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Let Phil's Pro Auto Service Help You Extend the Life of Your Car

2017-05-21 10:42:03

If you haven't shopped in the Greeley area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Greeley, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.

On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Greeley drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.

Too often, Greeley vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.

For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at Phil's Pro Auto Service. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.

The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.

If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your Phil's Pro Auto Service pros can advise you.

Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.

Most Greeley drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at Phil's Pro Auto Service would have cost us.

So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Greeley area neighborhood. At Phil's Pro Auto Service, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.

As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At Phil's Pro Auto Service, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Greeley Drivers: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

2017-05-15 09:40:04

Greeley residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.

Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.

So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do Greeley residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?

Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for Greeley residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.

Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.

Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty Colorado conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for Greeley drivers.

Greeley residents may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, or only driving your vehicle on short trips around Greeley.

When a vehicle only makes trips under four miles/six kilometers, or under 10 miles/16 kilometers in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule. 

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.

Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection. The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live in Colorado and what kind of oil we use.

When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping Greeley residents save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Go Straight: Wheel Alignment for Greeley Automobiles

2017-05-08 08:43:02



Greeley drivers may have an alignment problem if their car drifts or pulls to one side, the steering wheel's off center, they notice uneven tire wear or the car doesn't feel like it handles right as they drive down Greeley, Colorado, streets and roads.

When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other objects around Greeley are great ways to knock a car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels start pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley wants you to know that driving for an extended time when your car is out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. Sometimes the tire can be worn so badly that it will fail.

At the very least, those who drive with wheels out of alignment will have to replace their tires sooner. You could end up with premature wear to your suspension system, which can be expensive. The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars.

Now, let's discuss some alignment basics. Wheels are adjustable for toe, caster and camber. The ideal alignment for your car was designed by its engineers.

So, what is involved in an alignment check at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley? First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension to see if anything is bent or broken. Tire condition will also be evaluated.  Next, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and we take an initial alignment reading.

If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's centerline. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, the direction they push is determined and the front wheels are aligned to match.

Like most things, vehicle manufacturers have recommended a mileage interval for having alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive around the Greeley area. It's better for vehicle owners to have their alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear; by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at Phil's Pro Auto Service when necessary is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety in Colorado.

Come see us at  for more information about your tire alignment. We look forward to serving you.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Keeping Your Greeley Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

2017-05-03 07:15:03

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Greeley house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it's C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. It filters out common Colorado air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Greeley vehicles have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Colorado. Last check, about 40 percent of new vehicles sold in Greeley come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for people in Greeley. Your vehicle can be a haven during our Colorado allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner's manual for replacement guidelines. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't mention your cabin air filter, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Phil's Pro Auto Service for a recommendation. It's usually every year or 12,000 miles /19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Greeley area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Phil's Pro Auto Service urges Greeley drivers to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Greeley more enjoyable.

Come by and we'll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

 

Let Phil's Pro Auto Service Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

2017-04-25 12:29:03

Greeley area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.

But a lot of Greeley drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.

There are a lot of vehicles on Colorado roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) really be that easy for Greeley drivers?

Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.

But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to Phil's Pro Auto Service for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.

If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.

At an oil change, your technician at Phil's Pro Auto Service will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.

The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at Phil's Pro Auto Service for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up vehicle care that will keep older cars running well.

Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles (320,000 km), the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new vehicle.

Good vehicle care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of Greeley drivers who have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.

So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley. 

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Phil's Pro Auto Service On Your Serpentine Belt

2017-04-17 12:53:03


 

Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Greeley, Colorado, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around Colorado in the summer.

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Greeley residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Greeley, Colorado, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of work for one belt.

But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most, if not all, of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they're tough and can last for a long time.

Just how long will they last? That'll vary for each individual car in the Greeley area. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Phil's Pro Auto Service can detect a belt that's getting close to failing.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Phil's Pro Auto Service service advisor can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch, it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that's more than half the depth of the belt - replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? Toss it. Come see us.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Make Your Vehicle Last

2017-04-11 06:55:03



We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, Colorado folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Greeley drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Colorado penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Greeley vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Greeley at Phil's Pro Auto Service, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Phil's Pro Auto Service help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Phil's Pro Auto Service is cheaper than a new car  payment for Greeley drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Maintenance on My Mind

2017-04-04 12:54:04

Ask any Greeley man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most Greeley residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

Funny, because most of us in Greeley have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.

When it comes to our vehicles, Greeley drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in Greeley who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

So, if you're not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it's time take your car in, do it. But don't just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Phil's Pro Auto Service. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed or if any of them are low.

Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Phil's Pro Auto Service technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer's service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

It's like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle's maintenance.

If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done.  Then, create a plan with your Phil's Pro Auto Service service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It's a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they're also expensive and complicated machines. Greeley drivers can't expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in Colorado.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at Phil's Pro Auto Service?

2017-03-28 09:10:03

Today's Phil's Pro Auto Service article focuses on severe service maintenance. Many Greeley drivers are not aware of them and yet there are also very vocal advocates in Colorado who think that severe service schedules apply to everyone. Somewhere between a complete lack of awareness and the dire blanket statements lies a reasonable approach to severe service maintenance at Phil's Pro Auto Service.

To back up a little, vehicle owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance: things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil after a certain distanced traveled or after so many months. Greeley drivers understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.

Now when you hear 'severe service,' you may think it doesn't apply to you because you don't feel your driving conditions are severe or extreme – it's just normal everyday driving in the Greeley area. So let's list some of the conditions that classify as severe so that you can make the judgment on your own driving.

Before we start the list, here's a point of contrast that definitely is not severe driving. Driving down your nearest Colorado interstate at the highway speed limit on a 75 degree F/24 degree C day loaded only with your passengers. This is an easy trip for your vehicle: your engine is loafing along at low RPMs, no heavy loads to pull and moderate Greeley temperatures. Now let's look at some severe service driving conditions.

Most trips around Greeley are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers. When your vehicle engine cools down, moisture condenses in the engine. This water in the oil doesn't get a chance to evaporate on short trips because the oil doesn't get hot enough. A lot of short trips in your vehicle means a lot of water build up. And water in the oil leads to the creation of sludge which can damage the engine. Changing the oil more frequently keeps sludge from building up. By contrast, highway driving warms the engine up and gets the water burned off.

Here's another example. Most trips around Greeley are less than 10 miles/16 km and outside temperatures are below freezing. This is the same reasoning, but in very cold Colorado weather it takes even longer for the oil to get hot enough to evaporate the water, hence 10  miles/16 km as opposed to 4 miles/6.4 km.

Next, you drive in very hot Colorado weather. The hotter it is outside, the more cooling the engine, transmission, brake fluid and so on becomes. The environment in which the fluids reside is more hostile, and the fluids simply break down faster. Therefore, the lower change interval.

Another: driving at low speed most of the time. Every vehicle engine has what's called its power band. This is a range of RPMs in which it's most efficient. Low speed driving doesn't keep the engine in its power band so it's working harder. This is one of the reasons that ratings are worse in downtown than on the highway.

Stop and go driving in Greeley is another severe service condition. You're always accelerating, which works the vehicle engine and transmission harder. Then you're stopping, which works the brake fluid harder, causing it to get very hot. Highway driving, on the other hand, requires far less horsepower to maintain its speed than getting a stationary vehicle from a stop light up to 25 mph/40 kph. A lot of this and you'll need to follow the severe service schedule.

Also on the list is operating your vehicle in dusty, polluted or muddy conditions. Obviously, your engine air filter and cabin air will get dirty faster and need to be changed more frequently as will your breather element. Some of this dust and dirt will make its way into your fluids. They will simple get dirty faster and won't protect the components as well as fresh fluids.

Finally, you're driving under severe conditions in Greeley when you tow a trailer, regularly carry heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier. This is pretty obvious. You'll spend more time in lower gears so the engine and transmission work much harder and create more heat. Brakes will be more stressed stopping the heavier loads.

Sounds like most of us in Greeley operate under severe driving conditions at least some of the time. How can Greeley drivers know which schedule to follow?

Think of it as a spectrum with "always driving under severe conditions" on one end and "never driving under severe conditions" on the other end. Some will be at one extreme or the other, but most of us will fall somewhere in between.

Carefully think about your driving conditions and decide if you should do your preventive maintenance closer to the severe service recommendation or the regular recommendation. Of course, your Phil's Pro Auto Service service advisor can help you with your decision.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

What Greeley Customers like About Us at Phil's Pro Auto Service

2017-03-20 08:40:03

A big part of the service we provide at Phil's Pro Auto Service for our Greeley customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions.

And we're always open to questions from our valued Greeley area customers. Even though we try to be proactive in our Phil's Pro Auto Service automotive education, we sometimes get busy fixing vehicles and need a reminder. Please, just ask.

We've found our Greeley customers like the service reminders. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the vehicle manufactures’ published maintenance schedules and that Phil's Pro Auto Service is not just pulling them out of the air.

We know that people in Greeley live a busy life with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace the PCV valve on their vehicle. Part of our Phil's Pro Auto Service service process is checking the vehicle manufacture's schedule to make sure we don't overlook service.

We hope Colorado drivers appreciate their courtesy inspection when they come into our Greeley facility for service. If we find something unexpected, it's good to know, and if we don't find anything wrong, you get a little peace of mind.

You know, customer satisfaction is very important to us at Phil's Pro Auto Service. We want to run a professional and friendly Greeley automotive service operation. If we do, you'll keep coming back and recommend us to your friends.

Give us a call at 970-353-2739.

Phil's Pro Auto Service
707 12th Street
Greeley, Colorado 80631
970-353-2739
http://www.philsproauto.com

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