PCV Valve Service At Central Street Garage Inc. In Foxboro
Posted December 27, 2011 9:40 AM
The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a big job for Foxboro drivers. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the utility truck engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase. These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.This can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause utility truck engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Central Street Garage Inc.. At high speeds on Foxboro freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.
Back in the old days, engine makers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, laws mandated that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the utility truck's engine.
This is much better for the environment and it saves gas too. (Budget-conscious Foxboro drivers take note!) The little valve that controls all this action is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and wasted gas.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Central Street Garage Inc. and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Foxboro drivers don’t know about it. Check your utility truck owner’s manual or ask your Central Street Garage Inc. service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.
There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Central Street Garage Inc. when it gets dirty.
Please ask your knowledgeable Foxboro service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Foxboro, you can avoid some very expensive deep engine repairs.
Posted in the Parts category
Central Street Garage Inc. Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln
Posted December 21, 2011 1:24 PM
Welcome to the Central Street Garage Inc. blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most of us Sheldonville drivers tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Sheldonville drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.
Let’s focus on stopping in wet Sheldonville conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.
That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Sheldonville drivers can actually spin out of control. At best, you won’t stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your utility truck tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.
And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Central Street Garage Inc. tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your utility truck on wet Sheldonville roads.
So that’s why it’s so important to replace our utility truck tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.
By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely worn out utility truck tire.
At Central Street Garage Inc., we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Sheldonville roads. A safe stop from MA freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.
There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your utility truck tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Sheldonville car owners have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, utility truck tires are a big ticket item. Most of us in Sheldonville want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Suspension Service At Central Street Garage Inc.
Posted December 13, 2011 2:30 PM
Suspension systems will continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually utility truck components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Millis.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth MA highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, utility truck suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your utility truck manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.
During an inspection at Central Street Garage Inc., your knowledgeable Millis service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Let me give a rundown of the major suspension components.
First there are the springs. The springs hold the weight of the vehicle. There are several kinds of springs. Springs are obviously heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. The shocks are key to handling performance and ride comfort.
You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. There are some signs that shocks or struts are wearing out. The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your utility truck dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit Central Street Garage Inc. for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your utility truck suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so take care of these things.
When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your Central Street Garage Inc. service advisor because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.
There different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your utility truck was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Millis people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.
For example if you want increased handling performance for your utility truck, your knowledgeable Central Street Garage Inc. advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut to give you what you want. If you haul heavy loads or trailers, you can get a more heavy duty shock absorber.
Posted in the Shocks & Struts category
Central Street Garage Inc. Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On
Posted December 6, 2011 10:22 AM
Today's Central Street Garage Inc. auto maintenance article focuses on 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. Let’s go over them.
First, the serpentine belt drives your utility truck air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Walpole.
Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your utility truck’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. All Walpole drivers know that 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 and power brakes. And, on many utility trucks, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures as you drive around Walpole.
Now on some utility trucks, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt. So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers and your service advisor at Central Street Garage Inc. have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail. Your Walpole service technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.
There’s a special, spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Central Street Garage Inc., we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt. All in all, the serpentine belt’s an important part for the function of your utility truck. And it’s not that expensive to replace in Walpole – so it’s good to do so before it fails.