Tag Archives: maintenance

What is the Purpose of the Brake Caliper

What is the Purpose of the Brake Caliper

Race car drivers have demonstrated the advantages of disc brakes, so most modern vehicles use them.  Sometimes just the front wheels have disc brakes, but many vehicles now have them all the way around.  A major component of the disc brake is called a caliper.  It works by squeezing brake pads against the disc or rotor, kind of like a bicycle hand brake.  The brake pads themselves are what contact the rotor, causing friction to build and the wheel to slow down, but it's the calipers that apply the pressure to the pads. Caliper design has evolved over the years, and there are two common types.  One is called a floating caliper.  It has one or two pistons on one side of the disc. When you push down the brake pedal, the piston or pistons in your caliper put pressure on that one side.  A mechanism connected on the other side of the disc applies pressure as well, squeezing your disc so the vehicle stops.  Floating calipers are less expensive sin ... read more

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Brakes

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

The Dillsboro Automotive Guide To A Long Lasting Vehicle

Let's say you've got a nine-year-old vehicle with plenty of distance on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two? Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles or 320,000 kilometers in Sylva with proper care. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there. Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if you stay on top of your recommended maintenance even beyond the end of the printed schedule. For example, if a service is recommended every 15,000 miles or 25,000 kilometers when the vehicle is new, you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles or 25,000 kilometers after you go forth. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change, for exam ... read more

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

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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

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Tires

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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