Smooth Shifting in Spring Hill, Florida: Transmission Service
Posted July 29, 2018 08:19 AM
So you have some exciting plans for the weekend. You're going to take some of your friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you've gotten the boat all ready. And you haven't forgotten about your tow vehicle. You've gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your vehicle maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of Spring Hill. There's hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it's going to be pretty hot in Florida this weekend. And all the time you'll be towing around a lot of extra weight. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let's just consider the transmission. It's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local Florida lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It's important to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it's important for Spring Hill drivers to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Spring Hill drivers who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.
Those who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience transmission failure. You really don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Spring Hill, Florida, is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions — things like short trips and driving in very hot or very cold Florida weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Spring Hill add to the strain. Basically, any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions can be considered severe conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Now, don't forget the sunscreen.
The Maintenance Free Myth
Posted July 24, 2018 04:35 AM
Sometimes we hear people in Spring Hill say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Spring Hill drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become, fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.
Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.
The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in Florida and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.
Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. This guy took his SUV in for the Florida safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Spring Hill inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Spring Hill drivers: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Spring Hill service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.
Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.
Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed, the entire head was shredded and it had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.
The team at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better. Plus, it is more economical to operate in Florida. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
322 Suzanne Avenue
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Watching Your Check Engine Light
Posted July 16, 2018 05:17 AM
Did you know that most of the cars driving around Spring Hill, Florida, carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969?
New cars sold in the Spring Hill area have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, auto computers have been controlling about 85 percent of your vehicle's functions.
Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do Spring Hill drivers know when there is a problem?
It's simple; the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer.
It can be pretty disturbing for Spring Hill drivers when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder just how urgent it is. Generally speaking, it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When you get one of those it means STOP NOW! When the Check Engine light shows up, you should come in to George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.
Since 1996, there has been a strong emissions control component to the Check Engine diagnostic. But if your Check Engine light flashes on and off, you know that it is more urgent and you need to get it checked immediately to prevent damage. You should slow down and avoid towing or heavy loads until you can get it checked out.
Your friendly and knowledgeable technicians at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto have special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code from the computer and help him determine what is wrong. From there, we can fix it and get you back on the road.
Stop by if you're Check Engine light is on.
Automotive Tips from George's Wholesale Tire & Auto: Air Conditioning – Common Problem
Posted July 09, 2018 07:56 AM
Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving around Spring Hill. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.
A common A/C problem for Spring Hill drivers that visit George's Wholesale Tire & Auto is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber clog passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.
Leaks can develop at seals and gaskets and may reduce the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.
Ask your George's Wholesale Tire & Auto service advisor for an air conditioning system inspection to make sure everything is up to spec.
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
322 Suzanne Avenue
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Put on the Brakes: Brake Service at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
Posted July 03, 2018 04:37 AM
When it comes to preventive maintenance and vehicle care, most Spring Hill drivers know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.
The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.
Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.
But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.
The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture buildup inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.
It is important to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your vehicle tires are worn, you won't get good stopping power. Traction is the power of your tires gripping to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.
This is particularly important on wet Spring Hill roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet or dry Florida roads. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the vehicle passes over the wet road, improving contact between the tire's surface and the road; that maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.
Braking depends on two things: the weight of your vehicle and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.
Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Spring Hill, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident- and worry-free.