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Oil changes: When and why are they needed?

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Car costs can add up.

Maintaining your vehicle through regular oil changes is one way you can prevent engine damage — and essentially — cut down on future spending.

Some cars burn oil overtime. If a vehicle doesn’t run on the correct amount of oil, the oil won’t be able to lubricate engine components. Items actuated by oil pressure also won’t work as efficiently. 

We suggest having it replaced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. 

Different oil change options are available.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire used to carry multiple oil types, such as regular oil and semi-synthetic oil. 

Last year, we switched to full synthetic oil, which has lowered the cost of synthetic oil for oil changes.

Synthetic oil helps extend the lifespan of engines that normally operate on regular or semi-synthetic oil.

We also offer Mobil 1, an oil option that is used in various cars, including BMWs and Mercedes.

In addition to changing the oil and oil filter, we also perform a tire rotation and conduct a courtesy check during an oil change.  When doing a courtesy inspection, we look over parts of the car, such as the lights and brakes.

Our technicians can write notes about the car in a digital inspection.

The inspection report, which also provides information about the car and recommendations, can be accessed by our customers via email or text.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Servicing vehicles with driver assist

In Alignment, Maintenance, Safetyby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Today, many vehicles use Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS).

For the automotive field, servicing vehicles with driver assist has started to become a challenge, even when it comes to regular maintenance.

Parts of the ADAS system can include: adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, pedestrian detection, collision avoidance, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, cross traffic alert, surround view, blind spot detection, park assist, rear collision warning, and rear park assist/back up park assist with surround view.

Some of the things that work with the sensors are: long range radars, LIDAR, cameras, short-medium range radars, and ultrasound.

Driver Assist

Depending on the vehicle, there are different levels of ADAS system resets — some of them are passive, some are hard resets where you have to use targets.

Some vehicles have different radar set ups and blind spot detection, which require different targets on certain vehicles, and they can be kind of tricky to reset.

Replacing a windshield with the incorrect kind of windshield may not allow the ADAS system to work correctly.

Even body shops putting metallic paint on a car can impact the sensors located on the front bumper.

An ADAS system reset may also be needed after a wheel alignment or if technicians remove the bumper to replace the timing belt.

Another challenge is that a lot of people don’t know that a reset is needed. There’s no direct warning light for ADAS, unless you have a driver’s information center.

So, you could be driving the car and not know the system isn’t set up correctly to help you in an emergency situation. 

In extreme conditions of the ADAS system not working correctly, the car may try to compensate for your regular driving.

So, if your vehicle has an ADAS system and you bring it to a repair shop, you may want to ask them if the work will affect your driving assist system. That way you can make sure that it does get reset.

What we see is a lot of people in the industry don’t even know that they’re supposed to do it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has invested in the complete ADAS system — everything from Fords, Chevys, Subarus, Mercedes, BMWs. We even can do the camera systems and the targeted systems.

It’s quite an investment, but we know that we need to make sure that we’re fixing these cars correctly, and we’re keeping your family safe on the road.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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New differential housing needed after lack of maintenance

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A Chevy Tahoe is in need of a new differential housing.

The driver of the vehicle heard a grinding sound and decided to have it checked out.

Its differential gear lube was too low and the vehicle hadn’t been checked over a long period of time.

There wasn’t enough fluid to push up to the pinion bearing, which seized up on the pinion shaft and began to spin in the differential housing.

The pinion bearing also started hitting the carrier of the ring and pinion, which move the axles of the rear differential tires.

Having your vehicle checked regularly can prevent this issue and many others from occurring.

It can also save you money by addressing minor problems early on.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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When to replace a serpentine belt

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The serpentine belt is a belt that goes around all of the engine accessories, including the power steering pump, air compressor and alternator.

Because the serpentine belt helps run these components, it’s important to have it checked regularly.

Manufacturers have recommendations for how often a vehicle’s belt should be replaced. 

Typically, they last about 100,000 miles, depending on the quality of the belt, the usage of the vehicle, and the environment that it’s in. 

You need to check not only the belt but the serpentine belt tensioner. Not enough pressure on the belt can cause it to wear, and the ribs can wear down on the belt and can actually start to slip.

Another factor is the serpentine belts can start to crack. If you start to get too many cracks per inch, then it’s definitely time to change the belt, no matter what the mileage is.

If you live near the ocean, where there’s a lot of salt in the air, the belts may only last 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Power steering pumps in Toyotas

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The power steering pump on a Toyota can produce a few thousand PSI of pressure, depending on the required load. 

The pump pushes the fluid through the hoses to the power steering rack and pinion, which is connected to the steering knuckles that move the steering wheel left or right.

As with any part on a vehicle, over time components can leak.

If you start to hear a whining noise while you’re turning the wheel, you should check your power steering fluids. This could mean that there’s a leak in your hoses, rack or pump.

Doing proper maintenance on your power steering system, such as changing the fluid every 30,000 miles, will help prolong the lifespan of the components and can reduce the cost of replacing power steering parts.

With today’s vehicles being as high-tech as they are, you must use the correct type of power steering fluid. Otherwise, you could do damage to the system.

One of the things that Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire does while doing an oil change is look over systems like these to let you know about any existing problems.

If the system runs out of fluid or the power steering pump stops working, it can be hard to turn the steering wheel.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.