All posts by devlo

Suspension Service In Colorado Springs At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine

When they hear the word ‘suspension,’ Colorado Springs motorists may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your car’s suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your car up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around Monument. Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many important parts. If you look under your car, it’s basically everything that connects your wheels to the SUV’s frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine.

Here are some warning signs of suspension problems:

  • the car pulls to one side
  • it wanders
  • the steering is erratic
  • you see uneven tire wear
  • you experience a poor ride or handling
  • you see oil leaking from shocks

Basically, you just don’t feel in control when you’re driving.

Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your Professional tech at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine can perform an automotive analysis and tell you what problems you may have.

If you’re in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around Colorado Springs or even a large rock can mess things up for Colorado Springs drivers. With a minor accident it’s tempting for many Monument drivers to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there’s damage, a simple alignment won’t actually fix the problem, and you’ll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems are a major safety issue because they can lead to unsafe handling.

One big cause of suspension damage for Colorado Springs drivers is potholes – those nasty magnets that form in Monument roads in freezing weather. They seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can’t miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage, and may keep your drink from spilling. But avoid the temptation to brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car’s weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
Give us a call today at 719-630-8729
Or stop by at 3655 Galley Rd., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello Colorado Springs motorists, let’s talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Monument folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up, eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure build up would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.

Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the harmful fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can you imagine how polluted our Monument air would be if every car had been releasing those poisonous fumes for the last fifty years?) Diesel engines are not required to have these valves.

The positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, valve routes crankcase gases through a hose and back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh, clean air is brought into the crankcase through a breather tube. It’s really a pretty simple system, but it does the job. The re-circulating air removes moisture and combustion waste from the crankcase, preventing sludge. This extends not only the life of your oil, but the engine as well. The PCV relieves pressure in the crankcase, preventing harmful oil leaks.


Eventually, the PCV valve can get gummed up
. Then it can’t move enough air through the engine to keep it working properly for Colorado Springs motorists. If the PCV valve is sticking enough, you could have oil leaks, excess oil consumption and a fouled intake system. If you experience hesitation or surging or an oil leak, it may be a sign of PCV valve problems. Your auto maker’s owners’ manual may give a recommendation for when the PCV valve should be replaced – usually between 20,000 mi/32,000 km and 50,000 mi/80,000 km. Unfortunately, some manufacturers don’t list a recommendation in the manual, so it can be easy to overlook.

Many PCV system problems can be diagnosed with a diagnostic examination by your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service specialist. Fortunately, PCV valve replacement is both quick and inexpensive at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine. Proper oil changes will greatly extend the life of the PCV valve. Skipping a few recommended oil changes can allow varnish and gum to build up in the valve, reducing its efficiency. So now when your Colorado Springs service technician tells you its time to replace your PCV valve, you will know what he’s talking about. If you have had your car for a while and this is the first you’ve ever heard of a PCV value, ask your service advisor to check yours out or call Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine at 719-630-8729.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Colorado Springs, it is easy to prevent.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
3655 Galley Rd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
719-630-8729
   
719-630-8729

The most recognizable part of the coolant system to Monument car owners is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it’s back to the engine again.

There are several ways for the cooling system failure. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.

Another important coolant issue that is often overlooked by Colorado Springs drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can’t protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.

If get a warning message to check the coolant or if the SUV temperature gauge is in the hot zone, your cooling system needs to be checked. It’s OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things:

  • First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
  • Second, get to Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your SUV owners manual – it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
  • Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your SUV owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to depend on your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service center in Colorado Springs to do things right.

Remember, your Colorado Springs service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Monument drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners’ manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She’s been in the automotive business for 24 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer.

Cricket says there’s so much confusion on this topic because, “Most owners’ manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called ‘regular service’ and ‘severe service’. Sometimes they’re simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time.”

Foreign and domestic car makers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn’t one generic schedule that applies to all cars. In addition to your owners’ manual, Colorado Springs automotive repair centers (including Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine) subscribe to information services that provide the auto maintenance schedules schedules for every vehicle – so they can help Colorado Springs auto owners know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition for severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles
  • Most trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing
  • You drive regularly in very hot Colorado weather
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time (not on the highway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier around Monument

It’s common sense for Monument car owners: Just a few minutes at highway speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than ten miles when it’s very cold in Colorado Springs, don’t allow the engine to heat up enough to get rid of the water. And water in the oil leads to damaging sludge. Also, towing and heavy loads raise operating temperatures and cause fluids to break down faster. Dusty and muddy driving around Colorado Springs means that more dirt will get past the air filter to contaminate the fuel system and engine oil.

The bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself if the regular or severe service schedule is right for you, based on your driving habits. Look at your owners’ manual, or talk with your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow. Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine is located at 3655 Galley Rd., Colorado Springs Colorado.

Here is what a fleet manager said recently: “Since Colorado Springs miles are generally tougher on vehicles than highway miles, we use the auto maker’s severe service schedule as the basis for our preventative maintenance program. We massage those schedules over time, increasing or decreasing the service intervals so that they make the most sense. There is a little bit of art to go along with the science.”

Make an honest evaluation of your driving habits. Unless you do mostly Colorado highway driving in moderate weather, you’ll likely have a fairly good amount of severe service mixed in. Some Colorado Springs car owners just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.

Differential Service At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Colorado Springs, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we’re asked is: “What is a differential and what does it do?” You may have been told by your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service professional that your differential needs service, or seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine covers a lot of things, so let’s first talk about what a differential does.

As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track – the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don’t hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on Monument expressways. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels – which is why they’re often referred to as gear boxes. The gears need to be very strong to do this work, and they need to be properly protected so that they’ll last.

All vehicles in Colorado Springs have some form of differential. If you have a front-wheel drive car, your differential is sometimes called a transaxle and is located in the front. If you have rear-wheel drive, the differential is in the back of the car. Colorado Springs auto owners with a four-wheel drive vehicle have a differential in the front and the back – and in the middle as well. The center differential adjusts for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Differential fluid lubricates and cools the gears. Over time, the fluid can get dirty from bits of the gears grinding off. The additives that keep the fluid clean and protect the differential break down over time. So your automobile manufacturer has scheduled intervals for you to have your differential fluid changed. Talk to your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service specialist if you are not sure about your recommended schedule.

Differentials are hard working mechanisms, and, along with the gears in a manual transmission, need to be serviced regularly at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine with high-quality, replacement fluid. Your Colorado Springs service advisor can give you more information as to when your next differential service is recommended. You can also ask if they have a record of when the service was last completed.

As with most service intervals, if you are driving under more severe conditions in the Monument area, you will want to service your differential more frequently. “Severe service” conditions are  defined in car makers’ owners’ manuals, and include: frequent starts and stops, short trips, cold Colorado weather, hot weather and towing. All these factors add to the stress of the vehicle and its parts. Also, off-roading in Colorado can be especially hard on differentials, especially if you cross streams. Proper service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine will extend the life of your gears and keep them running more smoothly. If you have never had your differential checked, visit http://expressengineexchange.com/contact-us/ for more information.

Power Steering Service In Colorado Springs

Most Colorado Springs auto owners are too young to remember life before power steering – cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let’s look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine – a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.

These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea fir Colorado Springs auto owners to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owners’ manual for the right type – or just ask your Professional service specialist at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs.

The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so Colorado Springs motorists need to replace it from time to time. Many auto manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us in Monument. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service professional  will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.

Here are some important warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It’s harder to turn the wheel, there’s erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump real fast.

Other important steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks. Ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear, and off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs will reveal bent or damaged steering components.

Most SUV’s, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.

The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners’ manual maintenance schedule. It’s usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the Monument area, the bearings will need service more often.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine
3655 Galley Rd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
719-630-8729

Trip Inspection at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs

Monument drivers love their cars. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Colorado Springs motorists can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding Colorado byways or interstates? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage. Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs to help you prepare your SUV for your big adventure. A lot of our Colorado Springs customers prefer to go through this exercise with their Professional  service specialist to get their input and make sure they haven’t overlooked anything.

A great place for Colorado Springs car owners to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn’t want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Colorado Springs rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you’ll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that’s pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous for Colorado Springs auto owners. 

And don’t forget your brakes, Colorado Springs car owners. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Talk to your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor.

Your engine air filter will be critical. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you’ll notice improved fuel efficiency on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it’s due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don’t need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other key maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your SUV? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it’s an exhaust leak it could be fatal for Colorado Springs car owners and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you’ll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren’t getting the cold air you used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix for brilliant Colorado Springs drivers. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven’t changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more vital as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you cash in the long run and may prevent inconvenient and costly delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You’ve gotta have good brakes. If you’ve got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That’s why a regular brake inspection is on every Colorado Springs driver’s maintenance schedule. An inspection at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs right away. Here are some vital symptoms for Colorado Springs car owners to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it’s time to get your brakes checked. To to your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor.

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are most common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your SUV . Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to be replaced at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That’s not only expensive, but also dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine brake service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Colorado Springs car owners should change the brake fluid when their auto maker recommends to avoid these problems.

There are different grades of brake pads sold in Colorado Springs; good, better and best. Higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the car maker recommends. 

So, be sure to properly maintain your brakes, because it’s a lot less costly than paying your Colorado Springs body shop after an accident.

Come in to Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 719-630-8729.