Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy Auburn interstate? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator – which charges the battery; the water pump – which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty critical parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.
Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. Like all critical moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around Auburn, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the Sedan immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing expensive engine damage. You can be sure that it won’t happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your Sedan towed to Euro Motors. It’s no wonder that car makers recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It’s one of those “have-to’s.”
Auburn motorists who hear a squeal when accelerating or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. Your service professional at Euro Motors in Auburn will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. If the belt has more than three or four cracks an inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.
Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled Sedan back to Euro Motors for important repairs.
You’re mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Euro Motors 10068 Streeter Rd. #14 Auburn, California 95602 530-776-5343
Custom wheels are one way that Auburn folks express themselves and personalize their Sedan. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several important factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the Sedan, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Auburn motorists start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.
When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require costly adjustments to your Sedan suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Sacramento or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.
There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your Sedan. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your Sedan. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your Sedan tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.
The tire and wheel professionals in Auburn at Euro Motors on 10068 Streeter Rd. #14 can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your Sedan. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.
Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Euro Motors service professional by calling 530-776-5343.
If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is critical that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your Sedan engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.
As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more essential it becomes to have your Friendly Euro Motors technician tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.
If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.
The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your Sedan may require an upgraded brake system.
Also, you may not get the performance from your Sedan that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Euro Motors, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.
Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is critical that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.
Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some bucks. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Yuba City motorists to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.
Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Sacramento? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on California highways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.
For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.
At the end of the day, Auburn motorists should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Euro Motors tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as expensive repairs down the road.
The Friendly auto professionals at Euro Motors want to remind Auburn drivers of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.
How do Auburn auto owners know if an odometer is telling the truth?
Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect California consumers against mileage fraud. It says a California seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.
To have your odometer checked in Auburn California, stop by Euro Motors:
Euro Motors Auburn, California 95602 530-776-5343
If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.
If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can Auburn motorists do?
First, you can go to www.CarFax.com, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your Sedan, showing local Auburn, California ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.
Auburn motorists can get a mileage history by checking with the local California DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.
If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.