AUTONET TV


Archive for December 2023

Emergency! (Vehicle Emergency items)

Posted December 31, 2023 11:37 AM

"I never expected it could happen to me." Countless drivers have said that after they've had an emergency turn their lives upside down. So before that happens to you, let's thinking about planning ahead for an emergency with a few things you should keep in your vehicle.

  • Road flares. If you've ever driven by a disabled vehicle sitting at the side of the highway at night, you know how terribly hard it is to see, especially in bad weather like rain.  If you are the one in that broken down vehicle, you run the risk of being hit by a vehicle whose driver literally may not be able to see you.  The best emergency signal includes one or more road flares.  There's a reason police officers and firefighters carry them in their vehicles.  When you see a series of burning red flares at the side of the road, you know something serious is going on.  These are far more visible at a much longer distance than nearly any other portable signal device.

 

  • Fire extinguisher.  Thousands of vehicles catch fire every year.   Most fires start small but can get out of control. It's vital to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, and there are several small ones designed especially for the job.  Since many different types of vehicle fires can start, make sure the extinguisher you choose will handle every fire from gasoline to electrical. Some have handy mounting brackets. And keep it up to date!

 

  • Flashlight.  Sure, your cell phone likely has a light in it.  But you will need that phone for communication if there's an emergency. Plus, the light’s just not that bright.  So carry an LED flashlight designed for automotive use.  LEDs produce a lot of light with little power; plus, many of those designed for vehicles include a lantern which will light up a wider area. It’s vital if you have to read your vehicle's jack instructions or tend to an injured person.

 

  • Drinking water and snacks.  If your vehicle breaks down during bad weather and you may be forced to stay with it for a long time, you'll need food and water to survive until help can arrive.  These are simply the necessities of life, so have a small supply on hand, just in case.

Other things like basic tools, a first aid kit, a space blanket and jumper cables are also good ideas.  Many service repair facilities offer these items for sale, and you can ask your service advisor for suggestions.  While it's fresh in your mind, plan a shopping trip and put together your own emergency kit now.  Sure, you can put it off, but you may find yourself stuck in a difficult situation, saying to yourself, "Only if…"

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



When Your Air Bag Light Comes On (Illuminated Air Bag Light)

Posted December 24, 2023 4:26 AM

There are some dashboard lights you should pay more attention to than others.  One is the air bag light.  If it's on and your vehicle is in an accident, your air bags probably won't do their job.

Automakers began installing air bags in the late 1990's since they were mandatory in the United States, and manufacturers have included them in Canadian vehicles as well.  Safety experts say using a seat belt in combination with an air bag gives passengers the best chance of surviving a crash and minimizing serious injury.

The air bag warning light takes a few different forms.  Some look like a picture of a belted passenger with an inflated air bag from a side view.  Or there may be a warning light that says something like "Air Bag," "SRS" (for supplemental restraint system), "Airbag Deactivated" or "Air Bag Off."

Different things cause the air bag light to come on.  Your vehicle may have been in an accident during which, while the air bags didn't inflate, crash sensors were activated.  Some of them may be connected with your vehicle's seat belts.  A technician can reset the air bag if this has happened.

Fuses can also blow which will cause the air bag light to come on.  Another possible cause? A sensor that tells the vehicle's computer whether or not there is someone riding in the passenger front seat may be malfunctioning. 

Air bags are not for the do-it-yourselfer.  They are sophisticated systems that require specialized training and equipment to diagnose and repair.  If an air bag light is on, take it to a qualified service repair facility.  One more thing: remember that safety experts have designed air bags to work in conjunction with seat belts for maximum protection in accidents.  So always wear your seat belt.  

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



Rotation Explanation (Tire Rotation Patterns)

Posted December 17, 2023 9:27 AM

You may notice that when you get your vehicle's oil changed, your service adviser may recommend that you have your tires rotated at the same time.  The reasons are simple.  That will allow your tires to wear more evenly and reduce the noise your tires make as you drive down the road.

There are different ways of rotating tires. If your vehicle has non-directional tires and the same size wheels at each corner, here are the different rotation patterns.

For all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, one is called the rearward cross pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front and stay on the same side of the vehicle, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the side opposite of where they were on the front. 

For all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, use the X pattern.  The rear tires are moved to the front on the opposite side of the vehicle, and the fronts are moved to the rear on the opposite side of where they were on the front.

For front-wheel drive, there's the forward cross.  The front tires are moved to the rear wheels on the same side of the vehicle as they were on the front and the rear tires are moved to the opposite side of the vehicle than they were on the rear. 

If you have directional tires (they only can be mounted in one direction) and the same size directional wheels, the rear tires are moved to the front on the same side of the vehicle where they were, and the front tires are moved to the rear on the same side they were on the front.   And if you have tires with different sizes of non-directional tires and wheels on the front and rear, rotation will be from one side of the vehicle to the other. 

If you have a spare, it's put into the rotation using a forward cross or rearward cross. 

Yep, that's a lot to keep straight.  So, we suggest letting your service advisor recommend the right rotation pattern for you at the interval your vehicle's manufacturer specifies.

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



Go With the Flow (MAF Sensor Replacement)

Posted December 10, 2023 12:37 PM

A driver brought her vehicle into the shop the other day and told us how she was getting lousy fuel economy and that the engine was running rough.  Plus, the Check Engine light was on.  Our technician checked the code the engine had generated (why the Check Engine light was on) and found the problem.  It was a faulty Mass Air Flow sensor, MAF sensor for short.

This MAF sensor is an important part of your vehicle.  What it does is calculate the amount of air going into your engine.  As you may know, air is taken into your engine where it's mixed with fuel.  Then, the spark plugs fire, that explosive fuel/air mixture detonates, and all these sequential explosions together provide the power to get your vehicle moving down the road. 

It makes sense that if the MAF sensor isn't sending the engine's computers the correct information on the amount of air going in the engine, the fuel/air mixture isn't going to be right. It will either too rich (too much gasoline for the amount of air) or too lean (not enough gasoline for the amount of air).

In this driver's case, the MAF sensor was damaged and needed to be replaced.  Another thing that may cause the MAF to give an incorrect reading is if its wires are dirty or faulty.  So, replacing or cleaning the wires important as well.

Other symptoms that your MAF sensor is bad? If your engine hesitates when you step on the gas, it stalls, or your vehicle is jerky when you accelerate. 

A malfunctioning MAF sensor is not just bad for performance.  Driving with your vehicle in that condition can cause more damage to your engine.  When you bring your vehicle in for us to check, a technician will thoroughly examine your engine to make sure all issues are taken care of.

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



Bad Vibes (Disc brake rotor problems)

Posted December 3, 2023 7:39 AM

If you were to name the most important safety feature on your vehicle right now, what would your answer be? A lot of driving experts would agree that it’s your brakes.  Most newer vehicles use a well-engineered and efficient style of brakes called disc brakes. 

The name disc brakes comes from one of the components: a disc attached to the wheel hub that is squeezed by parts called calipers.  If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle with hand brakes, you probably have seen how they squeeze against the rim of the bike wheel to stop the bike. It’s similar to the way your vehicle’s calipers squeeze against the disc rotor, with added parts called brake pads attached to the calipers that are what create the friction and stop your vehicle.

Here’s why disc brakes need regular maintenance.  Over time, that friction creates wear and tear on the brake pads and the rotors, and you’ll start to see the signs.  Your brakes may have one of the 3 “S” sounds: squeaking, squealing, or scraping. The sound is usually the first sign of brake pad wear which can lead to rotor damage.  Soon you may notice a pulsating or vibration when you brake. That’s because your once smooth and straight rotor disc is warping from the heat generated from friction. Or it may be due to wear.  Eventually, your brakes will take a longer distance to stop your vehicle, and the rotors can have grooves carved into them.

When you start noticing any of these signs, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by a trained technician.  They will measure the rotor thickness, check wear patterns for grooves and heat discoloration, and see how much of the brake pads remain. They will also check to make sure all brake components are moving freely, check your brake fluid, and look for corrosion.

Most vehicle manufacturers require worn or damaged rotors to be replaced, not resurfaced. It’s all part of a complete brake job, replacing pads and the brake hardware parts along with the rotors. It reduces the chance of premature failure.

How often you will need your brakes serviced depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations, your driving habits, and the environment you live in.  Your service facility can recommend the best replacement parts based on those factors. 

Regular maintenance and attention are vital for keeping your brakes performing like they are designed to. Remember, your brakes are your vehicle’s most important safety feature.

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