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AAA - Cautions in Extreme Heat

Posted June 21, 2017 10:24 AM

{?video;480;360;http://www.youtube.com/embed/0t63k66IjSk;http://www.protech-automotive.com/Car-Care-Tips/content/images/AAA_ExtremeHeat.jpg;/video?} With temperatures soaring to record highs around the country, AAA cautions motorists not to underestimate the ways in which extreme heat can wreak havoc on vehicles. With an estimated eight million automobiles in need of AAA’s roadside assistance this summer, heat will take its toll on vehicles and their occupants. “Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well,” said John Nielsen, AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can help keep your vehicle running smoothly during the hot summer months.” To keep your vehicle running smoothly this summer, AAA recommends motorists address the following common heat-related vehicle problems: Over-Heating Engine Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long-term engine damage and a summertime boil over definitely increase. Over time, engine coolant becomes contaminated and its protective additives are depleted. That’s why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Older coolants required changing every two years or 24,000 miles/40,000 km, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles/80,000 km, and many do not require replacement until approximately 100,000 miles/160,000 km. See the owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the service interval appropriate for a vehicle. Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper levels by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and the coolant type specified by the vehicle manufacturer. CAUTION! Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot; boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns. Other fluids help keep vehicles running cool as well. Most vehicle fluids don’t just lubricate, they also serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced, and the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual. Battery Failure Due to Heat and Vibration Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies, leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration. If a car’s battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last. This test can be performed while you wait at {?coname?}. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it immediately. Blown Tire Driving on underinflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be checked when the vehicle has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a tire information sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb. Drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem. Air Conditioning Failure During extreme summer heat, a properly operating air conditioning system can be more than just a pleasant convenience. If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it did in the past, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem. Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician. Many automotive climate control systems today are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering. If present, this filter should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months. If you think your vehicle is experiencing problems due to the extreme summer heat, have it checked out by a trained automotive technician. The AAA Approved Auto Repair program is a free public service that helps motorists identify high-quality auto repair facilities they can trust to work on their vehicle. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops must meet stringent professional standards and maintain an ongoing customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent or better. To locate a nearby AAA-approved repair shop, visit AAA.com/Repair. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Clayton's Auto Service Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

Posted June 11, 2017 8:41 AM

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in Oregon. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep Corvallis residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. Corvallis residents can't afford to overlook any of them.

The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the Corvallis area. They are not presented in any particular order.

1. Clayton's Auto Service Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.

2. Clayton's Auto Service Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a vehicle to pull to one side. This is dangerous for Corvallis residents and can lead to accidents. Also, it causes uneven and rapid tire wear, which means tires must be replaced more often.

3. Clayton's Auto Service Differential Service. They are part of the drive train system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Damage or wear in this system can make a vehicle undriveable.

4. Clayton's Auto Service Cabin Air Filter. Your vehicle may or may not be equipped with a cabin air filter. Its job is to remove dust and pollen from the air that enters the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If this filter clogs, it can stink. So check your owner's manual to find out if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If so, come visit us at Clayton's Auto Service and get it changed according to the recommended schedule.

5. Clayton's Auto Service Timing Belt Replacement. Most passenger cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. Corvallis residents can check their owner's manual to find out if their vehicle has one. If so, you can't drive without it. And if it breaks while on the road, you may be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs. So it is important to inspect it occasionally. If your vehicle has close to 60,000 miles/100,000 kilometers or more on it and you haven't had your timing belt replaced, then you need to find out the recommended replacement interval NOW.

6. Clayton's Auto Service Transmission Service. Transmission fluid gets dirty and has to be replaced. If not, you risk repairs.

7. Clayton's Auto Service Air Conditioning Service. The refrigerant in your air conditioner needs to be replaced periodically. This fluid doesn't just refrigerate air; it provides lubrication to the air conditioning system and conditions seals. Lack of fluid can damage components.

8. Clayton's Auto Service Brake Service. Even if your brakes are quiet and working well, the brake fluid still might need to be changed. Over time, moisture builds up in brake fluid. Water has a different viscosity than brake fluid, so the brakes can't compress properly when there's too much moisture in the fluid — and you shouldn't need to be told how it is to drive with brakes that are compromised. Moisture in your brake fluid can also corrode parts in your brake system, causing it to fail altogether.

9. Clayton's Auto Service Coolant System Service. Antifreeze is another fluid that needs to be changed regularly. If not, it actually becomes corrosive and begins to damage your cooling system. Eventually it can eat holes in your radiator.

10. Clayton's Auto Service Fuel System Cleaning. Over time, your fuel system just gets gummed up, which can interfere with the flow of fuel in a number of ways.

Of course, your next question should be: How often do I need to get all of this done? Well, the answer varies depending on which service we're talking about, the make and model of your vehicle, the climate where you live in Oregon, your usual driving conditions and your driving habits.

But don't lose heart. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended service schedule for most of the service items listed. And you can get quality auto advice from your friendly and knowledgeable Clayton's Auto Service service advisors to help you meet the service intervals that suit your vehicle.

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



Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Posted June 4, 2017 10:07 AM

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Corvallis residents know about them. But do we know enough?

Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.

Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Corvallis residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.

Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine's life expectancy.

To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner's manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don't assume they will be the same.

If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around Corvallis, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot Oregon weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for a “severe service” recommendation.

If the manual doesn't give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Clayton's Auto Service service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.

Corvallis residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for Corvallis residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you're probably not saving money at all.

Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner's manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.

Talk to your Clayton's Auto Service service advisor for more information.

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


Engine Hydration for Corvallis Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

Posted May 31, 2017 12:56 PM

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.

The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).

Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.

Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.

If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Clayton's Auto Service to know if the water pump has failed. If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles (100,000 to 150,000 kilometers). The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time. Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it's powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for Corvallis residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.

Replacing a water pump at Clayton's Auto Service is a vehicle care issue that almost all of us Corvallis residents face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Clayton's Auto Service service advisor.

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


Combustion Choreography: Timing Belt Replacement at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis

Posted May 22, 2017 11:37 AM

Have you ever seen a ballet performance? Have you wondered how all of those dancers manage to travel all over the stage jumping and twirling and never crash into each other? That's the job of a choreographer.

Our auto engines are also highly choreographed. Pistons travel up and down inside cylinders. Valves at the tops of the cylinders open to let air and fuel in or exhaust out. These valves have to open and close at precisely the right time or the engine will run poorly if at all. The movement of the valves and pistons must be in harmony with each other. This choreography is the job of the timing belt or timing chain.

Timing belts, or chains, rotate the shafts that control the opening and closing of the valves. Timing chains are metal and durable enough that they may never need to be replaced.

Most vehicles, however, use a timing belt. Timing belts are tough and flexible, and considering the work they do, they last a long time for Corvallis auto owners . But they do wear out. If they break, the consequences for Corvallis drivers can spell disaster.

No matter what kind of engine you have, a broken timing belt will cause the engine to shut down or will lead to major engine damage. But in some engines, the valves protrude down into the cylinders enough that if the timing belt breaks, the pistons can smash the valves, bending or breaking them. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts can then shred the cylinder head. This adds to thousands of dollars of engine damage.

The only way the damage can be avoided by Corvallis auto owners is by replacing the timing belt on schedule. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt at 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers), but others can go as long as 90,000 or 100,000 miles (145,000 to 160,000 kilometers). Check the schedule for preventive maintenance in your owner's manual. If you're due or overdue for a timing belt replacement, don't put it off. Get it done now at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Clayton's Auto Service technicians probably aren't great dancers, but they can offer you some great auto advice on how to keep your engine properly choreographed. Don't hesitate to consult them about replacing your timing belt or any other car care concerns you may have.

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