Articles:

Diagnostic Service

Imagine waking up one morning with a stomachache.  You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache.  How much will it cost to make me feel better?”  Of course, you wouldn’t do that.  You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions, and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options. This same scenario plays every day at auto repair facilities.  When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the vehicle will need to undergo a diagnostic process.  The typical vehicle has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring.  Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time.  The most experienced technicians at the shop are the ones that tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs.  Once they have ... read more

Lighthouse Automotive Inc Takes Care of Your Vehicle's Suspension

After many years and tens of thousands of miles Wanchese vehicles' suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Wanchese. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth NC highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads in NC. In addition to just wearing out, vehicle suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in a bumpy Wanchese road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle's manufacturer recommends periodic inspections. During an inspection, your friendly and knowledgeable Lighthouse Automotive Inc service advisor will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Signs for Wanchese residents that shocks or struts are wearing out: the vehicle tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing ... read more

The Test Your Vehicle Can Fail (Emissions Tests)

Clean air quality is something that helps all of us thrive here on Planet Earth.  And considering that motor vehicles are a contributor to air pollution, emissions tests in the U.S. and Canada are in place to keep vehicles from needlessly spewing dangerous gases into the air.  While laws vary from place to place, the goal of an emissions test is the same: to make sure toxic gases are kept at a minimum. They often measure nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and hydrocarbons.  Fail the test, and you may not be allowed to drive that vehicle on the road until it's rectified. Keeping your vehicle maintained is the best way to make sure you can pass an emissions test.  Here are a few things that could be wrong with your vehicle that might result in it failing that emissions test. The mixture of fuel and air in your engine is heavy on the fuel.  That can cause issues with the catalytic converter that is intended to keep emissions to a minim ... read more

Better Service, Better Fuel Economy in Wanchese!

Maintaining your car or truck will make it more efficient.  It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel:  And you save money. To help organize our discussion, let’s think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. Friction.  Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the engine.  It must work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel.  The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil.  Low oil means there’s not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there’s more friction.  The wrong viscosity and grade of oil can also adversely affect fuel economy.  Dirty oil won’t lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid.  Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule will reduce friction and save money.  Consider upgrading to synthetic oils in your dif ... read more

Light into Darkness (Vehicle Lighting)

You need to be able to see at night and have other vehicles see you as well.  Spend a few minutes to check and make sure all your vehicle's outside lights are working.  It might help to have a friend assist you since there are a few bulbs to check that are much easier to do with two people. With the vehicle running (and the parking brake applied), walk around to make sure no bulbs are burned out.  That means headlights (both high- and low-beams), side lights, fog lights, taillights, and brake lights.  Also, test each turn signal and make sure they are blinking properly, both front and rear. Try the emergency flashers, too. Don't forget about the backup lights.  Have your friend put the vehicle in reverse and see if they are working and clean (don’t stand directly behind the vehicle, just in case).  You don't want to be blind when you're backing up at night, so all backup lamps should be lit. With rear view cameras now very common, b ... read more

Alignment

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Wanchese area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that you won't notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around when you're out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out faster because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, it ... read more

What's Shakin' with my Brakin'? ~ Brake Rotor Service

If you feel your vehicle vibrating when you’re braking, or if you don't stop in as short a distance as you used to, it may be time to have your brakes checked. All newer vehicles have disc brakes in the front, and more manufacturers are using disc brakes all around (instead of an older technology called drum brakes), so there's a pretty good chance at some point you'll find yourself facing a disc brake repair when yours begin to wear out. Before we go any farther, here's how disc brakes work.  If you've ever had a bicycle with hand brakes, you know there is a caliper that pushes pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you squeeze the brake handle.  Disc brakes are similar, but there's a metal disc (called a brake rotor) there instead of the bike wheel's rim. In disc brakes, the vibration you feel when you are stopping is often because the surface of the rotor is not flat, or the rotors have an uneven thickness. Sometimes, the rotors ca ... read more

Categories:

Brakes & Rotors

Tags:

brakes , rotors
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