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Bouncy Bouncy – Are My Shocks Bad?

When TUCSON drivers 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 auto parts keep our tires on the road.

TUCSON drivers 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 your shocks have 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your vehicle, try replacing your shocks and struts.

Of course, if you drive off-road around TUCSON, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.

Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibrations of driving over road surfaces. Springs support the vehicle's weight, suspending it above the axles so the body of the vehicle is protected from most of the bumps on the road. Shocks control the bounciness of the springs by moderating rebound. They also push your tires down onto the road's surface, maximizing traction. Without shocks, your wheels would bounce over bumps and lift against curbs and corners. Shocks are important to the safe handling of your vehicle as well as a comfortable ride. Struts are a combination shock and spring in one unit.

Worn shocks result in lowered vehicle handling performance. If your vehicle “squirms” around corners or gets “floaty” over bumps, then you need to check your shocks. If the rear end of your vehicle squats while accelerating, the front end dips while braking, or one corner sags, you probably need new shocks.

If you're unsure whether you need new shocks, or if you're considering upgrading to a higher quality shock, then consult your friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor. He or she can give you advice on the condition of your shocks and how to match your driving needs to the quality of your shocks.

At All Makes & Models Auto Repair we know good vehicle care is essential to the safety, performance and efficiency of your vehicle. It can improve the comfort of your ride as well.

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

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Let All Makes & Models Auto Repair Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

TUCSON area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.

But a lot of TUCSON drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.

There are a lot of vehicles on AZ roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) really be that easy for TUCSON drivers?

Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.

But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to All Makes & Models Auto Repair for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.

If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.

At an oil change, your technician at All Makes & Models Auto Repair will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.

The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at All Makes & Models Auto Repair for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up vehicle care that will keep older cars running well.

Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles (320,000 km), the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new vehicle.

Good vehicle care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of TUCSON drivers who have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.

So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON. 

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

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Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around TUCSON



With high fuel prices in TUCSON, AZ, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on  Auto is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your TUCSON, AZ, service advisor at All Makes & Models Auto Repair.

There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in TUCSON!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We're here for you at All Makes & Models Auto Repair, so give us a call at 5208077571 for good honest advice about your vehicle.

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

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TUCSON Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among TUCSON drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should TUCSON drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around TUCSON?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero AZ temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in AZ?
Do you drive often in dusty TUCSON areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around TUCSON?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold AZ weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest TUCSON on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on TUCSON surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and TUCSON weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should TUCSON residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around TUCSON or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why AZ residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in AZ summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

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

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TUCSON Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around TUCSON and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

There are several things involved in an alignment check at All Makes & Models Auto Repair. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line. If the back wheels aren't adjustable, a technician at All Makes & Models Auto Repair can determine the direction they push and then align the front wheels to match.

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that's given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It's better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear - by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked at All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tires meet the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

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

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Vive la Differential at All Makes & Models Auto Repair in TUCSON

There are a lot of drivers in TUCSON who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in AZ these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most TUCSON folks don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of your mind. It's not uncommon for people in TUCSON to not know they have a differential, let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any AZ high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside vehicle wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He'll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual.

At All Makes & Models Auto Repair, we've been providing quality automotive service for our valued TUCSON customers since . If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 5208077571.

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

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Time for Differential Service at All Makes & Models Auto Repair?

Hello TUCSON - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.

What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.

The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so the outer tire has to spin faster in order to keep up. The differential makes this possible.

The gears in the differential are cooled and lubricated by differential fluid. It's this fluid that needs to be serviced. Small bits of the gears break off and are suspended in the differential fluid. The dirtier the fluid, the faster the gears wear.

So your All Makes & Models Auto Repair technician drains the old fluid out and replaces it with fresh fluid. Some differentials also need a special additive that is put in at this time.

So when should you have your vehicle differential serviced? Intervals vary from vehicle to vehicle – and may be as short as 15,000 miles/24,000 km – so check your vehicle owner's manual or ask us at All Makes & Models Auto Repair. If you frequently drive with heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in hot AZ conditions, you may need to change differential fluid more often. Servicing your differential on schedule at All Makes & Models Auto Repair can save a pricey replacement down the road.

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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The Best Test

Would you buy a jacket without even trying it on? Probably not, but it might surprise you that one study shows about half the people buy a vehicle after a short test drive around the block or none at all.  If you're in the market for another vehicle, make sure you check out the most important things so you'll know if that's the right vehicle for you.

Check out the gadgets.  Love a good sound system? Then turn it up loud.  Does it have enough bass for you? See how you like its navigation system if it has one.  Try pairing your Bluetooth smartphone with the vehicle.  Test out how to set the cruise control and how steady it keeps the speed. Back up and check out the rearview camera. If you buy this vehicle, you'll have to live with all of these things every time you drive.

Test the vehicle on roads you know.  See how it handles bumps and potholes, how it takes that tight curve that you drive every day to and from work.  Driving on familiar roads gives you a chance to compare what you know with what you're thinking about buying.

Check the fit.  One suburban mom drove a full-sized SUV and loved it until she got it home and realized it was too high for her old garage.  Remodeling the garage would be the only answer! Try installing your child seats.  Size matters, especially in a vehicle.

Gauge the fuel economy. Many vehicles have a trip computer that will calculate fuel economy quickly.  Here's a tip: you can reset it before your test drive and when you're finished, check it and see what fuel economy you got.  It will be a smaller sampling than would be ideal, but it will give you an idea.

Take as much time as you can.  A lot of sellers will pressure you to restrict your test drive to 10-15 minutes.  Ideally, you'd like to have that vehicle for a week, but that's usually not possible. So, try for something in between. Remember, this could be your vehicle for years to come.

Keep in mind that every vehicle will feel strange to you at first. Buying a vehicle is a little like getting married.  You want that marriage to be happy, and you want it to last, so take the time to get to know it as well as you can.

All Makes & Models Auto Repair
1305 E BENSON HWY
TUCSON, AZ 85714
5208077571
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Keep It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at All Makes & Models Auto Repair



The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around TUCSON use fuel filters.

For more information about your fuel filter, visit All Makes & Models Auto Repair at 1305 E BENSON HWY in TUCSON, AZ 85714.
Please call 5208077571 to make an appointment.

Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our TUCSON area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.

That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often.

A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration. That's because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough just can't get through the filter. Obviously, that could be dangerous if your car or truck can't get enough power to get you out of harm's way.

For just that reason, fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter is severely clogged, some fuel can bypass the filter all together. Of course that means that dirty, unfiltered fuel is getting through to be burned in the engine.

This dirt can then clog and damage your fuel injectors. Now injectors are not cheap to replace, so you don't want to cause them damage just because you didn't spend a few bucks to replace a fuel filter.

You know, in a way, the fuel filter can be the poster child for preventive maintenance. It's a little part, it's simple and it's cheap to take care of. But if it's neglected, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Those auto service schedules in your owner's manual are there for a reason. If ever you don't understand a recommended service, just ask your TUCSON service advisor at All Makes & Models Auto Repair. We'll be happy to explain.

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

 

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The All Makes & Models Auto Repair Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

The automotive professionals at All Makes & Models Auto Repair would like to give TUCSON drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The TUCSON do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many AZ ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable All Makes & Models Auto Repair service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the TUCSON area.

Let's start with engine oil. TUCSON drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the AZ scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your TUCSON service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at All Makes & Models Auto Repair can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.

Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for TUCSON vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids AZ drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for TUCSON drivers. Fortunately, All Makes & Models Auto Repair will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

 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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