Serpentine Belt Service at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer

2018-03-12 09:44:03

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Falconer vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Falconer drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owner’s manual, come see us at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service.

At I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer, your professional technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch or couple of centimeters, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny, glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your service advisor at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service. There's a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your vehicle.

All in all, the serpentine belt is very important to the operation of your vehicle. And it's not that expensive to replace at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service – so it's good to do so before it fails.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

Road Trip: Be Ready for Anything with a Trip Inspection at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service

2018-03-07 05:28:03

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation faster than ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting a trip inspection at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer. After all, you wouldn't travel without clean socks, why ask your vehicle to travel with a load of dirty oil?

The first step in a trip inspection at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service is to look at your travel plans. What kinds of roads will you be driving on? Will you be in the New York back country or on the freeway? Will you be crossing mountains? Off-roading? What will the weather be like? How far away from Falconer will you be traveling? How much are you hauling? Will you be towing a trailer or lugging a rooftop carrier? Will you encounter dust, mud, snow or sea salt? All of these questions can help determine which services are most needed. And don't hesitate to ask your I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on what trip conditions are hardest on what systems of your vehicle and what kinds of services it realistically needs. Start with the tires and check them for tread wear and proper inflation. Replace or rotate them as needed. If you need to change them out for winter tires, then do so.

Then look at your shocks or struts for wear. Replace them if needed. You'll want that extra comfort on your trip. Be sure to check your alignment as well. Steering a vehicle that is out of alignment is tiring, and dangerous. Don't overlook your brakes. With extra passengers and baggage, your brakes are going to get a workout. You want them in top condition.

In addition, inspect belts and hoses. If any of them are close to wearing out, have them replaced before your long trip does them in.

Change your engine air filter if it needs it, or if it's close to needing it. Your car's air filter processes 12,000 times as much air as the amount of fuel it burns. A clean air filter will protect electronic sensors that affect how your engine runs.

Get an oil change at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer if it's coming due. Make it a full-service oil change while you're at it. That way, all of your fluids will get checked and topped off. Change any dirty or old fluids. Falconer drivers don't want to overstress their cooling systems or transmissions with dirty fluid during a long trip.

Does your vehicle smell? Check the cabin air filter. The bad smell could also indicate an exhaust leak, which can be fatal on a long trip. So don't ignore bad odors; check them out.

If your air conditioning hasn't been up to snuff, then give it an overhaul. You want your vacation to be relaxed and pleasant, and that means keeping the passenger compartment comfortable.

And be sure to check your wiper blades and your headlamps. You may find yourself driving in unfamiliar territory at night after a long day. You'll want to be able to see as much as possible.

Of course, almost everything listed here is just part of preventive maintenance for smart driving. If you keep up with your vehicle care on a regular basis, a trip inspection will be a breeze at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service.

Taking care of your vehicle before you leave for a road trip will pay you back in safety, peace of mind, improved comfort and better fuel economy. It will also help your vacation go as planned by keeping you on the road and headed for that next great adventure. Just don't forget to pack your socks.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

Automotive Detective Work in Falconer

2018-02-25 02:56:04

There's a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in Falconer. Figuring out what's wrong with your vehicle has a lot of similarities to figuring out what's wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your vehicle's trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for Falconer drivers because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the doctor's office — some of what you pay for is the doctor's time and effort to figure out what's wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that Falconer drivers can do a lot to help out their friendly and knowledgeable service advisors at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in figuring out what's wrong with their vehicle. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of a Falconer repair shop, but if you need to get it , good communication will get you back on the road quickly.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service Alternator Replacement Service in Falconer

2018-02-20 08:04:03

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator. 

Driving around Falconer is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service to learn more.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

The Edible Engine

2018-02-13 01:03:03

You may have had a friend whose vehicle was the victim of hungry rodents.  After all, mice, rats and squirrels—even rabbits—have been known to gnaw on wires in engine compartments, causing vehicle electrical systems to go haywire.  They can disable a vehicle completely and be very expensive to fix.

In 2017, some drivers noticed their vehicle's wiring was being chewed and found out the automaker was using a relatively new material for covering their wires: soy.  Many of the repairs to their new vehicles weren't covered under warranty by the manufacturer when it was discovered rodents were eating the wiring.  So the owners filed a class action suit, saying the soy covering was essentially baiting the critters. 

The automakers tell a different story, saying mice, rats and squirrels have been chewing through wire insulation long before it was made out of soy. 

Regardless of what the insulation is made of, vehicle owners should make sure rodents aren't chowing down and creating a problem in the engine compartment.  They can have their repair facility check for these signs:  Little bits of acorns, leaves, chewed up plastic and animal droppings in the engine's nooks and crannies.  Using a black light, your technician can detect animal urine, a sure sign that they've been using your engine compartment as a warm apartment, a nest and a dining room. 

You can take steps to prevent rodents from chomping your vehicle's parts.  Honda—one of the vehicle manufacturers that uses soy-based wiring covering—makes a rodent tape.  It contains a spice called capsaicin that rodents find too hot to handle.  Other preventative measures include installing metal mesh around wiring harnesses or spraying the engine compartment with special rodent-repellants. 

Rodent damage can cost one vehicle owner thousands of dollars to fix, not the kind of bite anyone wants taken out of their bank account. 

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

Easy Miles – Do Falconer Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?

2018-02-04 02:37:03

Have you ever noticed that your vehicle 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 20 miles (32 kilometers) or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour) in 75°F (24°C) 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 parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Falconer 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 the Falconer area are less than four miles, you should be using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer will help prevent the formation of sludge.

Most of us Falconer drivers think of severe New York weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we're right. Cold New York 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 Falconer weather is also bad for vehicles. 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 New York weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

So, in the end, most of us Falconer auto owners drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Falconer residents 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.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733


Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Falconer

2018-01-29 09:56:03

With high fuel prices in Falconer, New York, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on  Auto is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your Falconer, New York, service advisor at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service.

There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in Falconer!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We're here for you at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service, so give us a call at 716-665-2501 for good honest advice about your vehicle.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Falconer?

2018-01-23 09:23:03

There is a clear and vocal demand in Falconer and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the New York market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Falconer area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Falconer auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Falconer dealership.

Falconer drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in Falconer, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in New York.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines are nothing new on New York freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Falconer area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Falconer and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Falconer roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Falconer, ask your I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some New York areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.

Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in New York some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Falconer auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Falconer and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

The Maintenance Free Myth

2018-01-14 03:02:03

Sometimes we hear people in say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming more complicated than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most drivers don't realize how high-tech automotive fluids have become - fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion.  Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money.

The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little girl smacked a curb and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - and it was enough to wreck the vehicle alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.

The team at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better and save yourself money in the long run.   Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Falconer

2018-01-07 02:38:03

Many Falconer drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.

Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a Falconer road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.

If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.

You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of your vehicle's body shifts and tosses your vehicle to the outside of the turn, making it harder to control.

With good shocks, you can turn corners with confidence. When the shocks are bad, the body rolls too much and you need to slow down to maintain the same level of control. When you have to combine brake dive with body roll, you can quickly end up with an unsafe handling situation.

Shocks can break or start to leak, but they usually just wear out. After all, your vehicle shocks will move up and down over 75 million times in 50,000 miles/80,000 km. If you replace shocks at I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service in Falconer, it will restore your vehicle's original ride control and quality. You can even upgrade shocks and struts if you want better handling or towing capacity on New York roads.

Shocks are an important safety system: don't wait until they are completely shot, perhaps risking your safety or damaging other suspension components. At I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service we can help you with quality shocks and struts as advised in your owner's manual, usually at around 50,000 miles/80,000 km, for a comfortable, safe handling ride in Falconer.

Give us a call.

I-86 Truck Repair & Auto Service
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer, New York 14733