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Spectrum Car Care Center
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A better way forward!
A better way forward!

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$159.99 ULTIMATE FALL SPECIAL CAR CARE PACKAGE!
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Engine light on = Evap System problem
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WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID A BROKEN TIMING BELT? GILBERT AUTO RPEAIR

Question:
My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to repair his engine. What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt?

Spectrum Car Care Center Answer:

Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Gilbert drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here's a brief overview of what the timing belt does:

Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it's pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is important that the opening and closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly.

Beyond that, on some vehicle engines, the valves actually extend into the combustion chamber far enough that they can be hit by the piston as it moves up and down in the cylinder. When everything is timed just right – no problem. When the timing is off, the piston will slam into the valves and cause big damage for Gilbert drivers.

The timing belt makes sure everything is timed just right. However, the belt does have a useful life. Beyond that it can break or slip – and that's when the damage can be done. If your vehicle has a timing belt (some have metal timing chains) it will have a recommended interval for replacing it. Be sure to check your owner's manual or speak with a service advisor at Spectrum Car Care Center to make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced: there is a lot at stake.

Now, getting to the timing belt requires a lot of labor so it is service item, but it is certainly less than repairing a damaged engine. If your timing belt drives your water pump, change them both at the same time to save labor costs down the road. Ask your Spectrum Car Care Center service advisor when you timing belt should be changed and get an estimate for what it will cost so you can budget for this service.
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GILBERT AUTO REPAIR I'M REALLY CONFUSED ABOUT AUTO SERVICE INTERVALS FOR VARIOUS ITEMS ON MY CAR. HELP!

Question:

I'm really confused about auto service intervals for various items on my car. Help!

Spectrum Car Care Center Answer:
The simple answer for Gilbert residents is to follow the vehicle's recommended service intervals listed in your owner's manual or in your service center's database. But the team at Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert sympathizes with Gilbert residents because of the confusing intervals for modern vehicles.

The days of simple rules of thumb that applied to most vehicles are long gone. For example, let's look at an oil change: manufacturers' recommendations run anywhere from every 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) to 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). This big range comes from engine design and recommended types of oil - so Gilbert residents really do need to read and follow the recommendations for their specific vehicle.

Your owner's service manual will have a schedule for maintenance services and inspections.

Service items include:
Tire rotation, wheel balancing, oil change, coolant service, transmission service, brake system, power steering system, fuel system, differential service and transfer case service.

Inspections will include:
Alignment check, air conditioning, brakes, suspension, axles, exhaust, tires, lights emissions, belts and hoses and steering.

It's for Gilbert residents to remember there is no exception that would make it OK to extend an interval. These intervals already assume "best case" conditions for a safe margin of error. However, you may live or drive in Gilbert conditions that are harsher than average. Your owner's manual may have a modified schedule for “severe service" - things like extreme AZ temperatures, towing, hauling heavy loads around Scottsdale, short trips, stop-and-go conditions, etc.

Consult your owner's manual or talk with your Spectrum Car Care Center service advisor about your driving situation and adjust your service intervals accordingly.
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THE AXLES - TRANSFERRING POWER FROM THE ENGINE TO THE WHEELS

Gilbert drivers should know that the axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to the wheels. They're strong parts that last a long time – but they can run into trouble.

Axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced. And sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Lubricant leaks out, and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears. When this happens you might hear strange noises coming from the axle.

If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be at the rear end. If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be up front. Of course, with an all-wheel drive, the sound could come from either front or back. It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning.

There are different kinds of axles, each with their own potential problems. Your friendly and knowledgeable Spectrum Car Care Center knows this and checks for things like leaking seals, torn CV boots, worn axle joints. An axle inspection at Spectrum Car Care Center will reveal if there are any problems or if a part is nearing failure.

When there is a concern with the axle shaft, it will be removed and inspected. If it's damaged, the shaft will have to be replaced. If the shaft is in good shape, it'll be cleaned, lubed and reinstalled. At Spectrum Car Care Center, damaged CV boots are replaced as well.

It's important for Gilbert drivers to take care of this work as soon as they become aware of a problem. Waiting only makes the damage worse and more expensive to repair later. If the vehicle axle fails completely, it could lock up. This could severely damage other things like your transmission – very costly. It could also contribute to an accident, which nobody wants.

Taking care of your axles when they need attention saves money in the long run and helps keep you safely on the road in AZ.
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10 OVERLOOKED SERVICES - GILBERT AUTO REPAIR

Let's talk about the service schedules for Gilbert drivers. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.

At Spectrum Car Care Center in Gilbert, we have a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked. They're all very important for Gilbert and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.

1. Power Steering Service
Be honest – have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Spectrum Car Care Center if it's time for a power steering check-up.

2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment, your vehicle pulls to one side. It's pretty annoying, but it's also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast! Most owner's manuals suggest that Gilbert drivers get their alignment checked once or twice a year.

3. Differential Service
Okay, did you even know you had a differential? Well you do. One, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they're part of the drive-train that transfers power from the engine to your wheels. They don't need service that often, but Gilbert drivers can't just ignore them. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Spectrum Car Care Center .

4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more cars these days have cabin air filters to clean the air in the passenger compartment. They filter out dust and pollen. When they're clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.

5. Timing Belt Replacement Most cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that your vehicle won't run without it – period. And if it breaks while you're driving, it can do thousands of dollars worth of engine damage. Check your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Spectrum Car Care Center . If you're approaching 60,000 miles (95,000 kilometers), absolutely look into it right away.

6. Transmission Service
Transmission service is very basic, but it's often forgotten by Gilbert drivers. Your transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep running efficiently and avoid repairs. And it can improve too.

7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us Gilbert drivers don't think about our air conditioning until it doesn't work. Then if you're lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you're not, some of the components may have been ruined. Those components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.

8. Brake Service No we're not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We're talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won't work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Spectrum Car Care Center service advisor for recommendations.

9. Coolant System
Another thing that's so easy for people in Gilbert to forget about. When you don't change your antifreeze on schedule, it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the ph balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you're stranded.

10. Fuel System Cleaning
Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule will really help your fuel economy.

And there we have it – 10 services that are often overlooked by Gilbert drivers. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90% of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn't been performed? Based on our busy lives here in AZ, we're not surprised.
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