National Car Care Month

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in AAMCO Diagnostics Center, Electrical     Comments No comments
Apr
18

Why is April National Car Care Month?

In April, as winter comes to an end, it is time to get your car ready for spring driving and summer road trips! National Car Care Month reminds you to take car of any issues that may have occurred or been ignored during winter.

Spring driving brings its own hazard such as slick, wet roads. It is important to make sure you tires, brakes and windshield wiper are ready for the rain. Spring also means allergy season

While AAMCO considers every month car care month, April is the official National Car Care Month according to the non-profit Car Care Council. The councils purpose is to educate consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. That being said, there really isn’t a better time during the year to remind car owners about the importance of regular maintenance. You are probably tired of cleaning snow and salt off of your car and dodging those manhole sized potholes. As you transition from wintry weather temperatures to warm summer days, you begin to adopt an overall spring cleaning mind-set, clean the house, mow the lawn, plan that long summer road trip. We are here to help you make sure you can accomplish at least one of those goals.

With summer road trips in mind, let’s think about things that could have been affected by the harsh winter weather.

  • Battery Cables and Terminals Make sure the battery terminals and cable ends are free from corrosion and the connections are tight.
  • Drive Belts Inspect the underside of accessory drive belts for cracks or fraying. Many newer multi-rib “serpentine” belts are made of materials that do not show obvious signs of wear; replace these belts at 60,000-mile intervals.
  • Engine Hoses Inspect cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Also, squeeze the hoses and replace any that are brittle or have an excessively spongy feeling.
  • Tire Type and Tread In areas with heavy winter weather, installing snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. All-season tires work well in light-to-moderate snow conditions provided they have adequate tread depth. Replace any tire that has less than 3/32-inches of tread. Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment, wheel balance or suspension problems that must be addressed to prevent further tire damage.
  • Tire Pressure Check the inflation pressures of all four tires and the spare more frequently in fall and winter. As the average temperature drops, so will tire pressures—typically by one PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper tire pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker typically located on the driver’s door jamb.
  • Air Filter Check the engine air filter by holding it up to a bright light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if light is blocked by most of the filter, replace it. Some filters are made of materials that do not pass light; replace these filters at the automakers’ recommended intervals.
  • Coolant Levels Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the necessary antifreeze capability. Test the antifreeze protection level annually with an inexpensive tester available at any auto parts store.
  • Lights Check the operation of all headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and back-up lights. Replace any burnt out bulbs.
  • Wiper Blades The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots. In regions where snow is common, consider installing wiper blades that have a one-piece plastic “beam” frame, or “winter blades” that wrap the metal frame in a rubber boot – both of these designs help prevent snow and ice buildup that can interfere with blade-to-glass contact.
  • Washer Fluid Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing.
  • Brakes If there are any indications of brake problems, such as a low pedal, grinding noise or steering pull under braking, have the system inspected by a certified technician.
  • Engine, Transmission, Brake and Power Steering Fluids Check all fluids to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe levels.

 

Schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions, feel free to call and talk with one of our courteous technicians. Or, fill out the form below to reserve your time, date, and location.

  • *Please note that we do our best to serve each and every customer. Appointments booked less than 24-36 hours in advance might not be available. A manager will contact you directly.

 
AAMCO Denver

187 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver, CO, 80223

AAMCO Colorado Springs

432 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. | Colorado Springs, CO, 80907

AAMCO Brighton

10500 Havana Ct. Unit A | Brighton, Co, 80601

AAMCO Aurora (Hampden & Tower)

18355-A E. Girard Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80013

AAMCO Aurora, E Colfax Ave

14871 E Colfax Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80011

AAMCO Arvada

6437 Miller Street | Arvada, Colorado, 80004

AAMCO Littleton

10168 W. Chatfield Ave. | Littleton, CO, 80127

AAMCO Pueblo

1910 W US Hwy 50 | Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

AAMCO Northglenn

11450 Huron Street | Northglenn, Colorado, 80234

AAMCO Longmont

1611 Vista View Dr | Longmont, Colorado, 80504

AAMCO Greeley

2445 West 29th St. | Greeley, Colorado, 80631

AAMCO Lakewood

8808 W Colfax Avenue | Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

AAMCO Fort Collins

3737 S. Mason Street | Ft. Collins, Colorado, 80525

Previous Next
Page 1 of 1

Auto-Tune-Up Blog Posts:

  • 5 Reasons Oil Changes Promote Engine Longevity

    image - motor oil pouting out of a plastic bottleAAMCO Colorado Auto experts offer the most important reasons to routinely change a vehicle’s oil. Engines are made up of many moving components, and those components need to be properly lubricate. Consider the oil in your engine the blood line of your vehicle. Over time, that oil breaks down and becomes contaminated with debris from the engine as well as the environment. When that happens, ... Continue Reading
  • Winter Driving Safety Tips – Infographic

    Vehicle-snow-removal-aamco-coloradoColorado weather is unpredictable! Colorado winters can be deceiving, and though it might seem like spring, or that the snow has gone and summer is coming, the snowiest months in Colorado are usually March and April. Be prepared if you’re taking a road trip!  Schedule an appointment today or call your Local AAMCO Colorado Location for a safety check or tune-up. Give us a call at 1-877-792-2626. Schedule an Appointment now. If ... Continue Reading
  • Signs Your Alternator is Going Bad

    Jump Cables5 things to look out for when you are having electrical problems Your vehicle has many components that make it operational. One of these components is known as your alternator. The alternator is responsible for the electrical system within your vehicle. It takes an immense amount of power to not only start, but keep your vehicle running. If your alternator is not in optimal running condition, ... Continue Reading
  • Things That Damage Your Transmission

    image - confident guy at wheel of car, looking at you over his shoulder.Automatic transmissions are tough, but they can be damaged. Transmissions have always been complex systems, and they get more sophisticated every year. Even though they are made of metal, wrapped in metal, and capable of moving tons of metal, they can be damaged if mistreated. Cars with automatic transmissions in particular are susceptible to damage in some ways you might not have thought. Shifting into drive or ... Continue Reading

Spring Tune-Up

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Safety, Services, Total Car Care     Comments No comments
Apr
17

After a long Colorado winter, you’re likely ready to give up your hibernating ways for some adventure and rays. For many Coloradans this means family vacations, trips to the mountains, camping, and weekend road trips. Whatever your style, you’re likely getting ready to hit the road, but are you sure that your vehicle is up to the task?

Winter’s cold temperatures and icy conditions have been hard on your vehicle, so it is likely showing some signs of wear and tear. Spring is the perfect time to bring your car in for a full inspection to identify any minor problems, before they become major ones.

Here are some tips to keep your car running safely this spring and summer:

  1. Change your oil and oil filter. Changing your oil and oil filter at the intervals recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is one of the best ways to promote engine health. Neglecting to replace engine oil can result in poor engine performance, higher fuel consumption and even severe engine damage.
  2. Check your fluids. Check your power steering, brake, and transmission fluids; your windshield washer fluid; and your coolant. If the levels are low, top them up, and replace them as recommended in your owner’s manual. Keep in mind that your power steering, brake and coolant systems are closed, so low fluid levels may indicate a leak.
  3. Replace your wiper blades. If they’re torn or cracked your wiper blades won’t do you much good in the middle of a Colorado popup spring shower.
  4. Check your charging system. Cold temperatures can do a number on your battery, so now is a good time to have it tested. You should also check to make sure that your battery is securely mounted and that the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion free. If your battery is more than five years old, you should consider having it replaced.
  5. Fix your windshield. In cities where sand and rocks are used on icy roads, motorists often end up with chips and cracks in their windshields. Although these may not seem like a big deal, any damage to your windshield can decrease the overall effectiveness of airbags, seatbelts, roof stability, and your personal safety in the event of an accident. If your windshield has a crack, it’s important to have it repaired or replaced immediately.image - red pencil making check marks in check boxes on checklist
  6. Check your lighting. Check all exterior and interior lighting to identify any problems. When your vehicle’s lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.
  7. Lubricate your chassis parts. Many newer cars are “lubed-for-life,” but some still require regular chassis lubrication so check your owner’s manual. Replacement steering and suspension components may also require periodic lubrication.
  8. Check your belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can harden and/or damage rubber, so it’s important to check your belts and hoses for damage. Check your hoses for hardening, softening, leaking, cracks, blistering, or other visualWhat damage, and check your belts for looseness, cracks, frays, or glazing. If you have to replace one of your belts, you may also have to replace the tensioner and pulleys to keep the new belt from slipping.
  9. Check your filters. Your car has a number of filters that are important to its longevity and should be replaced regularly. Check your engine air filter, your cabin air filter, and your fuel filter for damage or clogging and replace them if necessary.
  10. Check your tires. Your tires are the only point of contact between you and road, so it’s important to take care of them. Check the pressure of all your tires (including the spare) monthly, and maintain the optimal pressure recommended in your owner’s manual. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and for cuts or bruises on the sidewalls. Rotate your tires every 10,000 kilometers, and replace them if they are worn or damaged.

 

Schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions, feel free to call and talk with one of our courteous technicians. Or, fill out the form below to reserve your time, date, and location.

  • *Please note that we do our best to serve each and every customer. Appointments booked less than 24-36 hours in advance might not be available. A manager will contact you directly.

 
AAMCO Denver

187 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver, CO, 80223

AAMCO Colorado Springs

432 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. | Colorado Springs, CO, 80907

AAMCO Brighton

10500 Havana Ct. Unit A | Brighton, Co, 80601

AAMCO Aurora (Hampden & Tower)

18355-A E. Girard Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80013

AAMCO Aurora, E Colfax Ave

14871 E Colfax Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80011

AAMCO Arvada

6437 Miller Street | Arvada, Colorado, 80004

AAMCO Littleton

10168 W. Chatfield Ave. | Littleton, CO, 80127

AAMCO Pueblo

1910 W US Hwy 50 | Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

AAMCO Northglenn

11450 Huron Street | Northglenn, Colorado, 80234

AAMCO Longmont

1611 Vista View Dr | Longmont, Colorado, 80504

AAMCO Greeley

2445 West 29th St. | Greeley, Colorado, 80631

AAMCO Lakewood

8808 W Colfax Avenue | Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

AAMCO Fort Collins

3737 S. Mason Street | Ft. Collins, Colorado, 80525

Previous Next
Page 1 of 1

Auto-Tune-Up Blog Posts:

  • 5 Reasons Oil Changes Promote Engine Longevity

    image - motor oil pouting out of a plastic bottleAAMCO Colorado Auto experts offer the most important reasons to routinely change a vehicle’s oil. Engines are made up of many moving components, and those components need to be properly lubricate. Consider the oil in your engine the blood line of your vehicle. Over time, that oil breaks down and becomes contaminated with debris from the engine as well as the environment. When that happens, ... Continue Reading
  • Winter Driving Safety Tips – Infographic

    Vehicle-snow-removal-aamco-coloradoColorado weather is unpredictable! Colorado winters can be deceiving, and though it might seem like spring, or that the snow has gone and summer is coming, the snowiest months in Colorado are usually March and April. Be prepared if you’re taking a road trip!  Schedule an appointment today or call your Local AAMCO Colorado Location for a safety check or tune-up. Give us a call at 1-877-792-2626. Schedule an Appointment now. If ... Continue Reading
  • Signs Your Alternator is Going Bad

    Jump Cables5 things to look out for when you are having electrical problems Your vehicle has many components that make it operational. One of these components is known as your alternator. The alternator is responsible for the electrical system within your vehicle. It takes an immense amount of power to not only start, but keep your vehicle running. If your alternator is not in optimal running condition, ... Continue Reading
  • Things That Damage Your Transmission

    image - confident guy at wheel of car, looking at you over his shoulder.Automatic transmissions are tough, but they can be damaged. Transmissions have always been complex systems, and they get more sophisticated every year. Even though they are made of metal, wrapped in metal, and capable of moving tons of metal, they can be damaged if mistreated. Cars with automatic transmissions in particular are susceptible to damage in some ways you might not have thought. Shifting into drive or ... Continue Reading

High Mileage Service Recommendations

AAMCO Colorado is here to support you and your aging vehicle. Here is a list of things to look out for, keeping an eye on these components will promote engine longevity and protect your investment. If you have questions on any of these points, be sure to call your Local AAMCO Colorado Technicians. The key to keeping a vehicle going after reaching a high mileage like 120,000, 180,000 or 250,000 miles is maintenance and inspection. If you look at any factory-recommended service intervals, after 100,000 miles they cease to exist.

120,000

120,000 miles is about 4 times around the planet. Here is a list of things that you may want to keep an eye on to keep your vehicle running like new.

Spark Plugs: The plasma of the spark wears away the electrodes every time a spark plug fires. As the gap increases, it requires more energy to fire the plug. This can take its toll on the coils.

O2 Sensors: Combustion byproducts can accumulate on the sensor and cause it to respond slower to fuel ­mixture changes.

A/C: One expendable part of the system is the A/C compressor clutch. Like a clutch between the engine and transmission, it can wear out and slip.

Belt Tensioner: If a vehicle has made it this far, the belt tensioner might need to be replaced, along with the belt. As the spring inside the tensioner fatigues, it can cause the belt to jump and vibrate.

Alignment: Vehicles should be aligned more often as they get older to monitor suspension bushings and springs. Ride height should be measured at every alignment.

Filters: The fuel filter should be replaced to prolong the life of the fuel pump and potentially the engine. Modern fuel pumps are sensitive to restrictions and the pump will have to work harder if a restriction is present.

Shocks & Struts: The recommended replacement ­interval for shocks and struts is 50,000 miles. According to one ride control manufacturer, a typical shock and strut “strokes” an average of 1,750 cycles per mile – that’s 87.5 million cycles in a lifetime!

Brake Fluid: Brake fluid should be replaced when the boiling point drops or the concentration of the copper brazing in the fluid indicates corrosion in the system. Replacing the brake fluid can extend the life of the calipers, master cylinder and ABS modulator.

 

180,000

When a vehicle reaches 180,000 miles, wear between the cylinder walls and piston rings could start to show. Gases from the crankcase into the combustion chamber can cause carbon deposits and damage the catalytic converter and O2 sensors. Blowby from the combustion chamber to the crankcase can also cause contaminated oil and bearing damage.

This type of wear kills an engine. If the customer kept up with regular oil changes and the previously listed items, the investment is ­starting to pay off at 180,000 miles. At this milestone, there are other maintenance items a shop should pay ­attention to in addition to the 125,000-mile recommendations.

Drivetrain Seals: Seals on axles and ­driveshafts need to be inspected regularly. While a leaking seal may not cause a breakdown, the loss of fluid will. Recommend replacement at the first sign of a leak. Seals are cheap insurance on very ­expensive components.

MAF Sensor: By 180,000 miles, the engine will have consumed more than an Olympic-sized pool of air. Even with a filter, the mass airflow sensor will become contaminated. Cleaning the sensor can restore performance and fuel economy.

Headlights: Inspect and adjust the headlights. The ­adjusters inside the lights can be damaged over time by ­vibration and heat. UV rays and road debris can damage the headlight lens, leaving it yellow and foggy.

Timing Chain Tensioners: Timing chain guides are ­designed to wear. They are made of composite materials that can become brittle when exposed to heat cycles and engine oil over time. Oil-pressurized tensioners can wear and leak. The most common sign of failure is noise, timing skips and/or a check engine light. Inspect and replace these items ­before they kill the engine.

Power Steering Fluid: Anti-corrosion and anti-foaming additives in power steering fluid will break down over time, accelerating wear on the pump and rack. The fluid will not appear to be contaminated, but it does need to be changed.

Engine and Transmission Mounts: Worn motor and transmission mounts can turn an engine into a wrecking ball. If a worn mount is ­ignored, it can cause exhaust system leaks and shifter cable failures.

A/C: The performance of an HVAC system can be ­determined with an anemometer that measures wind speed. This tool can be used to spot restrictive cabin air filters, stuck doors or weak ­blower motors. Use this coupon to score a FREE A/C Check

 

250,000 

The moon is approximately 238,000 miles away. If a ­vehicle has made it this far, chances are it has been serviced regularly throughout its lifetime.

Catalytic Converter: Check for any physical damage and hit it with a hammer to make sure that the ceramic biscuits are tightly held in place. If the driver has kept up with general maintenance, like oil changes and fuel injector service, the ­converter might be operational within the specifications.

Fuel Injector Cleaning: At 250,000 miles, more than 10,000 gallons of fuel have been pumped through very small holes in the injectors. An injector’s needle and seat also have been crashing into each other millions of times. Carbon can build up on the caps and the fuel spray pattern might not be what it once was. You can perform a fuel injector cleaning on the car, or you can send the injectors out for ­ultrasonic cleaning.

Chassis Inspection: Alignment plays an important role in measuring the health of the chassis. Toe that is outside of the specification can indicate a worn or ­broken spring. ­Excessive camber can ­reveal a soft control arm bushing.

A/C: Pay attention to the condenser, air dam and shrouds. On some vehicles, a significant amount of debris may have built up between the condenser and radiator.

 

Your automobile is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Be sure that you are staying on top of its maintenance. If you follow these tips, you can be sure that you will be one step closer to engine/transmission life longevity. If you need help with any of the mentioned components, be sure to call your local AAMCO Colorado and speak with one of our courteous technicians.

 

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Over many years of operation, a transmission experiences a lot of wear. Sometimes when your car is not operating as smoothly as you’re used to, it’s difficult to determine the signs of the problem, much less pinpoint the problem itself. It’s also easy to ignore the warning signs, but if you know what to look for, it can mean the difference between a transmission repair or a transmission replacement. Read more…

Take Care of Your Transmission

A car’s transmission is what converts power and torque to the vehicle in a controlled and efficient manner. The transmission converts different speeds by way of the gear shift. Through every day travel, the transmission can take the brunt of aggressive driving such as from speeding up too quickly, stopping quickly, driving in hot weather, and not getting regular maintenance. Read more…

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

f you own a car, there is a good chance the words “Transmission Problems” elicit a feeling of fear and dread. A million thoughts rush through your head as you start to see the dollar signs flashing because you just know this will cost you an arm and a leg. But, what are some preventative steps to take and what should you be looking for when it comes to your transmission? Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


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5 Reasons Oil Changes Promote Engine Longevity

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Blog, Colorado Automotive Advice, Oil Change, Services, Total Car Care     Comments No comments
Apr
3

AAMCO Colorado Auto experts offer the most important reasons to routinely change a vehicle’s oil. Engines are made up of many moving components, and those components need to be properly lubricate. Consider the oil in your engine the blood line of your vehicle. Over time, that oil breaks down and becomes contaminated with debris from the engine as well as the environment. When that happens, it makes the oil flow restricted thus not being able to do its job.

Proactively changing a vehicles’ oil and filter will help the engine continue to work at its best and prevent costly repairs to drivers down the road. The expert staff at AAMCO Colorado are sharing the top reasons oil and filter changes are so important to a car’s well-being.

1.) Maintains engine lubrication.image - motor oil pouting out of a plastic bottle

All of the components under the hood are working hard and moving fast. These components produce a lot of heat and will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication. Make sure that your oil levels are topped of to the correct level and you are using the correct oil for your make and model.

2.) Cools engine components.

Moving parts that lack proper lubrication create friction, which in turn produces heat. Maintaining clean and sufficient amounts of oil prevents to much friction, this reduces the amount of heat that the components produce.

3.) Removes engine wear particles, dust, and sludge.

Over time, dirt can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. As time goes on, oil breaks down and turns to “sludge.” Keeping sludge and dirt out of the engine is vital to a long lasting engine.

4.) Improves gas mileage.Image - checking engine oil using dipstick and rag.

Poor engine lubrication can lead to increased fuel consumption, so make sure there is enough clean oil in the engine. The U.S. Department of Energy says that with routine changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by 1-2%.

5.) Promotes vehicle longevity.

Routine maintenance makes your vehicle last longer. Buildup from dirty oil robs a vehicle’s fuel economy, power, and wears down components faster. An engine that has to work harder will end up having more problems down the road as well as a shorter life span. A vehicles value is increased at time of sale if it has had regular oil changes from day one.

Performing oil changes personally can be a hassle, let the expert technicians at your local AAMCO Colorado location take care of this and any other concerns you may have. Come see how affordable and convenient routine maintenance and repairs can be.

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Over many years of operation, a transmission experiences a lot of wear. Sometimes when your car is not operating as smoothly as you’re used to, it’s difficult to determine the signs of the problem, much less pinpoint the problem itself. It’s also easy to ignore the warning signs, but if you know what to look for, it can mean the difference between a transmission repair or a transmission replacement. Read more…

Take Care of Your Transmission

A car’s transmission is what converts power and torque to the vehicle in a controlled and efficient manner. The transmission converts different speeds by way of the gear shift. Through every day travel, the transmission can take the brunt of aggressive driving such as from speeding up too quickly, stopping quickly, driving in hot weather, and not getting regular maintenance. Read more…

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

f you own a car, there is a good chance the words “Transmission Problems” elicit a feeling of fear and dread. A million thoughts rush through your head as you start to see the dollar signs flashing because you just know this will cost you an arm and a leg. But, what are some preventative steps to take and what should you be looking for when it comes to your transmission? Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


View AAMCO Colorado Locations in a larger map.

Winter Driving Safety Tips – Infographic

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Blog, Colorado Automotive Advice, Safety, Services, Total Car Care     Comments No comments
Mar
6

Colorado weather is unpredictable!

Colorado winters can be deceiving, and though it might seem like spring, or that the snow has gone and summer is coming, the snowiest months in Colorado are usually March and April. Be prepared if you’re taking a road trip!  Schedule an appointment today or call your Local AAMCO Colorado Location for a safety check or tune-up.

AAMCO-Colorado-Winter-Driving-Safety-Tips

Give us a call at 1-877-792-2626.

Schedule an Appointment now. If you are experiencing any of these tell-tale signs of a weakening alternator. Don’t get stranded!

Contact a Colorado AAMCO location near you!

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Change Your Transmission Filter

What is a transmission filter for? How does a transmission filter work? When should you change the filter? Get answers to these questions and more in this helpful article on transmission filters and how to know when to get yours changed. Read more…

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Over many years of operation, a transmission experiences a lot of wear. Sometimes when your car is not operating as smoothly as you’re used to, it’s difficult to determine the signs of the problem, much less pinpoint the problem itself. Read more…

Take Care of Your Transmission

A car’s transmission is what converts power and torque to the vehicle in a controlled and efficient manner. The transmission converts different speeds by way of the gear shift. Through every day travel, the transmission can take the brunt of aggressive driving such as from speeding up too quickly, stopping quickly, driving in hot weather, and not getting regular maintenance. Read more…

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

If you own a car, there is a good chance the words “Transmission Problems” elicit a feeling of fear and dread. A million thoughts rush through your head as you start to see the dollar signs flashing because you just know this will cost you an arm and a leg. Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


View AAMCO Colorado Locations in a larger map.

Signs Your Alternator is Going Bad

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Blog, Colorado Automotive Advice, Electrical, Electrical, Total Car Care     Comments No comments
Feb
28

5 things to look out for when you are having electrical problems

Your vehicle has many components that make it operational. One of these components is known as your alternator. The alternator is responsible for the electrical system within your vehicle. It takes an immense amount of power to not only start, but keep your vehicle running. If your alternator is not in optimal running condition, other components can be damaged! This can mean expensive repairs, inconvenience, or even break downs. If you are experiencing any of the following warning signs, call or set an appointment today with one of your local AAMCO Colorado Technicians.

 

1) Dimming/Flickering Lights

The alternator is responsible for keeping your electrical system alive. Your alternator might be going bad if your headlights and/or dashboard lights start to flicker and become dim. Once the dash lights or headlights dim, it is a clear indication of alternator malfunction. You may also notice that your power seats and windows will start working at slower speeds.

2) Illuminated Dash Warning Light

starting-charging-electricalIf you have a modern car, it’s likely that you will have an indicator light built into the display. The light will typically be shaped like a battery, though, some might say ALT or GEN if this is illuminated, you have a problem and should contact your Local AAMCO Colorado Repair Shop as soon as possible. It’s possible that the light will only trigger if you are using multiple electronic components at once. Think of supply and demand, your alternator slowly loses its ability to supply adequate power to your vehicles electric system while the demand will always stay the same.

 

3) Weak or Dead Battery

batteriesAlthough a car battery is rechargeable, it still has an expiration date. Alternators, although very good at keeping your battery charged; can only recharge it to an extent. If the battery is weak or dead, the alternator cannot bring it back to life. A good way to rule out a dead battery is to charge the battery to full capacity and start the vehicle. If the battery is weak, the car will continue to run but the lights will again become dim shortly after, indicating a problem with the charging system within the battery. If the vehicle has difficulty starting after the battery is fully charged, the problem likely is with the alternator.

 

4) Burning Smell

Alternators have a system of belts within the unit. If a belt is damaged and not functioning properly, the excess friction will cause the belt to get hot, which puts off a burning rubber smell. If you catch a whiff of a smell like that of an electrical fire, this could be a sign that the belt is slipping on the pulley, causing poor alternator output. A simple fix like tightening the pulley can remedy this. If tightening your belt does not fix the strange smell and alternator output, we recommend bringing your vehicle into your local AAMCO Colorado for an expert evaluation.

 

5) Odd Noises

There are many different parts that move within your alternator to create the electrical current. These parts wear out and sometimes break, this could cause a grinding or whining noise. Worn out bearings within the alternator are usually the culprit when these noises are present. Keep in mind, alternators are typically replaced as a unit, rather than having its internal parts serviced.

Your local AAMCO Colorado technicians excel at diagnosing and repairing your vehicle’s electrical system,including problems with you:

AAMCO - Ask A Mechanic

  • Alternator
  • Drive Belt
  • Voltage Regulator
  • Starter
  • Ignition Switch
  • Neutral Safety Switch
  • Battery Cables & Terminals

Give us a call at 1-877-791-1626.

Schedule an Appointment now. If you are experiencing any of these tell-tale signs of a weakening alternator. Don’t get stranded! Contact a Colorado AAMCO location near you!

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Change Your Transmission Filter

What is a transmission filter for? How does a transmission filter work? When should you change the filter? Get answers to these questions and more in this helpful article on transmission filters and how to know when to get yours changed. Read more…

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Over many years of operation, a transmission experiences a lot of wear. Sometimes when your car is not operating as smoothly as you’re used to, it’s difficult to determine the signs of the problem, much less pinpoint the problem itself. Read more…

Take Care of Your Transmission

A car’s transmission is what converts power and torque to the vehicle in a controlled and efficient manner. The transmission converts different speeds by way of the gear shift. Through every day travel, the transmission can take the brunt of aggressive driving such as from speeding up too quickly, stopping quickly, driving in hot weather, and not getting regular maintenance. Read more…

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

If you own a car, there is a good chance the words “Transmission Problems” elicit a feeling of fear and dread. A million thoughts rush through your head as you start to see the dollar signs flashing because you just know this will cost you an arm and a leg. Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


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Things That Damage Your Transmission

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Blog, Colorado Automotive Advice, Total Car Care, Transmission     Comments No comments
Feb
22

Automatic transmissions are tough, but they can be damaged.

Transmissions have always been complex systems, and they get more sophisticated every year. Even though they are made of metal, wrapped in metal, and capable of moving tons of metal, they can be damaged if mistreated. Cars with automatic transmissions in particular are susceptible to damage in some ways you might not have thought.

Shifting into drive or reverse when not completely stopped is not good for the transmission.image - driver shifting gears

This can be a transmission killer. Even in newer cars with more advanced technology in their automatic transmissions and engines, it’s just a good idea to be fully stopped before making any major gear shifts. In a car with an automatic transmission, shifting into drive or reverse isn’t like changing gears on a manual transmission, where you can disengage the clutch indefinitely. An automatic transmission is designed for rigid, linear operation. It might be full of fluid, but many of its parts consist of gears with teeth that will grind and be damaged if you force your transmission to change gears while moving. Doing so can damage your drive shafts and suspension, too.

Too little or too much fluid – either will damage your transmission.

Letting the transmission run out of fluid is a surefire way of causing some serious damage. That precious red fluid keeps the transmission’s internal parts lubricated and running together smoothly. If that fluid gets low, the parts grind together, overheat, and eventually fail.

Neglecting to change the transmission fluid is a common mistake that damages transmissions.

Failing to change, or at least check, the fluid according to the schedule in your owner’s manual will result in fluid that is not as effective as the transmission needs in order to operate. Just like motor oil, transmission fluid wears out, becomes dirty (in extreme cases, even burned), and has to be changed. Failure to change the fluid can lead to leaky seals, cracked gaskets, and other important parts overheating and breaking down.

Don’t just put your car in park. Use the parking brake.

Your car’s automatic transmission isn’t meant to serve as a mechanism to hold your vehicle in place. Its primary purpose is to move your vehicle, not keep it securely parked. When you put your car in park there is a small part called a “pawl” that holds the weight of the entire car in place. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on this part – especially when parked on an incline. Use the parking brake to alleviate that excess stress on your already hard-working transmission. If you find that your car rolls while in park, you might have some serious transmission problems.

Forgetting to service your transmission can cause permanent damage.image - transmission fluid draining from pan under car on lift

An automatic transmission needs to be tuned every once in a while, just like your engine. If you don’t service your transmission on a regular maintenance schedule, dirt and contaminants will build up and cause your transmission to develop problems over time. Its performance will decrease, parts will wear out more quickly, leaks might occur. Ignore your transmission’s health long enough and one day it will fail outright, probably when you least expect it or can afford it. An ounce of maintenance is worth of a pound of repair.

Come to AAMCO Colorado for All Your Car Repairs & Maintenance

You need an experienced transmission specialist who can honestly tell you what needs to be done.

If you have questions about your car’s transmission, engine, repair or maintenance needs, AAMCO Colorado can help. Stop by or call a local AAMCO Colorado repair shop for a Multi Point Vehicle Courtesy Check for your transmission and related systems. We’ll winterize your car and get you ready for the cold, snowy winter driving months ahead. We can handle all your scheduled car maintenance and repairs, from brakes to factory recommended maintenance.

Other Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Change Your Transmission Filter

A transmission filter prevents dirt and debris from getting into the gears and other parts of the transmission system. It is positioned above the transmission pan, which collects excess fluid, and below the pickup tube that connects to the oil pump, which regulates the pressure of fluid in the transmission. The filter collects contaminants before letting fluid through to the transmission, stopping the buildup of sludge, which can cause excessive wear on the transmission’s moving parts. Read more…

Benefits of a Transmission Flush

Your transmission has an extremely important job to do, and can be easily overlooked. The transmission is responsible for the converting the power your vehicle’s engine creates to the wheels, which ultimately powers the strength and speed of your vehicle. Your car’s transmission consists of over 500 parts some important pieces being gears, bell housing, and filters. Another important part of a transmission is the transmission fluid which helps keep these parts well lubricated. Read more…

My Car is Hard to Steer

If the steering wheel is hard to turn, or the tires feel like they’re flat (but you know they’re not), your power steering is failing.Because there are different things that could be if it’s difficult to turn the wheels of your car it’s time to use what little steering you have left and get your car to a local AAMCO Colorado repair shop. Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


View AAMCO Colorado Locations in a larger map.

Buying a Used Car? Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Colorado Automotive Advice     Comments No comments
Feb
14

AAMCO Colorado Transmission and Automotive Repair

Pre Purchase Inspection: 5 Steps to follow when making a used car purchase. Don’t get a lemon!

Here at AAMCO Colorado we understand the headaches that can be involved when finding the right used car. Don’t make the mistake of rushing into a deal with a shady character. It’s better to pay for an inspection now, than to spend thousands of dollars later. If you follow these steps, you will be one step… five steps closer to having a safe and dependable car.

1.)   Do Your ResearchResearch document

Before setting appointments with car owners or dealerships, research vehicle safety reports online for the different makes and models you are interested in. Both Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds publish owner surveys and reviews and are good sources for finding out about troublesome vehicles. Before you ever go shopping, on the lot or online, decide what type of vehicle you want and what models you will look at.

2.)   Check Recalls and Known Defects Records

Check all four of the federal government’s databases (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov) for recalls, service bulletins, safety investigations and owner complaints on the make and model of the vehicle you are interested in. Service bulletins are notices that the manufacturer sends out to their dealerships to warn them about problems that have been discovered in vehicles and how to fix them. The only way to know if your vehicle was repaired for the problem already is to check with your local dealer’s service department and get a vehicle repair history from them.

Carfax Banner3.)   Get an Online Vehicle History Report

If you know the vehicle’s VIN number, you can get a report online that will tell you what state the vehicle resided, if it has been titled with a salvage or flood title. CarFax and AutoCheck are two web sites that gather data from insurance companies (including accident records) and public title department records. They will give you a printout that describes most, if not all, of the vehicle’s history, at low cost. Every vehicle’s VIN number is located either on the door jamb or in the windshield area of the dash on the driver side.

4.)  Ask the Seller

Find out everything you can about the car. Ask the current owner for any repair records they may have. If the current owner doesn’t have any records, this could be a red flag that the car has been poorly maintained. You would definitely want an AAMCO pre-purchase inspection, if you decide to risk the purchase at all.

5.)  Get an AAMCO Pre-Purchase Inspection

The Benefits of Receiving an AAMCO Colorado Used Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection Include:

image - red pencil making check marks in check boxes on checklist

•          Protecting yourself from buying a used vehicle that may need costly repairs

•          Ensuring the used vehicle is safe to drive

•          Paying the right price for your used vehicle

•          Knowing the vehicle won’t break down in the near future

•          Verification of the equipment and options on a vehicle

There are a few major problems that can be spotted by receiving a motor vehicle inspection. Frame damage can indicate a vehicle has been in an accident. A damaged frame makes the vehicle significantly less safe in a future accident and can dramatically affect a vehicle’s performance and longevity. Repair work that had been performed previously may have been improperly done which can affect many things on a vehicle. Even things you may not consider such as flood damage can be spotted by a trained vehicle inspection expert. Even things you may not consider such as flood damage can be spotted by a trained vehicle inspection expert.

At AAMCO Colorado, these potential problems can be avoided by getting your pre-purchase inspection with one of our expert mechanics. AAMCO Colorado Inspection Services Include:

Vehicle Performance Multi-Point Inspection

•          Transmission & Clutch

•          Engine PerformanceENGINE-AAMCO

•          Brakes

•          Steering

•          Shock Absorbers

•          Heater & Air Conditioning

•          Instruments & Controls

•          Headlights & Foglights

•          Brake & Back-up Lights

•          Interior & Warning Lights

•          Turn Signals & Flashers

Under Hood Multi-Point Inspection

•          Fluid Level & Condition

•          Drive Beltimage - transmission fluid draining from pan under car on lift

•          Battery

•          Starter

•          Charging System & Alternator

•          Idle Speed

•          Engine

•          Intake System

•          Fuel Delivery System

•          Ignition System

•          Computer Systems

•          Cooling System

Under Car Multi-Point Inspection

•          Steering & Front Suspension

•          BrakesBreaks - AAMCO Colorado

•          Rear Suspension

•          Engine Mounts

•          Transmission Mounts

•          Engine Seals

•          Transmission Seals

•          Clutch & Transmission Linkage

•          Driveshaft

•          U-Joints

•          Drive Axles

•          CV Joints

•          Exhaust System

•          Rear Axle

A Pre-Purchase Inspection could save you thousands in repairs & hardships. At AAMCO we want you to feel confident in your purchase of a safe, reliable used car.

Give us a call at 1-877-791-1626.

Schedule an Appointment for your Pre-Purchase Inspection.

Contact a Colorado AAMCO location near you!

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Change Your Transmission Filter

What is a transmission filter for? How does a transmission filter work? When should you change the filter? Get answers to these questions and more in this helpful article on transmission filters and how to know when to get yours changed. Read more…

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Over many years of operation, a transmission experiences a lot of wear. Sometimes when your car is not operating as smoothly as you’re used to, it’s difficult to determine the signs of the problem, much less pinpoint the problem itself. Read more…

Take Care of Your Transmission

A car’s transmission is what converts power and torque to the vehicle in a controlled and efficient manner. The transmission converts different speeds by way of the gear shift. Through every day travel, the transmission can take the brunt of aggressive driving such as from speeding up too quickly, stopping quickly, driving in hot weather, and not getting regular maintenance. Read more…

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

If you own a car, there is a good chance the words “Transmission Problems” elicit a feeling of fear and dread. A million thoughts rush through your head as you start to see the dollar signs flashing because you just know this will cost you an arm and a leg. Read more…

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


View AAMCO Colorado Locations in a larger map.

Change Your Transmission Filter

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Transmission     Comments No comments
Feb
7

What is a transmission filter for?

A transmission filter prevents dirt and debris from getting into the gears and other parts of the transmission system. It is positioned above the transmission pan, which collects excess fluid, and below the pickup tube that connects to the oil pump, which regulates the pressure of fluid in the transmission. The filter collects contaminants before letting fluid through to the transmission, stopping the buildup of sludge, which can cause excessive wear on the transmission’s moving parts.image - transmission filter in case

How does a transmission filter work?

How a transmission filter works is a relatively straightforward process with few parts involved. Sometimes a transmission filter change involves more than just replacing the filter. Oftentimes there is a fluid filter kit involved that allows for some other key filtration system parts to be replaced while the transmission is open and easily accessible. These parts include:

  • Transmission filter – The filter looks like a metal plate with slats. Inside the slats is a fibrous material that collects contaminants before the fluid goes into the transmission.
  • Gasket – A rubber gasket ensures a tight seal between the transmission filter assembly and the transmission pan. This ensures that no fluid escapes while it is moving through the filter.
  • Pickup Tube – A tube that connects the transmission filter assembly to the oil pump.
  • Seal – A rubber o-ring that seals the fit between the pickup tube and the transmission case. This ensures no loss of fluid or pressure.

When do you change the filter?

Over time, tiny bits of metal and other grit and dirt build up in a transmission filter. Although every vehicle has its own maintenance schedule that can usually be found in the owner’s manual, the transmission filter and fluid should be replaced every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. It really depends on the make, model, and age of your vehicle, but short of between 30,000 and 100,000 miles is a pretty good window to operate within. Changing the fluid and filter can be a messy and time-consuming job because few transmissions are equipped with a drain plug. That means the transmission pan must be removed in order to reach the transmission filter and allow old fluid to drain. This is often in a hard-to-reach area and requires special tools.

What are signs that the transmission filter needs to be changed?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your locally owned and operated AAMCO Colorado transmission repair shop. We’ll do a thorough inspection and run diagnostics to find out what is wrong and what needs to be done.image - transmission fluid draining from pan under car on lift

Noise

If you hear clunking or rattling, or if the transmission shifts hard with a jarring affect, you might want to check the transmission filter. By checking the filter, you also get a look at the transmission fluid itself. If the filter or the fluid show signs of excessive dirt and wear, bring your car to AAMCO for a transmission flush. We’ll replace the fluid, filter, and inspect your car for any other potential issues.

Leaking

If the transmission filter is not fitted properly or there is a malfunction in the transmission itself, it could result in leaking fluid. There are a number of seals and gaskets throughout the transmission that can develop cracks and cause a leak. If those gaskets become loose or misaligned, fluid can leak. Signs of leaks will be noticeable on the ground when you park your car for a while (overnight, for instance), then move it.

Contamination

The purpose of the transmission filter is to keep contaminants out of the transmission fluid. If the filter fails to do its job properly, the transmission fluid will become too dirty to do its job efficiently. If dirt and sludge reach a critical level, it can burn and even lead to costly transmission repairs. Check the transmission fluid regularly, both for correct level and for color. If it’s not reddish in color and fairly clear or clean looking, it’s time to consider a transmission fluid flush.

Can’t Change Gears

If you’re unable to change gears easily (from park into drive, reverse, etc.), or the transmission struggles to change gears either while you are moving or parked, there might be a problem with the transmission filter. If the gears grind for no reason or the vehicle surges when the gears are changed, the problem may be a result of a dirty or malfunctioning transmission filter. This is something you want to have checked out immediately by a certified transmission technician. Schedule an appointment now.

Burning Smell or Smoke

When the filter has become blocked with particles, dirt, and sludge, it can result in a burning smell – especially if the transmission fluid itself needs to be change. In extreme cases, a clogged filter that is causing a burning smell can result in smoke coming from the engine. Contact your local AAMCO Colorado transmission shop for an appointment if you have smoke coming from your engine.

AAMCO Colorado Keeps You Informed

At AAMCO Colorado we take great care to keep you informed about your car and all its systems, as well as keep your car on the road with scheduled maintenance services and repairs, including full transmission repairs and rebuilds.

If you are experiencing any problems with your car, bring it to your local AAMCO Colorado Transmission and Total Car Care center for a complete Vehicle Courtesy Check diagnositc. We’ll help you keep your car running reliably and safely through all seasons, all weather.

If you have questions about your car’s transmission, road readiness, or about car repair and maintenance topics, AAMCO Colorado can help. You can also go online and use the AAMCO Colorado Ask a Mechanic feature to submit your auto repair questions. They will be answered by a real AAMCO Colorado mechanic as soon as possible.

Related Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Transmission Not Shifting Smoothly?

Take Care of Your Transmission

Common Transmission Problems that Mean Trouble

Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Colorado Transmission Repair Shops


View AAMCO Colorado Locations in a larger map.

Car Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions and Best Intentions

The new year has rung in around the world, and so have billions of resolutions. Some – or many – have already been broken. If you’re like many people, car care might not always be your number one priority. You know how important it is, but you’re busy, things are hectic. The car is running fine and that oil change ends up waiting a few extra days… or weeks. But maybe that clunking sound has not magically gone away, and you stress about it every time you drive. Or, every time you accelerate the car pulls to one side. The engine light has been on for two weeks now. The windshield wipers smear more than clear and haven’t been replaced in what? A year? But who’s got time?

One resolution you might want to consider is taking (better) care of your car. This might seem like a big commitment, but it’s pretty simple, actually – especially when you consider how much you rely on your car every day. And taking care of your car is actually taking care of yourself. At AAMCO we believe in total car care because it does really mean so much more than just your car.image - red pencil making check marks in check boxes on checklist

Regular Maintenance

A regular maintenance schedule is a good way to keep yourself on track to making that resolution a natural way of things. Whether you follow the recommended schedule in your owner’s manual, or create your own, a schedule of some of basic car maintenance items will make things easier to plan and accomplish.

Oil Change

You’re tired of hearing how important oil changes are to the long, happy life of your car. And with today’s advanced engines and enhanced kinds of oil, newer cars require less frequent oil changes. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect the need for good, clean oil in your engine on a regularly scheduled – manufacturer recommended – basis. Make this one a priority and consider combining it with the next item on your car maintenance resolution list.

Fluid Checks

Along with the oil, there are many other fluids that are vital to your car’s smooth, reliable operation. A few of these are:

  • Transmission fluid
  • Anti-freeze
  • Brake fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Ignore any of these for too long and you’ll find yourself wishing for the year to be over. Even something as innocuous as windshield wiper fluid, if left unchecked, will run out and leave you stranded with road crud and dirt smeared across your windshield.

If you let the transmission fluid get low, you’ll experience some pretty unmistakable signs. Whining and clunking, accompanied by grinding and shaking might be among the symptoms. A burning smell and the transmission just refusing to go into gear are sure signs your transmission fluid is low, or all gone.image - oil pouring out of bottle into engine

Antifreeze not only runs through the engine and is processed through the radiator to keep your engine cool, it prevents water from freezing up. Antifreeze also protects the engine from corrosion, facilitates heat dissipation, and prevents scale from building up inside the radiator.

Windshield wiper fluid is easy, so start with that as the  “fluid” part of your car maintenance resolution –  just be sure not to forget the others. Windshield wiper fluid can mean the difference between being stranded at the side of the road with a dried crud-covered windshield, or being able to spray and wipe it away as you head happily home.

Tires

Check your tires from time to time. Tread wear can sneak up and suddenly you’ve got a flat when you least need it (who needs a flat, ever?). Even worse, you could get a blowout – and if that occurs at high speed, you’re facing an extremely dangerous situation. All of this can be exacerbated by improper inflation, so buy a tire gauge, consult the manufacturer’s recommended inflation, and do it right.

Another situation that could arise is poor traction on dry roads – possibly hydroplaning in rain – and no traction in snow or other slick weather conditions. Insufficient tread depth can lead to some serious safety hazards while driving. Check the tread depth with the penny test. Insert a penny into the grooves of the tire’s tread, preferably one of the drive tires. With Lincoln’s head facing down, if you can see the top of his head, your tires are at 2/32 of an inch or less of tread – it’s time for new tires.

Pay Attention to Trouble Signs

It’s not unnatural to just want to do the old ostrich thing and stick your head in the sand when your car starts making a strange sound, or a vibration suddenly makes your ride a little less enjoyable. The thought of taking the time to go to a mechanic (or even just finding one) can seem inconvenient, or even overwhelming – especially if money is on your mind. But consider what might happen if you don’t get that noise or shaking investigated by a trustworthy mechanic. It will turn into something bigger and possibly leave you stranded, and you could be out a lot more money than if you had just had it looked at when it started.

Check Engine Light

If you resolve to do anything for your car in 2017, resolve to pay attention to the check engine light. When the check engine light comes on, that is your car telling you it really needs your attention. That little alert could be a friendly reminder to change the oil, or a warning that the transmission is about to overheat. These days the check engine light means that one of the many computers in the car is sending signals and generating a trouble code. If you get a check engine light, bring your car to a local Colorado AAMCO auto repair center for a complete AAMCO multi-point inspection and diagnostics services.

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