AUTONET TV


Archive for April 2023

TCB your PCV (PCV Valve Replacement)

Posted April 30, 2023 11:23 AM

Your gasoline engine goes through some exhausting work.  Yes, it's truly exhausting, as in: it produces exhaust! And when your engine starts behaving like it's exhausted, such as running poorly or getting lousy fuel economy, the trouble may be something called a PCV valve.

Did you know it's a series of explosions that creates the power in your engine? The spark plugs ignite a mixture of gasoline and air and BANG! A whole bunch of those and you're engine is humming away. Leftover vapors from those explosions go into your crankcase, which is also a place where engine oil goes.  Those vapors still have a lot of unburned fuel in them, and if they had nowhere to go, they'd turn your oil into a thick mess called sludge, not good for a smooth running engine. 

Engineers came up with an idea. Re-direct those gasses building up in the crankcase into the engine's air intake and mix them with fresh air.  That way the unburned fuel could go through the engine again and produce power. It also means the unburned fuel doesn't pollute the air.  The part that makes that happen is called the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve.

Besides reducing pollution and preventing the oil from turning to sludge, the PCV valve also relieves pressure in the crankcase, reducing the potential for oil to leak. One of the reasons you should get your oil changed as frequently as your vehicle's manufacturer recommends is that it helps reduce chances for problems with the PCV valve.

After a while, the PCV valve can itself get gummed up and stick, and the driver may notice oil leaks, reduced power or engine hesitation.  That's why it's important to make sure the PCV valve is operating like it should, and often it can be diagnosed during a visual inspection by our technicians.  Replacing a PCV valve is usually quick and inexpensive.  After it's done, your vehicle will run with the performance and fuel economy you're used to.  Goodbye exhaustion!

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



Heat and your Tires (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)

Posted April 23, 2023 10:10 AM

With hotter weather and brutal heat waves becoming more common, the pressure in your vehicle's tires goes up.  After all, heat causes air to expand, and the air in your tires follows the laws of physics. Overinflated tires can reduce your vehicle's traction, cause a hard, punishing ride and make your tires wear out faster; all are important safety issues.

Four out of every ten drivers rarely check tire pressure. Some rely on their vehicle's tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to keep an eye on proper tire inflation.  But it's not designed to do that.

TPMS is a safety feature that has been required on vehicles made in 2008 or later, using sensors in the wheels that alert you to tire pressure problems.  That warning can be a light on your dash, a digital message or a readout of the pressure in each individual wheel.  But a study showed that more than 40 percent of drivers don't even know what the tire pressure monitoring light symbol looks like!

One looks like a horseshoe with an exclamation point in the middle.  The other looks like an overhead view of your vehicle with the tires at all four corners.  They may even show the inflation number (usually in pounds per square inch, or PSI).

The TPMS is designed to alert you that your tires aren't inflated within certain parameters, but the system shouldn't be a substitute for frequently having your tires checked with a tire gauge.  A TPMS light is only required to come on when a tire is 25 percent under the recommended tire pressure; by that time, you're driving on an unsafe tire and causing excessive wear.

Have your vehicle checked regularly by our professionals, and that includes tire pressure checks.  If you do see the tire pressure warning come on, have our service center look at it soon.  You may have a tire with a problem or the TPMS system may not be working right. 

Either way, since your tires are the only contact your vehicle has with the road, your safety depends a great deal on your tires being in top shape and correctly inflated.  Keep your tires properly inflated and your TPMS working to alert you of any problems. And that's not just a lot of hot air.   

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



Rotation Explanation (Tire Rotation Patterns)

Posted April 16, 2023 7:51 AM

You may notice that when you get your vehicle's oil changed, your service adviser may recommend that you have your tires rotated at the same time.  The reasons are simple.  That will allow your tires to wear more evenly and reduce the noise your tires make as you drive down the road.

There are different ways of rotating tires. If your vehicle has non-directional tires and the same size wheels at each corner, here are the different rotation patterns.

For all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, one is called the rearward cross pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front and stay on the same side of the vehicle, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the side opposite of where they were on the front. 

For all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, use the X pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front on the opposite side of the vehicle, and the fronts are moved to the rear on the opposite side of where they were on the front.

For front-wheel drive, there's the forward cross.  The front tires are moved to the rear wheels on the same side of the vehicle as they were on the front and the rear tires are moved to the opposite side of the vehicle than they were on the rear. 

If you have directional tires (they only can be mounted in one direction) and the same size directional wheels, the rear tires are moved to the front on the same side of the vehicle where they were, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the same side they were on the front.   And if you have tires with different sizes of non-directional tires and wheels on the front and rear, rotation will be from one side of the vehicle to the other. 

If you have a spare, it's put into the rotation using a forward cross or rearward cross. 

Yep, that's a lot to keep straight.  So, we suggest letting your service advisor recommend the right rotation pattern for you at the interval your vehicle's manufacturer specifies.

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



Alleviate the Creaks and Squeaks (Chassis Lubrication)

Posted April 9, 2023 7:09 AM

If your vehicle creaks and squeaks when you drive down the road, it may mean that some of the metal parts are rubbing against each other and need to be lubricated.  Those could be parts of the suspension, steering system and the drivetrain. 

Years ago, most vehicles had to have their chassis (what you think of as the frame) regularly lubricated.  Newer vehicles are made with what some call "lifetime lubrication," but there are still parts of the chassis that need to be maintained with lubricants.  Your service advisor can help you know when that needs to be done.

In your owner's manual, the vehicle's manufacturer lists components that need regular maintenance. Things like u-joints, steering joints, sway bars, bushings and joints in the suspension. Some of them may have that "lifetime lubrication," while others may not. When you bring your vehicle in for service, a technician will look for any parts that have grease fittings.  They will inspect these components, clean the fittings so dirt and other contaminants won't be forced into the part and then lubricate them with a lubricant that meets the manufacturer's specifications. 

Sometimes a chassis lubrication is done at the same time as an oil change.  That's also an ideal time for the technician to check other parts of your vehicle that may need attention.  That could include greasing other parts such as the fuel door, trunk and door hinges, suspension springs and door latches.

Times have changed since the days when a "lube" job was synonymous with an oil change. Depend on your owner's manual and advice from your service advisor to know when "grease" is the word—and appropriate for your vehicle.

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



Slipping into Fall (Driving with ABS Brakes)

Posted April 2, 2023 7:58 AM

As the weather changes over from hot to colder, drivers will have to deal with more slippery streets.  And it's important to know how to drive with the brakes you have on your vehicle. 

In the 1970s, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) started to be installed on vehicles and they've been a game changer for drivers.  Most modern vehicles have ABS and it's important to know how to drive with them.

In older vehicles without ABS, the driver applies the brakes by pushing down the pedal.  That, in turn, sends braking pressure to all four wheels at once.  But all four tires don't have the same traction because the road surface they're each on isn't exactly the same.

ABS allows sensors to determine when particular wheels are slowing down more quickly.  The ABS then reduces braking pressure to the wheels that are about to lock up.  That way the wheel turns and the tires keep some grip. (You have to have grip to stop.) It's kind of what drivers try to achieve when they pump the older-style brakes without ABS.

Another engineered feature of ABS is that it makes sure your front wheels will continue to rotate and maintain some traction.  That's important because the front wheels are used to steer, and being able to steer gives a driver more control in a quickly-changing situation.  So ABS is all about stopping as fast as the road surface will allow but at the same time enabling the driver to maintain control. 

ABS is designed for the driver to put steady pressure on the brake pedal and let the vehicle’s computerized system handle the braking.  Pumping the pedal in a vehicle with ABS can defeat what the system is trying to do to help you maintain control.

Because stopping techniques in a vehicle with ABS are different than those without, it’s important to know which brakes you have so you can operate them accordingly. 

If you have any doubt, consult your service advisor.  ABS involves sophisticated technology and must be maintained in order for it to work properly.  Your service advisor can recommend a maintenance schedule for you to follow so your ABS is always on the ready to help you stop when you need to.

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



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