All posts by devlo

Helping Colorado Springs Drivers Get the Right Tires

Every Colorado Springs vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy Colorado roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at Monument temperatures below 45°F. At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Colorado Springs weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in Colorado and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in Colorado, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second critical consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at Colorado tire stores. Colorado Springs auto owners will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Colorado Springs motorists who drive off-road around Colorado may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Colorado Springs streets and freeways. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Colorado Springs as a statement of style or to add personality to your SUV. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your SUV, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor for more information about tires.

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

Colorado Springs drivers can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system, however, they can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs. They have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. The Professional team at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You’ll find Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine at 3655 Galley Rd. in Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909. Or just give us a call at 719-630-8729 to schedule an appointment.

You’ll enjoy more power, better fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate critical engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent pricey repairs that can happen because you didn’t take preventative steps. Check with your Professional technician at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine and see when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

The Right Automotive Fluids For Monument Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Monument auto owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Colorado Springs motorists and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many SUVs now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Colorado Springs drivers should always use the grade recommended by their auto manufacturer  and type of oil in their engine.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your SUV cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Colorado Springs roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your SUV power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the important thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine tech or SUV owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
719-630-8729
3655 Galley Rd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
http://www.expressengineexchange.com

When Do My Shocks Need to be Replaced?

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Colorado Springs auto owners with good handling and control. But like any system on your SUV, critical parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for Colorado Springs drivers to remember an automotive analysis of their suspension system in their schedule of an essential preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the suspension system. The most common types of springs are coil and leaf, but air springs and torsion bars are becoming more common. The body of the vehicle is “suspended” by the springs.

If springs were the only working component in your suspension system, however, you’d spend your travel time bouncing up and down like a bobblehead. That’s where your shocks come in. They keep the rebound, or bounciness, of the springs under control. Shocks also keep your tires on the road, which keeps the driver in control of the SUV. Some vehicles have struts in their suspension system. Struts are a compact combination of springs and shocks. They do the same essential job but in a single package.

Shocks wear out gradually, so it can be difficult for Colorado Springs car owners to notice when they need to be replaced. There’s no definitive point when a vehicle’s ride goes from smooth and controlled to a bit imprecise. To check if your shocks or struts are worn, you should first do a visual inspection on them. If they are leaking fluid, they need to be replaced.

There are other less obvious signs that your suspension system needs critical attention. For example, an uneven, cupping wear on your tires may indicate that your shocks are worn. If your vehicle feels “floaty” when you turn, or, in other words, you don’t feel that you have full control of the vehicle, you should check your shocks. Also, if the front end of your vehicle dips noticeably when you stop, it’s time for new shocks.

Your owner’s manual gives recommendations on how often the shocks should be checked, usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles (24,000-50,000 km). If one of your shocks does need to be replaced, you should replace all four. This will keep your suspension even and ensure good handling of your vehicle. If you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive on uneven Monument area terrain, you might also consider upgrading to a heavy-duty shock.

Regular shocks contain hydraulic fluid. The essential fluid helps them absorb the bumps or “shocks” of the road so the impact doesn’t transfer to the SUV’s body. Premium shocks are filled with compressed nitrogen gas, which costs more but does a better job of controlling body motions. Regular shocks can develop air bubbles that reduce their effectiveness; the premium shocks don’t have this problem. So if you want higher handling performance, if you drive off-road around Colorado or if you just want added comfort, you should reflect on upgrading to premium shocks or struts.

Replacing struts can put your SUV out of alignment, so an alignment check should always follow this type of repair. Talk to your Professional technician at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs.

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Colorado Springs Car Owners

A generation ago, Colorado Springs drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your SUV in to your Colorado Springs shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Colorado Springs used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the SUV was in for a tune-up at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our SUVs don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Colorado Springs drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Colorado Springs service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern SUV engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of critical parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the SUV isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your SUV engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the SUV engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this costly damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Colorado Springs drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to essential engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Monument who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Colorado Springs folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Colorado Springs auto owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel efficiency, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades For Colorado Springs Drivers

When Colorado Springs motorists talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Colorado? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail.

It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety’s sake, Colorado Springs auto owners need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don’t get new ones until the old ones become a harmful safety hazard. Instead, we Colorado Springs auto owners need to make wiper blades a vital part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Colorado areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine technician about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don’t expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don’t drive on Colorado Springs roads with a frosted windshield. That’s a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in Colorado Springs. They’re out in the Monument sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can’t clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It’s a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you an expensive repair bill.

Colorado Springs motorists can purchase new wiper blades at an auto service center or at any Colorado Springs auto parts store. They cost about the same. But the auto service center will throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it’s good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we’re on the subject, Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine advises Colorado Springs drivers to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with window washer fluid. Don’t ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can’t get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn’t get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its important job.

A clean windshield is not just good car care for Colorado Springs motorists — it’s an essential safety feature. Let’s keep it that way.

Drive Defensively In Colorado

Car care is a critical part of auto safety in Colorado Springs. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Colorado roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in Colorado, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Colorado Springs car owners can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Colorado Springs road or interstate and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Colorado Springs drivers are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other Colorado drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Colorado Springs home as you would in unfamiliar territory around Colorado.

Prepare your SUV so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your SUV so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your SUV dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your SUV. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. Also, listen to your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service professional when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your SUV. Knowing about the wear and tear on your SUV can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in Colorado, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Colorado Springs roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in Colorado and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Widefield motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your SUV turn signals, and stay out of other Colorado drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your SUV or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other auto owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Manitou Springs road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Monument roads or expressways. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the Colorado highways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Monument weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Colorado Springs, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the highway. Notify the Colorado Springs police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Colorado Springs. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your SUV—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine wants all Colorado Springs motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine Service For Your Exhaust System

Your SUV’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your SUV. Maintaining it is good Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine auto advice for Colorado Springs auto owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Monument area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most car makers recommend that you have your SUV exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified technician at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine Service For Your Exhaust SystemThe manifold is attached to the SUV engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is vital that Monument motorists keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is critical that exhaust pipes get an inspection regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next critical component of your SUV exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in Colorado. Call Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine at 719-630-8729 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the SUV engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your SUV exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your SUV from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is important for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Colorado Springs automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Colorado Springs neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your SUV by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The essential components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and pricey damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last important piece in the exhaust system — and of your SUV, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your SUV through the tailpipe.

If your SUV has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your SUV to Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your SUV exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs

The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto makers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Colorado Springs drivers: it improves gas mileage and increases performance.

But there is a drawback for Colorado Springs auto owners: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Colorado Springs car owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a vital part of preventive maintenance for Colorado Springs motorists. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Colorado Springs car owners at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing expensive transmission repairs.

The Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine Guide To Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What’s that? And what’s it for? I’ve been told by my service professional that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?

Do these questions sound familiar? They’re not uncommon for Colorado Springs drivers. A lot of us in Colorado Springs don’t know what a differential is or what it’s for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it’s more essential to the operation of your SUV than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.

A differential allows your SUV tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.

The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehicle you drive. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located in the back. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is located on the front, but it is usually called a transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials: one on the front, one in the back, and one in the middle. This center differential compensates for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Your differential contains strong gears that need to be protected from dirt, debris, water and other contaminants. A differential is sometimes referred to as a “gear box.” The work of these gears is to transfer power from the SUV drive train to the wheels.

Your differential needs fluid to lubricate and cool the gears. This fluid, even though enclosed in the “gear box,” can get dirty because the gears grind down over time, releasing tiny bits of themselves into the fluid. Also, the additives in the differential fluid break down and need to be replaced. That’s why important preventive maintenance for your SUV needs to include servicing the differential.

Your owner’s manual can give you recommendations on how often to service your differential. But you should also consult with your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service specialist. Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine can give you some good auto advice on whether your vehicle needs to be serviced more frequently. For example, if you drive in hot or cold Colorado Springs weather conditions, your differential will need to have its fluid changed more often.

Severe conditions will also affect your car care routine, and your differential. Check your owner’s manual for a definition of “severe service” conditions that affect your vehicle. Examples may include driving with frequent stops and starts, a lot of short trips around Monument, hot or cold Colorado weather conditions, and towing.

Off-roading is particularly hard on a vehicle’s differential. If you are an off-roader, especially if you cross Colorado streams or waterways, it is important that you service your differential more frequently than the recommendations suggest.

Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of Colorado Springs auto repair shops. A smooth ride for Monument auto owners is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.