Posts

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.