Monthly Archives: February 2015

Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Greeley Car Owners

A generation ago, Greeley drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Greeley shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.For example, almost everyone in Greeley used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Phil's Pro Auto Service, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer p ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of Greeley driver's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.Twenty years ago in Colorado, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. Colorado drivers called them snow tires back then, and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet Colorado roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. People couldn't wait to get them off in the spring.Then all-season tires started to appear in Greeley tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life and can get Colorado ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Greeley drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time." Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello Greeley, let's talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Greeley folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up and eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure buildup would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the  fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can you i ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Fuel Injectors

The last new American vehicles sold in Greeley with a carburetor rolled out of the Colorado dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in Greeley, and nationally, have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and more power for Greeley drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.A few vehicle manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Exhaust Service at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley

Whenever they hear the term "exhaust service," most Greeley residents think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at Phil's Pro Auto Service is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations.Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified Greeley exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers.If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at Phil's Pro Auto Service in G ... read more

Categories:

Exhaust

Differential Service at Phil's Pro Auto Service

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Greeley, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your Phil's Pro Auto Service service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or it's seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Phil's Pro Auto Service covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on G ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

Cabin Air Filter From Phil's Pro Auto Service

Here is a questions for Greeley drivers: What is a cabin air filter?Is it: A filter for a house in the middle of the woods? A fresh, piney scent? A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's 3.A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, sparrows, exhaust gas and odors.These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.Now not all vehicles in the Greeley area have cabin filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Colorado. About 40 percent of new vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment for Greeley. Your car can be a haven during Colorado allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, like all filters, your cabin air filter eventual ... read more

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

Air Conditioning Service in Greeley

Hey Greeley! Let's talk about one of our Colorado summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for Greeley drivers to take their car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked at Phil's Pro Auto Service in Greeley. When most Greeley folks hear the words "air conditioning problems." it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's hard to repair.What things can Greeley drivers do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Power Steering Service in Greeley

Most Greeley drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Greeley drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros ... read more

Categories:

Steering
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