Articles:

Exhaust Service

Whenever we talk about exhaust service, most people normally think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations. Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your vehicle manufacturer recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified Kansas City exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right – usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers. If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at ... read more

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Catalytic Converter Theft?

Catalytic converter theft is a crime that can cost car owners hundreds of dollars. It happens in broad daylight and in public places. All thieves need is a battery operated saw and a few minutes to cripple your car and set you back hundreds of dollars. Even worse, catalytic converter theft is on the rise in the Kansas City and Overland Park area. Why? Because the catalytic converter contains valuable precious metals which can sell at scrap yards for over $100. Warning Signs If your car has been left in a public place like an airport parking lot or a parking garage for an extended period of time, you are at greater risk for catalytic converter theft. Thieves also prefer vehicles like trucks and SUVs that sit higher off the ground, making them easier to maneuver under. Most motorists newly missing a catalytic converter know immediately that something is wrong. As soon as they turn the ignition, they’ll notice that the engine sounds loud like a motorcycle and vibrates ... read more

Are Hybrid and Electric Cars Influencing Traffic Flow?

One of the interesting things about electric and hybrid cars is what’s called regenerative braking. In a car’s normal braking system the brake pads produce friction with the brake rotors to slow or stop your car. With electric or hybrid vehicles the braking system works differently. When the brake pedal is pushed the electric motor goes into a reverse mode, which slows the car. A side effect of the reverse motion is that the motor also acts as an electric generator, producing electricity, which is fed into the car batteries thus recharging them. Science! These types of brakes work better at certain speeds and in fact, work best in stop-and-go traffic. It’s this recharging system that may be causing an interesting situation. An article published in the Vancouver Sun a week ago or so caught our eye so we thought we’d pass it along. Andrew McCredie, a writer for the Sun, describes how the drivers ... read more

Getting The Car Ready To Hit The Road

Summer is officially here and the road trip, that age-old family torture tradition, is on your horizon. It’s bad enough to endure endless, “Are we there yet? Bobby’s touching me! I have to pee again! Nevermind,” without having to suffer some sort of automotive catastrophe. Planning your dream trip to the Grand Canyon will go soooo much smoother if you take the time to prepare your car for the ride. Getting there is half the fun but only if you actually get there. Call Sallas Auto Repair at least a week or so before your planned launch just to make sure your Country Squire is up to the task. Have us check the following: Air conditioning system. Don’t just assume that when you’re deep in the Arizona desert that it will work. In fact assume that it won’t, and have it checked out. Sure it’s a dry heat but so is an oven. Flush your cooling system. See above Arizon ... read more

Check Engine Light

Did you know that today’s cars carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969? New cars have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, computers have been controlling about 85% of your vehicle’s functions. Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do you know when there is a problem? It’s simple – the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in the computer. It can be pretty disturbing when the Check Engine light comes on. We wonder ... read more

How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?

Sometimes the age of a belief is reason enough to accept it as fact. Certainly, things such as apple pie being the most “American” of all desserts are widely accepted. Other things are blindly accepted without conscious thought or research, such as the fact that it is cheaper to cook at home than it is to go out, mutual funds are safer than investing in stocks and U.S. Savings Bonds are a good safe investment. With conscious thought and calculation, we find that most of these things are not as true today as they once were. Recommended Oil Change Timelines and Miles Some myths take longer to dispel than others and that is the case with recommended oil change timelines and miles. The fact that you should have an oil change every 3,000 was the agreed upon manufacturer’s guideline from most car makers. What we fail to realize is that this was applicable to cars manufactured in the 1950’s. If you pull out your car manual, something few of us do, you will likely be surpris ... read more

What To Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in Kansas City

So you’ve bought a used car in the Kansas City area. How do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people in the Kansas City area sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you’ve sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from. Maybe it was a little of both. Used cars with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or vehicles that have done duty in rental fleets. We feel pretty confident because they’re newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained? If you plan on owning a car for a long time, you’ll keep up on the maintenance so that you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. But, if you know you’re only going to have the car for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn’t ruin a b ... read more

Battery Replacement

Modern cars and trucks run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. But today’s vehicles have more electrical components and do-dads than ever before. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wea ... read more

Serpentine Belt Replacement

Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood? 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 important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are especially tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. But, with time they wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You have to stop the car or it will overheat, potentially causing major engine damage. And it probably won’t be at a convenient time or place. You might even need to get your car towed to a Kansas City automotive service center. That is why manufacturers recommend a belt replacement on schedule. You real ... read more

October Car Care Aware Tip #1 – Getting Gas!

I know this topic sounds pretty basic, but as I have been doing a little research I see there is room for a little education in this department! 1. Don’t Top Off Your Gas Tank – When the gas pump clicks off automatically – DON”T TOP IT OFF! Gas pumps are designed to click off when your gas tank is full enough. Two things can happen if you “top off”. First gasoline needs room to expand. If you put too much gas in and then it expands it has to go somewhere! It can go into your vehicle’s vapor collection system. This may foul the system and cause it to malfunction because it is designed for vapor not liquid. Second if your tank can’t hold anymore it will go in the gas pump recovery system and then you just paid for a little gas you didn’t get. 2. Purchase In The Coolest Part Of The Day – In the morning or evening it is usually cooler. Gas become denser in cooler temperatures and gas pumps measure by volume. It is also b ... read more

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