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Archive for April 2012

Finding Vehicle Recall Information in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Posted May 1, 2012 12:00 PM



No matter how well they're made, vehicles in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the vehicle  free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Wisconsin who owns that type of vehicle to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall. The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There's CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious but not all that common. Sometimes there are fewer issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Auto Authority LLC how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Your Well Trained Technician at Auto Authority LLC

Posted April 26, 2012 12:00 PM

When your vehicle has a problem or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your vehicle's so important to your life in Oshkosh, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you've ever checked into some of the technician training Auto Authority LLC professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8's. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/100 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Oshkosh gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern vehicles driven around Wisconsin are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some vehicles have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Oshkosh motorists take all of this sophistication for granted, but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It's a real challenge for Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Oshkosh service centers as well.

Auto Authority LLC technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Auto Authority LLC by parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there's the financial commitment for Auto Authority LLC to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications held by the pros at Auto Authority LLC. The ability to repair your vehicle requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Oshkosh auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Auto Authority LLC, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn't.

The next time you bring us your vehicle, don't worry. You're in good hands at Auto Authority LLC.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Tire Tread Depth for Oshkosh, Wisconsin Drivers

Posted April 19, 2012 12:00 PM

Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don't have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider 2/32 of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider 1/32 to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Auto Authority LLC; (just call 920-231-1016) to find out what your requirements are in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there's just 2/32 inch/1.6 mm of tread left. But does that older standard give Oshkosh vehicles enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32 inch/3.2 mm. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Oshkosh vehicles also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it's wet or snowy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you're driving in Oshkosh over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there's not enough tread depth on a tire, it can't move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Oshkosh drivers will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph/112 kph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32 inch/3.2 mm of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph/89 kph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph/89 kph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph/72 kph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That's a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile (.16 km)  of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Oshkosh drivers follow that far behind the vehicle ahead? Obviously, this is a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do people in Oshkosh know when their tires are at 4/32 inch/3.2 mm? Well, it's pretty easy. Just insert an American quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But an American penny gives you 2/32 inch/1.6 mm to Abraham Lincoln's head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32 inch/3.2 mm.

Tires are a big ticket item, and most people in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, want to get thousands of miles/kilometers out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight and Your Wisconsin Driving

Posted April 13, 2012 12:00 PM



Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from Oshkosh knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Oshkosh area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.

Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

...And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Keeping Your Engine Cool in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Posted April 6, 2012 12:00 PM



The cooling system keeps Wisconsin vehicle's engines from overheating while they are driving around Oshkosh. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let's talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

The radiator is the part most Oshkosh drivers associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there's enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the vehicle is idling.

In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your vehicle off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the vehicle engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the "water jacket."

While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the vehicle engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat's job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

When you first start the engine, it's very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

The final component the team at Auto Authority LLC wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It'll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car's hot. The cooling system is pressurized, and opening those caps while it's hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Oshkosh, Wisconsin. At Auto Authority LLC, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for  leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

Your vehicle manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



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