Lakeside Living Back To School: 2019 Edition
So long summer; hello back to school!
I hope you’ve all had a great summer! Now it’s time to turn our attention to back-to-school season. For many families, that means a new schedule filled with all kinds of activities, sports, band, field trips, carpools, and a long list of other things that are associated with returning to school, including going off to college. With all the local–and perhaps long-distance–driving you’ll be doing, there are some things that you can do with your vehicle that will help safeguard your travels. We’ve had some scorching hot days, but it doesn’t mean it’s over just yet. The summer heat can be brutal for your vehicle. Careful inspection and replacement of worn components can head off trouble down the road. Basic vehicle maintenance items can’t be overlooked, especially after this summer. The following items deserve inspection and service.
Cooling system. If you’ve been putting off doing cooling system service, now would be a great time to get it done. The liquid that goes into your radiator has double duty helping to cool the engine in the summer and protect it from freezing in the winter, hence the name coolant & antifreeze. Hoses and drive belts must survive in a harsh environment and need to be checked for wear and deterioration. A failed hose can lead to rapid loss of coolant, and potential overheating. Drive belts can also fail due to wear, potentially causing overheating, loss of power steering assist or loss of air conditioning.
Battery, electrical system. When we think of batteries that become weak or die, we think in terms of cold winter weather. In fact, heat is unfriendly to batteries and we see the need for battery replacement just as often during the summer months as we do during the cold of winter. Battery testing reveals if a battery is getting weak before it actually fails.
Tires, tire balance. Tires literally keep you rolling, and must be inspected for abnormal wear, damage, cuts or punctures that may or may not result in a leak. Tire wear can be affected by tire pressure, wheel alignment, and driving habits. There is a common misconception that if the vehicle has a vibration, say at highway speeds, that can be felt in the steering wheel or seat, an alignment is in order. Not necessarily so. Typically, a vibration is caused by a tire or balance issue, not an alignment.
Wheel alignment, sometimes referred to as tracking, is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of wheels to manufacturer specifications. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tire wear, and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true (without "pulling" to one side).A critical rapid wear alignment angle is called toe adjustment. This is the inward or outward angle of the tires, much like your feet (toe out; toe in). If the toe angle is out of specification by even an 1/8”, it’s equivalent to dragging the tire sideways down the road 28 feet!
Additionally, an increasing number of modern vehicles have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and traction control. These systems can be affected by mechanical alignment adjustments and has led many manufacturers to require electronic resets for these systems after a mechanical alignment is performed.
Wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of wheels to manufacturer specifications to reduce tire wear. A critical rapid wear alignment angle is called toe adjustment. This is the inward or outward angle of the tires, much like your feet (toe out; toe in). If the toe angle is out of specification by even an 1/8”, it’s equivalent to dragging the tire sideways down the road 28 feet per mile! Also regarding your alignment: a growing number of later-model vehicles have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and traction control. These systems can be affected by the alignment adjustments therefore many manufacturers require an electronic reset for these systems after an alignment is performed. We’ll know if your vehicle requires a reset and advise you.
Christian Brothers Automotive Mooresville is always here to help with any service or repair your vehicle requires. From our 3-year, 36,000-mile Nice Difference Warranty that expires at whatever limit occurs last, to our new vehicle pick-up and drop-off system, we’ve got your auto care needs covered. Call us today at 704.448.0770 to make an appointment for our complimentary courtesy inspection!
Doug Vidler, owner
Christian Brothers Automotive