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Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in TUCSON

A lot of people get custom wheels in TUCSON. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that.

Consulting your All Makes & Models Auto Repair tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your TUCSON driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some people in TUCSON like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most TUCSON drivers don't realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your vehicle's anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn't know what changes you made so it can't tell how fast you're going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your vehicle engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in AZ. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your vehicle. Your All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in TUCSON.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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All Makes & Models Auto Repair Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today's All Makes & Models Auto Repair post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some TUCSON drivers. Back when we opened All Makes & Models Auto Repair, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some TUCSON residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at All Makes & Models Auto Repair: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to All Makes & Models Auto Repair professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today's high-tech vehicle engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances.

That's where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those vehicle engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com


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Professional Fuel System Cleaning



Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today's production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

TUCSON drivers can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system; however, they can't do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON. We have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Our friendly and knowledgeable team at All Makes & Models Auto Repair can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You'll find All Makes & Models Auto Repair at 1305 E BENSON HWY in TUCSON, AZ 85714. Or just give us a call at 5208077571 to schedule an appointment.

You'll enjoy more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent repairs that can happen because you didn't take preventative steps. Our advisors at All Makes & Models Auto Repair can tell you when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.

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Budget for Maintenance in TUCSON

Sometimes busy TUCSON residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around AZ in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time TUCSON residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's TUCSON drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's TUCSON drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at TUCSON area auto service centers.

TUCSON drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in AZ  simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, TUCSON drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from All Makes & Models Auto Repair: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and AZ auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at All Makes & Models Auto Repair, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Automotive Tips from All Makes & Models Auto Repair: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

Repair or Replace? That’s a question TUCSON drivers 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 (6.4 mm) are considered too large to be safely repaired. 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 repaired. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your friendly and professional All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor can inspect your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely repaired or if it should be replaced - and then help you get back on the roads around TUCSON.

Give us a call.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Drive Train - What You Need to Know in TUCSON



One TUCSON automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around TUCSON, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So TUCSON residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at 5208077571.

Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, All Makes & Models Auto Repair driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it's torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner's manual, or check with your friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in TUCSON have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most TUCSON residents have probably heard the term 'u-joints.' These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner's manual or TUCSON service advisor for intervals.

Now let's go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The vehicle may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in TUCSON, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don't work well on dry pavement when they're in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is recommended as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There's a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So TUCSON residents need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for TUCSON residents is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner's manual. Your TUCSON service advisor can answer any questions you've got. If this is the first time you've heard some of this stuff – it's time to ask someone at All Makes & Models Auto Repair if any of it needs to be done now.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Below 45 Degrees in TUCSON: Consider Winter 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 TUCSON drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. AZ drivers 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 TUCSON area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with AZ winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at TUCSON temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that TUCSON drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among TUCSON drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for TUCSON drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. TUCSON drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at All Makes & Models Auto Repair. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. TUCSON drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any AZ season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in TUCSON.


All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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TUCSON Road Trip Preparation

People from TUCSON, AZ, love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a AZ road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

You can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.

Heading out on a AZ road trip? Stop by All Makes & Models Auto Repair before you head out to make sure everything is in good repair.

Let's look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip in AZ and what you might do to avoid them.

The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems.

A good tire inspection at All Makes & Models Auto Repair will start with looking over the condition of the tire itself. Are there signs of uneven tire wear? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tire should be replaced? The answers to these questions may lead to a recommendation to balance or rotate your tires. It may also be time to have an alignment service.

Your brakes should be inspected for function as well as to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You'll also want to know if it's time to service your brake fluid. Over time, water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.

While you're out seeing the sights, you'll want to make sure you can see the sights. Replace your windshield wipers if they aren't working well. And don't forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don't even realize it. Many people replace their lamps once or twice a year.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip. They'll always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Ethics of Automotive Repair in TUCSON



We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the TUCSON automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in TUCSON has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with TUCSON automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we'll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It's like going to the doctor; If she's using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your TUCSON service advisor too. He's so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don't know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don't understand what your doctor's talking about: ask some questions. If you don't understand what your TUCSON automotive advisor's talking about: ask some questions.

Let's go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, "Is this really necessary?" Well, here's the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at All Makes & Models Auto Repair says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn't want to replace the rotor; All Makes & Models Auto Repair would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could've failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician's informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Direct Fuel Injection Update from All Makes & Models Auto Repair

For those of you in TUCSON, AZ who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same fuel economy. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.

So what are the differences from a conventional engine?

The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.

With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.

First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it's atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can't do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your vehicle and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors at All Makes & Models Auto Repair isn't cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we're talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.

A professional fuel system cleaning from All Makes & Models Auto Repair gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they'll last a long, long time.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
http://www.allmakesautorepair.com

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Phone: (520) 807-7571
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Address: 1305 East Benson Hwy
Tucson, AZ 85714
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