Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Hamilton, Ohio

Let’s talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Hamilton environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Hamilton auto owners very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Cincinnati area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn.  The benefits to Hamilton drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel efficiency and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more costly than straight gasoline.

Hamilton auto owners should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around the Cincinnati area for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Hamilton roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It’s less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Natural gas engines don’t make as much power and don’t get as good MPG, but they cost Hamilton drivers less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Hamilton to Cincinnati.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Hamilton area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our Ohio roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that’s assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver fuel economy similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It’ll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

Another breakthrough technology from automakers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global car makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It’ll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there’s widespread use in Ohio.

A quick word from Eric’s Auto Service about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Cincinnati service technician at  Eric’s Auto Service is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you’re specifically trained on hybrid systems.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Wheel Bearings

Why are wheel bearings vital for Hamilton motorists? It’s simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today’s Eric’s Auto Service post, we’ll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very critical job while you drive around Hamilton, Ohio.

Come see us at: 1047 Millville Ave in Hamilton, Ohio 45013

Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They’re made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two vital jobs: First, they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds, each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds. That’s a lot of heavy lifting over many, many thousands of miles.

Even though wheel bearings are pretty straightforward, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job for Hamilton drivers. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It’s when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated; causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.

The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your tech at Eric’s Auto Service can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.

Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren’t sealed can be serviced on schedule at Eric’s Auto Service. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they’re re-installed – if not, they’re replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.

If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty pricey – but they usually last about 150,000 miles as long as the seals hold up.

Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that’s exerting pressure on the seal. So if you’ve driven through hub deep water your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they’re serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure. If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your auto manufacturer’s owner’s manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles.

If you have any sort of trailer, don’t forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don’t have the opportunity to rust all winter.

So what happens to Hamilton car owners if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don’t need to tell you how dangerous that could be. So check with your service advisor at Eric’s Auto Service and see if your vehicle’s wheel bearings can be serviced and when it’s recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you’ve been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.

Visit the automotive professionals at Eric’s Auto Service for a wheel bearing inspection, or for diagnostics. Call 513.867.0770 for an appointment.

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When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

Hey Cincinnati, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our Ohio streets? How can you tell on your SUV?

While there may be legal requirements for the Cincinnati area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.

2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question recently.

We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies.

The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Cincinnati. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water covered stretch of road near Cincinnati, Ohio. Your tires must be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means that the tire has to move the water away from the tire so that the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water.

Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:

  • New tire tread depth
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 2/32 of an inch

So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.

Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.

Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That’s a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.

How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.

How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?

For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

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

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Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service At Eric’s Auto Service In Hamilton

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Most Ohio car owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.

Why is it critical for Cincinnati drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.

Hamilton folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won’t know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good car care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your SUV air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.

The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system’s parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is an important practice and will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot Cincinnati days.

How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection? It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the auto manufacturer’s recommendation.

Here’s a good piece of auto advice for Ohio motorists that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won’t dry out during cold Hamilton weather.

Your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your SUV; it dries it out as well. So if you have trouble with a foggy windshield, flip on your air conditioning on the defrost setting. You may be surprised at how quickly it takes care of the problem. Of course, some vehicles can’t run the air conditioner and defroster at the same time; you should check your owner’s manual or with the car maker if you are uncertain whether this feature works in your car or not.

So, after learning about preventive maintenance for your A/C, you might now be wondering if your air conditioner is in trouble. Two early warning signs of a failing air conditioner are (1) the air just isn’t getting as cold as it used to and (2) there’s a strange noise when the air conditioner turns on. If you notice either of these symptoms in your SUV, you should bring it to Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton as soon as possible.

Just some good auto advice to keep you cool in Cincinnati and keep you on the road!

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Check Your Shocks and Struts at Eric’s Auto Service

Today we’re talking to Hamilton motorists about shocks and struts. They’re so easy for Ohio folks to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they’re very .

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for Hamilton car owners.

Visit Eric’s Auto Service to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional tech. You can find us at 1047 Millville Ave, Hamilton, Ohio 45013
Or give us a call at 513.867.0770 to make an appointment.

There’s a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our Hamilton streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps. Hamilton drivers may notice the rear end squatting when they accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner. 

Uneven tire wear can also be a an important sign of worn shocks for Hamilton auto owners. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced. Talk to your Personal Eric’s Auto Service service professional.

Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your SUV. It’s usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on bumpy Hamilton roads, your shocks might wear out faster.

If those Cincinnati area driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.

The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around Hamilton, Ohio, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your Hamilton, Ohio service professional at Eric’s Auto Service can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.

It’s best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you’ll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.

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The Right Automotive Fluids For Cincinnati Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Cincinnati auto owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Hamilton drivers and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many SUVs now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Hamilton motorists should always use the grade recommended by their auto manufacturer  and type of oil in their engine.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your SUV cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Hamilton roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your SUV power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the vital thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your Personal Eric’s Auto Service technician or SUV owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call

Eric’s Auto Service
513.867.0770
1047 Millville Ave
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
http://autonet.ericsauto.com/

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Eric’s Auto Service: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most Hamilton and Fairfield car owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Eric’s Auto Service, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Hamilton auto owners actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Hamilton auto owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your SUV engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in Hamilton, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Eric's Auto Service: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Eric’s Auto Service article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your SUV fuel efficiency driving around Ohio. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel economy. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Eric’s Auto Service.

Here’s an easy one for brilliant Hamilton car owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your SUV auto manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced gas mileage, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for Hamilton car owners that  want to save cash: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Hamilton roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your gas mileage.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Hamilton can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the highway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your Hamilton freeway,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our SUVs tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

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Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Eric’s Auto Service

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Anyone that drives a car in Hamilton knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your SUV cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the SUV’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t Fairfield car owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Ohio weather. That would spell disaster for your SUV’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your SUV. Cincinnati motorists should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your SUV’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your Personal Eric’s Auto Service service advisor for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto makers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the SUV cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Eric’s Auto Service tech if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your SUV cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your SUV engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Eric’s Auto Service to keep you on the road and help your life in Hamilton run more pleasantly.

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It

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Part of the engineering that goes into designing a vehicle is testing the components to ensure that they meet durability and safety standards. Because of this, manufacturers have a good idea as to how long the parts in your vehicle will last under normal driving conditions. For this reason, they give us guidelines to follow regarding how often to inspect the various parts and systems on our SUVs.

Vehicular components are required to meet certain standards. The government mandates some of these standards. Others are set by the auto industry. Recommended car maintenance schedules are designed to help Hamilton motorists maintain these standards. Disregarding routine maintenance or procrastinating preventive maintenance will result in lowered performance and reduced safety for a vehicle.

Maintenance schedules are designed to ensure three areas of essential automotive performance for Hamilton auto owners: protection of the vehicle itself, MPG, and safety.

Protection

Your vehicle’s components need protection from dirt, road damage, rust, corrosion and fuel and combustion by products. Protective components include filters and fluids.

Most of the fluids in your SUV are there to keep the vehicle running smoothly and to protect the vehicle from corrosion, damage or harmful contaminants. These fluids need to be changed regularly in order to continue protecting your SUV.

For example, motor oil lubricates your engine, when keeps it running well, but it also contains detergents and other additives that clean your engine and protect it from corrosion. Your vehicle’s engine was engineered for best performance with a specific weight and type of motor oil. Hamilton auto owners should always be careful to use the right motor oil for their engine.

Over time, the critical additives in motor oil are depleted, and the oil becomes contaminated by dirt, water and waste gases from combustion. So in order to keep your engine clean and to continue to protect it from corrosion, the oil has to be changed periodically.

Efficiency

Over time, your vehicle’s systems will get dirty and parts will wear down. Cleaning dirty systems and replacing worn parts will improve the efficiency of your vehicle, which is usually measured in terms of fuel economy and power output.

For example, your fuel system components gradually get clogged up with gum and varnish from gasoline. This restricts fuel flow, which lowers your engine’s efficiency. Gas mileage drops as a result. Cleaning your fuel system will restore fuel efficiency and improve gas mileage.

Safety

Some of your SUV’s systems must be maintained for safety reasons. Your brakes are a prime example of this. Brake pads and brake fluid need to be replaced in order to ensure good braking power. Poorly maintained brakes lead to accidents for Hamilton car owners.

Your owner’s manual is your first resource when it comes to knowing when and how to maintain your SUV. Of course, you can consult with a your Eric’s Auto Service service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on how to adjust your service schedule to account for climate, local road conditions and your driving distances.

Beyond routine maintenance, your vehicle also requires regular inspections. These inspections are usually recommended at specific mileage intervals, like fifteen or twenty thousand miles. The interval is based on the known life expectancy for particular components in your SUV. Regular inspections will identify vehicular components that need to be repaired or replaced before damage is done to the vehicle or safety is compromised. They are also designed to safeguard the efficiency and performance of your vehicle.

The multi-point inspection that comes with a full-service oil change does not cover all of the regular inspections your vehicle needs for peak performance and safety. Check with the automotive professionals at Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton to find out what additional inspections your vehicle needs and how often. Good car care requires regular and consistent maintenance. But good maintenance pays for itself in better gas mileage and fewer expensive repairs. It may even save your life.

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Keeping Your Engine Cool In Hamilton, Ohio

The cooling system keeps Ohio motorists’s engines from overheating while they are driving around Hamilton, Oxford and Fairfield. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let’s talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

The radiator is the part most Hamilton motorists associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there’s enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the SUV is idling.

In some SUVs, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your SUV off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

Hamilton Ohio Radiator A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the SUV engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the “water jacket”.

While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the SUV engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat’s job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your Hamilton house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

When you first start the engine, it’s very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

The final component the team at Eric’s Auto Service wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It’ll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car’s hot. The cooling system is pressurized and opening them while it’s hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Hamilton, Ohio. At Eric’s Auto Service, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for harmful leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

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

Your auto manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Eric’s Auto Service in Hamilton, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

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