Thursday, July 28, 2011

Belts and hoses are essential to keeping your vehicle on the road

Your belts and hoses are essential to keeping your vehicle on the road for years to come. Perhaps among all the preventative maintenance services on your vehicle, belts and hoses are the most important because they have the shortest lifespan.

Due to constant exposure to heat, hard driving conditions, and changes in temperatures,  these components crack, leak, fray, and peel. Worn belts and hoses are much more affordable to replace than an engine which can be destroyed if a belt or hose breaks. At 60 Minute Tune we recommend having a visual inspection done on your belts and hoses annually.

A visual inspection of belts includes:
  • Search for clear indications of damage (cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
  • Test for correct tension
  • Test for correct alignment
  • Record belt condition for future reference
A visual inspection of hoses includes:
  • Search for clear indications of damage (leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
  • Test cooling system for leaks using state-of-the-art pressure technology
  • Record hose condition for future reference
Here are a few key items that affect the replacement intervals for belts and hoses:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Potholes are the Pits

Potholes are serious business and can cause some very expensive repairs! We have all seen them in the road, and we try our best to avoid them but sometimes it's impossible. Potholes cause untimely damage to suspension, steering, tires and rims. Your shocks and struts take the biggest impact because they compress and expand using hydraulic oil to ease the effects of driving on uneven surfaces and make for a smoother ride.

Depending on the depth of a pothole, your shock and strut could actually bottom out. Braking while hitting a pothole can cause even more problems. We suggest braking before a pothole and after if necessary but not during.

Besides the suspension components, other parts such as control arms, ball joints and axle shafts are also prone to pothole damage. Your rims can bend or even crack causing poor tire inflation which can also lead to premature tire replacement.

Potholes are the number one cause for premature tire wear, alignment problems and poor vehicle drivability. Our advice is to avoid potholes whenever it is safe to do so. We want to help prevent this damage to your car, and keep you safe. The following resources came up when we searched for information regarding reporting potholes. Have your brakes and suspension checked to prevent premature replacement.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Keeping it Cool

Your air conditioning system in your vehicle consists of a few components that require annual attention. The compressor is the heart of your AC system and is operated by your engine belt. It also includes an electronic clutch that turns the system on and off as you change the level of cool air you require in your car. While the condenser and the evaporator act like miniature radiators to transform R134 from air to a liquid and then back into a gas.

The thermal expansion valve allows you to decide just how much cool air you want in your car, so you are not always freezing. Lastly the drier or accumulator is a safety catch for your AC system. It protects your compressor from fluids that could damage or even ruin your compressor.

Even though your AC may work perfectly when you buy your car over time the bumps and jolts in the road can cause your AC seals to loosen which will cause leaks to occur. If your Freon leaks out your AC will simply blow hot air, and let's face it, none of us like to be hot and sweaty!

Having your AC serviced once a year can help you avoid costly repairs like replacing your AC system. As your vehicle ages, adjustments need to be made to assure proper, efficient and maximum use of your AC system. With all this summertime heat it's important to remember, you don't have to be hot all the time, Call 60 Minute Tune today and find out how we can make your AC system work like new again.