Fixing Everything But Dents

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Serving Galesburg, IL

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By bolinsserv15584098, Jan 24 2017 05:59PM

Simple Answers from Bolin's Towing & Repair

Jan 15th, 2017

Simple Answers Service Intervals

Question:

My friend just had a very expensive transmission repair in Galesburg. How can drivers like myself avoid transmission trouble?

Bolin's Towing & Repair Answer:

Next to your engine, your transmission is the most important component in your vehicle – so you want to do all you can to avoid transmission repairs.

You may have noticed a trend of engines becoming more and more powerful in recent years. At the same time, fuel economy has been improving in nearly every motor vehicle segment. More power and better economy have always been at odds. Some of the improvement in fuel economy has been due to engine design, but most of the increases can be credited to advances in transmission technology.

Every engine has a sweet spot in which it most efficiently makes power. This is often referred to by technicians as the power band – the optimal engine speed (measured in revolutions per minute, or RPM). The computers that control what gear your automatic transmission is in also try to keep it in the right gear in order to maintain optimal engine speed – whatever your driving conditions may be. Modern automatic transmissions have anywhere between four and ten speeds. The more “speeds” your transmission has, the more time your engine can operate at peak efficiency. Needless to say, transmissions have become more sophisticated.

Transmissions are cooled and lubricated by transmission fluid. This pressurized fluid is directed through small passages to effect gear changes. When transmission fluid gets old and contaminated, the small passages can become plugged, which adversely affects shifts. The dirty fluid circulating in the transmission can eat away at gaskets and seals causing internal leaks that also hurt shifting. This is why some recommend that transmissions be serviced from time to time. The interval varies by vehicle, so check your owner's manual or with your friendly and knowledgeable Bolin's Towing & Repair service advisor about your transmission service recommendations.

Old, contaminated fluid is removed and new fluid is installed. Keeping up with the manufacturer's recommended service schedule helps prevent internal damage that may result in a transmission rebuild. Let Bolin's Towing & Repair help you extend the life of your vehicle and prevent repairs with recommended preventive maintenance service.

Give us a call

Bolin's Towing & Repair

2356 Grand Avenue

Galesburg, IL 61401

309-343-1558

By bolinsserv15584098, Dec 28 2016 05:21PM

All engines have either a timing belt or a timing chain to synchronize the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. This keeps the engine running smoothly and efficiently. If the timing is off, it may not run at all. Timing BELTS need to be replaced on a schedule. A broken or slipping timing belt could cause extensive engine damage.

Timing CHAINS are being used more and more in modern engines. They are more durable and usually do not have a recommended replacement interval. However, timing chains and their associated components do wear over time. The tensioner and guide rails can wear causing the chain to be loose. A tooth on a cam sprocket could break allowing the chain to slip. You don’t want to wait for a complete failure (and possible extensive damage) so you need to watch for the signs of impending failure.

You may notice sluggish performance, reduced fuel economy, or difficulty starting when the timing chain system is worn. You could hear a variety of noises: rattle, rumble, whine, buzz, or whir coming from the engine. If you experience any of these things, bring it to our attention and we’ll look into it. If you do require a timing chain replacement, we’ll also replace all of the other system wear components such as the tension and guide rails.

Although the timing chain does not require maintenance per se, it does require constant lubrication. The engine does this normally as it runs. However, low oil level or using a poor quality oil will keep the timing chain from being properly lubricated. A timing chain can last a few hundred thousand miles with regular oil changes using high quality oil.

Ask us for details.

Bolin's Towing & Repair

2356 Grand Avenue

Galesburg, IL 61401

309-343-1558

By bolinsserv15584098, Nov 15 2016 03:16PM

November 15, 2016

Basically, the power brake system helps you provide braking power so that you don't have to do all the work with your brake pedal.

The brakes themselves are applied at the wheel using hydraulic pressure. When we step on the brake pedal, we create pressure in the power booster that's multiplied by vacuum from the engine. The resulting pressure pushes brake fluid through the master cylinder into tubes and hoses that run to the brake at each wheel.

When there's a problem, it's usually a fluid leak somewhere along the line. It could be at a fitting or a hose, or even an internal leak in the master cylinder. A leak gives the pressurized fluid somewhere to go other than to the brakes, so stopping power is hurt. Lose enough fluid and you can't stop at all. Of course that's extremely dangerous.

If you notice any decrease in stopping power or if your pedal seems mushy, you could have a problem. There are some preventive maintenance items for the power brake system that will help them last longer.

Obviously you'd want to make sure your brake fluid is filled to the recommended level. Low fluid in the master cylinder could indicate a leak or worn brake material. Master cylinder leaks are usually just because it's worn out but, leaks in the brake lines and connectors can be minimized by replacing the brake fluid from time to time. Brake fluid has additives that protect against corrosion that can damage brake components.

Brake fluid also attracts moisture which can lead to rust – not a good thing for expensive anti-lock brake components. Also, significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power because the water has a much lower boiling point than brake fluid. In the high temperature environment of the brake system, the water can vaporize – and steam doesn't do a very good job of providing hydraulic pressure.

A final word – make sure you use the recommended type of brake fluid. There are several kinds and using the wrong one can lead to total brake failure. Your service advisor at Bolin's Towing & Repair can help you. Just give us a call at 309-343-1558.

Bolin's Towing & Repair

2356 Grand Avenue

Galesburg, IL 61401

309-343-1558

By bolinsserv15584098, Nov 8 2016 08:32PM

Our vehicles operate in a wide range of outside temperatures in Illinois. That's why vehicle manufacturers use testing grounds from the frozen tundra to the blistering desert. Your engine coolant must be able to perform in these extreme temperatures, even if we don't always get the extremes in Galesburg, IL.

Coolant has to move heat away from the engine to prevent costly damage. Water does a very good job of holding heat, but it freezes at thirty two degrees (Fahrenheit).

That's why we mix anti-freeze with water - it lowers the freezing point of the coolant, and raises the boiling point as well. A fifty/fifty blend of water and antifreeze is the usual recommendation from Bolin's Towing & Repair.

And on top of that, coolant has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. Your owners' manual will tell you what kind of coolant you should use. Of course, your Bolin's Towing & Repair service representative in Galesburg IL will know what to put in your car.

Coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have. Much of that can be avoided by following factory scheduled service intervals. Check your owner's manual or with your service advisor at Bolin's Towing & Repair for recommendations. We can also conduct a cooling system inspection to look for leaks, weak hoses or bad connections.

Give us a call at 309-343-1558, or stop by Bolin's Towing & Repair at 2356 Grand Avenue Galesburg, IL 61401.

By bolinsserv15584098, Oct 31 2016 08:31PM

Question:

I hear a clunking sound from my front wheel when I make a turn. What could be the problem?

Bolin's Towing & Repair Answer:

One possible cause of the problem is a worn axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles have axles that transfer power from the transmission to your front wheels. There is one for each front wheel. These axles are called constant velocity axles or CV axles for short. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have axles that are in back and run between the differential and the rear wheels. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles will have an axle at each wheel.

When a front CV axle goes bad, it will make a clunking noise as you make a slow turn. When a rear axle goes bad, the clunking or moaning sound will be in the back. Now there really isn't any preventive maintenance you can have performed to make your axles last longer, but you can have them inspected from time to time to see if a problem such as a leaking seal or torn protective boot has arisen. Sometimes finding the problem early will make the repair easier and less .

Of course, axles do wear out and need to be replaced. This is dangerous and should not be put off by citizens because a severely worn axle can seize up causing damage to your transmission or other components. This could even lead to an accident for people who ignore a worn axle.

If you suspect an axle problem, have it looked at right away. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Bolin's Towing & Repair if it's time for of your axle replacement.

Give us a call

Bolin's Towing & Repair

2356 Grand Avenue

Galesburg, IL 61401

309-343-1558

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