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Archive for April 2015

Hitting the Brakes in Oshkosh

Posted April 30, 2015 12:00 PM

Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Oshkosh drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

When Auto Authority LLC services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Auto Authority LLC compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. Wisconsin drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, Oshkosh drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

After your brake pads are checked at Auto Authority LLC, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in Oshkosh.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Oshkosh drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Auto Authority LLC. 

Remember, Oshkosh folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all Oshkosh drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

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



The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Auto Authority LLC

Posted April 21, 2015 12:00 PM

Service to a vehicle's power steering system is part of preventive maintenance for  Oshkosh auto owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your vehicle's wheels would have to come from you.

The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer vehicles have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

Oshkosh drivers should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Auto Authority LLC to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your technicians at Auto Authority LLC will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Auto Authority LLC can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner's manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, drivers in Oshkosh who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system you should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough Wisconsin driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Oshkosh drivers should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Auto Authority LLC. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

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



Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Auto Authority LLC

Posted April 16, 2015 12:00 PM

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing Wisconsin residents to review their finances. More and more Oshkosh drivers are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles/120,000 km on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Oshkosh men and women haven't dealt with in the past.

Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for people in Oshkosh because many owner's manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles (96,000 or 145,000 km). Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their vehicles on the road. First of all, any service in your owner's manual that comes with a recommended mileage interval should be continued at that interval.

For example, if it is recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles/8,000 km, you should continue to change your oil every 5,000 miles/8,000 km. The owner of an older vehicle has to recognize that his engine is operating under higher stress than a new one. It's just starting to show its age. So many experts suggest that the “severe service schedule” should be followed once a vehicle has racked up some serious road distance. On this schedule, the mileage interval for many services is shortened or should be performed more often. Check with your service advisor at Auto Authority LLC.

Oshkosh drivers who own older vehicles should also be careful not to neglect or postpone oil changes. A full-service oil change is more critical for an older vehicle than for a new one. Older engines have had a lot of time to build up sludge in their oil compartment, so changing the oil at regular intervals is a must. Skipping an oil change compounds the sludge problem. With a full-service oil change, the vehicle's fluids are also checked and topped off. Your service advisor at Auto Authority LLC will also let you know if these fluids need to be replaced. Older vehicles have older seals and gaskets, which often develop tiny leaks. Regularly checking fluids will compensate for these leaks and offer a heads-up about any serious ones. So, again, it is important to stay on schedule and not skip or procrastinate a fluid check.

Older seals and gaskets begin to dry out and show their age by becoming brittle. High-mileage formulation oils and fluids can help extend the lives of these gaskets and seals. These products contain additives that recondition seals and gaskets and keep them from leaking. High-mileage formulas cost more than standard products, but in the long run they can pay for themselves by preventing more costly repair bills.

If a vehicle is getting on in years or mileage, its parts are as well. High-mileage car maintenance requires necessary repairs and replacements. Timing belts, radiator hoses, parts of the suspension system, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries will not last forever and will wear out in higher-mileage vehicles. They need to be inspected regularly by your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC service advisor and replaced as necessary.

But don't go running for the new car lot just yet. These repairs may sound like a lot, but in total, they're still cheaper for Oshkosh drivers than new car payments. And if you stay on top of them and budget for them, they aren't as burdensome as it may appear.

If you plan on driving your vehicle into its high-mileage years, there are two relationships you need to develop. The first is with your Oshkosh service center. Auto Authority LLC can offer you invaluable auto advice and help you develop a service plan that is right for you and your vehicle. Second, you need to develop a relationship with your vehicle itself. You don't need to name it, but you should become familiar with its noises and idiosyncrasies. Pay attention to changes in its habits such as new or unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Taking note of such things and sharing them with your service advisor can help stave off a lot of big-ticket repair issues.

As we get older, keeping up with a diet and exercise plan becomes more and more critical to maintaining good health. It's the same with our vehicles. A preventive maintenance plan and smart vehicle care will keep them on the road and keep them safe for a good many years to come. 

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

 



Super Slick at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh: Synthetic Oil

Posted April 8, 2015 12:00 PM

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Oshkosh drivers.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil.

First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Oshkosh drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Oshkosh and very hot or freezing Wisconsin temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn't generate oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your vehicle engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their vehicles before delivering them to be sold. Many owner's manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your vehicle came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you're used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can't follow this longer service interval. You'll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can ask the pros at Auto Authority LLC for more information. They can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of preventive maintenance at Auto Authority LLC. All Oshkosh drivers need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there's a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves cash in the long run. All Oshkosh drivers pay for vehicle care. But understanding what we're paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

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

 



Clean Fuel ? Clean Performance for Oshkosh Drivers

Posted April 3, 2015 12:00 PM

Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the vehicle engine.

Oshkosh auto owners don't need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your vehicle engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner's manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Oshkosh drivers should change it before it becomes clogged. Your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC service advisor can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.

Good vehicle care means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered in every owner's manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected at Auto Authority LLC. It may save Oshkosh auto owners money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay them in improved safety and peace of mind.

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



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