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Putney's Brake and Alignment Service
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Your cooling system’s job is to keep your vehicle engine cool while driving around. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the cooled mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your vehicle engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in ON. Without coolant, the metal engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. Many pricey parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole engine is ruined and has to be replaced. Also, if it’s freezing outside in Hamilton, the water in your vehicle engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the ON cold.

This is why Hamilton drivers are wise to check coolant levels frequently and have their vehicle cooling system inspected at Putney's for leaks. Also your car maker has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These car maker recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask your Hamilton service advisor at Putney's.

The reason you need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the vehicle radiator and other cooling system components.

Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced. A simple pH test can measure the coolant’s acidity. You may have noticed that there are different colors of antifreeze: it is vital that Hamilton drivers use the correct type. The different coolant types are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

Manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them. So check with your Putney's service advisor or car maker's owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your cooling system.

Stop by or give us a call.
(905) 522-4621


Putney's
574 Wentworth Street North
Hamilton, ON L8L 5X3
www.putneys.ca


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Your brakes are extremely important as you drive around Hamilton, ON. Having good brakes just keeps you out of trouble. You'll want to carefully maintain your brakes. With disc brakes, brake pads rub on a disc or rotor to slow the wheels.

The brake pads are attached to a caliper that squeezes the pads against the rotor. It's kind of like how squeezing the hand brake on a bicycle pushes the brake pads against the wheel of the bike.

Now pads just wear away with use, kind of like a pencil eraser wears out. The good news is that replacing brake pads is a straight-forward repair.

If you hear squealing or grinding when you use the brakes, have your Putney's service advisor check them out. He'll have a technician perform a thorough brake inspection to see what needs to be done. He'll check for signs of brake problems and go over other brake components to see that they're working properly.

Putney's qualified technician can tell you if it's time to replace the pads or if there are other issues with your brakes that should be addressed. Some people ignore the warning signs and keep driving long after the pads are completely worn out. When that happens, metal brake components will grind on the rotor, damaging it enough that it needs to be resurfaced or replaced.

Rotors can also warp or crack, in which case they'll need to be replaced. Brake calipers also wear out over time. They can develop leaks or the caliper pistons can freeze open or closed – either way it's not good. When this happens it's time to replace the calipers. A thorough brake inspection will reveal worn bearings or seals as well.

The new brake pads Putney's put on your vehicle will restore your brakes to manufacturers' specifications. Or, we can install upgraded parts to increase your stopping power and reduce brake noise and brake dust. We have several options to meet your braking requirements and your budget.

Taking care of your brakes keeps them working safely and you could prevent premature brake repairs down the road.

Stop by or give us a call.
(905) 522-4621
Putney's
574 Wentworth Street North
www.putneys.ca

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Putney's Automotive Tips: Shocks & Struts Wear Factors

In straight forward terms, springs hold up the body of your car. There are several types of springs: coil, leaf, torsion bar, etc. Their vital job is the heavy lifting.

Shocks and struts, on the other hand, are dampeners that keep body movement within the necessary range and press the tires to the road to maintain adequate traction.

Shocks and struts have a chamber filled with hydraulic fluid. Bumps activate a piston that pushes the fluid through a series of valves to dampen the bounce. Then a rebound spring pushes the piston back in place.

Stage 1 is for the millions of small bumps Hamilton drivers encounter in everyday driving around the area. The 1st stage valve is a notched disc through which fluid flows at a controlled rate.

Stage 2 is for mid-sized impacts: things like dips, driveways, expansion joints, as well as forces encountered in turns and when stopping and accelerating. These bumps and forces are not severe, but they come in various shapes and sizes. 2nd stage dampening is performed by a set of flexible discs that fit inside the shock/strut chamber. When Hamilton drivers hit this type of bump, the fluid is compressed against these discs and they flex to allow fluid passed. The bigger the bump, the more they need to flex.

Stage 3 is for harsh impacts like curbs, potholes, etc. 3rd stage dampening is accomplished by restrictive ports in the stage 3 valve. This is the last stage in maintaining proper tire and body control.

It is the Stage 2 flex discs that wear over time. The metal becomes fatigued and flexes too easily, allowing fluid passed to the Stage 3 valve. This is why one of the characteristics of worn shocks is a harsh ride: you’re getting to the restrictive 3rd stage too soon.

Severely worn shocks/struts cause your tires to have reduced contact with the road. When taking a curve at a higher rate of speed or in an evasive maneuver, the body leans to the outside of the curve - literally trying to pull your car off the road. A hard stop throws the body forward, significantly increasing your stopping distance. Acceleration causes the rear end to squat, and thereby diminishes traction on the front tires.

Loss of tire and body control can greatly lessen the effectiveness of your car’s vital crash avoidance systems like traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brakes.

Your shock and struts wear slowly so it’s hard to consciously observe a change in their performance. How soon Hamilton drivers shocks and struts wear is influenced by the loads they carry and the condition of the ON roads on which they drive.

A good rule of thumb for Hamilton drivers is to have them evaluated with a road test at 50,000 miles, by that time your shocks/struts will have moved up and down 75 million times.

The skilled service advisors at Putney's in Hamilton can inspect and test your suspension system and help you choose the right parts to restore or improve your car’s designed performance.

Stop by or give us a call.
(905) 522-4621


Putney's
574 Wentworth Street North
Hamilton, ON L8L 5X3
www.putneys.ca

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The Putney's Guide to Wheel Alignment





It’s no surprise that your vehicle will drive better if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That’s called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other.

Something that Hamilton drivers won’t notice right away, but will if they keep driving when they're out of alignment, is that their tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That’s because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out fast because you’re constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip in Ontario, fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road.

Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn’t have to be a big shock, it can just be the regular bumps and bangs of daily Hamilton driving that add up and eventually take your vehicle out of alignment. That’s why your car maker or Putney's service advisor may suggest an alignment check periodically.

During an alignment service at Putney's, we measure each wheel’s alignment and to see where they are relative to factory specifications. While we have the vehicle on the alignment rack, we inspect the tires for wear as well as the suspension and steering components for damage or wear – things that can contribute to alignment problems. With some vehicles you can adjust all four wheels so we bring all wheels into alignment. On those vehicles where you can only adjust the front wheels, we bring the front into alignment relative to the rear.

Cost varies by whether or not it’s two or four wheel adjustable. Four-wheel drive vehicles may have an additional charge because they’re more difficult to align. At any rate, it’s cheaper than having to replace tires every few months. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your wheels aligned, bring your vehicle to Putney's in Hamilton for an alignment check.

Stop by or give us a call.
(905) 522-4621
www.putneys.ca

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