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Smart North Kansas City Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for North Kansas City auto owners to prevent. The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again. The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage. Different engines requi ... read more

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Cooling System

Northtown Auto Clinic On Your Serpentine Belt

Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our North Kansas City, Missouri customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the essential device that makes electricity to power the SUV and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around Missouri in the summer. The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most North Kansas City car owners’ vehicles. Those pumps provide critical pressure that assists your steering and braking. In many SUVs, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around North Kansas City, Missouri, the water pump is driven by the timing belt. The radiator cooling fans on some SUVs are also driven by the serpentine b ... read more

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Maintenance

Serpentine Belt Service At Northtown Auto Clinic In North Kansas City

Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy North Kansas City highway? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator – which charges the battery; the water pump – which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty critical parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. Like all essential moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around North Kansas City, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the SUV immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing costly engine damage. You can be sure that it won’t happen at a convenient time or place. (As if the ... read more

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Parts

Straight And True In North Kansas City: Wheel Alignment

Most Kansas City folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by North Kansas City motorists is a periodic alignment inspection. Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more pricey than an alignment check in North Kansas City. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Kansas City. Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your SUV. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the SUV may not steer ... read more

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Alignment

Viva la Differential At Northtown Auto Clinic In North Kansas City

There are a lot of North Kansas City people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before.With front-wheel drive being so common in Missouri these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most North Kansas City folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for North Kansas City people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Missouri high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Stagg ... read more

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Drive Train

Serpentine Belt Service At Northtown Auto Clinic In North Kansas City

Serpentine Belt Service At Northtown Auto Clinic In North Kansas City

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your SUV hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your SUV. Let’s go over them. First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in North Kansas City.
More importantly, the belt powers the alternator . The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your SUV’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost). And, on mos
... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around North Kansas City

With high fuel prices in North Kansas City Missouri comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on North Kansas City Missouri people desperate to save some money on gas. When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through. Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics? Do some research on the internet or ask your North Kansas City Missouri service advisor at Northtown Auto Clinic. There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in North Kansas City! So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more ba ... read more

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Fuel System

The Northtown Auto Clinic Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of We service the Northland area drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in We service the Northland area. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing. Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on Missouri freeways. And automatically shifts back down to climb We service the Northland area hills, pass or start up again. SUV automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recen ... read more

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Transmission

North Kansas City Road Trip Preparation

People from North Kansas City Missouri love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a Missouri road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt. Now you can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. Let’s look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip and what you might do to avoid them. It all starts with a thorough trip inspection by your North Kansas City Missouri service professionals at Northtown Auto Clinic. Let’s talk about some of the items on the trip inspection checklist. The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can’t always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance ... read more

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Inspection

The Northtown Auto Clinic Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

The automotive professionals at Northtown Auto Clinic would like to give North Kansas City motorists an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday – and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace. The Kansas City do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their SUV with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many Missouri car owners rely on the advice of their friendly Northtown Auto Clinic technician to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their car and their driving habits in the North Kansas City area. Let’s start with engine oil. We service the Northland area motorists who have been paying attention, will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the Missouri scene in the la ... read more

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Fluids