Posted by: caseyautomotive | July 20, 2011

The Timing Belt – More Important Than You Think!$$

The timing belt is a nylon-reinforced rubber serpentine belt with square teeth on the inside surface.  Its function is to transfer the rotation of the engine crankshaft to the camshaft-the component that moves the piston valves up and down.

In your engine, the valves admit air and fuel and expel exhaust gases; without functioning valves, your engine is dead in the water!  The timing belt, true to its name, governs the precise timing of the opening and closing of the cylinder’s valves.  By controlling the ignition of the fuel/air mixture, it secondarily controls the motion of the pistons.

The timing belt bears a lot of responsibility and if it were to fail because it went unchanged can cause your engine to fail. Your vehicle depends on camshafts moving pistons in the cylinders of your engine. The part which moves the camshafts, causing the valves to open and close which in turn moves the pistons, is the timing belt.

A good general rule of thumb is that a timing belt should be changed every 60,000 to 75,000 miles, although some belts are designed to last up to 100,000 miles before requiring a change.  Regardless though, it is best not to let a belt go more than 80,000 miles or so, even if the recommended change point is a lot higher. Changing your belt early is definitely a lot safer for your engine, and a little money out of pocket can save you a lot of money and a new car in the long run.

If your timing belt is not working properly it has a domino effect and causes all the other steps required for proper engine function to be unable to occur or work improperly. This failure of the timing belt causes damage to your engine and makes for a much more expensive repair. By bringing your vehicle into Casey Automotive for automotive maintenance that includes your timing belt, expensive damage to your car and worst, a breakdown, can be avoided.

Posted by: caseyautomotive | July 20, 2011

How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

Normally, it depends on how you drive.  If the driver is heavy on the brakes, then the brake pads will last less time than someone with a light foot on the brake pedal.  Brake pads can last for tens of thousands of miles, but replaced at the first signs of wear, which is the squealing sound of the wear indicators.  Don’t wait when you first hear the squeal, or else you might start damaging the rotors or the steel wheel that helps you stop.  These audible indicators really save you money!

Hard driving conditions and other factors will reduce the lifespan and cause the brakes to wear down faster.   These include; high speed braking, geography (hills and terrain, such as San Francisco), and of course the size and weight of the vehicle.

At Casey Automotive all of our ASE-Certified Technicians have years of experience and utilize cutting edge diagnostic technology and equipment to provide the highest quality repairs.

Posted by: caseyautomotive | July 20, 2011

The Brake Pad Story!

Brake pads are one of the most important parts on your car.  Every car/truck is worthless without good brake pads!

Brake pads work by clamping down on the brake rotors when you press on the brake pedal inside your car.  The pad causes friction against the rotors, capable of slowing the car to a complete stop. After thousands of miles of friction, the brakes pads become worn down and thin. Once the pad is too thin or gone, there is nothing left to cause friction, making your car extremely dangerous to drive.

Brake pads are equipped with a metal piece called a wear indicator. Once the brake pads become thin, the wear indicator begins to rub against the metal rotors, causing a loud squealing sound each time you press the brake pedal. Ignoring this sound means the metal wear indicator continues to rub on the rotors. Eventually, the wear indicators rub grooves into the rotors, making them unsafe even with new brake pads.  The entire braking assembly must be replaced at this point.

If the extent of the groove is quite bad, it may become necessary to either turn the rotor around or replace it entirely.  Mechanics usually opt for the complete replacement of the old worn rotors although some people occasionally insist on the shaving of a thin layer of metal to remove the minor grooves.

Faulty brake pads may affect the distance required to bring your car to a stop. This could obviously reduce the response time required for you to make an informed decision.  As a general precaution, if you’ve been using your brake pads for a while and you hear a squeak when depressing your brakes, it’s best to have them replaced.  Also, if you notice that more force is required to bring your car to a complete stop, then a change of brake pads is in order.

Casey Automotive knows brakes!  Be safe, talk to Casey.