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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Exhaust Service At Northtown Auto Clinic In North Kansas City

Whenever they hear the term “exhaust service,” most North Kansas City car owners think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at Northtown Auto Clinic is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced auto manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your car maker recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified North Kansas City exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right – usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers. If your "Check Engine light" comes on, especially if it’s flashing, get yo ... read more

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Exhaust

Fuel Injectors

The last new American cars sold in North Kansas City with a carburetor rolled out of the Missouri dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in North Kansas City and nationally have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better gas mileage and more power for North Kansas City drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure. A few manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines rec ... read more

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Fuel System

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of Kansas City car owners have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their car owners’ manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She’s been in the automotive business for 24 years and is a speaker, a trainer, and a writer. Cricket says there’s so much confusion on this topic because, “Most owners’ manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called ‘regular service’ and ‘severe service’. Sometimes they’re simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement, and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time.” Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture ... read more

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Maintenance

What To Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in North Kansas City

So you’ve bought a used car in the North Kansas City area. Do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people in the North Kansas City area sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you’ve sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from. Maybe it was a little of both. Used cars in Missouri with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, Kansas City corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most North Kansas City buyers feel pretty confident about these because they’re newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained? North Kansas City drivers who are planning to own a car for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid pricey repairs down the road. But, if you know you’re only going to have the car for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It wou ... read more

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Older Vehicles

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello North Kansas City drivers, let’s talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely important PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Kansas City folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up, eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure build up would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out. Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the dangerous fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help redu ... read more

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Parts

Suspension Service In North Kansas City At Northtown Auto Clinic

When they hear the word ‘suspension,’ North Kansas City car owners may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your car’s suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your car up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around Kansas City. Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many critical parts. If you look under your car, it’s basically everything that connects your wheels to the SUV’s frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Northtown Auto Clinic. Here are some warning signs of suspension problems: the car pulls to one side it wanders the steering is erratic you see uneven tire wear you ex ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

Power Steering Service In North Kansas City

Most North Kansas City motorists are too young to remember life before power steering – cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let’s look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine – a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump. These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea fir North Kansas City motorists to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owners’ manual for the right type – or just ask y ... read more

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Steering

Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of North Kansas City car owners’s perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees. Twenty years ago in North Kansas City, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. North Kansas City car owners called them snow tires back then and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren’t very good on ice, packed snow or wet Missouri roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. North Kansas City motorists couldn’t wait to get them off in the spring. Then all-season tires started to appear in North Kansas City tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between ... read more

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Tires and Wheels
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