Burlington Auto Repair

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How to clean your aluminum rims

Nothing promotes and preserves the value of your vehicle like regular washing. The best efforts often focus on those eye catching wheel accessories. It’s a shiny detail that can ready add to the look of your vehicle, and add some real punch to the resale value of any car. However, aluminum rims do tend to get chalky after a while. The constant abrasion from swirling dust, effects of road salt and tar, and oxidation from the atmosphere doesn’t let them retain their brilliance indefinitely. Fortunately, uncoated aluminum rims are thick and the shine can be restored to them by polishing. Polishing is really nothing more than super fine sanding. Rims that have been exposed to the elements over time take on a chalky appearance and if allowed to continue, develop pits in the polished surface. The only way to get rid of that is by removing the offending layer. A polishing compound that is designed for alloy metals will eliminate the haze and pits. If the polish is too abrasive ... read more

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Maintenance

Old tires can lead to trouble

Old Tires can lead to trouble Recent news reports about old tires failing has experts asking if tires should have expiration dates the same as many other products. Why? Because old tires are failing and killing people! In a letter released September 22, 2003, a private safety group called Strategic Safety asked the National Highway Traffic & Safety Admin. (NHTSA) to investigate the problem of tire aging. The group says they have documented at least 20 accidents caused by old tires blowing out, 10 of which resulted in fatalities. Most of the lawsuits involving these tread separation accidents have been on tires that were six or more years old. The group says the NHTSA should have a new rule requiring tire manufacturers to put expiration dates on all new tires. REPLACE OLD TIRES Strategic Safety says based on their findings, motorists should replace tires that are ... read more

Categories:

Tires

How to safely check your radiator coolant level

How to safely check your radiator coolant level

How to Safely Check your Radiator Coolant Level To keep your cooling system cool, check the fluid level in the system and, if necessary, add water and coolant. It’s dangerous to remove the pressure cap from the radiator or coolant recovery system reservoir while the engine is still warm. Because it’s hard to tell just how hot things are inside the engine, follow these guidelines when removing a pressure cap: Never remove the cap from a radiator or coolant recovery system reservoir when the engine is hot. Adding cold water to a hot engine can crack the engine block. If your engine overheats on the highway, get to the side of the road, turn off the ignition, and then wait 15 to 20 minutes for things to cool down. If you can stay safely away from traffic, you can lift the hood to help the heat escape but you should leave the pressure cap alone. If you’re parked where traffic is zooming by, or if you’re concerned about your security if you leave your vehicle, yo ... read more

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Maintenance

How to check tire pressure

Inflating and maintaining proper tire pressure ensures safer, more comfortable driving and better fuel efficiency. Particularly in times of high gas prices; in inclement driving conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or ice; and in vehicles of all sizes, tire pressure can make a major difference in driving, wherever you are. Given the importance of the task, you might think it is complicated, but checking and maintaining your tire pressure is simple, provided you have a good tire air pressure gauge and source of air, both of which are available at many gas stations. Get a Gauge A simple tire air pressure gauge, available at most auto parts stores, for a few dollars, is adequate for the job. You do not necessarily need a digital air pressure gauge. If it is worth the $14 to $15 to you, a digital pressure gauge is easy to read and accurate. However, you should consider whether it will require batteries, and whether this would prevent you from using it. Again, a standard pressure gauge ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Bumpy Ride/Broken Spring

Bumpy Ride/Broken Spring

Automotive coil springs are one of the most central and dynamic components of a vehicle’s suspension system; constantly working to absorb shocks, keep the wheels in contact with the road and deal with uneven road surfaces. It is therefore no surprise that after many millions of cycles, even the best made springs will become tired and begin to sag; vehicle ride height will drop and may become uneven, and eventual breakage is likely. There are several reasons for spring failure, and most manufacturer's take various steps to combat these to ensure the longest possible service life. Corrosion – Corrosion is the most common cause of spring failure, as defects and chips in the layer of lacquer cannot be avoided. Without additional protection, the spring steel will begin to rust immediately, leading to creep corrosion under the lacquer which spreads rapidly, significantly increasing the risk of breakage. A corrosion attack at the transition end of the coils ... read more

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Maintenance

Auto A/C Recharge

Cars are awesome, until they’re not. Or...., they get way too hot. I call it the absence of malice problem: I only notice something is wrong because I take for granted how often everything is right. Turn the key and go; it’s what we demand of today’s cars, and it’s what we overwhelmingly get. When things do go awry, it’s always interesting to see how people cope. When your brakes go from spongy to making that funny grinding sound, you immediately call your mechanic. If the engine suddenly starts cutting out, or a tire blows and you thwap to a halt by the side of the road, same thing. But if your air conditioning starts blowing hot air, you do other things. You punch the dash; you adjust the little vents. You jam away at the settings. You turn it off and turn it on again. And again. Then you leave the car in the driveway overnight, and go out the next day and actually believe it might be OK, like it just needed a little rest so it could become air condi ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Night Driving Tip

We've all had that blinded by the light sensation when driving at night. Whether the car behind has the high beams set or perhaps it's just some hilly driving that's causing a blinding flash, anyone that having experienced the night white out will not likely forget it soon. Fortunately, most modern cars have a built-in night driving device to avoid this dangerous driving distraction. In many cases, the newer vehicle platforms have a specifically designed automatic lens adjustment that defeats the glare that can cause the well documented night blindness condition in an unsuspecting driver. However, many of the entry level vehicles that are very common and highly popular are still fitted with a simple lever to position the mirror lens to the night driving position. Once set in this rotation, the focal length of the mirror is adjusted downward focusing any reflected light slightly down from eye level. This setting tends to darken the view across the entire range of the ... read more

Categories:

Safety

How to remedy diesel fuel added to gas tank

Time at the gas pump can be somewhat distracting. Often folks are scrambling to get from here to there and the rush to refuel can lead to less than full attention to the task at hand. In other cases, a simple error can lead to the wrong fuel being added to the tank of the vehicle. If the error is caught before the vehicle is started the necessary efforts can be minimized. It is therefore critical that the vehicle not be started or attempted to start if there has been a mix up between gas and diesel fuel. If possible, having an immediate inspection completed and fast and effective elimination of the wrong fuel from the system can often save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repair this potentially expensive miss fuel. In this example, a gasoline powered 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe was inadvertently fueled with diesel fuel. the mistake went un noticed until the vehicle sputtered to a stop several hundred yards from the refuelling station. The vehicle was towed in, the tank was ev ... read more

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Maintenance

Which side is the gas tank on?

Have you ever wondered what side of the car the gas tank is on? Perhaps you've grabbed a rental, a loaner or a friends car and you'd like to add some fuel out of courtesy. More often than not, most of us have jumped out of the car and run around to the pump only to find that the gas tank is on the wrong side. It's a simple check that you can do right on the dash of the car to avoid that inconvenience. On of the best kept secrets on the dash board is the fuel tank configuration. Generally, there is an icon of a gas pump right at the bottom centre of the fuel gauge. This icon will have an arrow or a hose filler assembly on one side or the other. The gas tank on the vehicle will be on the side indicated by the icon. This simple tip can often avoid the need to reposition the vehicle around the refueling station and it will help get you back on your way with the least amount of inconvenience or fuss. It's certainly a very practical tip in inclement weather. Now, pa ... read more

Categories:

General Interest

How to jump start your car

The dreaded dead battery doesn't always have to result in a call for road side assistance if you're prepared and follow a few simple steps. Properly applied booster cables can save the day and return a stranded motorist back to the roadway in short order. One consideration is that modern vehicles are very sensitive to voltage variation and improper battery boosting can result in expensive computer module damage. When in doubt, double check - the simple rule is red to red terminals and black to ground. This video will show you the correct way to boost a vehicle with out damage to either the vehicle with the dead battery or the boosting vehicle. A good set of high quality jumper cables can save the inconvenience that results from a light left on, lenghty radio play while the engine is turned off, or similar battery draw. Many of the newer cars draw a fair amount of power to cycle through many parameter checks and will draw done the battery in the course of as little as a co ... read more

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Maintenance