Recommended Kearns Service IntervalsPosted December 3, 2013 3:48 PM
Everyone in Kearns, Utah knows we are advised to go to our Kearns dentist twice a year. Oral-conscious Kearns residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – "Everything’s fine, see you in six months." Or "You’ve got a small cavity starting, let's schedule an appointment to take care of it." By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.
This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.
If Salt Lake City folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our car maintenance?
Gines Auto Service
4261 W 5415 S
Kearns, Utah 84118
Following the automobile manufacturer's recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing ...you get the point.
Every item has a recommended interval and it's hard to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the Utah auto owners that read their owners’ manual.
And if you have more than one vehicle, the complexity is multiplied. You'd need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that's how your Kearns service center does it. For example, Gines Auto Service subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle's recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it's all in the database.
Well, it's not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Salt Lake City weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in Utah. Talk about these things with your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service tech and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner's manual is more appropriate.
Since anything that's not highway driving in moderate Salt Lake City weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Kearns, Utah and it should be taken into account.
Let's take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your car is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.
Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That's why most maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It's easy to think, "Gee, I've only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change." But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harsh environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it's just sitting there.
A lot of people in Kearns don't realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it's clogged up because you haven't changed it, it can't trap any more.
Oil sludge is another problem. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think 'Vaseline'. Obviously, sludge doesn't lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don't get properly protected by the oil. That'll lead to premature wear.
If you've missed some oil changes, don't despair. Just talk with your service advisor at Gines Auto Service. Fess up – you'll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your car on the road and avoiding costly repairs.
Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.
Posted in the Service Intervals category
The Importance Of Kearns Drivers Following Service IntervalsPosted November 29, 2013 7:12 AM
Today in our Gines Auto Service blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn’t the only aspect of your life in Kearns with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?
Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.
Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Kearns takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.
So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Kearns neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.
From a practical standpoint, Kearns people don’t need to memorize their vehicle owner’s manuals. You can let your Gines Auto Service advisor remind you of the guidelines established by car makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Gines Auto Service professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.
For Kearns drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for Kearns auto owners to remember what has a maintenance interval.
First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don't forget brakes and shock absorbers.
And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Kearns car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Gines Auto Service for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.
And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy gas mileage, your vehicle doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.
Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From Gines Auto ServicePosted November 22, 2013 1:45 PM
Your vehicle requires plenty of clean fuel to run. If your fuel contains contaminants, your fuel injectors will eventually become clogged up. When this happens, your vehicle engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run at peak performance. This hurts gas mileage and performance as you drive around Salt Lake City. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.
That’s why all vehicles, including vehicles, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. The job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and keeps them out of the fuel stream. Of course, like all filters, it will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at Gines Auto Service in Kearns .
If your fuel filter is clogged, the vehicle engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your vehicle engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.
You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at Gines Auto Service more frequently as your vehicle ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Kearns UtahPosted November 14, 2013 11:46 AM
Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions to our Kearns environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for us very soon.
For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Salt Lake City area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.
The benefits are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.
You should only use E85 if you have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.
Diesel engines have been around the Salt Lake City area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.
There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Salt Lake City roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.
Natural gas engines don't make as much power and don't get as good of mileage, but they cost less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Salt Lake City.
Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Salt Lake City area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.
That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our Salt Lake City roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.
A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver city fuel economy similar to their highway ratings.
A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.
Another breakthrough technology is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global car makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It'll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there's widespread use.
A quick word about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Salt Lake City service technician at Gines Auto Service is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.
Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.
Posted in the Fuel System category
On Board Diagnostics For Kearns MotoristsPosted November 6, 2013 2:33 PM
Some Kearns car owners wonder why Gines Auto Service and other Kearns auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Salt Lake City HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Salt Lake City doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Gines Auto Service for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Salt Lake City area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Utah interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, Gines Auto Service diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Salt Lake City car owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Salt Lake City, Kearns, and West Valley City drivers that the trouble code tells the Gines Auto Service technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge - because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The vehicle computer's trouble code just tells the Gines Auto Service technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Gines Auto Service customers. The Gines Auto Service service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Salt Lake City service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Gines Auto Service wants to figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Posted in the Service Standards category
Fuel Injector Cleaning At Gines Auto ServicePosted November 1, 2013 4:30 PM
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 car driving down Salt Lake City, Kearns, and West Valley City expressways.
Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Salt Lake City 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 manufacturers have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Salt Lake City 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 for gas-poor Salt Lake City, Kearns, and West Valley City drivers. Utah motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.
High temperatures under your vehicle hood and variations in Salt Lake City 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 important for Kearns drivers keep their fuel injectors clean.
Gines Auto Service service center 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 costly Salt Lake City repair bills down the road.
Posted in the Fuel System category
How Many Miles Are On Your Car?Posted October 24, 2013 3:49 PM
Nowadays, Kearns car owners are paying more at Salt Lake City gas pumps. For some families in the greater Salt Lake City area, it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That’s got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many Utah car owners are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.
Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Kearns, Utah interstates have over 75,000 miles on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in Salt Lake City can’t afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a break down. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.
Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many automobile manufacturer's manuals don’t publish service intervals after 60,000 miles. Thus, Kearns auto owners need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.
You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you’re past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles. Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles for as long as you have your car.
Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some Salt Lake City automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners’ manual or service advisor at Gines Auto Service to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.
And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your vehicle.
Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.
And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain special additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.
Older vehicles in the Kearns, Utah area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don’t. Things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.
With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important. The first is with your service advisor at Gines Auto Service. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget, and for the Kearns, Utah area driving conditions.
The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We’re not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean - pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at Gines Auto Service and head off problems. We can’t do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Kearns, Utah roads.
Take a look at the attached automotive tips video from AutoNetTV
Posted in the Service Intervals category
Gines Auto Service Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes OnPosted October 15, 2013 1:21 PM
Today's Gines Auto Service auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.
First, the serpentine belt drives your vehicle air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Salt Lake City.
Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your vehicle’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. All Salt Lake City drivers know that 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 and power brakes. And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Salt Lake City drivers. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)
So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Gines Auto Service have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.
Your Gines Auto Service service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.
Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Gines Auto Service, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.
All in all, the serpentine belt’s a critical part for the function of your vehicle. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Gines Auto Service – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn't been checked in a while.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Questions To Ask Your Kearns Service AdvisorPosted October 10, 2013 3:05 PM
We find that a lot of Kearns service and repair at Gines Auto Service are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don't want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.
You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Kearns automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.
It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when you're trying to find the right service center in Kearns. But once you've developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.
What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let's go back to the medical example. When your doctor's explaining something to you, it's something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don't understand or that you don't have the education and training that's foundational to understanding what she's trying to explain.
So you fall behind and get frustrated.
It can be the same with your Kearns automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.
Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you're not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there's a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what's done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.
Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Kearns service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.
Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.
Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that's done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.
Call Gines Auto Service to make an appointment.
4261 W 5415 S
Kearns, Utah 84118
Posted in the Service Standards category
Training Received by Technicians In Kearns UtahPosted October 3, 2013 7:39 AM
When your car breaks down in the Kearns Utah area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And, with the problem fixed right the first time.
We’ve been checking into some of the training our Kearns Utah technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.
Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.
Then there’s the electronics. Some cars in the local Kearns Utah area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. We take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.
It’s a real challenge for your local Kearns Utah technicians to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.
So where do Kearns Utah technicians go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.
And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.
Service centers in Kearns Utah have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Gines Auto Service subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. As consumers we want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.
So, be more relaxed next time you take your car in. You really should trust your service advisor at Gines Auto Service. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.
Posted in the Maintenance category