Most Ashland car owners have experienced a flat tire. You know it’s inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn’t just a big safety issue for Virginia drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high Ashland gas prices, we’ve all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to get the best possible fuel economy. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer.
There’s another danger to under-inflated tires for Ashland drivers. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don’t just keep airing them up every few days. You want to avoid pricey tire damage.
Tires can also be damaged by road hazards in and around Ashland. Punctures, cuts and unfortunate encounters with curbs or potholes can also cause damage that could lead to tire failure. Sometimes, it’s something that an automotive analysis would reveal. Try to remember to check your tires when you’re pumping fuel. Look for slashes, missing chunks, nails or screws in the tread or just uneven wear. Of course check the air pressure too.
Now tire damage can be on the inside where Ashland car owners can’t see it until it’s removed from the wheel. Such damage could come from a severe impact, driving on a flat around Richmond or even just low pressure. Some punctures can cause internal damage that is too extreme to be repaired. You may see our Duffy’s Repair Service tire professionals take the time to remove your flat from the rim and inspect the inside before repairing it, which means we’re just following best practices.
Of course, some tires just can’t be repaired at your Ashland service center or Duffy’s Repair Service. A puncture may be too large to plug. Also, the puncture could be in a location that’s not safe to repair like in the sidewall or outer portion of the tread. So called run-flat tires should not be repaired because their design is such that internal damage can’t be detected by a visual inspection by your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service tech.
Ashland auto owners should only hire qualified tire professionalsto perform repairs – we have a whole team of them at Duffy’s Repair Service. Richmond folks can buy self repair kits, but we advise you to save those for emergencies, like when you’re off-roading and need a quick fix so you can hobble back to Ashland civilization and get professional help. If you need to use a repair-in-a-can product, remember it’s a temporary measure only and your tire needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible.
Here are some other considerations: A DIY flat repair may void your tire manufacturer’s warranty – just something to keep in mind. Also, if you repair a speed rated tire, you should not use it in any motorsports or operate it above legal speed limits. Your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service tire specialist will repair your tire whenever it’s safe to do so and he’ll advise you when it’s better to replace it. So watch those curbs and keep the air – on the inside.
Duffy’s Repair Service 9974 Lickinghole Road Ashland, Virginia 23005 804.798.5922
At Duffy’s Repair Service we install quality NAPA replacement parts.
Fuel Filter Replacement
Hello Ashland auto owners! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your SUV feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good MPG. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow detrimental particles into your engine.
A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around Ashland, but sputter and strain on the freeway because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in Virginia and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural Virginia, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.
And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain Richmond area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.
Of course, car makers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that for Ashland auto owners. Some car makers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the SUV fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in a steep repair.
As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money for Ashland auto owners down the road by improving gas mileage and preventing pricey repairs. At Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out SUV fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.
Cool Running In Ashland
Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your SUV engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the interstate in Ashland waiting for your SUV engine to cool down.
When you service your cooling system at Duffy’s Repair Service, your service professional will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your SUV owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.
If your engine overheated, your friendly service specialist will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the SUV radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an inspection regularly. They can and do wear out.
The water pump is a critical component of your SUV cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your SUV cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.
There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Duffy’s Repair Service is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Ashland for 30 years.
Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Richmond repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Virginia.
At Duffy’s Repair Service, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.
Gear Up: Transmission Service at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland
The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.
How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.
Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Ashland motorists: it improves gas mileage and increases performance.
But there is a drawback for Ashland drivers: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Ashland motorists. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.
That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a vital part of preventive maintenance for Ashland car owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.
New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Ashland motorists at Duffy’s Repair Service. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Duffy’s Repair Service. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing pricey transmission repairs.
Have you ever noticed that your auto maker has a schedule in your owner’s manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let’s define what severe driving conditions aren’t: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for twenty miles or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour in 75°F weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly, and you are driving under severe conditions.
Let’s look at the critical parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Ashland are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn’t stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate so it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around Richmond are less than four miles, you should reflect on using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland will help prevent the formation of sludge.
Each SUV engine has a “power band,” or the range of RPM’s in which it runs most efficiently. Generally this power band falls in the range of Virginia highway speed driving. So if you’re driving around town in Ashland all the time, your engine has to work harder. That’s why MPG ratings are so much better on the freeway than in the city. Again, this type of driving is considered severe and requires more frequent maintenance for your transmission, cooling system and brake fluid.
Most of us Ashland auto owners think of severe Virginia weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we’re right. Cold Richmond area weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.
Hot Ashland weather is also dangerous for SUVs. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot Virginia weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.
Another critical element of severe driving is the conditions we drive through. Dusty, polluted Ashland areas are detrimental to your filters. Dirt, dust and contaminants will also get into your fluids, and they’ll get dirty faster, so they’ll need to be changed more often as well. Finally, when you’re pulling a trailer around Ashland, carrying heavy loads or using a car-top carrier, you are putting more stress on your engine. The engine, transmission and brakes are all working harder to handle the extra load.
So, in the end, most of us Ashland drivers drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Ashland motorists will ask themselves the question: “Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?” An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow.
We are a NAPA AutoCare Center in Ashland Virginia, providing the following services:
OIL CHANGE & LUBE
VEHICLE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
FULL BRAKE SERVICE
AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE
VEHICLE CLEANING & DETAILING
TRAILER SERVICE & REPAIR
FULL ELECTRONIC SERVICE
DIESEL SERVICE & REPAIR
FRONT END WORK
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION REPAIR
STABILITY & TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM
SRS/AIR BAG DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH
COMPLETE DIAGNOSTIC SERVICE
PCM & MODULE REPROGRAMMING
REPLACEMENT CAR BATTERY
BELT & HOSE REPLACEMENT
SMOG & EMISSION TESTING
SUSPENSION & SHOCK REPAIR
24 HOURS TOWING
MAKE & REPAIR HYDRAULIC HOSE
EQUIPPED TO HANDLE LARGE VEHICLES INCLUDING MOTOR HOMES