Subaru Car Repair Salt Lake City: Subaru Timing Belt Replacement

Could Your Subaru Need a Timing Belt Replacement?

Need Subaru car repair in Salt Lake City? You are driving for a while and the car just “shuts off”. The lights on your instrument panel come on, but your engine just “turns over” and does not start. If your Subaru has 80,000 miles, 90,000 miles or more, the cause of your breakdown could very well be your timing belt has broken. Tim Stapleton, owner of GT Automotive in South Jordan, Utah, explains in this Subaru car repair video a common Subaru car repair-timing belt replacement.

Subaru Timing belts are crucial to the proper functioning of engines that use cams to operate cylinder valves.

  • Subaru’s overhead cam engine was introduced in the late 1980’s, and is still used today. These engines proved much quieter, replacing Subaru’s earlier push-rod engines-they used a chain and sprockets to rotate the camshaft.
  • These new overhead cam engines were operated through a timing belt. As opposed to anoisy chain, these timing belts were made of reinforced rubber, with fiberglass strands for strength and resistance to stretching.
  • Although much quieter than a chain and sprockets, the timing belt needs to changed periodically.
  • The timing belt should be changed every 90,000-105,000 miles, according to Subaru’s maintenance schedule.

Subaru Timing Belts:

  • Turn the engine’s camshaft, which helps open and close the cylinder valves. These valves bring air and fuel into the cylinder heads, and move exhaust gases out.
  • Also drive the water pump.
  • Do not require lubrication, compared to timing chains and gears.
  • While quieter, less expensive, and more efficient, need to be replaced more often.
  • Break more easily than gears and chains.
  • Need to be replaced BEFORE they break.
  • When broken, can damage your engine, and may cause your engine to suddenly stop running without warning.

GT Automotive has certified Subaru mechanics to service and repair your Subaru vehicle.

GT Automotive also has certified technicians specializing in Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Audi and VW. We also service and repair all domestic and import model cars and trucks. Complete auto repair services from engine overhauls and rebuilds to clutches, brakes, fast oil changes, State Safety Inspections, Emissions Tests and “On-The-Spot” DMV Tag Renewals. Call us at 801-302-0912, or visit us online atwww.GTAutomotive.com.

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Earning Your Trust Since 1980

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Subaru Repair Salt Lake City: Subaru Head Gaskets, GT Automotive

Tim Stapleton, owner of GT Automotive in South Jordan, Utah, explains one of the most common Subaru car repairs-Subaru head gaskets leaking.

  • A Subaru’s head gasket can wear through or even crack, causing loss of power, fuel efficiency or engine failure.
  • The head gasket must be replaced as soon as possible to minimize any damage.
  • When a head gasket is cracked or malfunctioning, coolant can leak. Without the proper level of coolant, the engine will quickly overheat.
  • Engine overheating can warp the heads, causing the gasket to malfunction, crack or leak.

Look for Symptoms of a Leaking Subaru Head gasket

  • Anti-freeze leaking from engine.
    The head gasket creates a pathway for anti-freeze to flow through the engine. A cracked or broken head gasket will result in the anti-freeze or coolant to leak out of these pathways, out of the engine. Look for drops or puddles of anti-freeze
  • Oil Leaking from engine.
    The head gasket also creates a barrier that allows oil to move above the gasket and coolant to flow below. When the gasket is cracked or has a hole in it, the oil can mix with the coolant. The oil in the system will turn to a light brown, viscous substance. Over time this will become more pronounced and thicker, causing the engine to work harder. Eventually, the sludge will be too thick to be pumped up into the engine, and the engine will seize.
  • White smoke from the exhaust pipe.
    In less frequent cases, a cracked head gasket will cause white smoke to emit from the exhaust. This means that coolant is entering the engine cylinders, and the heat from the piston is creating steam, which exits through the exhaust system and out the rear exhaust pipe.

GT Automotive also has certified technicians specializing in Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Audi and VW. We also service and repair all domestic and import model cars and trucks. Complete auto repair services from engine overhauls and rebuilds to clutches, brakes, fast oil changes, State Safety Inspections, Emissions Tests and “On-The-Spot” DMV Tag Renewals. Call us at 801-302-0912, or visit us online at GTAutomotive.com.

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GT Automotive in South Jordan-Your Subaru Auto Repair Center

Subaru Repair Salt Lake City: 5 Most Common Subaru Repair Problems

Want to know about the common Subaru auto repair problems you may encounter? Tim explains in this Subaru repair video what the 5 most common Subaru repair problems are.

1. Subaru Head Gasket Repairs. The head gasket leaking externally have always been a Subaru repair issue. It i such a common repair that aftermarket Subaru head gaskets are designed better than the original head gaskets.

2. Subaru Double Offset Joint repair (DOJ repair). The protective boot and the DOJ joint are positioned close to the catalytic converter. The heat from the converter tends to dry out and crack the protective boot. This causes the lubricant and grease inside the joint to also dry up, causing the joint to bind up and break.

3. Tires and Brakes wear out faster. Since Subaru is an All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle, the tires and brakes operate as if the vehicle is always in 4 wheel drive. Sharp turns at slow speeds and frequent braking-common to city traffic driving-put an extra strain on your tires and brake system.

4. Timing Belt Replacement. Depending upon your specific make and model year of your Subaru, the timing belt needs to be replaced anywhere between 90,000 and 105,000 miles.
Because the timing belt is:

  • Hidden from your view;
  • Such a long length belt;
  • Operates critical components inside your engine-valves, camshaft, etc.;
  • Also operates your water pump…

…it is critical that your Subaru timing belt be replaced BEFORE it breaks.

5. Spark Plugs (also known as a common tune-up). Subaru spark plugs are hidden away, below your view, and are difficult to access. Spark plugs are scheduled for replacement every 90,000-100,000 miles. But your spark plugs may wear out sooner than scheduled, lowering your gas mileage and engine performance.

Tim invites you to call GT Automotive to discuss your Subaru car repair problems. We have certified, factory trained and experienced Subaru technicians to solve your auto repair problems.

GT Automotive also has certified technicians specializing in Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Audi and VW. We also service and repair all domestic and import model cars and trucks. Complete auto repair services from engine overhauls and rebuilds to clutches, brakes, fast oil changes, State Safety Inspections, Emissions Tests and “On-The-Spot” DMV Tag Renewals. Call us at 801-302-0912, or visit us online at www.GTAutomotive.com.

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GT Automotive in South Jordan-Your Subaru Auto Repair Center

GT Automotive: Auto Repair Shop South Jordan,Car Repair Sandy

 

Come to GT Automotive in South Jordan, Utah, for all your domestic vehicle, Asian and European vehicle repair services. Tim Stapleton, owner of GT Automotive, takes you on a tour in his auto repair shop video. GT Automotive is a AAA approved repair facility in Utah. They servcie and repair Honda, Subaru, Lexus, Toyota, Audi and VW vehicles, along with all domestic cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, Mini-vans, etc. You receive complete auto repair services from engine overhauls and rebuilds to clutches, brakes, fast oil changes, State Safety Inspections, Emissions Tests and “On-The-Spot” DMV Tag Renewals, and more.

Relax in their comfortable waiting area, while your car is serviced. They offer free Wi-Fi and popcorn while you wait.

We value our customer relationships, and use Angie’s List to assess whether we’re doing a good job keeping valued customers like you happy. Please visit AngiesList.com in order to grade our quality of work and customer service.

We will inspect and care for your car or truck to help keep you safely on the road. 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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Earning Your Trust Since 1980

Auto Repair Salt Lake City, Auto Repair Sandy:5 Ways To Trust Your Car Mechanic

Auto Repair Sandy

Ways To Trust Your Auto Repair Shop

In 1981, a Reader’s Digest survey showed only 1 in 4 Americans trusted the auto repair shop (or shops) that worked on their automobiles. Fast forward to our day, four decades later, and what does their current survey reveal? Surprisingly, 1 in 4 Americans show trust in the car mechanic where they have their vehicles serviced and repaired. What can car owners do to develop more trust where they take their automobiles for repairs?

Rather than giving in to the sweeping generalization that auto repair mechanics are not to be trusted, there are ways to find and qualify competent, trusting auto repair shops in Salt Lake City, Utah-anywhere in the country. Here are 5 ways to determine if the auto repair shop earns your business:

1. Auto repairs are like doctor and dentist visits-necessary but not desirable. View your mechanic/auto repair shop as your car “Doctor”. The similarities between your personal physician and your auto mechanic allow you to follow the same process in determining both “caregivers”…For example:

2. Referrals- You ask your friends or family who they go to for checkups and diagnosis-so you ask those same friends and family who repairs their car or truck. When you have a specific healthcare issue (heart, knee, respiratory, eyesight, etc.) you ask people you know who had similar ailments which doctor helped them. Similarly, ask those you know who fixed their specific car problems you have-heating, air conditioning, brake noise, electrical problem, stalling problem, etc.

Be sure you get the name of the auto repair shop owner or mechanic from your friends or family. Why is getting their name important? Because trust is based upon a relationship. Knowing their personal names indicates that trusting relationship. But trust goes further than that, which leads to the next step in the auto repair shop trust process:

3. Communication by Questions-ask questions, and have the mechanic ask you questions. Any competent doctor knows that accurate diagnosis comes from accurate information-specific symptoms, when symptoms flare up, when symptoms do not appear, how you feel before, during, and after symptoms arise, etc.

Proper questions can lead to proper diagnosis, so see if the same “diagnosis by questions” is followed by your mechanic. Do they ask you the right questions about your vehicle service? Competent technicians will ask you “symptom” questions. HINT: give them accurate information, and give them all the information they need to know, such as :

-Did you just have this same problem looked at recently?

-What was done to try and fix the problem?

-When was the last time the car was serviced/repaired/inspected?

-Do you recall the driving conditions when the problem arose? (car is cold or warmed up, road is bumpy or slick, low speed or high speed, accelerating or slowing down, heater/air conditioner on low, high, etc.

Remember, trusted auto repair shops stay in business because they want to fix your car the first time-just like you want them to. They ask you the right questions to repair it right the first time, not trying to waste time, energy and money-yours or theirs. Which leads to the

4. Going back again for the same problem is an opportunity, not an indictment. How many times have you gone to the doctor for the same physical problem? Car engines are sometimes no different. Complex computer and electrical sensors, wiring, and components under a hood that reaches 260 degree temperatures, traveling in outside temperatures from sub-zero degrees to 100-plus degrees, can make your car diagnosis about as difficult as your physical ailment.

Use this return opportunity to rate your auto mechanic:

-Were they professional?
-How many more questions were asked to try and get to the root of the problem?
-Were mistakes acknowledged with courtesy and credit? Don’t think doctors always get it right the first time-because they misdiagnose your ailments at times. (And doctors charge you each time you visit-right or wrong diagnosis.)

5.  Follow up and treatment after the repair. When the repairs are completed, does the technician give you advice or suggestions to prevent further issues with the same problem? Do they call you after the repair for feedback and confirmation? Remember, identifying potential issues with other parts of your car does not brand the shop as untrustworthy. After all, no used car is “perfect” in every way. You notice hesitation, strange noises or sounds once in a while when you drive. Trusted auto repair shops inspect your car to let you know about these things. Most times it is not urgent or dangerous. Letting you know about it shows their competence and diligence.

Since servicing your car is like a trip to the doctor, use these suggestions above to qualify the auto repair shop you visit. Following these suggestions will help eliminate the stress of wondering if you took your car to the right place.

In our next article, we will identify features of a quality auto repair shop-once you are there. We’ll give you a hint-it is sort of like the doctor’s office you visit.

We will inspect and care for your car or truck to help keep you safely on the road. 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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Earning Your Trust Since 1980

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.

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Change Vital Engine Fluids at Recommended Intervals

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

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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