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Scrappy Hour 1.20

What's The Deal With Alignments?!

The alignment on your vehicle may not seem like that big of a deal, but in fact, it is one of the most important factors in the longevity of your automobile.  Think of your vehicle’s alignment as the backbone.  It has an effect on everything else going on.  For example, if you throw out your back, your movements and basic performance ability is going to be severely hindered.  The same is true when your alignment is out of spec. 

One of the most obvious item that is directly affected by an alignment issue is tire wear.  It is easy to see and is one of the first signs that you have a problem.  Some examples of how tires wear irregularly can be viewed in this photo.

As you can see, severe cases can cause major issues if the tire blows out, potentially causing an accident. 

Now, while tire wear is the most obvious effect of an ill alignment, it is far from the only one.  Some other issues that may arise lie within the mechanics of your vehicle.  For example, more stress could be placed upon the ball joints, suspension & steering components.  These components act like the joints of your automobile.  As we all know, a joint ache can also cause us mobility issues, the same is true for your car.  In turn, the more stress on these items, the more they will need to be replaced, which will end up costing you more in the long run.

One of the most surprising effects of a poor alignment is engine performance.  Not many of us think that the engine will be affected by something like the alignment.  However, this too can be hindered in a big way.  The main symptom is a decrease in fuel mileage.  Paying for gas is bad enough, but paying for it more frequently is even worse.  This is why it is very important to make sure your alignment is good and your miles per gallon are at their peak!

So, with all of these issues that can arise, how can you tell if your vehicle needs an alignment?  Well, there are a few telltale signs.  You may feel your vehicle begin to pull slightly, or more aggressively overtime, as you drive down the road.  In addition, you may feel your car start to wander in some situations.  Or, as stated previously, you may see irregular tire wear or even reduced fuel efficiency. 

Now that we know what the symptoms are and how they affect the rest of the vehicle, how can we resolve them?  This can be done with a full all wheel alignment.  This will help to straighten out any irregularities on your car and help you head down the road the straight again.  In addition, it could uncover any other abnormalities that you may not even be aware of, but could be causing additional stress on your vehicle. 

You may be asking yourself, “Why would my alignment be out?”  Well, over time your alignment will naturally go out due to regular wear and tear.  However, in serious cases the cause may be due to an accident or even something as simple as a pothole!

In the end, an alignment is a necessary maintenance item to ensure longevity and savings for the life of your vehicle.  If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment to have your alignment checked, visit our contact page or give us a call at 215-750-2700!

Scrappy Hour 2.20

Why is Preventive Maintenance Important?

This answer to this question has a critical impact on the longevity of your vehicle.  Whether you drive a car or commercial vehicle, preventive maintenance (PM) can allow you to keep it on the road longer.  From time to time, we will get a vehicle in the shop that is overdue on PM Service.  Going over the recommended mileage by a little bit probably won’t hurt your vehicle, but once it gets to the point of thousands of miles over, the risks start to set in. 

The main issue that may arise has to do with the engine oil.  The oil tends to get thinner and darker in most cases, the longer it goes without change, barring that it doesn’t start to sludge.  When the oil loses its’ viscosity in these situations, it tends to allow more friction inside the engine, which ultimately leads to wear and eventually internal catastrophic issues.  These issues will cost you far more than a regularly scheduled maintenance!

However, oil is not the only item you need to worry about with your vehicle.  All of the fluids, including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, should be checked regularly to ensure your safety.  There are enough hazards on the road today, no need to add any more!

What does a PM Service include?

For a passenger vehicle, it is pretty simple.  Depending on your oil type (regular or synthetic), it is recommended to have this maintenance performed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and it includes the following:

Oil & Filter Change

Check Air Filter

Check All Levels

Lube All Grease Fittings

Air Tires

It may seem simple enough, but as we stated above, it is critical to the well-being of your vehicle!

The PM Service of a Diesel or Commercial vehicle, such as a box truck, tractor, or dump truck, will be much more involved.  Once again, depending on the oil type, it is recommended to have this maintenance performed every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.  The service for these vehicles the following:

Oil & Filter Change

Fuel Filter Change

Check Air Filter

Check All Levels

Lube All Grease Fittings

Air Tires

Adjust Brakes & Clutch (if necessary)

Service Batteries

Check over Belts & Hoses (for condition)

As you can see, they follow the same basic routine, but the commercial and diesel vehicles, just have more items that need to be addressed.   In the long run, it is more cost effective and effective to keep our vehicles better maintained than run into major issues down in the future.  Our vehicle is just like our bodies and follows the same formula.  The better we maintain them, the better we will feel, and the better we will perform!

If you would like more information, or would like to schedule this type of maintenance, give us a call at 215-750-2700 or text at 267-688-4794!

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