In an age where we have begun to embrace the electric car as the new future of transportation, I think it's important to remember that most of the population will continue to drive Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles for quite some time. I love the new all electric car technology, but I think that a lot of respect is still due for the brilliant engineering and science that has brought the automobile to the place it is today. I'm going to discuss in a series of articles the wonder of the ICE vehicle that most of us enjoy driving.
In essence, the start of the vehicle is the idea of making fire. The key is turned, and BOOM...you have fire! (Hopefully! If you don't, call us). The key thing about it though, is that it is a series of very controlled fires created in rapid succession. In short, explosions. However, purists refer to it as a 'burn'.This is because the compressed mix is lit by a spark on one end and the flame travels through the space creating rapid expansion. Granted, I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but bear with me, I promise it will get better.
The first steps of the technology was to harness this into a power that can be used. First, the engine has to take in a measured amount of fuel and air, momentarily seal it up in a can, compress it, then light it in a matter of milliseconds. Then, it must get rid of the burnt soot and do it again. There are a lot of other factors that come into play to keep an engine running properly, but the combustion part is the key to the energy that is used to drive the wheels. This is the part that is being replaced by electric motors that drive the wheels in electric cars. Therefore, to truly respect the technology that has come into play, we should compare the source of power and how it's used.
A car that runs and drives great still has an Achilles heel: rust corrosion. For all the preventative maintenance in the world, there's not a lot that can be done once rust has started The frightening thing is, if you don't know it's there, it can be down right dangerous!
Recently I received a phone call from a gentleman stating that he was driving along and her heard a loud noise come from under his car. After that, he said that every time he attempted to accelerate, it felt like the car kept wanting to go sideways. He also stated that he had to drive home very slowly. He called me because he needed to know what was going on. I agreed to inspect
Upon arrival, I found a very nice SUV parked in the driveway. I looked very clean. It was a nice 4 wheel drive, 6 cylinder vehicle. Unfortunately, looking under the vehicle confirmed my suspicions, rust had caused major damage. When the customer first described the concern and told me what type of vehicle he had, I suspected that the problem had to do with the rear end When acceleration is applied on a rear wheel vehicle, the driveshaft is 'twisted' to drive the rear axles, which in turn, rotate the wheels. This is where 'torque' comes into play. To help keep everything in place, either leaf springs or torsion bars are used. If they break loose, the rear end will literally shift back and forth on acceleration. This vehicle has torsion bars, and one was broke loose on the driver side. The break occurred where the arm bolts to a bracket that is welded to the frame (pictured above). The bracket had cracked and broken free due to rust. The customer asked if it could be fixed. Yes, if the metal can be ground and welded. No if there is no good, usable metal. I crawled back under the vehicle and found that rust had hollowed out the frame rail and was beginning to deteriorate the other side of the vehicle also. If the other side broke, the entire rear end could theoretically shoot out from under the car. Not good.
So the bad news for this customer was that rust had permanently disabled his vehicle. The only repair option was to cut out and replace 75% of the frame under the car. This kind of work would cost more than the cost to replace the vehicle. The vehicle was totaled by rust instead of collision. Sadly, the customer had only owned the vehicle for about 3 months and the car lot he bought it from was out of business. Tough day!
As the leaves start turning lovely shades of red, yellow and orange, we begin to experience the cooler temperatures of fall. Although it is an absolutely beautiful time of year, we all know what follows...
ice, snow and cold. A dead battery or no heat inside the vehicle can make for unexpected repairs. Treacherous road conditions can lead to slipping and sliding, if caught unaware.
Give us a call and we can perform a Winter Readiness check on your vehicle!
Belts and hoses
Battery, charging and starting systems
Coolant freeze point
Heating and defrost functions
Don't get left out in the cold! Remember, we come to you at home, work or job site. Stay inside and keep warm while you work or enjoy family time, and we will perform our service for you!
It's that time of year again, getting ready for winter. Like it or not, we all know that the cold weather is coming. For most people, their main automotive concern is whether or not the coolant will freeze in the cold weather. Although that can cause major problems, it's just one factor. A major cause of failure is corrosion build up inside the cooling system. Most of the cooling system is metallic. Since coolant is 50% water, this can cause rust to form inside the system. If rust eats through the metal, it makes a hole. Examples of holes in the cooling system can be found in a leaking radiator or heater core. But that's not all...
For most of us, a vehicle inspection is just something that is performed as a courtesy during a service. Most customers accept that it's the normal procedure and usually means a bunch of recommendations that will help you spend more money than you had planned. Many shops use it as a tool to create upsells and increase profitability. Standard business. However, the most important thing it should do is keep us safe.
Safety is more than just seat belts and airbags. It's also more than just keeping you safe. It also means keeping others around you safe. In the above photos, I'm joking about some of the issues, but they really aren't a laughing matter if something fails. It could mean serious injury or death if this persons' "extend-a-rack" falls off into traffic going down the road. My lovely wife, Jennifer, points out that its sad that someone is probably living in that because of whatever events in life that lead them there. While I do have some sympathy, I also have a certain amount of concern for everyone else that is around this vehicle on the road.
While your vehicle may not be to that extreme, it's important to take warnings about the brakes, steering or suspension seriously. As we rocket down the road in our cars, we tend to feel like we are pretty safe. We text, make phone calls, adjust our seats and radios, eat, yell at our kids and do pretty much everything but focus on the road. That's because we assume we are safe. Unfortunately, emergency responders can tell a different story. The gruesome truth is that when a part fails at high speeds, a lot of bad things can happen.
So the next time you get a inspection report and you groan at the thought of the cost, consider the price of your life and those around you. Pass on the recommended flushes if you want, but take the steering, brakes and suspension seriously. We will all live a little better for it. And....Live Long and Prosper!!
(Oh yes, I did! A little shout out to Nimoy. RIP)
Timing is critical in so many things in life. The right time to buy, the right time to sell and timing traffic lights to hit all green. These are the common timing issues we face. What we may not think about is how important timing is to our engines. Technically, it is life and death for the the engine. If timing is wrong, the engine fails. The engine has to suck in air, add fuel, place it in the correct cylinder, close the cylinder, spark only under compression, and breathe out the waste air, all in the blink of an eye. If any one of those occurs incorrectly, the engine cannot run. Here is what you need to know to keep the timing right in your vehicle.
As part of an oil change service, every customer expects that the shop technician takes the time to properly inspect the key points of the engine, like the air intake system. After all, if the air intake is restricted or fouled, it affects how the vehicle runs. When a shop is all done, we hope the vehicle will run better than before.
However, because oil changes aren't a highly profitable service for most shops, and they usually assign entry level, low pay techs to the jobs, often the simple things get missed because of a lack of knowledge or a lack of desire. I have found many air filters and cabin air filters that weren't checked because it was a challenge. I took some pictures and will explain as I go.
Hello again, my friends! We hope that everyone has enjoyed the holidays. Our season was a little light on snow in spite of the early surprise in November. I don't think any of us are really complaining.
As we look forward to the new year, we endeavor to make new relationships with local businesses to help provide an easier and more convenient maintenance experience. We know that what we offer is so unique, that it will require time and patience to develop. Our goal is to provide the easiest oil change experience to everyone in our community. We believe that once people experience the simple convenience of our service, they will never want to go back to doing it the old way. Unless they really like to stand in waiting rooms at service shops. If you do, then we definitely aren't for you.
Closing 2014, we felt that it was a pretty good year for a new business. We want to thank everyone of our friends and customers for their contributions. We hope that we have brought them a very positive service experience, and we look for many years to come. Thank you!
Well, it's that time of year again where we express our thankfulness at the bounty in our lives by indulging in all kinds of wonderful food. At least, those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to.
Jennifer and I would like to express our thanks to our customers, friends and family that have been so supportive in the growth of our business. We have cleared the one year landmark, and learned a lot from it. There were times we weren't sure we would make it a year. Bounty wasn't in our vocabulary at that time. And while we still wouldn't describe our present position as "bountiful", we certainly can see positive growth and great support from our customers.
Hello everyone! I would like to share a story about a car overheating. In most cases, thermostats and radiators are the cause of the problem. But every now and then, something deeper causes it and it's not the first thing you think of. Let me share this story with you...
Erik and Jennifer are the owner/operators of Mobile Service Pros. We enjoy working with our customers and community.