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Keeping up with the Joneses

News and Helpful Hints from Jones Automotive.

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Why Does Your Car Drive Strangely and Make These Noises?

Why Does Your Car Drive Strangely and Make These Noises?

Q: What are the most important things about the suspension?

Struts2

A: Shocks (Struts), Tie Rods & Ball joints are some of the most critical factors in your suspension system, the ball joints are what connects your steering knuckle with the control arm. The tie rods help your steering by pushing and pulling the front tires. Shocks and struts give you the ride-ability you need while driving. So, if you have bad shocks and hit the brakes, your front-end will dive down as opposed to if you have good shocks then it doesn’t.

Q: how would you know if your ball joints are going bad?

A: Some clues are squeaks and knocking noises. If you turn the wheel and you hear a squeaking sound, go over bumps and hear a squeak, or you hear a knocking noise when you turn.

Q: If the ball joints are bad what else would it cause?

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A: Wear on tires. For example, when you have a bad ball joint, and you are driving down the road and the ball joints move, and your tires change direction you might drift on the road a bit. It makes a big difference in controlling the vehicle.

Q: What about the Bushings and the Tie rods.

A: Tie rod and control arm bushings are what allow for the movement of your vehicle to go up & down. However, the bushings can get worn out and will cause it to move from side to side and give you shaking steering.

Q: how would you know if the tie rod is bad?

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A: By getting it inspected. You need to put it in the air and see if you can’t move anything without the system moving. If there is a bad tie rod, the tires can wiggle back and forth while it’s up in the air. Basically, it’s a ball that sits into a socket and rotates in the socket. They tend to wear out on roads with bumps and the potholes. Every time you hit a bump, it wears the ball, and with more and more wears it eventually causes the ball to start moving around in the socket.

Q: What are some of the signs of bad struts?

A: Excessive bouncing. When going over bumps, it would feel rough instead of feeling smooth.

Q: What are some extreme problems the struts can cause if they're bad?

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A: The biggest issue is with the braking performance if you hit the brakes and the struts are good the vehicle stays straight and leveled and stops. If you have bad struts and hit the brakes, the car will dive down in the front while lifting the rear and that will affect the brake-ability. If your rear end is up while your front tires are braking real hard, it will cause excessive wear on the brakes and also affect your ability to stop fast while keeping your car under control. If you hit the brakes, you want to stop where you are at, if you have bad shocks you can dive one way or the other and wear out your brakes causing you to travel a longer distance before you stop.

Q: Are those things that should be checked out during an inspection?

A: Yeah, they usually have a mileage rating similar to the tires on your vehicle. When you buy tires, there are 100,000 miles or more before they should be replaced. There is typically a rating on all the struts, and your manufacturers should have recommendations on when to replace them. Struts are generally 60,000 - 100,000 miles. It just depends on the manufacturer - It's all measured by mileage they, and not all parts are expected to last.

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Don’t drive yourself crazy

Don’t drive yourself crazy. Here are (4) small things you can have done to keep your vehicle in good shape.

Have you ever felt that your car was doing something awkward or weird, and your first reaction is "Shoot, I bet this is going to be expensive?” Well, sometimes it is not as big as you think it is. Don’t neglect the small stuff. Small things that you should pay attention to and get checked out can keep you from having bigger problems and if you get to them as soon as possible, you will be able to save yourself some money. Here are four things you should do to avoid massive car issues.

 

1. Get your battery checked.

Battery

 

Battery You should always stay alert and aware of how your vehicle is performing. Depending on the climate in your area, your battery might not be supplying enough energy. Colder weather causes thicker oil and your battery will need the power to get it cranking. Batteries can be stressed by extreme heat as well!

 

2. Get your oil changed

Oil Change

 

The oil in your engine is what keeps it running smoothly. All new cars have that attractive purring sound that sounds reliable and strong. As time goes by that purr begins to lose its appealing sound. Good news is that to prevent your engine from having internal issues, you should stick to the recommended schedules for oil changes. Oil leaks can occur, however, leaks can be fixed thus keeping your engine full and in good shape.

 

3. Check your engine coolant (antifreeze)

Coolant

 

Coolant Rather than open the cap on the radiator, just check to see whether the liquid reaches the “Full” line on the side of the coolant over flow reservoir. It’s part of the coolant recovery system. If the liquid doesn’t reach the “Full” line, open the bottle and add the recommended coolant until it does. Some coolants require mixing with water, so check the bottle to see whether you need to add water or just use it as-is. Use caution! Never add coolant to a hot engine! If you need to add more liquid, wait until the engine has cooled down to avoid the possibility of being burned or cracking your engine block. Don’t open the caps on either of these systems when the engine is hot; if you do, hot coolant may be ejected.

 

4. Check your Power Steering

Power Steering

 

Although you should check all your fluids, the power steering fluid seems to be neglected. You should keep your power steering system in good condition. The power steering allows you to turn corners smoothly, park easily and go on long trips without a stiff steering wheel. Other components of the power are the power steering pump and pulley; if all are in excellent condition then you will be steering to your destination with no problems.

 

Keeping up with the maintenance on your vehicle will keep you from experiencing severe conditions that could have been prevented. Touching back on the point of getting your battery checked. Fobes.com reported that in 2017 the number of car owners with battery issues has risen by 44%. Although a percentage of these are factory related problems, getting it checked out will give you a better insight on what is going on with your vehicle.

 

If you feel that your car needs maintenance, try not to put it off for too long. The longer you stall, the worse things can get. It is always better to be safe not sorry.

 

References

Gorzelany, J. (2017, March1). Why JD Power Reports 44% More Car Owners Are Having Battery Problems. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mitsubishiheavyindustries/2018/03/02/how-to-cure-the-range-anxiety-of-electric-cars/#7c7158526da5

How to Optimize Your Oil Change. (2018, April 17). Retrieved from Car Care News Service: https://carcarenewsservice.org/article/how-optimize-your-oil-change

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