If you’re interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your Vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.
Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Leesburg motorists have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don’t fit right and the tires rub against the Vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.
To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Loudoun Auto Repair tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your Vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you’ll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.
But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you’re willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable Leesburg professional’s help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Leesburg custom wheel shop can help you get the work done right.
The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your Vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason drivers should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Leesburg . The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.
Your car’s computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your Vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in expensive damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.
If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine’s computer reprogrammed at Loudoun Auto Repair to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn’t just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want, and meet your handling needs. We’re not saying you shouldn’t personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Loudoun Auto Repair in Leesburg .
After all, good car care isn’t just about preventive maintenance. It’s also about making good choices.
Today’s Loudoun Auto Repair auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.
First, the serpentine belt drives your Vehicle air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Leesburg .
Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your Vehicle’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. All Leesburg car owners know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.
The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many Vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Leesburg motorists. (On some Vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)
So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why vehicle manufacturers and your service advisor at Loudoun Auto Repair have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail. Your Trustworthy , Caring, Honest Loudoun Auto Repair service specialist can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.
Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its critical job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Loudoun Auto Repair, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.
All in all, the serpentine belt’s an essential art for the function of your Vehicle. And it’s not that costly to replace at Loudoun Auto Repair – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.
The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.
How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.
Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Leesburg drivers: it improves fuel economy and increases performance.
But there is a drawback for Leesburg car owners: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Leesburg auto owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.
That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a critical part of preventive maintenance for Leesburg auto owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.
New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Leesburg drivers at Loudoun Auto Repair. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Loudoun Auto Repair. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing expensive transmission repairs.
Leesburg car owners want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.
When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Loudoun Auto Repair puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.
That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a Vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Leesburg to Purceville, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.
Proper tire inflation will also help Leesburg folks’ tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear too fast in the middle.
Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give Loudoun Auto Repair a call to get our recommendation for your Vehicle.
See your owner’s manual or ask your service specialist at Loudoun Auto Repair for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
Tires are expensive and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.
Loudoun Auto Repair 308 Parker Ct SE Leesburg , Virginia 20175 703-777-1500
Custom wheels are one way that Leesburg folks express themselves and personalize their Vehicle. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several essential factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the Vehicle, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Leesburg drivers start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.
When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require expensive adjustments to your Vehicle suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Leesburg or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.
There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your Vehicle. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your Vehicle. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your Vehicle tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.
The tire and wheel professionals in Leesburg at Loudoun Auto Repair on 308 Parker Ct SE can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your Vehicle. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.
Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Loudoun Auto Repair service advisor by calling 703-777-1500.
If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is important that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your Vehicle engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.
As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more critical it becomes to have your Trustworthy , Caring, Honest Loudoun Auto Repair service professional tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.
If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.
The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your Vehicle may require an upgraded brake system.
Also, you may not get the performance from your Vehicle that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Loudoun Auto Repair, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.
Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is key that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.
Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some bucks. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for lansdowne drivers to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.
Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Leesburg ? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on Virginia highways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.
For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.
At the end of the day, Leesburg drivers should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Loudoun Auto Repair tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as pricey repairs down the road.
The Trustworthy , Caring, Honest auto professionals at Loudoun Auto Repair want to remind Leesburg drivers of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.
Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy lansdowne and Purceville auto owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Leesburg expressway or surface street.
When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive Vehicle suspension problems.
But the big issue for lansdowne, Purceville, and Leesburg motorists is safety. When your Vehicle wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Loudoun Auto Repair in Leesburg .
When undergoing an alignment service at Loudoun Auto Repair, your Vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.
Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.
Purceville drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Leesburg service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in Virginia that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.
Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but lansdowne drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.
That’s why vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your Vehicle owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Vahid Mirzaie or your service advisor at Loudoun Auto Repair in Leesburg .
One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Loudoun Auto Repair is cheaper for lansdowne auto owners than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.
Call Loudoun Auto Repair to make an appointment to check your transmission in Leesburg . 308 Parker Ct SE Leesburg , Virginia 20175 703-777-1500
Do you have any plans around Leesburg Virginia for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you’ll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.
You got the boat all ready. It’s all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler’s stocked – ready to go.
How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you’ve even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?
Stop and think. You’ll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it may be hot weather. And all the time you’re going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds.
That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you’re running low, the transmission will run to hot and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.
And if it’s time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Loudoun Auto Repair before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.
Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. Believe us – you don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
You know, most of us in Leesburg Virginia do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Leesburg , and basically any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.
So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you’re at it. Your Leesburg Virginia service technician at Loudoun Auto Repair can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Leesburg service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?
Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Leesburg motorists generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.
When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Leesburg motorists want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your Trustworthy , Caring, Honest Loudoun Auto Repair service specialist spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Leesburg motorists are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.
High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Leesburg drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your Vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.
The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the highway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the dangerous vibration. When Leesburg car owners’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and vital suspension parts.
Getting a balance job at Loudoun Auto Repair in Leesburg can prevent pricey repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your Vehicle as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your gas mileage. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Loudoun Auto Repair, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.
Some Leesburg vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your Vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of important preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some expensive ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Loudoun Auto Repair. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Leesburg car owners’ nerves.
If the fuel system in your Vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your fuel economy and losing performance as you drive around Leesburg , Virginia.
Unless they drive a vintage car, Leesburg auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your Vehicle owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.
Your Trustworthy , Caring, Honest service advisor at Loudoun Auto Repair in Leesburg has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Loudoun Auto Repair uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.
After a professional fuel system cleaning at Loudoun Auto Repair, you’ll notice more power, improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your manufacturers fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your Vehicle running strong.
Leesburg auto owners don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your Trustworthy , Caring, Honest Loudoun Auto Repair tech and see when your car is scheduled for a vital fuel system cleaning.
If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Leesburg vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.
Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Leesburg , as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.
Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.
The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?
Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.
Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.
Most of us here in Leesburg have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?
Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.