AUTONET TV


Archive for June 2023

All Lined Up (Alignment Inspection)

Posted June 25, 2023 9:43 AM

When you head down a straight road, does your vehicle pull to one side?  Do you feel vibration in any of the wheels? If you've noticed any of these things, it's probably time for you to get your wheel alignment checked.

When your vehicle left the factory, its wheels were parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.  That maximizes traction for good steering and braking. Every time you take your vehicle on the road, normal wear and tear will affect your alignment. Hit a bump, a pothole or a curb and all those little knocks will add up

Bad alignment not only can cause your steering wheel to pull unevenly, it can also wear your tires out a lot faster than they should. In fact, if you look at your tires and see one side of the tread is a lot smoother than the other, it could be another sign of bad alignment.

Since different problems can cause similar symptoms, the first thing our trained technician will do is test drive your vehicle. Then, they'll check the front end and steering linkage as well as look for tire wear.  Then, the technician will put your vehicle on a lift and use computerized diagnostic equipment to measure alignment angles so they can precisely align your vehicle's components.

There are different kinds of alignments.  One is a front-end alignment that aligns components of the vehicle's front axle.  Another is a thrust alignment that makes sure the front wheels are lined up with the direction the rear wheels are pointed.  A third type is four-wheel alignment which is usually used on all-wheel drive and  4-wheel drive vehicles.  It's also recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles that have independent rear suspensions.  It makes sure the angles of all the wheels are where they should be relative to each other and also the vehicle's body or frame.

Your steering wheel should be perfectly centered if you are heading straight down the road, so the technician will adjust it so it is. Finally, they'll take your vehicle back on the road for a final test drive to make sure it's performing the way engineers intended.

Your service adviser can recommend how often you should have your alignment inspection, since it depends on the type of vehicle you drive (SUV, sporty car, etc.) and your driving environment.  Properly aligned wheels can help your vehicle perform better and save you from expensive repairs down the road.

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



Don't Blow a Gasket! (Valve Cover Gasket Replacement)

Posted June 18, 2023 10:12 AM

When you head out to your vehicle after it's been parked and notice oil leaking underneath it, that's something to have looked at right away.  Oil leaks mean your oil level is probably low and running a vehicle in that condition can lead to expensive repairs.

While there are many reasons oil leaks develop, one possibility is a bad valve cover gasket.  Vehicle engines have a cover bolted over the spot where the engine valves are, and that cover keeps the oil inside the engine. In between the cover and the engine is a gasket that keeps that seal tight.  But after many years of high engine temperatures and vibrations, that gasket or the bolts that hold on the valve cover can fail or loosen, and oil can leak.

You may see dirty oil on the valve cover in the engine compartment, near the spark plugs, or around the bolts that hold the valve cover on.  All those are signs of leakage and time to bring your vehicle in for our technicians to check out.

In some vehicles, taking off the valve cover and replacing the gasket is a relatively easy job. In some models, though, other engine parts are located near that part of the engine and must be removed to get at the gasket, so repair costs can vary widely.

The technician will measure to make sure the valve cover isn't warped so it can be reused. If it is warped, they'll recommend replacing it with the gasket.  

While the technician has that area of your engine accessible, they will also check to see if other components need replacing at the same time, which could save you money.  And because valve cover gaskets usually fail in older vehicles, the technician will check for other oil leaks then, too. 

One of the best ways to be sure your valve cover is doing its job is to have your vehicle regularly maintained.  The technician will periodically look over your engine compartment and make sure you know when things are showing signs of age and wear BEFORE they fail and leave you stranded.

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



Road Ready (Trip Inspection)

Posted June 11, 2023 7:03 AM

Maybe you've been cooped up for a while and are yearning for a change of scenery.  Or maybe you need to visit a relative who lives far away.  You choose not to fork out the big bucks for airline tickets, so it's time for a road trip.  Make sure you're road ready by having your vehicle professionally inspected before the big drive.

One of our technicians can check out several of your vehicle's most important systems so you can be more confident that you'll be able to go the distance without a breakdown.  Here are a few things a trip inspection may include:

Your vehicle stops with brakes that, in turn, stop the tires.  They must both be in sound condition. The technician can look at your tire tread, the condition of the sidewalls, and note the tires' age.  Brakes have pads and rotors that should meet certain specs, so an expert inspection of their condition is important, too.

A technician can check other vital fluids such as engine coolant, power steering, transmission, and windshield washer fluid. Your wipers must be in good condition so you can see, and they're often one of the most neglected parts of a vehicle. 

Your headlights must work correctly and be aimed properly so you can see and so that you're not blinding oncoming drivers. They're powered by your battery, and a technician will check how old yours is and how well it holds a charge, all important for reliable starting. 

For cabin comfort, your climate control system needs to work correctly, which means both heat and air conditioning.  If things need to be repaired - before the trip will be a lot more convenient than trying to do it while you're traveling.

The technician can inspect hoses and belts, two things that frequently fail on a long trip.  And the big advantage of having a pro look over your vehicle is that they not only know what to look for but also can make the repairs the right way.  Now that's the ticket to being road ready.

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



The Little Valve that Could (PCV Valve Replacement)

Posted June 4, 2023 7:36 AM

It's easy to get letters like PVC and PCV mixed up.  PVC is a plastic that's used in a lot of things, especially plumbing pipes.  And PCV is a valve that helps your engine burn off excess fumes rather than having them pollute our atmosphere. 

PCV stands for positive crankcase ventilation.  When your engine ignites gasoline in the cylinders, some of the gases produced make their way into the crankcase, where oil is held to lubricate the engine.  In earlier days, those gases would be vented out through a hose and go directly into the air.  It was a waste of gasoline (since about three-fourths of the gases were unburned fuel) and a nasty source of pollution.

So engineers devised a one-way valve that directed those gases back into the engine's air intake system to be burned again.  After a while, the PCV valve can get clogged up with gummy oil.  Not only does that reduce the recirculation of the gases, but it can also cause pressure in the crankcase to increase and possibly lead to an oil leak.

Signs your PCV valve has failed are oil leaks around the engine compartment or under your vehicle and poor engine performance. Your fuel economy will get worse. If you notice those signs, we can check your PCV valve. 

At the same time a technician inspects the PCV valve, they'll also check the vacuum hose that runs back to the air intake.  Plus, they'll make sure the vehicle doesn't have any other engine problems that might be contributing to your issues. 

Many technicians recommend replacing your PCV valve with each major tune-up, so you get ahead of any problems before they develop.  Now that you're an expert on PCV, it may be time to check out those PVC pipes in your bathroom!

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



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