Hello Fountain, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all Colorado motorists know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Fountain, Colorado Springs and Security.
But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.
Let’s step back. A new Truck or truck rolls off a local Fountain showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.
Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the Truck. Fountain motorists tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of manufacturers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.
The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around Colorado, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Jackson Automotive LLC is important for your Truck and your family’s safety. At Jackson Automotive LLC we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.
That leads us to brake fluid service at Jackson Automotive LLC. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the Truck fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Jackson Automotive LLC cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.
The tires are what connect the Truck to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.
This is especially important on wet Colorado Springs area expressways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Colorado motorists need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.
There’s a segment of the Colorado Springs population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the Colorado area over time. Many Colorado Springs motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.
Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Colorado Springs drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.
Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.
Now, the ignition system in your Truck is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Jackson Automotive LLC for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.
Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Colorado Springs have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.
Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your Truck will perform better and return better fuel economy.
Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern Truck engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.
And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.
For example, your Truck engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.
Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Jackson Automotive LLC, we have been taking care of all those little things for 13 years. Your Truck still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Colorado Springs did not go away.
A lot of gas is wasted in the Fort Carson area by dirty fuel delivery systems.
Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.
The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Jackson Automotive LLC will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.
The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.
See your owner’s manual or ask your Fort Carson service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.
Welcome to the Jackson Automotive LLC automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most Fountain and Security motorists tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Security drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.
Let’s focus on stopping in wet Security 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, Security motorists can actually spin out of control – endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. 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 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 Jackson Automotive LLC 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 Truck on wet Security roads.
So that’s why it’s so important for Colorado motorists to replace their 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 bald Truck tire.
At Jackson Automotive LLC, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Security freeway. A safe stop from Colorado 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 Truck tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Security motorists have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head – the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, Truck tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Security want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.
So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Fountain?
- A Hamburger;
- A Soft Drink, or
- Gummy Bears?
Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Fountain and around the country.
Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!
You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.
Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Fountain road without worrying about where that spill is headed.
So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don’t have to ask you which you prefer: It’s a no brainer.
Jackson Automotive LLC, along with AutoNetTV, wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Give us a call at: 719-393-1317
In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your Truck engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected car driving down Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, and Security expressways.
Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Colorado Springs automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.
A few vehicle manufacturers have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Colorado Springs dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.
Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved gas mileage for gas-poor Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, and Security auto owners. Colorado motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.
High temperatures under your Truck hood and variations in Colorado Springs gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.
When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it’s important for Fountain auto owners keep their fuel injectors clean.
Jackson Automotive LLC service center can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.
Proper maintenance of your Truck fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent costly Colorado Springs repair bills down the road.
Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Fountain car owners, Truck manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are most of your trips less than four miles?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero Colorado temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway?
Do you drive often in dusty areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Fountain?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold Colorado weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Fountain expressway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Colorado Springs or Colorado Springs? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Fountain weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Fountain car owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Fountain or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why Colorado car owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in nice Colorado summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel efficiency. If you want some expert advice, talk with your Honest Jackson Automotive LLC advisor. We can help you restore your Truck to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.
To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Today we’re talking about shocks and struts. They’re so easy to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they’re very important.
Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling.
Visit Jackson Automotive LLC to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional. You can find us at 411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817
Or give us a call at 719-393-1317 to make an appointment.
There’s a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.
When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our Fountain streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps.
You may notice the rear end squatting when you accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner.
Uneven tire wear can also be a sign of worn shocks. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced.
Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your vehicle. It’s usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on poor roads, your shocks might wear out faster.
If those driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.
The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around Fountain Colorado, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your Fountain Colorado service consultant at Jackson Automotive LLC can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.
It’s best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you’ll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.
The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around Fountain Colorado use fuel filters.
For more information about your fuel filter, visit Jackson Automotive LLC or come by our shop located at 411 Royalty Pl. in Fountain, Colorado 80817.
Please call 719-393-1317 to make an appointment.
Generally speaking there’s not a lot of dirt in our Fountain Colorado auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That’s because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your Truck is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.
That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your Truck ages. It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.
A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can’t get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can’t get enough power to get you out of harm’s way.
For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.
This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don’t want to cause them damage just because you didn’t spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.
You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It’s a little part, it’s simple and it’s cheap to take care of. But if it’s neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars of repair bills.
Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC. We’ll be happy to explain.
You may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in Fountain come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around Fountain have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.
If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When you see the warning light, you know it’s time to put some air in your tires.
There are many benefits to driving with properly inflated tires around Fountain. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on under-inflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. You’ll also see longer, more even tread wear so your tires’ll last longer.
Another important benefit of properly inflated tires is increased safety. Under-inflated tires become hotter and that heat can actually lead to tire failure – possibly resulting in an accident. Your car and the tires themselves will just perform better and more safely around Fountain with properly inflated tires.
Local Fountain consumer groups, law-makers and vehicle manufacturers advocate TPMS systems hoping that they will save lives, property damage and inconvenience. While you can’t put a value on saving a life, we keep in mind that TPMS systems will carry a cost.
The systems themselves are added into the price of the car. The batteries in the sensors will have to be replaced from time to time. Parts will break and need to be replaced. In colder climates around Colorado, ice and salt are frequent causes of failure.
In addition, there are other behind-the-scenes costs to be aware of. Every time a tire is replaced, repaired, rotated or balanced, the tire technician has to deal with the TPMS system.
Your service center (Jackson Automotive LLC) must purchase equipment used to scan and reactivate the TPMS system after every tire service. Because older tire change equipment can damage TPMS sensors, your service center may need to buy expensive, new tire changers.
Since there is no uniformity among manufacturers, technicians need to be trained on several TPMS systems. These behind-the-scenes costs are very real to your service center.
That’s why they are anxious for you to understand the financial impact of TPMS systems. In the past, they’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide tire services, and then pass the low cost on to you as an expression of their good will. But now even these simple jobs will take much longer.
Sensors will need to be removed and reinstalled. Even a tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed.
So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it’s because of this new safety equipment. Jackson Automotive LLC just wants to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to do so at a fair price.
It’s important to remember that the TPMS warning only comes on when a tire is severely under-inflated. You’ll still want to check your tire pressure on a regular basis. At every fill-up is best, but you should check pressure at least once a month. Here’s wishing you safe travels.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC for more information about Tire Pressure Management Systems.
Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Colorado Springs, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Fountain is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your Colorado driver’s license or even jail time.
Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Fort Carson and Security motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Colorado Springs emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
Always file a Fountain police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.
Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number and expiration
- Insurance information
Also take down a description of the other Fountain vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most Colorado auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Jackson Automotive LLC at 719-393-1317
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Or call us at 719-393-1317
Jackson Automotive LLC and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Fountain travels.
So you have some exciting plans for the Colorado weekend. You’re going to take some of your Fountain, Colorado friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. But you want to make sure that your Truck maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of Fountain. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and its going to be pretty hot in Fountain this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the local Colorado lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s important to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced at Jackson Automotive LLC on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid has to pass to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems.
Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Fountain, Colorado is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Fountain, Colorado add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your Fountain, Colorado service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.
One Fountain automotive service issue that doesn’t get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don’t get talked about very much around Fountain, but they’re very important. First let’s define what the driveline is:
Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.
That’s not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you’re not moving. So we need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we’re going to have to over simplify a bit.
If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Call Us at 719-393-1317
Let’s start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel, come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.
So, driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot to see if it’s torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner’s manual or check with your Fountain service advisor.
On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in Fountain have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. You’ve probably heard the term ‘u-joints‘. These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected.
The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or Fountain service advisor for intervals.
Now let’s go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The vehicle may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.
Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don’t work well on dry pavement when they’re in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.
Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is required as well as service to the center and rear differentials.
Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There’s a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So you need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.
The bottom line is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner’s manual. Your Fountain service advisor can answer any questions you’ve got. If this is the first time you’ve heard some of this stuff – it’s time to ask someone at Jackson Automotive LLC if any of it needs to be done now.
If you’ve ever been in a car accident around Fountain Colorado, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident in Fountain, Colorado:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Colorado – even if it’s not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver’s license or even jail time in our local Fountain lockup.
Most states, including Colorado require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.
Warn other Fountain motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.
Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
Always file a police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won’t have an objective report to help defend yourself.
Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of Colorado law, the other guy may be responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going 35 miles per hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.
Also get the officer’s name and badge number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number and expiration
- Insurance information
Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary.
Always call your insurance agent or your Colorado auto insurance company’s 800 number.
Call or see your local Fountain physician if you think you may have been injured.
We here at Jackson Automotive LLC hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.
Warm weather or cold, Fountain drivers still need to think about their Truck’s air conditioning. Most Fountain people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Jackson Automotive LLC, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturer’s preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.
Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the Truck’s air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain.
The refrigerant also contains a special oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Fountain car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At Jackson Automotive LLC, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.
Corrosion is what leads to many air conditioning system failures for Fountain motorists. The small leaks mentioned earlier also mean that air and water can leak into the air conditioning system. This can lead to rust and dirt in the internal workings of the air conditioning components. This greatly accelerates wear and, ultimately, failure.
Air conditioning service at Jackson Automotive LLC starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested.
Then the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the Truck’s air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.
How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your Truck owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your Jackson Automotive LLC service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years.
If you’re not getting enough cool air you know something’s wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor and you should get it checked out at Jackson Automotive LLC. Replacing a bad A/C clutch in a Truck is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.
Fountain drivers need to be aware that there’s one more thing that isn’t directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your Truck. And that’s your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that comes from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it’s dirty. If you don’t it’ll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your Jackson Automotive LLC service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they’re doing your air conditioning service.
Here’s a travel tip that’ll I’ll bet you didn’t know, and, it might keep you safer…
The average American commuter in Colorado spends two and a half hours daily in their car.
The government says a hundred thousand auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)
So what does this have to do with how your car smells while you’re driving around Colorado?
Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?
- A. Strawberry
- B. New Car
- C. Pine
- D. Warm Vanilla Breeze
It’s C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics.
And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.
And you thought they just smelled nice.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Sometimes the unthinkable happens in Fountain Colorado. A terrible accident and those involved aren’t able to provide rescuers with emergency contact information.
You have people in the Fountain Colorado area who you’ll want to be contacted to arrange help, give consent to treatment, and inform paramedics of medical conditions, allergies or medications.
Too often, our Colorado police and rescue workers must sift through pockets, glove compartments, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for clues – often wasting precious time.
A brilliantly simple solution is now spreading around the globe: ICE. ICE – standing for In Case of Emergency, is a way to identify emergency contacts in your cell phone directory.
Simply put ‘ICE’ before a contact name in your cell phone, like ‘ICE – Dad’, ‘ICE – Nancy’, or ‘ICE – Doctor Roberts’. Rescuers will be able to quickly identify your emergency contacts, saving valuable time.
Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge, England paramedic came up with the idea and started a promotional campaign in England in 2005. This powerful idea is now being heavily promoted in Fountain Colorado and in other countries. Rescue workers all know of how many times they are unable to find a wallet or purse on an accident victim, yet they are seldom without their cell phone.
There are national and worldwide disaster databases, but participation can cost up to two hundred dollars a year. ‘ICE’ is free to the 276 million cell phone users in the U.S.
It is easy and just takes a few minutes to designate some ICE contacts in your cell phone. Remember to keep the listings current.
Please join Jackson Automotive LLC in getting the word out. Help us put Fountain Colorado on ICE!
Today’s Jackson Automotive LLC post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Big advances in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep pace. Some because of engineering advances and others, advances in the materials used to build Truck automotive systems.
A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.
Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.
And it’s important that Colorado Springs car owners use the right coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your Truck owner’s manual. Of course, your Jackson Automotive LLC advisor will know the proper coolant to use.
Brake fluid is confusing for some Colorado Springs drivers. Back when we opened shop 13 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Colorado Springs people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is recommended for your Truck.
Transmission fluid is the same thing. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Jackson Automotive LLC: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in Truck automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.
Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Colorado Springs motorists and Jackson Automotive LLC professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s modern Truck engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and get better fuel economy. And with all the complication and sophistication, they still have to be durable.
That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those Truck engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.
At Jackson Automotive LLC, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as great feats of engineering as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, take care to always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.
Check your Truck owner’s manual or ask your Colorado Springs service advisor. The wrong fluid can cause damage. If you drive a car or truck with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your vehicle.
High gas prices in Fountain have hit most of our budgets. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related stuff. Increased fuel costs are now consuming a bigger portion of that budget and you may be tempted to skimp in some other areas – like scheduled maintenance.
According to news reports and industry studies, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items are serious safety concerns. Others are just more likely to affect the cost of operating your vehicle.
In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Fountain vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Fountain folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.
Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may mean not being profitable.
So what does this mean to Fountain drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:
Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can you honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?
Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Jackson Automotive LLC. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel economy by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?
Well, the average personal vehicle in Fountain is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your Truck, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.
From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to take care of your Truck. Some of us drive trucks in Fountain for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Fountain. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.
So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Jackson Automotive LLC. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of money at Fountain gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.
There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Fountain Colorado, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Fountain streets.
Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.
The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Go a little slower on the freeway to Colorado Springs. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.
Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.
Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
When I was a kid in Fountain, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it’s about time to get into Jackson Automotive LLC for my checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don’t need seasonal service.
My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.
Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family Truck, most cars used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today’s modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.
Your owner’s manual or Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC can tell you the right oil to use.
Of course, you’re concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don’t want to overheat in the Colorado summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant, or as it’s sometimes called; ‘antifreeze’, is up to doing both very well. It’s designed to last for more miles than most people drive in a year or two.
So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let’s start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more miles driven and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.
You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant, and that you don’t have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.
That’s pretty practical; a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.
And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.
So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you’ve got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees or you have ice and snow, you’ll want to consider changing to winter tires.
So Spring and Fall auto checkups at Jackson Automotive LLC are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.
And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service – stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?
So Spring and Fall: change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors – and get a check-up for your cars.
See, dad was right again.
Come and see us at Jackson Automotive LLC for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Many Fountain drivers have been hearing about new advances in power steering technology, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Fountain as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.
The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.
Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects Truck components from rust and corrosion.
Fountain car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At Jackson Automotive LLC, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.
Unfortunately, many Fountain people don’t realize how important it is to service their power steering, or even that it should be done at all. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks and the pump won’t last as long.
Signs that you may be having problems with your power steering include the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain.
In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service includes an inspection of steering components.
If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your Jackson Automotive LLC advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Jackson Automotive LLC today at 719-393-1317.
Today at Jackson Automotive LLC we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the Colorado Springs area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not.
Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Jackson Automotive LLC at 411 Royalty Pl. in Fountain, Colorado 80817 to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 719-393-1317.
E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local Colorado Springs community.
All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Fountain Colorado area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.
At a 15% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles in Fountain Colorado. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.
You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. Fire fighting experts caution consumers to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it. They expect vehicle fires to increase because of using the wrong fuel in non-Flex Fuel vehicles.
So are people who don’t have a Flex Fuel vehicle but use E-85 to help the environment actually putting themselves at risk? Yes. In fact, service and repair centers in Fountain Colorado are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.
Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have in your Fountain Colorado garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. At Jackson Automotive LLC we are concerned about your safety. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.
In our auto video today we’ll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that “modern cars are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free”.
Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Fountain Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn’t so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.
Here are some examples for our friends in Fountain.
- Some cars in Fountain no longer require chassis lubrication. They’re made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There’s literally is no way to grease those joints.
-Chalk one up for the myth.
On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts up in the valve train that didn’t even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.
- So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.
-A point to maintenance.
- Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.
-Myth gets a point.
- Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.
-Point for maintenance.
I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they’ve always been.
So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Fountain if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there’ll always be a check list.
Let me mention a couple of items on modern vehicles that folks need to be aware of. One of the most of the most important is timing belt replacement. Used to be that all engines had timing chains – you know, metal chains. They rarely broke.
It’s cheaper to make engines with timing belts rather than chains, so replacing the timing belt is on most engines’ maintenance list. The money the manufacturer saves by using a belt is more than off-set by what the vehicle owner has to pay to replace the belt. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of repairing the damage if the timing belt breaks.
So make sure you know when your timing belt needs to be replaced. You don’t want to miss that. If you have 60,000 miles or more, break out your owner’s manual or ask your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC to check on the recommendation right away.
Another is sealed wheel bearing assemblies on some vehicles. As you might have guessed, it’s cheaper to make a sealed unit than one that has access to inspect or service the wheel bearings. The problem is that when the bearings fail, you have to replace the entire unit, not just the bearings. That’ll cost 5 or 6 times as much.
For our friends in Fountain, we hope this has underscored the importance of knowing and following your maintenance schedule. Come in and see us at Jackson Automotive LLC. You’ll find us at 411 Royalty Pl. in Fountain, Colorado 80817. Just give us a call at 719-393-1317.
Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions to our Fountain environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for us very soon.
For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Colorado Springs area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.
The benefits are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.
You should only use E85 if you have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.
Diesel engines have been around the Colorado Springs area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.
There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Colorado Springs roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.
Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good of mileage, but they cost less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Colorado Springs.
Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Colorado Springs area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.
That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our Colorado Springs roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.
A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver city fuel economy similar to their highway ratings.
A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.
Another breakthrough technology is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global car makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use.
A quick word about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Colorado Springs service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.
Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.
With high fuel prices in Fountain Colorado comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Fountain Colorado people desperate to save some money on gas.
Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?
Do some research on the internet or ask your Fountain Colorado service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC.
There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in Fountain!
So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.
We’re Jackson Automotive LLC, give us a call at 719-393-1317 for good honest advice about your car.
New cars cost so much these days. Add financing and insurance and, well a new vehicle may not seem so attractive. A lot of Fountain, Colorado people are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.
The good news is that with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacture, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more.
There is an old saying that says, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.
Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.
The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And your oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build up of harmful oil sludge.
Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors. Preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your operating costs down.
Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.
Now this is a lot to remember. Jackson Automotive LLC can keep on top of this stuff. We can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it.
Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Jackson Automotive LLC today for an appointment; you can reach us at 719-393-1317.
Take good care of your car, and it’ll take good care of you.
Jackson Automotive LLC
Give us a call today at 719-393-1317.
Or stop by at 411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817
Let me start by saying that your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. Did that get your attention? In this article we’ll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can keep them doing their very important job while you drive around Colorado Springs Colorado.
Come see us at: 411 Royalty Pl. Fountain, Colorado 80817
Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They’re made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two very important jobs: First they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds, each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds. That’s a lot of heavy lifting over many, many thousands of miles.
Even though wheel bearings are relatively simple, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It’s when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated; causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.
The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your technician at Jackson Automotive LLC can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.
Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren’t sealed can be serviced on schedule. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they’re re-installed – if not, they’re replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.
If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty pricy – but they usually last about 150,000 miles as long as the seals hold up.
Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that’s exerting pressure on the seal. So if you’ve driven through hub deep water your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they’re serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure.
If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your owner’s manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles.
Now, if you have any sort of trailer, don’t forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don’t have the opportunity to sit and rust all winter.
So what happens if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don’t need to tell you how bad that could be. So check with your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC and see if your vehicle’s wheel bearings can be serviced and when it’s recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you’ve been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.
Come by Jackson Automotive LLC for a wheel bearing inspection, or for check engine light. Call for an appointment at 719-393-1317
Your car is important to you and keeping it running is vital to your Fountain lifestyle. That’s why you should have it serviced regularly at Jackson Automotive LLC. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right.
It’s also very important to your Fountain service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Fountain service center spends every year to make sure our technicians are properly trained.
Jackson Automotive LLC offers a variety of car care services to many kinds of vehicles. We need to be up to date on the latest techniques and parts so that they can care for your car properly. Our Fountain centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.
And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Jackson Automotive LLC technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.
Some services require the use of specialized equipment. Jackson Automotive LLC technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.
Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It’s not only important that service technicians be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to spot potential problems before they become serious.
The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems to customers. For example, it’s one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better service decisions.
You may be interested to know that service technicians are trained in compliance with federal and local Fountain laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.
It’s the goal of our Fountain service center to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your technician or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.
Well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards, and, of course, AutoNetTV, combine to give you the best service experience possible.
Have you ever had an experience like this in Fountain Colorado? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing!
You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off.
You wonder; “What was going on?” Well, it’s actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.
Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn’t be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something’s wrong. Whatever’s wrong could cause some serious engine damage.
Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action.
It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I’m still concerned, I’ll keep this light on for now.
Then the Check Engine Light goes off in a day or two.
The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it’s gone now. The danger is past, I’ll turn that light off.
Now a flashing check engine light is serious. You need to get it into our Fountain Colorado shop as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?
Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air to fuel mix, spark advance, and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.
The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the check engine warning.
The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can’t compensate for the problem, the check engine light stays on.
The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what’s wrong?
Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t really tell you why, because there could be any number of causes.
Let’s say you’re feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees.
You know your symptom – a fever – but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?
You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.
There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.
There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory, and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer’s computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.
A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy or that the auto parts store uses, doesn’t have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Fountain Colorado service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.
The second problem is that once you’ve got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.
So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor, which are not cheap, and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.
How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Jackson Automotive LLC. Give us a call at 719-393-1317 and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the greater Colorado Springs area, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Without a doubt, visibility is a major contributor. Let’s focus on visibility…
It’s said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. Nighttime driving has the effect of reducing 20/20 vision to the equivalent of 20/50 vision. What you could clearly see at 50 feet in daylight can’t be seen until you are just 20 feet away at night.
Too make sure your headlights are giving you the greatest visibility, visit us at Jackson Automotive LLC. you’ll find us located on 411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817. Please give us a call to make an appointment: 719-393-1317.
Accident avoidance is dependent on reaction time. Reaction time deteriorates measurably in low light conditions. One thing we can do to improve visibility is to make sure our headlights are as bright as they can possibly be.
Headlamps dim over time. They dim so gradually that you may not notice it. Many experts suggest replacing your standard or halogen headlamps once a year.
If your vehicle has standard headlamps, consider upgrading to halogen lamps. They make a big difference. And there are upgrades available within the halogen category as well. This once-a-year expense is very modest compared to the safety benefits.
Some Trucks come with high intensity discharge – or HID – headlamps. These lamps should last for the life of your car. They are very bright and are clearly the best option for nighttime driving. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to upgrade to HID headlamps. Talk with your Colorado Springs service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC about options for your car.
Another startling fact is that 90 percent of Trucks on the road have dirty or yellowed headlight covers. Dirty is easy to fix. Just run the window washer over the headlight cover when you stop for gas. Get those bugs and dirt off the cover.
Now plastic headlight covers can yellow or become hazy over time. They can be restored to clarity with a special polishing process. Jackson Automotive LLC can help you with this service.
It’s also vital to keep your windshield clean and streak free when driving at night. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid and that your windshield wipers are in good working order.
We recommend replacing wiper blades twice a year – in the spring and fall. Fall is also a good time to replace headlamps so you’ll be ready for those long winter nights.
Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your Truck into Jackson Automotive LLC for a check up.
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Today we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. You need fuel to go, and the cleaner your fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel economy.
A clean fuel system saves money at the pump. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things you can do to keep your fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.
So buying cheaper gas can actually cost you in the long run. Now, most cars on the road are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.
When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could do some damage. So you should have your fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.
The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.
It’s real important to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can’t do that if they’re dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and waste fuel.
It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it’s burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it’s dirty.
The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced to make sure that system is working properly and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it’s dirty as well.
Do all these things and your engine’s air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You’ll get much better fuel economy and better power
Today we want to talk about timing belts. They’re something that many Fountain drivers don’t know much about and yet your vehicle won’t run if it’s broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner’s manual, it’s not the kind of thing that most Colorado Springs car owners remember because it’s not well understood.
Let’s review what a timing belt does. As you know, the engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It’s called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.
Now, not all Colorado Springs and Fort Carson vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. Manufacturers started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now we’re left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous depending on where you are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.
Interference engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it’ll cost thousands to repair the engine.
So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. There aren’t tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from Jackson Automotive LLC may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that’s in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the damage it’ll cause. There’s no middle ground.
So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner’s manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles, ask your Jackson Automotive LLC service advisor right away if your manufacturer requires a timing belt replacement.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC to learn more about your car’s Timing Belt
You can find us at:
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Or call us at 719-393-1317
Sometimes you can go quite a while without a failure, but we’ve seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It’s not worth the risk.
What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Fort Carson or Security? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it’s usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn’t a cheap procedure, but it’s a fraction of what it could cost to repair the damage caused by a failure.
At Jackson Automotive LLC we’re all about trying to prevent costly repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. Thanks to AutoNetTV for their great auto video tips.
A question for our Fountain Colorado motorists: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?
Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. When your check engine light comes on get it checked at a capable Fountain Colorado service station.
Always make sure you tighten your gas cap until it clicks. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light come on.
If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the reflected glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give us a call when you are ready: 719-393-1317
Let’s talk about air quality in Fountain. It’s a global issue, but affects us wherever we are. Many decades ago, we began to become aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. But what about the air inside your vehicle?
Cabin air filters are now coming on most new Trucks in Fountain. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment. They can filter particles down to three microns, so that’s good enough to clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. If you suffer from allergies in Fountain, this is very good news. Your car can be a haven during your Fountain commute.
Now, it’s only been in the last few years that cabin air filters have become common. You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you live in an area of Fountain where there’s a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often.
You can also ask your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain. How hard is it to change an air filter on a car? It depends on your vehicle. Some are quite accessible; others take some doing to get to them. They’re usually in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.
Because cabin air filters are so new on the scene, some Fountain people haven’t heard of them – even people who have cabin air filters in their Truck. Jackson Automotive LLC service advisors have discovered that many Fountain customers who complained about an unpleasant odor in their Truck simply had a dirty cabin air filter.
The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Fountain Colorado: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Fountain Colorado motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.
Because new cars are more expensive, people in the Colorado Springs area are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Colorado Springs have more than 75,000 miles. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin’.
Give Jackson Automotive LLC a call to schedule your next maintenance.
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles.
First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 15,000 miles should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles, and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule – ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and don’t hold the fluids as well as they used to.
It’s also time to make sure you have a good Fountain Colorado technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble’s brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.
And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.
High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.
Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s way cheaper than a new car payment!
People near Fountain Colorado often ask Jackson Automotive LLC how often they should have a particular service done. It’s a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner’s manual, or have your Fountain Colorado service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.
One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Fountain Colorado will say that their driving is normal and that the ‘regular’ schedule probably applies to them. ‘Severe service’ sounds pretty extreme – ‘I don’t drive like that’.
Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.
- Most of your trips are less than four miles.
- Most of your trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing.
- The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
- You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
- Drive with a car-top carrier.
- Stop and go driving.
- Driving in very hot or very cold weather.
If that’s severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I’m thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour when I’m on the freeway.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around Fountain. Occasionally we load up for family trips.
For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here’s what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.
Picture a line with ‘regular’ on one end and ‘severe’ on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 – when should you change your oil? For me, it’s closer to 3,000 miles. For my wife, it’s closer to 5,000 miles. Your Fountain Colorado auto service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.
Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather or engine and transmission heat from stop and go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly and then they aren’t as effective.
Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don’t drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won’t evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.
If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.
So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You’ve made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.
Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Fountain, Colorado these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the heart of the system is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.
Contact us at Jackson Automotive LLC for questions about your power steering.
The pump generates boost that assists you as you steer your Truck around Fountain, Colorado. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to inspect them at every oil change.
A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so you need to use the correct type –just ask your service consultant at Jackson Automotive LLC.
In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. The lubricants and detergents are depleted over time so you need to replace your old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.
Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many manufacturers specify power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. When in doubt, every two years is a good fallback.
Your auto service center in Fountain, Colorado will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.
Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is that you have to frequently top off the fluid.
Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly to keep you headed in the right direction.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Life’s full of surprises in Fountain Colorado, some of which cost money. A leaky roof, a broken tooth, or an unexpected car repair. Jackson Automotive LLC of Fountain Colorado and AutoNetTV have done some research on how we can budget for proper vehicle care.
Everyone in Fountain Colorado does our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance. What’s hard is unexpected repairs. The truth is that our vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That’s because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs.
Let’s take the fuel pump. Previous generations were often stranded by the side of the road by vapor lock. This occurred when the gas vaporized between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Fuel just stopped flowing.
You had to sit and wait until the car would start again. To alleviate the problem, fuel pumps are now located inside the gas tank. This is a great solution, but when the fuel pump fails, it’s a much more expensive proposition to replace it.
Sealed wheel bearing assemblies are another example. These wheel bearings can’t be serviced – you just have to replace the entire assembly when it starts to fail. That costs several times as much as service on non-sealed bearings.
So we all benefit in Fountain Colorado from design improvements, but we need to plan for repairs down the road.
There’s a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget.
Let’s suppose you have a 2003 Toyota Camry – a very popular car in Fountain Colorado. It’s now paid for and you’d like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle’s data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it’ll cost to service and repair your vehicle over the next five years. The estimate is based on where you live in or near Fountain Colorado, manufacturers’ recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.
Of course these are just estimates – there’s no way to predict what’ll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it’s a good starting point.
The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.
Let’s focus on maintenance and repair. This table shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs is eighty-three dollars. That may sound like a lot, but compare it to a new car payment.
So if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you’d go a long ways towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.
Of course, you can’t predict when something will go wrong or what it’ll cost, but at least you have a reasonable target to shoot for.
Some people around Fountain Colorado are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car so they buy a new one. That’s fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle, you’ll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance. It just makes good economic sense.
Get with your Fountain Colorado service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC and work out a plan for keeping your vehicle on the road.
You can visit Jackson Automotive LLC at 411 Royalty Pl. in Fountain, Colorado 80817 or just give us a call at 719-393-1317.
Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Fort Carson and Security car owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment from the rest by hitting a curb or pothole on Colorado Springs roads.
When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. The tires will wear out very quickly and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to Truck suspension damage.
But the big issue for Fort Carson, Security, and Fountain motorists is safety. When your Truck wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain.
At Jackson Automotive LLC, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.
Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in precisely the same direction.
Signs of alignment problems are: Your car pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Colorado Springs service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in Colorado that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.
A big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Fort Carson drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.
That’s why your manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your Truck owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Dan Jackson or your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain.
One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Jackson Automotive LLC is cheaper than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.
Let’s talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Fountain, Colorado service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don’t know what these services really are unless they ask. Let’s go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.
Feel free at any time to give Jackson Automotive LLC a call at 719-393-1317 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Fountain, Colorado auto center at 411 Royalty Pl. 80817.
First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.
Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.
Alignment. Service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.
Battery service. Service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery’s ability to hold a charge. If the battery’s still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.
Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.
The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.
Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.
Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.
Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don’t require service very often, so people don’t think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.
Engine air filter. This filters the air that’s burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.
Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC, your Fountain, Colorado auto repair center, by calling us at 719-393-1317.
If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Fountain vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.
Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Fountain, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.
Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.
The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?
Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.
Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.
Most of us here in Fountain have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?
Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.
Give us a call at 719-393-1317 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Jackson Automotive LLC website.
One topic that hits the news in Fountain on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some people in Fountain is to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. For the rest of use, we need to improve our fuel economy anyway we can.
Following recommended service intervals by coming into Jackson Automotive LLC is one of the best ways to keep your car running efficiently. That means better fuel economy. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can’t lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces fuel economy.
Keeping up with scheduled oil changes and transmission services will save gas.
Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change.
You can imagine what dirty fuel injectors can do to your Truck as you drive around Fountain. If your owner’s manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into Jackson Automotive LLC and ask us to get it done for you.
A simple, but very effective way to save gas is to keep your tires properly inflated. Low tires can cost you up to a mile per gallon. Check your tire pressure when you gas up – or at least once a month.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Today in the Jackson Automotive LLC auto care blog, we’re going to talk about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer for Jackson Automotive LLC customers. High quality oil in a well-engineered Truck engine has lead to extended intervals. But it’s also lead to some confusion among Fountain drivers.
The old mantra “change your oil every three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first” once applied to every vehicle in your garage. Time and miles take their toll on motor oil. But now, you could have a different oil change recommendation for every car or truck you own.
Fountain people are like everybody else, they have a tendency to put off all the oil changes to the schedule of the vehicle with the longest interval. Of course, that can lead to problems. For example, recently four of the world’s largest auto manufacturers shortened the published intervals for several of their engines. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles.
In real world Fountain driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance. Quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging Truck small engine passages so the oil wouldn’t flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it from time to time at Jackson Automotive LLC.
The manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval, and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.
So here’s the problem. With longer oil change intervals, it’s extremely important to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don’t forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in Colorado, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Fountain conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Your Jackson Automotive LLC advisor can help you evaluate which schedule to follow.
So check your Truck owner’s manual or talk with your Fountain service advisor about where and how you drive. Should you be changing your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.
Let me give you an example of this. Some newer Trucks have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage, and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.
Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles to almost 7,000 miles. It’s typically just over 4,000 miles. What this tells us is that sometimes, we’re driving easy miles that are easy on the Truck – like a long road trip. Sometimes, we’re driving hard Colorado miles – like towing a trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it’s a combination of both.
Once again, it’s up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Jackson Automotive LLC to protect your Truck engine. Another place where Colorado drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Fountain owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let’s just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.
But it also costs quite a bit more, so some Fountain people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it’s always best to use the oil recommended by your manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.
But getting back to the problem, if your Truck came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can’t use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.
Suspension systems will continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually Truck components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Fort Carson.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Colorado 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, 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 Truck manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.
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 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 Jackson Automotive LLC for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your 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 Jackson Automotive LLC 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 Truck was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Fort Carson people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.
For example if you want increased handling performance for your Truck, your Honest Jackson Automotive LLC 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.
With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Fountain, Colorado, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most folks in Fountain, Colorado don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Fountain customers. So it’s not uncommon for people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.
Call Jackson Automotive LLC at 719-393-1317 for information about differential service, or stop by our Fountain, Colorado auto center at 411 Royalty Pl. 80817.
To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Fountain high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.
The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.
It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Fountain, Colorado area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.
That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.
The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.
Your Fountain, Colorado technician at Jackson Automotive LLC will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.
Your Jackson Automotive LLC service advisor can look up the manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at 719-393-1317 for more information about your differential service.
Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Fountain?
- Air Bag
- DVD System
Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Fountain – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Fountain.
Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817
You can reach us by phone at: 719-393-1317
There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.
That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Jackson Automotive LLC recommends following these guidelines:
- Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Jackson Automotive LLC).
- Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
- You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.
For more information, contact Dan at Jackson Automotive LLC by calling 719-393-1317.
Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Fountain Colorado area (zip code: 80817) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Jackson Automotive LLC we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.
If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Colorado Springs area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Many people in Fountain are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern Trucks are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
Local car owners in Fountain with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…
The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.
All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.
So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.
In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.
Talk with your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.
Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.
If anything, following recommended service intervals for your Truck is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.
So, have your Fountain auto service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.
There are some things Colorado Springs consumers should know about Fountain automotive service and repair. First and foremost, Jackson Automotive LLC cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.
Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The technicians that work for Jackson Automotive LLC need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.
The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. The average Colorado Springs or Fort Carson driver may not realize the business and environmental regulations Jackson Automotive LLC must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any business, overhead is a big factor.
When you go into a Colorado Springs restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.
It’s the same for Jackson Automotive LLC. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Fountain customers are happy to see them succeed as a Colorado automotive business.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Or call us at 719-393-1317
Your Fountain service center loves to see its customers whenever they come in, but they would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. They want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Colorado Springs area friends and family to go in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers the service center’s marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone.
Jackson Automotive LLC appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.
Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:
- the radiator
- the radiator cap
- the hoses
- the thermostat and
- the water pump
The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.
The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners’ manual or service technician to see what’s recommended.
Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.
So how can you tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it’s got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you’ve got a leak.
Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can’t see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have your service center check it out.
Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles – some longer. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it’s one of those that’s driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work’s already done with the timing belt change. And, if you don’t, and develop a leak later, you’ll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.
You can replace your water pump with a brand spankin’ new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your technician what he thinks. Don’t feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. Your service technician can get you back on the road and on with your life.
For advice on how to make your Truck last longer, visit us at Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
These days many people in the Colorado Springs area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your Truck and see what’s been done and when. Have your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Fountain service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
People in Fountain have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you’re wondering: What are the key issues?
Some new vehicle manufacturers in Fountain are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new car manufacturers announced that owners like those in Fountain were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.
The manufacturers’ standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.
What causes oil sludge? It’s a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.
Visit Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain, Colorado 80817
Severe driving around Fountain includes short trips under four miles or trips under ten miles in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn’t get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.
Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.
The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Fountain just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule, or to the standard schedule.
Some types of Truck will give oil change reminders. But it’s important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It’s programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.
For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it’s a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what’s needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.
If you’re realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.
So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.
Imagine you’ve left Fountain and you’re up in the arctic on a dog sled.
Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground fast. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.
That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you’re covering less ground for the same effort.
You’re wasting kibble.
The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that’s pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You’re wasting gas.
So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. Get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side.
Sometimes we bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
So make sure you’re tracking straight. You’ll save gas and your tires’ll last longer. Now, mush!
Everyone in Fountain Colorado eventually replaces their tires, whether it’s because they’re worn out or they’re just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in Fountain Colorado, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let’s group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.
One category is often referred to as “summer tires”. Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees. Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads in Fountain Colorado and they’re also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.
Now the rubber compound gets a little hard and stiff as temperatures drop below 45 degrees as it occasionally does here in Fountain Colorado. And the tread which handles dry roads so well, can get packed with snow or mud – which provides very little traction in those conditions.
So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you’ll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.
Summer tires can be purchased with an emphasis on handling performance, smooth ride or long life. Your Fountain Colorado tire professional at Jackson Automotive LLC can help you find the right tire for the way you drive.
As you can imagine, winter tires are designed to work very well in snow and ice. Their tread is designed with many channels and grooves that throw the snow out of the tread as the wheel turns. This means the tire is always be able to bite into the snow.
The rubber compound used in winter tires is specially formulated to be flexible at temperatures below 45 degrees. This maximizes cold weather traction. When it gets warmer, the softer rubber will wear faster on warm dry pavement than summer tires, so change them out once the weather has turned.
There’s a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, look for the mountain and snowflake icon that signifies a severe snow rating. If you have milder winters and still want a performance component, they make a winter tire for you as well.
For many people, an all-season tire is the answer. You will give up some of the performance at the extreme ends of the summer tire/ winter tire spectrum, but you will find a long wearing tire that gives both good highway performance and winter traction on our Fountain Colorado roads.
Within the all-season category, there are many choices that you tire advisor can help you evaluate.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Outside of these three main categories, some people in Fountain with trucks and SUVs like a tire that is designed for both on-highway and off-highway use. They can handle the rocks and bumps off-road, but still work well on the street. Again, many options depending on the relative emphasis on on-road verses off-road.
You may want new wheels to go with your new tires – well, there are hundreds and hundreds of styles to choose from. That’s a matter of personal taste. If you want to change the size of your wheels and tires, do get some professional help.
The computers on your vehicle are programmed to the size of wheel and tire combination that comes from the factory. Tire size affects various computer controlled functions like anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls, speedometer and odometer. Of course, you want these systems to work properly. The computers can be re-programmed for different tire sizes.
And if you want to increase the size of your wheels and tires, you’ll want so help to make sure they’ll fit in the wheel wells of your vehicle without rubbing during turns or over bumps.
The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a big job for Fountain drivers. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the 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 Truck engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Jackson Automotive LLC. At high speeds on Fountain 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 Truck’s engine.
This is much better for the environment and it saves gas too. (Budget-conscious Fountain 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 Jackson Automotive LLC and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Fountain drivers don’t know about it. Check your Truck owner’s manual or ask your Jackson Automotive LLC 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 Jackson Automotive LLC when it gets dirty.
Please ask your Honest Fountain service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Fountain, you can avoid some very expensive deep engine repairs.
Your Truck requires plenty of clean fuel to run. When your fuel isn’t clean, your fuel injectors can start to become clogged up. When this happens, your Truck engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run efficiently. This hurts fuel economy and performance as you drive around Colorado Springs. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.
That’s why all vehicles, including Trucks, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. The job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and holds them out of the fuel stream. Of course, the filter will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at Jackson Automotive LLC.
If your fuel filter is clogged, the Truck engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.
You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at Jackson Automotive LLC more frequently as your Truck ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.
So, everyone in the Fountain Colorado area knows how great helium is – you know, party balloons, squeaky voices. But a lot of people around Fountain still haven’t heard about the benefits of nitrogen in your tires, and how it can help your tires. Here’s some great advice from AutoNetTV, brought to you by Jackson Automotive LLC.
Nitrogen has actually been around for a long time in the Fountain Colorado commercial sector, but it’s just starting to catch on for private vehicles in the 80817 zip code area.
Why nitrogen in your tires? Air is air, right? Actually, it turns out there is a difference.
Contact Jackson Automotive LLC to learn more about nitrogen in your tires
You can find us at:
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Or call us at 719-393-1317
The heart of the matter is maintaining proper tire inflation. When your tires are properly inflated, they last longer, handle better and more safely, and save you money at the gas pump.
The problem is that tires filled in Fountain with regular air can lose a pound and a half of air pressure every month. This just happens as the oxygen in the tire seeps out. So if you don’t check your pressure for a month or two, well, you can be significantly low – low enough to actually affect your handling, shorten tire life and waste money at the fuel pump.
How does nitrogen help? Regular air contains about 78% nitrogen. Nitrogen is the largest molecule in air. It’s dry and non-flammable. Air also contains 21% oxygen, which is smaller and seeps out of the tire three to four times faster than nitrogen.
So, a tire filled with nitrogen at Jackson Automotive LLC will take about six months to lose as much pressure as regular air does in just one month. So it’s more forgiving for those who don’t check their pressure every week.
Also, when oxygen is at higher temperatures – like those inside your tire when you’ve been driving for awhile – it oxidizes the inside of your tire. Getting the oxygen out of your tire means that it’ll last longer.
Who’s using nitrogen? Well, let’s start with NASCAR and Indy. These racers like nitrogen’s ability to maintain consistent tire pressure and reduce tire temperatures under very demanding conditions. The US government requires all commercial aircraft to have nitrogen in their tires. NASA and the US Military use nitrogen. The mining industry has been filling those “humongous” tires with nitrogen for years. And semi trucks and trailers are starting to use nitrogen extensively.
You may have heard some detractors of nitrogen. But the studies and white papers from tire and vehicle manufacturers demonstrate that the technology really works.
In fact, a prominent consumer research group did a study where they filled some tires with air and some with nitrogen and stacked them outside for a year. They observed that the nitrogen filled tires did hold their pressure better, but they couldn’t see the economic benefit. But that particular test has very little to do with the real world. Most tires are actually holding up cars and they also get driven around and do a lot of work. So if nitrogen helps them last longer, saves gas and gives safer handling, it’s worth considering.
Most of our Fort Carson clients want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Jackson Automotive LLC, we are frequently asked, however, just how much money Fort Carson motorists can actually save.
Well the US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Fort Carson car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your Truck engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.
In today’s Jackson Automotive LLC post, we’re going to talk about several things you can do to improve your Truck fuel economy driving around Fort Carson. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a graphic that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|TUNE UP 4%||.12||.14||.16|
The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best economy. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.OO||$3.50||$4.00|
|AIR FILTER 10%||.30||.35||.40|
Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Jackson Automotive LLC and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40%||1.20||1.40||1.60|
Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Jackson Automotive LLC.
Here’s an easy one. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will cost you at the pump so check your tires every week.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|TIRE INFLATION 3%||.09||.11||.12|
Your Truck manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2%||.06||.07||.08|
Here’s one that’s free: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Fort Carson roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel economy.
Cutting out aggressive driving around Fort Carson can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the highway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5%||.15||.18||.20|
|DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$||.99||1.16||1.32|
A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.
|DOLLARS PER GALLON||$3.00||$3.50||$4.00|
|SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7%||.21||.25||.28|
|SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23%||.69||.81||.92|
The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our Trucks tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.
Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.
We’re going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Fountain automotive service and repair industry hasn’t been given a pass either.
Unfortunately, every profession in Fountain has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.
Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Fountain automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.
If we understand what’s recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we’ll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It’s like going to the doctor; If she’s using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Fountain service advisor too. He’s so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don’t know a PCV from an EGT.
If you don’t understand what your doctor’s talking about: ask some questions. If you don’t understand what your Fountain automotive advisor’s talking about: ask some questions.
Let’s go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, “Is this really necessary?” Well, here’s the industry standard:
If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:
- The part no longer performs its intended purpose
- The part does not meet a design specification
- The part is missing
For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Jackson Automotive LLC says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.
If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn’t want to replace the rotor; Jackson Automotive LLC would ethically have to refuse the repair.
To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could’ve failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.
Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:
- The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
- To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
- To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
- Based on the technician’s informed experience
Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.
Some Fountain motorists are confused by Jackson Automotive LLC charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair. Many services at Jackson Automotive LLC and other Fountain automotive repair shops include diagnostic fees.
When you take your laptop into a Colorado Springs computer repair shop for a problem you’ll likely have to leave a deposit for diagnostics. When we visit our Colorado Springs doctor for a medical problem, we’re paying him to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Jackson Automotive LLC for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Colorado Springs area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your Truck brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Colorado expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your Truck engine, Jackson Automotive LLC diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Colorado Springs public’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, and Security drivers that the trouble code tells the Jackson Automotive LLC technician exactly what’s wrong. Why then is there a diagnostic charge, the scanner just gave the diagnosis?
Reality is more involved than that. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The Truck computer’s trouble code just tells the Jackson Automotive LLC technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the symptom.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Jackson Automotive LLC Fountain customers. The Jackson Automotive LLC technician makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem.
Colorado Springs service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for a given trouble code. They outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented fix. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved and difficult. Of course Jackson Automotive LLC wants to figure out what’s wrong with your Truck and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the news. Fountain people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Fountain 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 Trucks for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.
There are plenty of Fountain drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own Trucks on the road in Colorado.
Fountain 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 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 Fountain car owners. It’s simple – a Jackson Automotive LLC 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 Jackson Automotive LLC technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.
Your Jackson Automotive LLC advisor will also visually inspect your 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 Jackson Automotive LLC 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 Fountain dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.
Realistically, things are going to wear out as your 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 Truck payments. With proper service at Jackson Automotive LLC and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.
What is a cabin air filter? Is it:
A. A filter for your Fountain house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?
Clever you, it’s C.
A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment. It filters out common Fountain air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.
These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
Not all vehicles in Fountain have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene. About forty percent of new vehicles sold in Fountain come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.
Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment. Your car can be a haven during our Fountain allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, the filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.
Check your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals. Often, the owner’s manual forgets about the cabin air filter, so ask your service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Colorado Springs area, or if you start to notice an odor from your ventilation system.
So keep your cabin air filter clean. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Fountain more enjoyable.
Come by Jackson Automotive LLC and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.
Today we want to talk about a very important system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that you don’t give much thought to until it fails and then you’re stranded by the side of the road.
Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don’t you hate it when something breaks, and you could have done something to prevent it?
The good news is that if you take care of your cooling system it can keep working for the life of your car.
Here at AutoNetTV, we emphasize preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, the radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.
It sounds complicated, but we don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our Honest service technicians at Jackson Automotive LLC. But, having an overview will help us remember to take care of our cooling systems.
Most people would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can’t be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.
Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some money on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the massive damage that can be done when an engine seizes.
There’s another little part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It’s called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the vehicle is left sitting.
It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant can actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.
That brings up a good point. An engine has to work in all kinds of temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?
Well, it’s much like the way you keep your house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your car controls how much coolant flows through your engine. When the engine is cold, it restricts coolant flow until the engine comes up to an efficient operating temperature. Then it starts opening up to move more coolant to keep the temperature within a specified range.
The thermostat needs to be replaced from time to time as well. It’s easy to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain, just give us a call: 719-393-1317. Now we’ve been talking about all this heat we’ve got to get rid of, but haven’t really talked about where it goes. That’s where the radiator comes in. The hot coolant passes through the radiator. Air flows past the cooling fins and cools the coolant.
The radiator has two tanks that hold coolant: sometimes one the top and bottom or one on either side. If you have an automatic transmission, one of the tanks will also contain a second tank that cools the transmission fluid. Large SUV’s and trucks often have a separate transmission cooler. So when you drive around Fountain, the air is forced past the radiator. But driving doesn’t produce enough air flow. So the radiator has cooling fans that force fresh air over the radiator. These fans may be powered by a belt or by electric motors.
Now, you also have something called a heater core. The heater core is like a mini radiator. A small fan blows air over the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. That’s how you warm your car when it’s cold out.
Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around Fountain, you never remove the radiator cap, except to replace it. You add coolant through the overflow tank. The radiator cap is also called a pressure cap, because its job is to maintain pressure in the cooling system.
High pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant, so it cools more effectively even in very demanding conditions. That is why you need to replace the cap from time to time. They recommend changing it out every time you replace your coolant.
Coming back to the overflow tank, it is needed because when the coolant gets hot it expands and the overflow holds the extra volume. The tank helps maintain the proper level of coolant and keeps air out of the system. You should never open the radiator cap or over flow tank when the engine is hot. This could lead to serious burns.
What else do we need to do to keep our cooling systems working well? Well, there are the hoses that hook all of these pieces together. They’re obviously very tough to deal with the pressure and high temperatures. But they do get worn. Sometimes they get spongy from the heat. Sometimes they lose their connection to the radiator, water pump, etc. It’s a great idea to have your Fountain service center inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.
Jackson Automotive LLC can help you check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at 719-393-1317.
We’ve all seen people do crazy things while driving to or from Colorado Springs. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. All of these are an accident waiting to happen.
The truth is everyone in Colorado Springs Colorado is distracted when we drive. Traffic, road construction and other things outside the car are beyond our control. But the distractions inside our car are things we can often control.
Here’s some things that’ll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Colorado Springs Colorado.
- Drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
- Drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
- And those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.
Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. People are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can we do to manage these distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.
When you get in your car, make sure you’re belted in; that the seats, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted; and your radio or CD player is ready.
Secure any loose objects in the car that can fall on the floor and interfere with your driving.
If you have a drink, make sure it’s spill-proof and put in a cup holder. Pets should also be contained.
If you’re riding with kids, make sure they’re wearing seat belts or secured in safety seats. You may want to give em some distractions to keep them quiet and sitting in their seats. Don’t get involved in their arguments while you’re driving. Pull over if you need to find a toy or break up a fight.
If you eat while driving, keep it to simple finger foods that aren’t messy.
Learning your car’s controls before you drive is another way to improve your safety. Know how to work the radio by touch. The same goes for heating and air conditioning controls.
If you have to use a cell phone, a hands-free system is best. But remember, the biggest cell phone distraction isn’t the phone itself – it’s the conversation. Keep conversations brief and light, or pull over if you can. Your reaction time is much slower when talking and driving, so allow more space between you and the car ahead of you. Know your local laws – it may be illegal to be on the phone or text in the Colorado Springs Colorado area.
And if you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving – you’re wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive into Colorado Springs Colorado.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Remember, driving is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do all day – so don’t make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel.
Sometimes it seems in Fountain we live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.
New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Fountain, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without.
We couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Fountain penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Is it really that bad to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster.
Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Fountain area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re a bit more stressed anyway. But it’s never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.
It’s just another example of our parents being right. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain help you keep track of the rest.
Of course, some things are going to wear out along the way, stuff like alternators, water pumps and such. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
People in Fountain Colorado often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.
Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Fountain Colorado also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.
Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.
There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your manufacturer recommends.
For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by our Fountain Colorado service center:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Read your owner’s manual carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Fountain Colorado it is; the engine control computer can adapt. You’ll lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at the repair shop.
Your car will run best on the grade of gasoline recommended by the manufacturer.
Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give you any additional performance or better fuel economy.
Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your Truck into Jackson Automotive LLC. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.
In times of high gas prices, we’re all conscious of making our fuel dollar go further as we drive around Fountain Colorado. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel economy possible.
Looking at getting some new tires? The choices at Fort Carson tire stores can be a little overwhelming. Suppose you have an SUV and are trying to decide between all season tires or some that are also rated for off-highway. Do you get off the payment on the outskirts of Fort Carson more than most? If so, some additional off-road traction would be nice.
Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there’s nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you’ve got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.
Let’s suppose you zip around Fort Carson in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather’s good. When Colorado weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Fort Carson drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.
When it’s time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Jackson Automotive LLC tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He’ll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.
Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Fort Carson drivers. With so many choices, you’ll be able to get what’s best for you. Take their time. And don’t worry about what’s in stock. If you want something that isn’t here at Jackson Automotive LLC, manager Dan Jackson can order it. Chances are you’ll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.
No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice to Fountain residents and to fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone who owns that type of car in Fountain and elsewhere until the work is done.
If you have questions about vehicle recalls, give us a call:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl. Fountain, Colorado 80817
These recalls always affect safety, so you need to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.
Recalls are pretty serious and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that you still might want to know about. In this case, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell service centers how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.
The pros receive updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. You can buy access to these for an annual fee.
Whatever your source, pay attention to vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.
When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat.
That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Fountain to Security, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.
Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear to fast in the middle.
Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give us a call to get our recommendation on your Truck.
See your owner’s manual or ask your service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
Tires cost a lot and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Myths passed around our Fountain Colorado community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the Trucks of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.
To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Fountain area, come over to Jackson Automotive LLC.
You’ll find us at 411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817.
Give us a call at 719-393-1317 to make an appointment for your next auto service.
Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.
The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.
The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Fountain. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Fountain still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.
Another common rant you’ll hear around Fountain is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Jackson Automotive LLC would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.
This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.
Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?
The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local Fountain community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?
Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .
You get the picture. Your Truck is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Jackson Automotive LLC have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Fountain service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC, or do some research of your own.
Bad air quality while you’re driving around Colorado Springs is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they’re fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don’t know about them yet.
These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as thee microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
So your cabin air filer can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores, to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner’s manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around twelve to fifteen thousand miles.
The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you’ll want to have your Fountain Colorado service center, Jackson Automotive LLC, take care of replacing them.
As we said, many people don’t realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.
People who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.
Of course if you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted conditions, you’ll need to change your cabin air filter more often.
Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of Colorado Springs folks driving around on under-inflated tires. Now, it’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your Truck tire’s considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.
New laws required manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all cars and light trucks by the 2008 model year. The system has a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below manufacturer’s pressure recommendations.
This technology has been used by Colorado Springs race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from under inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your car’s manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they’ll use to comply with the law.
Obviously, all of this doesn’t come free for Colorado Springs drivers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases.
The costs are partially offset by savings in fuel and tire wear. There’s also a saving in property damage and travel delay. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100. The government predicts fewer fatal accidents. They estimate that it will cost between three and nine million dollars for every life saved.
Your safety has always been a concern at Jackson Automotive LLC. We want you on the road and accident free. We’ve traditionally provided things like tire rotations, snow tire mounting and flat fixes at a very low cost. We’ve been able to quickly and cheaply provide the service, and pass the low cost on to you as an expression of our good will.
That’s why we’re concerned about how you’ll perceive the changes that this new law will force. Every time a tire is changed: taken off to fix a flat, a new tire installed, a snow tire mounted; the Jackson Automotive LLC service technician is now going to have to deal with the TPMS system.
Even a simple tire rotation will require that the monitor be reprogrammed to the new location of each tire. When a car battery is disconnected, the TPMS system will need to be reprogrammed. TPMS sensor batteries will need to be changed and failed parts replaced.
Like all other Colorado Springs service centers, here at Jackson Automotive LLC we’ve had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and to update expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems. Our Jackson Automotive LLC service technicians have been thoroughly trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to perform what was once a very inexpensive service for you.
So when you start so see the cost of tire changes, flat repairs and rotations going up at Jackson Automotive LLC, please keep in mind that it’s because of government mandated safety equipment. We want to keep you safely on the road – and we’re committed to doing it at a fair price. This new safety equipment will help you avoid the most common types of vehicle failure in Colorado Springs, and possibly a catastrophic accident.
If you’ve walked through the automotive fluids of an auto parts store in Colorado Springs, you’ll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what’s right for your vehicle?
As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Colorado Springs area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.
First let’s talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.
Some vehicles around Colorado Springs come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet is to always use what the factory recommends. The recommendation is what’s been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.
A good quality oil has more additives that are engineered to clean and protect the engine. They cost a bit more, but are worth the extra protection. If you buy budget oil, you might want to consider shortening your oil change interval.
Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We’ve seen special coolant in Colorado Springs for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.
The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.
The really good news is that your Colorado Springs service center has databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that’ll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Of course, your full-service oil change will top off your fluids. But it’s a good idea to have some of everything at home in case you need to top something off yourself or to take on a trip. Ask your Colorado Springs service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC or check your owner’s manual for fluid specifications.
It’s important to know that there are national warranty laws that say that a manufacturer cannot require you to use their brand of fluid to maintain your warranty. That said, there are two things that may affect your warranty.
Using the wrong type of fluid may void the warranty. Going back to radiator coolant, the correct type protects against corrosion and the wrong type will not. So it’s important to be right.
Also some warranty protections are conditioned on taking care of scheduled preventive maintenance. Please review your warranty if you have questions.
Make an appointment with Jackson Automotive LLC to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Today we’re going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Fountain Colorado who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what’s involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Fountain Colorado.
These are valid concerns. If you don’t understand something it’s really hard to know its value. Let’s start with some history.
Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Fountain Colorado have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what’s wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle’s Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.
The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can’t adjust for, the computer will turn on the check engine light.
It is also called the ‘service engine soon’ light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your Fountain Colorado service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.
If you’ve searched for check engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what’s wrong.
That’s a common myth. The code itself doesn’t tell you what’s broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won’t tell you what’s wrong or how to fix it.
Let’s say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads one 102 degrees. You’ve confirmed a fever, but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician’s examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.
An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads ‘Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response’. This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that’s all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.
You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that’s stored in the engine control computer. That history’s very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don’t need replacing.
So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your check engine light comes on, get it checked at Jackson Automotive LLC. If the light burns steady – don’t panic. Get in to Jackson Automotive LLC soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing check engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.
And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing check engine light.
Here’s an interesting statistic for our friends in Fountain Colorado: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.
Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping car batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.
So you must recharge your battery. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Fountain or Fort Carson. The alternator just can’t keep up.
The result is shortened battery life. So what can we do to improve our battery’s health?
We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold, sitting for several days will cause discharge.
So some highway driving between Colorado Springs or Security will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is very hard on your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.
If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger.
Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, experts suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.
Now, a word on safety. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire.
Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.
Ask us about RV Repair, too.
When your Truck breaks down, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Fort Carson, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.
If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Jackson Automotive LLC professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. Let me give you some perspective. Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars twenty years ago. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Fort Carson gas prices. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars driving around Fort Carson roads are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.
Some cars have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Fort Carson motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Jackson Automotive LLC technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technician and the Fort Carson service center as well.
In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools. Jackson Automotive LLC technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Jackson Automotive LLC by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.
There are many independent certifications available at Jackson Automotive LLC all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your Truck requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Fort Carson auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Jackson Automotive LLC, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – but sometimes it just isn’t.
So try to be more relaxed next time you bring us your Truck. You’re in good hands.
All modern vehicles come with fuel injection systems, so it’s a topic we all need to know something about. All new cars and trucks sold in Fountain, Colorado over the last 30 years or so have come with fuel injection systems.
The fuel injector is a valve that delivers the gas or diesel fuel to the right place, in the right amount, at the right time; to be mixed with air and burned in the engine.
So how many fuel injectors does your car have? There’s one for each cylinder. So four, six or eight for most folks in Fountain, Colorado. Some vehicles have 10 or 12 cylinders. The engine control computer makes adjustments to the fuel injector as it monitors the engine and other sensors. Fuel injectors are a pretty sophisticated part.
Jackson Automotive LLC can help you with a fuel injector cleaning service. What’s the benefit? In order to work right, the fuel injectors have to deliver the fuel at a precise pressure at a very precise time. The fuel needs to be sprayed in a particular pattern as determined by the engine design.
Over time, varnish can start to build up in the fuel injectors, effecting the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel charge. The result is that the fuel doesn’t get burned as efficiently as it could. That robs performance and wastes fuel.
What about dirty fuel – how does that affect the fuel injectors? The fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel system. It starts at the fuel tank. Frankly, the best way to keep your fuel injectors working well is to use high quality fuel. Its real tempting to shop for bargains with fuel prices as high as they are, but major brands in the Fountain, Colorado area have better detergents and additives and deliver consistent quality.
What about a good fuel filter? The fuel filter is the next device in the fuel system. Its job is to filter out the dirt and rust that collect in the fuel tank. If it’s clogged up, the dirt will bypass the filter and head upstream to the fuel injectors.
It’s important to replace the fuel filter when your manufacturer recommends it. That’s part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning.
There are different kinds of fuel injection systems. Port fuel injection systems, the kind most gasoline engines have, operate at 60 pounds per square inch. The injectors for the new gas direct injection engines we’re starting to see require 10 to 30 times as much pressure. And some diesel engines for passenger vehicles have injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch. There’s no room for dirt and gum in a precision part like that.
There are a lot of good products available in Fountain, Colorado that can clean fuel injectors. They’re best used to prevent fouling in the fuel injectors. Many can’t clean a seriously gummed up injector – that requires a professional deep cleaning. But putting the cleaner in the fuel tank after you’ve had Jackson Automotive LLC take a look at your fuel system will help keep it clean. Be sure to read the label for directions.
Give us a call if you think your Truck may be ready for a fuel injector cleaning.
Manager: Dan Jackson
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
No one in Fountain Colorado likes high fuel prices. But if one good thing has come about, it’s that people are really focused on how to reduce their fuel consumption. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive, so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.
Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:
First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV value and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.
Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.
So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he had turned in the best fuel economy he had ever gotten on that vehicle. It had improved 25 percent. He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.
Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Fountain Colorado. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can save you some fuel. If its time for a tune-up, git’er done. That’s a big item.
If your check engine light is on, have your Fountain Colorado service center at Jackson Automotive LLC figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.
Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.
Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most people is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy, don’t speed and plan ahead.
Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot are scams.
Do some research and check with your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC before spending your hard earned cash.
With the recent focus in Security on improving fuel economy, we’ve been told how important it is to maintain our tire pressure.
Everyone in Security knows that tires wear out, but we all want to make them last as long as possible because they’re fairly expensive to replace. In addition to saving gas, properly inflated tires last longer. Under-inflated tires will wear out more quickly.
Some people in Security wonder if there is benefit to adding a few extra pounds of pressure when they fill up their tires. But actually, there isn’t. In fact, there are very good reasons not to over-inflate your tires. For one, the middle of the tread will wear unevenly because the full tread is not contacting the road properly. That also adversely affects your handling.
Come in and see us about tire maintenance for your Fountain, Colorado vehicle.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Every vehicle in the Security area has a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb that tells you the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. This recommendation is an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension tuning. A lot of engineering actually goes into the recommended tire pressure, so it’s important to follow it.
What else do we need to know about tire maintenance? Tire rotation and balancing are very important. Let’s start with rotation. Because the front tires handle the brunt of turning forces, the shoulders of the front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. We rotate the tires so that they all get to do some duty on the front and they’ll all wear evenly over their life.
For most vehicles, front tires are rotated to the rear and vice versa. Others recommend a cross rotational pattern. Some vehicles use an asymmetrical tire so those tires need to stay on either the right or left side – it’ll say which on the tire. Some high performance cars have asymmetrical tires and different sizes on the front and rear. These can’t be rotated at all. Your owner’s manual will have details for your car.
How often should you rotate your tires? Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation. Your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC can do a visual inspection to let you know if it looks like it should be done. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles.
You know, some people don’t think new tires need to be balanced. What they aren’t taking into account is the wheel. Between the wheel and the tire – even a new tire – there’s enough variation to require balancing.
When you add the valve stem and tire pressure monitoring sensors required on new cars, balancing is definitely in order. When a tire’s out of balance, it’s actually hopping down the road. You’ll feel the vibration through the steering wheel if a front tire’s out of balance and through your seat if it’s a rear tire.
Proper wheel balance promotes tire life and increases safety. Historically, lead weights have been attached to the wheel to bring it into balance. Lead gives some environmental concern, so steel weights are starting to be substituted.
Also, always use the same size tire on an axle. Different size tires on the front or on the back can lead to some real handling problems. And tire manufacturers recommend that when you get two new tires, they be installed on the rear because that’s where you need the most traction to avoid spinning-out.
About 90% of our Fountain Colorado driving decisions are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.
Everyone in Fountain Colorado has experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists from Colorado Springs and across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.
It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Colorado Springs area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.
We need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.
You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Colorado, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.
Winter blades are designed to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can just shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.
Your wiper blades live outside; freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield – a big cost for such a little part.
AutoNetTV recommends you replace worn blades right away. Your local service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included at the service center.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Jackson Automotive LLC will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle in the car if you’re on a road trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t do as good job of cleaning your windows.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.
Find us at:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Good brakes are obviously very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes go out while you’re driving around the Colorado Springs area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices.
Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.
Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator.
When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Jackson Automotive LLC soon.
Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.
A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.
Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.
Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.
Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes drivers insist on lower cost pads. That’s OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the trade offs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you’ll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won’t last as long either. In our opinion, that’s a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.
You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.
Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you’ve been driving with completely worn brake pads, you’ve scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren’t too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.
Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that’s thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.
Something that’s often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.
So here’s the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected. Your advisor can help you make the repair decision that’s right for you.
Today Jackson Automotive LLC is talking about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It’s become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It’s not that people in Colorado are confused as much as they don’t realize how much things have changed in recent years.
If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to stop by Jackson Automotive LLC. You can find us on 411 Royalty Pl. in Fountain, Colorado 80817.
Just give us a call at 719-393-1317
Let’s take engine oil. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.
It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it’s cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn’t thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.
Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the car has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas and the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.
So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.
Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It’s certainly in the owner’s manual. Of course, your Fountain Colorado auto service center can look it up for you.
It’s more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.
Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.
In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.
So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn’t formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you’re using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won’t be covered under warrantee. So it’s important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.
Your owner’s manual or your Fountain Colorado service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC can make sure you’re using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That’s OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer’s recommendation for your Truck or other auto type is always a safe bet.
In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It’s important to remember that the new ones aren’t better than the old ones. They’re just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.
There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid, and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.
They’re fine to use as long as they’re a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it’s also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it’s the right type for your transmission.
Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what a differential is – you will in a moment. That fact is that if you drive a car anywhere in Fountain Colorado, you have a differential. Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you have a differential. You might even have two or three.
As you might guess from the name, a differential’s job is to compensate for differences. Specifically the differences in wheel speed when turning. For instance, imagine taking a corner near your Fountain Colorado home. Your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you go around the corner. That means that your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel.
The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while still providing power. Without a differential, our tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns.
You’ve probably noticed the big bugle in the middle of the rear axle when you’re behind a truck. That’s the differential. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential in back. Most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs will also have a similar differential on the front axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles’ differential is called a transaxle because it combines the differential and transmission in one unit. An all-wheel drive vehicle will have a differential or transfer case that adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear drive wheels.
It can seem a little complicated. But you can see that all of the engine’s power is routed through your differentials. They’re strong enough to handle the work, but they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. So from time to time, you need to have your differential serviced. The used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some differentials also require special additives to be installed.
Get your differential serviced at our Fountain Colorado service center:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
The rule of thumb for the time and mileage interval for servicing your differential, can vary greatly by vehicle. A front-wheel drive vehicle’s transaxle will need servicing more frequently than the rear differential on a pick-up truck, so check with your Fountain Colorado service advisor or your owner’s manual for recommendations.
How and where you drive will have an impact as well. If you drive on dirt roads or through streams around Fountain Colorado, you’ll need to service the differential much sooner than if you always stay on the pavement.
Most Colorado Springs drivers wait for their air conditioning to fail before they service it at Jackson Automotive LLC. That’s because many Fountain and Fort Carson motorists don’t really understand that automotive air conditioners need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.
First, like every machine, the Truck air conditioner parts need lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). So sometimes, even though the air conditioner is still making cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts has just been used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all Colorado cars.
Now here’s a tip for Colorado Springs drivers: You should run your air conditioner every so often during Colorado winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.
The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your windshield during Colorado winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Colorado Springs cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.
Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Colorado Springs drivers should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to clear out the air and water.
Fountain drivers should be aware of early warning signs of trouble: One might be that the air’s not as cold as it used to be. You may hear an unusual noise when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain before the damage gets worse.
So following the recommended service intervals in your Truck owner’s manual can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. You’re A/C system contains some expensive components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Colorado Springs and Fort Carson car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.
Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Security knows this makes sense.
Some of us in the Security area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.
All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Security, and everywhere else.
Lose the junk and save some money.
…And you really only need one of those spare tires.
Every car in Fountain Colorado is at risk for theft. So it’s up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:
- Common sense
- Visible and audible devices
- Immobilizing devices
- Tracking devices
Let’s review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen from Fountain Colorado where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys, and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it’s against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.
And don’t leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Try to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.
Remember to roll up your windows completely and avoid leaving your car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.
Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive “smash-and-grab” targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.
There are lots of visible and audible devices available. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what’s going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.
Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don’t approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.
And here’s a great one – immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car’s electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can’t drive your car away.
Finally, you can also get a tracking device that allows police to track your car down and recover it quickly.
Remember, where you live, work and drive around Fountain Colorado has a great impact on your decisions. If you’re in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Fountain Colorado auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.
Of course, the common sense suggestions from Jackson Automotive LLC don’t cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.
Come see us for practical advice on keeping your Truck safe.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl., Fountain, Colorado 80817
Call us at 719-393-1317
A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our Fountain Colorado roads have one or more service or repair that’s needed, but hasn’t been taken care of. Now that’s a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.
There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services; especially services that our Fountain Colorado automotive advisor recommends when we’re in for something else, like an oil change.
The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don’t always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your Truck, but if you don’t have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you’re not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.
Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local Fountain Colorado service advisor. People who don’t know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don’t want to look ignorant.
It’s human nature. But, there’s so much to know in this world, we can’t all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It’s very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it’s your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician in Fountain, Colorado.
Your auto technician at Jackson Automotive LLC wants your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.
That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don’t always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.
At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your Fountain service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.
In other words, “you don’t have to trust me, you can trust your owner’s manual”.
Your Fountain service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer’s recommendations for almost all vehicles, so they don’t need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner’s manual to know what to do.
Basically, the engineers who designed the car say “here’s when you need to have it serviced”. That’s who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He’s just reminding you.
Now you do need to trust your Fountain technician’s experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concern and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.
That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn’t usually on either of those lists.
Look, everyone who works at Jackson Automotive LLC has a family budget, too. They can relate. Maybe a little look behind the scenes would be helpful.
Service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC invest heavily in training, diagnostic equipment and tools so that they can make repairs and perform services as efficiently as possible. And like any other business, they have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, shop and office supplies, taxes and so on.
We work hard to make sure that we diagnose the problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That’s the only way we can maintain our reputation and remain in business. If we’re not satisfying our customers and providing a good value, you won’t come back and the service center won’t be around for long.
When there is a real budget concern, your Fountain service center can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.
Let’s say you have a serious problem with your brakes. That’s a safety concern so a technician can’t ethically say, well, let’s put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is take care of the brakes now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service next month.
Call Jackson Automotive LLC to make an appointment to check your transmission in Fountain.
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Do you have any plans around Fountain Colorado for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you’ll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.
You got the boat all ready. It’s all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler’s stocked – ready to go.
How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you’ve even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?
Stop and think. You’ll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it may be hot weather. And all the time you’re going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds.
That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What’s a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you’re running low, the transmission will run to hot and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.
And if it’s time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Jackson Automotive LLC before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.
Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long, and it can fail. Believe us – you don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
You know, most of us in Fountain Colorado do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Fountain, and basically any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.
So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you’re at it. Your Fountain Colorado service technician at Jackson Automotive LLC can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Fountain service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?
Lease? Or buy? It’s always a tough question for residents in the Colorado Springs area. But here are a few ideas that’ll make the choice more clear.
Either option gives you a choice of how you might finance your car. If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.
If you lease, you’re financing the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Colorado Springs area dealership. You’ll pay some money upfront; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The month payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge.
So how do you decide?
First, how big a down payment can you make? A lease would require a smaller down.
How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.
A lease needs you to have better credit, so that’s a factor.
How long will you keep the car? If you tend to keep your cars around for a while, buying is cheaper. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The leasing company will want their merchandise back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.
How many miles do you drive in and around the Colorado Springs area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage means a buy.
Will the car be used for business? Check with your accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing is always costs more.
Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.
Here is a tip: If a salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at financing options.
Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair market value – and that’s all your insurance company will pay. But ask your agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.
Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all manufacturer’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local Colorado Springs service center on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.
If you’re a quart low in your Truck, there isn’t enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you’re driving around the Colorado Springs area.
The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it’s in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.
So keep it clean and give yourself a fighting chance.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
At Jackson Automotive LLC we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV’s. But our Colorado friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there’re nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.
Here’s who’s announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in Colorado.
You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to Colorado and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that Colorado diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up Colorado to the engines the rest of the world’s been enjoying for a long time.
Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there’s none of that black smoke we used to see.
Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.
You may also have heard a lot in the news about bio-diesel. The exciting thing about diesels is that they’re not limited to fossil fuels. They can run on fuel made from vegetable oil. There are refineries that make diesel fuel from cellulosic waste like woodchips from lumber mills. There’s even this cool new process where a special strain of algae is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and sunshine into bio-diesel. That’s still a ways off, but you can see that diesel can become a sustainable source of fuel.
And, there are not a lot of trade off’s with diesel in terms of performance. A modern passenger car diesel is very smooth, quiet and quick. Most folks wouldn’t notice any difference. For those who tow trailers and haul heavy loads, diesels will be an improvement.
Now diesel engines are heavy duty, so they cost more than gas engines. But they get better fuel economy – so the break-even point is largely dependent on the difference between Colorado gas and diesel prices at the pump and how many miles you drive. And diesels have a higher resale value.
Now, let’s get back to diesel maintenance. You have to keep in mind that most of the new diesels are just coming in, or will be over the next couple of years, so we don’t have the maintenance schedules to make direct comparisons yet.
But going off what we already have in Colorado, we can expect fluid drain intervals to be similar to gasoline engines. Diesels do require very clean fuel, air and oil, so their filters are much higher capacity than gasoline filters and cost more. The engine air filter needs to be changed more frequently as well.
Repair costs are similar. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system, and so on. And the payoff for you, if you’re the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Every Fountain car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter’s dirty.
Here’s what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your Truck owner’s manual will have a recommendation of when to change the filter. Second, a visual inspection by your Colorado Springs technician may determine that your filter it is visibly dirty and needs to be changed.
So between your owner’s manual and your Colorado Springs technician’s inspection there’s really no guesswork involved.
Now, most air filters purchased in Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, or Security don’t cost a lot to replace. It’s just that Colorado people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Jackson Automotive LLC can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Colorado Springs.
Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Fort Carson home. When it’s all clogged up, enough clean air can’t get through. In your Truck, that means that your engine can’t get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more expensive Colorado gas to move your vehicle around Colorado Springs roads.
Your Truck actually needs about 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of gas it burns. Engine air filters don’t cost much in Fountain at Jackson Automotive LLC. When it’s time to change yours, just get it done. You’ll save buy less expensive Colorado Springs fuel, have better performance and protect your engine.
No matter how well they’re made, cars in Fountain Colorado will have design or manufacturing problems.
And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Fountain Colorado, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Fountain Colorado who owns that type of car to get the recall work done.
These recalls always affect safety, so take them seriously. It’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.
The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links.
Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Jackson Automotive LLC how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.
The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.
So when vehicle recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.
How do you know if an odometer is telling the truth?
Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect Colorado consumers against mileage fraud. It says a Colorado seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.
To have your odometer checked in Fountain Colorado, stop by Jackson Automotive LLC:
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.
If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can you do?
First, you can go to www.CarFax.com, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your Truck, showing local Fountain Colorado ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, Manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.
You can get a mileage history by checking with the local Fountain Colorado DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.
If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.
Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our Colorado Springs area shoe stores?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?
Is the warranty important when buying tires?
When you choose new tires in Fountain, what’s the most important factor for you?
Give us a call at Jackson Automotive LLC at 719-393-1317 for tire recommendations.
You know, buying tires in Fountain is a big deal. It’s a big ticket item so you know you’ll be spending a lot. You’re not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it’ll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.
And of course there’s the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer, the tires need a high load rating to be up for the job.
As a tire professional, I think it’s important that people understand the effect of price on a tire’s performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad had a saying. He said, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many”.
Dad applied that to a lot of things. He thought that one high quality suit would last longer and look better than two cheap suits. The saying really seems to hold true when it comes to shoes and boots, too.
I buy high-quality work shoes because I spend a lot of time on my feet. They’re more comfortable, have important safety features like steel toes and non-slip soles – and they last at least twice as long as cheap shoes. I feel I get very good value for my money.
I apply the same thinking to tires. The major tire brands that you’re familiar with are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are well-engineered and very high quality. Comparable tires are usually in the same price range from brand to brand.
Stepping down in price you come to private label tires. Some large tire store chains carry tires with the chain’s own brand. It’s important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 brands that you are familiar with – so they are a quality product. You can ask your tire professional who makes their private brand.
The lowest priced tires on the market are Tier 3 tires. These tend to be imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can’t expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.
So let’s say you need new tires. You’ve determined the features you need. So you have several options, including price options. Now, you’ve probably heard the term ‘it’s a 40 thousand mile tire’ or ‘it’s a 60 thousand mile tire’. Simply put, the manufacturer warrantees the tire for ‘X’ number of miles. If that’s important to you, look for the warranty.
What’s the difference in the tires with higher mileage warranties? It’s the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you’ll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.
Now the cheapest tires you can find won’t have a manufacturer’s mileage warranty or if it does, it’ll be relatively low. That brings us back to dad’s saying; if you buy the cheapest Tier 3 tire you can, you will likely go through two sets in the time it would take to wear out one set of good quality tires. And the good tires won’t cost twice as much, so you’ll end up paying more per mile driven with the cheap tires.
Hey, I realize that sometimes the budget will only allow for a Tier 3 tire. I make them available for my customers who need them because I would rather see them driving with safe, new tires than pushing their old tires beyond their safety limits. But I always counsel my customers to buy as much tire as they can afford, because it will be much less expensive in the long run.
Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road. You’re only as safe as your tires are well built.
Buy value – not price.
There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn’t seem right.
Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at Jackson Automotive LLC can help you know what’s scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us in Fountain Colorado really don’t look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.
But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let’s take the fuel filter for example.
You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Fountain Colorado roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn’t cost too much to replace. And your car’ll just run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can’t let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Fountain Colorado freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can’t get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.
Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We’ve already talked about how expensive that can be.
The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn’t rust in the tank. It’s just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.
How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner’s manual. Your Fountain Colorado service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC can tell you as well. It’s usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it’s time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.
It’s good to know that your Fountain Colorado service center has your back. When you’re motivated to maintain your vehicle’s performance and to reduce operating costs, you’ll think of Jackson Automotive LLC as your ally – and maybe even your memory.
Everyone in Fountain Colorado knows we’re supposed to go to the dentist twice a year. We get our teeth cleaned and have a thorough dental inspection. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When the dentist is done, he tells us what he’s found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary repairs.
This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.
If we buy into this way of handling our dental care, why do we resist so much when facing the same system for our car care?
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Following the manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.
Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the population that reads your owners’ manual in Fountain Colorado.
And if you have more than one car or Truck, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your Fountain service center does it. They subscribe to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the computer.
Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like the weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive when you are out in our Fountain Colorado area need to be taken into account. Talk about these things with your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.
Since anything that’s not highway driving in moderate weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Fountain Colorado and it should be taken into consideration.
Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your car is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.
Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It’s easy to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harsh environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.
A lot of people in Fountain Colorado don’t realize the harm that can be done by just skipping a single oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.
Oil sludge is another problem. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.
If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your car on the road and avoiding major repairs in Fountain Colorado.
Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.
The cooling system keeps our engine from overheating while you are driving around Fountain Colorado. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let’s talk about the various components of the system and how they work to accomplish this.
The radiator is the part most everyone associates with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there’s enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the car is idling.
In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your car off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.
A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. These passages are referred to as the “water jacket”.
While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat’s job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature of your house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.
When your first start the engine, it’s very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.
The final component I want to talk about is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It’ll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.
Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car’s hot. The cooling system is pressurized and opening them while it’s hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.
Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Fountain Colorado. Your Fountain Colorado service center can do a periodic inspection of the components for leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817
Your manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.
Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine, has to do with the combustion cycle.
Your Truck engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned.
Call Jackson Automotive LLC at 719-393-1317 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Fountain Colorado service center on 411 Royalty Pl., 80817
It’s critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all.
The timing belt is responsible for rotating the shafts that control the valves. It’s vital and precision work. Timing belts are made of very tough flexible material. They can last a long time. But they eventually wear out and can break. The consequences can be disastrous.
In some engines, the valves actually protrude far enough into the cylinders that they could come in contact with the piston. If the timing belt breaks, the pistons will smash into the valves. Valves get bend or broken. If the engine is spinning fast enough, the broken parts will shred the cylinder head as well. Repairing this damage can cost several thousand dollars.
It’s a sad day when this happens; especially since it usually can be avoided. Manufacturers have issued recommendations for when you should replace your timing belt. For some engines, it’s at 60,000 miles. For others it’s at 90,000 miles or more. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles, or have passed it, make sure you check your owner’s manual or with your Fountain Colorado auto service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC for when the timing belt should be replaced. Don’t let this one slip by.
Now some timing belts are visible and can be inspected. Others are hidden under a protective cover and are hard to get to. Some timing belts also drive the water pump. If you have a leaky water pump, the coolant will contaminate the timing belt and could make it fail sooner. So if you have this kind of engine, get it in to Jackson Automotive LLC for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.
Most people in the Colorado Springs area with this engine design end up with a new timing belt when they replace the water pump. And when you’re having your timing belt replaced on schedule, check with your Fountain Colorado auto service advisor at Jackson Automotive LLC to see if it makes sense to install a new water pump, even if it isn’t currently having problems, since most of the labor is already being done any way for the timing belt replacement.
As a heads up; larger engines will often have metal timing chains rather than belts. The chains don’t need to be replaced like belts.
We’ve already told you how very expensive it can be to get your car running again after a timing belt fails. You also need to know that replacing the timing belt is very labor intensive and is one of the most costly maintenance services you will have. So if you will be at the point where your timing belt should be replaced in the next year or so, ask for an estimate from Jackson Automotive LLC in Fountain Colorado so you can begin to prepare for the expense.
We at AutoNetTV are committed to helping you make your driving experience as safe and economical as possible. Jackson Automotive LLC, your Fountain service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of their knowledge and experience, and check out http://AutoNetTV.com for more great auto tips.
Hey Colorado Springs, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our Colorado streets? How can you tell on your Truck?
While there may be legal requirements for the Colorado Springs area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.
2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question recently.
We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies.
The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Colorado Springs. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power.
Picture this: you’re driving over a water covered stretch of road near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Your tires must be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means that the tire has to move the water away from the tire so that the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water.
Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.
In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.
A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:
- New tire tread depth
- 4/32 of an inch
- 2/32 of an inch
So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.
Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.
Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That’s a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.
Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.
How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; 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 tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.
How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?
For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.
Jackson Automotive LLC
411 Royalty Pl.
Fountain, Colorado 80817