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Trip Inspection at Elder Auto in Denver

Aurora drivers love their cars. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it’s great! But there’s nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Denver car owners can’t always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle’s perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding CO byways or highways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How many miles will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage. Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier, or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Elder Auto in Denver to help you prepare your minivan for your big adventure. A lot of our Denver customers prefer to go through this exercise with their considerate  technician to get their input and make sure they haven’t overlooked anything.

A great place for Denver drivers to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job – you wouldn’t want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Denver rock-crawling trails.

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you’ll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that’s pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous for Denver motorists.

And don’t forget your brakes, Denver car owners. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Elder Auto in Denver before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Talk to your considerate Elder Auto service advisor.

Your engine air filter will be essential. For every gallon of gas you burn, your car will filter and use 12,000 gallons of air. If the filter needs to be changed, you’ll notice improved MPG on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it’s due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don’t need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Elder Auto is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other essential maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your minivan? If so, it could as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it’s an exhaust leak it could be fatal for Denver car owners and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you’ll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren’t getting the cold air you used to.

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is quick and inexpensive to fix for wise Denver car owners. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven’t changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more vital as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you bucks in the long run and may prevent inconvenient and expensive delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the world’s largest ball of string, would you?

What To Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in Denver

So you’ve bought a used car in the Denver area. Do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people in the Denver 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 in CO with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, Aurora corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most Denver buyers feel pretty confident about these because they’re newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?

Denver drivers who are planning to own a car for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid costly 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 brand new engine. Then it’ll be someone else’s problem when it comes time to pay for the damage.

It is very tempting for Denver auto owners to skip the 30,000 mile service if they know they’ll be turning in their leased vehicle in a couple of months.

If the vehicle didn’t come with maintenance records, Denver used care buyers need to assume the worst. Most likely the coolant system and transmission have never been serviced. The cabin air filter has probably not been changed and a fuel system cleaning at Elder Auto may be in order.

You’ll want Elder Auto to check the A/C, battery, engine air filter, serpentine belt and hoses. A used car inspection at Elder Auto is well worth the cost.

And if your “new” used vehicle has more miles on it, an inspection is even more essential. Check your owner’s manual or talk with your considerate Elder Auto service professional (call 303.756.2886) about what should have been done. Please don’t forget the timing belt; that can be very pricey if it fails.

Elder Auto will help you with a plan to take care of critical services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won’t allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get it taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your important maintenance records. They’ll help you get top dollar on the CO used car market when it’s time for you to sell.

Elder Auto
5555 East Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80222
303.756.2886


 

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You’ve gotta have good brakes. If you’ve got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That’s why a regular brake inspection is on every Denver driver’s maintenance schedule. An inspection at Elder Auto will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Elder Auto in Denver right away. Here are some vital symptoms for Denver auto owners to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it’s time to get your brakes checked. To to your considerate Elder Auto service specialist.

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are most common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your minivan . Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to be replaced at Elder Auto.

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That’s not only costly, but also dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Elder Auto brake service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Denver drivers should change the brake fluid when their vehicle manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

There are different grades of brake pads sold in Denver; good, better and best. Higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the vehicle manufacturer recommends.

So, be sure to properly maintain your brakes, because it’s a lot less expensive than paying your Denver body shop after an accident.

Come in to Elder Auto for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 303.756.2886.

Exhaust Service At Elder Auto In Denver

Whenever they hear the term “exhaust service,” most Denver car owners think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at Elder Auto 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 automobile 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 Denver 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 Elder Auto in Denver handle emission problems everyday. You might have exhaust or emissions trouble if your car is difficult to start, runs rough, is noisy or smoking. Call Elder Auto at 303.756.2886 to schedule an appointment if you experience these problems.

Let’s review the exhaust system. We will start from the top and start with the exhaust manifold. That is the important part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and various other joints along the way. If the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, detrimental gases could escape into the passenger compartment, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it is important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak. The exhaust pipes connect the various components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next is the catalytic converter. This part looks like a muffler. It changes chemicals that are dangerous to your health and our Denver environment into harmless carbon dioxide and water. It doesn’t require any maintenance itself. But eventually they wear out. Denver car owners find this out when their car fails an emissions inspection.

Now the muffler. Its main job is to quiet engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. And you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – anything from whisper quiet to bad-boy rumbley. Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can leak and need to be replaced right away. Talk to your considerate Elder Auto service advisor.

The exhaust system is attached to the minivan by a series of hangers and clamps. These fasteners hold the system in place. When hangers come loose or break, hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines.

Finally, we end at the tailpipe. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. These can be plain-Jane or pretty flashy. Also, the oxygen sensors monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine control computer can adjust the fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

Exhaust and emissions service at Elder Auto in Denver covers plain old pipes and high-tech computers. It impacts everything from life and death safety due to exhaust leaks, to fine-tuning the sound of your ride.