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Jeep Cherokee Repair in Denver

Green Driving

Did you know that drivers can help their finances and the environment by adopting some best practices? Better habits with driving and having your automobile maintained regularly are just two easy ways a motorist can be more “green” – supporting both your wallet and the environment!!

Below are some easy tips to consider:

  • Ensure that your engine is running at its best which causes less pollution and helps to avoid expensive repairs.
  • If you change your own oil, make sure you get rid of the batteries and dirty fluids responsibly.
  • Make sure that your tires are aligned and inflated properly. Low air pressure forces the engine to work much harder and they will also wear faster.
  • Only let qualified technicians handle refrigerants. Some systems that are older have chemicals that deplete the ozone and can be let out into the atmosphere if not handled properly.
  • Avoid stop and go traffic as much as you can. It takes more gas and wears your vehicle down faster. It takes its toll on your brakes too.
  • Try to combine your errands daily to reduce your amount of driving. If you are parked and waiting in your car for something, shut it off rather than letting it idle.
  • Keep as little in your vehicle as possible. Heavier automobiles get worse gas mileage.

Consistent care for your car and a gentler approach to driving will not only help with your gas mileage but also help save the environment. Go green!!

Subaru Repair

Keep Your Vehicle Safe From Extreme Heat in Castle Rock, Colorado

With summer in full swing, it’s time to make sure your car or truck is in the best possible working condition. The extreme temperatures that summer brings are often tough on any vehicle – roof to exhaust and everything in between can be exposed to harsh conditions that are out of the ordinary for even a highly maintained vehicle. That’s why it is critical to keep up with routine maintenance in the summer months. Gone unchecked, some issues could leave you stranded on the side of the road in sweltering heat. Here are a few tips to keep both you and your vehicle protected against the extreme heat of summer and the damage it may cause.

While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind as summer heats up, consider that tire pressure is important, especially in the hottest months. As temperatures rise, the air in your tires expands. This is why checking your vehicle’s tire pressure is critical before heading out on any road trip, even if that trip is simply to the grocery store. Using the proper tire pressure for your vehicle in particular is also critical. Do not leave it up to chance. Be sure to check both the owner’s manual of your vehicle along with your tires. This may also be located inside the door jamb or glove compartment, so be sure that you are using the proper information before adding air to your tires. Over-inflating is just as dangerous as driving on tires with low pressure. Both could lead to a costly blowout if unattended.

Tires that are over or under inflated may also reduce the vehicle’s handling capability or generate excess heat. Although most newer cars have an on-board tire pressure monitoring system, having a good quality tire pressure gauge is important both for peace of mind and to ensure that the tires are inflated properly at any given time. Don’t forget to check the pressure in your spare tire as well because you never know when it may be called on to save the day.

Fluids like coolant, motor oil and windshield washer fluid should all be checked during the hotter months to keep levels where they should be. Engine coolant or antifreeze, is the most critical fluid to test in the summer months. Checking this fluid is pretty straightforward in modern vehicles. This is generally done through the coolant reservoir located under the hood. Consult your owner’s manual for a specific location. Always make sure the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum markings, adding more if necessary. NEVER open the radiator cap or coolant tank lid when the engine is hot.

Along with the heat, summer also means more long-distance road trips, so it’s a good time to keep up periodic maintenance like oil and filter changes and inspection or replacement of the air cleaner and fuel filters. Keeping up with regular maintenance only improves the efficiency of your vehicle, making it more cost-effective on the road. Not only are these essential to the durability of your engine in the long term, but neglecting them will cause poor fuel economy in the short term. Performing regular maintenance means it will take less fuel to make your roadtrip a success. Maintaining proper tire pressure and using cruise control on the highway can further improve fuel economy, keeping your summer fuel costs down.

For more information on how to keep your vehicle running its best this summer, contact the experts at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair. We’re happy to answer your questions regarding the effects of extreme heat on your car or 4×4.


Routine Oil Change Importance in Castle Rock, Colorado

Your 4×4’s reliability is unparalleled and keeping it reliable takes routine maintenance.  The easiest way to keep yours running smoothly is to keep up with oil changes.  Preventative maintenance is critical and considering the low cost for upkeep, it’s the best way to reduce the risk of engine trouble for the lifetime of your 4×4.  Oil changes are the most impactful routine service when considering how essential oil is to the daily use of your 4×4. They keep the need for major fixes in check if kept to a regular schedule.

Dropping your 4×4 off for an oil change is fast and easy, but have you ever wondered just what goes on beneath the hood?  If so, take a look at these reasons below. Here are just a few reasons why preventative maintenance keeps your 4×4 on the road.  Skipping out on oil maintenance could stop your 4×4 dead in its tracks and that ruins all the fun of owning an off road, extreme 4×4!

  • Oil Filter Clogs – A replacement filter is a part of any routine oil change and yours will be installed by one of our expert technicians. A new filter helps with the proper distribution of oil throughout your 4×4′s engine. Not only does it allow clean oil to pass, but most importantly, the filter keeps build up and sludge out of the engine. Old filters exposed to degraded oil become clogged and useless and this damages internal parts, leading to eventual engine failure.
  • Oil Stress –  Because oil breaks down over time (a fact that your average 4×4 owner may not consider when out on an adventure) it’s important to keep the oil in your 4×4’s engine fresh.  The temperature and stress put on your engine requires the lubricant to be fresh to be effective, but if oil is not changed during the designated time, its quality degrades until the oil no longer acts as a lubricant at all. Actually, the opposite occurs, as clogs and gunk bring your engine to a grinding halt. This form of engine failure is incredibly expensive to repair when considering how cost effective regular oil changes are.
  • Corrosion – When old oil is circulated throughout the engine over and over again, it spreads corrosion from dirt, dust, and often even water accumulation over an extended period of time. These outside elements break down parts of the engine after repeat abuse. This will also result in engine failure.
  • Cracks & Leaks – Old and degraded oil can cause cracks and leaks within the engine due to debris carried through during use. Additional damage may cause other coolants or even gasoline to leak into the oil. This mixture is toxic to a working engine and will eventually shorten the life of your 4×4. It will damage parts of the 4×4′s engine that are expensive to replace.

Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair not only provides your 4×4 with the top quality oil it requires during service.  We also perform a complete diagnostic to ensure that your 4x4s engine is top notch.  Peace of mind is key when it comes to your 4×4.  Changing your oil every 3,000 miles or three months is recommended. Drop in or call today to set up an appointment for that oil change you’ve been putting off and keep your engine running at its best.

Top Indicators That Your 4×4 Needs an A/C Tune-up

Flipping a switch in your 4×4 on a hot summer day is the easiest way to cool down, but just how does your A/C work and what makes it so efficient? Most importantly, how do you keep it running at top performance even on the hottest summer day? You might be surprised to learn that the cold air generated by your system begins as hot air reconditioned. It is actually changes in air pressure that cause the hot air to cool. When the A/C is turned on, the engine’s compressor compresses refrigerant or Freon. As air passes through the condenser, it loses its heat and then works its way through the receiver where moisture is removed from the air. The next step is the expansion valve, which slows down the refrigerant even more. This step drops pressure and temperature prior to moving on to the evaporator. This small radiator removes even more moisture and continues to lower the temperature. Finally, the ventilation system blows cool air throughout the interior of your vehicle.

Given all of the moving parts above, you might begin to wonder how often the A/C unit should be inspected to ensure optimal performance. The simple answer is if your A/C isn’t cooling you off quickly, there is a problem with one or several parts of the ventilation system. The most common issue is refrigerant. Thankfully, this is also the most inexpensive option. During high use months, freon levels may drop in a vehicle, causing temperatures to remain on the warm side.
On average, most 4x4s are built with the following:

  • Compressor – the cornerstone of every A/C system, the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant that cools the air. It also monitors and controls temperature output. If your your vehicle is leaking oil or freon, chances are the compressor needs replacement.
  • Condenser – this key element in your cooling system reduces air temperature and pressure, turning hot refrigerant gasses into a liquid that continues on to the A/C dryer. Leaks are another indicator of part problems along with clogs and poor performance.
  • Receiver Driver or Accumulator – if your 4×4 has a thermal expansion valve, it has a receiver. This catches harmful debris from reaching other parts of your A/C system. A worn receiver will result in poor A/C performance, moisture, or poor defroster performance. The accumulator provides the same service, but it is found on vehicles with an orifice tube.
  • Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube – both an expansion valve and orifice tube monitor the pressure and temperature of the system to determine how much refrigerant is needed to cool down your 4×4. Indicators of trouble include poor A/C performance and clogs.
  • Evaporator – responsible for cooling air and removing moisture, the evaporator has a starring role in your cooling system. It’s the home stretch before cool air is circulated throughout your vehicle. For top performance of your A/C, the evaporator must be in good working order. Poor A/C performance indicates that this should be checked by a professional.

Contact us at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair if you’ve noticed a change in your A/C’s performance. If the air just isn’t as cool as it used to be, that is an indicator of a cooling issue. Let our expert technicians perform a diagnostic on the cooling system along with any other part of your 4×4 that you have questions about. It’s our goal to get you back on the road as soon as possible to enjoy a fun and safe summer. As the heat begins to rise, you can count on Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair to prepare your 4×4 for the summer.

Offroad Tips for Summer Adventures

With Memorial Day just around the corner, chances are you have the itch to take your 4×4 off the beaten path. Offroading can be great fun and lead to amazing adventures with the unexpected around every corner, but safety can also be a concern. Below are several tips for keeping your 4×4 safe, upright, and ready for action as the weather warms and that mud looks enticing.

1. Is it legal? – It’s just good sense to ensure that the track or field that catches your eye is legal to drive on. No need to accumulate fines for a day of testing out your 4×4. Take the time to do your research, then crack your knuckles and tear up that path.

2. Bring a healthy dose of respect – Consider the wildlife in the area you are driving in. Stick to paths cleared out by those who rode before you. Chances are, significant wildlife will avoid paths that are frequented by offroaders, but if you wander too far off of those paths, disrupting dens and other animals homes is a definite. Take care when opening up your 4×4 and respect the environment.

3. It’s time for that 4-wheel-drive – Engage the 4-wheel-drive before the path gets messy. This will help when entering the rough stuff and keep your driving experience fun, but safe. Getting stuck in the mud or terrain is no picnic.

4. Need for speed? – Take your time and it will be even more of an adventure. Most vehicles get stuck or damaged because their driver overestimated speed capability and no one likes getting stuck without a means to get home.

5. Consider your limits – Each 4×4 driver has varying levels of skill. Know your limits and your offroad excursion will be a blast! Push yourself too far and it may require a rescue and quite possibly, a repair. If the conditions of the trail have you concerned, find another. There are plenty of places in the great state of Colorado that will match your skill level.

6. Stay connected – If you are traveling miles from civilization or offloading alone, be sure to take some means of communication with you on the drive. It also pays to let others know of the route you are taking just in case your 4×4 gets stuck in the mud or stranded in some other way.

7. Be prepared – Accidents happen. Even the most experienced driver has a mishap every now and then. Consider taking warm clothes, rations for a day or two, and tools. In case of emergency, you will not have to immediately worry about food or keeping warm.

Keeping a clear head isn’t easy to do given the excitement of taking your 4×4 offroad, but in the name of safety, it’s worth it. If you have a question about your 4×4’s preparedness for a summer excursion, bring it by Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair for a diagnostic test. We are the experts in 4×4 repair, so ask any question and we are sure to have the answer for you.

4×4 Battery Maintenance

Have you ever spent your morning trying to turn over the engine of your 4×4 thanks to surprise battery failure? If so, you understand the inconvenience of either having to get a jump or replacing the battery altogether. A towing service may be costly, not to mention time consuming. Better to avoid future breakdowns by seeking seasonal maintenance on both your battery. As temperatures fluctuate, the battery takes a hit given the amount of drain forced upon it during the transition from winter months to the warmth of spring. Now is the time to focus on your 4×4’s battery to ensure that it will always keep you safe on and off the road. The following tips will help to prolong the life of your battery. The average lifespan of a car battery is 3 – 5 years. Why not get the most you can out of it?

When possible, disconnect the battery – If a battery remains idle for too long, the charge will drain. This drainage could damage the responsiveness of the alternator, causing an unreliable start-up for the life of your vehicle. If you plan to be away from your 4×4 for over two weeks, disconnect the battery. This small action will keep the electronic demand low – a usual culprit for draining battery life. Upon your return, just reconnect the battery and go.

Clean the connections – Seasonal battery cleaning removes build up of corrosion that accumulates over months of use in colder temperatures. A build up of corrosion around the battery’s connectors can cut off the battery’s power supply, causing intermittent lack of power or a sudden burst. Check the tightness of all terminals to give yourself the piece of mind that there are no damaging leaks.

Avoid short trips – The alternator recharges your 4×4’s battery while it’s being driven, but the battery’s charge will suffer greatly if the vehicle is making short, frequent trips. Just twenty minutes of consecutive driving per week is enough to let the alternator recharge the battery as the car is being driven, so open up your 4×4 on the open road and let her ride!

Seasonal routine maintenance is required to get the most out of your battery and keep your vehicle running safely on the road. Bring your 4×4 into Advanced 4×4 today for a maintenance appointment and we will perform a full diagnostic. If any battery-related issues are a concern, we will bring it to your attention and take the proper steps to have your vehicle running in top form. Contact us today and schedule your spring maintenance appointment. Don’t wait for that moment of frustration behind the wheel. Preventative maintenance saves money in the long run and may help you avoid major repairs in the future. Our 4×4 diagnostics test explores all possible issues and our skilled technicians are ready to offer repair options with your budget in mind. Allow the experts at Advanced 4×4 extend the life of your battery and ensure that your 4×4 is safe and ready to take to the road this spring.

Check Your 4×4’s Transmission Fluid Today!

Much like oil and other automotive fluids, transmission fluid deteriorates over time and when it comes to owning a 4×4, some unique driving situations could speed up the deterioration process. Trailer towing and frequent stop-and-go city driving come to mind. Both can strain your transmission and given the winter we’ve had here in Colorado, it’s no surprise that frequent breaking may have sped up the deterioration process of your 4×4’s transmission fluid. Increasing the engine temperature is inevitable when driving under those conditions month after month. High stress conditions require frequent transmission fluid checks.

Depending on your 4×4’s make and model, recommendations for a fluid flush does vary, but the general rule of thumb is to have this service performed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles depending on the type of driving you do regularly. If you are one to beat up your 4×4, more frequent checks are necessary. A transmission fluid flush includes the removal of old fluid, replacement of the fluid filter, and addition of new, clean transmission fluid. The five signs that it’s time for a transmission fluid flush are as follows:

  1. Surging – Unexplained surging of your 4×4 is an indicator that a transmission fluid flush is necessary. Buildup of dirt, rust, and other contaminants blocks fluid flow and this can cause intermittent access to the pressure given off by your transmission. Improper fluid flow makes smooth operation of gears impossible, the result being surging or falling back for reasons that are completely separate from how you are driving your 4×4.
  2. Slipping gears – Dirty or deteriorated fluid can cause a drop in hydraulic power. This is also caused by a low fluid level. Contaminants build up throughout the engine that block fluid flow. This build up needs to be flushed out to return your 4×4 to maximum performance.
  3. Stalling – Deteriorated transmission fluid can also cause your 4×4 to stall or exhibit a delayed reaction when shifting. A transmission fluid flush will remove the build up causing this reaction, making your 4×4 more reliable.
  4. Grinding – Contaminated transmission fluid often displays similar symptoms to lower fluid levels. If you notice grinding coming from the engine, stop and check your fluid level or have the experts at Advanced 4×4 check it for you. Grinding may be caused by sludge build up or dirt being circulated through your transmission fluid.
  5. Fluid Color – Clean transmission fluid is bright red, but after time and wear, it turns a shade of muddy brown or sometimes black. Grime and sludge change both the color and consistency of the fluid, making it less effective to your vehicle’s operation. Have our expert technicians check both the fluid level and fluid color during your next visit.

If any of the above occur regularly, contact us today to perform a free transmission diagnostic. We will work with you to determine if it’s time for a transmission fluid flush or if this service can wait. Let us remove the inconvenience of auto maintenance with careful, thorough inspections and care of your 4×4. Allow the experts at Advanced 4×4 guide and help along the way while keeping your 4×4 ready for it’s next adventure!

Spring Maintenance in Castle Rock, Colorado

Now that spring has finally arrived, it’s time to consider seasonal maintenance on your 4×4. The abuse your 4×4 takes over the winter can often lead to issues that may not make an appearance until well into spring. Hazardous road conditions and temperature fluctuation may lead to frequent braking, adding more wear and tear on those brake pads. Potholes in roads can cause damage to your alignment along with worn tires. Fluid levels fall during poor weather conditions. This includes the windshield wiper fluid, oil, and even transmission fluid. It’s possible that it may even be time for a transmission fluid flush for your 4×4. Why not let Advanced 4×4service your vehicle to keep it safe for both you and your family this spring?

Tire pressure is a major issue for your 4×4 as the weather warms up. Low pressure due to temperature fluctuation effects the reliability of your steering system. It can also lead to misalignment and leaves your tires susceptible to blow outs. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly to maintain the safety of your 4×4. Wiper blades are also put to the test during the winter months. Their use rises given the number of storms and dangerous driving conditions. When snow turns to rain, ineffectual wiper blades can become dangerous. Early spring is the best time to replace wiper blades and top off windshield wiper fluid. Salt from roads may also do damage to both the exterior and underside of your vehicle. This damage may not have been noticeable during the winter, but now that the weather has shifted, small damage comes to light.

Battery life also drains during the winter months. Preventative maintenance on your 4×4 could diagnose and treat battery issues before they become major repairs. No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road due to a dead battery. Using all of the necessary accessories like the defroster, heat, speakers, and seat warmers for most of the winter can often cut a 4×4’s battery life in half. Corrosion is also an issue during the winter months. Corrosion may prevent a car from starting, as it is caused by a faulty connection between the battery case and post. Debris and extreme temperatures are the perfect combination for corrosion and regular battery inspection may prevent a future break down. Here at Advanced 4×4, our technicians are skilled in both diagnosing any potential issues and recommending the right repair because we know that catching problems early may lead to a cost savings over time.

Frequent braking in the winter months creates extreme wear on brake pads, resulting in uneven wear. This causes grinding and misalignment, both of which could lead to greater issues if ignored. Brake fluid levels may also dip in the winter. Squeaking, grinding, or a general unusual feeling when you apply the brakes should be seen as warning signs. These signs should be followed up with a call to Advanced 4×4. We’ll be happy to service your 4×4 to ensure that it is both safe and ready for some spring action. If the steering wheel is shaking or the pedal sinks when the car is at a full stop, it’s time for a service appointment. It is important to have everything checked as temperatures rise to ensure that all elements of your 4×4 are working up to standard. Safety is our top priority here at Advanced 4×4, but don’t forget to have a little fun with your ride!

4×4 Suspension Tips in Castle Rock, Colorado

Your 4×4’s suspension is what keeps you driving in comfort over less-than-ideal terrain.  Extreme situations are no problem with the right suspension system guiding you through the trails with ease.  Whether you are carrying a heavy load or navigating sharp mountain curves, the suspension protects both you and the rest of your engine from absorbing excessive jolts and vibrations.  Given its level of responsibility for passenger safety, how can you tell if there is a problem?  Are squeaks and creaks just that or do they indicate a serious issue?  Sometimes, it is difficult to tell without the advisement of a certified, Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair technician.  In the meantime, consider the possibilities below when driving to prolong the life and durability of any suspension.

When Good Ball Joints Go Bad – A ball joint is the circular bearing that connects the steering knuckle to the axle or control arm.  Ball joints create a smooth turn between the tie rod and steering knuckle.  They are the pivot point between wheels and suspension, but on occasion after some rough driving and damage, ball joints may need to be replaced.  The earliest sign of ball joint failure is clunking or difficulty while turning your vehicle.  Extreme cases may lead to the separation of the steering knuckle entirely, the result of which would surely be an accident.  Ball joints require lubrication and depending on their type – either serviceable or non-serviceable – may need to be lubricated on a regular basis.  This is something easily achieved during a routine maintenance appointment upon request.  If proper lubrication is not achieved, they may rust, the end result of which is failure.

Shock Shaft Bends – The shock shaft, or piston rod, damps wheel movement before it reaches the vehicle.  If a vehicle has been through some rough winter weather or challenging terrain, a bend can occur.  A bent shock shaft will cause a very stiff ride, making suspension almost non-existent.  This is dangerous for both your comfort and the security of the engine, as parts may absorb shock that shouldn’t and the 4×4’s alignment will suffer.  Replacement shocks may be necessary.  Allow an expert technician to diagnose and discuss options if your suspension is not feeling as predictable.

As winter comes to a close here in Castle Rock, Colorado, take the time to consider your 4×4’s suspension.  Does it feel the same?  Is the security of your suspension in question?  Are rough roads beginning to make an impact on both the 4×4 and you?  If something doesn’t feel quite right, you can count on Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair to diagnose any suspension issue, talk you through the recommended repair, and take pride in performing quality work on your 4×4.  Our commitment to providing top-notch service is unparalleled.  From our knowledgeable staff to our certified expert technicians, Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair is ready to get you back on the road better than ever.  Drop by today for a free consultation and ensure that your 4×4 is ready for the changing season.

Traction Tips for Your 4×4

Unlike front or rear wheel drive, 4-wheel-drive vehicles have the ability to provide greater traction and improved handling in less than ideal driving conditions. Other than being great fun to drive, they are also equipped with the tools for a safe driving experience. Below are some useful tips for getting the most out of your 4×4:

  • High Range vs. Low Range Gears – A rule of thumb here is that for better control, use low range gears. When maneuvering tricky curves or mounting difficult terrain, a lower range gear is your best option for optimal control. When driving off-road or while navigating slippery conditions, it is easier to get moving from a stop by using a lower gear. Traction works best when in these gears if stuck in mud or snow. If you are at a comfortable cruising speed on a highway, high range is the best option for you.
  • Suspension Adjustments – Thankfully, winter is coming to a close, but when snow is high, raising the suspension is an option to keep your 4×4 from grounding itself in endless piles of white. This also helps with traction when ice and snow are putting up a fight with your 4×4.
  • Traction Control Systems – Many 4×4 vehicles come with a Traction Control System installed from the start. Keeping these systems engaged during challenging weather conditions is a must. At this moment, you may be thinking that you do not need some external system to help you drive your own vehicle, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 35 percent of crashes can be prevented by traction and stability control systems. Keep it on!
  • Tire Maintenance – Maintaining the tires of your 4×4 is critical in all types of weather. With Spring around the corner, now is the best time to bring in your 4×4 for a service check to ensure that driving in ice and snow hasn’t damaged your tires or vehicle’s suspension and alignment. It’s possible that with the demands put on your 4×4 this winter, a new set of tires is necessary to avoid traction issues as warmer weather brings rain and mud. Here at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair, our selection of 4-wheel-drive vehicle tires is extensive. Give our Castle Rock mechanics a call for advice on which tires best fit your driving needs today.
  • Drive Responsibly – This may seem easy and straightforward, but keeping a clear head while driving in poor conditions is critical. The armor of 4-wheel-drive often gives us a sense of invincibility, but even 4x4s can lose their traction when speed is not considered. Maintaining or even lowering your speed in poor weather increases control.

With warmer weather just around the corner here in Castle Rock, Colorado, now is the time to ensure that your 4×4 is prepared for temperature changes. We’ll make sure that you are equipped for the Spring with a diagnostic of your 4-wheel-drive systems from the tires up. Reach out to our 4×4 experts at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair today to set up an appointment.