Yearly Archives: 2019

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

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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

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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

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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

Anti-lock Brakes

Anti-lock Brakes

We rely on our brakes to safely slow and stop our vehicles. You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve slammed on your brakes and started to skid. When your wheels are locked up, you are just sliding all over the road. And if the road is wet or slick or covered with gravel – you really get out of control. Steering is next to impossible. That is why anti-lock brake systems (ABS) were invented: to help you maintain control in extreme stopping conditions. As mentioned, control is lost when your wheels lock up. ABS keep your brakes from locking – helping you stop while maintaining your ability to steer. Sensors on each wheel equipped with ABS, monitor wheel spin and compare it with vehicle speed sensors. When you are pressing on the brakes, still traveling forward, but your wheels are not turning, the ABS system steps in and modulates the brakes. They ABS quickly “pumps” the brakes, not allowing the wheels to lock-up while still applying braking p ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Driving on Technology

Driving on Technology

Think of how much technology has changed vehicles in the last several years. And there's a lot more coming. Many will remember when drivers were the ones who had complete control of several driving functions: steering, braking, and skid and accident prevention, just to name a few. Thanks to computers, high-tech systems in the vehicle now assist with many of these. Anti-lock brakes help the driver stop while avoiding uncontrolled skids, traction control helps reduce slippage, and stability control can minimize the chances of losing control. Backup cameras let drivers see what's directly behind them, things they could never see before. Sensors warn drivers if a vehicle is crossing in front or behind them. Even more sensors and fish-eye cameras alert drivers when they're getting too close to something. And those are just a few of the advances. The quest for self-driving vehicles has produced features that are already making their way into today's cars, trucks, and SUV ... read more

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