Video Blog

Brake Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster

Mar 28, 2013

Brakes really aren't optional equipment for Lancaster drivers' vehicles. And taking care of them isn't optional either.

A regular brake inspection is on every California driver's vehicle maintenance schedule. At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, our team 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 your Lancaster service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • 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

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 more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use and become too thin to really help. 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, and that can be expensive. But putting it off is dangerous because your vehicle won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also important. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, 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. Lancaster  drivers should change the brake fluid when their vehicle manufacturer recommends it.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it's a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Lancaster area body shop after an accident.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



Battery Replacement at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster

Mar 19, 2013

Hello, welcome to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. Today's focus is batteries. It seems like everything in Lancaster runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we're most concerned with here at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley are those in our customer's vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, Battery they wear out and need to be replaced . This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in California, specifically how cold it is. (Many Lancaster drivers have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle's engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.

The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperature dips. Let's say it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) in Lancaster. At that temperature, 100% of the battery's power is available. At freezing, only 65% of battery power is available, but it requires 155% as much power to start the engine as it did at 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).

As you can see, the colder it gets, more power is needed, but the available power drops.

So if you live where it's cold in California, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it's moderate or hot. The battery that originally came with your vehicle was based on averages. At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we like to remind Lancaster drivers that they should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as their vehicle manufacturer recommends but may want to upgrade if they live where it gets real cold.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com

 



Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Doug Beimler's QH Automotive

Mar 13, 2013

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Lancaster people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Lancaster motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their trucks for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Lancaster drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own trucks on the road in California.

Lancaster drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change. Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Doug Beimler's QH AutomotiveThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your truck's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.

There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Lancaster car owners. It’s simple – a Doug Beimler's QH Automotive professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Doug Beimler's QH Automotive technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your Doug Beimler's QH Automotive advisor will also visually inspect your truck for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Doug Beimler's QH Automotive advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Lancaster dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your truck gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new truck payments. With proper service at Doug Beimler's QH Automotive and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.



Keep Your Cool In Los Angeles County: Air Conditioning Service

Mar 05, 2013

Most Los Angeles County motorists don't even think about their car air conditioning system unless it fails. That’s because many Lancaster and Edwards motorists don't really understand that automotive air conditioners need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.

First, like every machine, the truck air conditioner parts need - you guessed it - lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). Remember that even if the air conditioner is still blowing out cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts may be used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all California cars.

Keep Your Cool In Los Angeles County: Air Conditioning Service

Now here’s a tip for Los Angeles County motorists: Run your air conditioner every so often during California winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your windshield during California winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Los Angeles County cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Los Angeles County motorists should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

Lancaster drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air’s not as cold as it used to be. 2) Unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Doug Beimler's QH Automotive in Lancaster before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your truck owner’s manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some expensive components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Quartz Hill and Edwards car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.




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