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How complicated is a BMW alignment?

In Alignment, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Potholes, curbs and normal wear and tear can throw off your wheel alignment. Overtime, they can also cause abnormal tire wear, which will shorten the life expectancy of your tires.

Here are a few signs that your BMW needs a wheel alignment:

  • Your vehicle is pulling to one side
  • You notice abnormal tire wear
  • If your Automatic Driver Assist System (ADAS) is engaging when it’s not supposed to 
  • Your steering wheel isn’t centered

When performing a BMW alignment, you need to make sure that the auto repair shop has qualified automotive technicians, up-to-date wheel alignment machines, and current software to give your vehicle the best alignment.

On today’s complicated vehicles, one thing that often gets missed is recallibrating the steering angle sensor after performing a wheel alignment. This can affect steering, handling and braking.

Another thing to be aware of is to make sure that you may need to recalibrate the ADAS, which includes lane assist and vehicle avoidance systems. With all of the electronic systems tied together to make sure that everything is safe, a simple tire alignment isn’t so simple anymore.

Discount alignments are not always the best, as you may not have a knowledgeable mechanic working on your vehicle that would know about these systems. Setting the toe and letting it go is not a good alignment.

On many BMW models, there may not be an adjustment for camber and toe, but there are aftermarket parts that can be installed that will bring the alignment into specification. This will help your tires last a long time and allow your vehicle to provide the best handling.

Even when a BMW is new, they are set up to basic specs, but may not have an accurate alignment. After that, it’s recommended that when you get new tires — or every 30,000 miles — you should get your BMW alignment checked. If you live in the Northern Virginia area, your alignment should be checked once a year.

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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Is my radiator coolant leaking?

In Uncategorizedby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

There are many parts that keep an engine running properly.

Radiators prevent them from overheating. 

Coolant flows through the radiator. As the air goes through it, that’s what cools the engine coolant as it flows back to the engine.

There are cooling fans that come on to pull air through the radiator to keep the air flow coming across the radiator. 

Some fans are belt driven while others are electric. The computer of vehicles with electric fans turn them on and off.

When the engine needs to heat up during colder weather, the computer will prevent the fan from turning on. In warmer months, the fan operates at a faster speed. 

The radiators of some vehicles never need to be replaced.

Newer cars may need a new one if the plastic and metal components that are fused together don’t seal properly. As temperatures decrease outside, any cracks in the radiator are going to become worse.

Old Radiator

Drips near a vehicle’s bumper and the smell of coolant are a couple of signs that you need a new radiator.

If you swell something sweet when you get out of the car after driving it for a while, you probably have a coolant leak. 

Every 30,000 miles, depending on the vehicle, it’s a good idea to have a coolant exchange or a coolant flush — which is when coolant is drained from the system and replaced with new coolant. 

We use the correct coolant for a vehicle. Even though the green coolant is pretty universal, not all vehicles work the best with it. Some European vehicles and Diesels use a different type of coolant. 

Sometimes, you might seen Asian vehicles, such as Toyotas, with red coolant. Dye isn’t the only component that changes the coolant color. The type of antifreeze that helps protect the type of metal they use. 

Getting a coolant flush or coolant exchange with a coupon may damage your car, unless the correct coolant is being used, like it is at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

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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Cooling systems on a BMW engine

In Cooling Systemby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Checking a BMW 650i Twin Turbo for a coolant leak or an engine overheating problem is a little more complicated than other vehicles.

They have a very tight engine compartment with lots of components close together, making access limited.

There are two cooling systems on the BMW 650i Twin Turbo, so if you’re checking one, you want to make sure you’re checking the correct one or both of them.

On this particular vehicle, the small coolant hoses to the turbos is a common place where they leak engine coolant.

The parts from the dealer come with metal tubes that run down to the turbos, and that can be an 8 hour job.

Sometimes, you can get away with just replacing the rubber hoses that are visible on the top of the engine.

The BMW 650i Twin Turbo even has coolant hoses going to the injector drivers — which is an electronic component — and there are two under the hood.

So, if your BMW does have a coolant leak or the engine is overheating, you do need to get a proper pressure test, and this could take a little bit of time to find the leak.

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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Speed signs remind drivers to slow down

In Community Involvementby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Of course this video was meant to be silly.

However, there is an issue with people speeding through neighborhoods, especially those that connect with the Prince William Parkway, Route 234, Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road.

The speed warning sign, like the one here on Hillendale Road, may not stop people from speeding. But it is a good reminder if you’re coming into a neighborhood from one of those major roads to lower your speed.

Ever since the signs were put up, you can tell that traffic is a bit more controlled. I’ve been coming down this road for 20 years, and once those signs went up, it was a nice reminder for me to keep my speed down — as it is for many other drivers.

Fortunately, Supervisor Victor Angry has taken this issue to heart, and he has talked with us about his plan to bring traffic calming devices to the neighborhoods of the Neabsco District. He believes the devices will help improve safety for members of the community, especially the kids.

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.