Henrico Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?
Improved fuel economy has two benefits for Ashland car owners: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Henrico cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Ashland car owners may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.
Virginia motorists that were around in the early 60′s may remember that the PCV Valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.
When fuel is burned in the SUV engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.
Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to detrimental sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.
Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Ashland. Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the dangerous gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the harmful air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.
Henrico drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your SUV, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland. Some can even be checked by your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service advisor.
Your SUV manufacturers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some SUV owner’s manuals, but at Duffy’s Repair Service, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.
All of us Henrico car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our essential automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.
10 Services Ashland auto owners Often Overlook
We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Ashland. Some days it’s all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That’s why you’ve gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps – we have to keep track of it all.
So let’s talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the important scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.
Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Ashland drivers. They’re all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. Power Steering Service Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your critical power steering parts are protected from detrimental corrosion. Next time you’re in for an oil change, ask your Ashland service advisor if it’s time for a power steering check-up.
2. Wheel Alignment When your wheels are out of alignment your SUV pulls to one side. It’s pretty annoying, but it’s also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast; which is an unneccessary expense! Most vehicle manufacturers owners manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.
3. Differential Service Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do – one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they’re part of the drive-train that transfers power from your SUV engine to your wheels. They don’t need service that often, but you can’t completely forget them. Check with your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service service professional.
4. Cabin Air Filter More and more Ashland cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they’re clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.
5. Timing Belt Replacement Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Ashland area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let’s just say that your car won’t run without it – period. And if it breaks while you’re driving it can do thousands of dollars worth of expensive engine damage. Check your owners’ manual or with your Ashland service advisor. If you’re approaching 60,000 miles; definitely look into it right away.
6. Transmission Service Transmission serviceis very basic, but it’s often forgotten by Ashland auto owners. Your SUV transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs. And it can also improve your fuel efficiency.
7. Air Conditioning Service Most of us Ashland car owners don’t think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Ashland. If you’re lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you’re not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.
8. Brake Service No we’re not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We’re talking brake fluid. Over time the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won’t work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Duffy’s Repair Service technician for recommendations.
9. Coolant System Another thing that’s so easy for Ashland auto owners to forget about: When you don’t change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you’re stranded – bummer.
10. Fuel System Cleaning In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is essential. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Duffy’s Repair Service will really help your fuel economy.
There you have it; 10 services that are often overlooked. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn’t been performed? Considering our busy lives, we’re not surprised.
Ashland auto owners know it takes some thought and effort to actually maintain a vehicle; but it not only saves income in the long run – it saves time too. And we can all use a little more time.
Duffy’s Repair Service can help with any of these services. Give us a call at 804.798.5922.
Synthetic Oil For Ashland Autos
If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Ashland vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.
Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Ashland, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.
Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.
The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?
Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.
Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.
Most of us here in Ashland have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?
Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.
Differential Service At Duffy’s Repair Service: Vive ala Difference
Every SUV on Virginia interstates has a differential, and it is key to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Ashland auto owners don’t have a clue what it is.
The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the SUV must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.
Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.
You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.
In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the important job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in expensive damage to your SUV.
So you need to have your SUV differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland we’ve been servicing differentials for 30 years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Ashland service center will ensure you are getting what your SUV needs.
The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Duffy’s Repair Service to find out how often your SUV differential needs to be serviced.
Generally, however, front-wheel drive vehicles need their differential serviced more often than rear-wheel drive vehicles. Also, if you spend a lot of time off-road or on Richmond area dirt or gravel roads, or if you drive through water, you will need to service your differential more often than the standard recommendation – check with your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service service professional.
Preventive maintenance for your differential is good car care that can spare you costly repair bills. Knowing what your differential is and how it operates is essential and will help you understand why this is good auto advice. Remember, take care of your SUV, and it will take care of you.
The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle
Ashland drivers’ current vehicles have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.
It’s important for Ashland auto owners to always use the right type of fluid for their SUV. Your service advisor and your owner’s manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.
Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it’s essential to know exactly which one your SUV needs.
Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among vehicle manufacturers, they require different additives, which means there are now a number of coolants on the market. The type of coolant your SUV needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.
Most vehicles used to require Dot 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need Dot 4 or Dot 5. Some Ashland car owners mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that Dot 4 is somehow better than Dot 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently, and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your SUV is designed for just one of them.
Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Ashland drivers still need them to be highly durable.
That’s the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original, critical function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.
Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your SUV has 75,000 miles or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines and vital additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Ashland car owners should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.
Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. Virginia vehicle owners should take care to learn their SUV’s fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Ashland drivers is making sure your vehicle’s fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our SUVs become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.
Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland.
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