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What we do during an oil change

In Brakes, Oil Change, Tires & Wheels, Vehicle Fluids, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Oil changes are a form of maintenance that most drivers are familiar with.

This service is necessary for your vehicle to run properly. Oil is needed to lubricate many components and some parts feature oil pressure sensors. 

Regular oil changes, which are suggested every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, prevent engine damage from occurring down the road. You can read more about why they are important in this blog post we wrote.

During this service, the oil and oil filter are replaced. HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire takes it a few steps further by providing additional services.

What an oil change looks like at HomeTowne Auto Repair

While completing an oil change, we always use seat covers, floor mats, and steering wheel covers to protect the vehicle.

In addition to replacing the oil and oil filter, our technicians perform a courtesy inspection. This includes several safety checks, such as testing the battery. They also examine the air filters and look over the belts and pulleys. 

The fluids are checked, as well. We look at the windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid.

Not all of the fluids have a warning light when they’re low and you may not know until something happens. Being low on oil or coolant might cause an alert. That isn’t the case with power steering fluid and transmission fluid.

Measuring the brake pad depth is another part of the process. To pass the Virginia state inspection, they must be at least 2/32 of an inch. We start suggesting replacing the brakes when they reach 3/32 or 4/32 of an inch, but some manufacturers recommend them sooner.

The tires are also measured and rotated, which helps them last longer.

To confirm there isn’t any play or damage, the steering and suspension are inspected. Parts can become loose or go bad overtime. If they aren’t replaced early on, they could lead to more expensive repairs in the future.

Additionally, our technicians make sure the lights are working properly.

The courtesy check and tire rotations are services provided at no additional charge.

We believe in maintaining your car before it breaks down. If we can catch problems early, then we can potentially save people money.

Digital inspections

Any observations our technicians make while performing an oil change or courtesy inspection are noted in digital inspections.

Through digital inspections, we are able to share photos, videos and information about the health of your vehicle. This includes details about what’s looking good, repairs that need to be made, and services we recommend.

These reports can be sent via text or email, allowing you to receive an update wherever you are.

Is your vehicle due for an oil change? You can schedule one at HomeTowne Auto Repair by calling (703) 594-4646.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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All about axles: Different types and signs that they’re going bad

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

In our daily rush with work, errands and family activities, we heavily rely on our vehicles.

Axles play the important role of making sure that the wheels keep turning. These parts connect the wheels and bear a car’s weight.

A few kinds of axles are found on automobiles today. 

CV Axles

Constant-Velocity Axles, or CV Axles, are found on most front wheel drive vehicles and can be used on four wheel drive cars. 

Four wheel drive trucks with CV Axles typically have them on the front wheels due to independent suspension. 

Some vehicles, like Subarus, have all wheel drive and CV Axles on four corners because they have independent suspension on the front and rear.

Certain trucks use CV Axles up front and Solid Axles in the back.

CV Axles have CV joints, which enable the transmission to run the front wheels evenly.

Straight Axles

Straight axles used to be used all the time. Now, they are usually on heavier duty trucks.

A rear differential is normally a straight axle.

They feature a simple setup and can be found on various types of suspension. 

You may see this kind of axle on the front of work vehicles.

It’s also popular among lifted trucks and Jeeps, especially if their owners go offroading. Some Jeeps have u-joints up front with four wheel drive, which allow the wheels to turn.

Rear Axles

Rear axles are made up of axle shafts that are connected through the differential. Different types of rear axles are produced, such as semi-floating and full-floating axles.

A Semi-floating axle links the wheel and the flange. Cars, SUVs and light trucks use this type.

Heavy duty trucks or some that are mid-size or have four-wheel drive require a full-floating axle, which is able to “float” due to the support of two bearings.

Signs of a bad axle

Your mechanic or the auto repair shop you bring your car to should be able to tell when your axle is going bad.

The technicians at HomeTowne recently let me know when I brought my Volkswagen in for another service that we will need to keep an eye on one of my axles.

There are also some symptoms to be watchful for.

Clicking: As an axle goes bad, you might notice a clicking sound as you turn or speed up.

Grease: Grease on the edge of a tire can be another indicator that the axle needs to be replaced. This can begin to leak if a boot is torn.

Vibrating: Axle problems could cause a vehicle’s steering wheel to start shaking (so much so that you can’t ignore it).

Leaking axle seals: If the bearings on a Solid Axle start going bad, they can start to put grooves in the axle shafts. If your axle seals are leaking, you definitely want to have that addressed. If the bearings wear out due to a lack of lubrication or water gets in there, then it can cause premature wear and do more damage than just the bearings. 

Squeaking u-joints: If the u-joints are squeaking or making noises, that can be an indicator that the u-joints on the Straight Axles are bad. 

Other maintenance

Depending on the type of vehicle you have and whether it uses four-wheel drive, there are u-joints that you need to keep greased and check to make sure they aren’t wearing out or experiencing play. 

If your car or truck has CV Axles, you should have the boots looked over during an oil change.

The owners of vehicles with solid axles should also ensure that the vent cap is functioning.

A lot of the time solid axles have a tube that runs from the differential to the body and a vent cap. Due to everyday use, heat and bugs, the vent cap may stop working correctly. As it heats up, lubrication could be pushed out of the seals.

For straight axles, you want to make sure that the correct type of differential fluid is used. Also, some of them need a limited slip additive and it’s important to confirm that it’s in there. Otherwise, you could cause problems just by servicing the differential.

Why you should have them replaced

Although you don’t need to have a bad axle replaced immediately, it’s a good idea to have a new one installed soon.

Choosing to put it off will cause the problem to become worse overtime.

The issue could also impact other components. For example, brakes may not work the way they should if grease leaks on them. 

If CV Axles are bad and causing problems, such as lots of clicking or you’re feeling shaking in the steering wheel, that could put extra wear on the bearings that are going into the transmission.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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How to tell if your car radiator is going bad

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

To work correctly, the items we use regularly and for long periods of time need to be able to release heat.

That is the role a car radiator plays – it helps keep the engine cool.

This component sits out front, where the air is coming in. Coolant entering the radiator is hot and must leave at a cooler state.

Radiators don’t necessarily go bad. However, they may start leaking or become clogged. 

Symptoms of car radiator problems

Car is overheating: A vehicle overheating multiple times may be an indicator that the radiator is failing. Keep in mind that just because it’s overheating doesn’t mean the radiator is bad. The coolant needing to be changed is another possible reason.

Low on coolant: As we mentioned, sometimes coolant simply needs to be replaced or topped off. But if you’re noticing a recurring low coolant issue, there may be a leak in the radiator.

Coolant is leaking: You may see coolant under a car if there’s a problem with the radiator. It may be green, orange, pink, red or yellow. In addition to the radiator, this can be caused by a bad hose or water pump.

Coolant is a different color: The coolant changing colors could hint at rust, scale and sludge buildup in the coolant lines.

Cheap vs. good radiators

It seems like just about every manufacturer has some kind of small engine that has one or two turbos on it. That’s a lot of heat that is generated. 

Not using a good radiator with the full amount of flow that is going to hold up under pressure can be detrimental to your engine. 

If the vehicle overheats or the side tanks blow out due to cheap manufacturing, you have a chance of ruining a $5,000 to $25,000 engine. Buying that $150 radiator compared to the $300 to $500 radiator can make the difference of whether or not you could have an engine problem.

Just because it fits doesn’t mean it’s the right radiator. 

Radiator replacement

Radiator maintenance

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your vehicle’s coolant level. If you notice that it’s low, make sure to have it topped off or – if it’s a continuous problem – checked for leaks.

Coolant fluid exchanges are another way you can maintain your vehicle’s cooling system. On top of cleaning out the system, this service restores coolant. We recommend it every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, depending on the vehicle and manufacturer’s recommendations.

You should also make sure that a high quality coolant is being used. With today’s engines and how they’re manufactured you want to make sure you’re using the right type of coolant for that vehicle. Putting the wrong one in can actually cause overheating problems.

In addition to replacing the radiator and conducting coolant fluid exchanges, our technicians perform cooling system repairs. This includes installing new components, such as the thermostat and water pump. 

With most cooling system repairs, we offer to change the thermostat, which determines the amount of coolant that flows between the radiator and engine.

For example, say you have a leaking radiator and your car overheated. That maxed out your thermostat, and it might not always bounce back.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Protect your transmission through transmission fluid exchanges

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Your vehicle’s transmission is responsible for sending power from the engine to the wheels.

Since it plays such an important role and is an expensive component, it should be taken care of.

Maintaining your transmission is one way to prevent problems from cropping up down the road.

How to know if you need a new transmission

There are a few indicators that your transmission is going bad. 

Those signs include trouble switching gears. Grinding or crunching sounds could be heard, as well. 

You can extend its lifespan through transmission fluid exchanges, which are important for both automatic and manual transmissions.

Reasons to have a transmission fluid exchange performed

The heavy traffic we travel through each day puts a lot of stress on the transmission. Due to the high temperatures this creates as well as oxidation, the transmission fluid degrades. Contaminants collect in the fluid and metal on components breaks down.

Transmission fluid is responsible for lubricating metal to metal surfaces. If it collects dirt and debris or water builds up – displacing the oil – it isn’t able to do that properly. 

Putting off a transmission flush can lead to heat and friction, and cause components to break down.

The service is especially important for automatic transmissions because the fluid relies on pressure to build in certain areas. 

There are also many more valves and solenoids, which can stick if it becomes too dirty. This can lead to non-shifting problems or “flairs” – when the transmission revs when the driver shifts gears.

Having transmission fluid exchanges performed regularly extends the lifespan of parts and can save you money in the long run.

When to get this service

How often you get a transmission fluid exchange depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation. We suggest having this service performed every 30,000 miles.

Many manufacturers won’t recommend it until you reach 100,000 miles, when the powertrain warranty runs up.

Unless you have a german vehicle that states not to have a transmission fluid exchange performed until a certain time, you don’t need to wait until your car hits 100,000 miles.

When your vehicle is due for this service, a couple of symptoms may appear. These indicators include a burnt smell or darker transmission fluid.

So, what happens during a transmission fluid exchange?

Our technicians begin performing a transmission fluid exchange by adding a cleaner that suspends dirt and particles that have accumulated in the fluid.

The contaminants and old transmission fluid are replaced with new fluid.

Then, we add a conditioner that enhances the fluid and helps it last longer. 

Transmission fluid exchanges are a great way to take care components, prevent non-shifting problems, and help you avoid costly work on your vehicle. 

We work on manual and automatic transmissions. Here is a video about manual transmission fluid exchanges:

This is a video about automatic transmission fluid exchanges:

Any money that you put toward maintaining your car – whether it’s oil changes or mileage-based services – are worth the investment.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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BG MOA provides additional protection to engine

In Oil Change, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Staying on top of your car’s oil changes can prevent expensive repairs in the future.

Recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, this service keeps your engine working right.

You can read more about oil changes and why they are important by checking out one of our previous articles.

There is a way to protect the engine even further – BG MOA

About BG MOA

BG MOA prevents sludge build up and reduces engine wear. 

This oil additive also helps your oil protect the engine better and last longer.

It can help improve fuel efficiency, as well.

During a BG MOA oil change, our technicians change the oil and oil filter and add the BG MOA.

This supplement offers great protection for stop-start engines as well as turbocharged engines, which are becoming more prominent on so many vehicles today because of fuel economy and power.

Some people talk about oil additives taking regular oil and turning it into synthetic oil. That isn’t the case. The BG MOA takes regular oil and not only gives more protection but helps it last longer.

All of the stop and go traffic many of us experience while commuting in Northern Virginia is really hard on these engines.

If you’re like a lot of people who miss their oil change interval, this helps keep your engine protected, even during your busy time of life.

Another myth is that you can’t add BG MOA to synthetic oil. That’s not true. For many years, we have been using synthetic oil in oil vehicles and do add the MOA to it. The additive just helps protect the engine even better. 

Even though it does help extend the life of oil and its synthetic fluid – which you would normally have a longer oil change interval anyway – we still suggest changing the oil at about 5,000 miles for synthetic oil, or whenever your car’s manufacturer recommends. Because of the stop and go traffic, you want to keep the engine clean and prevent expensive repairs down the road.

The amount of money it costs to add MOA to your oil change – whether it’s conventional oil or synthetic oil – is minute compared to the cost of replacing an engine. 

Engines today are made up of variable valve timing, multiple camshafts and turbo chargers that have bearings with tight tolerances. Preventing sludge build up and making sure those parts are working correctly is one of the best things you can do to maintain your car.

BG Lifetime Protection Plan

If you have your oil changed at HomeTowne and decide to have BG MOA added, ask a service adviser if your vehicle qualifies for the BG Lifetime Protection Plan.

It covers several areas, including the engine, power steering, transmission and brakes.

We had a customer who had regular BG Transmission Fluid services performed on their Dodge, which are notorious for having transmission problems. It had nothing to do with the fluid, they just broke. This customer did have a transmission problem and BG held into its end of the bargain. 

So, there can be benefits with using BG services.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Car AC repair and maintenance

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Spring has arrived. 

With the warmer temperatures beginning to settle in, now is a good time to make sure your car’s air conditioning is working correctly. That way you’re not realizing there’s a problem when it’s 80 degrees out.

Possible air conditioning problems

There are several possible culprits behind air conditioning problems, including a constricted air conditioning condenser and being low on freon. You can read about other causes in this article we wrote last year.

If you find out the system isn’t working, you should pay attention to whether the car AC has lost its performance over time, if the problem is intermittent, or the system stopped abruptly. This information will help us narrow down the cause and diagnose it faster. 

We have found that a good portion of the time, the system will gradually stop working due to a refrigerant leak. 

Intermittent problems are more complicated. They could indicate that components, like the compressor, are going bad or that you have a weak relay.

Car AC repair services

HomeTowne Auto Repair performs car AC repairs on all makes and models. 

Before 1995 and 1996, vehicles used refrigerate 12, or R-12. They switched to R-134, and today manufacturers are moving to R-1234yf.

R-1234yf’s Global Warming Potential and impact on the Earth’s climate in less than R-134. It also doesn’t deplete the ozone layer.

We can service vehicles that use R-134 or R-1234yf.

In addition to replacing components, our technicians can look for leaks and perform electrical diagnostics.

How to maintain your air conditioning

Not all car AC problems can be prevented. Sometimes, parts simply go bad from everyday use. 

However, you could prolong the life of certain components, such as the air conditioning condenser, through maintenance. Cleaning the condenser is one way to take care of it, especially if it has a lot of bugs and debris. 

But you have to be careful while cleaning the condenser. Don’t scrub it with a brush or use a high pressure hose, because you don’t want to bend the fins. To learn more about how to clean it, check out this article we wrote.  

We also recommend changing the cabin air filter once or twice a year. How often you should replace it depends on different factors, like if it’s parked outside and under trees. It’s a good idea to get a new filter right after pollen season. As the air is coming through, especially on recirculation, that helps your air conditioning work more efficiently.

You can also have a BG Evaporator Service performed. This foaming service cleans out the dirt and kills mold. 

If you have an older vehicle and the A/C isn’t working as well, that’s a good time to have it serviced or to have an evac or recharge. Putting in synthetic air conditioning oil could help your system last longer.

Before the temperatures rise to unbearable conditions, we recommend checking your car’s A/C. This way, you can receive relief from those hot spring, summer and fall days.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Why you should have a power steering fluid exchange performed

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Your vehicle’s power steering system undergoes a lot of heat and pressure to help you maintain control. 

The high pressure and temperatures eventually lead power steering fluid to deteriorate and lose its ability to lubricate parts.

Over a period of time, power steering fluid – just like oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid – will start to break down. 

Contaminants collect in the fluid and may cause components to wear out earlier than expected. 

Some metal and material from oil seals start to deteriorate and float around the system. As it does, it can put more wear on the power steering pump and – on most cars – the rack and pinion system.  

To keep the system running properly, it’s a good idea to have regular power steering fluid exchanges. HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire suggests this service every 30,000 miles.

Some manufacturers, like those of performance cars, recommend you have it performed at shorter intervals.

Thirty thousand miles is a good time to do it, because that’s when you need to change other fluids.

What happens during a power steering fluid exchange?

Our technicians use a cleaner, BG Quick Clean for Power Steering, when they are conducting a power steering fluid exchange. The cleaner, which goes in the reservoir, collects contaminants as it travels through the power steering system. 

We use a push and pull strategy to remove old fluid. Then, we add in new fluid, BG Power Clean.

What are the benefits?

In addition to cleaning the power steering system, power steering fluid exchanges ensure that steering remains smooth. 

They also extend the life of the power steering pump, rack and pinion, power steering hoses, and electric steering components that are exposed to the fluid. This service delays break downs, as well.

Overtime, your steering may feel a little wonky or loose. With new fluid, it’s going to feel much more firm and steady as you’re heading down the road. That can depend on the type of car.

What are signs that you need a power steering fluid exchange?

When you need a power steering fluid exchange, the power steering fluid will be dark.

In addition to seeing dark fluid, you might have trouble steering. It may feel choppy, rather than smooth. A whining or grinding noise could also be heard.

When repairing a vehicle, certain parts may require a power steering fluid exchange.

It’s important to make sure that your service center is using the right type of power steering fluid on your car.

Certain vehicles, such as Volkswagens and Audis, use mineral hydraulic fluid. Some older cars use transmission fluid. Most use what we call “regular power steering fluid”. 

BG produces a wide variety of power steering fluid products.

We use BG Power Clean, a synthetic fluid that guards against heat and wear. We also have the mineral hydraulic fluid as well as regular power steering fluid, which is made by BG and features additives that help the system last longer.

BG Universal Synthetic Power Steering Fluid provides even better protection when it’s very hot or cold. It can also stand up against sub-zero conditions.

BG Full Synthetic Electric Power Steering Fluid is made for vehicles that have electric-hydraulic power steering systems.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Coolant fluid exchange keeps cooling system running correctly

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Your vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent the engine from overheating by ensuring that it’s running at a safe temperature.

Because of the important role the system plays, it’s important for it to be maintained.

As time goes on, coolant breaks down and supplements that hinder corrosion start being used up. This causes the coolant to turn acidic and parts, including the water pump and radiator, to corrode. 

Reasons to get a coolant fluid exchange

A coolant fluid exchange keeps the system clean and restores coolant that has diminished over time.

It gets rid of any rust that has accumulated on the coolant lines and cooling system fins, and also removes sludge and scale. 

Buildup of rust, scale and sludge impacts circulation and makes it more difficult for engines to release heat.

To keep your cooling system running correctly, we recommend coolant fluid exchanges every 30,000 miles.

We use a cooling system cleaner and additive when performing this service.

How to know if you need a coolant fluid exchange

There are also a few symptoms you may notice when a coolant fluid exchange is needed.

These signs include leaks, hose failure and a vehicle having trouble starting. An increase in temperature and losing coolant are other clues.

You may also notice that the coolant is darker, which occurs as the fluid breaks down. 

Because coolant that needs to be changed is acidic, technicians may check it with a test strip. This helps them determine the PH level. 

Having a cleaner system that works better is only one benefit of a coolant fluid exchange.

It can also extend the coolant’s lifespan, improve performance, and decrease the likelihood of a vehicle overheating.

You’ve heard the lifetime coolant. What the manufacturers are referring to is the life expectancy of you owning that vehicle before getting a new one. But that might not be the same as your expectancy. If you’re someone who plans to own their vehicle for 12 + years, it’s important to change your engine coolant every 30,000 miles.

Make sure the right coolant is used

It’s also important to use the correct type of coolant. Most people think the coolant is green, but it can also come in blue and yellow. Actually, the color of coolant is clear, and the color you see is just dye.

The dye helps manufacturers identify that it’s the coolant approved for the type of metal the engines are made out of.

The metal used in Asian vehicles differs from what’s used in the USA. So using the wrong type of engine coolant can actually hurt certain vehicles.

Coolants for European cars, such as BMWs and Mercedes, are manufactured not only to protect their engine but also engine concerns if it leaks out of the vehicle.

You can use a universal green type of coolant. But just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s correct. It’s OK to use green, but you need to make sure that it’s high quality.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Fuel induction service restores engine performance

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

As your vehicle gets older, you may notice that it isn’t running the way it used to.

If it seems to be struggling to start or feels rough when idle, it could mean that carbon deposits have built up in the engine because of ethanol. 

In addition to particles in the engine, ethanol can cause corrosion to develop, impact your vehicle’s ability to drive properly, and cause parts to fail.

These deposits can be removed through a fuel induction service, which we recommend every 30,000 miles. 

How often you have it performed also depends on the vehicle.

Some BMWs with direct injection for the fuel system and some vehicles with GDI engines actually have carbon build up problems, and it may be a good idea to conduct this service more often.

Other signs of carbon buildup

Difficulty starting your vehicle and rough idle are only a couple of symptoms of carbon buildup.

Poor gas mileage and knocking in the engine are other indicators. 

You may also experience stalling, engine surges, loss in power and more emissions that are being released.

fuel induction service
Carbon buildup

Perks of the fuel induction service

Regular maintenance, such as clearing out carbon buildup, prevents engine damage. This helps you save money down the road.

Having a cleaner air induction system and fuel injection system isn’t the fuel induction service’s only perk.

It also restores engine power and decreases the amount of emissions the tailpipe emits. Improved air and fuel flow and increased fuel economy are other benefits of this service.

Fuel induction service process

A fuel induction service begins with adding BG Fuel System Drier to the fuel tank. This soaks up and suspends moisture that collects due to condensation.

Then, our technicians add BG Ethanol Fuel System Defender, a fuel system cleaner that cleans out various components, including the fuel lines, fuel injectors, and the backs of the valves. 

In addition to removing particles in the fuel system, it provides protection against ethanol-related damage.

Lastly, they run an air intake system cleaner, which removes grime on the intake manifold and cleans the valves in the intake system.

It’s important to keep up with this service, especially with the stop and go traffic common in the Northern Virginia area.

How BG 44K benefits your fuel system

In between the fuel induction services, it may be a good idea to use BG 44K to help keep that fuel system clean and make sure your car is in tip top shape.

BG 44K cleans the fuel system and gets rid of particles that accumulate on many components, including combustion chambers, oxygen sensors and injectors. 

Enhanced engine performance, better combustion, and a cleaner catalytic converter are other benefits of using BG 44K.

This product, which can be used on diesel engines and turbocharged engines, can also decrease issues that carbon buildup causes. 

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Why your car AC is important during the winter

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

It’s cold outside. So, why should I worry if my car’s air conditioning works or not? 

Well, there’s actually a very good reason. 

During the winter, obviously we use our defroster a lot – especially in the morning – to clear the windshield and side windows. Normally, you put it on full blast as you’re warming up the car. 

But on today’s vehicles, when you turn it to the defrost setting, the air conditioning does come on to help dehumidify the air before it goes across the heater core.

It’s kind of like your house – when you have the air conditioning running during the summer, condensation develops as the moisture is being pulled out of the air. It’s the same concept when you have your car AC on for the defroster. If you’re putting dry, warm air on the windshield – rather than moist, warm air – it helps keep the windows clear.

The moisture that is removed from the air goes out the drain tube through the evaporator.

Even though we’re talking about this in the winter time, it also comes into effect during the rest of the year when it’s raining or the temperature drops a bit. A car’s air conditioning keeps the windshield clear of the fog compared to clearing the windshield of ice and snow.

Your car AC system helps you drive safer by enabling you to see.

Common problems that can affect the air conditioning for the defroster include being low on freon and the AC compressor not working. There may also be a control problem from an air conditioning module, AC switch or defrost button. 

If you’re having an issue with the mode selector for the vent controls, it could have to do with a switch or blendor motor, which controls where the air goes – the windshield, vents or the floor.

Here are five possible reasons why the air conditioning isn’t working.

Right now is a perfect time to check to make sure everything is working. If not, have it checked out at your local, independent repair shop.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.