Viva la Differential At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. In Castle Rock

There are a lot of Castle Rock people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in Colorado these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Castle Rock folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for Castle Rock people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Colorado high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside SUV wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a SUV moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor can look up the SUV manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Castle Rock customers for 34 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 303-688-4510.

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The Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Auto Report: Rotor Problems

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your vehicle.

Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is essential for Castle Rock car owners to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the issue. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake issues that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech perform a thorough review.

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

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Vehicle Maintenance Videos by Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.: Serpentine Belt Tensioner

The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining best tension to drive the accessories like the alternator and A/C compressor. The service life of the belt tensioner is the same as the belt itself, so they should always be replaced together. A worn tensioner prohibits the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise.

Your auto maker has a recommended mileage interval for serpentine belt replacement. A complete accessory drive system service replaces the serpentine belt, the belt tensioner and any idler pulleys your automobile might have. Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist can review your system and let you know if it’s time for a replacement.

Give us a call

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

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Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. News and Videos for Castle Rock: Timing Belt Overview

In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute. The timing belt’s essential job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is important. If it should break, you could have pricey engine damage.

Ask your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.

Give us a call

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

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Tracking True In Colorado: Wheel Alignment In Sedalia

Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Sedalia and Larkspur drivers until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment by hitting a curb or pothole on a Denver highway or surface street.

When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. This causes several serious problems. First off, the tires will wear out faster and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to expensive SUV suspension problems.

Tracking True In Colorado: Wheel Alignment In Sedalia

But the big issue for Sedalia, Larkspur, and Castle Rock drivers is safety. When your SUV wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

When undergoing an alignment service at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., your SUV is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Larkspur auto owners should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Denver service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in Colorado that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Sedalia drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That’s why car makers recommend periodic alignment checks. If your SUV owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Kevin Mahagan or your service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. is cheaper for Sedalia motorists than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

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Below 45 Degrees in Castle Rock: Consider Winter Tires

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Castle Rock drivers couldn’t wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Colorado motorists ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Denver area are much better designed for the wide range of detrimental conditions that come with Colorado winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Castle Rock temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That’s a critical concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet Castle Rock conditions. But it also means that Castle Rock drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it’s dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can actually pack up with snow, which makes them more detrimental than a bald tire.

Many winter tires use a micro-pore compound that lets the tire bite into ice and snow. They have wider grooves around the tire that help expel snow. They have a rounder casing to better cut into the surface of snow. Modern winter tires available at Colorado tire shops also have sipes, or thin slits cut into the tread. The edges of these sipes can grab ice and snow so that the tire retains traction on almost any surface. The sipes also help to expel water and slush from the tread. In short, a lot of time and engineering has gone into improving winter tires.

The all-season tire that is popular among Denver drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Castle Rock motorists in either season, but aren’t great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. Castle Rock auto owners need to put more thought into their tire choices these days, but that also means they get a lot better performance for their income.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed at your Castle Rock service center or Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. It’s best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Castle Rock drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

Imagine this: You take a corner on an icy Denver road and your rear end starts to slide. What happened is that the front end slowed for the turn, but the rear end hasn’t figured that out yet. If you have high-traction tires on the front of your vehicle, that makes the problem worse. You’re slowing the front end faster and harder, which makes the back end fishtail even more.

Putting the higher traction tires on the rear will give Castle Rock motorists more control for turns, regardless of the type of vehicle driven. Of course, that makes putting high-traction tires on all of your wheels even smarter. Why not give all of your tires the best traction they can get? Some Castle Rock assume that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles only need winter tires on two wheels. Why? Doesn’t it make sense to give all four wheels the same level of traction and control? Four-wheel or all-wheel drive cannot compensate for poor traction.

Another false assumption held by many Castle Rock motorists is that if you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you won’t need winter tires. Traction is vital for good acceleration, steering and stopping. And tires provide traction. Traction control and anti-lock brakes can only improve on that traction. The better the traction, the better the traction control and anti-lock brakes will work. In other words, the better the tires, the better those systems will work for Castle Rock motorists.

A Canadian law requires all passenger vehicles, rental cars and taxis registered in Quebec to have winter tires on all four wheels from November 15th until April 1st.

If you’re shopping for winter tires and live where there is a lot of snow in Colorado, look for a mountain with a snowflake in it molded into the tire’s sidewall. This symbol means the tire complies with severe snow standards. All-season tires have an M&S stamped on the sidewall. M&S stands for mud and snow.

For more vital auto advice about tires for any Colorado season, meet with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional. They can help you settle upon the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for best durability, safety and performance, but don’t overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us Castle Rock motorists.

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Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Auto Tips and Car Care: When to Replace Your Wiper Blades

There are several critical factors that go into how often Castle Rock car owners should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from Colorado expressway  driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear.

But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently. They are damaged by sunlight and temperature changes as well. The rubber in the blades can dry out and crack and eventually fall apart. Check your wipers: If they’re not doing their important job, have them replaced.

Talk to your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist about how you drive – we can guide you on the ideal blades for your needs.

Give us a call

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

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The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our Denver 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 Castle Rock, what’s the most important factor for you?

Give us a call at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. at 303-688-4510 for tire recommendations.

You know, buying tires in Castle Rock 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.

Posted in Tires and Wheels | Leave a comment

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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