A properly tuned motor can save up to 10%-20% on gas and therefore save you money in the long run. A burnt-out ignition system or slack in the timing belt or chain can reduce performance & gas mileage, and increase vehicle smog emissions. Worn suspension bushings and blown struts and shocks can mis-align your wheels, increasing the drag on the vehicle as it rolls, thus increasing your fuel costs by up to 5%-10%, as well as prematurely destroying your tires. Regular oil changes and keeping your air-filter clean can easily double the life of your motor, as well as reducing fuel consumption, providing a significant savings in new-car costs.
Rubber Hydraulic Brake Lines on older vehicles can suddenly rupture and other components can slowly leak, all leading to sudden brake failure. It’s a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you go to stop for the car in front of you at the red light, and you press on the petal and it quickly sinks to the floor – but you’re still rolling! Don’t let this happen to you! Let us inspect your brake system for potential problems before they happen! The most important part of your vehicle is the brakes; protect your life and the lives of others and keep them properly maintained.
Don’t bust-up your ball-joint, braddah! A stable, safe steering & suspension system, with properly filled tires can save up to 5%-10% on gas, as well as keep you on the road, in your lane, avoiding pedestrians and bicyclists, and out of the way of oncoming traffic. If your ball-joint goes out, the wheel separates from the car. If your steering tie-rod end goes out, the wheel separates from the steering and goes any direction it wants. A speed-bump or pothole can do it … Russian roulette as to whether you limp to the back corner of the lot and park, or careen uncontrollably into a ravine at 55mph. Why gamble with it at all? If you feel your steering and/or suspension is loose when you drive, stop driving and call us to properly assess and fix your vehicle’s problems before they become big problems for you!
Your vehicle’s timing belt is a critical component in the operation of the motor. It ensures the bottom and the top of the motor spin “in time” together. If it breaks, they will keep spinning, but in unsynchonized time, and a piston in the bottom of the motor may be going up while its matching intake/exhaust valve(s) in the top of the motor may be going down; if the two collide, serious expense rebuilding your motor will be incurred.
Some vehicles have a timing chain that generally lasts much longer without breaking, but as metal chain grinds on metal crankshaft and camshaft sprockets, the chain gains slack and the “timing” gets out of proper sync. A mere ¼ of a degree from the specs in rotational difference between the crankshaft and camshaft is a drastic change, and will adversely affect engine performance, fuel economy, and exhaust smog.
This wear-factor with timing chains is not their only problem. The metal chain transfers destructive vibrational forces from the operation of the bottom-end of the motor, as well as from the transmission/transaxel, drive shaft/axles, differential(s), wheel bearings, and tire & road-related impacts and other vibrations. While these vibrational forces are minute, they add up over the miles and change the curve-signature of the cams that operate the intake and exhaust valves. A mere 0.001 inches of difference in the overall height or shape of the cam will again adversely affect engine performance, fuel economy, and exhaust smog.
While a timing belt requires replacing more often, they are designed to be changed, and it is generally a much easier job than a timing chain which is usually only designed to be changed with a more complete engine overhaul. Increasing demands for reduced vehicle smog-emmissions had lead vehicle manufactures to use timing belts more and more… but of course it is cheaper to manufacture than a chain, also! However, many new high-performance vehicles use a timing chain and variable camshaft timing which allows the motor to run smoothly and cleanly under all engine conditions: idling, cruising at low speeds, high-torque at low RPM, high-horsepower at high RPM, instant power when punching the throttle, etc. Be sure any technician working on these variable cam systems has the proper specs and tools to properly initially sync the camshafts if they dismantle your motor.
Your automatic transmission works hard to keep your motor in gear with the road, yet it is often the most overlooked system in the vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers generally recommend you drain and refill your transmission fluid every 2–3 years or 20,000–30,000 miles under normal (highway) conditions, and every year or 12,000–15,000 miles under high-stress (stop-and-go, towing, etc.) conditions. Some vehicles are delivered new with “non-servicable” transmissions filled with “high-end” synthetic oils that are supposed to last over 100,000 miles. Mercedes was/is one, and I used to work at a German-auto specialty repair center, and I’ve seen how bogus this claim is: there is no reason for a $80,000+ car to need a new transmission at 120,000 miles, or even to be driving on thinned-out, blackened, “burnt” transmission fluid with 60,000 miles on it. (We serviced those non-servicable transmissions at that shop.) A new or rebuilt transmission is very costly, but can be avoided if care is taken to drive the vehicle without constant high-stress torque on the drive-train, and if you keep the fluid fresh and the inside of the transmission pan clean. Many automotive service centers offer transmission “power flushes,” but the reality is that is a quick easy money-maker for them, but a long-term hazard for you…read on…
At the bottom of your transmission fluid pan is one or two doughnut-shaped magnets that collect metallic “dust” that grinds off the gears and other moving parts inside the transmission as they mesh together. When your fluid is fresh, only a small amount of this dust is produced, but as the fluid ages, it looses its “cushioning” effect between metal parts, and more and more dust is made. Even if you keep the fluid changed regularly and clean, the magnets eventually get loaded up with dust to the point they can no longer hold any more, and this dust begins to build up in corners and crevices. This is where things can get dangerous with a simple transmission flush because transmission fluid is a high-detergent oil designed to keep the inside fluid passages clean, and fresh fluid can cause the deposits in a very dirty transmission to come loose as chunks and subsequently ruin the valves and other internal transmission parts.
A transmission “power flush” only uses the vehicle’s own power to pump out the old fluid and pump in the new fluid. The “machine” for doing this is only a non-powered simple big box-on-wheels with two heavy plastic bags inside that hold the old fluid and the new fluid, each with leading hoses that attach at the hoses that connect to the vehicle’s radiator or transmission cooler. This makes a “power flush” very simple and quick as a standard motor-oil change, and easy to hire a pimple-faced kid to do the job in 15 minutes, and charge you $120.
The better solution for you, the vehicle owner, is a full transmission-service from the Rolling Wrench On-Spot Mobile Autocare service. For roughly the same cost (for most vehicles, and not including fluids, gaskets and filters) you can have the entire inside of the transmission oil-pan including the magnets themselves cleaned, and then the transmission is refilled with fresh new fluid. And if your transmission is of the type that uses a fibrous filter internally (some only use mesh screens), that gets changed in the process also. Keep your transmission running like new for over 300,000+ miles. Keep it properly serviced. It beats $2000 for a new tranny.