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What the Snap, Rattle and Pop?!

Your vehicles steering and suspension typically deteriorates slowly over time and can be unnoticeable until you hear that rattle or clunk.  The parts that typically fail include ball joints, tie rods, struts, shocks, springs, control arms and stabilizer links or sway bar links. Ball Joints/Tie Rods: Imagine yourself holding a baseball tightly, but over time your grip loosens and the baseball falls out. This is similar to how a ball joint and tie rod work. Its a ball in socket joint and they wear out causing looseness and sometimes catastrophic failure where the joint comes out of the socket. Your tie rod is the steering rod between your rack and pinion and the ball joint is the pivot point between your axle/control arm and wheel assembly. The easiest way to spot issues with these parts is abnormal tire wear. That would be a lot of tread on one side of the tire and a little tread on the other side. So something as simple as walking to your car and looking at the wear on your tires ... read more

Squeaky brakes and how to address the issue.

We have all been there, our brakes start to squeak and we automatically think we need to have our brakes checked or replaced. That is not always the case. When we have brake issues come into our shop we always ask is it a squeak, squeal or grinding noise you are hearing usually with impressions of the noise to follow. That being said lets dive in to what we should do and how we can drive the situation. First, lets address the squeak. This noise can be caused by a number of factors. A squeak can develop over night. In many cases a squeak can be simply rust build up on a rotor after sitting overnight or after a few days of rain. Your rotor mostly bare metal especially where it contacts the brake pad and a short park in the driveway can cause it to rust from moisture in the air. This is not a safety issue and most likely you can drive on. A squeak can also be caused by the material in the brake pad itself. Brake pads are organic or ceramic and semi-metallic. The binder or compound that h ... read more

Foggy Headlamp Fix

Rain, road grime, dirt and debris are all abrasive to the front end of your vehicle. Most notably on many vehicles, the headlights. Foggy or scratched headlights can cause a dim light at night and that means poor visibility. The good new is fixing this is very simple. Many parts stores sell kits for you to clean the headlamps. 3M and Mothers both make great kits. These kits come with sandpaper, compound and an attachment that you can use on the end of a cordless drill. You can pick up one of these kits for about $20 and get started. When purchasing one of these kits pick up some masking tape as well. To begin you want to pop the hood and use the masking tape to outline the light. Place the tape on the fender and bumper to protect from a runaway drill or unwanted scuffs and scratches. Once you have taped the painted surfaces surrounding the light, you will install the part on the drill and use the heavier grit (400 grit) sand paper to start. Make sure the drill is on the 1 or low speed ... read more

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