AUTONET TV


Archive for May 2023

North Kingstown Exhaust and Emissions Service

Posted May 28, 2023 10:52 AM

Many North Kingstown residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Hans Imports is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. RI and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Hans Imports, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles/10,000 kilometers.

If your 'check engine light' comes on while you are driving around the North Kingstown area, especially if it's flashing, then you need to bring your car into Hans Imports ASAP. Chances are it's an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

We hope this hasn't been too 'exhausting' of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is for RI’s health and safety. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Hans Imports in North Kingstown if you think you might need your exhaust system checked. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

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



Going (Lug) Nuts (Lug Nut Replacement)

Posted May 21, 2023 8:58 AM

Here's a part of your vehicle you probably don't think about much: lug nuts.  They're what fasten your wheels onto your axles.  Pretty important, right? In order to take the wheels off your vehicle to service the brakes, rotate the tires, etc., the lug nuts have to be in good shape so a wrench will grip them tightly. 

Because lug nuts are on your wheels, they are exposed to all the elements of the road (salt, water, grime) and really take a beating. Unfortunately, some manufacturers have made them out of two different metals.  Underneath is the working part of the lug nut, made of steel.  On top is the decorative (the "good looking") part, made out of chrome, stainless steel or aluminum.  After a while, the steel part begins to corrode and expands.  That changes the shape of the outer cap, sometimes rounding off the hexagonal edges and making it hard (if not impossible) to either loosen or tighten the lug nuts since the wrench won't fit any more. 

The reason that's so important is those lug nuts must be functional, especially if you find you have a flat tire somewhere on the road.  If the wheel can't come off to be swapped with a spare, it leaves few options, one of which is your vehicle may have to be towed.  All that for corroded lug nuts!

When you take your vehicle in for service, the technician who works on it keeps an eye on many things, especially if he or she is removing wheels.  It's not unusual for your service advisor to recommend you replace several lug nuts at once since some corrode at a different rate than others. Your repair facility is trying to help you avoid driving a vehicle that has wheels that can't easily be taken off when they need to be.

The good news is there are one-piece lug nuts that don't have the problem the two-piece lug nuts have, so replacing them could eliminate that from happening again any time soon.  And that's not "nuts" at all.

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



Positive and Negative (Battery Care)

Posted May 14, 2023 11:33 AM

You notice when your smartphone's battery starts to go weak on you.  It runs out of juice faster than it did when it was new.  Bet you pay attention to that pretty closely.

Unfortunately, many of us don't pay the same attention to the battery in our vehicles. If your battery got you through the cold-weather months, you might be thinking you're all set until next winter. But you might be surprised to learn this: Hot weather is harder on a battery than cold weather.  (Note: we're talking about a conventional vehicle here, not an all-electric, plug-in one.)

 The way your vehicle's battery holds a charge is that it has chemicals inside it, and they react with each other to produce electricity.  A vehicle battery discharges electricity and then needs to be recharged.  Unlike your smartphone that you plug in each night to charge, the way a vehicle's battery gets recharged is by using the mechanical energy of the engine.  It's a pretty cool system that's been around for a while.  An alternator changes the mechanical energy into electricity that then charges the battery.  And your vehicle is designed to charge it just the right amount with a voltage regulator. If your battery constantly gets too much voltage, it could stop holding a charge. 

Another way a vehicle battery loses its ability to hold a charge is when it gets hot.  In warmer weather, some fluids in your battery evaporate which can damage some of its internal components.  Then, you've got a dead battery.

Back to your smartphone for a second, it probably has a little indicator or maybe an app that shows you how healthy it is or how much charge it's holding.  Well, your service repair facility has equipment that can test your vehicle's battery for the same things.  If that test shows you need a new battery, then it's probably time to replace it.

A technician can also check to see your battery is being charged at the correct rate.  If you have a battery that is not sealed, a technician can check to see it needs more water added to it.  The technician will also make sure dirt or other contaminants aren't acting as electrical conductors and discharging the battery.  Plus, your battery's terminals may need cleaning.

Most people just forget about their vehicle's battery until there's a big problem with it. Here's one rule of thumb: expect a battery's life to be about 5 years. Just like you wouldn't want your smartphone to leave you without any way to make phone calls or send texts, you wouldn't want your vehicle to leave you stranded with no way to start it, would you?   

When it comes time to make that new battery choice, your service advisor can offer you some good options, taking into account the climate you drive in, what you use your vehicle for and what your budget is.  Hey, your smartphone's battery is all charged up.  How about calling your service advisor for an appointment right now?

 



Plugging Away (Spark Plug Replacement)

Posted May 7, 2023 9:07 AM

If you drive a vehicle with a gasoline engine, thank the spark plugs for igniting the gasoline/air mixture in each cylinder that keeps your vehicle traveling smoothly down the road every day.  Your spark plugs work hard, firing thousands of times in a well-choreographed order, and you usually don't pay much attention to them until one of them stops working the way it should.

Signs that spark plugs are wearing out include:

  • Engine runs more roughly than it did
  • Vehicle doesn't start as easily as it used to
  • Vehicle hesitates when you press on the accelerator
  • Your fuel economy has gotten worse

When a spark plug stops working altogether, you will find your engine has likely lost a lot of its power and isn't running smoothly.  Your Check Engine light may  come on.  Then it's time to head to come to our service center to have it diagnosed.

If your plugs need to be replaced, they're usually done all at the same time. And if your vehicle has spark plug wires, experts recommend you change them as well. Different type of spark plugs last longer than others, and your service advisor can discuss what's best for your vehicle and driving habits.

A technician will also determine if there are any carbon deposits on your plugs, how healthy the ignition coil is (it's the part that supplies the high-voltage jolt that makes the spark) and will look for other signs and symptoms that may point to other problems in your engine. For instance, if a spark plug is fouled by oily deposits, it's possible oil is getting into the combustion chamber. 

They will also check all the plugs to see if there are problems in just one or all cylinders.  Sometimes a technician will find a plug that has overheated, literally melting the metal.  In that case, they may recommend they correct that problem before replacing the spark plugs.

Most spark plugs will last for a good, long time.  Even if you aren't seeing any symptoms they're wearing out, make sure you have your service advisor check your vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance intervals.  Preventative maintenance will keep your vehicle running reliably so you can count on it to get you where you want to go. 

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