AUTONET TV


Archive for August 2023

Rotation Explanation (Tire Rotation Patterns)

Posted August 27, 2023 9:06 AM

You may notice that when you get your vehicle's oil changed, your service adviser may recommend that you have your tires rotated at the same time.  The reasons are simple.  That will allow your tires to wear more evenly and reduce the noise your tires make as you drive down the road.

There are different ways of rotating tires. If your vehicle has non-directional tires and the same size wheels at each corner, here are the different rotation patterns.

For all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, one is called the rearward cross pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front and stay on the same side of the vehicle, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the side opposite of where they were on the front. 

For all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, use the X pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front on the opposite side of the vehicle, and the fronts are moved to the rear on the opposite side of where they were on the front.

For front-wheel drive, there's the forward cross.  The front tires are moved to the rear wheels on the same side of the vehicle as they were on the front and the rear tires are moved to the opposite side of the vehicle than they were on the rear. 

If you have directional tires (they only can be mounted in one direction) and the same size directional wheels, the rear tires are moved to the front on the same side of the vehicle where they were, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the same side they were on the front.   And if you have tires with different sizes of non-directional tires and wheels on the front and rear, rotation will be from one side of the vehicle to the other. 

If you have a spare, it's put into the rotation using a forward cross or rearward cross. 

Yep, that's a lot to keep straight.  So, we suggest letting your service advisor recommend the right rotation pattern for you at the interval your vehicle's manufacturer specifies.

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



TCB your PCV (PCV Valve Replacement)

Posted August 20, 2023 8:33 AM

Your gasoline engine goes through some exhausting work.  Yes, it's truly exhausting, as in: it produces exhaust! And when your engine starts behaving like it's exhausted, such as running poorly or getting lousy fuel economy, the trouble may be something called a PCV valve.

Did you know it's a series of explosions that creates the power in your engine? The spark plugs ignite a mixture of gasoline and air and BANG! A whole bunch of those and you're engine is humming away. Leftover vapors from those explosions go into your crankcase, which is also a place where engine oil goes.  Those vapors still have a lot of unburned fuel in them, and if they had nowhere to go, they'd turn your oil into a thick mess called sludge, not good for a smooth running engine. 

Engineers came up with an idea. Re-direct those gasses building up in the crankcase into the engine's air intake and mix them with fresh air.  That way the unburned fuel could go through the engine again and produce power. It also means the unburned fuel doesn't pollute the air.  The part that makes that happen is called the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve.

Besides reducing pollution and preventing the oil from turning to sludge, the PCV valve also relieves pressure in the crankcase, reducing the potential for oil to leak. One of the reasons you should get your oil changed as frequently as your vehicle's manufacturer recommends is that it helps reduce chances for problems with the PCV valve.

After a while, the PCV valve can itself get gummed up and stick, and the driver may notice oil leaks, reduced power or engine hesitation.  That's why it's important to make sure the PCV valve is operating like it should, and often it can be diagnosed during a visual inspection by our technicians.  Replacing a PCV valve is usually quick and inexpensive.  After it's done, your vehicle will run with the performance and fuel economy you're used to.  Goodbye exhaustion!

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



Oh, Stop! (Disc Brake Service)

Posted August 13, 2023 10:00 AM

Every time you drive your vehicle, you wear down your brakes just a little bit.  And after a while, that adds up.  Gradually, your stopping power isn't like it used to be.  Since brakes are one of your vehicle's most important safety features, it just makes sense to keep them performing well.

Most vehicles have disc brakes.  One key component, as the name suggests, is the disc.  Most vehicles have discs on their front and rear wheels.  The discs (also called rotors) are made of metal, and each rotates with the wheel hub.  Your brakes also have pads that make contact with the rotors when you press down on the brake pedal, and the friction stops your vehicle.

After many, many stops, that friction wears down both the pads and the discs and reduces their ability to stop the way you need them to.  The discs may also become uneven from all the heat they generate, and your brakes won't stop as well as they used to when they were newer. 

Some signs that your rotors need attention include vibration at the wheels when you stop, discolored rotors (the metal looks blue), excessively hot rotors, or grooves in the metal.  If you see any of these signs, it's time to bring in your vehicle for us to inspect your brakes. 

A technician will measure the thickness and trueness of the rotors and check the surfaces for wear.  If they need to be replaced, they'll be done in pairs, so if a front rotor is bad, the other front rotor will also be replaced. Usually, your brake pads will be replaced at the same time.  You can ask your service advisor if higher-performance brakes would benefit you.

When your vehicle is at the shop, the technician will check other components of your brake system to make sure they are operating safely. Brakes are vital to the safe operation of your vehicle.  Keep them well maintained so they can be there when you need them.

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



Road Trip? Check! (Trip Inspection)

Posted August 6, 2023 7:12 AM

After months of postponing travel far away from home, a lot of us can't wait to hit the road and scream "Road Trip!" again.  But how long has it been since the vehicle you're planning on taking has had a thorough inspection? And is it roadworthy for several days on the highway? Time to schedule a professional trip inspection in our service center. 

When it comes to long trips, before you go, make sure you can stop.  We can perform a break inspection.  Our technician will visually inspect your brakes for wear and how much life is left in the brake pads and rotors.  They'll also check your brake lines and fluids for fitness and fill.

If it's going to be a long trip, it's important that your engine stays lubricated.  The technician will see when the last time you had an oil change, check the levels and inspect the system for leaks.  If you are close to needing an oil change, it's best to have it done before the trip because no one wants to interrupt a vacation with an oil change in a strange place.  It's also better for your engine to have fresh, clean oil rather than driving with dirty, worn-out oil.

Comfort in any vehicle depends partly on the suspension system.  Our technician can examine shocks and struts so you can avoid an uncomfortable and potentially unsafe journey.  Oh, and you'll definitely want to make sure your wheels are aligned.  A long trip in an out-of-alignment vehicle can be a driving nightmare with potential steering problems and tire damage. 

A couple of little things some drivers take for granted are the engine air filter and wiper blades.  A dirty air filter can cost you money by reducing fuel economy; it adds up on a long trip.  And worn-out wiper blades can make visibility while driving in a rainstorm a blinding, unsafe adventure that you never want to experience, especially in unfamiliar territory.

If you're in the habit of having your vehicle regularly maintained, many of these items may be in excellent condition.  But considering the extra stresses a long road trip places on any vehicle, it's nice to have a set of our trained eyes give your vehicle a closer look. That way you'll be able to gaze YOUR eyes on sights like the Leaning Tower of Niles or the Gopher Hole Museum. 

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



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