AUTONET TV


Archive for June 2017

Below 45 Degrees in North Kingstown: Consider Winter Tires

Posted June 25, 2017 3:15 AM

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and North Kingstown drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. RI drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the North Kingstown area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with RI winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at North Kingstown temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that North Kingstown drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among North Kingstown drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for North Kingstown drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. North Kingstown drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Hans Imports. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. North Kingstown drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any RI season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Hans Imports tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in North Kingstown.


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



Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Hans Imports Really Save Gas?

Posted June 20, 2017 1:59 AM

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But North Kingstown drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at North Kingstown gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything North Kingstown drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. North Kingstown drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Hans Imports.

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Hans Imports in North Kingstown can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. North Kingstown drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at North Kingstown gas pumps.

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

 



On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Posted June 11, 2017 12:34 PM

Starting in 1996, Hans Imports service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.

Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)

If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle needs immediate attention at Hans Imports. When the Check Engine light is flashing, the vehicle should not be driven at high speeds, haul heavy loads or tow a trailer. North Kingstown drivers need to understand that doing so can cause major damage.

When a vehicle is brought to Hans Imports in North Kingstown because the Check Engine light is on, a technician will scan the Engine Control Module to learn why it turned the light on. The answer comes as a “trouble code.” The technician has access to software that allows him to enter the code and find out what it means. The software will also let your Hans Imports technician know what might be causing the problem and how to diagnose it.

Notice that the trouble code does not tell your technician at Hans Imports exactly what is wrong with the vehicle. It can only let him know where to start looking to find the problem.

Scanning a trouble code and determining what it means is fairly simple for the pros at Hans Imports. But the ensuing process of actually diagnosing a vehicle's trouble can take a skilled technician some time. Sometimes this can add up to a significant repair bill. Some vehicle owners mistakenly believe  that the “trouble code” is all they need and think they can then fix their vehicles themselves. Some have tried to save money by purchasing an inexpensive scanner, or they take their vehicles to an auto parts store that offers the scan for little or no cost.

These options are often not the money-savers they seem for North Kingstown vehicle owners. They can end up costing the vehicle owner extra in unnecessary repairs and engine damage.

For example, the trouble code P0133 reads “Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response.” Translated, that means the front oxygen sensor shows a slow response time in changing the mix of air to fuel. The seemingly obvious conclusion is that the sensor needs to be replaced. The vehicle owner purchases a sensor, installs it and happily goes on his way.

However, read the trouble again: a slow response time in changing the mix of air to fuel. Nowhere does this indicate that the sensor is bad. There are a lot of parts involved in changing the air-fuel mix, any of which could be causing a slow reaction time. Those include a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, an exhaust leak, a problem in the electrical system or a leak in the intake manifold. The sensor is merely relaying that the response time is slow; it doesn't indicate where the trouble is.

So the vehicle ends up with an oxygen sensor it did not need, and the delay in repairing the actual problem may have led to further damage to the engine. Both are added costs for the vehicle owner.

Cheap scanners also don't have the ability to read the history stored in an engine's computer. This operating history contains clues that can help in diagnosing engine trouble since it can indicate a developing problem. Hans Imports invests a lot of money in high-end diagnostic equipment so that we have access not just to service codes but also to the operating history of the engine.

On-board diagnostics, then, are a tool to help diagnose what is wrong with a vehicle. They cannot specify what part needs to be fixed or replaced, and they cannot replace a well-trained and well-equipped service technician.

Unless you are a trained mechanic, it's good auto advice to use Hans Imports for your car care. In the long run, it can save you time, unnecessary expense and frustration. Hans Imports can also help you keep up with your scheduled preventive maintenance, which can also save you on repair bills by alerting you to potential problems before they get expensive.

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



Why Is My Check Engine Light On?

Posted June 5, 2017 12:58 PM

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some North Kingstown drivers, and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most people.


Let's get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your Check Engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn't drive at high speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your North Kingstown service center.

drive

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn't go off, schedule an appointment with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Hans Imports to get it checked out.

Some more information on how the Check Engine light works may be helpful for North Kingstown drivers. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range, the computer runs some tests and may turn on the vehicle's Check Engine light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn't know if it's a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap, the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn't come up again, it turns off the Check Engine light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it'll then turn off the Check Engine light.

If the problem can't be resolved then the light will remain on, and you should get your vehicle looked at. Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Hans Imports will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

 

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
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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