What's Shakin' with my Brakin'? (Brake Rotor Service)
Jun 15th, 2020
If you feel your vehicle vibrating when you're braking, or if you don't stop in as short a distance as you used to, it may be time to have your brakes checked. All newer vehicles have disc brakes in the front, and more manufacturers are using disc brakes all around (instead of an older technology called drum brakes), so there's a pretty good chance at some point you'll find yourself facing a disc brake repair when yours begin to wear out.
Before we go any farther, here's how disc brakes work. If you've ever had a bicycle with hand brakes, you know there is a caliper that pushes pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you squeeze the brake handle. Disc brakes are similar, but there's a metal disc (called a brake rotor) there instead of the bike wheel's rim. In disc brakes, the vibration you feel when you are stopping is often because the surface of the rotor is not flat, or the rotors have an uneven thickness.
Sometimes, the rotors can be re-surfaced or "turned" (basically shaving them off until they are straight and even). But newer vehicles are using thinner, lighter rotors with a slightly different construction. So, when the rotors are not true, shaving the metal off may make them thinner than the manufacturer deems safe. The only option for them is replacing the rotors.
In most cases, it's wise to replace the brake pads when replacing the rotors because the rotor damage was either caused by worn pads or the damaged rotor has caused uneven pad wear.
Some drivers will decide to replace rotors with the same type that was on the vehicle originally. Others may decide to upgrade with premium rotors that provide better performance than the original equipment. Depending on your vehicle and driving habits, your NAPA AutoCare Service Advisor can suggest the high-quality brake parts that are the best choice for you and your vehicle.
May 3, 2020
The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water pump is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.
The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles, or 65,000 kilometers, but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles, or 160,000 kilometers.
Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.
Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.
If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Old Town Tire & Service to know if the water pump has failed.
If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles, or 100,000 to 145,000 kilometers. The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time.
Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it's powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for Temecula residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.
Replacing a water pump at Old Town Tire & Service is a vehicle care issue that almost all of us Temecula residents face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Old Town Tire & Service service advisor.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Mar 10th, 2020
All new cars and light trucks in Temecula, CA, since 2008 have come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, or 'TPMS'. The TPMS system detects when a tire becomes under-inflated and lights up a warning light on the dash.
So what's the big deal for Temecula drivers? Well, underinflated tires can be a real safety concern for in CA. First of all, they don't handle properly and that can lead to an accident. Second, underinflated tires can overheat and cause the tire to come apart, which can also lead to an accident.
Government regulations requiring TPMS systems aim to reduce accidents in CA and save lives, a very worthy goal. There are also positive environmental effects because underinflated tires are fuel wasters - lose 1 percent of their fuel economy for every 3 pounds of pressure below ideal. So proper tire inflation can save you a tank of gas a year. And your tires last longer so you won't have to replace them as often.
There are two kinds of TPMS systems. So-called direct systems have a battery powered sensor in each wheel that measures tire pressure. The sensor sends a signal to a receiver that illuminates the warning light if pressure is low on a tire.
Indirect systems use a computer program to detect underinflation by measuring wheel rotation speeds and other data.
Temecula drivers will have to replace TPMS parts as they wear out. Obviously, the batteries in the sensors will run out someday. Road salt and grime can damage sensors too. The system needs to be reset when you rotate or change your tires.
Because the TPMS system is so important to your safety, you should make the repairs when needed. And remember, TPMS is no substitute for regularly checking your tire pressure - at least once a month.
Ask us for more details.