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Having the timing belt replacement done right can save you money

In Maintenance by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

When having work done on your vehicle, cutting corners can lead to costly mistakes.

The driver of a 2011 Volvo learned this after bringing his car into Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

They expressed concerns about a moaning or clunking sound the car made when traveling at 25 miles per hour. The sound would go away a little when the vehicle accelerated.

While working on the vehicle, the technician discovered that a couple of camshaft seals were leaking oil on the timing belt and serpentine belt.

Surrounding the pulleys, a timing belt makes sure that the timing of the crankshaft and camshaft is correct. The serpentine belt runs the power steering and the alternator.

Both belts and the camshaft seals needed to be replaced.

Correct way to perform timing belt replacement

How often you should replace the timing belt depends on the vehicle and manufacturer’s recommendations. Some timing belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles and others need to be changed every 100,000 miles.

When performing a timing belt replacement, it’s important to replace the camshaft seals at the same time.

Some auto shops will choose to do the work for a cheaper price and won’t install new seals.

This can lead to massive oil leaks and disintegration parts. It also means that the customer needs to pay for new parts and have the work done all over again.

Cheap doesn’t always equal good. Doing the job right using good, high quality parts will save you in the long run by preventing you from doing the job over or breaking down on the side of 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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How can you see what’s wrong with your car while it’s at the repair shop?

In Inspection by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A few months ago, Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire began using digital vehicle health inspections.

Through the digital inspections, our technicians are able to write notes and upload photos about vehicles. Our customers are then able to see them in an inspection report they can access through their email or texts.

The inspection reports include information about the vehicle, diagnosis and tests, and recommendations.

Depending on the problem, we have a section that explains the purpose of certain components. For example, if there’s a power steering issue, we can add in a video that explains what power steering does.

Switching to digital inspections

Before going to the digital inspections, the technicians would fill out a courtesy check sheet and check some items that would fall under the Virginia Safety Inspection.

We decided to change our process, because the digital inspection allows us to take pictures and videos if something is wrong. We’re then able to send it to the customer, so they can see exactly what we’re talking about.

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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Reasons why a car won’t start

In Diagnostics by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

You get into your vehicle, and the interior lights come on. You put your key in the ignition, and the dashboard lights up. You turn your key a little further, but it won’t turn on. 

There are many reasons why a car won’t start.

Here are a few of them:

  1. Dead battery: It could be a problem with your battery. You may have enough battery to turn some things on, but you don’t have enough to turn your car on. Battery failure can occur for several reasons.
  2. Starter: If you turn the ignition or press the ignition start button, and you hear it click but nothing happens, it may be a sign that your starter or starter solenoid is bad. Other symptoms are covered in this article.
  3. Fuel system problem: Your vehicle may not turn on if it has a fuel system problem. It could be anything from a clogged fuel filter, a fuel pump not working, or even the fuel tank being empty of gas. Even if the fuel gauge reads that you have fuel, it may be reading incorrectly.
  4. Transmission sensor: Some vehicles may experience a no-start condition, because of the neutral safety switch that’s in the transmission. It could be bad or a gear shifter problem that’s not aligning correctly on what some people refer to as the PRNDL. You may want to make sure it’s in park or neutral before starting the car. 
  5. Anti-theft system: Another reason a vehicle may not start is if the anti-theft system is activated. Even though you use the key for the car, it can actually cause the vehicle to not start. One indication of this is if the security light is flashing while the ignition is on. Also, most keys have some type of chip or transmitter that the car receives, and it’s not uncommon for them to go bad.

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 your hub bearing going bad?

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

A hub bearing is a large assembly typically used on four-wheel and front-wheel vehicles.

It takes the place of what used to be called “wheel bearings.”

A wheel hub gets pressed into hub bearings, with the axle running through them.

A lot of times, the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is built into the hub bearings. This allows the computer to determine how fast each wheel is spinning.

Bad hub bearing causes and signs

Hub bearings can wear out over time, and driving conditions can impact their lifespan. For example, if you hit a lot of potholes, the wheel wearing can wear out more quickly.

If the hub bearing has gone bad, you will usually hear a roaring sound.

When giving quotes to our customers, we usually give the price for a hub bearing as well as a hub, because there are some things you can’t predict. We would rather plan for the worst and hope for the best.

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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All season Goodyear tires for winter

In Tires and Wheels by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It’s important for drivers to have peace of mind, despite the weather’s plans.

Winter in Northern Virginia can vary – you may see snow and ice one week, and it could be cold and rainy the next. Drivers in this area need a set of tires that they can rely on through the forecast changes.

Goodyear produces several tires that work well throughout the year, even when winter weather makes its appearance.

Some all season Goodyear tires we recommend

Automobiles on the road today have different needs and purposes. With there being so many tire options available, it can be a bit overwhelming when you’re trying to make the right choice for your vehicle.

To help simplify the process, we thought we’d narrow it down to a few possibilities.

Here are some all season Goodyear tires we suggest you consider:

  • Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire
  • Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire
  • Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire

We describe features of each tire below.

Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire

Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire.

Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire

The Goodyear Assurance All-Season Tire is dependable in all types of conditions – rain, snow and sunny days. 

Thanks to biting edges found around the tire, it provides grip year-round. There are also wide grooves that evacuate water and slash, reducing the possibility of hydroplaning.

This feature also comes with large shoulder blocks that enable motorists to maintain control, whether the roads are dry or slick.

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire.

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire

Another great option is the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire.

Directed to seasonal changes, this severe snow certified tire provides great traction on rainy and snowy days. Its treadblock blades lock together as motorists travel around corners. The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tire can push precipitation away, as well.

This all season tire features soy-based rubber compound with silica, which helps keep it pliable when the temperatures drop.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire.

Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire

We also recommend the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire, a solid pick for commuting and adventures. 

It can stay in contact with the road – even windy ones – due to sipes of various sizes and angles. This tire offers four wide grooves that decrease the likelihood of a driver sliding on wet surfaces. 

The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season Tire doesn’t just do well when it’s raining, however. Its traction can be trusted in snow and ice, too.

A winter tire option

Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire. Photo courtesy of Goodyear Tire.

There are plenty of other all season Goodyear tires we could talk about, but we’d like to mention a winter tire for those interested in purchasing them.

The Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tire is a trustworthy option that brings quite a few perks during the colder months. 

Biting edges provide winter traction in snowy and icy conditions. Meanwhile, wide grooves push away slush and snow. 

Stopping when it’s slippery isn’t a problem for this Goodyear Tire. Its stopping distance is 6 feet shorter in the snow, on average, than a leading competitor. 

All season tires tend to be the popular choice, but some BMW and Mercedes owners have a set of winter tires. When winter arrives, they swap out the tires and rims they use during the rest of the year.

Winter tires are also needed by those living in places further north and see more winter weather.

No matter what kind of tires you go with – all season tires or winter tires – Goodyear has a wide selection. The tire producer also owns Kelly Tires and Dunlop Tires, so there are many options to choose from.

Steve’s Auto Repair performs state inspections and emission tests. Our Woodbridge mechanics also perform digital vehicle inspections as part of our oil change process.