When It’s Important to Have an Anti-Freeze Flush

You may find yourself asking about your car: when is it important to have an anti-freeze flush? If you’re a new car owner, perhaps you don’t know what an anti-freeze flush is. Let me explain. An anti-freeze flush is the same as a cooling system flush, and it really is good for your vehicle. It removes rust, dirt, sludge, and dirty coolant from your radiator, water hoses, water pump, and all your engine’s cooling passages. And, of course, a coolant flush is helpful, too. It’s a flush that adds cleaner to the coolant system, in order to remove sediment and rust. Then, the system is flushed thoroughly, and new anti-freeze is added to your car. 

What is Anti-Freeze?

Coolant, a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water, flushes out your car’s cooling system and is definitely part of a regular maintenance for your car. It prevents your engine from getting too hot. This, in turn, means you won’t be sitting on the edge of the road waiting for a tow truck! If you only drain your radiator or fill it, you won’t be getting to the crux of the problem, though. You’ll definitely need to do a complete flush to get to the core of your problem, and this is necessary to prevent your car from getting way too hot and breaking down on you.

Signs You Need to Change Your Coolant

Anti-freeze is a product that flows through your coolant system and keeps your engine and cooling services in your car at the right temperature. If your anti-freeze gets too low or too dirty, it can make your engine overheat, which is just about the last thing you want. If your engine overheats in today’s world, it’s sure to lead to a huge meltdown, and you’re sure to have to spend your hard-earned money on expensive repairs to get your car back to normal. If your coolant isn’t changed regularly, there will be several signs that you can look for, to make sure you get your coolant checked out:

  • Low coolant warning light
  • Engine temperature gauge is red zoned
  • Low coolant levels, if you check yourself
  • Steam leaking from under your hood
  • Cold air coming out of your heating vents (instead of hot air)

If you notice any of these things, it’s super-important to get your anti-freeze flushed, or at least come have your vehicle checked out by one of our mechanics at Ace Auto Repair in West Jordan Utah. You want to make sure you avoid, at all costs, the meltdown that can occur when your coolant levels get dirty or low. You will save yourself money if you get your coolant checked and refreshed regularly, and you’re sure to avoid the same kinds of things that you hear about from folks you know who’ve spent ALL their money repairing their vehicle.

How Often Do You Need To Change Your Coolant?

If you’re wondering, just by chance, how often you need to change your anti-freeze, here are some tips. If you have the owner’s manual to your car, you can start by looking at it, but sometimes, the easiest thing to do is just to check under your hood and look at your coolant levels. You can easily see if you need to get more coolant. If your coolant levels are less than desirable, it will look brown and a lot less clear. If your coolant levels are desperate level, then it will be really sludgy. You’ll know then that you need to change it as soon as you can, and getting a coolant system flush is by far the best way to go to make sure your vehicle is ready to be up and running safely again.

Let Ace Auto Repair Handle Your Cooling System with an Antifreeze Flush

At Ace Auto Repair, we have been rated the #1 auto mechanic in West Jordan Utah and would love to take care of your coolant flush for you. We check your whole system out for problems, and we use test strips to make sure your coolant levels are okay. We check out your components that contribute to your cooling system, so be sure you come by and see us make sure you get the best treatment for your cooling system. If your car is showing signs of needing new or replaced Anti-Freeze, then come by Ace Auto Repair in West Jordan, Utah, and we’ll give you a free consultation. Feel free to give us a call at 801-803-6016 for any questions!

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What You Need to Know About Transmission Slipping and Your Car

Slipping-transmission-mechanic-kearns-utah

A slipping transmission is a sign that your vehicle needs maintenance or repair. It is not always a sign that the transmission is failing, but a slipping transmission should never be ignored. We’ve compiled some basic signs and symptoms of a transmission slip, as well as what to do if your transmission is slipping.

What Does a Car’s Transmission Do?

To figure out if your transmission is slipping, it helps to understand the purpose of a car’s transmission and a little bit about how it works. The transmission transfers the energy produced by the car’s engine to the wheels. The internal combustion engine of your vehicle creates power and the transmission converts that power into torque, or rotational energy. The torque is then conveyed to the axles and rotates the wheels.

What is a Slipping Transmission?

When a transmission slips, it is not properly transferring the energy from the engine to the wheels. It may feel like the vehicle is slow to respond, or does not respond at all when you press the gas pedal. Or it could feel like your car changes gears suddenly without any apparent reason.

Common Signs of a Slipping Transmission

It is not always easy to diagnose a slipping transmission. There are a few common signs that you should definitely not ignore. Some of the more commons signs of a slipping transmission include:

  • Engine revving, specifically RPMs (revolutions per minute) that exceed 3,000-3,500
  • A high-pitched whistling noise from the engine with grinding sounds
  • Delayed acceleration
  • Delay when shifting from park to drive or reverse
  • Car shifting at unexpected times
  • Loss of engine power

How to Fix a Slipping Transmission?

A transmission can slip for several different reasons and some of the causes are far easier to fix that others. For example, a clogged transmission filter, low transmission fluid, or even burnt transmission fluid can all cause a transmission to slip and are not that difficult to fix. You’re looking at a more severe problem however if the transmission slips as a result of worn or broken transmission gears or bands.

Since low or ineffective transmission fluid is a likely cause of a slipping transmission, it can make a world of difference to do a transmission flush. This is when an ASE-certified technician flushes the transmission with fresh transmission fluid and cleans the entire system. Any burnt or ineffective fluid is flushed out. A transmission flush can also get rid of any contaminants that may have been preventing the proper flow of transmission fluid.

There are transmission fluid additives available that can help, to an extent, with some transmission slipping. These additives can help to improve friction or remove varnish buildup in the transmission. They cannot repair damaged gears or other internal parts of your transmission. Additionally, you should not use any transmission additive that contains solvents. Solvents can cause the seals in your transmission to wear more quickly by lowering your transmission fluid’s lubrication.

If you have had a transmission flush and tried an additive to no avail, you may have a serious transmission problem. The clutch may need to be adjusted or replaced. The bands may need adjustment or replacement. The gears themselves may even need to be replaced. In any of the instances, the transmission must be dismantled to perform these repairs.

Slipping Transmissions in Kearns, Utah

If you think your transmission is slipping, it is better to deal with it now than to wait until later. A transmission slip that can be resolved with a transmission flush today may require more costly repairs in the very near future. If you are around Kearns, UT and have any signs of a slipping transmission, contact Ace Auto Repair today. We’ll help get you and your vehicle back in gear.

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How to Avoid Being Ripped Off By a Dishonest Mechanic

spotting-Dishonest-Mechanic

“Hey, does anyone know of a good mechanic?”  We frequently hear this from our acquaintances or see this post on social media.  Car repairs can be expensive, and, as consumers, we want to make the best choices possible when it comes to automotive services.  Word of mouth is one way to find a good mechanic, but perhaps we should ask the larger question, “how do we avoid being ripped off by a dishonest mechanic?”

Know Your Vehicle

Start by looking to your owner’s manual for regular maintenance recommendations.  Dishonest mechanics know that the easiest people to rip off are the ones who know nothing about their cars or what is being done to it. When you lack knowledge on a subject matter, you’re more likely to believe whatever you’re told, and therefore, stand a higher chance of being ripped off.

Ask Questions, Questions, and More Questions

A great mechanic wants his customers to be well educated about their vehicle and the services he provides.  Ask him to describe the vehicle’s problem in detail, including what should be done to fix it, what parts will need to be replaced, and how the problem affects the vehicle’s overall performance.  If you do not understand something, make sure to ask follow up questions to clear up any inconsistencies or misunderstandings.  A great mechanic will be eager to explain repairs to you and answer your questions; after all, it’s an opportunity to show off his expertise!

Ask to Have the Old Parts Returned to You

If a mechanic tells you that you need to replace a part, ask to see the part that needs to be replaced. Some “mechanics” will tell you that you need a part replaced, and then bring you the part, but it is not actually the one from your car. If have any suspicions, you can even ask to go back in the garage so you that you can examine the vehicle yourself.   When a mechanic knows that you want the broken stuff back, the mechanic is more likely to actually do the work even he originally had plans for dishonesty.

Read Online Reviews About the Repair Shop

Along with traditional word of mouth recommendations, online reviews are an excellent way to gather information about your mechanic.  Start with a general Google search to read online reviews of the mechanic’s shop.  Searching the mechanic by shop name along with the city and state will yield some important information including internet posts by satisfied and unsatisfied customers.  Read all posts carefully.  A single unhappy customer does not necessarily mean the mechanic is dishonest, but a pattern of unhappy customers means you should steer clear of this particular shop.  Google+, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau’s online search tool are excellent ways to gather information about your potential mechanic.

Get a Detailed Auto Repair Estimate in Writing

A detailed written estimate is critical to have in hand prior to authorizing the performance of any service work.  Have the repair shop give you an estimate of exactly what they will be doing, what they are replacing, the tests they will be doing (if any), the parts they plan to replace and the amount of time they think it will take.  A written estimate amounts to a basic contract in most states and protects the consumer from unauthorized work and expenses.  With an agreed upon written estimate, the mechanic cannot perform any repairs that are not on the estimate without your approval.  Just as you would never sign a blank check and hand it over to your mechanic, NEVER sign a blank authorization form.

Check for Mechanic Certificationsase

Just as you would expect from any professional, the mechanics who work on your vehicles should have industry certifications.  Look for ASE certifications.  Possession of such certification means that your mechanic has passed rigorous testing to prove their expertise in auto repair.  A mechanic who has not passed these tests should not be allowed to work on your vehicle.

Honest Mechanics Kearns, Utah

Leave dishonest mechanics in the dust.  Looking for honest mechanics in Kearns, Utah?  Visit us online at Ace Auto. We provide free written estimates and a guarantee on all of our work.  Give us a call at 801-803-6016 to discuss your automotive repairs or schedule an appointment today.

preparing car for utah winter

Salt Lake City, Utah is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake and the mountains; this combination makes for a chilly, wet winter. With the temperatures usually below freezing, the roads can become slick quickly. However, the Department of Transportation is also quick about dumping salt and sand on the highways and roads. Unfortunately, for your car, that salt can cause damage your paint or cause rust spots.

It’s important to winterize your vehicle to properly protect you, and you car. How many times have you left work or the grocery store to find a blizzard has arrived or the parking lot has been turned into a skating rink? Winterizing your car is your best defense against Mother Nature’s winter furies.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to winterize your car for the snow and ice.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

  • Windshield Wiper Blades Inspect and replace front and back wiper blades, and make sure your car has a type of subzero wiper fluid. It’s very difficult to see where you’re driving when your windows have snow or ice on them. The window washer fluid will be beneficial if a car passes you and splatters slush all over your windshield. Windshield washer fluid also helps to melt the ice on the windshields.
  • Check Your Tire Pressure– When the temperatures rise and fall, so does the air pressure in your tires. If your tires are not operating at the correct amount of your air pressure, your traction may not be as stable on snow covered roads, and that could cause you to slide off the road or into another car.
  • Check Belts and Hoses– Your cars belts and hoses can crack during cold weather. If your fan belt or a hose blows, it could result in damage to your engine. Repairing your engine will cost a lot more to repair than it would to replace belts or hoses. In addition, if you’re out on the road when a belt or hose goes you may find yourself stranded.
  • Check Heater and Defrosting Units– If your heater is on the fritz, you are going to be cold while driving to work. If your defrosting units are not working properly, you’re going to have a hard time seeing out your frost covered windshield, which could be hazardous.
  • Check Antifreeze Levels– Antifreeze is your car engine’s coolant. If your car overheats there is a good chance it will break down. You can check the antifreeze yourself in a few easy steps. 1) Always make sure your engine is cold (to prevent severe burns), 2)locate the radiator, 3)remove the cap and look into the whole. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual to see what type of engine coolant is right for your vehicle.
  • Check Your Oil Level– Cold weather can make your oil thick, so make sure you’re using the correct oil viscosity (check owner’s manual). Use the dipstick to check the oil level. To test your oil levels, first place the oil dipstick in the reservoir and pull it out, then wipe with a paper towel and dip again. Read the dipstick by looking to see that oil is in the area of the dipstick with a hash mark pattern. If you do not see oil on the dipstick, or it is below the hash mark pattern, your car is low on oil. If your oil is low on oil, add a quart or 2 until you can get to an auto repair shop to have a complete oil change performed.

Read Why Oil Changes Are Important Here

  • Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car– Put the following items in the kit: An extra heavy blanket, gloves, flashlight and extra batteries, road flares, first aid kit, shovel, salt, sand, chains, jumper cables, whistle to get a passerby’s attention or a fluorescent colored flag, water, and protein bars. Place all the items in a large tote, use the blankets as a protective surrounding for all the other items.
  • Protect Your Paint– With all the salt on the roads during the wintertime in Utah, your paint can take a real beating. Be sure to wash your car frequently, and apply a layer of car wax to help make a barrier between the paint and the salt.

Contact a Kearns, Utah Auto Repair Shop Today

If you need help getting your car ready for winter near West Jordan,Utah, Ace Auto Repair is the place to go.

Read 6 Ways the Cold Affects Your Vehicle (and What to Do About It)