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New air conditioning machine now being used at Steve’s Auto Repair

In Cooling Systemby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Are you having car air conditioning problems?

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has you covered.

We have purchased a new air conditioning machine for refrigerant 1234yf, or R-1234yf.

R-12 was previously used in older vehicles. It switched to R-134 around 1995 to 1996. A couple of years ago, automotive manufacturers began transitioning to R-1234yf. All of these changes have been put in place to help the environment. 

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) for R-134 is 1,430, while the R-1234yf GWP is 4, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, R-1234yf doesn’t diminish the ozone layer and it has a much lower effect on Earth’s climate.

When checking for leaks after repairing a R-1234yf air conditioning system, we use a dedicated electronic leak detector and put an inert gas in the system to check for leaks before adding refrigerant, or Freon. Specialized tools are used to make sure the repair is done correctly, especially since the R-1234yf is very expensive.

With our R-1234yf machine, we have the ability to do pre checks and post checks — not only for a functional test and pressure test, but a vent temperature check before and after repair. This is part of our digital inspection that we send to our customers by email and text.

Special oil is required for R-1234yf air conditioning systems. We don’t want any cross-contamination from oil or freon from R-134 to R-1234yf systems. If there is, it can actually ruin the compressor very quickly. That’s why we chose to get a seperate machine, as opposed to a dual machine.

If there is R-1234yf in the air conditioning system, the machine will take out R-1234yf so it doesn’t get released into the air.

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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Why shocks and struts are needed

In Shocks and Strutsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Every time your car hits a bump or a dip, it bounces.

Shocks and struts, which are part of the suspension, prevent it from continuing to do that as it travels down the road.

While working on a 2000 BMW, Brian noticed wetness around the shock and realized the shocks and struts were original to the car.

Rust had also built up on the shock.

The shocks and struts set up for each vehicle varies. 

Most have a strut assembly — which is a shock and a spring combined — in the front. A lot of cars can have a strut or just a shock separately in the back.

The assembly connects to the car and the front wheels. The part that links with the wheels must be able to pivot as you turn.

There are a few signs you may notice when the shocks and struts need to be replaced.

They include a car making squeaking sounds or irregular tire wear patterns.

Another reason why you should replace your shocks and struts is it helps keep the tires in contact with the road, especially during an emergency situation when you want to have as much traction and control of the vehicle as possible.

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 get wheel alignments

In Alignmentby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

There are many tasks that we need to do regularly: go to the grocery store, exercise, do laundry …

And while we may not enjoy all of these activities, we realize that they’re important.

The same goes for wheel alignments.

Also called “tire alignments”, wheel alignments prevent premature wear in your car’s tires.

They should be performed once a year, or whenever you purchase new tires or steering suspension parts.

An alignment can be thrown off by potholes, curbs and suspension wear.

You may notice some symptoms when you need one, such as a crooked steering wheel, uneven tire wear, or the car pulling to one side.

There are two different types of alignments — a four-wheel alignment is required for most vehicles, and a two-wheel alignment is used on most pickup trucks.

When doing an alignment, our technicians check the tires and take the car for a test drive.

Sometimes, a bad tire can cause a vehicle to pull and be mistaken for needing a wheel alignment.

Then, the vehicle is placed on a rack and clamps are secured to the tires.

We check different specifications, including caster, camber and toe.

Wheel alignments
Wheel Alignment Specifications

Caster refers to how wheels are angled forward or backward, and camber is how they go in or out. Toe is the term used to explain how far to the left or right the wheels are from the car’s center.

If the car uses driver assist, an Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) system reset may be needed after the alignment is complete.

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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How a cheap tire may affect the safety of your car

In Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

When purchasing new tires, many drivers choose to focus on the price.

You may be able to buy a cheap tire that’s technically the correct size for your car for $99. 

But just because a tire is round and the right size, doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your car.

There are several factors you should keep in mind when getting new tires. The speed rating is one of them.

Tire speed ratings refer to the maximum speed of tires. It can depend on the type of automobile, and what you’re using it for.

For example, sports cars typically have a higher maximum speed, while off-road trucks have a lower one.

Improved grip and power when stopping can be found in tires with a higher speed rating. However, the treadlife is normally lower.

Traction control and the anti-lock brake system (ABS) are two other factors you should consider when buying new tires.

Your car’s anti-lock brake system allows you to maintain steering control by preventing your brakes from locking up during an emergency.

This is applied by traction control, which watches for any tires that are slipping.

Tires are manufactured with traction control and ABS specifications. 

The vehicle manufacturers choose a tire with certain design characteristics that work with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) they have designed.

When the manufacturers build the vehicle, part of the plan is how fast the car stops. If you put on a cheaper tire, the ADAS system may still work but it might not stop as quickly as it was originally designed.

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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Installing a new starter on a Honda Pilot

In Uncategorizedby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Is your car refusing to turn over?

It could mean that you need a new starter.

Other signs include a clicking sound when you try start a vehicle and a slight grinding sound.

Bolted into the transmission housing, the starter has a gear that turns the flywheel. The flywheel is responsible for turning the engine over.

A new starter was installed in a 2005 Honda Pilot.

First, the battery was tested. When the technician found that the battery was good, he checked the starter and found it wasn’t working properly.

To get to this component, the technician needed to remove the battery, the tray the battery sits on, and the wires connected to the starter.

A jump box was used to bench test the new and older starters. Through this process, he was able to compare their power.

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.