Summer is coming and that means it’s time for cross country road trips and wild vacation adventures. Before you go, though, you need to make sure your car is in good working order to avoid emergency automotive repairs. For most people, this means cleaning it out and checking the oil, but one thing that you definitely should do before you go on a road trip is check your engine belts. In fact, checking your engine belts should be done regularly as part of your standard auto maintenance.
What Are Engine Belts?
The belts in your engine allow many of your car’s vital systems to run. From enabling power steering to recharging your car’s battery, many belts are at work under the hood of your automobile. The belts connect your engine to the other systems in order to provide them with power.
Where Are the Engine Belts?
Engine belts are found connecting your engine to the air conditioner pump, steering pump, alternator, and water pump. Other engine belts may be present under your vehicle’s hood, but these are the most prevalent in modern cars. If you have questions about where they are on your specific vehicle, then ask your mechanic the next time you take your automobile in for a repair.
How to Check Your Engine Belt
While replacing engine belts should be done by a qualified auto repair professional, there are several things you can do to check up on your belts. First, look for any cracks on the belts showing evidence of them drying out and weakening. You can also check how tense the belts are. If your belts have the proper tension, then you should be able to twist them only 1/4 of a turn—no more, no less.
So what happens if your engine belts look like they need to be adjusted or replaced? Take your vehicle in to Murray’s Auto Clinic for factory-recommended service maintenance in Silver Spring. We also offer Silver Spring brake repair and emissions testing. Come see us today for friendly service you can rely on!
Automotive repair can be expensive and a hassle. No one wants their vehicle to break down. That’s why routine auto maintenance is very important to maintaining your vehicle’s like-new condition. Consider the following tips to help keep your vehicle running like new for mile after mile.
- Follow the Maintenance Schedule: Almost every vehicle comes with instructions on routine auto maintenance. Often, this information is found in the owner’s manual. Consult the schedule and follow the advice for routine auto maintenance and service. It will keep your vehicle running efficiently and will help avoid any problems down the road.
- Use Quality Auto Parts: Never use the cheapest auto parts just to save a few bucks in the moment. Make sure every auto repair is done with the right parts for your vehicle and that they are of high quality.
- Drive Gently: Accelerating fast and breaking hard is not good for your vehicle. It will wear out the brakes and require brake repair much sooner. Be careful with your driving habits.
- Clean: It might sound odd, but a clean vehicle will often last longed. Paint and other aesthetic elements not only look nice, but they protect your vehicle as well.
- Tire Maintenance: Keep an eye on your tire pressure. Reduced air pressure decreases your fuel economy and wears out your tires faster. Remember to also rotate your tires every 10,000 miles.
- Drive on Good Roads: Highways are easier on your car than old country roads and dirt roads. When you run over gravel, dirt, leaves, rocks, and sticks, particles are thrown into the underside of your car, slowly causing damage.
- Fluids: Change your vehicle’s oil and oil filter on a regular basis. Remember to also check your air filter and other fluids and filters.
For all your auto maintenance and service needs, call Murray’s Auto Clinic. Our certified car diagnosticians will help you understand your vehicle and do the things to make it last longer. We specialize in all auto repairs, brake repairs, emissions repairs, diagnostics, oil changes, tires, and tire alignments. Call today to begin prolonging the life of your vehicle.
Are you concerned about the environment? Do you realize how much harm your vehicle is causing to the air we breathe? While we understand that giving up driving is close to impossible, there are ways for you to reduce your vehicle’s harmful gas emissions.
Apple has just released an iPhone, iPod touch and iPad application that will allow you to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions of your car per year. The CO2 Auto Emissions app will take your type of vehicle and your driving patterns into account as it calculates carbon dioxide emissions. You will see just how much pollution you are contributing to the environment and learn how you can reduce that amount.
If you are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, then stop by Murray’s Auto Clinic to discuss car emissions testing and repair and other types of vehicle maintenance that can help conserve the environment as much as possible.
Murray and the gang from Murray's Auto Clinics have always prided themselves on being experts on everything to do with auto repair. Do you have some more questions on passing emissions or maintaining your vehicle? Here are some good places to start!
It is not only necessary to get your auto emissions tested, it is the law. If your car has failed emissions, or you think it might, it is good to know what went wrong before conducting radical emissions repair. Here are some common causes for emissions test failure to get you on your way to doing the appropriate emissions repair:
Fuel Metering is Out of Specification
There are many reasons that this could be a problem at the emissions testing facility. The most common reasons are a faulty computerized engine control, carburetor, or fuel injection unit.
Faulty Oxygen Sensor
This sensor measures the amount of oxygen in the gas exhaust. It is good to get this replaced outside of passing emissions because it can lead to overheating, higher toxic emissions, and loss of acceleration power.
Defective Ignition System
Having one of the parts in your ignition system be defective can lead to high hydrocarbons on your emissions test. The most common parts that break down in the system are the spark plug wires, the spark plugs, or the distributor cap.
Rich Fuel Mixture
A contaminated oxygen sensor, leaky injectors, or excessive fuel pressure often cause this. A rich fuel mixture can cause high levels of CO2 and carbon monoxide, all of which can make your car fail emissions testing.
Leaks in the Vehicle’s Vacuum
These leaks are a result of the MAP sensor in your car not functioning properly. This sensor measures the load on the electronic control system in your car. These leaks are commonly found in the gaskets or vacuum lines of the engine.
These are only a few reasons why your car may have not passed emissions. Use these problems to begin to troubleshoot what is wrong with your vehicle. Some of these emissions repairs can be done on your own; however, if these repairs seem too daunting, contact us at Murray’s Auto Clinic, where our friendly technicians will perform all emissions repair, along with any necessary auto maintenance service, ensuring your car passes the emissions tests and is back on the road.