AUTONET TV


Archive for April 2016

Automotive Tips from Hans Imports: Causes of Wheel Misalignment

Posted April 24, 2016 4:38 AM

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. North Kingstown drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major crash, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday North Kingstown driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your car can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.

When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at Hans Imports in North Kingstown can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an inspection every year or two.

Give us a call.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Trip Inspection at Hans Imports in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

North Kingstown area drivers love their vehicles. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like vehicle trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now North Kingstown drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding RI byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How far will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Hans Imports in North Kingstown to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our North Kingstown customers prefer to go through this exercise with their friendly and knowledgeable service advisor to get their input and make sure they haven't overlooked anything.

A great place for North Kingstown drivers to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job? You wouldn't want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on RI rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you'll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that's pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous. 

And don't forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Hans Imports in North Kingstown before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Talk to your service advisor at Hans Imports.

Your engine air filter will be inspected. Your car's air filter will process 12,000 times as much air as the fuel burned by the engine. If the filter needs to be changed, you'll notice improvements on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it's due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don't need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Hans Imports is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could be as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it's an exhaust leak, it could be fatal for North Kingstown drivers and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you'll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren't getting the cold air you’re used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is a quick and inexpensive fix for North Kingstown drivers. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven't changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more important as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient stops and delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Automotive Tips from Hans Imports: Serpentine Belt Overview

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

The technicians at Hans Imports know your serpentine belt drives important engine accessories like your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering. In some cars it may also power the power brakes or water pump. The serpentine belt is powered by the engine and winds around pulleys and the accessories. Some cars in North Kingstown have two serpentine belts.


The serpentine belt, the belt tensioner (which maintains the appropriate tension on the belt) and the idler pulleys are together known as the accessory drive system.

Now your serpentine belt and the belt tensioner will just wear out over time – that’s why your vehicle manufacturer has a scheduled belt replacement interval. The team at Hans Imports in North Kingstown can inspect your serpentine belt for wear and get it replaced if it’s time.

Give us a call.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net

 



Problems with Suspension Solved at Hans Imports in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

A vehicle's suspension system is tough. It can last for years and after lots of driving for North Kingstown drivers. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for North Kingstown drivers to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection at Hans Imports . An ineffective suspension system will decrease the driver's control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks reduce the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your vehicle might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately a safety feature of your vehicle, it's always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it's time for new shocks. Your technician at Hans Imports will check your shocks visually. If they're leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any one of these symptoms warrants an inspection of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. North Kingstown drivers should never put off suspension repairs. If you experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to — or better than — the original shocks on the vehicle. The original equipment was for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and North Kingstown drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for North Kingstown drivers. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your vehicle's handling performance, then you should upgrade to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around North Kingstown or tow a trailer, then you should definitely be getting heavy-duty shocks.

 Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in North Kingstown?

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM


 

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in North Kingstown?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in RI – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in RI.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact us at Hans Imports for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 7275 Post Rd, North Kingstown, RI 02852
You can reach us by phone at: (401) 295-7785

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Hans Imports recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Hans Imports).

 

  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.

 

  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

 

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

There's a segment of the North Kingstown area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. drive

Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Hans Imports for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new vehicles in North Kingstown have been leased. These folks plan on turning the vehicle in after two or three years, so they haven't focused on the maintenance that helps a vehicle last longer.

Given all that, what's the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your vehicle will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren't just repairs that are a long way off. Modern vehicle engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Hans Imports, we have been taking care of all those little things for years. Your vehicle still needs to be taken care of – it's just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in North Kingstown drivers vehicles did not go away.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Suspension Service in North Kingstown at Hans Imports

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

When they hear the word suspension, many drivers in North Kingstown may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your vehicle's suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your vehicle up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around North Kingstown. Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your vehicle, it's basically everything that connects your wheels to the vehicle's frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Hans Imports.

Here are some warning signs of suspension problems:

  • the car pulls to one side
  • it wanders
  • the steering is erratic
  • you see uneven tire wear
  • you experience a poor ride or handling
  • you see oil leaking from shocks

Basically, you just don't feel in control when you're driving.

Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your service advisor at Hans Imports can perform an inspection and tell you what problems you may have.

If you're in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around North Kingstown or even a large rock can mess things up for drivers. With a minor accident it's tempting for many to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there's damage, a simple alignment won't actually fix the problem, and you'll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems are a major safety issue because they can lead to unsafe handling.

One big cause of suspension damage for North Kingstown drivers is potholes – those nasty magnets that form in roads in freezing weather. They seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can't miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage and may keep your drink from spilling. But avoid the temptation to brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car's weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



The Hans Imports Guide to Vehicle Diagnosis

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

Modern North Kingstown vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.

Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for North Kingstown drivers to track down the source of the problem.

To help your service advisor at Hans Imports figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports technician connects a scan tool to your vehicle's diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data.

Trouble codes are like clues for the technician to follow as he diagnoses what's wrong with your vehicle. In a way, it's like going to your North Kingstown doctor with a problem. She'll run some additional tests and gather the information she needs to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. How much a vehicle diagnosis costs at Hans Imports in North Kingstown depends on how much time it takes to sort out the symptoms and find the underlying problem.

Give us a call.

Hans Imports
(401) 295-7785
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
http://www.hansimports.net



How to Get Better Gas Mileage in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in North Kingstown can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest North Kingstown computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.

What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around North Kingstown. And you save money.

To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at Hans Imports will reduce friction and help you get better fuel economy.

Another friction related problem is underinflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on RI highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At Hans Imports, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.

Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering, and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure  and in the spray pattern — that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at Hans Imports will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.

Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.

All of these things can help you save money on gas at North Kingstown pumps.

Give us a call.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Fresh Air Inside Your Car in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. North Kingstown residents who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the North Kingstown area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in RI is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your friendly service advisor at Hans Imports can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your North Kingstown area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. North Kingstown residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Hans Imports and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some North Kingstown drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in RI.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM



There's not much we can do about the price of gas in North Kingstown, RI, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we're driving on our North Kingstown streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

The first thing we can do is watch the 'go-pedal.' Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don't need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway. Once you're going more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour), your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don't need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Hans Imports in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, North Kingstown drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local North Kingstown tire store.

Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When North Kingstown drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.

The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the North Kingstown area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.

The R simply means this is a radial tire.

The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around North Kingstown, you will want a tire with a high load rating.

The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for North Kingstown drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on RI roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



The Hans Imports Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?

Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for North Kingstown drivers. A lot of us in North Kingstown don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.

A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.

The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehicle you drive. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located in the back. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is located on the front, but it is usually called a transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials: one on the front, one in the back and one in the middle. This center differential compensates for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Your differential contains strong gears that need to be protected from dirt, debris, water and other contaminants. A differential is sometimes referred to as a “gear box.” The work of these gears is to transfer power from the vehicle drive train to the wheels.

Your differential needs fluid to lubricate and cool the gears. This fluid, even though enclosed in the “gear box,” can get dirty because the gears grind down over time, releasing tiny bits of themselves into the fluid. Also, the additives in the differential fluid break down and need to be replaced. That's why preventive maintenance for your vehicle needs to include servicing the differential.

Your owner's manual can give you recommendations on how often to service your differential. But you should also consult with your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports professional. Hans Imports can give you some good auto advice on whether your vehicle needs to be serviced more frequently. For example, if you drive in hot or cold RI weather conditions, your differential will need to have its fluid changed more often.

Severe conditions will also affect your vehicle care routine and your differential. Check your owner's manual for a definition of “severe service” conditions that affect your vehicle. Examples may include driving with frequent stops and starts, a lot of short trips around North Kingstown, hot or cold RI weather conditions and towing.

Off-roading is particularly hard on a vehicle's differential. If you are an off-roader, especially if you cross RI streams or waterways, it is important that you service your differential more frequently than the recommendations suggest.

Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of North Kingstown auto repair shops. A smooth ride is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.

 Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net

 



Drive Train - What You Need to Know in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM



One North Kingstown automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around North Kingstown, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So North Kingstown residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at (401) 295-7785.

Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, Hans Imports driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it's torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner's manual, or check with your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports service advisor.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in North Kingstown have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most North Kingstown residents have probably heard the term 'u-joints.' These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at Hans Imports in North Kingstown.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner's manual or North Kingstown service advisor for intervals.

Now let's go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The vehicle may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in North Kingstown, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don't work well on dry pavement when they're in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is recommended as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There's a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So North Kingstown residents need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for North Kingstown residents is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner's manual. Your North Kingstown service advisor can answer any questions you've got. If this is the first time you've heard some of this stuff – it's time to ask someone at Hans Imports if any of it needs to be done now.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Serpentine Belt Service at Hans Imports in North Kingstown

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM



Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy North Kingstown road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.

Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around North Kingstown, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your vehicle towed to Hans Imports. It's no wonder that vehicle manufacturer's recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It's one of those "have-to's."

North Kingstown drivers who hear a squeal when accelerating, or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. The pros at Hans Imports in North Kingstown will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. 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.

Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled vehicle back to Hans Imports for repairs.

You're mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



Automotive Tips from Hans Imports: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

Posted April 20, 2016 11:19 AM

When North Kingstown drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Hans Imports tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

Hans Imports
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-7785
http://www.hansimports.net



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What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

Very impressed with Han's Imports. Did a nice job with maintenance on my BMW and my wife's Benz. I also appreciate the thorough check of the rest of the car as part of their 1st look at the cars. I'll be back. quotes-image
, 02/01/2024
reviewicon
Anyone who dumps on this auto repair shop should literally start driving a horse and carriage. What people don't understand is that when you bring in older import vehicles from the north east United States they are prone to rust deterioration do to climatic factors. As a result, many parts are harder to replace, many need to be fabricated and even more common is the rarity of older European models (which drives the price of parts up as well as renders low availability). I've been an automotive repair technician (ASE certification, various big name certifications and even fabricated parts whilst working in small shops) for quite some time. As well, I've even taught Automotive Repair as a core coarse at the secondary level. All of that said, I'm quite certain my opinion holds merit. Thus, I can honestly say that Omar is an absolute genius. I run a small shop in a rural area and seek advice from the owner of Hans Imports (Omar). This goes beyond the scope of older European models. I often probe Omar for repair strategies, knowledge and diagnostic information on newer Imports. For what its worth, you're in good hands with Hans Imports in North Kingstown. Any of the negative cockamamie complaints are clearly the result of someone thinking they are above the knowledge, experience as well as expertise of the working man!quotes-image
, 06/25/2023