Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Castle Rock drivers often ask the question: “Will using premium gas make my car run better?” The answer is simple. But first, let’s talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Castle Rock, Colorado also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There’s a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your auto manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock:

1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

Castle Rock auto owners should read their owner’s manuals carefully to see if it’s acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Castle Rock, Colorado it is; the engine control computer can adapt. Castle Rock drivers will lose some performance, but won’t do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious and pricey damage; so you don’t want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at your Castle Rock repair shop.

Your car will run best on the type of gas recommended by the manufacturer.

Today’s computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give Castle Rock car owners any additional performance or better gas mileage.

Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your SUV into Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.

In times of expensive gas prices, most Castle Rock auto owners are conscious of making their fuel dollar go further as we drive around Colorado. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel economy possible.

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The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is an important part of preventive maintenance for quick Castle Rock drivers. 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 SUV’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 SUVs 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.

Castle Rock 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 Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech 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 Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. 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, Castle Rock car 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 Colorado 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. Castle Rock auto owners 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 Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

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Talk To Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. About New Shoes For Your Vehicle

Custom wheels are one way that Castle Rock folks express themselves and personalize their SUV. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several important factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the SUV, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Castle Rock motorists start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require costly adjustments to your SUV suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Denver or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your SUV. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your SUV. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your SUV tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Castle Rock at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. on 1235 Caprice Drive can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your SUV. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional by calling 303-688-4510.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is important that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your SUV engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more important it becomes to have your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your SUV may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your SUV that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is important that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some bucks. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Sedalia drivers to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Denver? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on Colorado freeways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Castle Rock motorists should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as pricey repairs down the road.

The Honest auto professionals at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. want to remind Castle Rock motorists of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

Posted in Tires and Wheels | Leave a comment

Serpentine Belt Service At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. In Castle Rock

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your SUV hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your SUV. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Castle Rock.

More importantly, the belt powers the alternator
. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your SUV’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most SUVs, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Castle Rock cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Castle Rock motorists realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc..

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, your Honest technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your Honest tech at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we recommend Castle Rock car owners that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your SUV.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s is important to the operation of your SUV. And it’s not that pricey to replace at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Wheel Bearings

Why are wheel bearings essential for Castle Rock motorists? It’s simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today’s Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. post, we’ll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very essential job while you drive around Franktown, Colorado.

Come see us at: 1235 Caprice Drive in Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

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 important 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 Castle Rock auto owners. 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 service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. 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 Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. 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 costly – 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 car maker’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 Castle Rock drivers if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don’t need to tell you how harmful that could be. So check with your tech at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. 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 Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. for a wheel bearing inspection, or for Brakes. Call 303-688-4510 for an appointment.

Posted in Tires and Wheels | Leave a comment

How Much is Enough for Denver Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth

Most Denver auto owners know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they’re need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are costly and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it’s vital for Denver drivers to know the answers to these questions.

First of all, it’s vital to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Colorado auto safety laws. That’s why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.

In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Castle Rock auto owners are arguing that it be changed.

The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Castle Rock drivers immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.

A tire’s contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road’s surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can’t shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Castle Rock car owners since the vehicle won’t stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.

A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime’s depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.

Let’s suppose that you’re on a busy Denver interstate in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn’t bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph. That is a major difference.

What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph. Still not a good situation. But it’s better.

Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn’t have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It’s a matter of physics.

The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear from 2/32 to 4/32. The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in Colorado and nationally.

Of course, until the standard changes, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.

You can use a quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32. Place the quarter into the tread with George’s head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn’t cover George’s hairline, you’re under 4/32. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.

You can measure the 2/32 tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe’s head, it’s at 2/32. Tires are a significant item for Castle Rock auto owners when it comes to car care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 is good auto advice.

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When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

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

While there may be legal requirements for the Denver 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 Denver. 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 Denver, Colorado. 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”.

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

Posted in Tires and Wheels | Leave a comment

Problems with Suspension Solved at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock

A vehicle’s suspension system is tough. It can last for years and tens of thousands of miles for Castle Rock drivers. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Castle Rock drivers to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an inspection. An ineffective suspension system will cut down the driver’s control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous and expensive accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks cut down the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your SUV might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately an essential safety feature of your vehicle, it’s always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of vital attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other vital signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it’s time for new shocks. Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist will check your shocks visually. If they’re leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any of these symptoms warrants a diagnostic examination of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Castle Rock motorists should never put off suspension repairs. If you actually experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to or better than the original shocks on the SUV. The original equipment was established for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Castle Rock drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Castle Rock drivers. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your SUV’s handling performance, then you should think about upgrading to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Castle Rock or tow a trailer, then you should definitely think about getting heavy-duty shocks.

Most Castle Rock drivers are not likely to show off their suspension system to anyone admiring their SUV, but it’s essential just the same. In the end, it’s something all of us Castle Rock auto owners can be passionate about.

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Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades For Castle Rock Drivers

When Castle Rock motorists talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Colorado? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail.

It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety’s sake, Castle Rock auto owners need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don’t get new ones until the old ones become a detrimental safety hazard. Instead, we Castle Rock car owners need to make wiper blades a critical part of our preventive maintenance routine.

Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Colorado areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.

No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don’t expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don’t drive on Castle Rock roads with a frosted windshield. That’s a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.

Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in Castle Rock. They’re out in the Denver sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can’t clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It’s a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you an expensive repair bill.

Castle Rock motorists can purchase new wiper blades at an auto service center or at any Castle Rock auto parts store. They cost about the same. But the auto service center will throw in the installation.

Once you have good wipers installed, don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it’s good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.

While we’re on the subject, Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. advises Castle Rock car owners to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with window washer fluid. Don’t ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can’t get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn’t get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its important job.

A clean windshield is not just good car care for Castle Rock auto owners — it’s a vital safety feature. Let’s keep it that way.

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Differential Service in Castle Rock, Colorado – What You Need To Know

Scratching your head? Don’t worry, if you don’t know what a differential is – you will in a moment. That fact is that if you drive a car anywhere in Castle Rock, Colorado, you have a differential. Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you have a differential. Some Castle Rock motorists might even have two or three.

Not surprisingly, a differential’s job is to compensate for differences. Specifically the differences in wheel speed when turning. For instance, imagine taking a corner near your Castle Rock, Colorado home. Your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you turn the corner. That means that your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel.

The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while still providing power to your vehicle. Without a differential, Castle Rock auto owners’ tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns like the early cars.

Ever noticed the big bulge in the middle of the rear axle on trucks? That’s the differential. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential in back. Most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs will also have a similar differential on the front axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles’ differential is called a transaxle because it combines the differential and transmission in one unit. An all-wheel drive vehicle will have a differential or transfer case that adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear drive wheels.

It can seem a little complex to some Denver auto owners – but you can see that all of the engine’s power is routed through your differentials. They’re strong enough to handle the work, but- we’ve said it before – they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. So from time to time, you need to schedule a differential service in Castle Rock at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. The used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some vehicle manufacturers advise certain differentials to have special additives installed.

Get your differential serviced at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

Recommendations for the time and mileage interval for servicing your differential can vary greatly by vehicle. A front-wheel drive vehicle’s transaxle will need servicing more frequently than the rear differential on a pick-up truck, so check with your Castle Rock, Colorado Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist or your vehicle manufacturers owner’s manual for recommendations.

How and where you drive in Castle Rock will have an important impact as well. If you drive on dirt roads or through streams around Denver, Colorado, you’ll need to service your differential much sooner than if you always stay on Colorado interstates.

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