It?s About Time: Following Service Intervals at The Auto Authority LLCPosted November 26, 2014 12:00 PM
There are a lot of things in life that Oshkosh residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Oshkosh dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.
Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Oshkosh drivers should take their cars in regularly for a good check-up. But many Oshkosh folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.
Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?
One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter and how long our grass is getting; we can smell how dirty our clothes are; but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our cars is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage, and inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at The Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh.
Another reason us Oshkosh drivers put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most Oshkosh car owners don’t know.
Of course, our cars come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it. But how many Oshkosh auto owners actually read them?
The good news is that all Oshkosh car owners have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like The Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh. Like a good doctor, your friendly The Auto Authority LLC service professional will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.
Here are some guidelines to help Oshkosh auto owners understand the basics of preventive maintenance: Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it has to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.
Tires. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.
Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.
Fuel. Obviously your car needs gas on a regular basis. But the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.
These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.
If you are taking your car in for the basics, then your Oshkosh service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things. Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.
If you’re not convinced yet that your car needs regular service, consider this: not doing so will cost you in decreased gas mileage, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to expensive repair bills and costly accidents.
Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at The Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.
Budget for Maintenance in OshkoshPosted November 18, 2014 12:00 PM
Sometimes busy Oshkosh residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Wisconsin in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Oshkosh residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.
Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Oshkosh drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Oshkosh drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Oshkosh area auto service centers.
Oshkosh drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in Wisconsin simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Oshkosh drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.
Just a bit of auto advice from Auto Authority LLC: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Wisconsin auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Auto Authority LLC, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!
Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
The Auto Authority LLC Guide to Vehicle DiagnosisPosted November 14, 2014 12:00 PM
Modern Oshkosh vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.
Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for Oshkosh drivers to track down the source of the problem.
To help your service advisor at Auto Authority LLC figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC technician connects a scan tool to your vehicle's diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data.
Trouble codes are like clues for the technician to follow as he diagnoses what's wrong with your vehicle. In a way, it's like going to your Oshkosh doctor with a problem. She'll run some additional tests and gather the information she needs to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. How much a vehicle diagnosis costs at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh depends on how much time it takes to sort out the symptoms and find the underlying problem.
Give us a call.
Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
Drive Train Service in Oshkosh at Auto Authority LLCPosted November 7, 2014 12:00 PM
The drive train in your vehicle includes all the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.
Let's start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.
Auto Authority LLC service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.
Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.
Auto Authority LLC service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.
All-wheel drive vehicles provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.
Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.
Servicing an all-wheel drive at Auto Authority LLC involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Oshkosh drivers encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.
Oshkosh auto owners would be wise to check with their owner's manual for recommendations on how often to service their vehicle drive train. It's also good auto advice to check with your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC service advisor as well. You may live in an area in Wisconsin where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.
Good car care at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your vehicle becomes a very large paperweight.
Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902