Monday, 29 June 2015

Shocks & Struts (Part 2)

Are your shocks and struts in control of your ride? (*Part 2*)

Vehicle ride, handling and braking are directly linked to the integrity of your suspension components. Like many of the systems on your vehicle, struts and shocks wear very slowly; many people only realize how worn they have become after they have had them replaced. After replacement the vehicle feels like new.

As the internal components of shocks and struts wear, additional internal heat is created resulting in deteriorating ride quality, braking and handling. With this wear, the oil inside the struts and shocks aerates becoming more like foam than the liquid oil it is meant to be. The farther you drive the worse this gets. The air acts like a squishy ball, allowing excessive movement of the vehicle. When we step on the brakes or make sudden steering moves the vehicle starts to rock or roll, this lifts up one end and drops the other end. Any time this happens the tires, brakes and suspension are over loaded on the low side and you don’t have enough traction on the high side. This is the reason it takes longer to stop and you have less control with worn struts and shocks.

Unfortunately we cannot change the oil in the struts and shocks when it gets old like we do engine oil. You may have seen advertising from manufacturers advising you to replace struts and shocks after 80,000 kilometers; this is the reason; the oil is worn out resulting in the struts and shocks not working as they were intended to.

There are other considerations with worn struts and shocks; all of the extra vehicle movement creates wear in suspension and steering components, requiring replacement sooner than needed. The braking system will be over loaded in the front from having too much weight transferred from the back of the vehicle to the front when slowing down. This overloads the front brakes and causes the rear brakes to be less effective creating longer stopping distances. Additionally your tires will wear out far sooner than a vehicle with good shocks and struts.

Regular maintenance inspections, performed by experienced technicians along with the needed services will help you save time and money keeping your vehicle safe and reliable for many years to come.

At Crestview Auto Service “We’ll Keep Your Car Young a Long Time”

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Shocks & Struts (Part 1)

Are your shocks and struts in control of your ride? (*Part 1*)

First, a little trivia about the life of struts and shocks; research by manufacturers shows that on the average road (not Saskatoon’s pothole roads) each strut or shock on your... car cycles (stops and starts moving) 1100 times per kilometer. That works out to be 88 million times in 80,000 kilometers! That’s 88 with 6 zeros added, WOW! When they get worn out they cycle even more. Your vehicle feels the wear, a vehicle with as little as 80,000 kilometers can take an additional 3 meters or more to stop than a vehicle with new struts and shocks! That can be the difference between making a quick controlled stop, or panic and possibly an accident.

Struts and shocks are the components on your vehicle that control the up, down and rocking or sway movement of your vehicle. The struts and shocks don’t hold the vehicle up, that’s the job of the springs. When a vehicle is new, the struts and shocks allow us to have a safe controlled ride. Over time, the struts and shocks are slowly wearing and most drivers do not realize how worn they are until after they have been replaced. The difference in ride and vehicle control after replacement of worn struts and shocks can be dramatic.

In the past we used a visual inspection and a bounce test of the vehicle to determine if they were good or bad. If we saw oil on the outside, or if the vehicle cycled too much after a good bounce we recommended new ones. With the newer manufacturing technology, this only works on struts and shocks that are extremely worn. Over time, as the internal seals, oil and components of struts and shocks wear, they lose the ability to control the springs. This becomes more obvious after driving for a while, the vehicle is relatively stable when starting out but after driving for some time, it becomes less stable and has a mushy feel to the ride. This extra movement creates excessive heat causing the shocks and struts to lose the ability to control the springs.

Watch for part 2 coming soon.

At Crestview Auto Service “We’ll Keep Your Car Young a Long Time”

#Shocks #Struts #Tires #Alignment #TrustedSaskatoon

Monday, 22 June 2015

Brakes...What to know before they go!

Many times a vehicle that has not seen regular maintenance inspections will suddenly have strange noises coming from the wheels when you step on the brakes, or at times just coasting down the road. Notice I said “maintenance inspections” not just “maintenance”. Maintenance inspections do not happen when a “Quick lube” service is used which can be at the dealership or an oil change franchise. It’s the regular maintenance inspections that will keep the surprise noises from happening unexpectedly, because you know the condition of your vehicle.

When the noise starts, many drivers make the assumption, and they may be right, that the car needs brake pads. The owner then calls us up and asks “how much for brake pads?” Our response to the question is “how do you know you need brake pads”? We aren’t trying to be difficult by asking questions; our goal is to make a repair that will address the concern instead of a quick fix, which gets rid of the symptom, but doesn’t completely address what is needed for a proper repair. Failure to perform an inspection before a repair usually leads to a partial fix, getting rid of the symptom but not the cause, which increases stress and frustration levels for all concerned. Often times the brake pads are worn abnormally due to other components not functioning as intended. If we just replaced the brake pads, the new pads would wear out very quickly, increasing your expenses beyond what they should have been.

Each year vehicle quality has improved with cars and trucks lasting much longer. The time between service intervals has doubled and tripled on many vehicles.  Although brake systems on cars and trucks have improved and correspondingly last longer, the basic system is essentially the same as it was 30 years ago. We have a hydraulic system to activate the brake system and at each wheel are friction surfaces that rub against each other to stop the vehicle when pressure is applied. It is these surfaces that wear out over time, but the components that apply the pressure are also under a lot of heat and stress each time we step on the brake pedal. The heat created takes a toll on all of the friction and hydraulic components; through the inspection process it is determined whether the brake linings, calipers, wheel cylinders, hydraulic hoses and master cylinder, hydraulic fluid and more are performing properly. Those components that are underperforming or worn need to be serviced to get the expected life out of the new brake pads.  At a minimum, with any brake repair, the moving parts such as calipers, mounts and backing plates need to be cleaned and lubricated and the drums or rotors need to have a clean-machined surface to operate effectively. 

Brake systems are sealed so the hydraulic fluid won’t be contaminated from moisture and particles in the air but over time this can still happen. Also each time we step on and release the brake pedal the fluid moves back and forth, which over time will contaminate the system with material from inside the hydraulic components and lines. These contaminants, which are abrasive, build up enough to cause increased wear and can lead to much bigger repair bills if neglected. For this reason flushing the system is recommended based on time and mileage intervals.

By design and for safety reasons, brakes need to function at full capacity until they are at the minimum wear specification. This is before they are completely worn away. As the linings get thinner they will overheat causing the brakes to be much less effective; you would notice this more during a fast stop as you try to avoid hitting something. When the brakes overheat your stopping distance is longer even though you need it shorter. 

Not all brake lining materials are created equal; rather the life of an entry-level lining may be half the life of a premium lining. Also brakes can make some noise and still be “ok”, but we have found that when entry level or medium grade brake linings are used, the life expectancy and “squeaky brake” syndrome are more prevalent. Premium brake linings are well worth the additional up front costs due to the extended life and quieter operation.

The introduction of Anti-Lock brakes has been the biggest change over the years. This is an add-on to the basic system, which effectively uses a powerful computer system to pulsate the brakes for the driver when the tires start to skid. This limits the skidding and allows the driver the control to steer around objects instead of hitting them. 

#Brakes #Inspection #BrakePads #Calipers #Fluids #TrustedSaskatoon - "We'll Keep Your Car Young A Long Time" 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The winner of this Crestview Duffle Bag and washer fluid was Jesse Martin! 

Congratulations to Jesse! She had the #bestguess in our Lug Nut contest with a guess of 111! There were numerous guesses with a range of 123, however, no one guessed the correct number of 110. We thank all who participated and encourage you to keep watching our Facebook page for future contests. 

#Contest #Saskatoon #WasherFluid #CarRepair #Facebook

Friday, 12 June 2015

#CrestviewContest Winner

The lucky winner of this car safety kit was Tanya Marie!

Congratulations to Tanya! She won by sharing our recent contest Facebook post with her family and friends. Like our "Crestview Auto Service" Facebook page to be notified about upcoming contests and your chance to win. 

#CrestviewContest #Win #SafetyKit #Congratulations