It's the first hot day of the summer. Uncomfortably shifting in your
seat, you turn on that long-neglected AC knob, only to discover an unwelcome
blast of warm air streaming out from the vents. A bad situation made worse:
that's when you turn to us—your air conditioning service and repair
headquarters. Did you know that without regular maintenance an air conditioner
loses about 5% of its original efficiency per year? This means that without
proper maintenance, your air conditioning unit may be performing as poorly
as other models that are years older! But there is good news: you can
still recover most of that lost efficiency. Schedule an appointment with
one of our factory-trained professionals—we understand all aspects
of AC repair, from modern computerized components to environmental disposal
concerns. Today's AC systems are fairly complex and new improvements are
always being initiated. That's why you need to turn to us, the qualified
source for everything related to your air conditioning system. The following
is a brief schematic of some of the basic components that comprise this
Compressor: The compressor is a belt-driven
device that derives its name from compressing refrigerant gas and transferring
it into the condenser. While basically acting as a simple pump, the compressor
is the core of your vehicle's air conditioning system.
Condenser: The condenser's primary function
is to cool the refrigerant. It is a heat dissipating apparatus that radiates
heat released by compressed gases and condenses them into high pressure
liquids. The location of your condenser depends on how new your car is,
but typically it's found at the front of the vehicle, directly in front
of the engine cooling radiator.
Receiver (Drier): The receiver is a metal
container that serves as a storage receptacle for the refrigerant. It's
also referred to as a drier because it absorbs moisture from the refrigerant
and filters out particles of debris and harmful acids that would otherwise
harm your AC system. Commonly located on the liquid line of the AC system,
you should change your drier every 3-4 years to ensure quality filtration
and prevent any damage caused by these detrimental chemicals.
Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve: The orifice
tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a controlling mechanism that
regulates the flow of refrigerant throughout the system. In addition to
this, it also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the condenser)
into a low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the evaporator. Generally
located at the evaporator inlet, the orifice tube could also be found
between the condenser and the evaporator, or in the outlet of the condenser.
Evaporator: The evaporator is designed to
remove heat from the inside of your vehicle; therefore it's a heat exchanger
that's vital to your vehicle's AC system (not to mention your comfort).
The evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil
and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor is removed from the
evaporator by the compressor, cooling your car and reducing humidity.
Because the evaporator houses the most refrigerant in this heat transfer
process, it is the most susceptible to corrosion by harmful acids. Usually
this damages the evaporator beyond repair, which is why it's imperative
you see us to prevent this from happening.
Back to top
Let's face it, you can have the most meticulously maintained vehicle
on the road, but it won't start without the right battery, properly installed
and appropriately fitted for your driving needs. From ignition to door
locks, your car battery is the catalyzing force that allows you to get
from point A to point B. The following is a brief overview of the electrical
system that makes transportation possible.
Composed of a series of lead plates submerged in a 35% sulfuric acid/65%
water solution, your 12-volt battery houses a chemical reaction that releases
electrons through conductors, producing electricity which is then channeled
into your vehicle's electrical system. When your car's engine is off,
the battery supplies electricity to all of the electrical system components,
including the essential power required to start your vehicle. In periods
of high demand, the battery also supplements power from the charging system.
2. Charging System
The charging system is life force of your vehicle's electrical system,
consisting of three main mechanisms: the alternator, various circuits,
and the voltage regulator. The alternator has two roles. It: a) provides
power to the electrical system, and b) recharges the battery after the
car has started. The various circuits act as conduits for electrical power,
and the voltage regulator controls the voltage passed through these circuits.
Remember, all of these components require consistent attention and maintenance.
It's not just your battery that needs to be replaced every so often; if
one of these components should fail, that pulsating power source is now
reduced to a lifeless, twenty pound paper weight.
3. Starting System
It may seem obvious that the starting system turns your vehicle's engine
on, but did you know that this process consumes much more electrical power
than anything else your car does? That's because the starting system consists
of three components working one after another. Here's how it works: there's
the ignition switch, the starter relay (or solenoid), and the starter
motor. Turning the key causes a small amount of current to pass through
the starter relay, allowing a stronger current to flow through the battery
cables and into the starter motor. The starter motor cranks the engine,
forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a fuel and air
mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a spark that ignites
the mixture, and combustion is born.
Among all the equipment in your vehicle, belts and hoses have the shortest
life span. Due to constant exposure to heat, vibration, and harmful chemicals,
these components invariably crack, leak, fray, and peel. If not promptly
replaced and maintained, this could spell disaster for the performance
of your vehicle. And evaluating the condition of your belts and hoses
only on their appearance is not enough! Diligent inspection is required,
and we are here to do it. Here is a sample of how we ensure belt and hose
Visual Inspection of Belts
• Search for clear indications of damage
(cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
• Test for correct tension
• Test for correct alignment
• Record belt condition for future
Visual Inspection of Hoses
• Search for clear indications of damage
(leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
• Test cooling system for leaks using
state-of-the-art pressure technology
• Record hose condition for future
It is vital to inspect your vehicle's belts and hoses on a regular basis
because often times a damaged piece has serious effects on the condition
of your vehicle. Research shows that while most people are attentive when
it comes to regular oil changes, they hardly devote any concern at all
to the condition of their belts and hoses. A leaking hose or a cracked
belt will cause you more trouble than an overdue oil change ever will!
The following is a brief description of some of the different belts and
hoses we inspect:
Drive Belts:The engine itself is used as a power source to drive
some of your vehicle's accessories. Instead of being supplied by electric
power, these accessories rely on a series of pulleys and belts to operate.
Some of these accessories include:
• Power steering pump
• Air conditioning compressor
•Radiator cooling fan
• Water pump
Most older vehicles require a single serpentine belt to power these accessories
(as opposed to several individual belts).
If you think of hoses as your vehicle's circulatory system, then you'll
have an appropriate representation of how important they are. Channeling
car fluids to their correct destination, hoses are composed of two rubber
layers with fabric in between. Types of hoses vary on make and model,
but typically they include:
• Fuel hose (sends gasoline from the
gas tank to the engine)
• Radiator hose (delivers coolant to
•Power steering hose (connects power
steering pump to steering equipment)
• Heater hose (provides coolant to
Back to top
Our ASE-certified technicians take professionalism to the next level
by offering courteous and knowledgeable service to all of our customers.
Continually striving to master every aspect of automotive care, ASE technicians
follow Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines for your
vehicle's braking system to assure safe, smooth driving.
When your mechanic is wearing the ASE patch, don't expect to get to know
him—you won't be back in a long time! That's because our ASE technicians
do the job right the first time. They inspect the following braking components:
• Disc brake rotors and pads
• Calipers and hardware
•Brake drums and shoes
• Wheel cylinders
• Brake fluid and hoses
• Power booster
The brake system equipped in your vehicle is a culmination of over 100
years of technological innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms
into dependable and efficient pieces of speed variation equipment. While
brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc
brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in the rear. Connected
by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes are linked to each wheel and
the master cylinder by said network, which supply them with vital brake
fluid (hydraulic fluid).
We'll take a closer look on how this works, but first we'll provide a
brief overview of the critical components that make braking possible.
We can summarize all of your braking equipment into two categories:
Hydraulics and Master Cylinder.
Master Cylinder: When it comes to your vehicle,
think of the master cylinder as a pressure converter. When you press down
on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this
to hydraulic pressure. This pressure is used to propel brake fluid to
the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses: Steel braided brake
lines and high pressure, shock, and road resistant brake hoses are the
channels which deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s)
at each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers: Wheel cylinders
consist of cylinders surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons that connect
the piston with the brake shoe. When brake pressure is applied, pistons
are forced out, pushing the shoes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake
pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes: A disc
brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into
a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes
two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist
of a steel shoe with a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.
How It Comes Together:When you first step
on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into
the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each
wheel. This is because you actually push against a plunger in the master
cylinder, causing the fluid to be released. Now because brake fluid can't
be compressed, it journeys through the network of tubes and hoses in the
exact same motion and pressure it initially began with. And when it comes
to stopping a 2,000 pound steel assembly at high speed, this consistency
is a good thing. But the performance of your brakes can be affected when
air is introduced into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess
in the pedal, which disrupts this consistency, and results in bad braking
efficiency. The good news is that "bleeder screws" (located
at each wheel cylinder) can be removed so that the brake system is "bled"
to remove any unwanted air found in your system.
Back to top
What would happen if you gave an Olympic long-distance runner two different
types of athletic shoes to run his next race? Chances are his performance
would suffer. The same can be said about your car's driving potential
if its alignment isn't correctly positioned. When vehicle alignment is
not proportioned correctly, two issues may occur:
1. Driving becomes more expensive
2. Driving becomes more dangerous
Driving in a vehicle without proper alignment is an expensive enterprise.
Not only does flawed alignment decrease gas mileage and tire life, it
also adds stress to other vehicle components, including steering equipment
and overall structural damage. Ideally, your vehicle's wheels should be
perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Adjusting the
angles of the wheels so that they meet these criteria is how our service
professionals ensure your vehicle is properly aligned.
Driving in a vehicle without proper alignment is a dangerous idea. A car
that is out of alignment can pull or drift away from a straight road,
resulting in a possibly fatal situation. Excessive tire wear—another
result of bad car alignment—can lead to tire blow-outs and poor
traction, which also has potentially disastrous consequences. That is
why it is imperative you let our alignment experts make sure you're driving
smoothly and safely.
So, how does it happen? Your vehicle's alignment can be impacted by a
variety of factors. An obvious indication that you require our computerized
alignment service is a major or minor collision that results in physical
damage to your vehicle's frame. Steering problems or the presence of uneven
wear patterns on your tires are clear signs that demand immediate attention.
But alignment problems don't only occur by collisions and accidents; problems
can arise by something as small as driving over a pothole, or grazing
over a curb. The following descriptions are symptomatic alignment variations
you should look for in order to determine if you require our computerized
Caster: Caster is used to describe the angle
of a steering pivot, as seen from the side of the vehicle and measured
in degrees. Caster alignment plays a large role in evaluating the "feel"
of steering and the stability of high-speed transportation. Three to five
degrees of positive caster is typical for most vehicles, and lower angles
for heavier vehicles are used to keep steering comfortable. A faulty caster
angle will cause loose or difficult steering.
Camber: Camber is the angle of the wheel
in relation to a vertical direction (seen from the front or rear of the
car). A negative camber measurement occurs when a wheel leans toward the
chassis; a positive measurement points the wheel away from the car. An
ideal camber angle assures optimal tire efficiency, proper steering control,
and a precautionary "anti-roll" directive that engineers have
adapted into vehicle designs to negate the effects of a body roll. A faulty
camber angle will create pulling and tire wear.
Toe: Like camber and caster, toe is measured
by degrees and is another basic aspect of suspension tuning. When a pair
of wheels are placed with their front edges pointed toward each other,
the pair is defined as "toe-ins." If the front edges point away
from each other, the pair is defined as "toe-outs." Essentially,
a toe changes the distance between the front and back of the rear tires,
and a faulty toe angle will wear down your tires.
I visited your shop and my alignment is now correct. What can I expect
When your wheels are properly aligned, you'll get:
• Tires that last longer
• Easier steering
• Improved gas mileage
• Smoother ride
• Safer, more secure driving
Back to top
Computerized Engine Analysis
Your modern vehicle's engine is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment.
The days of your father's gas-guzzler are long gone-instead, Federal Exhaust
Emission and Fuel Economy regulations demand that today's vehicles be
equipped with electronic engine control systems to curb carbon emissions
and increase fuel efficiency. With technically advanced control systems
taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services
such as tune-ups are also a thing of the past. Regular services (such
as spark plug and filter replacements) are still required, as well as
a computerized analysis of your vehicle's control computer. Our factory-trained
technicians are here to provide these basic services.
Here's How Your Modern Vehicle's Control Computer Operates:
A network of sensors and switches convert and monitor engine operating
conditions into electrical signals. The computer receives this information,
and, based on information and instructions coded within this savvy computer
program, commands are sent to three different systems: ignition, fuel,
and emission control. Whenever a problem arises (as seen by that nagging
"check engine" light), our service pros check whatever command
is prompted, in addition to the status of your engine control computer
and sensors. That way you'll know if your vehicle's performance is caused
by a real problem, or just a sensor/computer issue.
Here's a Brief Overview of Your Vehicle's Sensory Components:
• Mass airflow sensor
• Throttle position sensor
• Manifold absolute pressure sensor
• Coolant temperature sensor
• Exhaust oxygen sensor
• Crankshaft position sensor
• Camshaft position sensor
Back to top
CV & Drive Axle
The axle on your vehicle is the structural component that connects two
wheels together on opposite sites. It's a load-bearing assembly that acts
like a central shaft, maintaining the position of the wheels relative
to each other and to the vehicle body. The construction of your axle is
designed according to what your vehicle is built for; trucks and off-road
vehicles are equipped with axles that keep the wheel positions steady
under heavy stress (ideal for supporting heavy loads), while conventional
axles are constructed for the needs of the general consumer. But no matter
what you drive, remember that your vehicle's axle must bear the weight
of your vehicle (plus any cargo) and the acceleration forces between you
and the ground. So when it comes to axle inspection, we are your source
for professional, knowledgeable service—essential for the equipment
that carries you and your family to wherever you need to go.
Here is a brief description of the most common axle design:
Simply put, a drive axle is one that is driven by the engine. Typically
found in modern front wheel drive vehicles, a drive axle is split between
two half axles, with differential and universal joints between them. Each
half axle is connected to the wheel by a third joint—the constant
velocity (CV) joint—that allows the wheels to move freely. This
joint allows the shaft to rotate, transmitting power at a constant speed
without a significant increase in friction and heat. CV joints are usually
dependable, but, as is the case for all of your vehicle's moving equipment,
they do require regular inspection. An easy way for you to tell if you
need to see us for axle repair is to go out to a large space (such as
a parking lot), and slowly drive in tight circles. If you hear a clicking
or cracking noise, you have a worn joint, and it must be repaired immediately.
We will have you back on the road, "click-free" in no time!
Back to top
Your exhaust system is more than a muffler, it is a series of pipes that
run under your car, connected with your muffler and your catalytic converter.
The main function of your exhaust system is to control noise and to funnel
exhaust fumes away from passengers.
In some ways, a car's exhaust system works like a chimney on your house,
directing the byproducts from burning fuel away from the people inside.
A car's exhaust system routes waste gases from the engine to the rear
of the car, where they are discharged into the atmosphere. Exhaust gases
contain dangerous substances such as carbon monoxide, which can be hazardous
if allowed to flow into the passenger housing of the car.
The exhaust system also converts pollutants into less harmful byproducts,
reduces the noise of the engine, and directs exhaust gases so they can
be used to heat air and fuel before they go into the engine's cylinders
to be burned. Finally, the exhaust system provides just the right amount
of back pressure into the engine to improve its fuel-burning efficiency
and increase performance. Key components of your exhaust system include:
Exhaust Pipes:Designed specifically for each car model to properly route
exhaust to the back of the car
Exhaust Manifold:(Some engines have two). Acts like a funnel, collecting
exhaust gases from all cylinders and releasing it through a single opening
Catalytic Converter:Designed to reduce the amount of harmful emissions
products by transforming pollutants into water vapor and less harmful
Muffler:Metal container with holes, baffles and chambers that muffles
Resonator:Works with the muffler to reduce noise
Tail Pipe:(Found at the back of the car) Designed to carry exhaust gases
away from the vehicle
All components of the exhaust system are connected with a series of clamps,
hangers, flanges, and gaskets.
Back to top
Have you recently been in a colossal crash, or just a fender-bender?
Believe us, we've seen it all, and that's why we are your front-end collision
experts. Using the latest in collision repair technology, our service
pros will correct any amount of damage your car has endured. From major
structural problems to cosmetic flaws, we will erase any dent, ding, scratch,
or chip. With years of front-end service under our belts, we will get
you back on the road and restore your vehicle to its regular condition.
Nitrogen Tire Inflation by NitroFill!
Nitrogen in tires is becoming a very popular replacement for air, and
for good reason. With proper inflation procedures and adequate purity
nitrogen can provide amazing benefits. Converting to nitrogen in tires
can improve your fuel economy by up to 10% and increase your tire life
by 30% or more while dramatically increasing the safety of your vehicle.
High purity nitrogen has been used for decades in Nascar, Formula One,
the Tour de France, the US Military and many other applications where
safety and economy are paramount concerns. Only the high cost and complexities
of generating and properly administering nitrogen have kept it out of
reach of the general public. Recent advances in nitrogen production technology
have now made nitrogen inflation economically viable for the automotive
service industry - and NitroFill™ has lead the way by providing
a refined nitrogen product of incomparable purity. Our nitrogen generators
have set the standard worldwide and are used by Fortune 500 companies,
governmental organizations and military installations around the globe.
In fact, NitroFill™ was selected, and remains, the sole nitrogen
tire inflation product used in our nation's fleet of B2 bombers.
Back to top
The primary function of your car's suspension and steering systems is
to allow the wheels to move independently of the car, while keeping it
"suspended" and stable. Any play or uncontrolled motion in these
systems results in a deterioration of handling and accelerated tire wear.
Vehicle alignment is closely tied to the condition of the suspension and
Worn or loose components affect the suspension system's ability to control
motion and alignment angles, resulting in a deterioration of vehicle handling
and stability, and accelerated tire wear. The main components of the suspension
* Control Arms
* Ball Joints
* Springs (Coil or Leaf)
* Shock Absorbers
For those of you who aren't mechanically savvy, you probably still understand
that transmission problems are among the most expensive repairs required
for your vehicle. That's because your transmission is a complex system
of gears that transmit mechanical power to your engine, ultimately determining
the rate of speed you travel. Transmissions convert this power from the
engine so that it can supply high torque at low speeds, in addition to
selecting which gears are appropriate based on the driving conditions.
This is especially true with automatic transmissions-by far the most popular
transmissions found in the US. Rather than using a clutch to engage the
transmission, automatic transmissions use a torque converter (between
the engine and transmission) to control the number of gears when driving.
Supplying the power to regulate gear action is a demanding task, which
is why it's important for you to contact us, your transmission service
specialists. Here are some of the essential maintenance tasks we complete:
* Drain transmission and torque converter
* Refill Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF) with new fluid
Transmission problems typically arise when regular service is neglected.
When fluids aren't properly changed, heat caused from mileage friction
results in rough shifting, accelerated wear, and even complete failure.
That's why it's essential that you turn to us to make sure that your transmission
is lubricated and cooled by the finest quality transmission fluids, installed
by our service professionals.
Back to top
Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful,
perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing
measured lead weights on the opposite side of the "heavy spot"—the
noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.
How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?
Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph?
If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire
is heavier than the other because it's endured more exposure to the friction
and heat of the road. Come in for prompt, professional service—most
people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive
procedure makes. Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come
* Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
* Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.
Back to top