Why does my car/lt. truck shake or vibrate?
When a vehicle shakes or vibrates at low speeds or high speeds, it is usually a problem with the tires or wheels. If your vehicle shakes or vibrates while you are braking then it is usually a problem with the brake system.
If my vehicle drives straight down the road why do I need an alignment?
Vehicle alignment affects several different handling characteristics of your vehicle. A vehicle that is out of alignment can cause one or more of the following problems:
- A pull to the left or right at speeds of 40 mph and up
- Premature wear out of the front and/or rear tires tread
- Cupping of the tires tread that will result in the vehicle experiencing a rough ride and also a loud growling noise at speeds of 35 mph and up
- Poor handling in wet weather
- Steering wheel is not centered when vehicle is moving straight ahead
- Feeling of looseness or wandering
Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 15,000 miles per year. A vehicle with a toe alignment just .34 degrees (.7 inches) out of specifications has dragged its tires sideways for 85 miles by the end of the year. This will result in premature tire wear out, tire cupping and also decreased fuel economy.
Should I "plug" or "patch" a flat tire?
The use of plugs in repairing a tire is for temporary use only. You should only use a plug to repair a tire when you have a tire emergency and then you should get the tire to a service center and have the tire permanently repaired (patched). All tire manufacturers' warranties are voided if a plug is installed in the tire. The use of a tire plug does not seal the tire from the inner liner and allows air to escape into the belt area and cause separations.
Can I replace the tires on my vehicle with a different brand that was put on at the vehicle manufacturer?
Yes, you can replace your vehicle's tires with the tires of same size and performance rating. It can be of any brand because generally, the vehicle's manufacturer chooses low-cost tires. Also, they often sell their tires at a very low-price to the automobile manufacturers and buy the tires again when the consumer goes to replace the tires. This is why many original equipment tires are priced very high to the retail consumer.
How often should I rotate my vehicle's tires?
Tire and vehicle manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 - 8,000 miles. If the tires are not rotated at the recommended intervals you can lose up to 40% of the life of your tires. Another benefit of tire rotation is that it enables you to inspect your vehicle so that you will not have any unforeseen brake, suspension or mechanical problems.
Should I follow the recommended service in my vehicle's owner's manual?
If you want to have a vehicle that is dependable, then the answer is YES. It is much more economical to follow the manufacturers recommended service schedule than to drive the vehicle until it breaks down and then to do major repairs. It is also less stressful to schedule the vehicle's repairs than to have the vehicle break down and to leave you stranded. When the vehicle is serviced regularly, the minor repairs are performed before they become major repairs. Some of the most important services are:
- 30,000 mile service
- 60,000 mile service
- 90,000 mile service
- Timing belt replacement
- Flushing of vehicle fluids
How do my anti-lock brakes work?
ABS basically works by limiting the pressure to the wheel which decelerates too rapidly. With standard brakes when the brake pedal is applied too hard, the tires skid, which prevents them from giving directional control. When directional control (steering) is lost, the vehicle skids in a straight line wherever it is going. With ABS braking systems the wheel speed sensors at each tire send an electronic pulse to the computer. If tire skid is detected during braking, the computer signals the ABS valve to limit the hydraulic pressure to that tires caliper or wheel cylinder. The computer does this by instructing the ABS valve to "pulse" the brake line pressure to that tire so it does not skid. With all the movement of brake fluid in an ABS braking system it is crucial that the brake fluid is kept clean by flushing it out and installing new fluid every 30,000 miles.
The ABS brake system tests itself every time the vehicle is started and every time the brakes are applied. If a defect is detected, the computer then turns the ABS system off, leaving the standard braking system unaffected and working properly. If the computer detects a problem with the ABS system the "ABS" light will illuminate on your vehicles dash. You should bring in the vehicle to us as soon as possible to evaluate the ABS system failure.
Do I have to take my vehicle to the new car dealership for service during its warranty period?
You may take your vehicle to any qualified service center during the vehicle's warranty period and also after the vehicle's warranty period. There is a federal law called the "Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act" that became effective on January 4, 1975 that basically states that no purchase of a particular brand of product or the purchase of a service from a particular company can be required of you to keep your vehicles warranty valid.
Many new car dealership's try to scare people into bringing their car into them for service so it does not "void" their warranty. If this happens remind them of the "Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act".