Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Nov 27, 2014
Hello Lancaster! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly for drivers in Lancaster.
It can even damage your suspension system, which is costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Lancaster drivers and their passengers.
It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday California driving. Lancaster road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, and even the bumps and bounces of normal Lancaster roads and surface streets can gradually put your vehicle tires out of alignment.
So it's good auto advice to have your vehicle's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle's owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your vehicle tires might be out of alignment, you should bring your vehicle into The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley now.
When you bring your vehicle in for an alignment, your technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.
If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the vehicle will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.
There are three types of adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle's tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.
The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you'll be able to steer where you want to go. Drive safely.
The The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Guide to Saving Fuel: Car Weight
Nov 20, 2014
The team at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, and California car owners are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Lancaster drivers want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.
And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize fuel economy. But is there something more people in Lancaster can do? After all, some of us folks can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.
Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from point A to point B. And that means buying more gas in Lancaster and producing more emissions.
Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.
But look around your vehicle. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don't. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.
The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don't.
Clean out your trunk. You'd be surprised how much weight you're lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food and regular old dirt. Even if it's not a lot of weight, you'll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.
Now, don't toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your vehicle when you go on a longer trip, but you don't have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Advice on Buying New Tires
Nov 14, 2014
Today's tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Lancaster 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 California seasons.
Lancaster 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 California? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.
If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your vehicle on the road.
So personalize your vehicle, but don't forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Lancaster a lot longer.
Smart Lancaster Drivers Protect Against Overheating
Nov 07, 2014
Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Lancaster drivers to prevent.
The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.
The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.
Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner's manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of coolant/antifreeze may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.
Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Lancaster drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.
This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don't realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster.
If your vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs serviced. This service is critical and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.
In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, your owner's manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.
Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in first place and ensure it doesn't happen again.
Regular maintenance of a vehicle's cooling system is just good auto advice for Lancaster drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn't take long at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.
Talk to our service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for more information.