Articles:

The ?Man-Made? Engine Oil (Synthetic Oil Change)

If you own a newer vehicle, your vehicle’s manufacturer may require that it use synthetic oil instead of conventional oil.  Synthetic oils are more stable, don’t break down as easily, and provide better engine protection than conventional oil. All those things can prolong the life of your engine and help it run better. Imagine the damage that could happen to your engine as it operates at high speeds and very hot temperatures.  Oil reduces the friction between the metal parts.  That’s why it’s important that it maintains its lubricating properties for a long time, which synthetic oil does better than conventional oil.   Clean oil is better than dirty oil because it has fewer impurities.  Synthetic oil is purer because of how it’s formulated and manufactured.  Plus, as the outside temperatures change, the ability of oil to operate in those conditions is important.  
For example, the colder it gets, it’s important f
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Categories:

Oil Change

In a Fog (Fogged Windows in Cold Weather)

It's bad enough in cold weather when ice and snow block your visibility.  Add to that fog on the inside of your windows and you could be driving blind.  So here are a few tips on how to keep your windows from fogging up when there's a chill in the air. You probably know fog is really condensation, when moist, warm air meets a cold surface and turns to liquid.  If your windshield fogs up, you probably turn on your windshield defroster. Most defrosters blow heated air on the windshield glass to warm it up so it won't condense the moisture.  Many also turn on the air conditioning to reduce the moisture.  That same strategy can work on the rest of the windows.  First, turn up your heater's temperature setting.  The hotter the air, the more moisture it will hold.  Also, turn off the "recirculating" setting since you want all outside air to come in. Then switch on the air conditioning.  It will remove the moisture from the outside  air that i ... read more

Command Performance (Engine Air Filter)

The internal combustion engine in your vehicle counts on two things that mix together to be burned in the engine for power: fuel and air.  Both are important, of course.  If you run out of fuel, your engine won’t run at all.  Since there’s plenty of air around, you won’t run out of air, but you could feel your vehicle’s performance suffer if the engine air filter starts to get clogged.  It's important that the air that enters your engine be free of dirt, dust, and debris to prevent damage to internal components.  That’s where the engine air filter comes in.  It prevents those particles from entering the engine, an important job that most people just take for granted. After a while, your air filter will get dirty, which results in less air reaching the engine.  Modern fuel injected engines can adjust the amount of gas to mix with the air that is getting in, so your fuel economy won’t change significantly.  What ... read more

Clean Machine (Fuel and Air Induction Cleaning)

As your vehicle ages, its performance isn’t quite what it used to be, but many of us never notice the change because it’s gradual.  So here are a few questions to ask yourself.  Does your vehicle feel like it doesn’t have the pep that it used to? Have you noticed your fuel economy isn’t quite as good as it once was? Does it idle roughly or is it hard to start?  Do you hear the engine knocking? Has it recently failed an emissions test? All of those can be signs that your fuel and air induction systems are dirty and need cleaning.  Your fuel system takes gasoline from the tank to the engine’s combustion chambers where fuel injectors spray fuel that mixes with air and is ignited by spark plugs.  Black carbon deposits eventually can build up, obstructing fuel flow and diminishing your engine’s performance and fuel efficiency. The air induction system is what allows air to go into the engine’s combustion chamber.  Getti ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

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

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 ... read more

Muffler: Victim of Winter (Muffler Repair)

So you almost got through the winter until, one day, your muffler started sounding like a dragster, loud and obnoxious.  It's not surprising.  All that road salt and brine can cause rust to punch holes in a muffler, and that should raise a big, red warning flag about the safety of your vehicle. One big concern is carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can drift into your cabin if your muffler is leaking. You've probably heard about people whose home furnaces have leaked carbon monoxide and overcome families inside.  Carbon monoxide can first cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous.  It can even render you  unconscious—even kill you.  So if your vehicle's muffler is leaking that gas, well, it's nothing to mess around with. Oh, and how about that noise? You may get a ticket since many municipalities have laws against noisy exhausts.  Your muffler may be making a clunking or rattling sound when the engine's running or it may be spewing thick exhaust sm ... read more

Slipping into Fall (Driving with ABS Brakes)

As the weather changes over from hot to colder, drivers will have to deal with more slippery streets.  And it's important to know how to drive with the brakes you have on your vehicle.  In the 1970s, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) started to be installed on vehicles and they've been a game changer for drivers.  Most modern vehicles have ABS and it's important to know how to drive with them. In older vehicles without ABS, the driver applies the brakes by pushing down the pedal.  That, in turn, sends braking pressure to all four wheels at once.  But all four tires don't have the same traction because the road surface they're each on isn't exactly the same. ABS allows sensors to determine when particular wheels are slowing down more quickly.  The ABS then reduces braking pressure to the wheels that are about to lock up.  That way the wheel turns and the tires keep some grip. (You have to have grip to stop.) It's kind of what drivers try to achieve when ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Keeping Your Cool (Water Pump Replacement)

No matter what the temperature is outside, it's important for your vehicle's engine to remain cool, calm, and collected.  Well, cool, anyway. If your vehicle has a gasoline engine, it's powered by a bunch of explosions involving spark plugs, pistons, gasoline, and air.  And the by-product of all those things working together? HEAT. There's a whole cooling system to keep everything at a tolerable temperature for your engine's parts, and a key part of that is the water pump.  Technically, it's pumping more than water. It should actually be called the "coolant" pump since the liquid that circulates through the system is a mixture of water and coolant.  Basically, the water pump keeps this coolant moving through your engine, where it picks up the engine heat, and then is pumped into the radiator where it gets rid of that heat.  When a water pump fails, the engine heat can build up.  When you get a warning light on the dash (either a gauge or a light) that show ... read more

Categories:

Water Pump

Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Twin City Auto

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing NE residents to review their finances. More and more Scottsbluff drivers are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles/120,000 km on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Scottsbluff men and women haven't dealt with in the past. Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for people in Scottsbluff because many owner's manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles (96,000 or 145,000 km). Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their vehicles on the road. First of all, any service in your owner's manual that comes w ... read more

Losing Your Cool (Why is My Air Conditioning System Not Working?)

When you turn on the air conditioning in your vehicle, you expect cool air to come out of the vents.  You depend on it, especially in hot weather, but it can also be important in humid weather when you need it to help defrost your windows and windshield. The air conditioning system has a lot of parts to it.  It has fans and blowers to move the air through the vents into the cabin.  It has parts that take hot air and cool it off. An electrical problem can be as simple as a broken switch or a broken blower motor. The air may not be getting cool because a hose in the system is broken or the refrigerant has leaked out.  Two major components are the compressor and the condenser.  The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, one step in the air conditioning process.  The condenser takes that hot refrigerant and cools it down. It also reduces the pressure. Because the climate control system in your vehicle is so complex, it’s best to leave the diagnosis to a ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning