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Clayton's Auto Service Automotive Tips: Alternator

Posted October 18, 2017 6:48 AM

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.

When Corvallis drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.

In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your Clayton's Auto Service service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your trouble. The initial symptoms determine where to begin the diagnostic process, and he follows the procedure until he tracks down the culprit.

For example, diagnostic tests at Clayton's Auto Service could reveal that the alternator is not generating enough electricity to keep the battery charged. Is the alternator bad? Not necessarily. A worn serpentine belt tensioner could be allowing the belt that spins the alternator to slip. So the perfectly good alternator is not spinning at the proper speed. The solution for Corvallis drivers is to replace the serpentine belt system – not the alternator.

The good news for Corvallis drivers is that our highly-trained technicians at Clayton's Auto Service can properly diagnose all your vehicle troubles and make the necessary repairs to get you back on the road in Corvallis.

Give us a call.

Clayton's Auto Service
797 NE Circle Blvd
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
541-752-2263
https://claytonsautoservice.com


At Clayton's Auto Service we install quality NAPA replacement parts.


Why Synthetic Oil Is Best for Corvallis Drivers

Posted October 8, 2017 1:24 AM

Hello Corvallis! Today's Clayton's Auto Service vehicle care topic is: Synthetic Oil vs. Petroleum Based Oil. Synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. If you aren't currently using it, why not? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is slipperier, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. This results in myriad benefits: better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up. (We see that all the time at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis.)

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals for many models. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your Clayton's Auto Service service advisor about how you drive in Corvallis and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil for your vehicle. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most Corvallis drivers have a busy life and occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead, admit it. Since we're not perfect, doesn't it make sense to use a motor oil that's got your back?

What about price? Petroleum based oil may appear to win out on this point, but let's consider all the facts. Though synthetic oil costs more in Corvallis, it lasts longer, protects your vehicle engine better and increases fuel economy. You'll likely save money in the long run. If you're serious about making your vehicle last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call.

Clayton's Auto Service
797 NE Circle Blvd
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
541-752-2263
https://claytonsautoservice.com

 


Automotive Tips from Clayton's Auto Service: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

Posted October 3, 2017 8:38 AM

When Corvallis drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Clayton's Auto Service tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

Clayton's Auto Service
797 NE Circle Blvd
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
541-752-2263
https://claytonsautoservice.com


PCV Valve: What Is It?

Posted September 29, 2017 1:14 AM

Most Corvallis drivers know something about preventive maintenance on a vehicle. We know we should routinely replace the oil and wiper blades and other fluids. But have you heard of a PCV valve ? This little car part needs to be replaced regularly or it can cause some serious problems in your vehicle engine.

PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase holds your motor oil and is located at the bottom of your engine.

When fuel is burned in your engine, it produces waste gases that are mostly vented out through your exhaust system. But some of these gases push their way past the pistons and into the crankcase. There, these gases can mix with motor oil to produce oil sludge, which can damage vehicle engine parts through corrosion and by clogging engine passages. Corvallis vehicle owners should be advised that if the engine is running at high speeds, these gases can also cause pressure inside the crankcase to build up. This pressure, in turn, can blow gaskets and damage seals, leading to oil leaks.

The waste gases that leave the engine are comprised of about 70% unburned fuel. They used to be vented off the crankcase into the atmosphere. But starting in 1964, laws mandated that these gases be recaptured. Manufacturers began installing PCV systems, which recycled the gases into the air intake system where they could be mixed with fuel and sent to the engine to be burned.

The PCV valve is a one-way valve attached to the crankcase. Waste gases exit the crankcase through the valve but cannot enter.

Over time, the waste gases leave deposits on the PCV valve that can gum it up. So it needs to be replaced occasionally. This is an inexpensive part of preventive maintenance that is often overlooked, but which can have very expensive consequences. It's good auto advice to keep this little valve clean and working well.

In order to maintain efficient circulation, the PCV system also has a breather tube that allows clean air to enter the crankcase. This air is usually filtered through the engine air filter. But some vehicles have a separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. If this is the case with your vehicle, proper maintenance of the PCV will include replacing this element. To find out whether your vehicle has this type of PCV system, check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Clayton's Auto Service.

The PCV system reduces harmful vehicle emissions. The maintenance it requires is simple and inexpensive at Clayton's Auto Service. A fouled or damaged PCV system can lead to serious engine damage for Corvallis drivers.

Let's all learn to practice good car care. It's good for our wallets, and it's good for our Oregon environment.

Clayton's Auto Service
797 NE Circle Blvd
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
541-752-2263
https://claytonsautoservice.com


Time for Differential Service at Clayton's Auto Service?

Posted September 11, 2017 10:30 AM

Hello Corvallis - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.

What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.

The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so the outer tire has to spin faster in order to keep up. The differential makes this possible.

The gears in the differential are cooled and lubricated by differential fluid. It's this fluid that needs to be serviced. Small bits of the gears break off and are suspended in the differential fluid. The dirtier the fluid, the faster the gears wear.

So your Clayton's Auto Service technician drains the old fluid out and replaces it with fresh fluid. Some differentials also need a special additive that is put in at this time.

So when should you have your vehicle differential serviced? Intervals vary from vehicle to vehicle – and may be as short as 15,000 miles/24,000 km – so check your vehicle owner's manual or ask us at Clayton's Auto Service. If you frequently drive with heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in hot Oregon conditions, you may need to change differential fluid more often. Servicing your differential on schedule at Clayton's Auto Service can save a pricey replacement down the road.

Give us a call.

Clayton's Auto Service
797 NE Circle Blvd
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
541-752-2263
https://claytonsautoservice.com