Category Archives: Tips

Cool it!

Did you know? Your vehicle’s cooling system system is equally important in hot and cool weather.

Providing protection for your engine on both ends of the thermometer is a job for both science and physics. A close relationship between the coolant´s physical make up and pressure on the system are the keys to successfully meeting the needs of your engine.

Without pressure coolant cannot adequately control engine temperatures. Most cooling systems operate with 13 – 16 pounds of pressure on the system. Each pound of pressure applied to the cooling system drops the coolant´s boiling point approximately three degrees. For example: A cooling system with a fifteen-pound radiator cap will have a reduced boiling point of about 45 degrees. This is why we closely monitor radiator caps, hoses, hose clamps, radiator condition and any coolant leakage from gaskets. Any loss of pressure or coolant can be devastating to the cooling system. There are currently four types of coolant available: ethylene glycol(standard coolant), propylene glycol(Sierra coolant – less toxic), 100,000 mile formulas (new technology formulation), and recycled coolant.

If your coolant system has standard or Sierra coolant the recommended coolant system intervals are once every two years or 30,000 miles. If your system has 100,000 mile coolant then the intervals may be extended to once every five years or 100,000 miles. Recycled antifreeze may need servicing on a yearly basis depending on the recycling process. Most vehicle manufacturers do not endorse the use of recycled coolant.

If you desire to switch your older vehicle over to one of the 100,000 mile coolants you need to read the manufacturer´s recommendations. Mixing coolant types can cause problems with some brands. Using 100,000 mile coolants with any system that does not have an aluminum radiator can also cause problems with some brands.

Whether your vehicle is new or older, its cooling system is a high technology blend of science and physics. Regular inspections and servicing are important for vehicle reliability.

Bumper Stickers

Bumper stickers were invented back when all automobiles had big chrome bumpers. Today, most vehicles have plastic color-matched bumpers. The problem with putting a sticker on a painted bumper is that you (or your vehicle’s next owner) will probably want to remove it someday!

Taking stickers off chrome is no problem, but removing a sticker from a painted bumper can be a real challenge. If a sticker is left on a painted bumper cover for any length of time it will typically require a costly repaint to remove it.

We have many methods for removing stickers, but they are expensive. Save yourself a lot of money and apply the sticker to the lower back window (where it doesn’t obstruct your view) and it can be easily removed at anytime without damage to your vehicle. This way you can easily change bumper stickers.

Gas-Can Safety

Metal gas cans and pickup bedliners do not mix.

The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.The insulating effect of the plastic bedliners found in the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowing into a metal can from grounding.

As the charge builds, it can create a static spark between the can and the gas nozzle, resulting in an explosion or fire. Chevron USA recommends placing the cans on the ground when filling to minimize the danger.

An Apple A Day

Like an apple a day for your vehicle: Preventative maintenance keeps the tow truck away!

As your vehicle gets older and racks up the miles, it requires more frequent inspections and maintenance to continue operating reliably and efficiently. This is very much like us making more frequent visits to our doctor as we get older. Preventative maintenance is easily put off, but early detection is what is best for you and your vehicle. Although breaking out of your comfort zone and daily routine for your automobile is hard, it does have some great advantages:

  • Optimum vehicle reliability
  • Better overall performance and fuel economy
  • Your vehicle runs better over a much longer period
  • Budgeting for repairs can be spread out, not lump sums for surprise breakdowns
  • Repairs are less expensive if mechanical problems are corrected before they escalate.

Air it Out.

Keeping your car fresh inside during Oregon’s rainy season can be a challenge.

Oregon’s cold, wet winters use your vehicle to prove that the laws of physics are constantly at work. Condensation is taking place and you may not even be aware of it. Not only are water and debris tracked in and out of the vehicle’s interior, but interior moisture is attracted naturally. This moisture hides behind your vehicle’s interior panels, and in the trunk area. Condensation is always taking place: that equates to mold and mildew.

Combat the moisture during sunny spring days by opening all of the windows, the doors and trunk so the outside air and sun can evaporate those moist areas.

Be sure to pull your floor mats, trunk floor mat and spare tire cover (If the cover is floor mounted). Let the vehicle air out as long as possible. Do be aware of stray cats or dogs looking for a temporary home in your vehicle. Airing out your vehicle will dry our any condensation, minimize molding and increase the life of your interior. Nature adds the bonus of a fresh Spring scent throughout your car.

Oregon´s cold, wet winters use your vehicle to prove that the laws of physics are constantly at work. Condensation is taking place and you may not even be aware of it. Not only are water and debris tracked in and out of the vehicle’s interior, but interior moisture is attracted naturally. This moisture hides behind your vehicle’s interior panels, and in the trunk area. Condensation is always taking place: that equates to mold and mildew.
Combat the moisture during sunny spring days by opening all of the windows, the doors and trunk so the outside air and sun can evaporate those moist areas.
Be sure to pull your floor mats, trunk floor mat and spare tire cover (If the cover is floor mounted). Let the vehicle air out as long as possible. Do be aware of stray cats or dogs looking for a temporary home in your vehicle. Airing out your vehicle will dry our any condensation, minimize molding and increase the life of your interior. Nature adds the bonus of a fresh Spring scent throughout your car.

Fluid Flushing

Fluid flushing is an important part of preventative maintenance.

Impurities and moisture buildup in any fluid will cause corrosion and component damage in any system on your vehicle. In Oregon moisture buildup in fluids occurs at a much more rapid rate than most other regions. This is why flushing more frequently is important.

Late model vehicles with antilock brake systems and computer aided power steering use close tolerance valves and sensors. This makes them more vulnerable than ever to corrosion damage and contamination. If you can’t remember when your power steering or brake fluid was flushed last it’s probably overdue and should be serviced.

Fluids loose their ability to lubricate properly as they are subjected to the heat created through normal driving wear cycles.

Fluids also pick up moisture through condensation of normal operation. Brake systems, automatic transmission, power steering, cooling system and driving axles all have critical fluids of very different make up. The one thing that they all have in common is that they all perform duties that are critical to your vehicle´s mechanical reliability.

Due to the addition of fine electronic sensors and precision valves it is much more critical to keep your vehicle´s fluids in good condition. Deteriorated fluid can cause fine particles to lodge in tiny electronic sensors and scuff precise valves and components. This will surely lead to a big repair bill in any of the systems. We have equipped our shop with the latest in professional flushing and fluid exchange equipment for all automotive fluid systems.

We would much rather see you flush your vehicle´s systems than deal with a costly repair that could have been avoided. As professionals we are on your side and it is our job to make sure that you are aware of all preventative maintenance services. Ask about our free literature.