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Archive for March 2020

Finding Vehicle Recall Information in Willoughby, OH

Posted March 29, 2020 7:01 AM



No matter how well they're made, vehicles in Willoughby, OH, will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Willoughby, OH, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the vehicle  free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in OH who owns that type of vehicle to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall. The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There's CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious but not all that common. Sometimes there are fewer issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Lakeside Certified Auto how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

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



Lakeside Certified Auto On Your Serpentine Belt

Posted March 22, 2020 7:07 AM


 

Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Willoughby, OH, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around OH in the summer.

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Willoughby residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Willoughby, OH, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of work for one belt.

But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most, if not all, of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they're tough and can last for a long time.

Just how long will they last? That'll vary for each individual car in the Willoughby area. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Lakeside Certified Auto can detect a belt that's getting close to failing.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Lakeside Certified Auto service advisor can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch, it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that's more than half the depth of the belt - replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? Toss it. Come see us.

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



Stay Headed in the Right Direction, Willoughby

Posted March 15, 2020 7:33 AM

Power steering is standard on nearly every vehicle in Willoughby, OH, these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that's driven by a belt powered by the engine.

Contact the automotive professionals at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby for questions about your power steering.

The pump generates power that assists drivers as they steer their vehicle around Willoughby, OH. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it's a good idea to have Lakeside Certified Auto inspect them at every oil change.

A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Lakeside Certified Auto because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it's important to use the correct type – just ask your service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto.

In addition to providing a boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Willoughby drivers need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.

Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many outline power steering service intervals in the owner's manual. Unfortunately, this service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Willoughby drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb. 

At Lakeside Certified Auto, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist or loud whining coming from the pump, you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is having to frequently top off the fluid.

Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out quickly. We want you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center, or Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby, to keep you headed in the right direction.

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



Tire Rotation and Balancing at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby

Posted March 8, 2020 9:17 AM

Tires do a lot of work for Willoughby drivers. They transfer engine power and braking forces to the road; they handle steering control; and they cushion all those bumps and jolts while driving around Willoughby. They also support the entire weight of the vehicle, including you and your passengers. With such important work to do, you want your tires to do their job well. And since replacing tires is fairly pricey, you want them to last as long as possible.


There are three keys to long, even tire wear for Willoughby driving:

  • Proper tire inflation
  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing

The front tires on a car take the brunt of the steering forces. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down more quickly than the rear tires. Rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate. That's especially true of front-wheel-drive vehicles whose front tires steer and put the power to the road.

SUVs and pick-ups, especially four-wheel-drives, also tend to wear their tires more unevenly than cars because of their suspension and drivetrain set-up. Your owner's manual will likely contain a schedule for tire rotation. It's usually every 5,000 miles/8,000 km or so.

Also, there are different rotation patterns for different vehicles. Lakeside Certified Auto will know which is right for your vehicle. That brings us to wheel balancing. When wheels are balanced, they spin on the axle evenly. When they are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear unevenly and may transmit a vibration to the car. Your friendly and knowledgeable Lakeside Certified Auto service advisor puts weights on your wheels to balance them out so that they turn true and smooth.


Tires are a big investment for Willoughby drivers. They're designed for keeping you safely on the road in Willoughby. The cost for regular rotation and balancing is more than made up in extended tire life. And, can you really put a price on your safety and that of your passengers?

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



Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Willoughby Car Owners

Posted March 1, 2020 10:16 AM

A generation ago, Willoughby drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Willoughby shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Willoughby used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Lakeside Certified Auto, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our vehicles don't experience a huge performance drop when they're ready for some care. But it doesn't mean that they don't need it.

Modern Willoughby drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner's manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you'll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern vehicle engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they're more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the vehicle isn't driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your vehicle engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and damage the vehicle's engine parts it was designed to protect. It can eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this damage, and it's a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Willoughby drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Willoughby who purchases used vehicles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Willoughby folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don't want to be bothered with maintenance or vehicle care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

We can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Give us a call or send us an email for more helpful tips.

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

 

 



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What People Say About Us

Willoughby
  • reviewicon
    , 06/03/2022

    They were absolutely wonderful. Quick to diagnose the issue, considerate of my concerns, thorough, professional, and kind. I highly recommend them and will definitely return.

  • reviewicon
    , 02/21/2022

    THESE PEOPLE ARE AWESOME. STRAIGHT FORWARD KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND JUST DAMN GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO.

  • reviewicon
    , 03/16/2022

    Today they earned themselves a new customer! They replaced three belts in my 97 Toyota 4Runner, and did it fast and at a very reasonable price. Highly recommend here.

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    , 12/21/2021

    These guys are absolutely great. I called on very short notice around the holidays, and they got me right in. Full exhaust system repair done in just hours. Not only are they very prompt, but extremely friendly with quality work. Awesome customer service. Highly recommend this place.

  • reviewicon
    , 10/28/2021

    Thumbs up!

  • reviewicon
    , 10/01/2021

    I won't take my car anywhere else! They are very fair priced and do excellent work!

Call us for service: 440-946-0076

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