Our drivers in Gooding, ID can avoid excessive car repairs by keeping their vehicles well-maintained through a pro-active program here at Keen Automotive, LLC. We know that many drivers make the unfortunate mistake of not performing routine maintenance on their cars, or they wait until a minor issue has progressed to an urgent problem before bringing their car to our repair shop. Waiting for the light to pop up on your dash is not really the right way to do maintenance and repairs. Our drivers will tell you quickly that our technicians really care about your vehicle and that we provide you with options so that minor issues do not progress into an urgent problem.
Proper vehicle maintenance done by Keen Automotive, LLC comes with several advantages, including:
- Improved safety – By performing routine and scheduled maintenance, you keep your car running in tip-top shape. This reduces your chances of getting into an accident due to faulty parts. For example, if your brakes are squeaking and you ignore the problem, brake failure can wind up causing a severe accident. A car owner who has their brakes checked regularly can address this problem early on and prevent a devastating accident.
- Money savings – Although maintenance services cost more upfront, they save you money in the long run. Minor issues can be addressed before they become costly repairs. Proper maintenance will also prolong the life of your car’s parts and vital components, minimizing part replacements and repairs.
- Damage prevention – By having routine maintenance performed on your car, technicians can spot problems early on before they become costly and severe. This also means that you are less likely to have a breakdown at an inconvenient time.
At Keen Automotive, LLC, we are dedicated to helping our customers keep their cars running in the best condition possible. Below are listed just a few of the many services our certified technicians here at Keen Automotive, LLC are qualified to perform:
Battery and Ignition
- Alternator: The alternator is an automotive charging system that generates power for all the electrical components of a vehicle. Your car won’t start if your alternator goes bad. Dim lights, weak or dead battery, weird noises, and smells are a few signs of a bad alternator.
- Battery: The battery works with the alternator to supply electric energy to your vehicle. Once you start your car, the alternator supplies the power needed to start driving. If you’re having issues with your car's electronic system or you have a slow engine crank upon turning the key in the ignition, your battery could be going bad.
- Spark plugs: Spark plugs emit tiny “sparks” of electricity needed to start your car. The health of your spark plugs is linked to the performance of your engine. When your spark plugs are going bad your engine will idle roughly and your average MPG will plummet.
- Distributor cap: The distributor cap is part of your vehicle's ignition system. It passes voltage from the ignition coils to an engine’s cylinders to power it. If you experience stalling or backfiring while driving it could mean you need a new distributor cap.
- Solenoid and starting motor: The Solenoid receives a large electric current from the car battery and a smaller electric current from the ignition switch to get your car started. The easiest way to tell your solenoid is going bad is when you turn the key in the ignition. If it doesn’t make any noise, you need a new solenoid.
- Ignition wires, coil, and modules: These parts of an ignition system are responsible for the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chambers. No spark = no driving anywhere for you and that's no good.
Air Conditioning and Engine Cooling
The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
- The refrigerant carries heat. In modern cars, the refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called r-12 freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a.
- The compressor circulates and compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
- Your vehicle’s condenser changes the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
- The expansion valve (sometimes called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomizes it.
- Your vehicle’s evaporator transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
- The receiver or dryer filters your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other contaminants from them.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes form a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator. Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components are damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Keen Automotive LLC. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.
Engine and Fuel Emissions
- EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve: The EGR lowers the exhaust emissions from the tailpipe of the car. A rough idle, stalling, and increase in fuel consumption are telltale signs you need a new EGR valve.
- Modular fuel pump: This part releases the power needed to operate the fuel pump. Common signs of a failing modular fuel pump include a hard start, inability to start the car and engine performance issues.
- ECM (Engine Control Module): The ECM ensures optimal engine performance by reading the valves from sensors within the engine bay. If your check engine light comes on or your car isn’t starting, your ECM is going bad.
- Fuel injector: The fuel injector transfers fuel into the engine and is responsible for power, fuel efficiency, emission performance and more! If the inside of your car starts to smell like gas, your fuel injectors could be going bad.
- Engine sensors: Engine sensors monitor all the important functions of an engine such as emission control, fuel efficiency, transmission shifting, cruise control and more! Your check engine light will go on or you’ll get bad gas mileage when your sensors begin to go bad.
- PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation): malfunctioning crankcase ventilation can result in more air than fuel resulting in an engine misfire. A faulty PCV will result in excessive oil consumption or oil leaking.
- Muffler: When your muffler is going bad it will make louder noises, emit weird smells and result in lower MPG.
- Tailpipe: The louder the noise from the tailpipe the more likely you’ll have to get it replaced. Engine performance also suffers.
- Resonator: The exhaust resonator is designed to create much smoother driving conditions and reduce noise from the exhaust system. It also helps with engine performance.
Catalytic Converter: The catalytic converter uses a chemical reaction to convert gasses into something less harmful to yourself and the environment. When your catalytic converter starts going bad your vehicle may not start and if it does you’ll most likely fail an emissions test. It also negatively affects acceleration and your fuel efficiency will suddenly drop.
Powertrain and Driveline
- Engine: Your engine is the heart of your vehicle and all the parts on this page work to keep it moving. If your check engine light goes on, you start to lose power and your gas mileage plummets, it’s time to get your engine checked out. Regular engine maintenance can save you thousands in repair bills.
- CV Joint and/or boot: You’ll know your CV joints are going bad if you hear loud clicking noises or there is excessive vibration while you’re driving.
- Transmission: A transmission shifts the gears in your car and is one of the most expensive fixes on your vehicle. Like regular engine maintenance, regular transmission maintenance can save you thousands in repair costs. If your vehicle shifts roughly or it starts to slip, your transmission needs immediate service or repair.
- Wheel bearing: The wheel bearing allows your tire and wheel assemblies to spin as fast as possible with the least amount of friction. You’ll know your wheel bearings are going bad when you hear knocking, humming, snapping, clicking or popping while driving.
- Flywheel: The signs that you need a new flywheel are gear slippage, a burnt smell, and clutch vibrations.
- Differential: Your differential is responsible for splitting your engine torque. A bad differential is evidenced by vibrations and noises such as clunking, howling or whining.
- Clutch: Your clutch connects your engine to your wheels. If your clutch is going bad you’ll have trouble shifting accompanied by a burning smell.
- Struts: The struts absorb all the bumps you experience while driving. You’ll know your struts are going bad with noticeable tire shaking or vibration when hitting a bump.
- Shocks: Shocks keep your car from bouncing up and down. You can test your shocks out by pushing down on the corner of your vehicle. If it starts to bounce when you let go, your shocks may need to be replaced.
- Strut mount: The strut mount insulates vibrations from the vehicle. If there is oil on the strut or noise from one area of your car your struts may need to be changed.
- Coil springs: Coil springs don’t exactly wear out but they will eventually begin to sag and will need maintenance.
- Ball joint: The ball joint connects the control arm to the steering knuckles. Common signs of failing ball joints are clunking noises and vibration.
- Control arm: The control arm connects the wheel hub and steering to the chassis. Common symptoms of a bad control arm are wheel vibration, a wandering steering wheel, and clunking noises.
- Bushing: A bad bushing is signaled by a sluggish response to your vehicle’s handling as well as rattling or squeaking noises from under the car.
Belts, Filters, and Hoses
- Radiator hose: The radiator hose keeps coolant flowing through the engine to keep it cool. If your coolant levels are low or leaking or your engine is overheating, your radiator hose may be going bad.
- Engine, fuel and oil filters: Filter help remove excess contaminants from your oil to keep your engine clean. Bad filters result in lower MPG and sluggishness while driving.
- V-ribbed serpentine belt: V-Belts run on the outside of the engine and power the alternator and AC compressor. If your power steering goes out or your AC stops working, your V-Belt needs to be replaced.
- Air conditioning hose: An air conditioning hosed is designed to allow refrigerant to flow through the AC system. If your AC stops blowing cool air, you’ll know it needs to be replaced.
- Timing belt: The engine timing belt syncs the rotation of the crankshaft with the camshaft so the engine’s valves open and close. When your timing belt goes bad, your engine will go bad! It’s best to keep tabs on when you changed your timing belt , and get it replaced before it’s too late!
- Heater hose: The heater hose is made to transfer coolant from the engine to the heater core. If your coolant is leaking or your engine is overheating, you need a new heater hose.
- Idler Arm: If your vehicle is floating or wandering while driving, your idler arm could be going bad.
- Pitman Arm: Poor Steering is a good indication that your Pitman's arm is going bad. Floating and wandering while driving is also an indication that you need a new Pitman Arm.
- Tie-rod end: When your tie rod is going bad, your front alignment is off and you’ll have loose steering.
- Rack-and-pinion: Loose steering and persistent knocking are signs of a bad rack and pinion.
- Power steering: If your steering wheel feels off or you hear a squealing noise, your power steering may be going bad.
Your vehicle’s axles are vital to keeping you safe on the road. They are just as important as other safety devices on your vehicle, such as brakes and tires. Axles bear all of your vehicle’s weight. They connect their wheels and help drive the vehicle. In most cars, the axles are an essential part of the steering system, working with power steering fluid and other components to ensure smooth turning. When most people think of the word axle, they imagine a bar between two wheels, as seen on wagons or train cars. Most axles, however, are more complex, and they require the eyes and expertise of someone like the team at Keen Automotive LLC to inspect and repair them.
Most of today’s vehicles are built using split axles, which means the wheel on each side of the axle is attached to a separate shaft. Split axles allow independent suspension of the left and right wheels, which allows for a smoother ride. These modern designs also permit the left and right wheels to rotate at different speeds as the vehicle turns. By allowing each side to rotate at different speeds, the split axle improves traction and extends tire life, saving you money in the long run. This particular component is called the differential.
The axle is connected to the wheel by a component called the CV joint. The CV joint boot is a protective flexible covering that covers the joint. If this boot becomes damaged, it can cause brake fluid to leak out, which can cause serious problems. If your vehicle is not turning as smoothly as usual or you are having problems stopping your car, you might need an axle repair. Bring your vehicle to Keen Automotive LLC today so our team of experts can inspect and fix your vehicle’s axles.
Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device in your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Brake System Components That Can Fail.
The master cylinder, the heart of the vehicle’s braking system, holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will become ruined. The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old and dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The brake lines connect to the master cylinder through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve. It regulates the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials, while the disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely, letting the metal of the calipers and cylinders they are attached to grind against the rotors and drums and damage them. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip sounds only when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.
If you live in a larger city, you may be subject to emissions testing. If you fail your emissions test, you may need to get your exhaust system repaired or replaced. The team at Keen Automotive LLC can diagnose and repair your exhaust system and help you pass your emissions test. While your exhaust system helps reduce noise output from your vehicle, it also significantly reduces harmful emissions from being released into the air. When your muffler and exhaust system functions properly, it significantly reduces your vehicle’s harmful impact on the environment. It also significantly improves the functionality of your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s exhaust system involves several components. The exhaust manifolds right behind the engine collect exhaust gases and connect to cylinder heads. Gases collected by your vehicle’s exhaust manifolds are analyzed by oxygen sensors and refined by catalytic converters before being muffled by the mufflers. By the time these gases reach the muffler, the emissions system has made your car run smoother, quieter and cleaner. If any of the components of your vehicle’s exhaust system fail, your gas mileage and quality of air around you can be affected. The expert team at Keen Automotive LLC can inspect and repair your entire exhaust system to ensure your vehicle is running cleanly.
If you have any issues with your car, truck or SUV stop by Keen Automotive, LLC herein Gooding and have our mechanics take a look. We want to ensure you get where you are headed safely and avoid high repair costs.
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