Warm weather or cold, you still need to think about our vehicle's air conditioning. Most people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. Vehicle manufacturers have preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as they do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.
How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your owner's manual will have the manufacturer's recommendation and, of course, our service advisor can tell you. It's typically every two years.
A/C If you're not getting enough cool air you know something's wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor, and you should get it checked out. Replacing a bad A/C clutch is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.
Batteries are very sensitive to changes in the weather. Temperature really affects your battery's performance. A batter inspection is an important part of your spring and fall checkups. Our advisors wIll take a look at our battery.
Our service advisor can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or c need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure It fits Into your car. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it's a serious safety hazard if the terminals come int0 contact with other parts of the vehicle
Have us inspect your belts and hoses to make sure there are no leaks! Timing belts keep everything working together - they are tough and flexible, and they last a long time but they do wear out. If they break, the consequences can spell disaster.
The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. When the belt breaks, then the alternator, the water pump (on some vehicles), the air conditioning, the power steering pump - all these systems shut down.
Avoid surprises - ask our service advisor to check on the condition of your belts and hoses!
When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care we all know how important it is to check our brakes. But brakes are more than lust brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.
The pads, shoes, and drums are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction. which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads need to be replaced periodically.
Brake pads gradually wear out. but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction At this point they need to be replaced.
But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and another road spatter. A good brake inspection should include a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Our technician can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.
Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder, this may be just what you've been waiting for. You may be able to drive with more comfort and less worry. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally. Our service advisors can inspect and offer suggestions on replacement.
The Check Engine, or Service Engine light is a warning light. It is warning you that something is wrong. That something could be as simple as a loose gas cap or as important as a condition that may cause expensive damage. When the light comes on, it may burn steadily, or it might flash. A flashing light means that there is something wrong that could lead to severe damage. When that happens, you want to have the car checked by your service center as soon as you can. While it is flashing, it is not recommended that you not tow a taller, haul heavy loads or drive at highway speeds. That kind of driving could lead to damage before you can get in to get your vehicle fixed. A steady check engine light is not as urgent. You still want to get your car in for a diagnostic inspection, but you can work it into your schedule.
Knowing the code is only a starting point to diagnosing the problem. You need a trained technician equipped with the latest high-tech diagnostic equipment to get you back on the road safely and avoid expensive repairs later on. Bring your vehicle to us to have it properly diagnosed!
Our cars must operate in a wide range of outside temperatures and our engine coolant must be able to perform no matter what. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant works. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive...
And all the while, it must protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That's why different manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for their vehicles.
There are several different "families" of anti-freeze. It's important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have. Regular service needs to be done to avoid failures. Our technicians will know what to do and how to do it!
If your engine has overheated, you should also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. You should also check your water pump. They don't need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need to be checked regularly. They can and do wear out.
The water pump is a critical component of your cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. When you turn your engine on, you also turn the cooling system on. Call or stop in today so one of our service professionals can help diagnose the problem.
Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well and keep you out of the repair shop. This means that a regular inspection of your cooling system should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live.
Modern vehicles have computers in the engine that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the check engine light. Technicians at a service center can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.
That's where some people get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don't understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.
Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn't say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. The technician still must find the underlying problem. It's a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn't tell him what is causing your fever.
The best way to cut down on auto repairs is to keep your preventive maintenance up to date so you can catch problems before they become serious. But when you do need a diagnosis, it's helpful to understand what the technician will be up against.
Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what's wrong with a vehicle that isn't running right. But it doesn't do away with the need for a skilled technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care still requires the human touch
Preventive maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.
The costs for car care and repairs are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters cost more and must be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So, if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.
Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level? Or am I getting charged for something bogus?
Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon. A lot of us don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more critical to the operation of your car than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.
A differential allows your tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel must move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow
Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of the repair shop. A smooth ride is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.
When a good technician changes your oil, they will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn't need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your technician's auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It's not expensive, and it makes a big difference to your vehicle.
An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren't there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the engine compartment with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.
It's also one of the least expensive and simplest elements of routine preventive maintenance. No one should have an excuse to drive around with a dirty air filter.
Stop in today for a quick air filter change and keep your car breathing well
Your vehicle's exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your vehicle. Maintaining it is
good auto advice, but it's also good health advice and good environmental advice.
The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of the environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-
tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago.
Preventive maintenance is a must when it comes to your exhaust system, and it requires a trained technician since it includes everything from simple pipes to complex computers. Good maintenance may yield cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety.
Almost everyone has had a flat tire. Even if it's a slow leak, get it fixed quickly don't just keep inflating them. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. You want to avoid serious tire damage. Tires can also be damaged by road hazards. Punctures, cuts and impacts on curbs or potholes can also cause damage that could lead to tire failure. It is also important that repairs should only be done by a qualified tire specialist. If you're running flat - give us a call so we can fix any tire issues you might have!
Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. It's important to always use the right type of fluid for your vehicle. Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it's important to know exactly which one your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty. Ask our service advisor about a fluid inspection on your next visit!
The drive train includes all the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending for all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels.
These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions encountered off-road. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer box, as well as inspection of the joints and seals.
Check with our service advisor about servicing your four wheel drive!
Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and grime out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.
You don't need to filter your fuel because it has lots of grit in it; you need to filter it because it has some grit it's in. Any dirt or bits of grime are bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.
Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your car ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more grit in your fuel.
Call or stop in today to schedule a time for us to service your fuel filter.
Engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your engine where it is squirted-or injected-into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization.
Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.
If you drive off-road, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer, or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.
Installing a lift kit on your vehicle can make room for bigger tires. A mild lift doesn't require extensive work. An extreme lift means a lot of new hardware under the vehicle. It also means a lot of stock electronic systems need to be recalibrated to the new tire size. For example, your speedometer and odometer will give false readings if they aren't recalibrated.
Oil lubricates your engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means more fuel to keep the motor running. This all translates to lower gas mileage. Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also creates friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that drag that reduces your gas mileage. The types of surfaces you drive on, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil. That's why it's important to have regular oil changes!
Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates a hydraulic cylinder that provides steering power.
Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering fluid at all, especially the increasingly popular hybrid and electric vehicles.
If you own a vehicle that uses power steering fluid, then you need to have it changed regularly. Over time, moisture accumulates in the power steering fluid, which affects steering performance and can corrode steering components. Dirt and other contaminants can also accumulate in the power steering fluid, which will also negatively affect steering performance.
A good power steering service will flush out the old fluid and get rid of dirt and other deposits in the system. Clean fluid will then be added. Fresh fluid provides lubricants that help protect the steering system as well as prevent corrosion
A little routine maintenance can prevent a breakdown. The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. When you come in for a full- service oil change, we will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, we can look for a reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked or your battery cable is corroded, we'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable, they've got you covered. We will check to see if your manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.
The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, it's to remember that cars are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their function. Without them, the car won't run at all.
We can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and avoid expensive breakdowns
The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all these systems shut down.
Serpentine belts are inexpensive. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated engine, a tow truck, time lost on the road, inconvenience, and the potential safety consequences of being stranded.
Good car care means never putting off preventive maintenance. Do yourself a favor. Ask our service advisor to have a technician glance under your hood and give that serpentine belt a quick look-over. And never overlook it..
If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn't as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get your suspension system checked. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil, then they need to be replaced. All in all, if you don't feel in control when you're driving, go get your suspension inspected.
Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents.
If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won't correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you'll may need to get an alignment.
Never procrastinate repairs to your suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control or a vehicle in an emergency and serious accidents.
The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conductor keeps all of the
instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.
Not all vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many manufacturers use them to save money.
Timing belts wear out and break, so a crucial part of preventive maintenance for our vehicles is to replace the timing belt on schedule.
Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance. The belt is usually difficult to get to, and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than
the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.
For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with our service advisor. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way.
Trust the tire experts to install your next set of wheels.
Whenever a tire is changed on newer vehicles, the service technician will have to deal with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Sensors will have to removed, then reinstalled and reactivated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced which is why you will always want an expert taking care of this. When you need to replace your tires, just ask our professional auto advice on the best tires for you and your car.
A new federal law requires manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or PMS system - in all vehicles by the 2008 model year.
Some 2006 and 2007 models already have PMS. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25 % below the manufacturer's pressure recommendations.
Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, or a snow tire mounted, the service technician is now going to have to deal with the TPMS system. Sensors will need to be removed and reinstalled. The sensors will have to be reactivated after the change. And, unfortunately, the very act of changing the tire will damage some sensor parts from time to time - it's inevitable and can't be avoided.
Even a simple tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed. PMS sensor batteries will need to be changed and failed parts replaced.
Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all the tires to spend time on the front of the car, so they all experience the extra wear.
When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy. That's why its recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner's manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, our service center can tell you what the manufacturer recommends.
Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.
We call this a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.
Ask our service advisor about having us tune up your car!
Replacing a water pump is a car care issue that almost all of us face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle, including the water pump, through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy.
If you're having trouble keeping the inside of your truck or car clean, try WeatherTech Auto Floor Mats. At HotShots Automotive auto repair in Centennial, CO, our auto mechanics are experts at custom fitting WeatherTech's durable rubber mats in any vehicle.
We stand behind WeatherTech's 10-year warranty for poor quality or manufacturer defects and one-year price guarantee. If you find a better price anywhere, WeatherTech will refund the difference.
WeatherTech Auto Floor Mats are great for everyone from contractors who are in and out of their trucks all day to soccer moms with muddy cleats. At Hotshots Automotive, we deliver the best auto repair and service, so it makes sense we would recommend only the best products for your vehicles. That's why we sell and install WeatherTech Auto Floor Mats. After all, we have a reputation to live up to. Take a look at this recent review from one of our many satisfied customers:
"This is the best facility in the Metro area to get your auto fixed. I have known Steve P. Who is the owner for the past 25 years and I cannot praise him enough! The facility is spotless and the mechanics are the best. Five plus stars!" -- John B.
If you have questions regarding WeatherTech Auto Floor Mats, call Hotshots Automotive or stop by Hotshots Automotive at 15035 E Hinsdale Dr, Centennial, CO, United States. Our ASE-Certified Master auto mechanics/technicians look forward to taking care of you, your WeatherTech Auto Floor Mats, and all your auto repair needs.
One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which is costly. It can even damage your suspension system, which is very costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk.
It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to "knock" your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday driving. Road hazards, potholes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal roadways can gradually put your tires out of alignment.
So, it's good auto advice to have your alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle's owner's manual will have recommendations on how often your alignment should be checked: usually every 2 years or so. But if you think your tires might be out of alignment, you should take your car in now.