If you're gonna drive around the Lancaster area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty.
It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.
You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in California, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.
Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll just tear up the blades and cause them to wear out more quickly. It may even damage the wiper motor.
Over time, wiper blades become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't cover the windshield effectively.
Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield, a big cost for such a little part.
Replace worn blades right away. Our professionals at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store, but installation is included at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster.
Of course you also need windshield washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home, or in the car if you are on a long trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy bottled water, may freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't do a good job of cleaning your windows.
And remember that some vehicles have two reservoirs: one for the windshield and one for the back window, which may be under the hood or somewhere in the back.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road, and give us a call.
Keep It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Sep 19, 2012
The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Lancaster use fuel filters.
For more information about your fuel filter, visit The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley at 226 West Avenue I in Lancaster, California 93534. Please call 661-949-8484 to make an appointment.
Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our Lancaster area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.
That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.
A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can't get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can't get enough power to get you out of harm's way.
For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.
This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don't want to cause them damage just because you didn't spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.
You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It's a little part, it's simple and it's cheap to take care of. But if it's neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.
Those auto service schedules in your owner's manual are there for a reason. If ever you don't understand a recommended service, just ask your Lancaster service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. We'll be happy to explain.
Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your Lancaster Vehicle
Sep 14, 2012
Imagine you've left Lancaster and you're up in the arctic on a dog sled.
Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.
That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you're covering less ground for the same effort.
You're wasting kibble.
The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that's pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the vehicle; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You're wasting gas.
So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the vehicle pulling to one side.
Sometimes we Lancaster residents bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.
Lancaster residents need to make sure they're tracking straight. You'll get better fuel economy and your tires'll last longer. Now, mush!
One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.
Cars in California are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.
Let us at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' – helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.
We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and your car is making a funny sound...
Q: Where's the sound?
A: Around the right front wheel.
Q: What kind of sound?
A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
Q: When do you hear the sound?
A: When I turn and accelerate.
Q: Right and left? Forward and back?
Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.
You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise."
If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair and then test to see if the repair solved the problem.