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Trip Inspection at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis

Posted February 14, 2017 2:18 AM

Corvallis area drivers love their cars. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Corvallis drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding Oregon byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage. Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Corvallis customers prefer to go through this exercise with their friendly and knowledgeable service advisor to get their input and make sure they haven't overlooked anything.

A great place for Corvallis drivers to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn't want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Oregon rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you'll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that's pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous. 

And don't forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Talk to your service advisor at Clayton's Auto Service.

Your engine air filter will be inspected. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you'll notice improvements on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it's due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don't need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Clayton's Auto Service is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could be as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it's an exhaust leak it could be fatal for Corvallis drivers and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you'll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren't getting the cold air you’re used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is a quick and inexpensive fix for Corvallis drivers. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven't changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more important as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient stops and delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

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


Tracking True in Corvallis: Wheel Alignment

Posted November 30, 2016 2:17 AM

At Clayton's Auto Service, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a Clayton's Auto Service alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.

If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your car pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your Corvallis auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you should get your alignment checked.

It's not surprising that a forceful impact can seriously knock tires out, but remember that a series of smaller ones can add up. That's why your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't advise a specific interval, once a year might be appropriate. Check with your Clayton's Auto Service service advisor. As with most other preventive maintenance services, the cost of the alignment is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to purchase new tires earlier than expected.


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: Alignment Inspection

Posted October 23, 2016 5:08 AM

Uneven tire wear, the car pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Corvallis drivers that their wheels may be out of alignment.

When doing an alignment inspection, the service advisor at Clayton's Auto Service will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the vehicle manufacturer’s settings.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in a crash, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around Corvallis, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your Clayton's Auto Service service advisor perform an important alignment check.

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


Automotive Tips from Clayton's Auto Service: Signs of an Alignment Problem

Posted August 1, 2016 1:36 AM

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Corvallis drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Corvallis driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

In addition, your vehicle can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, Clayton's Auto Service in Corvallis can return your wheels to the vehicle manufacturers’ factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two. 

Give us a call.

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

 


Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Clayton's Auto Service

Posted August 26, 2015 9:00 AM

Hello Corvallis! 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 Corvallis.

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 Corvallis 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 Oregon driving. Corvallis road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Corvallis 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 Clayton's Auto Service now.

When you take your vehicle in for an alignment, your technician at Clayton's Auto Service 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.

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