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Air conditioning repair performed on Chevy Silverado

In Cooling Systemby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

New parts have been installed on a Chevy Silverado.

One of our technicians replaced the vehicle’s thermostat.

The thermostat starts off closed. As the engine warms up, it opens, enabling coolant to flow through the radiator.

Thermostat

We also changed the condenser and drier, which are parts of the air conditioning system.

In the A/C system, refrigerant flows as a gas on one side and as a liquid on the other side.

The air conditioning compressor pushes the refrigerant through the system to the air conditioning condenser. 

It becomes a liquid as the air conditioning fan blows on the condenser.

The drier is responsible for taking moisture out of the system.

air conditioning repair
New drier and old drier

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire provides air conditioning repair. We also have a new air conditioning machine for 1234yf.

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 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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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.

Challenges you can face when off-roading in your Jeep & how to be prepared

In Battery, Cabin Air Filter, Cooling System, Fuel System, Maintenanceby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Jeep

Jeep overheating problem water pump

If you own a Jeep and enjoy off-roading, then make sure your vehicle is prepared.

Jeep running problem after going through water getting into air intake

“Driving Jeep Wranglers, or any kind of Jeep is fun – especially going off-roading – but one of the things that you have to be aware of is where the air intake is on a lot of these Jeeps,” said Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley.

According to Billingsley, most intake systems are behind the right headlight of the Jeep, and this can be the source of some issues after your off-roading trip.

“So, as you’re driving through a creek, or going through a pond or something like that, and the water starts coming up over that hood, well you know you have a chance of getting that water sucked up in the intake, and if the water goes through too much it can actually damage the engine,” said Billingsley.

Jeep water and mud soaks the air filter causing rough running

You could also see a reduction in your vehicle’s power because the air filter is wet or has mud in it, or it has impacted the connectors to the car’s computer system.

“The computer on that is actually bolted right on the firewall, right next to the battery, so it’s another place that gets a lot of water and mud,” said Billingsley.

Other issues include water and mud on the ignition coils, and overheating with your radiator, as the fans struggle and can’t get air through the radiator, because of mud and water that is stuck. Your water pump can also suffer through similar struggles.

While it may sound bleak, there are things you can do to prepare your Jeep for off-roading, and hopefully prevent some of the issues you could run into.

Jeep battery electrical issues after water damage off roading

“If you are going through creeks or are off-roading, where you can get a lot of dirt and mud inside your vehicle, you want to pay attention to the radiator and wash it out. Also, if you’re going to be going through deep water, you may want to get an air intake relocation kit – you can run a tube up that runs out to the top of the windshield so it gives it an air intake, like a snorkel,” said Billingsley.

Is your car ready for the summer?

In Brakes, Cooling System, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheelsby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The sun is shining, and it’s almost time for summer. While the summer offers plenty of fun and great weather, it also comes with summertime traffic, and the gridlock and bumper-to-bumper with the Washington, D.C. commute and beach traffic.

Keeping that traffic in mind, you’re going to want to make sure that your car is prepared. Here are some things you should check, to see if your car is ready for the summer.

Make sure your car or trucks air conditioning works good for the summer months

Make sure your car or trucks air conditioning works good for the summer months

Is your A/C blowing cold?

With your heat blasting during the winter months, chances are that you haven’t needed to use the air conditioning – which means that you may be unaware of potential problems with your A/C system. Nothing is worse than trying to head out for a long car ride – or even your morning commute – and realizing that your A/C is blowing hot. If you’ve noticed that your A/C system is blowing warmer than it normally would, it’s good to bring it in and see if there are any leaks, and get replacement or repair done before the thermostat really starts to rise.

Are your brakes ready for stop-and-go?

Is your car ready for the summer?

Front brake pads and rotors need to be checked to ensure proper vehicle braking

We all know that when you live in this area, there are bound to be traffic jams, regardless of the time of year. But with the summer, and all of the vacation and beach traffic in Northern Virginia, bumper-to-bumper can be a real challenge if you’re brakes aren’t in good shape. Having quality brakes that aren’t worn down can make a huge difference in your vehicle’s stopping time, and can be the difference between a hard stop and a fender bender. For our customers we recommend that they change out their brake pads when they’re worn down below 4/32nds.

Make sure you’re cooling system is doing its job.

Is your car ready for the summer?

Make sure your engine cooling system is working properly

When’s the last time you had your cooling system serviced or checked? The cooling system in your vehicle – different from the car’s air conditioning – is important, and needs to be checked on regularly. The cooling system uses a radiator, water pump, and a cooling fan to help create circulation in your car’s engine, allowing it to release heat so that your engine doesn’t become overheated. Especially as the weather gets warmer, all of that heat outside can take a toll on your car’s engine if you don’t care for it properly. Make sure that you’re getting the coolant fluids topped off, and that you’re getting cooling system flushes this summer, to keep from dealing with an overheated engine.

Are your tires worn down?

Is your car ready for the summer?

Make sure your tires are safe, with Goodyear tires

Whether you’ve got winter tires on your vehicle, or you’ve been riding on your all-seasons for a while, you need to be thinking about the condition of your tires as the summer approaches. Just like brakes, the condition of your tires makes a huge difference in your stopping time and speed, as well as the comfort and handling of your drive. At Steve’s we recommend that customers consider replacing their brakes when they’re down below 4/32nds. Especially with all of the bumper-to-bumper traffic ahead, it’s good to make sure that your tires are in excellent condition for the summer.