Most NE auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.
Why is it important for Gering drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.
Scottsbluff folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won’t know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good car care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your SUV air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.
The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system’s parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is a critical practice and will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot Gering days.
How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection? It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the auto maker’s recommendation.
Here’s a good piece of auto advice for NE auto owners that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won’t dry out during cold Scottsbluff weather.
Your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your SUV; it dries it out as well. So if you have trouble with a foggy windshield, flip on your air conditioning on the defrost setting. You may be surprised at how quickly it takes care of the problem. Of course, some vehicles can’t run the air conditioner and defroster at the same time; you should check your owner’s manual or with the auto manufacturer if you are uncertain whether this feature works in your car or not.
So, after learning about preventive maintenance for your A/C, you might now be wondering if your air conditioner is in trouble. Two early warning signs of a failing air conditioner are (1) the air just isn’t getting as cold as it used to and (2) there’s a strange noise when the air conditioner turns on. If you notice either of these symptoms in your SUV, you should bring it to Twin City Auto in Scottsbluff as soon as possible.
Just some good auto advice to keep you cool in Gering and keep you on the road!
Most Gering auto owners know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they’re need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are costly and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it’s essential for Gering auto owners to know the answers to these questions.
First of all, it’s critical to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with NE auto safety laws. That’s why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.
In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Scottsbluff car owners are arguing that it be changed.
The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Scottsbluff drivers immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.
A tire’s contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road’s surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can’t shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Scottsbluff drivers since the vehicle won’t stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.
A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime’s depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.
Let’s suppose that you’re on a busy Gering interstate in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn’t bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph. That is a major difference.
What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph. Still not a good situation. But it’s better.
Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn’t have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It’s a matter of physics.
The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear from 2/32 to 4/32. The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in NE and nationally.
Of course, until the standard changes, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.
You can use a quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32. Place the quarter into the tread with George’s head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn’t cover George’s hairline, you’re under 4/32. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.
You can measure the 2/32 tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe’s head, it’s at 2/32. Tires are an expensive item for Scottsbluff auto owners when it comes to car care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 is good auto advice.
The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Scottsbluff NE: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Scottsbluff NE motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.
Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Gering area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Gering have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.
Give Twin City Auto a call to schedule your next maintenance.
1802 E Overland Suite #4
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.
First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.
It’s also time to make sure you have a good Scottsbluff NE technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.
And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.
High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.
Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!
In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute. The timing belt’s essential job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is vital. If it should break, you could have expensive engine damage.
Ask your cheerful Twin City Auto service professional when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.
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Twin City Auto
1802 E Overland Suite #4
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
When your SUV has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Scottsbluff, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.
If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Twin City Auto professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Melbeta gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading vehicle manufacturers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Melbeta motorists drive around NE expressways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.
Some SUVs have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Melbeta motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Scottsbluff Twin City Auto technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Melbeta service centers as well.
Twin City Auto technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Twin City Auto by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.
In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Twin City Auto to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.
There are many independent certifications available at Twin City Auto all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your SUV requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Melbeta auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Twin City Auto, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.
The next time you bring us your SUV, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Twin City Auto.
Hello Scottsbluff drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Scottsbluff, here’s some auto advice to help you.
There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.
The Gering weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the SUV engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold NE weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.
So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in NE where winters can get really chilly, it is important to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.
The battery that was installed in your SUV at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.
Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your SUV without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your SUV has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Scottsbluff and Mcgrew do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.
Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Scottsbluff lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your SUV has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Gering.
Your cheerful tech at Twin City Auto in Scottsbluff can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your SUV. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.
Car batteries aren’t cheap in Scottsbluff, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.
Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is essential and can help you get the most out of your battery.
Most automobile manufacturers recommend an interval for an air conditioning system inspection. The examination uncovers leaks, worn hoses and assesses the condition of the other components.
Environmental laws in some areas require leaks to be corrected before refrigerant can be added. Also some parts manufacturers require other components to be replaced along with certain failed parts in order to maintain the new part warranty. This is because a given failure may be the result of another worn or damaged part that will, if not replaced, prematurely damage the new component.
Twin City Auto in Scottsbluff is fully equiped to restore your flow of cool air.
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Twin City Auto
1802 E Overland Suite #4
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Anyone that drives a car in Scottsbluff knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your SUV cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the SUV’s engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn’t Melbeta car owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold NE weather. That would spell disaster for your SUV’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your SUV. Gering motorists should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your SUV’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your cheerful Twin City Auto service professional for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto manufacturers.
Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.
Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the SUV cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.
But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Twin City Auto service specialist if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your SUV cooling system.
You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your SUV engine by using the wrong antifreeze.
One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.
Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Twin City Auto to keep you on the road and help your life in Scottsbluff run more pleasantly.
One thing all Scottsbluff car owners can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. Twin City Auto can help maintain your battery.
Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very detrimental to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.
Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.
Give us a call
Twin City Auto
1802 E Overland Suite #4
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Scottsbluff driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.
Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all NE seasons.
Scottsbluff off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.
But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Scottsbluff? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.
Twin City Auto tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.
The same goes for wheels. When Scottsbluff drivers shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at NE tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some essential adjustments to their vehicle.
Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the SUV. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.
Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.
So if you want to customize your SUV with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Twin City Auto in Scottsbluff to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.
If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your SUV on the road.
So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Scottsbluff a lot longer.
Scottsbluff drivers know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your SUV engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.
There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the SUV engine.
Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional SUV engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.
Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the SUV engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the SUV engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.
When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.
Scottsbluff drivers should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more costly. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.
So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.
If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Scottsbluff motorists will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.
The hottest NE news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Scottsbluff. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things Scottsbluff drivers can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the Gering environment. You can really improve your gas mileage by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.
The first one for Scottsbluff car owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Scottsbluff service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Twin City Autoservice professional. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Scottsbluff gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.
Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the SUV owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.
The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with important information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Scottsbluff motorists up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s detrimental dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.
One item Scottsbluff residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Scottsbluff area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Scottsbluff drivers money at the pump.
Now most Scottsbluff motorists aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other important services spelled out in your owners’ manual.
Twin City Auto knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Twin City Auto – which may also be updated with recall notices and vital maintenance schedule items from your auto manufacturer.