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Hyundai radiator overheating Woodbridge, Virginia

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

A car overheating is a good indicator that something is wrong.

If you pair smoke coming from under the hood with the vehicle being low on coolant, the signs may be pointing to a bad radiator. This happened to a Hyundai Santa Fe, which received a new radiator on Tuesday.

After completing the Hyundai radiator replacement, a coolant fluid exchange was performed.

A coolant fluid exchange was conducted on a Hyundai after the radiator was replaced.
Coolant fluid exchange

We could have simply topped off the coolant after replacing the radiator. However, a coolant flush comes with a couple of benefits. Not only does it help clean out the rest of the system, it also speeds up the process of moving air out. 

Check out this article to learn more about coolant fluid exchanges and why they’re important.

What does a radiator do in a car? How do I know when my radiator is bad?

A car radiator is one of the components that is responsible for keeping the engine cool. If everything is working correctly, hot coolant goes into the radiator and exits at a cooler temperature.

There is no set length for a radiator’s lifespan. They typically need to be replaced when they begin to leak or get clogged.

There are a few clues that you have radiator problems. Other than the car overheating or having less coolant than it should, you may notice a coolant leak or that the color of the fluid has changed.

Different reasons why your Hyundai radiator overheating

There is a large variety of Hyundai vehicles. These include: the Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Ioniq, Hyundai Palisade, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Veloster, and Hyundai Venue.

Different culprits could cause a Hyundai radiator overheating problem. Most likely, there is a coolant leak or some sort of issue with the cooling system.

These are some possible reasons:

  • Radiator leaking from seals and the plastic end caps: A common place for a leak is the end caps. The middle of the radiator is made out of aluminum and a seal connects it with the end caps, which are plastic. Something also could have hit the radiator, and it’s leaking due to damage.
  • Radiator coolant reservoir leaking: Radiator coolant reservoirs have hoses that go to them. Sometimes, the plastic cracks a little and coolant seeps out overtime. Next thing you know, you’re low on coolant. 
  • Thermostat problems: The thermostat could be stuck. Also, a lot of times on Hyundais the thermostat housing will have a couple of hoses going to it. There are a couple of seals where the housing bolts to the cylinder head. That is a common area where leaks occur.
  • Bad water pump: As the water pump starts to go bad – due to age or mileage – coolant may start to leak out of the weep hole, which tells you the water pump seals are going bad. Sometimes, the water pump belt can break, preventing the water pump from spinning and coolant from circulating through the engine.
  • Radiator fan: The fans on these vehicles are electric, and the motor can just go bad. It could even be a fuse or a control problem, such as a cooling fan sensor. This measures the temperature of the coolant and, once it reaches a certain temperature, the fan will turn on. There’s also a coolant fan resistor, an electronic component that helps keep things from burning up electrically. However, if that goes bad, the cooling fan won’t work.
  • Cracked cylinder head: The cylinder head having a crack in it is a more drastic problem. This can result in exhaust gasses being pushed into the cooling system. Coolant may also be leaking into the cylinder and burning out through the engine and out of the tailpipe. Cylinder gaskets can also go bad and start to deteriorate, causing coolant to leak into the engine or exhaust gasses entering the cooling system.
  • Car repair not done correctly: Drivers could have their vehicle repaired and still be experiencing an overheating problem. There is a bleed procedure, where air is bled out of the cooling system. If that isn’t done correctly, there’s still air traveling through the system and could still cause the car to overheat, even if you replaced something that was broken or leaking earlier.

Radiator repair services at HomeTowne

When it comes to radiators, you get what you paid for. Investing in a good radiator and high quality coolant can prevent engine damage and other problems in the future.

Our Woodbridge mechanics are able to perform radiator repair services and address Hyundai radiator overheating issues. In addition to replacing the radiator, we are able to remove and install new components that are associated with it and the cooling system.

Two of our technicians replacing the radiator on a Hyundai.
Hyundai radiator replace in

If you are replacing the radiator, it’s a very good idea to change the upper and lower radiator hose, especially if you’re over a certain mileage – like about 50,000 or 60,000 miles.

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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Wheel alignment machine upgraded

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is keeping up with advancements in technology.

Our wheel alignment machine has received some upgrades. It may not seem like a big deal, but these improvements are helping speed up the process and increase our capabilities.

Before these changes, we needed to find the specifications and perform a custom alignment, a time consuming process. Now, we have the information we need for vehicles that have come out between 2018 and 2022.

Depending on the car, we may have to recalibrate the steering angle sensor. We have the computers and software to do that.

A lot of shops haven’t been able to keep up with upgrades, due to COVID-19, and can even be 2 to 5 years behind. We try to stay up-to-date on technology so we can better serve our customers.

We also provide our technicians with training on the latest techniques, tools and tips.

In addition to working on vehicles owned by our customers, our Woodbridge tire shop performs car alignments on those from other auto repair shops as well as body shops.

When and why to get a wheel alignment

Wheel alignments are one of the services our Woodbridge mechanics are able to perform.

Recommended once a year or when you have tires replaced, a car alignment prevents premature tire wear. You can learn more about why we suggest having it checked yearly by reading this article we published. An alignment can also be thrown off by suspension wear, or hitting a curb or pothole.

There are a few symptoms that could make an appearance when you need a tire alignment. When you have a bad wheel alignment, you may notice uneven tire wear, the vehicle pulling to one side, and a steering wheel that seems to be crooked or uncentered.

The car alignment process

During the tire alignment process, special targets are attached to and read the direction of the wheels. The CCD camera reads the targets showing where the angles are. The technicians use this information as they manually adjust the car until the readings are correct.

Caster, camber and toe are the specifications checked during a wheel alignment. “Camber” describes how tires are angled in or out, and “caster” explains how much they tilt to the front or back. “Toe” refers to their position in relation to a vehicle’s center.

We also have the equipment to reset the Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). ADAS, which is used on a lot of vehicles nowadays, includes park assist, collision avoidance, and blind spot detection. 

The vehicle’s alignment has to be within specification in order to reset anything in the ADAS system.

One aspect that is missed at a lot of shops is the ride height of the car. Most vehicles have struts. On cars and SUVs, there will be a strut coil spring set up on all four corners. The height can drop, due to the spring losing a little bit of their tension. That can impact the handling of the vehicle, as well.

We measure the ride height, measure the angles of the wheels, because sometimes it will require replacing some parts to bring everything back to the way the manufacturer intended.

So, it isn’t just a matter of setting the toe. It’s about looking at the ride height, and checking the caster, camber and thrust angle. All these factors can affect other systems in a vehicle.

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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When to replace tires

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Car tires nowadays are more durable and last longer than they used to.

However, they only last so long, and at some point they need to be replaced.

Drivers shouldn’t wait more than 8 to 10 years before getting new tires, but – depending on weather conditions – it might be closer to 6 years.

As tires age, the compound can start to harden a bit, possibly causing some traction issues – especially if it’s cold.

How do you know when to replace tires?

There are a few indicators that will tell you when to replace tires.

Cracked tires, or tires that have cracks on the sidewall, is one sign. This can occur because of age or the climate.

At that stage, the chance of the tire blowing out when you hit a rock, curb or pothole also increases. Depending on where it blows out, it could impact your ability to control the vehicle safely.

Taking a look at the tire tread depth will also give you an idea of where your tires are at. Performing the penny test is a quick way to check the tire tread, which must be at least 2/32 of an inch to pass the Virginia safety inspection. Most manufacturers start to recommend changing out the tires at 3/32, 4/32 or 5/32 of an inch, because the ability to stop, go, and move water away to maintain contact with the road diminishes greatly. 

Technician performing the penny test on a tire.
Tire penny test

To conduct the tire penny test, hold a penny on the grooves, with the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, you should replace the tire.

The tread wear indicators becoming visible means it’s definitely time to change the tires. For some vehicles – if the alignment is out – the tread wear indicator can hit on the inside or outside of the tire, compared to the rest of it. So, not only should you get a new tire you also need to figure out what’s going on with the alignment. Do you have a problem with the suspension system? Is it just out of alignment?

Tire damage: Not all tires are repairable

You may also need to get new tires when there is tire damage.

Maybe you were driving in a construction zone and ran over a nail, causing you to end up with a flat tire. You might hit a pothole or a curb a certain way, and cause damage to the sidewall or the tire to blow.

Sometimes, a tire just needs a plug patch. But other times – depending on the location and angle of the injury, a tire may not be repairable. It can’t be fixed if the damage is on the inner or outer shoulder. We talk more about when a tire is repairable in this article.

How to maintain your tires

Maintenance can help extend the life of your vehicle’s tires. Wheel alignments and tire rotations are two ways to do that.

One benefit of tire alignments, which are recommended once a year or when you purchase new tires, is that they prevent uneven tire wear. If you notice that your tires aren’t wearing evenly, it’s one sign you may notice when it’s time for a wheel alignment.

Having tire rotations done on a regular basis prevents tires from getting used to being on the front or back of the vehicle, which have different weight distributions.

Lifespan of tires

When to replace tires depends, in part, on their lifespan. So, how long do tires last? That depends on the manufacturer, the quality of the tire, and how it’s produced. 

Cheap tires, for example, won’t hold up as well or handle different weather conditions as others.

The lifespan of tires can vary. Good tires can last anywhere from 45,000 miles to 90,000 miles. This can be impacted by driving and weather conditions.

Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal produce a variety of reliable, all season tires. Some that we recommend include the Michelin CrossClimate 2 Tire, the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport Tire, and the Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring A/S Tire.

Vehicles, however, come in different sizes and have differing needs. So, before you buy a set of tires, reach out to a tire repair shop you trust to get their feedback and make sure any you are considering will be a good fit.

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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Crank no start on Ford F-350

In Automotive Diagnostics by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

A crank no start is a common problem that can occur with any vehicle.

It’s the reason that a customer brought their Ford F-350 to our shop earlier this month.

When looking into the problem, our technician found that the fuel injectors weren’t pressurizing. A high pressure oil system is used to pressurize the injectors, because they need 500 PSI just to fire. 

To determine the cause behind the pressurizing issue, he hooked up an air line to the oiling system and discovered a leak on the oil stand pipe. There was a broken o-ring, as well. When o-rings break, they will leak internally, resulting in a loss of pressure.

For this diesel, we needed to replace the oil stand pipe, which allows oil pressure to pump up the fuel injectors, and oil. They come as a set. The crank position sensor was also broken and a new one was installed.

The oil stand pipe for a Ford F-350 that had a crank no start. The oil stand pipe was replaced.
Oil stand pipe

Possible causes behind crank no start

A crank no start is a signal problem.

There are numerous possible causes behind this issue – so many that we wouldn’t be able to cover all of them in this article. 

Fuel delivery is the most common reason a vehicle won’t start, because if it’s cranking that means your battery has juice.

Most vehicles have a fuel pump in the tank, and then you will have a high pressure fuel pump under the hood. Either of those components could become clogged or broken. Some automobiles have in-line filters that may get clogged. A lot of newer vehicles have their filters in the fuel pump. You might also have a simple relay or fuse go bad.

Fuel injectors have tiny needles that go in and out. They could become clogged, preventing the needles from moving. Usually, however, injectors alone won’t prevent a car from starting. Instead, the vehicle will start but run poorly. 

The glow plugs, which are responsible for starting the engine on a diesel, could also be the culprit. They could have gone bad and need to be replaced.

Cam and crank sensors not functioning correctly is another possibility. This would be indicated by the vehicle’s inability to fire.

How determining the problem has changed

Years ago, vehicles had carburetors, rather than fuel injectors. Automotive technicians would follow the philosophy of “air, spark, fuel.” They would check those areas, and it didn’t get more complicated than that.

Now, it’s not so simple, because there are signals. Vehicles that are produced today have computers, parameters that need to be set, and security devices. Having so many more features at play can make the process of tracking down the problem a bit more difficult and time consuming.

Performing diagnostic testing on vehicles with a crank no start is one of the services we provide. If your vehicle is refusing to start, have it checked out by a car repair shop near you. 

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 shaking when driving

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Have you noticed your car shaking? If so, it may be telling you that there’s a problem.

One of our customers felt a vibration when driving. It was taken on a test drive and it seemed that the issue was somewhere in the drive train.

We put it up on a lift and when we ran it at about 40 miles per hour, we were able to move the drive shaft, which should be tight. This indicated that the transfer case was failing.

An old transfer case.
Old transfer case

There were also metal flakes in the fluid coming out of the seal where the driveshaft goes into the transfer case.

When removing the transfer case, our technician needed to drain the fluid. As he did this, he saw metal chunks coming out of the drain band.

What is a transfer case? How do you maintain a transfer case?

Found on four-wheel drive vehicles, a transfer case connects the transmission to the front axle.

We recommend having regular transfer case fluid exchanges performed to extend the component’s lifespan.

During this maintenance service, old transfer case fluid is exchanged with new fluid. Transfer case fluid is responsible for keeping components, such as gears and bearings, lubricated. Overtime, it isn’t able to do its job as well and needs to be changed. 

Make sure that the correct type of fluid is being used. We see more problems with transfer cases, because somebody put the wrong fluid in.

It’s also a good idea to have your vehicle looked over to ensure that the transfer case isn’t leaking and any nearby parts don’t need to be replaced.

Symptoms of a bad transfer case

Even if you do keep up with transfer case maintenance, this part can still go bad from daily use.

A vehicle vibrating is just one indicator of a bad transfer case. Other symptoms include a growling noise.

You may also notice issues with the 4-wheel-drive. When you engage the system, the  4-wheel drive light might start flashing, which means that there’s a computer code indicating a problem. The system might also engage intermittently or not work at all.

Is your car shaking? Here’s what you should do.

If you notice your car is vibrating, you should have it checked out at a nearby car repair shop.

A drive shaft. Unbalanced drive shafts can cause vibration.
Drive shafts

The problem may have to do with the transfer case, or it could lie with another part. Unbalanced drive shafts and can cause a vibration.

A bad carrier bearing.
Bad carrier bearing

Bad carrier bearings may also lead a vehicle to shake.

One of our mechanics working on a constant velocity drive shaft.
Constant velocity drive shaft

Other possible causes behind this symptom include bad constant velocity joints and bad universal joints.

Because various components could be the culprit, it’s best to have an expert take a look at your vehicle and perform any needed diagnostic testing. They will be able to pinpoint the issue and get your vehicle back up and running the way it should be.

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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Are winter tires needed in Northern Virginia?

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

With winter being around the corner, drivers are looking into getting their vehicles ready for any possible inclement weather we may experience. Purchasing and replacing their tires with winter tires is one way some prepare.

There are a lot of questions people may have about winter tires. Here are some recommendations and information regarding this option.

Why should you check tires before winter?

Before winter, you will want to make sure that your tires are in good shape. Is the tread worn down? Do you have steel belts showing through the inside or outside edge? How are the sidewalls looking? Is the tire old or starting to crack due to age and weather? So, one of the most important factors is the condition of your tires. Most people have all season tires, so for places like commuting from the Woodbridge area your tires are going to be OK for the winter. But if they’re worn, they won’t be able to move water away as well.

If you have performance tires, which tend to be very grippy and good for the summertime, you may want to consider all season or winter tires for your vehicle.

For most of the driving that we do around here in Northern Virginia, all season tires are going to be the best bet for most drivers. 

For something like a Mazda Miata or a BMW that has performance tires, it’s a good idea to have either another set of tires or a set of rims and tires, so you can switch them all out for the wintertime. That way, you don’t have to worry about scratching up your nice rims. It will make a big difference, especially if you’re commuting.

What are the best types of tires for winter?

Depending on the type of vehicle that you have – whether it’s a car, truck or SUV – there are many choices. Some of it comes down to aesthetics, such as the look, and a lot of it is related to how the tire performs.

If you have an SUV or truck and want a tire with an aggressive design that you know can make it through the snow, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Tire is a great option. It’s a tough, all-terrain tire that is rated for severe snow.

BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Tire.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Tire

For pickup trucks and SUVs typically used on the roads, the Michelin Premier LTX Tire is one to consider. That is an excellent tire. Not only is it good in wet weather – which is what we mainly see around here – but you know that you’ll be able to get around if it snows.

The Michelin Premier LTX Tire.
Michelin Premier LTX Tire. Photo courtesy of Michelin

Do you drive a car or SUV? We recommend the BFGoodrich g-Force Comp 2 A/S Plus Tire is surprisingly good in winter, because it acts like a tractor tire. It isn’t rated as a winter tire, but it offers great grip in all seasons.

The BFGoodrich g-Force Comp 2 A/S Plus Tire.
BFGoodrich g-Force Comp 2 A/S Plus Tire

Those who are looking for a true winter tire should look into the Michelin X-Ice Snow Tire, which provides confidence in snowy and icy conditions. Backed by a 40,000 mile warranty, this winter tire offers snow traction and does well braking in icy conditions. Drivers that use the Michelin X-Ice Snow Tire have a lower chance of hydroplaning, thanks to the tire’s tread design and tread blocks.

Michelin X-Ice Snow Tire. Photo courtesy of Michelin.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of snow tires and all season tires?

Snow tires are made for wintertime. They are designed for snow and maintaining traction when going over ice. Any tire will have a limited amount of traction in icy weather, but usually winter tires are a bit softer. The tread and siping are made to give you the most traction as you’re moving down the road.

Because winter tires are softer, they tend to wear faster when used on regular roads during the summertime. That’s why it’s a good idea to have them as a second set of tires for the winter. 

All season tires are the popular option, since they’re great year round and a lot of people don’t have room to store another set of tires. The all season tires perform well in summer and winter. You still want to make sure the tread depth and tire condition are good.

With Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal tires, your all season tire is going to get you around confidently.

How much do winter tires cost? How does that compare to all season tires?

How much you pay for tires depends on whether you’re driving a regular vehicle – like a Honda Accord or a Toyota Corolla, a Kia, small SUV, or a Chevy Tahoe – or whether you’re renting a Toyota pickup truck or an F-350 Dually. 

Depending on the size of the tire and the model of the tire, you can be looking at anywhere from $60 to $500 per tire. We realize that is a wide range, but it depends on what kind of vehicle it is, what are the performance characteristics of the tire – whether it’s a winter tire or all season tire. Uniroyal and BFGoodrich are both good and may be more economically minded compared to Michelin. The top of the line in that group is Michelin.

Obviously everybody has their own budget, but we recommend purchasing the best tires that you can afford. The tire is the only component in contact with the ground and makes the car go and stop. Everything else controls the tire. If you’re going to invest in your vehicle, this is where you want to invest your money.

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 check your lug nuts and wheel bolts

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

A lot of cars, trucks and SUVs have lug nuts or lug stud bolts – depending on the make – have a chrome coat or chrome caps. 

Over a period of time – due to normal wear and tear and the environment – they’ll start to rust between the iron part of the lug nut and the aluminum coating, or cap. This will cause the lug nuts to swell up. 

When you’re considering why you should go to your local repair shop over one of these speedy oil change places, keep in mind that an automotive technician can make recommendations and see what’s going on.

Why replacing a lug nut is important

If your lug nuts are starting to become damaged – whether they’re getting rounded off or they’re starting to rust underneath and the caps are beginning to swell up – it can make it difficult to remove wheels.

When they are replaced as needed, it’s easier to get your wheels on and off as you’re getting your tires rotated at your regular oil change intervals.  

This simple service doesn’t just permit maintenance to be performed on your vehicle. It also comes into play during unexpected situations.

Lug nuts that are swollen up due to the caps can also prevent you from replacing a flat tire on the side of the road. If you need to get your lug nuts off, your lug wrench may not fit correctly and you won’t be able to remove the lug nut. 

An auto repair shop over torquing your lug nuts or lug bolts is another issue you should look out for.

If the mechanics aren’t using a torque wrench to torque them correctly they could actually be over torquing them. Over a period of time, the threads start to stretch a little bit, damage you really can’t see until it’s too late.

How much are lug nuts? When should you change them?

Depending on the type of vehicle it is and the age, the lug nuts may need to be replaced anywhere between five and 15 years. The cost of lug nuts or lug bolts can range from $2 to $7 or $8 a piece on most vehicles. 

If your auto repair shop is taking the wheels off – whether it’s to conduct a wheel alignment, tire rotation, or brake repair – it may be worth your while to ask them if the lug nuts need to be changed. I can tell you right now that we would much rather put on new ones if we know they’re getting worn or damaged. This makes it easier for everyone all around.

Checking the lug nuts is part of our digital vehicle inspection that we perform as part of a normal oil change service. It’s one area we look at so we can provide that recommendation to you. 

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 save gas and get better gas mileage

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

As gas prices have increased throughout the year, a lot of commuters are considering how they can cut down on their bill at the pump.

While you can’t change how much gas costs, there are many things you can do to make the fuel you do buy last.

How to save gas while driving

  • Clean your vehicle (including the trunk): Clear out the clutter and dirt, which can add weight and cause you to travel slower.
  • Reduce the amount of time you leave your engine running at idle: Many of us have the habit of running the engine when we first get into the car or are about to get out. This is especially true during colder months, when we run the defroster. While it’s a great idea to let the engine warm up, we suggest limiting it to a couple of minutes. And when you arrive at your destination, turn the vehicle off when sending a text or gathering your items.
  • Minimize trips around town: Try to combine stops at the grocery store, dry cleaner, the post office, and other errands into one trip. That way, you are reducing the amount of trips out and back home.
  • Reduce your speed and use cruise control: Do you have a lead foot? Consider letting up on the gas pedal and using cruise control. Both of these strategies can help improve your gas mileage.
  • Brake gradually: Bumper to bumper traffic is a common trait of Northern Virginia. If you are experiencing heavy congestion, give yourself enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and brake slowly. Your gas usage is lower when you don’t brake suddenly.

How to get better gas mileage

  • Make sure your oil isn’t low: When you don’t have enough oil in the system, engine components aren’t properly lubricated. This also means that the engine needs to put in more effort, in order to function correctly.
  • Use high quality oil and change the oil filters: Regular oil changes are a very important part of maintaining your vehicle. This service should be done every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. Simply having the oil filter changed can reduce the chance of gas being wasted.
A spark plug.
  • Have spark plugs replaced: Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel in the cylinder head under high compression. Replacing them when needed ensures that you will be able to start your car and that it is fuel-efficient.
  • Regular tune-ups: Tune-ups enable mechanics to take a deeper look at a vehicle and spot any problems. These include any issues that may impact gas mileage, like bad spark plugs and any needed transmission services.
Fuel induction service that is being done on a Nissan.
  • Take care of the fuel system: Maintaining the fuel system is another great way to improve fuel economy. This can be done through a fuel induction service, which we recommend every 30,000 miles. The service also restores engine power and reduces emissions that are released through the tailpipe.

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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Cadillac CTS wheel alignment cost

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire works on Cadillacs of all makes and models.

Our Cadillac service includes wheel alignments, which help prevent premature tire wear. We recommend having it checked once a year or when new tires are installed.

While conducting an alignment, we use high quality parts and a computerized alignment system. Various specifications, such as caster, camber and toe are checked through this process.

How much does an alignment for a Cadillac CTS cost?

Wheel alignment prices aren’t set in stone and depend on several factors.

The average cost for a Cadillac CTS wheel alignment is between $98 and $132, not including taxes and fees.

If the caster or camber need to be adjusted, a special tool is required, which could increase the cost to between $220 and $278. The price can also depend on whether additional parts are required.

This service could be done as part of a larger repair or tire replacement, so it may not represent the total cost.

Special target on a wheel and a computer displaying the wheel alignment of a vehicle.What could impact a Cadillac’s alignment?

Aside from getting a car alignment annually and when tires are replaced, you may need one when certain circumstances occur.

Some issues could throw a Cadillac out of alignment, including normal wear and tear, potholes, and certain components — such as tie rod ends, ball joints, and control arm bushings.

Work completed by automotive professionals might impact a car alignment, as well.

Some automotive centers may try to perform one as if it’s a rear wheel vehicle when it really needs an all wheel alignment. This could cause them to use the wrong specifications. Depending on the year of the Cadillac, there can be different suspension specifications. Certain Cadillacs have a standard and sports package, which gives them different ride heights. If you use the wrong specifications, that may cause premature tire wear.

We use the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to load the specifications into our alignment machine. This machine is updated every year to make sure we have the most accurate information from the manufacturer.

What are symptoms of a bad wheel alignment?

A few symptoms can be clues that you need a tire alignment.

One indicator of a bad wheel alignment is the steering wheel could be slightly off-center.

Hitting a bump in the road might impact how much the steering wheel needs to be turned while driving down the road. 

You can also feel as if the vehicle is pulling to one side on a flat road. You should take into account that there could be a crown in the road, which may be causing it to pull.

Tires wearing unevenly is another symptom drivers might notice when a tire alignment is needed.

If you think that you are in need of a Cadillac CTS wheel alignment, it’s a good idea to reach out to an auto repair shop near you or having it looked over by a local mechanic.

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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What does a tune up consist of?

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

When was the last time you had a mechanic thoroughly check over your vehicle?

Although it is important to make sure basic car maintenance – like oil changes and inspections – is performed, automobiles also require a tune up every once in a while.

“Tune up” is a term you may have heard or read in reference to regular automotive work. 

Because cars are made up of many computers and updated equipment, the procedure of a tune up looks a bit differently than years past. In the old days, you would replace the distributor cap, rotor, spark plug wires, spark plugs, PCV valve, fuel filter, air filter, and set the timing.

A tune up now could involve spark plugs, ignition coils, ignition coil boots, PCV tubes, and injector cleaning.

Even though there may not be as many parts being changed, tune ups are still just as important.

Worn spark plugs and corrosion build up.

What is the purpose of a tune up?

Through tune ups, technicians are able to catch issues you may not notice in your daily travels before they become major problems.

They are also able to ensure that your vehicle is up to date on all maintenance needs. This includes mileage based services, like the fuel induction service.

The fuel induction service, which should be performed every 30,000 miles or so – depending on the vehicle – gets rid of carbon that has built up in the engine. In addition to restoring the engine’s performance, it helps prevent engine damage.

Parts may be replaced during a tune up, as well.

Spark plugs, which ignite the fuel in the cylinder head under high compression, are one example. Years ago, they were changed around 30,000 miles. Nowadays, they have a longer lifespan and can typically last for as long as 60,000 to 105,000 miles.

How much is a tune up? 

There isn’t one set answer for the cost of a tune up. Usually, it can range from $100 to $500 (or more). 

The price tag varies based on the type of vehicle, where you have it serviced, the work that the auto repair shop provides, and if new parts need to be installed.

Keep in mind that some cars require special tools in order to replace components. 

The type of work needed may also impact the cost because of the labor required. Various parts may need to be removed in order to install new spark plugs, a process that could take several hours. 

It’s important to use the correct type of spark plug. Just because it fits, it may not be the right spark plug for the vehicle. Different engines and manufacturers have different tolerances. That’s why we like to use O.E. manufacturer recommended spark plugs. Since today’s vehicles operate under much closer tolerances, it is worth spending the money on the right plug over a cheap alternative.

Damaged catalytic converter material and normal catalytic converter material.

What happens if you don’t do a tune up?

When you hear an estimate for a tune up, it may be more than you feel like spending. But the money that you put in now may be saving you from receiving an unexpected (or possibly more expensive) bill.

For example, if bad spark plugs aren’t replaced it could ruin your catalytic converter, which can cost between $700 and $1,200 each. Some vehicles have three or four of them.

Additional parts that may need to be replaced, including intake plenum caskets as well as rubber and plastic vacuum lines, as they get brittle with age.

Avoiding a tune up doesn’t just prevent you from making sure all pieces are functioning. You could also miss out on an opportunity to help your vehicle run more efficiently and last longer.

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.