Fall Tune-Up/Winterizing Pt. III

23 10 2012

This is the final installment on our Fall Tune-Up/Winterizing series! You can find Part I & Part II here.

Pt. III – Belts, Hoses, and Filters

By now, you have a better understanding of your cooling system, including the thermostat and coolant functions. But what about the parts relatively exposed to the elements under the hood?

To carry coolant between the radiator and the engine, you have a series of hoses located between the two. These hoses are usually made of a type of rubber that allows for continuous exposure to heated fluids.

However, over time, like all other forms of rubber, it can wear from use and exposure to different elements such as moisture and humidity.

Typically, it takes a good amount of time for these hoses to wear out, but it’s fairly simple for a technician to check and ensure that they’re still functional.

Speaking of rubber parts that can wear due to regular use and exposure to moisture, what about the belts connecting different components under the hood?  Without proper functionality, those systems affected could cause your vehicle to be inoperable.

Also, it’d be a good idea to have a trained technician look at your air filter, cabin air filter, and fuel filter to make sure they’re clean; and replace those have become clogged or dirty.

Speaking of cabin air, what about the cabin heating system? As the weather gets cooler, a heater might be useful to keep you warm, and should be inspected by a trained technician to ensure it is operating properly.

All of the items covered in this series, including Part I & Part II should be addressed by a trained technician, and we at Haley Buick GMC can provide these services at a reasonable cost to keep your vehicle on the road and money in your wallet.


Fall Tune-Up/Winterizing Pt. I

9 10 2012

It’s heading into that time of year again… time to bust out the sweatshirts and pants, stow the suntan lotion, and get ready for candy corn and haunted hayrides.

And, it’s also time to start thinking about a fall tune-up and possibly winterizing your vehicle.

“But a tune-up means someone will have to rebuild my engine… and winterizing’s something you do if you’re not going to be using it. I don’t want to do that!”

In reality, not only do tune-ups not usually require any serious engine-related work and winterizing checks and changes out any fluids or parts needing to be replaced, they also can save you time and money in the long run.

Let’s take a look at some of the steps involved!

Pt. I – Thermostat Check

No matter what you drive, chances are it has an engine involving a radiator system. Its basic job is to keep your engine from overheating during normal operation.

But the mystery is how this happens – the idea of a continuously operating system poses a conundrum: if the engine is always cooled, how can it ever become warm enough to operate efficiently? And what about if the system never runs… what prevents the engine from overheating, seizing up, and becoming inoperable?

That is where the thermostat comes into play.

Its basic job is to sit on top of the radiator hose leading into the engine and regulate the temperature of the engine. Most modern engines run efficiently around 195 degrees Fahrenheit; and a properly functioning thermostat ensures this temperature can be reached and not overly exceeded by controlling the flow of coolant to the engine.

Too little warmth, the valve remains closed. Too much heat and the valve is completely opened. At normal operating temperature, the valve is slowly moving to the opening or closing positions.

Around this time of year, the change in weather starts putting a little extra strain into this system – not so much that the system will always need repair or replacing, but just enough to cause extra potential wear.

Coupled with any extremely warm weather events over the summer putting stress on your vehicle, your thermostat would be a wise thing to have checked by a trained technician – if it were to fail while driving, you could potentially end up stuck.

But this isn’t the only part of your cooling system to have checked… (to be continued)