Archive for July 2016

Bristol Car Owners Ask: Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?

Posted July 31, 2016 3:23 AM

Any Bristol driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for Bristol residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:

1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.
2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.
3. In many Bristol residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles, the power steering pump may be electric and the power brakes may use a vacuum boost.
4. On many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump keeps coolant circulating through to maintain appropriate operating temperatures. In some Connecticut vehicles, a timing belt runs the water pump.

When a serpentine belt fails, all of these systems fail as well, which can lead to engine impact.

Replacing parts before they break saves money for Bristol residents by preventing more repairs and the frustration of having your vehicle in the shop for an extended period of time. If you're looking for an adage to apply to good car care, you might remember the old story of how “for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.”

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



Fuel System Cleaning at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted July 25, 2016 7:31 AM



Is your vehicle sometimes hard to start early in the morning? When you turn the key, does it hesitate or stutter? If so, the problem could be the result of a dirty fuel system. Your vehicle's fuel system starts with the air filter and ends in the top of your engine. Over time, different parts of the system get dirty, which robs you of performance and hurts your fuel economy.

Most Bristol vehicles have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. Fuel injection systems have fewer problems and require less adjustment. But they still need to be properly maintained. This is why your owner's manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Some Bristol residents are interested in buying fuel system cleaners that they can pour into their gas tank. You can do that - and there are lots of great products available that can help maintain an already clean fuel system - but these products cannot do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. Economy Transmission and Auto Repair has the professional tools and chemicals to really do a complete service.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair uses a process that gives your vehicle a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. You need to remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. After a professional fuel system cleaning, you'll notice more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate engine parts.

Fuel system cleaning is just one of those recommended service items that help keep your vehicle running strong. As with all maintenance, it can help avoid repairs that often result from not taking the right preventive steps. Bristol residents will notice the difference in how well their vehicle runs. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair to see when your vehicle is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure for Bristol vehicles.

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



Fuel Injector Cleaning at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted July 18, 2016 8:16 AM

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected vehicle driving down Bristol roads.

Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Bristol automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.

A few have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Connecticut dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.

Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved fuel economy. Connecticut motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.

High temperatures under your vehicle hood and variations in Bristol gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it's wise for Bristol residents to keep their fuel injectors clean.

Your technician at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Proper maintenance of your vehicle fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent repair bills down the road.

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



Bristol, Connecticut Winter Prep Service for Your Auto

Posted July 12, 2016 11:44 AM

When winter approaches in Connecticut, Bristol residents break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for Connecticut winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing Bristol residents want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It's a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime - but the stakes are higher in cold Connecticut winters.

There are some specific things Bristol drivers need to do to have their vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can't properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.

In the cold months around Bristol we always worry about being able to stop in time when it's slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.

It is also a really good idea for Bristol residents to have their battery tested. A battery's cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to a Connecticut winter. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.

Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded on a remote Connecticut road. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is a good idea in case you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm, which will also help keep your gas lines from freezing up.

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

 



Should Bristol Soccer Moms Follow the Severe Service Schedule?

Posted July 5, 2016 10:39 AM

So you take your vehicle in for maintenance and the pro at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair tells you that you ought to change your oil more often. What? You followed the maintenance schedule – but you take a second look at that “severe service” schedule and see some of the following:


1. Most of your trips around Bristol are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers.
2. Most of your trips are less than 10 miles/16 km when outside Connecticut temperatures are below freezing.
3. You don't do a lot of Connecticut freeway driving, so you drive at low speeds most of the time.
4. You drive in an area with a lot of pollution, dust, dirt, mud or slush.
5. You frequently tow a trailer, haul heavy loads around Bristol or use a car-top carrier.
6. The weather in your area can get very hot or very cold.

Surprising, isn't it? Severe driving isn't quite what you'd envisioned.

Ask yourself: "Which auto service schedule should I follow?" For some of us, it's obvious. But for most of us, it's not an either/or question.

One way to decide how often to maintain your vehicle is to picture a line. On one end, imagine ideal driving conditions: year-round moderate Connecticut temperatures, only freeway driving, all trips are longer than 4 miles/6.5 km and travel is always at a constant speed of 60 mph/97 kph. At the other end of the line, put the severe driving conditions. Now, stop and think about how you drive, where you live, where you go in Connecticut and what you plan to do with your vehicle in the near future. Consider honestly where your driving fits on the line.

For example, if the regular maintenance schedule recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles/8,000 km, the severe schedule recommends 3,000 miles/5,000 km and you fall in the center of the driving conditions line, then 4,000 miles/6,600 km is a happy compromise. Just be honest. You don't want that happy compromise to turn into auto repairs.

Learning why our vehicles need more frequent service can also help us Bristol drivers determine a maintenance schedule. For example, fluids in your vehicle are depleted more rapidly the more heat there is in their environment. That heat can come from air temperatures, but also from the extra heat generated in the engine and transmission from stop-and-go driving. Towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads also generates more heat. So under these conditions, fluids must be replaced more often in order to retain their effectiveness.

Moisture naturally builds up inside of an engine because of the heating and cooling it constantly undergoes. When the engine is hot, moisture evaporates; when the engine is cool, moisture condenses. As long as the engine is getting hot enough to evaporate all of the moisture, your vehicle will remain healthy. But short trips don't allow for this and moisture can build up inside the engine. This moisture can lead to the formation of oil sludge, which in turn leads to clogged engine parts and damage.

In dusty or polluted Bristol area conditions, filters and fluids just get dirty more quickly. Talk with your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair regarding service schedules and which one is right for you. Good car care means taking care of problems before they become problems. And in order to do that, you need to know how often to take your vehicle in to Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for service.

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



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