All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Apr 30, 2013
When all of your vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Lancaster can cause your vehicle's wheels to be out of alignment.
Driving for an extended time around Lancaster when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded California highway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.
The ideal alignment for your vehicle was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything's bent or broken. Then your friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley technician will look at tire condition.
From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to vehicle’s specifications.
Your vehicle owner's manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and the Maintenance Mindset
Apr 26, 2013
When it comes to their vehicles, some Lancasterresidents don't have amaintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Lancaster drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may not have applied it to their vehicles.
Here's something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they've got you covered. And at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we check to see if your vehicle manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.
The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you have to remember that vehicles are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the vehicle won't run at all.
So when you come in to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for an oil change, you get advice from your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.
Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel in Lancaster
Apr 18, 2013
Underinflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the Lancaster area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from here to there.
Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local Lancaster service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.
And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops 20 percent below recommendations. That's severely underinflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley.
Here's a question for Lancaster, California auto owners: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?
Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)
If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that'll make the check engine light turn on.
Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel efficiency. A lot.
If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Doug Beimler's QH Automotive a call when you are ready: 661-949-8484
Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle
Apr 02, 2013
If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Lancaster, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?
As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Lancaster area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.
First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.
Some vehicles around Lancaster come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.
Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen special coolant in California for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.
The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.
The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.