Archive for March 2011

Transmission Care in Bristol, Connecticut

Posted March 30, 2011 3:00 AM

Do you have any plans around Bristol, Connecticut, for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends 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 you may have hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around a lot of extra weight.

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 too 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair 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 them 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 Bristol, Connecticut, 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 Bristol, 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 Bristol, Connecticut, service technician at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

Posted March 25, 2011 12:00 PM


If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Bristol, 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 Bristol 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 Bristol 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.

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 Connecticut 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 the friendly and professional service advisors at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair have 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.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your Bristol Vehicle

Posted March 17, 2011 10:00 AM



Imagine you've left Bristol 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 quickly. 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 vehicle; 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. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the vehicle pulling to one side.

Sometimes we Bristol residents 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.

Bristol residents need to make sure they're tracking straight. You'll get better fuel economy and your tires'll last longer. Now, mush!

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Economy Transmission and Auto Repair Fuel Saving Tip for Bristol: Check Engine Light

Posted March 11, 2011 11:00 AM

Here's a question for Bristol, Connecticut : 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. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

Many conditions that trigger the Check Engine light can hurt your vehicle. A lot.

If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the Check Engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Economy Transmission and Auto Repair a call when you are ready.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in Bristol

Posted March 4, 2011 3:00 AM

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 vehicle engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves that 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair at (860) 589-1255 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our Bristol, Connecticut, service center on 201 Terryville Road.

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 bent 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/97,000 km. For others it's at 90,000 miles/145,000 km or more. If you're approaching 60,000 miles/97,000 km or have passed it, make sure you check your owner's manual or with your Bristol auto service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for an inspection right away if you have a coolant leak.

Most people in the Bristol 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair auto service advisor 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol, Connecticut, so you can begin to prepare for the expense.

We at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, your Bristol service center, can be a valuable partner. Please take advantage of our knowledge and experience.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



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