Archive for November 2020
Improve Your Night Vision When Driving in MemphisPosted November 29, 2020 8:20 AM
Night driving in Memphis is not as safe as daylight driving as evidenced by the increased accident rate at night. Much of that is simply because it's dark outside.
Problems with Suspension Solved at Madison Automotive in MemphisPosted November 22, 2020 9:39 AM
A vehicle's suspension system is tough. It can last for years and after lots of driving for Memphis drivers. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.
Out with the Old (Vehicle Parts that Wear Out)Posted November 15, 2020 1:11 AM
Some drivers don't pay any attention to their vehicles until something breaks. Others take them into their service repair facility for maintenance even before a problem develops. Still, even if you fit into the second group, there are some parts on a vehicle that will simply wear out over time.
Your vehicle has gaskets in several places. They use a flexible material to seal the gaps between metal parts that fit together. After time, that material shrinks or gets brittle and fails. Eventually, after time, you will have to get gaskets replaced.
Same goes for belts. Your engine has belts that help take the mechanical energy of the engine to drive other parts such as the generator and air conditioner. Heat and age will eventually cause these belts to wear out or break, so you'll need new ones at some point.
You'll also find yourself buying brake pads. As much as you may try to go easy on them, brake pads work by wearing off a little bit of them each time they help you stop your vehicle. Do a lot of stop-and-go driving and you'll hasten the process.
No battery lasts forever, and your vehicle's battery is no exception. It can only charge and discharge electricity so many times. Count on getting no more than 4 or 5 years out of a battery, fewer if you live in a very hot spot.
Other parts that don't age well? Tires. They can have plenty of tread left on them, but rubber gets old and loses its flexibility. Tires have their date of manufacturer stamped on them for a reason.
Finally, your muffler is being subject to moisture from inside and out: inside because of moisture-containing exhaust and outside from the elements outdoors. Stainless steel or other alloys will last longer, but after a while, either the moisture or constant pounding from vibrations will take their toll.
That's why it's important to maintain every part on your vehicle. You can't wave a magic wand and make everything last forever, but take care of your vehicle and it'll take care of you.
The Light Nobody Wants to See (Check Engine Light)Posted November 8, 2020 9:59 AM
You've probably had your Check Engine Light go on. Then it goes off and you figure, hey, whatever the problem was, it's gone now and I don't have to worry about it. Well, the problem may have gone away and it may not have.
Your vehicle likely has one of these warning lights on the instrument panel: an amber light that looks like an engine or reads "Check Engine" or "Service Vehicle Soon." If that light comes on and stays on, it usually means there's something amiss but not urgently in need of service. (Now if it's blinking, that's another story that we'll deal with in a minute.)
Sometimes when it comes on and stays steadily lit, the problem will go away and the light will go out. Sometimes it will stay on until you get the problem fixed. Either way, the engine's computer will store a code that can provide clues to what's not working—or wasn't working—the way it's supposed to.
If you are just dying to know what that code is, you can buy a little code reader or take your vehicle to an auto parts store and they'll read it. Problem is, the code offers so many options that unless you are a trained technician, you probably won't have a clue what those codes mean.
So if you want to be sure, take it to your vehicle repair facility and have them check it. Technicians are trained to decipher the codes and, using their experience and other diagnostic equipment, can get to the root of the problem and fix it.
As we mentioned before, if that Check Engine light comes on and is blinking, it means a more serious engine malfunction that can damage expensive components such as the catalytic converter and even the engine itself. It's important to have that checked by a professional as soon as possible.
Dashboard's a Funny Name (Instrumental Panel Warning Lights)Posted November 1, 2020 7:47 AM
Every day you drive, you're sitting behind the dashboard. But how in the world did it get that name? Back in the days of the horse-drawn carriage, horses would kick up dirt and mud on the driver and passengers, "dashing" debris against the carriage. So those who built carriages began installing a board to protect them. So, dash-board. Dashboard.
The dashboard is still there, though changed quite a bit from the early days. Now its main purpose is to house the controls and instruments for your vehicle's systems.
Of course, you have the speedometer, tachometer and gas gauge. But there are four warning lights you need to pay attention to on your dashboard and instrument panel. Some of these may even be gauges, depending on your model of vehicle. Regardless, paying attention to them is a good idea if you want your vehicle to keep going as long as possible.
Oil pressure—The oil pressure light will come on if your engine doesn't have enough pressure in its system. Low oil pressure means engine parts aren't getting lubricated properly. This can cause really serious damage and do it quickly. If your oil light goes on, call your Madison Automotive service advisor immediately if you can. Even driving a short distance may ruin your engine.
Check Engine light—If a light that looks like an engine comes on, it's not necessarily signaling a catastrophe. But it means one or more sensors in your vehicle have detected an abnormal situation. Have your vehicle checked soon. There will be a code stored in your vehicle that a technician can read and use it as an extra clue as to what's going on.
Brake light—If this lights up, first check if your parking brake is on. If it isn't, you could have serious brake issues. It's a sign you should get the brakes checked soon at Madison Automotive.
Tire pressure—Tire pressure monitors are built in to newer vehicles. They let you know if any of your tires are over or underinflated. Both conditions need to be checked out. That could prevent a blowout or premature tire wear.
The dashboard isn't what it used to be. In fact, it's much better now… and much more informative. Take advantage of that information and keep your vehicle running the way it's meant to.
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CategoriesAir Conditioning (4)Alignment (3)Alternator (2)Automotive News (3)Battery (3)Brakes (4)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (5)Dashboard (1)Diagnostics (2)Drive Train (1)Exhaust (1)Fluids (5)Fuel Economy (2)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (13)Headlamps (1)Maintenance (18)Oil Change (2)Older Vehicles (1)Parts (2)PCV Valve (1)Service Intervals (4)Service Standards (2)Shocks & Struts (3)Spark Plugs (1)Steering (1)Suspension (1)Timing Belt (2)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Tires (2)Tires and Wheels (13)TPMS (1)Warranty (1)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (21)Windshield Wipers (2)Winter Prep (1)