Battery Replacement For Your SUV

Modern cars and trucks in and around Hamilton run on 12 volt electrical systems. 12 volts is enough to get the job done for Hamilton motorists 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 us Ohio drivers 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 Hamilton auto owners resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your SUV. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have just worn out. Or, in other cases, they have developed a leak which makes it even more important to get it replaced.

Special safety precautions are taken when working with batteries in the shop at Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton, Ohio. These precautions also apply to anyone who is poking around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can damage your eyes and burn your skin, so safety glasses and rubber gloves are a must for any Hamilton motorists working with their battery. Be careful to not spill acid on your clothes or the SUV’s paint. Of course, avoid short circuiting the battery as well.

Replacement car batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. Larger engines require more powerful batteries to get them started. If you live where it gets cold in Ohio you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold.

Sometimes there is quite a price range in Hamilton auto part stores for batteries that will work in a particular car. Think of it as “good”, “better” and “best”. More expensive batteries have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves bucks in the long run for Hamilton car owners.

Eric’s Auto Service
1047 Millville Ave
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
513.867.0770

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Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Hamilton

With high fuel prices in Hamilton Ohio comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Hamilton Ohio people desperate to save some money on gas.

Auto Myths When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your Hamilton Ohio service advisor at Eric’s Auto Service.

There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in Hamilton!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We’re Eric’s Auto Service, give us a call at 513.867.0770 for good honest advice about your car.

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Training Received by Technicians In Hamilton, Ohio

When your car breaks down in the Hamilton, Ohio area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Hamilton auto owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

We’ve been checking into some of the important training our Hamilton Ohio technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

Today there are four cylinder engines around Hamilton that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel efficiency keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Hamilton motorists at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on Ohio interstates area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Hamilton car owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It’s a real challenge for the techs at  Eric’s Auto Service and other Hamilton auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Hamilton technicians go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Hamilton automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

Service centers in Hamilton, Ohio have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Eric’s Auto Service subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Hamilton auto owners want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your SUV in. Hamilton drivers can trust their Personal Eric’s Auto Service techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Eric’s Auto Service. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

At Eric’s Auto Service, we provide quality automotive service including auto repair, diagnostics and new tire sales and service.<br><br>

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Hamilton Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn’t feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes, smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.

Driving for an extended time when you’re out of alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly and excessively. This can be dangerous and expensive. You’ll have to replace your tires sooner, but even worse – you may cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive.

The front wheel alignment is adjustable on all vehicles, and the back wheels are also adjustable on some cars. The adjustment can go three different ways. The first adjustment is called toe. The next adjustment is called camber. And finally, there is castor. The engineers who designed your vehicle determined the alignment settings that will give you the best handling and safety.

There are several things involved in an alignment check. First, there’s an inspection of the steering and suspension – it should be checked to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle’s center line. If the back wheels aren’t adjustable, a technician at Eric’s Auto Service can determine the direction they push and then aligns the front wheels to match.

Eric’s Auto Service
1047 Millville Ave
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
513.867.0770

Like most things, your manufacturer has suggested a mileage interval for having your alignment checked. But if you run into a curb, pothole or something else that’s given you a big jolt, pay attention to whether your vehicle is pulling to one side when you drive. It’s better to have your alignment checked before waiting to see if there is uneven tire tread wear – by then, the damage is done.

Getting your alignment checked when needed is a great way to extend the life of your tires and suspension parts. It also makes sure that your tire meets the road properly for maximum performance and safety.

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Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Hamilton Ohio

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Hamilton Ohio area (zip code: 45013) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Eric’s Auto Service we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Cincinnati area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Eric’s Auto Service
1047 Millville Ave
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
513.867.0770

Many people in Hamilton are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern SUVs are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Hamilton with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Hamilton service advisor at Eric’s Auto Service about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your SUV is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Hamilton auto service advisor at Eric’s Auto Service help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your Ohio Driving

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Oxford knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Oxford area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I’m not talkin’ what you see in the mirror.

SUV Weight Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Oxford, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

…And you really only need one of those spare tires.

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Synthetic Oil For Hamilton Autos

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Hamilton vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Hamilton, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Hamilton have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 513.867.0770 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Eric’s Auto Service website.

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Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Eric’s Auto Service

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the Ohio news. Hamilton people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel economy and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Hamilton motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Hamilton grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their SUVs for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Hamilton drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own SUVs on the road in Ohio.

The smart Hamilton motorists of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Eric's Auto ServiceThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your SUV’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is dangerous for your engine.

There’s another essential reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Hamilton car owners. It’s simple – a Eric’s Auto Service professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Eric’s Auto Service technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or expensive repair.

Your Personal Eric’s Auto Service service professional will also visually inspect your SUV for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Eric’s Auto Service advisor will be able to remind you of other critical services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Hamilton dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your SUV gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some cash, but they are less costly than new SUV payments in Hamilton. With proper service at Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more bucks in your wallet.

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The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our Cincinnati area shoe stores?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?

When you choose new tires in Hamilton, what’s the most important factor for you?

Give us a call at Eric’s Auto Service at 513.867.0770 for tire recommendations.

You know, buying tires in Hamilton is a big deal. It’s a big ticket item so you know you’ll be spending a lot. You’re not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it’ll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.

And of course there’s the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer, the tires need a high load rating to be up for the job.

As a tire professional, I think it’s important that people understand the effect of price on a tire’s performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad had a saying. He said, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many”.

Dad applied that to a lot of things. He thought that one high quality suit would last longer and look better than two cheap suits. The saying really seems to hold true when it comes to shoes and boots, too.

I buy high-quality work shoes because I spend a lot of time on my feet. They’re more comfortable, have important safety features like steel toes and non-slip soles – and they last at least twice as long as cheap shoes. I feel I get very good value for my money.

I apply the same thinking to tires. The major tire brands that you’re familiar with are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are well-engineered and very high quality. Comparable tires are usually in the same price range from brand to brand.

Stepping down in price you come to private label tires. Some large tire store chains carry tires with the chain’s own brand. It’s important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 brands that you are familiar with – so they are a quality product. You can ask your tire professional who makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market are Tier 3 tires. These tend to be imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can’t expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.

So let’s say you need new tires. You’ve determined the features you need. So you have several options, including price options. Now, you’ve probably heard the term ‘it’s a 40 thousand mile tire’ or ‘it’s a 60 thousand mile tire’. Simply put, the manufacturer warrantees the tire for ‘X’ number of miles. If that’s important to you, look for the warranty.

What’s the difference in the tires with higher mileage warranties? It’s the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you’ll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Now the cheapest tires you can find won’t have a manufacturer’s mileage warranty or if it does, it’ll be relatively low. That brings us back to dad’s saying; if you buy the cheapest Tier 3 tire you can, you will likely go through two sets in the time it would take to wear out one set of good quality tires. And the good tires won’t cost twice as much, so you’ll end up paying more per mile driven with the cheap tires.

Hey, I realize that sometimes the budget will only allow for a Tier 3 tire. I make them available for my customers who need them because I would rather see them driving with safe, new tires than pushing their old tires beyond their safety limits. But I always counsel my customers to buy as much tire as they can afford, because it will be much less expensive in the long run.

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road. You’re only as safe as your tires are well built.

Buy value – not price.

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Eric’s Auto Service On Your Serpentine Belt

Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Hamilton, Ohio 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 SUV and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around Ohio in the summer.

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

In many SUVs, 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 Hamilton, Ohio, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some SUVs are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of vital 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 essential work, but they’re tough and can last Hamilton motorists for thousands of miles.

Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Hamilton, Ohio area. Your vehicle 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 Eric’s Auto Service can detect a belt that’s getting close to failing.

Your Personal Eric’s Auto Service service specialist 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 Eric’s Auto Service? 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 Eric’s Auto Service recommend Hamilton drivers 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 Hamilton 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 Cincinnati interstate, it can be a little scary. The first thing Hamilton car owners 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 important 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 Hamilton, Ohio traffic.

Remember, Hamilton car owners can avoid this stressful scenario if they replace their SUV serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your Personal Eric’s Auto Service 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.

Eric’s Auto Service
1047 Millville Ave
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
513.867.0770

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