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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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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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

Subaru Outback, Legacy, Impreza 2012 Safety Recalls: Have You Been Notified?

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2012 Subaru Factory Recalls

There are two safety recalls on a specific number of Legacy and Outback models that the dealer will check and fix, if needed.

2012 Safety Recall#1: Side Airbags May Not Deploy: 2012 Outback and Legacy Models-381 Specific U.S models and 6 in Canada

Only 387 that need recall-but better to be sure and safe, than regret and sorry later…

If you own a 2012 Subaru Legacy or Outback, make sure you are aware of the 2012 factory recall notices of 387 specific Subaru Legacy and Outback models. Here is the NHTSA Subaru recall notice (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

“These vehicles may be equipped with side curtain airbags that contain an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component used, resulting in insufficient output of compressed gas…The side curtain airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury.”

When the NHTSA released this statement in February 2012, Subaru told the agency there had been no field reports of any vehicle problem from any market-either the United States or Canada.

The issue was revealed when component supplier Takata-through Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.-informed Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries that the side curtain airbags had not deployed during their sampling inspection.

The recall began in April. While the few number of Subaru models affected do not qualify this as a major recall, since air bags and air bag deployment are safety measures, it would be wise to make sure your Legacy or Outback vehicle is not on the list.

2012 Safety Recall #2:  2012 Legacy, Outback, Impreza Excessive Brake Pedal Travel: Brake Master Cylinder Replaced

This factory recall on brake master cylinders affects 2012 Legacy and Outback models built from 10/17/11 through -11/23/11, and 2012 Impreza models built through 11/15/11.

Affected Subaru car models already on dealer lots were inspected and repaired before they were put back for sale to the public in November/December 2011. 

Cars already delivered to customers when the recall notice was released received their master cylinder parts in early December 2011.

Subaru  received about 130 complaints of excessive brake travel among the first 3,000 new 2012 model year vehicles sold. That initial 4.3% complaint ratio is enough to make sure your brakes are functioning properly and safely.

If you drive one of these affected Subaru cars (look on the driver door decal for the production month and date), and do not know about the excessive brake pedal recall, take your Subaru to the dealer. The fix takes about one hour to complete.

Remember that Subaru quietly leads the way in lifelong performance and safety. Our Subaru specialists are just as passionate about your Subaru as you are. Since 1980, we have hired specially trained ASE Certified Technicians to service and repair Subaru vehicles. Call GT Automotive today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and/or repairing your Subaru model here in Salt Lake City, Utah.