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Transmission Care In Federal Way Washington

  Do you have any plans around Federal Way Washington for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends and 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 car 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 it may be hot weather. And all the time you’re going to be towing around several thousand extra pounds. 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 to 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 Northshore 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...

Brake down! The science of stopping

Good brakes are clearly very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes fail while you’re driving around the Federal Way area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices. Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound. Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator. When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Northshore Auto Repair soon. Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop. A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later. Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light. Now when it comes time to...

Serpentine Belt Service in Federal Way

If you’ve experienced a squealing sound under your car’s hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. The serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It loops around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your car. Let’s go over them. First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Federal Way. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your car’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost). And, on most cars, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Federal Way cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt. When they understand what it does, Federal Way car owners realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Northshore Auto Repair. At Northshore Auto Repair in Federal Way, your service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every...