Auto Repair Salt Lake City, Auto Repair Sandy: Vital Engine Fluid Changes

Regular vehicle maintenance includes more than just changing your engine oil. As this video shows (the video shows Tim talking about a Lexus, but the principles apply to almost every vehicle driven), there are other vital fluids that require changing at regular intervals:

Coolant/Anti-Freeze Change

Your car’s anti-freeze (or coolant) does the dual job of:
1. Making sure your car will start and ;
2. Keep running in any weather.

It’s a pre-mixed solution in your radiator, preventing the fluid from freezing in cold temperatures, and protection from boiling by raising the boiling point of the anti-freeze solution, so it can move heat out of your engine effectively, without fluid loss.

As it’s doing all of that hard work, however, coolant/antifreeze can suffer a number of problems.  The first is rust, which will grow in the cooling system over time. Changing coolant regularly helps prevent rust from spreading. The other problem is with the pH balance. Over time, coolant/antifreeze can become too acidic or too alkaline. Acidity can eat at hoses, gaskets, heater cores and the radiator itself.  Alkalinity can lead to mineral deposits that clog your cooling system-problems that are avoided with regular coolant changes.

Depending upon your vehicle, anti-freeze has recommended change intervals anywhere from 30,000 – 100,000 miles.

Transmission Fluid Change
Automatic transmission fluid (otherwise called ATF) is the fluid used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. It is generally colored red to distinguish it from motor oil and other fluids in the vehicle. Automatic transmission fluid is not an oil, but a fluid optimized for the special requirements of a transmission-valve operation, brake band friction, torque converter, as well as gear lubrication. Heat, friction, moving parts and age all play a part in the declining performance of automatic transmission fluid. Depending upon your vehicle, ATF should be changed anywhere from 30,000 – 60,000 miles.

Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is an amazing fluid. It allows you transfer the force of pushing on a pedal into the pressure required to stop your vehicle when you need it to stop. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid, meaning it’s used to move other parts.

The problem is that brake fluid is hygroscopic — meaning that just like the solid brick of brown sugar in your pantry, brake fluid loves pulling moisture out of the air and holding onto it. The more water in your brake lines, the worse the fluid does at stopping your vehicle.

So even though it seems like just yesterday that you had your brake fluid flushed, it needs to be changed every two years!

Are you not sure when the last time your coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid or power steering fluid was changed or flushed? Our technicians can check on the condition of these and the other fluids in your vehicle to make sure problems like rust, acidity and water aren’t silently building into bigger issues.

We will inspect and care for your car or truck, so the harsh extremes of Utah summers and winters do not impact your safety while driving. GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for car repairs for all make and model vehicles. We can inspect your car during our Express Oil change, and help keep your vehicle operating safely in all seasons. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto repairs and service in Salt Lake City.

Auto Repair Salt Lake City, Car Repair Sandy

Change Vital Engine Fluids at Recommended Intervals

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Auto Repair South Jordan, Auto Repair Sandy: Items For Emergency Car Kit

Auto Repair Sandy Auto Repair Draper

Keep Materials In Your Car For Emergency Roadside Use

Preparing for roadside emergencies may seem like an oxymoron, but having specific materials in your vehicle-before emergencies arise-can help reduce the stress and delay of getting you safely back on the road. “But, just what should I keep in my emergency vehicle kit?” you ask? Without getting too overboard and fanatical about what to have on hand (because the list could include virtually every product in an auto parts store…and your home!), here is a list of items to keep in your emergency vehicle kit:

Let’s start by keeping items that relate to the most frequent types of roadside assistance and breakdown (taken from the AAA):

1. Tire Repair and Flat Tire Breakdown Items: Since flat tires and blown out tires are the most common cause of roadside assistance, have one (or all) of these items in your car or truck:

  • Tire pump or electric car adapter air pump (the DC car adapter pumps range from $10-$20 in cost)
  • Tire repair kit (patches, glue, repair tools-$5-$10 in cost)
  • Instant tire repair in a can (many tire shops say not to use them in a tire, but when you are stranded by the road, priorities change, and the short term benefits outweigh their recommendations at the time!)

2. Dead Battery Items: A dead car battery is the next most common roadside assistance occurrence. For this carry on hand:

  • A set of battery jumper cables in your car. Either some Good Samaritan will come by and help you attach the cables to the proper positive and negative posts of your battery from their vehicle’s good battery, or have your family/friends show you how to attach then on your car-as a dry run demonstration;
  • Optional: A portable battery charger. These items are usually around $40-$50. If you often travel through the rural Utah roads, this is a pretty good investment.

3. Engine Overheating: Since an overheated engine (caused by either low anti-freeze, leaking radiator, bad thermostat, bad radiator fan or cap, leaking hoses, or broken belt) never seems to happen within one block of your house, these items may help you get that extra mile or two (when you need it the most):

  • Gallon of water (or a gallon of pre-mixed anti-freeze coolant). The gallon of water can double as drinking water (and probably will be used more for that reason) and emergency coolant for your engine.
  • Towel or rag (to protect your hands when opening the hood, radiator cap or filling tube).
  • (Optional) A spare serpentine belt. The next time your auto repair technician replaces your serpentine belt, ask them to keep that old one in the back of your car-it may come in handy (especially when small town  auto part stores will almost certainly be out-of-stock of your specific size belt!).

4. Vehicle stuck in snow or mud: If your car insurance does not come with free towing or small deductible towing charge, you may want to have this in your vehicle:

  • Tow rope , nylon rope, or metal chain (at least 25 feet long). Again, that Good Samaritan may stop to help (because the towing company may take an hour or so to get to you), and your rope or chain is just the item they need to pull you out of the snow, ditch, or mud-with a minimum of embarrassment!

5. Personal Emergency Items: These common sense items will make your roadside breakdown a little less nerve racking:

  • Car charger for your cell phone…enough said;
  • Water (see “Engine Overheating” above);
  • Energy food bars-easy to store, long shelf life;
  • Flashlight or light of some kind (with appropriate batteries);
  • Mini Hand sanitizer;
  • Small first aid kit;
  • Roll of toilet paper (don’t laugh-you’ll be glad this is in your car-when you need it!)
  • Survival whistle

6. Small Tool Kit (optional for the really prepared people:

  • Duct Tape;
  • Screwdriver-(both flat head and phillips);
  • Swiss style Army knife;
  • Small hammer;

Obviously the best roadside assistance kit is no breakdowns at all-but we all know sooner or later the car breakdown will affect us, too. Be prepared with some or all of these items in your vehicle, and help will soon be on the way!

Take the time to inspect and care for your car or truck, so the harsh extremes of Utah summers and winters do not impact your safety while driving. GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for car repairs for all make and model vehicles. We can inspect your car during our Express Oil change, and help keep your vehicle operating safely in all seasons. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto repairs and service in Salt Lake City.

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Complete Car Repairs at GT Automotive In South Jordan Utah

Oil Changes Salt Lake City:4 Reasons Oil Changes Are Important,GT Automotive

Regular oil changes are a proven form of car maintenance to protect and lengthen the life of your engine. Changing your oil is not exciting or glamorous (but neither is brushing your teeth for that matter), but extremely necessary for the performance of your car or truck’s engine. This South Jordan oil change video (at our GT Automotive facility) time lapses the activity involved (if oil changes aren’t fun, at least this oil change video is amusing!). Why is your engine oil change so important?

4 Reasons Why Regular Oil Changes Are So Important:

1. Heat breaks down your engine oil. Like so many other products, high temperature attacks the engine oil’s ability to lubricate, coat and protect your internal engine parts. Internal engine temperatures reach and exceed boiling point temperature marks. Any high heat is no friend to oil or metal. That is why over time and distance-3 months, 6 months, 3,000, 5,000, 7,000 miles-the effects of these high heat conditions ruin your oil’s effectiveness in protection.

2. Dirt breaks down your engine oil, and internal engine parts. The combustion within your engine to make your car move creates carbon monoxide exhaust particles-dirt, to put it simply. These carbon particles contribute to turning your engine oil to a black color. The longer and farther your engine operates between oil changes, the more dirt exists to break down your engine oil, and the more dirt particles to rub along your internal engine parts. It’s like taking a shower with dirty water-not a good idea!!
3. Engine oil additives and cleaning agents lose its ability to protect over time. There is only so much life to the protective additives and cleaning agents that are present in your engine oil. (Let’s face it, age affects everyone and everything!). Over time and distance, your oil loses these important protective factors.

4. Regular oil changes schedule time to inspect other vital engine parts and performance systems.

By bringing your car or truck to an auto repair service facility, you also schedule time to inspect other important vehicle systems. Tires, brakes, steering, cooling and heating systems, engine filters, belts, hoses and chassis fittings all require regular inspection. These systems have parts that also wear out and require changing in time.Your technician inspects some or all of these vital parts and systems at each oil change service, to ensure optimal performance before wear or breakdown.

Time, age, heat and dirt all combine to change your oil from a clean lubricating protective agent, to a menacing dirty infectious fluid! So, change your oil regularly, and preserve the life of your vehicle’s engine. It is the least expensive insurance investment for your motor!

GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for car repairs for all make and model vehicles. We can inspect your car during our Express Oil change, and help keep your vehicle operating safely in all seasons. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto repairs and service in Salt Lake City.

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Express Oil Changes at GT Automotive In South Jordan Utah