Category Archives: Maintenance

How To Know When To Change Your Oil

How To Know When To Change Your Oil

Today we're going to talk about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers). In real world driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes to make a warranty claim. So here's the ... read more

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Maintenance

Suspension

Suspension Oct 29th, 2022 Let's talk about your suspension – you know, the system that connects your wheels to your vehicle, controls your handling and delivers a good ride as you cruise around Sylva, NC. Your suspension is critical for proper steering, stopping and stability. Hey, it's a rough world out there in NC – every time you hit a pothole, a bump or an object in the road, your suspension system has to absorb the impact and maintain control. As you can imagine, your suspension has a lot of joints and pivot points that allow your wheels to move up and down over bumps and to turn as you steer. These parts include ball joints, tie rod ends, the pitman, idler arms and the control arm bushing. They simply wear out over time. When a joint or other part is worn the suspension parts don't fit together as tightly as they should. Handling and steering has a loose feel and you may hear strange noises. Your tires will ... read more

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Maintenance

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

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Maintenance

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

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

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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

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Maintenance

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

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Maintenance
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