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All You Need to Know About Suspension Springs

The vehicle’s springs are the foundation of the suspension system. Their job is to hold the weight of the vehicle and its passengers, keep the car high enough so it doesn’t bottom out, and allow the wheels to move up and down without jolting your passengers. In this blog, we’re going to discuss a few different types of springs found on modern cars and trucks!

Steel Coil Spring 

The steel coil spring is the most common type of spring, and can be seen on most cars on the road. Essentially, this coil spring is a heavy-duty steel bar wound into a coil. It compresses and expands to absorb the impact of roads. So while you drive, the bumps you run over are less noticeable!

Leaf Spring

Seen on many trucks and even some sports cars, such as the Chevrolet Corvette, a leaf spring  consists of several “leaves” clamped together to form one unit. Each leaf is a thin, flat, arc-shaped piece of metal, and they’re stacked on top of each other. The more leaves, the more weight the vehicle can carry. Pretty neat, right?

Air Spring

An air spring can be described as a cylinder filled with air and positioned between the control arm and car’s body. A compressor fills the cylinder, which is typically made of a high-quality rubber and holds the vehicle up. The air then absorbs energy transferred to the wheels and tires from the road. You can find these types of springs on luxury cars!

Hydraulic Spring

These springs are also common on higher-end vehicles and use hydraulic fluid pressurized by a pump. The fluid acts as the cushion between you and road. In most cars, the height of the vehicle is constantly adjusted by computers and sensors, for a smoother ride while on the road.

Conclusion

Suspension systems allow your vehicle to maneuver over the road with ease. If your suspension system is not up to standard, have it checked by an expert mechanic at H.W. Automotive Inc. Our mission is for every customer to drive safe on the road, so visit our website to schedule your service today!

Keeping an Auto Maintenance Schedule and Why It’s Important

If you’re spending good money on a quality vehicle, you want a reliable tool you can expect to last on the road for many a year to come. Of course, it goes without saying that regular maintenance is absolutely essential in promoting that prolonged lifespan. What many don’t seem to realize however, is that “regular maintenance” doesn’t simply mean dropping by your mechanic’s place for a visit whenever that “check engine” light makes its unwelcome presence known.

Keeping an auto maintenance schedule and sticking to it can take the guesswork out of caring for you car while keeping it in optimum shape for years longer than its expected life span! The difference between waiting for your check engine light and following a mechanic’s recommended maintenance schedule is the frequency with which each individual part of your vehicle is checked. Instead of waiting for parts to breakdown before fixing them, you preemptively address the problem by coming in regularly. Of course, the benefits that come along with this rigorous auto maintenance can hardly be denied.

Why Keep a Schedule?

If the improved lifespan of your vehicle wasn’t enough of a selling point, you’ll be happy to hear that sticking to a maintenance schedule can also save you a considerable amount of both time and money!

Odds are at this moment you’re scratching your head in confusion. After all, if you’re consistently heading in to the mechanics before parts need care, aren’t you wasting money on pointless visits? Not quite! Many vastly underestimate how much replacing an auto part can cost, especially if it’s something integral such as their timing belt. By spending less upfront to catch problems before they have a chance to grow, you save the difference you’d have to spend on a costly part down the road.

As far as time is concerned, you can expect to be at the mechanic’s for considerably longer if parts need to be swapped out entirely. Not to mention, if your vehicle were to break down unexpectedly in the middle of the road, you can pretty much kiss that entire day goodbye.

An Ideal Schedule

So now that we’ve covered the benefits, what’s a realistic schedule you can be expected to follow for your vehicle? Fortunately, we have a basic plan of attack for those new to the scheduled maintenance routine. Follow these checks as a rule of thumb and adjust based on symptoms your vehicle may exhibit.

Every Month
○ Clean your interior and exterior
○ Make sure your lights are in working order
○ Check your tire tread and inflation
○ Check your windshield washer fluid

Every 3 Months
○ Transmission fluid
○ Cables and battery
○ Belt condition
○ Engine oil and filter
○ Exhaust
○ Fuel filter
○ Power Steering

Every 6 Months
○ Engine air filter
○ Windshield wiper blades
○ Lubrication

Every Year
○ Cabin air filter
○ Coolant/Antifreeze

Conclusion

While this schedule is surely a useful foundation for a routine maintenance schedule, every car is different and could require specialized attention. Always be sure to consult your driver’s manual and a trusted mechanic for a second opinion on the plan that works best for your vehicle.

Wheel Alignments: What You Need to Know

A shaky and off course drive doesn’t always mean the driver is to blame. Your wheels can become misaligned or crooked for an almost infinite number of reasons, resulting in an uneasy and jittery commute. Of course, not every wheel ailment can be tied to a misalignment. As a safe and responsible driver, it’s up to you to pick up on the different symptoms that could be hindering your drive before they become more drastic and threatening.

When Do You and When Don’t You Need an Alignment?

A common pitfall many fall prey to is assuming that every jitter or shake of the wheel calls for a realignment. Truth is, more often than not, your tire pressure could be to blame for your compromised drive. Under-inflated tires are notorious for their ability to pull your vehicle to one side while you drive. Since this symptom is very similar to what one would experience with misaligned tires, many mistakenly come in and pay for a service when all they need is a little more air in their tires. Always be sure to check your tires for pressure before immediately coming in for an alignment.

Vibrations in a car’s wheels are also commonly mistaken as a cause of misalignment. Again, while the symptom may be similar to a consequence of an out of line wheel, more often than not, something else is to blame. Vibrations are typically caused by wheels being out of balance of even bent. This could be due to driving over a pothole, worn suspension, or many other unrelated conditions. Again, making sure you know exactly why your wheels are misbehaving can save you some serious time and money when it comes to repairs.

The Benefits of Receiving an Alignment

Now that we’ve gone over the misconceptions about when to receive an alignment, what do you stand to gain by coming in for one? More than you’d immediately assume! Naturally, it goes without saying that re-aligned tires mean a smoother driving experience, but many seem to forget it translates to increased fuel efficiency! When your wheels aren’t working in unison, they ask for more hard work from your engine to keep your vehicle propelled which quickly results in lowered fuel economy. Bringing these wheels back in line alleviates your engine of that extra pressure while also promoting higher vehicle safety.

Your tires also receive some benefits for being brought back into alignment. Without the non-uniform wear on your tires, they stand to last quite a bit longer, saving you some money on frequent tire repairs and replacements.

Conclusion

Our cars are complex pieces of machinery. For every breakdown or malfunction there could be hundreds of different causes. Always keep yourself educated on what makes your vehicle tick and know exactly how to address any symptom before it has a chance to grow worse.

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