Articles:

Why Do I Need to Change Your Transmission Fluid?

  It’s easy to forget about servicing your transmission because it doesn’t need it very often, but proper transmission service keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. The transmission undergoes a lot of stress.  The grit you see in used fluid is actually bits of clutch material. This grit flowing through your transmission under pressure eats away at seals and gaskets which can lead to leaks.  The transmission operates at very high temperatures – much higher than engine temperatures.  Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly.  At worse, it could lead to costly damage. When your transmission’s running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy.  That’s why manufacturers have recommended changing your transmi ... read more

Categories:

Education

What do I do after I buy an Used Vehicle?

So you've bought a “new” used vehicle. How do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because Sylva drivers sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you've sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both. Sylva area used cars with 25,000 to 35,000 miles, or 40,000 to 55,000 kilometers, on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or vehicles that have done duty in NC rental fleets.Sylva drivers feel pretty confident because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained? If you plan on owning a car for a long time, you'll keep up on the maintenance so that you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change he ... read more

Categories:

Education

What living in NC does to your Suspension

Your Vehicle's Suspension in Sylva, NC May 12th, 2022 Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and over long distances, holding your tires’ footprint on the road.  Eventually, components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in NC. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Sylva, NC, highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Sylva roads or hauling heavy loads.  In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like hitting a pothole, a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.  During an inspection, your Dillsboro Automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this important sa ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Why is Wheel Alignment Important?

Sylva drivers need to be concerned about wheel alignments for two primary reasons: safety and money. When your wheels are out of alignment, they can pull to one side, maybe pretty hard. A moment of inattention could put you into on-coming traffic on a busy street in Sylva or completely off the road. And a bad alignment will chew up your tires very quickly. We had one guy in our Sylva auto service center who said his wheels were a little out of alignment before a family vacation, but he didn't think it was that bad. So he didn't take care of it before he left. A couple of long days of highway driving and his front tires were worn down to the cords. He had to take a half day out of his mountain vacation to find a rural town in NC big enough to have a tire center for replacements. All four wheels are supposed to be lined up and point in the same direction. Sometimes one or more goes out of alignment and is pulling against the rest of the team. In addition to excessive ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Power Steering Maintenance

Power Steering Maintenance

Steering is one of the things we take for granted in our vehicles. Let’s break it down into two areas: first, the power assist and second, the actual parts that steer the vehicle. Most people under 40 have never driven a car or truck without power steering. Most vehicles today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer. The pump is usually driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles have an electric pump. Some vehicles even have an electric motor that directly powers the steering. The important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will start to leak. You can postpone that day by having a power steering service from time to time. We will drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. This removes water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts. Ask your service advisor for the recommended change interval. What about the mechanical steering parts? Is there anythin ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Tires By the Numbers (What Tire Numbers Mean)

Tires By the Numbers (What Tire Numbers Mean)

You may have noticed your tires have a pretty long number on them.  Yours might start with a letter, then a 3-digit number, followed by a few more numbers and letters.  That string of letters and numbers is very important for your vehicle because it contains useful information on what tires will give you the performance to meet your vehicle’s original design specifications. These numbers can be found in most owners' manuals and usually on the driver's side doorframe.  Generally, it's a good idea to stick with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations. Let's look at an example.  One customer's SUV has this number on her tires: P245/70R17 108T.  The first letter, P, means it's intended for passenger vehicles.  Some tires don't have any letter at the beginning, which means it's a metric tire. Some tires may also have LT at the beginning or end, which means “light truck”. The next number, 245, in our e ... read more

Categories:

Education

Coolant Replacement at Dillsboro Automotive in Sylva

Your cooling system’s job is to keep your engine cool.  Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator.  From there the cooled mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat. Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures. Without coolant, the metal engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running.  Expensive parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced.  It could even be so bad that the whole engine is ruined and has to be replaced. Also, if it’s freezing outside, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold. Therefore, check coolant levels frequently and have your cooling system inspected for leaks.  Also, y ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Simple Answers from Dillsboro Automotive for Sylva: Power Brakes

Simple Answers from Dillsboro Automotive for Sylva: Power Brakes

Question: What is power brake service and why do Sylva drivers need to have it done? Dillsboro Automotive Answer: Imagine: you pour a tablespoon of water in your hand and throw it as hard as you can. Now, suppose you suck up a tablespoon of water into a syringe, push the plunger and squirt it out. Which would go further? Of course it's the water squirting out of the syringe. That's because you pressurized the water. Your power brake system is kind of the same thing. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes brake fluid which actuates the brakes so you can stop. Sylva drivers who don't have enough pressure can't stop. A leak in your brake system would reduce – or even eliminate – your stopping power. Brake fluid attracts moisture which can cause leak-inducing corrosion. So a great way for Sylva drivers to keep their brake fluid free of contaminants is to change it as recommended. Enough brake fl ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Headlamp Replacement And Restoration At Dillsboro Automotive In Sylva

Headlamp Replacement And Restoration At Dillsboro Automotive In Sylva

Way too many accidents happen at night.  There are a lot of factors, but a big one is simply visibility: if you can’t see something it’s hard to avoid hitting it. There are some things you can do to make sure you can see as much as possible when you’re driving in the dark. First, keep your windshield clean.  Glare from oncoming headlights can obscure obstacles in the road.  Clean off that film that builds up on the inside of your windshield.  And make sure you have good wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid. Now it could be that your headlights just aren’t as bright as they used to be.  It happens – the bulbs just dim over time.  If it’s been a couple of years since you replaced your headlamps and they aren’t lighting up the road like they used to, get some new ones.  They make upgraded headlamps too that give you a brighter light and a larger field of vision so you can see better and further down the roa ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Dillsboro Automotive Tech Question On Tire Wear

Dillsboro Automotive Tech Question On Tire Wear

Dillsboro Automotive Tech Question: My name is Dan. My vehicle tires wore out early and I had to replace them. What can I do to make my tires last longer? Dillsboro Automotive Answer: Dan's problem – premature tire wear – is very common for Sylva residents. Here are several ways to lengthen the life of your tires: First, tires lose air pressure over time, so check them at least once a month and fill them up as necessary. A sticker on the driver's side door jamb has the recommended pressure. Tire rotation is also important to increase tire life. Your front tires take the brunt of stopping and steering forces so they wear faster than the rear tires. They should be rotated regularly so that all four tires wear more evenly. Talk to us at Dillsboro Automotive in Sylva. Out of balance wheels can also cause a tire to wear too fast. Sylva drivers who feel a vibration in their seat or steering wheel may have a wheel out of balance ... read more

Categories:

Tires
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