A generation ago, North Kansas City auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your SUV in to your North Kansas City shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed. For example, almost everyone in North Kansas City used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the SUV was in for a tune-up at Northtown Auto Clinic, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time. Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last ... read more
Myths passed around our North Kansas City Missouri community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the SUVs of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off. Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them. The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan. The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around North Kansas City. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjuncti ... read more
Sometimes busy North Kansas City residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Kansas City in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time North Kansas City auto owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before. Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s North Kansas City car owners would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s North Kansas Ci ... read more
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
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
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