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Archive for March 2019

The Lakeside Certified Auto Guide to Custom Wheels

Posted March 31, 2019 8:30 AM

If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Willoughby drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Lakeside Certified Auto tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable professional's help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Willoughby custom wheel shop, like Lakeside Certified Auto, can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Willoughby. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car's computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine's computer reprogrammed at Lakeside Certified Auto to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn't just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want and meet your handling needs. We're not saying you shouldn't personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby.

After all, good vehicle care isn't just about preventive maintenance. It's also about making good choices.

 Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com

 



Steer Right in Willoughby

Posted March 24, 2019 7:51 AM

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering, so many Willoughby drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your vehicle steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer.

Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve performance and handling.

The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older OH vehicles — and a lot of newer ones — have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, vehicles need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it's too low, your steering is affected and you could damage your vehicle pump.

Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors, leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering service at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby includes removing the contaminated fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid.

A word for Willoughby drivers about power steering pumps: Some are powered by an electric motor. Others are driven by the serpentine belt. A worn serpentine belt stresses all of the vehicle components it drives, including the power steering pump, so replace the belt at Lakeside Certified Auto as advised to avoid undue repairs.

Losing your power steering while driving in Willoughby can be unsettling – just remember that you can still steer, it'll just be harder. Check with your service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto to see if it's time to service your vehicle's power steering system.

In addition to power steering service, at Lakeside Certified Auto we offer comprehensive automotive services.

Give us a call.

Lakeside Certified Auto
(440) 946-0076
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Winter Tires

Posted March 17, 2019 8:45 AM

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of Willoughby driver's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.

Twenty years ago in OH, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. OH drivers called them snow tires back then, and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet OH roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. People couldn't wait to get them off in the spring.

Then all-season tires started to appear in Willoughby tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life and can get OH drivers through mild winter road conditions OK. But there are some really good reasons to consider winter tires.

Modern winter tires do a terrific job for OH driving in a wide range of winter conditions. First of all, below 45°F/7°C, regular tires become hard and inflexible. That means they don't provide the road grip OH vehicles need. Even if you don't live somewhere in OH with a lot of snow, but it still gets below 45°F/7°C in the winter, you will be safer with winter tires.

In addition, they are specifically designed to more effectively move snow and water. That's the key to traction on ice-packed snow and wet Willoughby area roads. They use a micropore compound that allows the tire to bite into ice and snow. They also use wider grooves that run around the circumference of the tread to expel snow from the tire better. The lugs and grooves on winter tires have a special shape that throws the packed snow out of the tread as the tire turns. The tread is then open when it comes back in contact with the road and can provide good traction for OH drivers.

Winter tires also have a lot of sipes. Sipes are thin slits in the tread. The edge of the sipes grab ice and packed snow to provide tons of traction and to expel water and slush out of the tread. Winter tires have a rounder casing to cut into the snow's surface. The treads on regular summer tires can actually get packed with snow instead and become very slick. Winter tires offer 25% to 50% more traction for OH drivers than all-season tires. And when it comes to stopping power, all-season tires take 42% longer to stop than winter tires. Sometimes that's the difference between getting home safely and spending the night in a snow bank.

Now back when the 8-track was king, OH drivers just put snow tires on the drive wheels. That worked out OK because the rubber compound was essentially the same. Now, winter tires provide so much more traction than all-season or summer tires, that there's a huge difference between the traction at the front and rear ends of the car if you only put winter tires on the drive wheels.

For example: if you take a corner on an icy road and the rear end starts to slide out, essentially the rear is trying to pass the front because it's going faster. If you have high traction winter tires only on the front, they are going to be much more effective at transferring cornering grip and stopping power to the front wheels. This will actually cause the rear end to whip out even more.

That's why tire manufactures instruct their dealers that they must install winter tires on the rear wheels as well whenever they put winter tires on the front end of any vehicle. It's a major safety concern. It's strongly recommended that winter tires be installed on all four wheels on rear wheel drive vehicles as well. The front tires do most of the steering and braking work - it only makes sense that you provide the front end with the best traction you can.

Willoughby drivers often assume that if they have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive they don't need winter tires on all four wheels. Would you intentionally disconnect the four-wheel drive in poor road conditions? Of course you wouldn't, but that's essentially what you do if you only put winter tires on one end. It only makes sense to have the same level of traction and control at all four corners.

The province of Quebec in Canada has issued a law requiring all passenger vehicles, taxis and rental cars with Quebec license plates to install a full set of four winter tires between November 15th and April 1. It's that important.

Many modern cars have traction control and anti-lock brakes so OH drivers may think that they don't need winter tires. But you need traction to accelerate, steer and stop. The tires provide the traction so that the traction control and anti-lock brakes have something to work with.

Look for tires with the symbol of a mountain with a snowflake in it. This means the tire complies with the severe snow standard. All-season tires will have an M&S, for mud and snow, on the sidewall.

So when the Willoughby temperatures drop below 45°F/7°C, be sure you have a set of four winter tires for maximum performance on snow, packed snow, ice, plus wet and dry roads. Your friendly and knowledgeable Lakeside Certified Auto tire professional can help you find the right winter tire for your vehicle and driving needs.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Fuel Injector Cleaning at Lakeside Certified Auto

Posted March 10, 2019 10:04 AM

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected vehicle driving down Willoughby roads.

Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Willoughby automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.

A few have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some OH dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.

Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved fuel economy. OH motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.

High temperatures under your vehicle hood and variations in Willoughby gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it's wise for Willoughby residents to keep their fuel injectors clean.

Your technician at Lakeside Certified Auto can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Proper maintenance of your vehicle fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent repair bills down the road.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Differential Service at Lakeside Certified Auto: Viva la Difference

Posted March 3, 2019 1:30 AM

Every vehicle on OH roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most Willoughby residents don't have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the vehicle must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bulge in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That's the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV's have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You'd be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don't want your differential to seize up. That results in damage to your vehicle.

So you need to have your vehicle differential serviced regularly. It's not a complicated job. At Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby, we've been servicing differentials for years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Willoughby service center will ensure you are getting what your vehicle needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner's manual or Lakeside Certified Auto service advisor to find out how often your vehicle differential needs to be serviced.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



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