get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn't get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its job.

A clean windshield is not just good vehicle care for Lansing drivers — it's also a safety feature. Let's keep it that way.

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

 



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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
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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
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