Blog

Auto News, Tips, Specials and much more from the world of Good Hands Auto Care. Stay updated with us about the latest!

Most auto makers recommend an interval for an air conditioning system inspection. The inspection uncovers leaks, worn hoses and assesses the condition of the other components. Environmental laws in some areas require leaks to be fixed before refrigerant can be added. Also some parts manufacturers require other components to be replaced along with certain failed parts in order to maintain the new part warranty. This is because a given failure may be the result of another worn or damaged part…

One thing all Aurora car owners can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. Good Hands Auto Care can help maintain your battery. Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very dangerous to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times…

Your serpentine belt drives essential engine accessories like your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering. In some autos it may also power the power brakes or water pump. The serpentine belt is powered by the engine and winds around pulleys and the accessories. Some automobiles have two serpentine belts. The serpentine belt, the belt tensioner (which maintains the appropriate tension on the belt) and the idler pulleys are together known as the accessory drive system. Now your serpentine belt and the…

The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining best tension to drive the accessories like the alternator and A/C compressor. The service life of the belt tensioner is the same as the belt itself, so they should always be replaced together. A worn tensioner prevents the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise. Your automobile manufacturer has a recommended mileage interval for serpentine belt replacement. A complete accessory drive system service replaces the serpentine…

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Aurora car owners often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your car can…

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced when they are no longer able to hold a full charge. Batteries are a big ticket item for most Aurora auto owners and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely. Your Good Hands…

Your brake pads are the essential parts that rub against the rotor (or disc) to slow and stop your vehicle. They eventually wear down. When your pads are worn too much, they won’t stop your vehicle as well. When the friction material is worn away, metal parts of the pad are exposed and you’ll hear a squeal or grinding sound. That’s when Aurora car owners should replace their brake pads. Not only will new pads restore your stopping power, but…

Aurora drivers know that if their air conditioning system isn’t making cool air like it used to, there is a problem. It may be as simple as adding more of the right kind of refrigerant. Your A/C requires special compressor oil, which circulates through the system along with the refrigerant, to lubricate and protect costly components and keep seals and gaskets from drying out. If refrigerant has leaked out – so has the compressor oil. This oil needs to be…

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Aurora motorists ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely corrected. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired. Run flat tires should not be corrected.…

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Denver auto owners often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Aurora driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. In addition, your vehicle  can lose alignment…

Uneven tire wear, the vehicle pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Aurora auto owners that their wheels may be out of alignment. When doing an alignment inspection, the service specialist will check your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the car maker’s settings. Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to…

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Aurora drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure. Timing belts are very challenging to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more pricey maintenance services, but the cost to fix an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more. The timing belt has a tensioner to…

There are several vital factors that go into how often Aurora motorists should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from Colorado highway  driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear. But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently.…

The timing belt rotates the cam shafts which open and close the valves that allow air, fuel, and exhaust to flow through the engine as it powers your car. An old timing belt can lose a “tooth” in the belt allowing it to slip. The engine could stop or misfire. Timing belt slip – or a broken timing belt – can be disastrous on some engines. In “interference” engines, open valves can get in the way of the piston when…

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute. The timing belt’s essential job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all –…

The primary job of the serpentine belt is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at best speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded with a dead battery. In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature…

Tires are an expensive purchase so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for Aurora motorists. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread. Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the…

When Aurora motorists need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get, and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brake systems. If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle…

Hello Aurora drivers. Have you ever had your check engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Aurora motorists? First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That’s why it is called a warning light. But the something that…

A generation ago, Aurora car owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your sedan in to your Aurora shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed. For example, almost everyone in Aurora used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had…

A good suspension system gives a vehicle a smooth, even ride while providing Aurora car owners with good handling and control. But like any system on your sedan, critical parts of the suspension system can wear out, leading to a lower ride quality and safety concerns. So it’s a good idea for Aurora auto owners to remember an automotive analysis of their suspension system in their schedule of a key preventive maintenance. Springs do most of the work of the…

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Aurora or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires…

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Aurora drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Colorado auto owners ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever. Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Denver area are much…

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the vital 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…

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two critical jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump. To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re…

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern Aurora world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There’s a filter that cleans the air going into our sedan’s engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment? Foreign and domestic auto makers haven’t been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air…

Most Denver folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Aurora motorists is a periodic alignment inspection. Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are…

Anyone that drives a car in Aurora knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your sedan cooling system in good condition. A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the…

Knowing how their engine works can help Aurora car owners make informed decisions about car care and prevent expensive repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts. An engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top…

When Aurora drivers talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Colorado? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail. It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million…

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing Colorado residents to review their finances. More and more Aurora auto owners are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Aurora men…

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation for us Aurora motorists then ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting an inspection at Good Hands Auto Care in Aurora. After all, you wouldn’t travel without clean socks, why ask…

When Aurora auto owners think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don’t generally think about our shocks or struts, but these vital auto parts keep our tires on the road. Aurora auto owners don’t think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don’t need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time…