Drinking water every day is critical for your health. If you don’t do it, you’ll get very ill and eventually die, because your body needs fresh water in its system on a regular basis. In the same way, oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. The oil needs to be refreshed on a consistent basis to keep your engine running well.
Nothing is more damaging for your engine than running it with dirty oil. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to have an engine replaced, you can prevent serious problems and greatly extend your engine’s life simply by having your oil and oil filter changed in the proper timeframes. For most vehicles, we recommend an oil change every three months or 3,000 miles.
Your engine will run best and you’ll get the best gas mileage by using the type of oil that’s recommended for your particular vehicle. Most mechanical engine failures occur due to neglect and lack of maintenance. That’s why at We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we don’t just change your oil. We top off all liquids and lubricate the chassis. But it doesn’t end there. With every oil change, we do a comprehensive 32-point safety inspection that includes checking:
- fluid levels
- tire wear
- drive belts
- engine coolant and hoses
- horn, headlights, and exterior lights
- windshield wipers
- power steering components
With every oil change, we also road test your vehicle and give it a wash and vacuum — all for no extra charge. Your vehicle will be running better and looking better from the inside out every time you visit We Fix-It-Auto Repair.
It’s easy to take your brakes for granted. As long as your vehicle stops when you press on the brake pedal, everything seems fine. In reality, if you neglect your brakes, you’re putting everyone in your vehicle at risk, along pedestrians and everyone sharing the road with you.
In a very real sense, your brakes represent the most critical system on your vehicle. That’s why it’s the number-one item on our safety list and an area that gets close attention at We-Fix-It Auto Repair. We recommend getting your brakes inspected at least once every six months.
Several factors can determine how long it will take for your brakes to wear out, including your own driving habits. The hot climate here in the Scottsdale, Tempe, and Phoenix areas also factors into the longevity of your brakes (and all of your car’s components.) Here are some of the warning signs to watch and listen for when driving:
A high-pitched squeal whenever you stop: That squeal is intentional, so don’t ignore it. Brake pad manufacturers put a piece of metal called an “indicator” on the pad. When the pad wears down to about a quarter-inch thick, the indicator contacts the rotor and squeals.
A grinding noise when you brake: This often means the metal on the pad base is exposed and is now grinding against the rotor. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this condition can cause much more damage and be dangerous.
Shaking or vibration in the steering wheel when you brake: This is often caused by a misalignment between the pad and rotor or — even worse — warped rotors.
Long pedal travel: You don’t want a lot of give in the brake pedal. If it’s getting steadily worse, that means trouble. If your foot goes all the way to the floor when you brake, your brakes need to be inspected immediately. You’re on the verge of not being able to brake at all.
A strong metallic smell when you brake: This often indicates failing brakes and merits an inspection.
Braking actually pulls the car to the left or right: Several things can cause this issue, which we call “brake pull,” including a misaligned caliper or a collapsed brake hose.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms — and especially if you notice more than one — please call us for an appointment right away so we can prevent any further damage.
You know what summer’s like here in the Scottsdale, Tempe, and Phoenix areas, not to mention Arizona in general: ridiculously hot. But you’re not the only one suffering when the thermometer is rising. Heat is one of the greatest causes of battery problems in your vehicle. High heat shortens battery life significantly. It causes battery fluid to evaporate, reducing the battery’s ability to hold its optimal charge, which leads to battery failure.
Regardless of the weather, no car battery last forever. Every automobile battery will wear out over time. It simply gets to the point where it can’t hold enough charge to start your car. A battery also might need to be replaced because it developed a leak. To ensure top performance and prevent the inconvenience of a battery that won’t perform, your vehicle’s battery should be checked out regularly.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, our battery service comprises:
- Visual inspection of the pottery to verify structural integrity
- Load test the battery for adequate cold cranking amps
- Application of leak detection chemical to check for leaks
- Cleaning of the battery posts using battery cleaner
- Check for proper battery installation
- Apply anti-corrosion battery terminal solution
Let’s address a very important maintenance item because letting this one slide can lead to very expensive engine damage!
The function of the timing belt isn’t as obvious to the general public as something like the brakes, steering, or electrical system. But the timing belt is a critical component of your engine, and letting maintenance on it slide can lead to extremely expensive damage to your engine.
Your timing belt choreographs the timing of the combustion process in your engine. Pistons travel up and down in the cylinder, and intake valves must open at just the right time to let in air and fuel. They also must close at the right time to allow the fuel to burn. The exhaust valves must open at the right time to release the exhaust.
How often does this occur? Oh, just thousands of times every minute. It’s an incredibly precise process, and it’s all run by the timing belt. It makes sure the valves open and close at exactly the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run.
And that’s the best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that a valve opens at the wrong time and collides with the piston. This causes bent valves and often even more damage to the cylinder head. This damage can amount to several thousands of dollars in engine repair.
A timing belt, by its very nature, has a limited life. It wears out naturally over time, so it’s imperative that you replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner’s manual or with your service advisor at We-Fix-It Auto Repair in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix to find out when your timing belt needs to be replaced. If your odometer reads more than 60,000 miles and you’re still on your original timing belt, check with us right away to see if it’s time to be replaced.
In some engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt (as opposed to the serpentine belt). If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to replace the water pump when you replace the timing belt (and vice versa), because since much of the same work has to be done for either part. This is also true for the timing belt tensioner — it should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced.
It’s true that replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive routine maintenance items on your service schedule. However, ignoring the condition of your timing belt can lead to some of the most expensive repairs you’ll ever have.
A/C maintenance and repair
If you’ve lived in Arizona for a while — whether you’re in Scottsdale, Tempe or Phoenix — you know it’s frankly unbearable to drive in the summer (and often the spring or fall) without reliable air conditioning service. At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we want you to be cool, comfortable and safe all year long. Our ASE-certified technicians and repair experts know how to keep the cool air blasting reliably and efficiently even on the hottest days.
A vehicle’s A/C system requires periodic maintenance and service. Many people don’t realize this until it’s too late. With regular maintenance, air conditioning problems can be uncovered before your system has a total meltdown.
If your A/C is having issues, our staff will fully investigate, measuring your system pressure and checking against the specifications for your vehicle’s make and model. They’ll check the output temperature to see if it’s within the proper parameters. If it’s not, they’ll check to see if there’s a leak, draining the system and checking the lines for any cracks. If the lines are fine, they’ll investigate the compressor to see whether its interior seals are intact and whether it’s otherwise working properly.
Don’t be caught without working A/C when the thermometer’s pushing 100 degrees and up. At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we can ensure you’re feeling cool everywhere you go.
If your vehicle regularly pulls to one side, the steering wheel vibrates, or you have to maintain pressure on the steering wheel one way or the other to keep your car traveling straight ahead, you likely have an alignment problem. A wheel alignment on your vehicle will correct the vast majority of handling issues. You’ll also enjoy a smoother ride, because road shock is better absorbed when all the system components are aligned properly.
Extended Tire Life
A great way to wear down your tires and have to replace them more often is to drive your car regularly with improper alignment. It causes the tires to wear unevenly and leaves you more susceptible to flat tires and blow-outs from road debris. When your vehicle is properly aligned, your tires will hold up for thousands of miles longer than when you have an alignment issue.
Better Gas Mileage
When your car isn’t properly aligned, your wheels are effectively working against each other, increasing rolling resistance. A wheel alignment ensures that all four wheels are turning in parallel, minimizes rolling resistance and greatly increasing your gas mileage.
When you’re constantly having to pull on the steering wheel in one direction just to keep your vehicle driving straight, there’s a much greater danger of accidentally sliding into another lane — or even worse, driving off the road or into oncoming traffic. We also do a suspension system inspection as part of our alignment procedure, letting us spot worn parts before they cause problems that can be costly and dangerous.
Vehicle owners who follow a preventative car maintenance schedule save themselves time, money and frustration in both the short term and long term. At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, we regularly see the difference between owners who keep up with maintenance and those who do not.
By maintaining your car regularly, your repair expenses are minimized, you get the most out of your automobile, and you avoid the frustrations and inconveniences of unexpected breakdowns, towing and time waiting for your car to undergo major repairs. You feel safe and secure in knowing you can count on your vehicle in a variety of circumstances and conditions.
When you don’t maintain your car regularly, your repair bills will be much higher, you’re in danger of breaking down in inconvenient (and even dangerous) circumstances, and you’re risking a major failure when you’re traveling at high speeds. Even if you don’t suffer a serious failure or breakdown on the road, you get worse gas mileage, your vehicle loses value much faster, and you don’t enjoy your daily driving experience nearly as much.
Let’s talk about your transmission.
Like any other vehicle component, your transmission will eventually wear down and require repair. The good news is that you can delay that time considerably with proper maintenance.
First off, always be sure that your transmission has adequate fluid, which cools and lubricates the transmission. When the fluid level is too low, your transmission will run too hot and wear out much sooner. This fluid also provides the pressure required to transfer power from the engine. Without the proper amount, your transmission is unable to shift properly.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair in Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix, our highly trained, ASE-certified technicians know how to properly appraise the condition of your transmission. We check it every time you get an oil change, topping it off when it’s low. We can also inspect it for a leak; you’ll know there’s likely a leak if you’re seeing transmission fluid (a reddish liquid) on your driveway or anywhere else you’re parker for a while. We can replace whatever’s leaking, be it a gasket, hose or seal — sometimes it’s all of the above.
A key to prolonging your transmission’s life is replacing the fluid on schedule. All those grinding gears produce lots of metal bits in the fluid. As they build up, these metal fragments will wear out the transmission’s parts. The fluid also contains additives that protect your transmission, and these become depleted over time, necessitating fresh fluid on a regular basis.
If your transmission isn’t shifting smoothly, or if you think it’s leaking, bring it in to We-Fix-It Auto Repair. Regular maintenance and fixing small leaks right away will ensure the longevity of your transmission.
Issues with your suspension system or shocks are not as obvious as problems with other systems, such as your brakes. You can get an idea of whether your suspension needs repair by watching out for several issues.
When there’s a suspension problem, your car lean to one side or the other, or the tires on one side might show noticeably more wear than on the other. You might notice a lack of support or cushioning when you travel over bumps or dips. Also, the steering wheel might be pulling to one side.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, our top-notch techs will run a full diagnosis to determine what’s causing these problems with suspension and/or alignment. This can include replacing shock absorbers or struts and their bushings and mounts. We’ll also inspect, service and lubricate all suspension components to ensure they’re working optimally.
Suspension repair doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s all a matter of diagnosing these problems before they cause more expensive issues, such as problems with your axles or tires, or even damage to your steering system. When left untreated, minor suspension problems can turn into very expensive repairs.
We’ve been performing front suspension repair for many years, and our ASE-certified technicians are trained to diagnose and repair suspension systems on a broad variety of vehicles in all makes and models, domestics and imports. Our premier repair shop is designed to handle everything right up to sports cars and luxury vehicles, which is why we have so many satisfied customers throughout Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix.
The lifeblood of your steering system is power steering fluid. It keeps system components lubricated, preventing friction and wear, and ensuring that you have complete control when you’re driving. Because this fluid regularly becomes contaminated with impurities, it needs to be replaced on a consistent basis.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, our professional technicians inspect your power steering fluid and exchange it with high-quality synthetic oil to optimize the hydraulic system of your power steering. The standard time/miles interval to replace the fluid for many makes and models is 50,000 miles, but if you’re having any steering issues, or any power steering fluid leaks come see us right away to determine what the problem is.
A periodic emissions test determines how much fuel is coming out of the tailpipe that is not being used by your engine. It’s essentially a huge gas leak, which is not only bad for the environment but costing you money as well. To fix this, our top-notch technicians at We-Fix-It Auto Repair will tune your engine to properly consume gasoline and convert it to the energy that powers your car down the road.
If your car’s check engine light is on, it likely won’t pass an emissions inspection. We can help. Simply bring your car to our location, which is convenient to drivers throughout Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix, and we will diagnose and fix the issue. In many cases, we can even take the car though the emission station for you, saving you the time to get it tested! It’s just one of the ways we go the extra mile to ensure our clients’ complete satisfaction.
Read more on Arizona emissions testing » http://www.myazcar.com/
The cooling system, as your might presume, cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. The coolant in your car is a mix of water and antifreeze circulating through the engine to draw off heat. For your cooling system to work correctly, it needs to have the right kind of coolant and the proper amount. Different makes of cars require different coolant formulations to protect against corrosion — and corrosion can be very damaging to your engine.
Your coolant needs to be fresh to work properly. Over time and miles, the anticorrosion and antifreeze additives in the coolant are depleted, which can cause the coolant to actually start eating away at the cooling system. Cooling system failures can occur in radiators, radiator pressure caps, water pumps, radiator hoses, thermostats, cooling fans and more.
According to AAA, cooling system failures are one of the leading causes of vehicle breakdowns on the highway. That’s especially true here in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix, where we experience severely high temperatures throughout the summer. However, most of these breakdowns can be prevented through preventative maintenance and repairs we provide at We-Fix-It Auto Repair. Our service includes:
- Checking the coolant level, concentration and condition
- Checking for coolant leaks
- Draining the cooling system entirely and refilling it with fresh coolant
- Adding conditioners to prevent rust and corrosion
- Inspecting belts, hoses and electrical fans
Our highly experience, ACE-certified technicians also will inspect all parts and advise whether they need replacement. In the intense heat of Arizona, you can’t afford to ignore your cooling system. Visit us so we can make sure your system is running properly and efficiently — it will save you lots of money over time.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment »
The differential is an important aspect of your car’s performance that relates to an issue of physics. When your car turns, its outside wheels will travel a slightly longer distance than the inside wheels. To properly accomplish this, those outside wheels must turn slightly faster than the inside wheels.
This compensation occurs due to the differential. It allows the drive wheels (whichever wheels, front or back, are powered by the car) to turn at different speeds in turns without any hopping or binding.
On a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle. On a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the transaxle handles the differential function. All-wheel-drive vehicles, of course, have differentials on both axles. They additionally have a center differential (or transfer case) that compensates for speed differences between the front and rear.
To ensure the stability and longevity of your differential, it needs to be properly lubricated, ensuring the gears are cooled and protected.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair, our technicians check the differential fluid level and top it off when needed. If the fluid is too low, the differential will run too hot and wear out prematurely. We’ll also inspect the universal joints (U-joints), which connect the drive shaft to the differential. U-joints sometimes also can be lubricated as part of a routine lube, fluid change.
If you notice a strange noise from your vehicle’s axle area, that can indicate that the differential is failing. If that happens, it’s critical to repair it right away. If it freezes up, while you’re driving, you could lose control of your vehicle. A failing differential can also do serious damage to parts such as the axle, driveshaft and transmission.
Fuel system service
The fuel system is fairly self-explanatory: It delivers fuel (either gasoline or diesel) to your car’s engine. After repeated usage, the components of the fuel system will get clogged with carbon particles and varnish. A proper fuel system cleaning clears this blockage and enables fuel to flow freely, eliminating excess fuel consumption and hard startups. This extends the life and performance of your car, ensuring that even after several years, your vehicle performs as good as new.
At We-Fix-It Auto Repair in Scottsdale, Tempe, and Phoenix, we provide a multistep service that cleans the fuel system and the internal combustion chamber. An oil additive, a fuel additive and others are added to clean the combustion chamber and associated parts.
Benefits of fuel system service include improved engine performance and acceleration. It also increases the life of the fuel injectors, reduces exhaust emissions and eliminates hesitation when accelerating. We recommend a fuel system service every 30,000 miles. Our service includes:
- Cleaning fuel injectors
- Cleaning the throttle body
- Cleaning the plenum and air intake
- Cleaning the intake valves and ports
- Removing combustion chamber deposits