Serpentine Belt Service At Central Street Garage Inc. In Foxboro
Posted February 29, 2012 10:07 AM
If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your 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 utility truck. 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 Foxboro. 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. 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 most utility trucks, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. On some Foxboro cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.
When they understand what it does, Foxboro drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.
At Central Street Garage Inc., we can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.
If it has lost a significant thickness, it also needs to be replaced. 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.
As mentioned, a squealing sound could be a sign that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your utility truck.
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 at Central Street Garage Inc. – so it’s good to do so before it fails.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Central Street Garage Inc.
Posted February 22, 2012 11:56 AM
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Foxboro people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Foxboro motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their utility trucks for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.
There are plenty of Foxboro drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own utility trucks on the road in MA.
Foxboro drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your utility truck's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine.
There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Foxboro car owners. It’s simple – a Central Street Garage Inc. professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Central Street Garage Inc. technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.
Your Central Street Garage Inc. advisor will also visually inspect your utility truck for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.
And your Central Street Garage Inc. advisor will be able to remind you of other services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Foxboro dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.
Realistically, things are going to wear out as your utility truck gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.
Of course, these things cost money, but they are far cheaper than new utility truck payments. With proper service at Central Street Garage Inc. and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.