The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Hans ImportsPosted January 31, 2017 10:10 AM
Service to a vehicle's power steering system is part of preventive maintenance for North Kingstown auto owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your vehicle's wheels would have to come from you.
The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer vehicles have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.
Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.
North Kingstown drivers should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.
Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Hans Imports to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.
When your fluid is replaced, your technicians at Hans Imports will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Hans Imports can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner's manual.
Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, drivers in North Kingstown who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.
To protect your steering system you should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.
Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough RI driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. North Kingstown drivers should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.
For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Hans Imports. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
How Does Hans Imports Know What to Recommend?Posted January 24, 2017 7:12 AM
When you drop your vehicle off at Hans Imports in North Kingstown, they don't just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. Hans Imports professionals have lists and procedures they follow for different types of service. First of all, your North Kingstown service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. They'll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, they will also check your vehicle's history.
If the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations go beyond the services you've ordered, they'll let you know. They'll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The Hans Imports pros won't do work that you don't agree to.
They will, however, perform inspections while they're servicing your vehicle. They'll check belts, filters and fluids. They'll check your windshield wipers for wear. They'll let you know if there's an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and they'll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.
You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you've had x-rays recently. If not, he'll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You'll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You'll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist's usual purview. Then you'll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.
These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. Hans Imports in North Kingstown operates the same way. They want North Kingstown drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.
Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.
Hans Imports follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your Hans Imports service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.
Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening. Service centers also offer North Kingstown drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. They'll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren't compromised. You can rely on the pros at Hans Imports for good auto advice.
The next time you're headed to the dentist's office, think about the vehicle you're riding in. Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Battery Maintenance Tips From Hans ImportsPosted January 16, 2017 7:39 AM
When it comes to your vehicle, it all starts with the battery. Proper battery maintenance is important for two reasons:
First, your vehicle won't start or run without it. Second, it is the key to the long life of your auto electrical system. If your battery isn't working efficiently, your alternator has to work overtime to make up for it, and other electrical components can suffer as well.
A number of years ago sealed batteries were introduced to the local North Kingstown, RI, market. They were hailed as being 'maintenance-free batteries.' While it is true that you can't get in and adjust the electrolyte levels of a sealed battery, it is by no means maintenance free.
Batteries are very sensitive to changes in the weather around RI. Temperature really affects auto battery performance. A battery inspection is an important part of your spring and fall checkups. Next time you're under your hood, take a look at your battery.
- Is it clean and free of residue? A dirty battery will drain.
- Is there corrosion at the terminals where the battery cables attach to the battery? If there is, the corrosion can interfere with how efficiently electricity passes back and forth from the battery.
- Are the cables loose? Make sure they are tight.
- Are the cables themselves corroded? Corrosion can actually eat through the battery cables.
Hans Imports service advisors can inspect and test your battery. If the inspection warrants a cleaning, have it done. If the battery test indicates that replacement of the battery or cables is in order, you will be lucky to have caught the problem before it becomes a major inconvenience.
Your battery will also last longer if you keep your fuel system and ignition system clean. It's all part of your commitment to regular maintenance, to keep your vehicle running on North Kingstown streets at its best for a long, long time.
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Positive Crankcase Ventilation ? PCV Valve Service at Hans ImportsPosted January 10, 2017 3:01 AM
Hello North Kingstown! Did you know that the first federally-mandated emissions control device was introduced in the 1960's? The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, has been installed in RI vehicles since 1964 and represents the first legislation by the United States government to regulate harmful emissions as well as to improve performance in the country's vehicles.
The PCV valve, as you can probably guess, is located on the crankcase. The crankcase is the lowest part of a vehicle's engine. It houses the crankshaft and the engine oil. The crankshaft connects to the pistons that power the engine.
Pistons are pushed down when fuel is burned in an engine. This causes the crankshaft to rotate, which sends power to the transmission. It ultimately turns the axles and causes the vehicle to move. Some of the gases released by the burning fuel squeeze around the pistons and down into the crankcase.
If the escaped gases mix with the engine oil in the crankcase, oil sludge develops. This sludge has the consistency of petroleum jelly and can cause damage by clogging up passageways in the engine. Further, escaped gases can build up pressure inside the crankcase that can blow out seals and gaskets.
Before 1964, a hose was attached to the crankcase that vented escaped gases out into the air. These gases contained about 70% unburned fuel as well as harmful emissions. The PCV valve was designed to curb these harmful emissions as well as recapture unburned fuel.
The PCV valve is a small, one-way valve that allows escaped gases to exit the crankcase. The gases are then routed into the intake system so they can be re-burned in the engine. Fresh air enters the crankcase through a breather tube to facilitate this circulation and keep the air in the crankcase clean.
The PCV valve, like most working parts on a vehicle, will wear out over time. Usually it simply gets gummed up. Preventive maintenance, including routine oil changes at Hans Imports in North Kingstown, will extend the life of the valve, but eventually it will have to be replaced. A sticking PCV valve won't allow gases to circulate properly, which can increase pressure in the crankcase. Over time, that pressure will lead to oil leaks.
Your vehicle manufacturer recommends that a PCV valve be replaced every 20,000 to 50,000 miles (32,000 to 80,000 kilometers), depending on the vehicle and North Kingstown driving conditions. It's an inexpensive repair but may not be included in the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. So if you're looking for auto advice about the PCV valve, you may have to ask our pros at Hans Imports.
Taking care of our PCV valve protects the environment in RI and improves vehicle performance. It's just part of good vehicle care for North Kingstown drivers and a way all of us can do our part to improve the world we live in.
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Hey North Kingstown Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?Posted January 1, 2017 10:32 AM
Higher North Kingstown fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of North Kingstown drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.
North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course RI vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.
Preventive maintenance at Hans Imports in North Kingstown and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.
A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Hans Imports for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.
This was several hundred dollars in maintenance and repair. You may be thinking how the family could possibly recoup the cost in gas and save money. First of all, the repairs all needed to be done anyway. Even if the costs aren't recouped, many of them will pay for themselves by preventing even more costly repairs later. Also, the family had planned and budgeted for the routine maintenance, so it didn't cut into their trip allowance.
The SUV pulled a one-ton trailer and hauled everything the family needed on their camping trip. At the end of the trip, the owner was surprised to learn the SUV had actually gotten better gas mileage than it ever had before—even with that heavy load. The repairs and maintenance at Hans Imports had improved the gas mileage by 25%! The family saved $48.00 in gas on their four-day trip. And they are continuing to reap rewards from the improved mileage.
So what can you do to save fuel? First, stay caught up on routine maintenance at Hans Imports. Almost every maintenance item listed in your owner's manual will maintain or improve your fuel economy. Second, take your vehicle into Hans Imports for scheduled tune-ups. And third, take care of needed repairs. You may be surprised at how much you save at the pump and probably with the improved vehicle performance as well.
If your Check Engine light is on, find out why and take care of it. Some of the problems that set off that warning light can seriously reduce fuel efficiency.
As you schedule preventive maintenance, don't forget your tires. Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment are both essential to good fuel economy.
Here's some more auto advice about some simple things you can do to improve fuel economy, beyond maintenance and repairs:
Dump the junk. More weight in your car equals more fuel. You'd be surprised how much stuff people carry around in their cars. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel. One hundred pounds of extra stuff in your vehicle can add up to the loss of one mile per gallon of fuel.
Get the lead out. No, don't speed up, slow down. Get the lead out of your right foot. The single biggest drain for most North Kingstown vehicles is speeding or sudden accelerations. Slow down and go easy on turns and lane changes, and don't treat every stoplight and stop sign like a green flag. These small changes can add up to quite a bit of change in your pockets.
We haven't mentioned the pills you can drop in your gas tank or special devices you can hook on your fuel line in order to increase fuel efficiency. There's a simple reason for that: they don't exist. There may be some truth behind some of these claims, but most of them are full-out scams. And if any of these things do actually help, it's not nearly as much as the things we've listed here.
Be smart. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.
7275 Post Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852