Archive for August 2014

Drive Train Service in Bristol at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted August 27, 2014 12:00 PM

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.

Let's start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.

All-wheel drive vehicles provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.

Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.

Servicing an all-wheel drive at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Bristol drivers encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.

Bristol auto owners would be wise to check with their owner's manual for recommendations on how often to service their vehicle drive train. It's also good auto advice to check with your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor as well. You may live in an area in Connecticut where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.


Good car care at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your vehicle becomes a very large paperweight.

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



Maintaining Your Diesel in Bristol

Posted August 26, 2014 12:00 PM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the Bristol area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Bristol diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.

Diesels are popular in Connecticut because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Connecticut as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Connecticut, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Bristol drivers dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles also perform as well as other passenger vehicles. Most people don't notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer around Connecticut, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don't all Bristol people drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven't told me about. That's true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Connecticut. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Bristol. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Connecticut, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Connecticut drivers depends now on the current price of fuel and how far you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Bristol area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Connecticut becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Bristol are similar. You may be thinking, wait:  You just told me that filters are more and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Bristol auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

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



Line ?Em Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted August 13, 2014 12:00 PM

Hello Bristol auto owners! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Bristol.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is a costly repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Bristol motorists and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Connecticut driving. Bristol road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal Hartford interstates and surface streets can gradually put your truck,suv tires out of alignment.

So it’s good auto advice to have your truck,suv's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your truck,suv tires might be out of alignment, you should take your truck,suv into Economy Transmission and Auto Repair now.

When you take your truck,suv in for an alignment in Bristol, your honest Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service professional will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the truck,suv will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the automobile manufacturer’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of key adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in Hartford. Drive safely.



The Economy Transmission and Auto Repair Guide to Custom Wheels

Posted August 13, 2014 12:00 PM

If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Bristol drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable professional's help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Bristol custom wheel shop, like Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Bristol. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car's computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine's computer reprogrammed at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn't just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want and meet your handling needs. We're not saying you shouldn't personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol.

After all, good vehicle care isn't just about preventive maintenance. It's also about making good choices.

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

 



Breathe Free in Bristol: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted August 6, 2014 12:00 PM

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Bristol drivers' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Bristol. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Bristol area atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Connecticut prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you'll probably want to go to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair to get it done. Check your vehicle owner's manual to find out if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 kilometers).

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Bristol, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in Connecticut, you'll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don't work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Bristol folks know that good car care includes keeping your vehicle clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It's good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn't wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Bristol allergy sufferers, but they're also a great idea for anyone in Connecticut who just wants to breathe better.

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

 



Super Slick at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol: Synthetic Oil

Posted August 5, 2014 12:00 PM

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Bristol drivers.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil.

First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Bristol drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Bristol and very hot or freezing Connecticut temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn't generate oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your vehicle engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their vehicles before delivering them to be sold. Many owner's manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your vehicle came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you're used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can't follow this longer service interval. You'll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can ask the pros at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for more information. They can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of preventive maintenance at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. All Bristol drivers need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there's a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves cash in the long run. All Bristol drivers pay for vehicle care. But understanding what we're paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

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

 



A Cold Day in Bristol ? Air Conditioning Service at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted August 1, 2014 12:00 PM


Most Bristol drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Connecticut highway, but don't worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown on the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Bristol rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot vehicle.

A lot of Bristol drivers judge their vehicles' air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keep the vehicle running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive.

Bristol drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system's components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we advise our Bristol customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your vehicle owner's manual or with your friendly service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for information about how often your vehicle air conditioning system should be serviced.

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



Search



Archive

February 2010 (2)
March 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
May 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
August 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
October 2010 (1)
November 2010 (5)
December 2010 (5)
January 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
April 2011 (4)
May 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
July 2011 (4)
August 2011 (21)
September 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
November 2011 (5)
December 2011 (4)
January 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (2)
June 2012 (3)
July 2012 (1)
August 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
December 2012 (2)
March 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
October 2013 (5)
November 2013 (2)
January 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
March 2014 (2)
July 2014 (3)
August 2014 (7)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (4)
January 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (4)
April 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (6)
July 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (3)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (1)
March 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
August 2016 (4)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
May 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
July 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (5)
November 2017 (4)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
November 2018 (4)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
May 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (2)
August 2019 (2)
September 2019 (4)
October 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
July 2020 (2)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (2)

Categories

Air Conditioning (12)Alignment (16)Alternator (3)Auto Safety (6)Automotive News (8)Battery (13)Brakes (14)Cabin Air Filter (7)Check Engine Light (2)Cooling System (15)Customer Detective Work (1)Dashboard (3)Diagnostics (5)Diesel Maintenance (1)Differential Service (3)Drive Train (9)Emergency Items (1)Engine Air Filter (2)Exhaust (9)Fluids (17)Fuel Economy (8)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Fuel System (46)Headlamps (4)Inspection (7)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Maintenance (55)Monitoring System (3)Oil Change (3)Older Vehicles (4)Parts (9)Safe Driving (1)Safety (5)Serpentine Belt (3)Service Intervals (9)Service Standards (13)Shocks & Struts (8)Spark Plugs (1)Steering (13)Suspension (2)Timing Belt (8)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Tires (4)Tires and Wheels (41)Transmission (8)Warranty (2)Water Pump (1)What Customers Should Know (45)Wheel Bearings (1)Windshield Wipers (9)Winter Prep (1)