Advantage Auto Repair

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Advantage Auto Repair
3155 N. Stone Ave.
(Intersection of Ft. Lowell and Stone Ave.)
Tucson, AZ 85705

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Automotive Repair Blog

March 2014

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Water Pump

Posted: Apr 01, 2014

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat
  • the water pump

The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to see what's recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can Tucson drivers tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you've got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can't see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles/97,000 km – some longer. It's a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it's one of those that's driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work's already done with the timing belt change. And if you don't and develop a leak later, you'll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin' new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson what he thinks. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can get you back on the road and on with your life.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Your Well Trained Technician at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson

Posted: Mar 25, 2014

When your vehicle has a problem or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your vehicle's so important to your life in Tucson, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you've ever checked into some of the technician training Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8's. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/100 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Tucson gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern vehicles driven around AZ are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some vehicles have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Tucson motorists take all of this sophistication for granted, but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It's a real challenge for Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Tucson service centers as well.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson by parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there's the financial commitment for Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications held by the pros at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson. The ability to repair your vehicle requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Tucson auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn't.

The next time you bring us your vehicle, don't worry. You're in good hands at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine in Tucson, AZ

Posted: Mar 18, 2014

If the fuel system in your vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your engine and losing performance as you drive around Tucson, AZ.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Tucson auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your vehicle owner's manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson, you'll notice more power, improved and reduced exhaust emissions. We strongly recommend you follow your fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

Tucson drivers don't need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that's been damaged by neglect. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor and see when your car is scheduled for fuel system cleaning.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

Posted: Mar 11, 2014

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Tucson drivers, and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most people.


Let's get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your Check Engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn't drive at high speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Tucson service center.

Why

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn't go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to get it checked out.

Some more information on how the Check Engine light works may be helpful for Tucson drivers. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range, the computer runs some tests and may turn on the vehicle's Check Engine light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn't know if it's a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap, the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn't come up again, it turns off the Check Engine light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it'll then turn off the Check Engine light.

If the problem can't be resolved then the light will remain on, and you should get your vehicle looked at. Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

 

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Diesel Maintenance for AZ

Posted: Mar 06, 2014

At Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our AZ friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in AZ.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to AZ and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that AZ diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up AZ to the engines the rest of the world's been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there's none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

Repair costs are similar to vehicles with gas engines. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system and so on. And the payoff for you, if you're the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for many, many years.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


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