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Spencer Auto Repair Blog

We are your Timing Belt Experts!

Date: 09/12/2018

We are your Timing Belt Experts- Some vehicles are equipped with a timing belt which is an internal engine component that is responsible for driving and synchronizing the camshaft movement with the crankshaft movement. Your vehicle’s timing belt is a vital component and is recommended to be replaced based on your manufacture’s specific interval. Due to wear and repeatedly being exposed to stress over time this component can fail. Unfortunately, in many cases your timing belt can fail without warning. When your timing belt fails it could cause serious and costly engine damage and cause you to break down.

At Spencer Auto Repair we have access to all the manufacture’s maintenance intervals and can inform you when your vehicle's manufacture recommends replacing your timing belt. We take the welfare of our customers vehicles very seriously and make recommendations based on time and mileage to help prevent the need for larger repairs in the future. We are committed to provide a long-term partnership with our customers centered around customer education. It is our goal to help our customers get what they want out of their vehicle. Timing belt replacements are backed by our 3 year, 36,000 mile nationwide warranty.

Spencer Auto Repair is proud to be serving customers at our 4 valley locations: Tempe, Mesa, San Tan Valley, and Florence. We are family owned and operated and have technicians with over 40 years’ experience. If you are concerned about your vehicle's timing belt or would like us to review your manufacture's maintenance schedule with you just visit any of our locations and our friendly staff members would be happy to assist you. Need a ride home? Spencer Auto Repair offers complimentary Uber/ Lyft services for our customers. 

Visit our website for an appointment today: www.spencerautorepair.com/appointment

Spencer Auto Gives Back to Their Local Schools! August School Acceleration Program Winners!

Date: 09/06/2018

In addition to providing quality automotive service, owners Geoff and Brittney Spencer are committed to giving back to their local community. They do that through their Spencer Auto School Acceleration Program. Through this on-going program each month people can go on to www.spencerautorepair.com/givesback to vote for their favorite school. At the end of the month the school with the most votes receives a portion of every sale for that month. 

Congratulations to the following schools who won our August School Acceleration Program:

Tempe Location: Nevitt Elementary School

Mesa Location: Sequoia Charter School

San Tan Valley Location: Copper Basin K-8

Florence Location: Florence K-8

We are so excited to present our donations to these local schools. 

This program is on-going so the September Poll is already posted at www.spencerautorepair.com/givesback. Remember if you do not see your school on our poll we are happy to add it. It is an honor to be able to give back to the amazing schools in our community. Please keep Spencer Auto Repair in mind for all your automotive repair needs.

 

Prevent Your Car From Overheating This Summer

Date: 06/29/2018

How are you keeping your body cool in this hot summer conditions? Drinking a lot of cold fluids I suppose. Well, turns out that your car, just like your body, needs proper cooling for optimal performance for as long as possible in this searing summer heat. To achieve this, you'll need to ensure that your car's cooling system is working perfectly and there is no better way to achieve this than scheduling a coolant flush to replace your engine coolant.

Function of the engine coolant

The cooling system of the car is tasked with keeping the car and the core systems at the right temperature and prevent overheating especially in this hot summer weather. At the core of cooling your car and preventing it from overheating, is an engine coolant circulating through the engine block, radiator and the heat core. This coolant, carries the heat resulting from engine combustion to the radiator where it is emitted keeping the temperature of your car at the desired constant.

The coolant is also laden with other chemicals which keep it from freezing once winter kicks in. This means that your car will still keep running even in the cold weather. The coolant acts as a lubricant to the water pump in the engine. Finally, the coolant acts as a corrosion inhibitor and prevents the corrosion of the insides of the pipes and other materials it is in contact with.

Why you need to flush your coolant today

For all its importance in a vehicle, engine coolant needs to be replaced on a regular basis for it to perform optimally. As time goes by, the chemicals contained in the coolant to keep it working perfectly are depleted.

This reduces the efficiency of the coolant in preventing corrosion and effectively cooling the engine of your vehicle. This failure to cool your car and prevent internal corrosion can result in costly leaks, engine failure and overheating of the vehicle. These are damages that will require a lot more money to repair and will keep your vehicle grounded for some time.

As such, it is imperative that you get your coolant flushed by qualified professionals and get it replaced with a good quality coolant. It is important to ensure that you get the coolant flush done by the most qualified professionals because if it is not done properly, the old coolant remnants can mix with the new coolant injected and this will render the new coolant just as ineffective.

Best Coolant Flush Tempe Az

Are you looking for the best coolant Flush Tempe Az has to offer? Well, look no further than our way here at Spencer Auto Repair. We are Tempe Arizona's top rated, experienced and honest technicians offering the locals with best services at very affordable rates and coolant flush is our cup of tea.

To prevent your car from overheating during this hot summer, take advantage of our current offer of $109 coolant flush and restore your car's high performance.

 

Details

Save Your Tires Get An Alignment

Date: 06/27/2018

If you own a vehicle or at least drive one, there is a very important vehicle maintenance protocol that has been overlooked by many vehicle owners and drivers. Most people never care to wonder why they feel like their vehicles are pulling them to the side while driving, why their tires wear and tear fast, why their cars consume more fuel or even why they keep having wheel problems.

While faulty tire manufacturing can cause easy wear and tear, most often than not, the case is caused by lack of proper wheel alignment. Wheel alignment is simply making sure your tires give you a smooth and comfortable road experience. Who would hate that?


You cannot avoid wheel alignment service as long as you drive your vehicle. Driving on rough roads and extreme weather conditions means that your wheel alignment will change faster. That does not mean that avoiding rough roads or extreme weather saves your car from the same. Driving in normal conditions also changes your wheel alignment and this is why we advise a checkup after every six months or 6000 miles.


Can proper wheel alignment save you money?


Definitely YES.


How can proper wheel alignment save you money?


When your vehicle has faulty wheel alignment, you experience immense resistance on the road surface. This means that there will be added pressure on tires which leads to faster wear and tear. This causes danger as the tires become bald on one side leading to uneven tires that could cause you to lose balance on the road. Furthermore, this means that you must incur the cost of purchasing new tires.


More pressure on the rubber also means that you incur more costs on fuel whilst proper wheel alignment saves you from these costs a great deal.


The three important steps in wheel alignment.


Wheel alignment involves three crucial steps; the caster, the toe and the camber.


The Caster.


Caster is the one that influences the directional steering of your vehicle. A caster can be explained as when a side-ward observation of the steering axis shows a tilt of the steering axis at its topmost point. It is generally affected by the vehicle's height.


A higher rear most often makes the steering to deviate easily at high speed while a drooping rear because of overloading the vehicle will affect the caster positively.


The Toe.


For the wheels to roll parallel in motion, the toe should be minimum. Hence, toe takes the measurements of the distance by which the front and the rear wheels peer out or in from the straight axis.


The Camber.


In respect to the vertical axis, the camber shows whether the wheels are tilted when viewed from the front of the vehicle. In a camber, the wheels could be tilted either inward or outward at the top. Due to changes in direction, the camber affects the wear caused in a tire which would result in premature wearing of the inner or outer part depending on the tilt.


It is paramount to understand that the cost of proper care of your tires can never be compared to the cost of buying new tires. Also, note that wheel warranties only cover manufacturing defects and never cover poor maintenance.

Save yourself the hassle. Call Us Today: 480-360-3912

How To tell If Your Breaks Need To Be Replaced

Date: 06/20/2018

Brakes are one of the most important safety measures in a car. They transform our cars from hunks of metal. plastic and rubber hurtling on the highway to the safe machines we use every day. For this reason, we should strive to identify and fix faulty brakes before they can cause us any trouble.

Below we will show you the dangers of driving your car with faulty brakes

1 Increased Response time

As you may have noticed, faulty brakes take a longer time to respond. This means that even if you have very quick reactions your rakes might still let you down. This might cause you to get into a situation you would have avoided if you had a good braking system.

2 Affect your driving

Faulty brakes cause your car to behave abnormally. Pulling is one instance where pressing on the brakes causes the car to pull to one side. When this happens on the highway can affect your driving and even that of other road users.

3 Expensive Repairs

If you do not take care of faulty brakes as soon as they start misfiring then you are in for more problems. If for example you do not change your brake pads eventually your callipers and rotor get damaged. This means that you will have to replace all of these components resulting in very expensive repairs.

4 Brake Failure

Faulty brakes can stop working entirely. This is especially bad news if you are driving at the moment they quit on you.

To avoid coming face to face with any of the above dangers you should know when your brakes need to be serviced. The signs below means your brakes are not working efficiently and should be checked immediately

1 Appearance

Every now and then you should look at your brake pads. While there is bound to be some wear, if your brake pad is too thin then get it changed. Brake pads that are less than quarter an inch should be changed immediately.

2 Sound

As you might have noticed your brakes work almost silently. Screeching sounds when braking it might mean your brake pads are getting worn out. If your car has been sitting in rain then screeching brakes are normal but they should back to normal after some time. Persistent screeching is a sign that your brake pads should be changed.

3 Vibrations

If you feel your brake pedal vibrating whenever you step on the brakes then your rotors are most likely warped. The main cause of warped rotors is heavy breaking. Therefore if you have been doing some steep mountain driving, towing or any other driving that requires heavy braking then get your rotors are probably warped. A vibrating brake pedal can be caused by misalignment.

4 Pulling

If your car pulls to one side whenever you are braking then you should see your mechanic. It shows that either there is a problem with your brake lines or your brake fluid is contaminated and therefore not working correctly. Either way, you should get your braking system checked.

5 Fading

Are your brakes less responsive? If you have to step on the pedal harder than before your brake line has a problem. It could be air, leaking out of the brake hose or a brake fluid leak.

If you notice any of the signs stated above then you should visit one of the Spencer Auto Repair locations located around Arizona. Otherwise, you are putting your safety on the line everytime you drive. To ensure that you can drive without worrying you need to get your brakes checked by a certified mechanic regularly or once you notice any of the signs listed above. If you have any questions or concerns about your brake system you can call or visit our shop in Tempe Arizona at 2650 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281
Call Us Today: 480-360-3912

Get Your Car Cool This Summer!

Date: 06/07/2018

Although a lot of people treasure their cars, a good number of people take a passive approach when I comes to maintaining them. Although a lot of people claim to service their cars on a regular basis, they often overlook some vital parts of their cars which costs them dearly. One such overlooked aspect of car maintenance and servicing, is the car air conditioning system.

Small and invaluable as your vehicle’s air conditioning system may seem, it plays a very vital role in your vehicle and deserves as much attention as the other parts of the engine. The A/C is the cooling mechanism of the vehicle and without its proper functioning, your vehicle will overheat and will not run as required. It also helps to absorb moisture from the cabin air making your ride more comfortable.

Without proper maintenance and regular service, your vehicle’s a/c system can become dysfunctional and this can have detrimental effects on both the vehicle and the quality of rides in the vehicle. To understand why it is important to service you’re a/c system, here is a look at how your vehicle’s AC system works and what lack of regular AC inspection and service does to it;

How a Vehicle’s A/C Works

A vehicle’s air conditioner is made up of 5 main parts; a compressor, a condenser, an expansion valve, a drier and an evaporator. Flowing within the a/c is a special refrigerant referred to as Freon which in low pressure is a gas but becomes a liquid under high pressure. When the a/c is not running, the Freon is in a gaseous state.

When your car is running and the temperature of the entire vehicle increases, the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant turning it into a high pressure liquid in the condenser. The high pressure liquid forces its way through the expansion valve and once it expands, it evaporates back to its gaseous state where it is blown back into the ventilation system by air currents propagated by a blower or propeller as many people know it.

This is how the ac works bringing with it the cooling effect that ensures that your vehicle runs smoothly through the seasons.

Why you should always get AC inspection

So, what happens if you don’t get your vehicle’s AC inspected? What are the ramifications of not getting regular professional AC inspection?

Over time, as your air conditioning system ages, the levels of Freon drop because some of it is inevitably lost in the cycles while some of it is lost due to leakages in the pipes. If the Freon drops to a certain level, the air conditioning compressor can be damaged and you will be required to purchase a new one. This is counterproductive and will cost you a lot of money.

If you don’t get regular ac inspection, it is hard to tell if your AC is actually functional or not. You might therefore end up driving a vehicle which does not have a functional AC and this will not only put the vehicle’s well-being at risk but will lower the quality of your rides in that vehicle.

It is therefore imperative to always get your vehicle’s a/c system is serviced and maintained by qualified service providers. To avoid paying dearly for maintenance and repairs of the AC, you should always ensure that your air conditioning system is in top shape and that it is working perfectly by getting it inspected by professionals.

Hire us for the best AC Inspection and related services

Are you in Scottsdale AZ and are looking for the best AC inspection service providers? Well, look no further than our way! We are seasoned professional AC inspection and maintenance experts located in Scottsdale AZ and are looking forward to offering our high quality AC inspection services to you and your loved ones.

We understand how important your vehicle’s AC is and are offering affordable inspection, evacuation and Freon recharge services. Give us a call today, or take advantage of our $99 AC inspection, evacuation and Freon recharge. This is an incredible deal and you should look to take advantage of it for the sake of your car and your hard-earned money.

AC Inspection Coupon

Do Performance Brake Rotors Have Better Cooling?

Date: 11/27/2017

In the automotive world, heat is bad. Take brakes for instance. They work by converting the rotational kinetic energy of the wheels into heat by friction. As more heat is generated, a point comes when the brakes rotors cannot absorb any more heat. They lose their friction and become useless – a phenomena known as brake fade. Therefore it is essential, that a brake can get rid of heat fast. 

Vanes are often added on brake rotors to aid their cooling. Many vehicles come with stock brakes equipped with straight vanes. These are cheaper to make as they do not need two different kinds of castings for their manufacture as they are specific to which side of the car they can be mounted. These vanes pull in more air onto the rotors to speed up their cooling. They cut the air as the wheel rotates and direct it for a better and faster flow. Directional rotors also pull in air from the side of the wheel, and not just from the top like straight vanes. Air coming from the side of the car is obviously cooler than that coming from the top, which could be coming straight from the hot engine. It would be anyone’s guess then, that directional rotors would perform better than straight vane rotors. Some of us however, are not so easily convinced. 

Recently a YouTube video decided to test this for themselves. A Honda S2000 was installed with straight vane rotors on the left front wheel and directional rotors on the front right wheel. A data logger equipped with a magnetic thermal probe was used to measure their temperature. Two different tests were performed. In the first test, the initial temperature of the rotors was noted. Then the car was accelerated to 60 mph and stopped using half brake and half throttle. Then the car was again sped up to 60 mph and then finally stopped. Readings were taken immediately after the run and the same test was repeated two more times. 

The results from these tests would seem baffling to anyone who expects the directional rotors to perform better. In all three runs, the directional rotors heated up to a greater extent than the stock ones - 116, 82 and 105 degree centigrade respectively. Stock rotors’ readings were consistently better at 96, 86 and 92 degree centigrade. The second test was done to test braking while going downhill. The car was sped up to 40 mph and then put in neutral while going downhill. The car’s speed was then maintained with just the brakes without any engine braking. Once the car had stopped, the temperatures were noted again. This test too, was conducted thrice at three different locations. In this test, the temperature changes for the stock setup were 49, 77 and 14 (from 138 to 152) degrees centigrade. The temperature changes for directional rotors were 59, 82 and 24 (from 141 to 165) degrees centigrade. 

Are we caught in some made up marketing ploy to sell more expensive rotors? Let’s dig deeper. If we account for the ambient temperature, the actual temperature difference between the two setup only happens to be 2% for the first test and 1% for the second test. However a negatively biased difference does exist for the differential rotors. The next thing to consider was the mass difference between the two rotors. The stock rotors are in fact a pound heavier than the directional ones. Considering the energy to be the same for both rotors, the same energy is being stored in a denser package in directional rotors.

The most critical point however seems to be the temperature itself. The temperature ranges that this test involved (40 – 190 degrees) were not exactly high. On the track, brake rotors get up to temperature ranges 10 times higher. A better test would then have been, to test the two different setups on the track throughout the day. Under that kind of serious performance, the cooling efficiency really comes into play, more than the mass of the brakes. It’s really a give or take between heat absorption (aided by mass) and cooling efficiency (presence of vanes). This was further proven by a test conducted by Science of Speed, where another Honda S2000 did 56 laps with the two different brake setups. With consistent lap times, directional rotors ran 32.4 degree centigrade cooler on average. The temperature ranges involved here were also as much as 500-1000 degrees centigrade. The conclusion then may be, that performance brakes only shine when they are tested hard. And that we should not let confirmation bias cloud our judgement. 

What Happens To An Engine Without Oil?

Date: 11/13/2017

Everyone knows that an engine is designed to operate with oil. It’s common sense, the law of the land, if you will. Oil acts as a lubricant for the engine while it runs, and is a pretty integral part of the machine. But have you ever wondered what actually happens to an engine that runs without it? Luckily, we have the answer.

In order to understand what happens to an engine without oil, here’s the low-down on what happened during an experiment that compares an engine running with oil to an identical one running without oil. Needless to say, don’t try this at home.

To make this a fair experiment, some variables had to remain constant. In this case, this involved using the exact same engine; a 212cc one-cylinder Harbor Freight Engine. Each test occurred 24 hours apart (with oil first, followed by without oil) in order to allow adequate time for the engine to cool. Each experiment therefore began with the engine at the same resting temperature. The oil used was also kept consistent, with a chosen APA certified Premium motor oil from a grocery store. The point of this choice was to demonstrate how integral even the cheapest engine oil can be in an engine’s functionality and lifespan, particularly when compared with no oil at all.

Five points were monitored on the engine in the experiment including the crankcase at the bottom (where the resting level of the oil sits), the top of the crankcase (where no oil sits), the air cooled cylinder, the exhaust pipe that exits the exhilarator before it enters the muffler, and finally the valve cover (in this case, a push rod style valve with overhead valves).

Given these variables were kept constant throughout this experiment, any extra heat from the engine without oil can be concluded as a result of the lack of oil, which when present acts as a lubricant to keep the engine cool and clean. During the experiment, ambient air temperature was about 15 to 16 degrees Celsius. Prior to the experiment, the engine was stored in a garage away from direct sunlight and outdoor conditions, which resulted in a cooler temperature before beginning.

While you would expect the temperatures of the engine without oil to exceed those of the one with, about eight minutes into the experiment this wasn’t the case. It was interesting to see that the temperatures of the engine without oil actually remained slightly cooler than the engine without, when measured from the outside. The only exception was the exhaust, which was slightly higher in temperature in the oil-less engine than the one that was lubricated. So does that mean if you want your engine to run cool, you should remove the oil? This is definitely not the case, as seen once the engine was opened up.

At the conclusion of the experiment, pulling apart the engine revealed that running it without oil for a mere 15 minutes actually caused some quite severe internal damage. A dark metal-infused oil (minimal left over that hadn’t quite fully drained from the first experiment) remained inside the engine after running without oil, compared with a clear, clean oil from the first run with it. The creation of this negative sludge, which is then distributed throughout the engine as it runs, only does further damage to areas of the engine where the clean oil would normally act positively.

Further examination of the integral parts of the engine such as the connecting rod cap from the crank shaft and the crank shaft itself also demonstrated signs of permanent damage. This is a result of the metals rubbing and churning against one another without the oil to help them slide smoothly, preventing scratches and reducing the likelihood of any damage.

The experiment concludes what we already know to be true - while an engine is able to run for a while without oil, eventually it will combust. In some cases, this will be much more extreme than in this experiment. Bigger engines will likely begin smoking, burst into flames and/or explode if they run without oil for too long. So basically, don’t go driving around in a vehicle with an engine that is lacking in oil. At least now you know exactly what will happen if the oil isn’t regularly checked and changed and why it is so important to ensure your engine is properly lubricated before running it.

Sources

https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/24555/what-actually-happens-when-there-is-not-enough-oil-in-a-car-engine

http://www.thedrive.com/watch-this/8998/watch-what-happens-when-you-run-an-engine-without-oil

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/buying-maintenance/a33134/engine-no-oil/

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1109814_what-happens-when-an-engine-runs-without-oil