AUTONET TV


Archive for February 2023

Let's Clear Some Things Up (Headlight Restoration)

Posted February 26, 2023 9:24 AM

You know how exposing your skin to sunlight can cause sunburn and other unhealthy things.  Sunlight can also create major problems for your headlights.  After they've been exposed to ultraviolet light, acrylic headlights can yellow and fog due to oxidation.  And when that happens, less light can pass through the plastic, reducing the effectiveness—and safety—of your headlights. 

It's not just the UV light that causes headlights to turn cloudy.  Road grime and debris gets kicked up and can scratch the plastic, diffusing the light that should pass through them when they're clear.  Plus, when your vehicle was new from the factory, the headlights had watertight seals all around to prevent moisture from getting into them and fogging them up with water vapor.  Just like clouds can hide the sun, tiny water molecules can diffuse the light from your headlight bulbs. 

Sure, you could buy replacement parts and start fresh.  But the good news is many vehicle repair facilities can restore your original headlights to perform like they did when you first bought your vehicle.  Here's how it works:

  • A technician will protect your vehicle's paint by either taking the headlights out or by taping off the paint near the headlights and leaving them in place.
  • Residue is removed from the headlight surfaces by wet sanding to remove the oxidized plastic.
  • Using special compounds, the technician will buff and polish the surface of the lens so it looks as smooth as glass. 
  • The newly-polished plastic is then sealed with wax or a special sealant designed to keep them operating like new. 
  • If the seals that keep the moisture out of the inside of your headlights have dried out or cracked, they will be restored or replaced to keep condensation from forming again.

Visibility at night is vital for safe driving, and if your headlights aren't performing up to their potential, the less you'll be able to see ahead of you.

There are many advantages of having your headlights restored rather than buying new or aftermarket replacements.  It's friendlier to the planet since plastics are made of oil, so it's reducing the amount of plastic that is manufactured.  And it's usually cheaper to have your headlights restored rather than replaced.

Consider headlight restoration a way to literally recycle those parts of your vehicle.  That seems to be perfectly clear!

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



The Last Gas (Fuel Pump Replacement).

Posted February 19, 2023 8:57 AM

You're heading down the road and you notice your vehicle is sputtering, like it's running out of gas.  But the gauge show's it's still got a quarter of a tank.  So what gives?

It could be that your fuel pump is failing, meaning your engine is not getting enough gas to run properly.  While fuel pumps are built to last a long time, sometimes they fail.  Other symptoms you may have a bad fuel pump include your vehicle stalling and then refusing to start again, the engine overheating or a hum or whirr coming from around the gas tank.  Or, your Check Engine light may come on.

Most fuel pumps are in the gas tank. They have a small electric motor in them.   When you bring your vehicle to our service center, a technician will run tests to confirm the fuel pump is getting power to it but has failed.  Some vehicles have an access panel so the fuel pump can be removed and replaced. 

But in some vehicles that don't have that access panel, the technician has to drain the fuel and take the tank out of the vehicle to be able to replace the fuel pump inside.  Some parts such as brackets that attach the pump can be reused when the new fuel pump is installed.  Most technicians will recommend replacing the fuel filter at the same time the fuel pump is changed out.

If the technician has to remove the fuel tank, they'll also check for rust and corrosion and replace any affected parts.

Keep one thing in mind - your vehicle's fuel pump is in the fuel tank because it's kept cool and lubricated by the gasoline in the tank.  Try not to let your fuel level go below a half or quarter of a tank to maximize the life of your fuel pump.  Also, try to use Top Tier gasoline that has higher standards than some other fuels.  Your engine—and fuel pump—will thank you.

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



Oil Times are a-Changin' (Oil Change Synthetic)

Posted February 12, 2023 8:55 AM

When it comes to oil changes, things are really changing.  Most newer vehicles require synthetic oil, and while it costs more than conventional oil, it doesn't need to be changed as often.

When conventional oil was the only game in town, you changed your oil every 3,000 miles/5,000 km. But as technology in newer vehicles has rapidly changed, so has oil technology.  Synthetics have been around since the seventies.  Even though they start with a conventional oil base, they are engineered in a chemical processing plant with properties that allow them to keep your engine lubricated at very high temperatures.  They are more uniform and consistent.

Synthetic oil doesn't break down as easily, so it lasts longer than conventional oil.  And synthetic oil can flow more easily, even in extremely low temperatures.  As you can see, it has performance advantages at both temperature extremes.

Generally, in recent years automakers have been shipping most of their vehicles with either synthetic oil or a synthetic blend.  Blends are cheaper and have many of the advantages of synthetics.  Another reason synthetic oil is being used in many newer vehicles is its ability to flow more easily improves efficiency.   

It's important to follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations when you have your oil changed, so our service adviser can see what options you have for your vehicle. Many newer vehicles come with specific recommendations for synthetic oil. If you live in an area with wide temperature extremes or do a lot of stop-and-go driving, synthetic oil can offer advantages. 

Older vehicles can do fine with conventional oil, but it will have to be changed more than synthetic oil. Also, if you have an older vehicle with more than 75,000 miles/120,000 km on it, it can be more prone to leak and burn oil. Some synthetic oils are designed to protect those high-mileage vehicles better than conventional oil, and yours may benefit. See what your service adviser thinks.

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



Sounds Exhausting! (Exhaust Service)

Posted February 5, 2023 8:29 AM

Most of us know a bad muffler when we hear it.  That loud, rumbling sound is unmistakable. Did you also know you can get a ticket for driving around with a loud exhaust system?

If your exhaust system has a leak in it, it may be allowing poisonous gases inside your vehicle and could make you seriously ill (or even kill you!) if you breathe too much in.

Unfortunately, your exhaust system faces a lot of destructive forces out on the road.  Rust is the worst, and not just in colder climates where they use salt and brine as de-icers.  Exhaust systems can rust from the inside out when moisture condenses inside the pipes.  Vibrations and jolts from rough roads (and the occasional run in with a rock or a curb) can wreak havoc with exhaust systems.  Even a bad oxygen sensor can send too much fuel into the catalytic converter, and the resulting heat can wind up destroying this very expensive component.

Your exhaust system is made up of several parts, and all need to be in good shape in order for you to be sure that the gases created by your engine's combustion get properly moved out and away from the vehicle. The good news is that many newer exhaust systems are made out of more durable materials like stainless steel.  But all exhaust systems are subjected to some of the roughest elements streets can dish out. So it's a good idea to have your exhaust system periodically inspected and serviced.

There are a lot of parts to keep track of in an exhaust system, including the muffler, manifold, catalytic convertor, oxygen sensors and the muffler (or maybe your vehicle has more than one).  We strongly recommend having your exhaust system periodically checked so we can catch a problem before it turns into something major… and maybe dangerous.  We can recommend repair or replacement that suits your driving habits and budget. 

Oh, and remember one final benefit to a tip-top-shape exhaust system.  Your vehicle will dump far less pollution into the atmosphere if it's working the way engineers designed it.  We'll all breathe a little easier when our exhaust systems are doing their job right.

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



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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
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