The Importance of Going to a Brake Repair Shop

Maintaining your car is imperative for both your safety and the safety of others. Ensuring that your car brakes are in perfect condition is an absolute. Yes, an auto repair shop sees many different cars and light trucks with many different mechanical problems, many of which do not directly affect the safety of the vehicle. When the problem is brake oriented, it is vital that you seek immediate attention. Finding an auto repair shop in Denver that can help to ensure the brakes on your vehicle are in excellent condition makes a huge difference.

A car is made up of a myriad of different components. Some are visible, and when they need repair, it is obvious. A good example is a flat tire. The tire needs to be repaired or replaced and that is evident. There is no middle ground. Not all problems are as evident as a flat tire. There are other parts of a car that are not visible. Brake rotors and brake pads are, by design, hidden from view. Many car owners have their brakes checked by skilled mechanics at Elder Auto, while others will wait until they are faced with a problem that indicates the brakes need to be repaired. If, for example, the brakes on your vehicle begin to squeal during braking, it usually means the brake pads need replacing.

Brake repair is something that cannot be ignored. Unlike other problems, brake repair is something that should be done by an expert and should be done immediately. Good brakes are imperative for your safety as well as others. They are the difference between a safe vehicle and one that is prone to accidents. Brake pads can wear to the point where they rub against metal components. Instead of having to only replace the brake pads, you are faced with having to reface or replace the brake rotors. It may be tempting to push the pads to the limit, however I highly advise against it. By having repairs done when the problem first arises, you will save time, save money, and be driving a safe vehicle.

Coolant Flush

Importance of a Coolant Flush

Engine coolant is also called antifreeze, and it’s a heat-transfer fluid that removes extra heat from the engine. Coolant comes in various types, so you have to pick the right one for your vehicle. Often, your owner’s manual tells you the right one to use. Your engine creates a lot of heat and energy while it moves. The cooling and exhaust system keeps the engine cool. Since the antifreeze gets used so much and recycled, you may need a coolant flush periodically to keep everything running smoothly. Often, an auto mechanic is the best person to perform this service.

Flushing the coolant system offers many benefits to your vehicle. Maintaining the cooling system is essential because it is part of the automobile. Generally, these flushes are done once a year, though your mechanic at Elder Auto Complete Auto Service may recommend it be done more often if you drive more frequently. If you have never had a flush done of the coolant system, you may wonder if it is needed. You can talk to the friendly mechanics and staff here and get advice. They are going to help you find the right services and repairs based on your particular needs.

Flushing the coolant system is often necessary for auto repair. It is designed to remove scale and rust deposits that can build up with time. If you don’t get them out of the system, they can damage the cooling mechanisms and overheat the car. Plus, newer antifreeze products have additives that can lubricate the water pump. This does extend the life of the part, but the lubricant inside the coolant doesn’t last forever. Therefore, you need to have it changed once a year, at least. You can easily check to see if it is time for this service, or you can ask a mechanic you trust to tell you when to have it flushed.

Brake Repair

Auto Engine and Brake Repair in Denver

With the number of vehicles on the road, you might think that finding an auto repair shop would be simple. It is not that finding a place to have your car repaired is difficult. What is difficult is finding a good one. In the eyes of a typical car owner, what constitutes a good repair shop includes price, customer service, professionalism, and the quality of the work. If you are looking for a shop that undertakes engine and brake repair in Denver, knowing a few things will help you meet your goal.

Firstly, do not wait until you need a qualified mechanic to start looking. If you need the services of a mechanic, you should already know where to take your vehicle. Although auto repair shops advertise, it is far better to get a recommendation from people you know and trust. Ask around. Ask people you work with as well as friends, neighbors, and family members. Chances are good that someone you spoke to will have had firsthand experience with a good shop. Conversely, you may get information on shops to avoid. Even though you have names, it is also a good idea to do a little detective work. Visit a shop that specializes in car repair in Denver, a shop that has previously been identified as a good one. Observe how they deal with customers. Do they appear to be well organized, and do the technicians all seem to be professionals?

After you have asked questions and did your investigations, it is still in your best interest to err on the side of caution. When your car needs brake repair, for example, give the job to the shop you identified and evaluate their performance. If you are pleased with what you see and the quality of the work they performed, you can feel confident and comfortable giving them your business when any issue arises.

Is a Radiator Flush Necessary For Your Auto Repair?

There are a number of benefits to having the radiator of your vehicle flushed. A radiator flush is not expensive, but it is a simple vehicle maintenance procedure that can save you money. There is a significant difference between flushing the radiator and simply draining it of coolant. A radiator flush drives up to 5 gallons of anti-freeze through the vehicle’s cooling system. As the new coolant is pushed into the system, the old coolant, along with any contaminants in the cooling system, are pushed out. A radiator flush removes all the old coolant. Draining the radiator, on the other hand, only removes about half of the coolant and leaves almost all contaminates in the radiator.

A radiator flush should be done annually. It will prevent the vehicle from overheating and the need for radiator repair in Denver. A complete radiator flush from a company like Elder Auto Complete Auto Service removes all traces of cooling system rust. The new coolant will prevent the cooling system from foaming. As well as removing rust and other contaminants in the cooling system, a complete radiator flush lubricates the water pump, which in turn, extends the life of the pump.

As corrosion takes place within the vehicle cooling system, the particles settle in the heater core and the radiator. Both the heater core and radiator have relatively small tubes that the coolant flows through. Eventually these small tubes become clogged with particles floating through the system. This reduces the radiator’s ability to expel heat. The car will overheat, and the heater will do nothing but blow cold air during use. Auto repair will be necessary if the tubes are completely clogged. Performing a radiator flush annually will extend the life of these expensive components, and you can be assured of heat, even on the coldest Colorado mornings.

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

No matter how well they’re made, cars are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the car maker to issue recall notices to Denver residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The auto manufacturer then tries to contact all Denver auto owners who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Denver service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
Elder Auto
5555 East Evans Ave Denver, CO 80222
303.756.2886

These recalls always affect safety, so Denver drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Denver auto owners and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Denver auto owners still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, manufacturers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Denver service centers (including Elder Auto)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Denver tech receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Denver car owners can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Denver vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Engine Air Filter From Elder Auto


Many Denver motorists have found themselves in the following situation: they go to get their oil changed and their considerate Elder Auto service specialist recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don’t know what an air filter is or what it does.

If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your Elder Auto service advisor for more information. It’s your cash and you have a right to understand what you’re paying for.

Let’s review: “What does an air filter do??”:

Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in Denver right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in CO with hay fever can tell you that there’s plenty in the air that you can’t see. Well, the engine air filter’s critical job is to clean that air before it goes into your minivan engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your minivan engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, for every gallon of gas you burn, your minivan engine needs 12,000 gallons of air. That little filter does a very big job. It’s no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn’t clean as well. It can’t move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way – the minivan engine can’t get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced fuel efficiency.

That’s why your auto manufacturer has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the Denver conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in CO where it’s very dusty or where there’s lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your considerate Elder Auto tech can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement, or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you’ll need to replace it soon – like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty minivan air filter hurts your gas mileage, many Denver car owners find that a new air filter pays for itself in better fuel efficiency before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

The better your car breathes, the better it runs – kind of like Denver people. And don’t worry – if you have a question or don’t understand a recommendation just ask your Elder Auto technician.

5555 East Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80222
303.756.2886

Keeping Your Denver Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Denver house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it’s C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your minivan. It filters out common Denver air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Aurora motorists have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in CO. Last check, about forty percent of new vehicles sold in Denver come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for Denver motorists. Your minivan can be a haven during our Denver allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner’s manual for replacement guidelines. If your minivan owner’s manual doesn’t mention your cabin air filter, ask your considerate tech at Elder Auto for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Denver area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Elder Auto urges Denver car owners to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Denver more enjoyable.

Come by Elder Auto in Denver and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Elder Auto

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is an essential part of preventive maintenance for wise Denver car owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your minivan’s wheels would have to come from you.

The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer minivans have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

Denver auto owners should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner’s manual or ask your considerate Elder Auto service professional to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your considerate Elder Auto service advisor will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Your Elder Auto technician can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner’s manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, Denver auto owners who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out or be damaged by rough CO driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Denver motorists should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Elder Auto. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

Elder Auto On Your Serpentine Belt

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

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Denver drivers’ vehicles. Those pumps provide critical pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many minivans, 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 Denver, CO, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some minivans are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of important 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 critical work, but they’re tough and can last Denver car owners for thousands of miles.

Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Denver, CO area. Your auto manufacturer 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 Elder Auto can detect a belt that’s getting close to failing.

Your considerate Elder Auto service professional 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.

What’s involved in replacing the belt at Elder Auto? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.

This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its critical job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV and the automotive professionals at Elder Auto recommend Denver car owners replace them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.

What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our Denver streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.

What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on a busy Aurora freeway, it can be a little scary. The first thing Denver motorists usually notice is that they have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.

Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is vital because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling. Pull over as quickly as you safely can!

The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local Denver, CO traffic.

Remember, Denver drivers can avoid this stressful scenario if they replace their minivan serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your considerate Elder Auto tech to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.

Elder Auto
5555 East Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80222
303.756.2886

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days CO folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Denver auto owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Denver car owners. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us CO penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Denver car owners making sure we follow the auto manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some minivan parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older minivans. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Denver at Elder Auto, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your considerate Elder Auto service advisor help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Elder Auto is cheaper than a an expensive new car payment for Denver auto owners. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.