A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Castle Rock

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When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Castle Rock motorists remember to get our oil changed. But Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is a critical part of car care for Castle Rock auto owners. A poorly maintained transmission will diminish fuel efficiency and lead to costly repairs.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your gas mileage will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.

Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Castle Rock auto owners.

The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.

This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this vital service. Or, you can talk to your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your SUV may be shorter or longer.

Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the automobile manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Colorado conditions, if you tow a trailer around Castle Rock, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Denver driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.

Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your SUV needs, or speak with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist.

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly costly. Compared to the cost of pricey transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel efficiency and a longer, smoother ride.

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Why is My Check Engine Light On?

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The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Castle Rock motorists and is totally ignored by just as many. Just what it means is a mystery to most of us Castle Rock motorists.

Let’s get the urgency issues out of the way first. If your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause important engine damage. Naturally, you need to get that taken care of right away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Colorado freeway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads. Take it easy all the way to your Castle Rock service center.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist to get it checked out.

Some more Castle Rock information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative for Castle Rock car owners. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer. The computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even the way you drive.

In order to make these adjustments, the computer relies on a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. When a sensor reading is out of range the computer runs some tests and may turn on the SUV’s Check Engine Light.

A simple example is a loose or missing gas cap. This may cause one of the sensors to read out of range. The computer doesn’t know if it’s a serious condition that caused the reading or just a loose gas cap, so it stores a trouble code and turns on the Check Engine Light.

Now when you tighten up the gas cap the sensor readings will be in the correct range. The computer will keep checking on the report for a day or two. Since a bad reading didn’t come up again, it turns off the Check Engine Light. The computer will also try to make adjustments to compensate for some readings. If it can do so, it’ll then turn off the Check Engine Light.

If the problem can’t be resolved then the light will remain on and you should get your SUV looked at. Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the trouble code stored in the computer. The trouble code will give the technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the problem.

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Economics of Maintenance For Castle Rock Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Castle Rock is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Castle Rock who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Castle Rock and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Castle Rock, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Castle Rock:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Castle Rock service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109
303-688-4510

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Differential Service At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.: Vive ala Difference

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Every SUV on Colorado interstates has a differential, and it is essential to the proper operation of the vehicle, but most Castle Rock car owners don’t have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the SUV must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bugle-shaped object in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That’s the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV’s have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You’d be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the key job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don’t want your differential to seize up. That results in pricey damage to your SUV.

So you need to have your SUV differential serviced regularly. It’s not a complicated job. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock we’ve been servicing differentials for 34 years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your Castle Rock service center will ensure you are getting what your SUV needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner’s manual or Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to find out how often your SUV differential needs to be serviced.

Generally, however, front-wheel drive vehicles need their differential serviced more often than rear-wheel drive vehicles. Also, if you spend a lot of time off-road or on Denver area dirt or gravel roads, or if you drive through water, you will need to service your differential more often than the standard recommendation – check with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech.

Preventive maintenance for your differential is good car care that can spare you costly repair bills. Knowing what your differential is and how it operates is key and will help you understand why this is good auto advice. Remember, take care of your SUV, and it will take care of you.

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Emergency Items For Your SUV

Local Denver roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around Castle Rock would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

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Battery Basics For Castle Rock

Denver Battery Service

It’s important for Castle Rock drivers to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold Colorado weather. Most Denver auto owners think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold SUV engine.

However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Castle Rock trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Castle Rock auto owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the Colorado summer and every three months during the winter.

As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your SUV alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.

If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your SUV alternator.

Give us a call

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
303-688-4510
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

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Coolant Antifreeze Service In Castle Rock, Colorado

Castle Rock drivers may know that most automotive failures in Castle Rock, Colorado are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause for vehicle failure? Nope, it’s not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But, if you take good care of your SUV coolant system, it will take good care of you.

A SUV’s engine creates a lot of heat – so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and pricey repair bills. But when everything is working right, your SUV engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause SUV engine damage. This could be very pricey, not to mention inconvenient.

The right mix of water and antifreeze is essential and protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this: coolant system failure is very common, but it is also very simple to prevent. Your Castle Rock service center knows the car maker’s recommendations, and can tell you when the coolant needs to be changed. At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock, we can perform a coolant system service.

Even the best antifreeze cannot completely protect the coolant system from harmful deposits forever. The anti-corrosion additives are used up over time, so the coolant must be replaced. A coolant service cleans out the system and replaces the old fluid with fresh coolant. A coolant system service at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. is a low-cost way to protect against major engine repairs down the road. Prevention is the key for Castle Rock auto owners. Be sure to watch out for the two main warning signs: if your temperature gauge is in the “hot” zone or if you get a message warning you to check your coolant. If you take a look under the hood, you will see the coolant overflow bottle. You can see there are lines that indicate the proper level of coolant … if your engine is cold – or if it is hot.

Castle Rock car owners can add water or antifreeze to that bottle themselves, but should be careful. First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. The steam could severely burn you. Second, try to get to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your owner’s manual. Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze, or you will damage your engine. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. or your service center where they can make necessary corrections. Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze.

Castle Rock drivers will need to check their auto maker’s owner’s manual to make sure they use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the car maker’s warranty on your SUV cooling system. If you’re not sure, ask your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. technician at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. for guidance.

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Tire Tread Depth for Castle Rock, Colorado Drivers




Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.; (just call 303-688-4510) to find out what your requirements are in the Castle Rock, Colorado area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give Castle Rock motorists enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the critical issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Castle Rock car owners also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Castle Rock Colorado, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving in Castle Rock over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a detrimental condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Castle Rock auto owners will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it. 

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Castle Rock car owners follow that far behind the SUV ahead? Obviously, this is a critical safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do Castle Rock car owners know when their tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty 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.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.

Tires are a big ticket item and most car owners in Castle Rock, Colorado want to get thousands of miles out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock.

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109
303-688-4510

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Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. And The Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some Castle Rock drivers don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Castle Rock drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their SUVs.

For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. There are other things that Castle Rock residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Castle Rock doctor for a checkup before school starts.

So Castle Rock auto owners really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.

Unfortunately, Castle Rock drivers too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a significant breakdown.

So how can Castle Rock drivers get into the habit of taking care of their SUV? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we check to see if your SUV automobile manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.
The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that SUVs are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the SUV won’t run at all.

So when you come in to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. for an oil change, you get an inspection from your Honest service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

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Keep Your Castle Rock Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter


Hey Castle Rock auto owners – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your SUV burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very essential but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to expensive problems. Of course, your car maker recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in Colorado affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Denver or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your SUV needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more costly in Castle Rock, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel efficiency to boot.

So it’s vital for Castle Rock auto owners to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Stop by Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. at 1235 Caprice Drive, Castle Rock, Colorado 80109, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 303-688-4510 to make an appointment.

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109
303-688-4510

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