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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. 

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Does your BMW have an update for the oil filter housing?

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A common problem on some BMW engines is the oil filter housing may leak.

This can occur when the original, plastic housing warps and cracks.

Automotive technicians are able to replace it with updated housing that’s made out of aluminum.

There can be many places on a BMW engine that leaks oil.

If a lot of oil is covering the engine, it could be difficult to determine where the leak is coming from.

One of the first places to start is to degrease the engine and then add an ultraviolet dye that’s compatible with the engine oil. Then, run the engine and use and ultraviolet light to locate the oil leak.

Generally, you can find it in one to two hours. Small leaks, however, may take between one and five days to show up. The vehicle might also need to be driven around and brought back to the automotive center to recheck it.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire services BMW’s. Call today to make an appointment and ask us about our shuttle service.

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 issues can be caused by rusting

In Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Toyotas can be reliable vehicles that last for many years.

However, rust can build up on the components of various automobiles, including Toyota SUVs, forerunners, and Tundras.

This is especially true for those driven near the sea or in areas where large amounts of salt are used to treat the roads.

Individuals driving them may eventually notice that the power steering isn’t working correctly.

When checked, technicians may not find any issues with the power steering pump, the rack and pinion, and the power steering cooler.

“Upon further inspection, you can see that the intermediate steering shaft that contains a universal joint is rusted and is starting to seize up, which is making it feel that the power steering is going bad,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said.

To assist with steering, he explained, the pump and rack and pinion must receive feedback from the steering wheel.

The cause of the problem can be incorrectly identified.

“It can easily be misdiagnosed and that’s why it’s important to go to your professional automotive repair facility with ACE certified technicians,” Whitling said.

Power Steering

Toyota steering shaft

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How drivers can address frost, prepare for winter months

In Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Windshield Wipersby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Drivers are discovering an unwelcome guest in the morning — ice on their vehicle’s windows and windshields.

A few techniques can help speed up the defrosting process.

When preparing for the commute, it’s important to spend a few minutes getting rid of the frost.

“You want to make sure that your windows aren’t frosted up on the side, so you can see that car coming or that kid walking across the street,” Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire Owner Scott Whitling said.

Motorists should let their car run for 1 to 3 minutes before hitting the road.

“It allows heat to start to build up and, if you already have your defroster on, you can go ahead and start defrosting the windshield,” Whitling said.

Pointing outer vents to the side windows can help thaw any ice on them.

Whitling suggests drivers tests certain parts of their vehicle.

“It’s a good time to check your windshield washer fluid and make sure that it’s going to protect down to the correct temperature,” he said.

They should check their rear window defroster, as well.

Electricity runs through the lines on the window to melt frost that has accumulated.

“It can take anywhere between, depending on how powerful the rear defroster is, 1 minute to 5 minutes. So, give it a little bit of time, make sure that it works,” Whitling said. “If not, now’s a good time to get your vehicle in to get it checked out.”

Frost

Frost