Best Auto of Longmont loves to share auto repair and service tips and other news worthy information, as we are truly passionate about what we do best! Thanks again for visiting our website, and we hope to see you down at the shop sometime soon!
We all want our vehicles to be safe and reliable, and the best way to ensure that dependability is with regular maintenance. Keeping your car in good shape with regular tune-ups following the manufacturer’s recommendations will also keep its resale value high. Best Auto Repair in Longmont offers a thorough and affordable tune up for your car or truck that will ensure it is running optimally this spring!
Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, points out that there are economic, safety and environmental benefits to performing regular vehicle maintenance and stated that “Neglected vehicles do cause accidents, or a breakdown on a highway, which in itself can be dangerous.”
Basic Spring Checklist to Tune Up Your Car
- Check the air filter– a dirty filter will not keep as much dust and dirt out of the fuel system, which results in poorer gas mileage.
- Measure the tire pressure– under-inflated tires wear out faster and use more gas.
- Assess the lights– make sure the front, rear and brake lights are not burned out or defective.
- Check the level of fluids– low transmission or brake fluids can decrease performance but also cause bigger problems with other engine components.
According to the National Car Care Council, “Neglected vehicle maintenance leads to more than 2,600 of the approximately 43,000 deaths each year…and nearly 100,000 disabling injuries.” There are 3 major reasons why preventative maintenance is worthwhile: first, your car will run more efficiently, second, it is better for the environment, and most importantly, it ensures that it is safe to drive! Regular vehicle maintenance definitely saves money in the long run, but with the top quality tune up provided by Best Auto Repair in Longmont, it is also affordable now! Call today for an appointment to get your car in tip-top shape for spring!
The function of a catalytic converter is to convert engine emissions into non-hazardous gases through a chemical catalyst. It is a vital part in the exhaust system to prevent pollution. A damaged catalytic converter will need to be replaced to make emissions safe, and the highly trained technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont have the experience to thoroughly evaluate your vehicle’s exhaust system and return it to maximum efficiency in a jiffy.
Signs a Failing Catalytic Converter Needs an Exhaust System Check
Poor Engine Performance: If you notice a decrease in your vehicle’s acceleration, power or fuel economy, a damaged catalytic converter may be to blame. Since the converter is a vital component of the exhaust system, any problems with it will reduce overall engine performance.
Check Engine Light Illuminated: The sensors that monitor oxygen and fuel ratios will turn the check engine light on if they detect that exhaust gases are beyond the recommended levels. This is a strong indication that the catalytic converter is becoming inefficient, but there are many other possible reasons for a check engine light alert that only a computer scan will disclose.
If you suspect your vehicle’s exhaust system needs repair or if it fails an emissions test, bring it to the ASE-certified mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick diagnosis and solution.
According to the National Motorists Association, “it’s getting harder to make an economic case or a functional case for a diesel engine over a gas engine, at least in passenger cars.” However, if you are the owner of an older diesel car or a newer diesel truck, you need to find an auto repair shop that you can trust. Best Auto Repair in Longmont has mechanics that have gone through extensive ASE-certification training for diesel service and repair.
Diesel Service and Repair vs. Gas Engine
- Diesel engines are more complex than they used to be; their emissions systems in particular. Their urea injection needs to be supplied with a regular amount of diesel emissions fluid. It is no longer the case that diesel engines are simpler than gas.
- More modern gas engines are now turbocharged, so the big torque appeal of diesel engines has diminished. The newly designed turbos produce impressive torque at lower RPMs and also provide more horsepower than most diesel engines can.
- Diesel engines still have a slight advantage in lasting longer than gas engines. But it is common for most gas engines to last 200,000 miles nowadays, which was the appeal of a diesel engine back in the day when the gas counterpart could only be counted on for half as long.
- Diesel engines are heavy duty, usually constructed from cast iron instead of gas engine’s aluminum block. Diesels have to be stalwart to withstand the high cylinder pressure of a compression-ignition engine. This is their main advantage today- they endure hard work better than gas, and so are the logical choice for trucks used to pull heavy loads.
Federal regulations have changed diesel engines from being simple and affordable to maintain to more complicated and expensive to own than current gas-powered passenger cars. They are also not much more fuel-efficient than modern gas engines. But rest assured that if you need a diesel service and repair, the ASE-certified technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont have the knowledge and skills to take care of your vehicle!
Rebuilding an engine, whether a ring and valve job, in-house rebuild or rebuilt exchange, is a major repair job. We feel a conservative approach, where parts are replaced as needed, makes sense and costs less, although some damage cannot be diagnosed until the engine is partially taken apart. If you think your vehicle needs an engine rebuild, bring it to the ASE certified technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a thorough diagnosis and fair repair estimate.
Top 3 Reasons for an Engine Rebuild
- Loss of Compression- Signs that your vehicle’s engine has lost compression are misfires, lack of power and extended cranking. A compression, or leakdown, test will need to be performed to make sure these symptoms are not being caused by other problems.
- Excessive Oil Consumption- If the engine is losing oil but not from an external leak, it may be that the PCV valve needs replaced (an inexpensive fix) or the whole engine may need replaced. Other sources for lost oil are stuck oil control rings, worn valve guides or dried seals or too much clearance between cylinders and pistons.
- Immoderate Oil Clearances- The classic reason for engine knock are excessive oil clearances. Some types of engine knock can be repaired without removing the entire block from the vehicle but partial disassembly is always required.
Remember that you will need to break in a rebuilt engine for about the first 500 miles you drive with it. Don’t surpass 75% of the maximum RPM or cruise for extended periods on the highway. Be sure to check the oil frequently, since it will burn more while breaking in, and don’t use synthetic oil. If you take care to break in a rebuilt engine, it will last longer.
Deciding if it is worth it to rebuild your engine is complicated- let the experienced mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont help with your decision by first completing a full vehicle inspection so you can accurately weigh the cost of repair against buying a new car.
The function of a car’s water pump is simple: to cycle coolant to the radiator to prevent the engine from overheating. Internal blades send coolant through the engine and into the radiator to be cooled before starting the cycle over. This basic part is essential to proper engine function. If you suspect your water pump is wearing out, have the ASE certified mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont inspect and replace it before more damage is done.
4 Signs that a Water Pump Needs Repair
- Whining noise from engine that gets louder when accelerating. Most likely caused by a loose pulley or worn out bearings inside the water pump.
- Red or green puddle under your parked vehicle. When the pump’s gaskets and seals deteriorate, coolant will start to leak.
- Frequent high temperature readings on the engine gauge. When the water pump stops doing its job, the engine will start to overheat.
- Radiator producing steam. This is the last, and biggest, warning sign of a broken water pump. Don’t risk causing more extensive damage to your engine by driving your overheated vehicle- call a tow truck instead.
Fortunately, water pumps typically last a long time in newer vehicles but, just like any other engine component, they are not impervious to failing. If you notice any of the above signs that point to a damaged water pump, the experienced staff at Best Auto Repair in Longmont can quickly diagnose and, if necessary, replace any broken parts in your vehicle.
If, unforunately, your engine does need a major repair, we currently have a special running in the local Valpak for $25 off any service over $250 or $50 off any service over $500. Click here for the coupon.
There are many potential reasons for odd noises or movements emanating from your vehicle’s engine; one of which is a broken engine mount. Engine mounts secure the engine to the chassis and dampen the constant vibrations caused when the motor is running. Best Auto Repair in Longmont has experienced technicians to quickly diagnose the cause of unusual car sounds or shakiness, and will expertly repair the problem- be it a broken engine mount or other damaged part.
Top 3 Signs of a Broken Engine Mount
- Clunking Sound- Thuds or banging noises coming from your engine, particularly when going over bumps, is probably the most common sign of a damaged mount. Impact noises are also noticeable when accelerating.
- Significant Vibration- Since one of the main functions of the engine mount is to absorb engine vibration, if the rubber component is worn then you may notice some increased shaking in the cabin.
- Engine Movement- If you suspect that a mount is broken, you may want to observe how stationary the engine is when running. A properly secured motor will not move up, back nor side to side in the bay.
As you can imagine, keeping the engine stable is critical for proper function, and if a mount is damaged then other components are being stressed and could fail sooner due to the added strain. If you notice any signs of a broken engine mount in your vehicle, bring it to the ASE certified technicians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick diagnosis and fix! Don’t delay addressing a small repair and risk having it turn into a major problem- call us today at (720) 652-7272!
Now that winter weather has arrived, rough driving conditions have also. Potholes wreck havoc on your vehicle’s suspension system. Having proper wheel alignment improves handling and prevents premature wear on your tires. For fast and precise wheel alignment, bring your car into the expert mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont.
5 Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment
- Uneven Wear on Tires- If you notice more wear on either the inside or outside edge of the tire, this is a definite indication of misalignment.
- Squealing Tires- If the tires are tilting too far outward or inward (positive or negative camber), or if they are angled toe-in or toe-out, then there will be uneven pressure on the tires.
- Pulling to One Side- When traveling down a straight road, try briefly letting go of the steering wheel to test if your vehicle angles off to the right or left.
- Unusual Steering- Another sign of misalignment is if your steering wheel shakes or is difficult to maneuver. The wheel should also return to center smoothly and easily after making a turn.
- Sideways Movement- If when watching from behind, you see the car move sideways when pulling away and the wheels are pointed straight, this points to all four wheels needing adjusted.
Best Auto Repair uses Hunter’s HawkEye Wheel Alignment System to precisely align your vehicle’s tires with state-of-the-art cameras. This system also generates a visual analysis of the alignment before and after adjustment; see the example above. If you suspect your car is out of alignment, don’t wait and risk prematurely wearing down your tires- make an appointment today for a free alignment check at Best Auto in Longmont!
If we see puddles under our parked car, our first thought is most likely to be: oil leak. And that is usually the case, but keep in mind that if the liquid is red, green or orange then it’s probably a transmission fluid or coolant leak. If you suspect your car has an oil leak, bring it to the ASE certified mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont for a quick diagnosis and fix!
Signs of an Oil Leak
- Blue smoke coming from the tail pipe: usually from oil falling on the exhaust manifold
- Brown spots under the car: when the oil pan gasket has deteriorated and started to leak
- Low oil levels: if the leak is small, then this will most likely be the only sign
- Smell of burning oil: when the leak comes in contact with a hot surface
- Engine overheating: if the oil level gets low enough, this will most likely be a result
You might be wondering if it is safe to drive with an oil leak? Lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of your vehicle’s engine, so maintaining an adequate oil level is critical. Oil, along with the coolant, is also vital in keeping the engine cool and when an engine overheats, there is potential for significant damage. If oil is allowed to leak onto other components of the engine, these parts may also fail and need to be replaced.
Oil leaks should not be ignored. If addressed quickly, oil leaks are usually a simple repair but if delayed, the problems can multiply and become dangerous. Ensure the smooth and safe function of your vehicle and have any suspected oil leaks assessed by the professional mechanics at Best Auto Repair in Longmont as soon as possible!
One often overlooked but critical part of your car are its windshield wipers. We tend to take them for granted until they start leaving streaks and making it even more difficult to see through the windshield! Besides ensuring good visibility, keeping your windshield wipers in good repair is also important to prevent any scratches on the glass due to exposed metal on the blades. Don’t risk your safety on the road this winter, come into Best Auto of Longmont to get your windshield wipers replaced quickly and economically.
There are two main styles of wipers: conventional rubber blades that fit into a spring-tension frame, and beam blades that incorporate spring steel into the rubber. Another option are winter wiper blades that have a boot covering the external frame to prevent snow buildup.
When to change windshield wipers in Longmont?
- A good rule of thumb is to change the blades every six months, usually before winter weather hits and then again in spring.
- It’s best to replace the front and rear blades at the same time.
- If your vehicle has headlight wipers, check those more frequently since they encounter more debris.
- If the wipers are not effectively clearing your windshield, check the rubber for chips, splits and make sure they’re still flexible. If so, then cleaning them with windshield washer fluid or dishwashing soap should do the trick!
Other simple ways to ensure you will be able to see clearly out of your car this winter is to keep the windshield washer fluid topped off, and apply a rain repellent. Rain repellents not only make water roll off faster but also help prevent ice from sticking to the windshield.
Replacing the windshield wipers on your vehicle is a fast and inexpensive way to stay safe in winter driving conditions. Come into Best Auto of Longmont now through the end of the year to take advantage of our Buy 1, Get 1 Free deal on NAPA wipers!
As Colorado car owners, we all know that starting up the engine during winter is a little rough. Cold weather can be especially hard on spark plugs, so if your car is not running smoothly bring it to the expert diagnosticians at Best Auto Repair in Longmont to see if a new set of plugs is all you need!
Spark plugs are a small part of the engine but essential because without them, your car is not going anywhere. Since they are utilized every time we start our vehicles, it is understandable that they eventually wear down. Two common problems are fuel residue buildup and a lengthening between the electrodes. When the plugs start to show their age, or a faulty one is installed, there are some telltale signs that they need replaced.
6 Signs that Your Car Needs New Spark Plugs
- Slow to start- If your ignition is sluggish, worn out spark plugs are just as likely to be the reason as a low battery.
- Engine jolts- When too much air is taken in during combustion, the engine may surge right before decelerating, which is another sign of a faulty plug.
- Engine hesitates- Opposite from surging but also caused by a bad plug, your engine may pause for a second while driving due to improper firing of the cylinders.
- Weak acceleration- Old spark plugs can also diminish the normal rate of acceleration you expect from your vehicle.
- Rough idling- If your engine is rattling or jerking when you’re stopped, the plugs most likely need replaced.
- Higher fuel consumption- Fuel economy can be reduced by 30% when spark plugs are not efficiently performing combustion.
Faulty or old spark plugs will effect the performance of your car’s engine, but fortunately a new set is an inexpensive and quick fix- so drop by Best Auto Repair of Longmont today to ensure smooth starts this winter!