Drive Train Service in Ashland at Duffy’s Repair Service
The drive train in your vehicle includes all the vital components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.
Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.
Duffy’s Repair Service service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.
Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.
Duffy’s Repair Service service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.
All-wheel drive SUVs provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.
Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.
Servicing an all-wheel drive at Duffy’s Repair Service involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.
Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Ashland drivers encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.
Ashland drivers would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their SUV drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service service advisor as well. You may live in an area in Virginia where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.
If you drive off-road, it is essential to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the Richmond area are particularly hard on your driveline.
Good car care at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your SUV becomes a very large paperweight.
Duffy’s Repair Service is located at 9974 Lickinghole Road in Ashland. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of Ashland, Ashland, Henrico, Mechanicsville and Richmond.
Ashland Customer Detective Work
One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Duffy’s Repair Service in Ashland Virginia is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.
Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it’s challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it’s not something obvious, it’s easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.
Let us introduce you to something we’ll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Ashland Virginia technician find clues to what’s wrong.
We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Duffy’s Repair Service and your car is making a funny sound.
Q: Where’s the sound?
A: Around the right front wheel.
Q: What kind of sound?
A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
Q: When do you hear the sound?
A: When I turn and accelerate.
Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…
Do you see where we’re going? You’re gathering additional information to help your Ashland Virginia technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech’s experience, he’ll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.
You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says “making a funny noise”.
When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying “it’s leaking”, tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.
Things like ‘the car is stalling or sputtering’ are often very hard to diagnose because they’re intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren’t happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what’s happening in as much detail as possible.
Your Ashland Virginia technician at Duffy’s Repair Service will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like ‘it stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour’.
If the tech can experience the problem personally, he’s better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.
Duffy’s Repair Service Engine Air Filter Replacement
When your experienced Duffy’s Repair Service tech technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn’t need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your service professional’s auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It’s not costly, and it makes a big difference to your SUV.
An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren’t there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the SUV engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.
Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.
But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Richmond air. This doesn’t allow the junk into the SUV engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.
An engine needs about 12,000 gallons of air to burn just one gallon of gasoline. Think of a runner. If he is breathing well, he can run well. But if he has a lung condition, he won’t be able to generate the oxygen necessary to keep his cells powered up. He won’t be able to run at peak efficiency.
Or consider a vacuum cleaner. Even without the light, you can tell when the vacuum bag is full because the machine just doesn’t clean anymore. Change the bag and its efficiency immediately improves.
So keep your SUV breathing well by keeping its air filter clean. That’s good car care.
Ashland auto owners who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service service specialist. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there’s no cheaper way to do that!
It’s also one of the least expensive and simplest elements of important routine preventive maintenance – and protects against damage to expensive SUV electronic systems. No Ashland resident should have an excuse to drive around Richmond roads and freeways with a dirty air filter.
Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Duffy’s Repair Service
Anyone that drives a car in Ashland knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your SUV cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the SUV’s engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn’t Ashland auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Virginia weather. That would spell disaster for your SUV’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your SUV. Richmond drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your SUV’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your friendly Duffy’s Repair Service technician for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto manufacturers.
Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.
Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the SUV cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.
But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Duffy’s Repair Service tech if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your SUV cooling system.
You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your SUV engine by using the wrong antifreeze.
One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.
Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Duffy’s Repair Service to keep you on the road and help your life in Ashland run more pleasantly.
Duffy’s Repair Service Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln
Welcome to the Duffy’s Repair Service automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most Ashland and Henrico car owners tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Henrico drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.
Let’s focus on stopping in wet Henrico conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.
That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Henrico car owners can actually spin out of control – endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won’t stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your SUV tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.
And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Duffy’s Repair Service tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your SUV on wet Henrico roads.
So that’s why it’s so important for Virginia car owners to replace their SUV tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.
By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely bald SUV tire.
At Duffy’s Repair Service, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Henrico freeway. A safe stop from Virginia highway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.
There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your SUV tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Henrico auto owners have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head – the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, SUV tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Henrico want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.
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