Severe Driving in Worcester

Worcester vehicles need maintenance from time to time. It helps keep them running longer and safer. It also prepares you for any repairs that might be coming down the road. When you look thru your owner’s manual at the maintenance/tune up schedules, you will notice the recommended service intervals. They will tell you when you should have your oil, fluids, & filters checked or changed. Most Worcester drivers have also noticed that there are two schedules listed. One is for “regular driving” maintenance and one is for “severe driving” maintenance. The severe intervals will be shorter for cars or trucks driven under harsher conditions. This only makes sense since the vehicle is under more strain when used this way.

But what constitutes severe driving? It may not be what you expect!

If most of the driving you are doing around Worcester is in short trips of less than 4 miles or if your trips are longer but generally under 55 mph, this is considered operating under severe driving conditions. If you do a lot of stop and go or if you drive your Worcester vehicle under dusty or polluted conditions, this is also considered severe driving. Likewise, if you tow, regularly carry heavy loads, or have a car top carrier, your car or truck should be maintained under the severe service maintenance schedule.

Most of us in Worcester will drive under some of these conditions some of the time. If you are driving under one or more of these conditions most of the time, discuss this with us at AutoPro.

Based on your driving habits and your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation, we can suggest the best maintenance schedule to help keep your car on the road longer.

Give us a call today if you have any questions or want to set up an appointment. 508.757.1297


AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

The Skinny on Ball Joints

If you are like most drivers in Worcester, you know your car has ball joints but you may not understand their function in your vehicle’s suspension.  The ball joint allows your car’s wheels to move up & down over bumps as well as turn left and right. Picture a ball attached to a spindle. The ball is enclosed in a sealed cup. This set up allows the joint to move in several directions smoothly – similar in design to how your shoulder or hip works.

Depending on the type of suspension you have, your vehicle may have two or four ball joints in the front. Ball joints are manufactured to be maintenance free and not require periodic lubrication. In fact, most ball joints are sealed and cannot be lubricated. If the lubrication breaks down or leaks out, replacement is required. Ball joints will wear very quickly without lubrication. Ball joints are also subject to normal wear since they are continuously in movement.

So what are the signs of a failing ball joint? If you hear a clunking noise when turning or when going over bumps, your ball joint may need replacement. If your steering starts to feel sloppy or there is excessive vibration from the front of your vehicle, you should have AutoPro check your suspension for ball joint or other issues. Unusual tire wear can also be an indicator of a failed ball joint. But prevention is the key here. A failed ball joint can create unsafe driving conditions and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle while driving.

If you check your owner’s manual, you’ll see that it calls for scheduled visual inspections of your suspension system. The ball joints in your Worcester vehicle are an important suspension component which is examined during the inspection. Make sure to mention any noises or vibrations as well when you call AutoPro for an appointment.  We will help keep you safe on the road.

Call us today for an appointment. 508 757-1297

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
 

Q & A: Coolant

AutoPro Tech Question:
I was driving on 290 thru Worcester the other day and my car started smoking. I pulled over and called my husband. He got a tow truck coming & had it towed to a garage right off the exit. They told me my Honda had overheated. The whole thing was a huge hassle. Is there anything I could have done to prevent this from happening?

AutoPro Answer:
Overheating is one of the most common mechanical engine issues in Worcester. Luckily, it is one of the easiest to prevent.

Here’s a little background information for Worcester drivers. Your engine needs to operate within a specific temperature range. The flow of coolant, also known as antifreeze, through the engine keeps the temperature within this range. The problem comes when the cooling system develops leaks and the system loses coolant. Since coolant gets more corrosive over time, it can eat through the radiator and cause blockages in the system. Hoses become old and develop leaks over time as well. Without enough coolant, the engine will overheat.

If you drive your vehicle with it overheating, you run the very likely chance of causing extensive engine damage. You will also end up broken down at the side of a Worcester road.

Regular coolant changes are recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Many vehicle manufacturers require it to be changed every 30,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval. If you do not have your owner’s manual, AutoPro has all manufacture’s service recommendations and can answer any questions.

Next time you are in for an oil change or other service, just ask us to check your cooling system for leaks, damage, or hoses in poor condition. The qualified technicians at AutoPro will help you avoid breakdowns or other incontinences. Take care of all your vehicle maintenance needs at AutoPro.

 Give us a call today and we will get you right in! 508.757.1297

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603

 

 

AutoPro Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The cost of gas is going up. Again.

There are several things you can do to improve the gas mileage in your Worcester vehicle.  First and for most, the better maintained your vehicle is, the less fuel your car will use. The savings will add up quickly. Replacing a dirty engine air filter will pay for itself before your next oil change.

If your car, truck, or SUV has a check engine light on, repairing the issue can improve your gas mileage. Things like a bad oxygen sensor, which will cause the check engine light to come on, can also cause your vehicle to run thru gas more quickly.

A preventative maintenance tune up is another way to improve your fuel economy. A clogged filter, dirty spark plugs, dirty or low fluids, can all affect your gas mileage. Look in your owner’s manual or give AutoPro a call to see if you are due for a preventive maintenance service.

Lastly, check your tires. If they are under inflated, you will waste gas when you are driving around the Worcester area. Likewise, if your alignment is off, the fuel economy will be affected.

Give AutoPro a call today to keep your car, truck, or SUV properly maintained and make sure your vehicle gets the best gas mileage it can.

AutoPro 508-757-1297

209 Stafford St in Worcester

Accessory Belt System

Depending on the design of your Worcester vehicle, your engine may have one drive belt (called a serpentine belt) or multiple drive belts.

The engine moves the serpentine belt as it turns. It powers your car’s accessories such as the alternator, a/c compressor, water pump, and power steering pump. If your Worcester vehicle has a multiple drive belt system, more than one belt is used to power these mechanical components. On some vehicles, the belt also runs the cooling fan and power brakes.

Since the serpentine belt or drive belts play such a vital role in keeping your vehicle running, it’s important to make sure everything is in good working condition. If your serpentine belt breaks while driving on Worcester roads, the battery would die in a few miles. If the belt for the water pump or cooling fan breaks, your vehicle would over heat, leaving you stranded and facing costly repair bills.

A worn belt can also cause issues with your Worcester vehicle. A slipping or misaligned belt can put stress on the accessories it runs. If your belt is squealing, have it checked out so that it won’t lead to other, more costly, repairs.

Have the ASE qualified technicians at AutoPro in Worcester check the condition of your serpentine or drive belts. Give us a call today. 508 757-1297

AutoPro

209 Stafford St

Worcester

508.757.1297

Your Exhaust

Driving around the Worcester area, you’ve sometimes heard a loud car or truck that needs a new muffler. Do you realize there is more to the exhaust system than just the muffler?

The exhaust system serves three main purposes. The first you already know: it muffles the noise from the engine. The second purpose is to filter harmful pollutants before they enter the air. Lastly, the exhaust system moves the hot exhaust gas away from the engine and safely out the tailpipe.

Since exhaust fumes are poisonous, Worcester drivers need to make sure the fumes don’t get into the passenger compartment or into your home. Never run your vehicle in a closed garage. If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, make sure to roll down the windows and call AutoPro to make an appointment for repair. Remember that exhaust can make you sick or can even kill you.

Smelling exhaust or hearing a loud exhaust are signs of obvious exhaust leaks. Your vehicle may develop an exhaust leak that you aren’t aware of. Sometimes an exhaust leak manifests itself as a ticking sound on start up that goes away after driving. A small crack in a pipe can cause the ticking and when the metal heats up and expands, the noise goes away since the metal expands and seals the crack.

Your check engine light can come on when you develop an exhaust leak or have an issue with monitored system in the exhaust.  If your car or truck doesn’t sound right, or your check engine light comes on, call AutoPro in Worcester to help you figure out what is going on. We will keep you driving safely.

Give us a call today!

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

Timing Belts & Timing Chains

Let’s take a look at timing belt s and timing chains.

As you may know, air and fuel in the engine compress and ignite to power the pistons. The intake valves open at a precise time to allow the air in and close at a precise time to allow for the combustion. Once this has occurred, the exhaust valves have to open at a precise time to release the exhaust created.  This process needs to be perfectly synchronized for the engine to run smoothly. It is the job of the timing belt or timing chain to keep this process in synch. 

Some Worcester vehicles have timing belts, and some have timing chains. Timing belts can be made of rubber or temperature resistant materials. The material in timing belts breaks down over time. The deterioration is accelerated if your engine leaks oil or runs hot. Car manufacturer’s set time and mileage intervals when the timing belt should be replaced. If a timing belt breaks, and your Worcester car has an interference engine, you are looking at a major engine repair or engine replacement. Because of this, it is important to replace your timing belt on schedule. If your engine leaks oil, and oil gets on the timing belt, you will need to replace the timing belt sooner than scheduled.

If you are unsure when your timing belt needs to be replaced, or if you have an oil leak, give AutoPro in Worcester a call & we can help you out.

Timing chains are made of metal links; similar to the links on a bicycle chain. The chains are meant to last the life of the car. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any issues with the timing chains. Sometimes they do stretch or become damaged and need to be replaced.  Additionally, the tensioners or guides for the timing chain can wear out effecting the engines timing and performance as well. If the timing is off slightly, the engine won’t run smoothly. If the timing is off significantly, the engine won’t run and may be damaged. If you have a problem with your Worcester vehicle, let AutoPro check it out for you.

And always remember, one of the best ways to help maintain the timing chain in your Worcester vehicle is to have regular oil changes with the recommended type and grade of oil. 

Give AutoPro a call today! We can help keep your Worcester car, SUV, or truck on the road and performing like new!


AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

Q & A: Wiper Blades

Question:
How often should I replace my wiper blades?

AutoPro in Worcester Answers:

Many drivers in and around Worcester wait until their wiper blades are falling apart and aren’t cleaning the windshield before replacing them. The problem with that is you’ll only know they aren’t working well when you need them the most – during a storm or when you have debris clinging on your windshield.

If you think about it, wipers are a safety feature in your vehicle. If you can’t see, you can’t drive safely. In fact, about 90% of your driving decisions are based on what you see. If your wipers aren’t able to clear your Worcester windshield, you may be putting you and your passengers at risk for an accident.

Plan on replacing your wiper blades regularly to ensure that they work when you need them. The frequency depends on how much you use your wipers – if you drive a lot, park your car in the sun, or use your wipers often, the wiper blade material will deteriorate more quickly. Wipers should be replaced at least once a year but some drivers will need to replace them multiple times through out the year, based on those factors.

 To help extend the life of your wiper blades, always scrape the windshield of any winter ice & snow before using your wipers; icy build up will shred your wiper blades - causing damage to your blades when you need them the most.

If you have any questions, we can help. 

Give us a call today to set up an appointment!


AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

Q & A: My New Car Has Gas Direct Injection

Question:
I just bought a new car with a GDI engine in it. I don’t really understand what that means. Can you please explain it?

 AutoPro in Worcester Answers:

GDI stands for Gasoline Direct Injection. Many newer engines in Worcester have this type of fuel injection system. There are two common types of fuel injection systems in most cars: Port Fuel Injection & Gasoline Direct Injection. Both systems introduce fuel into the combustion chamber but at different points.  Port injection delivers the fuel into the valve port and direct injection delivers it directly into the combustion chamber.

Now let’s get into a little more detail on how they each work to power the engine.

Port Fuel Injection:

• A bit of fuel is squirted in the port before the intake valve opens.
• When the valve opens, the air enters the port and mixes with the fuel. The air/fuel mix flows passed the valve and into the engine.
• The piston compresses this air/fuel mixture.
• Then the spark plug fires and ignites the air/gas. This combustion pushes against the piston and powers the engine.

Gasoline Direct Injection:
• The set up is different for GDI. There is not port outside the cylinder.
• The air gets pulled into the cylinder when the intake valve opens.

• The piston compresses the air.
• The emc (engine management computer) signals the fuel injector to spray the fuel directly into the cylinder.
• Then the spark plug fires and ignites the air/gas mixture. This combustion pushes against the piston and powers the engine.

So why have car manufacturers moved to GDI? There are a few good reasons for this change. With the fuel being injected directly into the engine, the ECM is able to time the injection more precisely. This combined with the cooling effects on the compressed air (read: better combustion), means more power and better fuel mileage around Worcester for any given size engine.  

Since both systems function differently, they also need maintenance in different ways. In the port injection system, the gas flows over the intake valves and acts as a natural cleaning agent. This in conjunction with periodically adding fuel system cleaner into the gas tank, helps keep the old style injection system clean.

Adding fuel system cleaner into a GDI system will not come close to keeping the system clean of carbon build up; the cleaner cannot reach the backside of the intake valves. When the intake valves become clogged with carbon, the vehicle will experience running issues. Call AutoPro to set up an appointment to professionally clean your GDI fuel system.

With more cars, trucks and SUVs around the Worcester area having gasoline direct injection, make sure your fuel system is cleaned as needed. Preventive maintenance is always cheaper than costly repairs.

Give us a call today!

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

Frequently Overlooked Maintenance Items in Worcester

Most everyone likes how new cars drive but not all of us in Worcester have a new car. We at AutoPro have put together a list of regularly overlooked maintenance services that will improve the performance and drivability of the car you have – no matter how old it is.

Brake Fluid Service 

The brake fluid in your Worcester vehicle should be changed at regular intervals. (Most car manufacturers recommend every two years.) But why is that? Over time, brake fluid absorbs water. As it takes on more water, it increases the likelihood of partial brake failure which can be dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether.  Let AutoPro help keep you safe by regularly servicing your brake fluid.

 Air filter replacement

Vehicle engines operate on a mixture of air and fuel. Before the air enters the engine, it is filtered thru the air filter to remove any impurities that can cause engine performance issues. Engine air filters need to be changed regularly as a clogged filter will decrease fuel economy and will contribute to weak engine performance around our Worcester streets.

Timing Belt Replacement 

Many Worcester cars, vans, and trucks have timing belts. The function of the timing belt is to turn the camshaft, which keeps the engine running. If the timing belt snaps, the vehicle will breakdown and you may find yourself faced with major engine damage. Since timing belts are made of rubber, the material breakdowns over time. Check with AutoPro to determine when your timing belt should be replaced.

Coolant System Service

Coolant plays an important role in keeping your engine at the proper operating temperature. If the coolant is old, it becomes corrosive and can eat through your radiator or hoses. If the level is low, you may have a leak. If you have needed to top it off with water, the protective level of the coolant will be affected.

Have AutoPro in Worcester check the level, condition, and protection level of your vehicle’s coolant. If needed, we can perform a coolant change to insure you have the proper level of antifreeze protection.

Tire Balance & Rotation

Tire rotation and balancing should be done on a regular basis on your Worcester vehicles. Regular tire rotation will extend the life of your tires. Regular tire balancing will reduce the amount of suspension & tire wear. It can also reduce annoying vibrations at highway speeds.

Wheel Alignment

If your tires are out of alignment, your vehicle will have steering and handling issues.  It can also cause significant tire wear. It is recommended to have your alignment check at least once a year. You should also have it done when all four tires on your Worcester vehicle are replaced.  AutoPro has state of the art computerized alignment equipment to ensure your alignment is done right. We also free up frozen adjusters or bolts, as part of our normal alignment service.

Cabin Air Filter

Most cars in Worcester have cabin air filters. These filters will make sure the air coming into the passenger compartment is cleaned of things like dust and pollen. When the cabin air filter is clogged or if it gets wet, the air in your vehicle can get smelly. Changing the cabin air filter regularly will keep the air inside your car fresher and reduce the number of air born allergens inside your Worcester vehicle.

And there you have it: a list of frequently overlooked maintenance services.

Give us a call. We will keep you on schedule.

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

The EGR Valve & Diesel Engines

Automakers have worked consistently to improve engine performance and fuel economy while meeting increasingly stringent environmental safety standards. One of the parts in your vehicle’s engine that helps to make this happen is the exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) valve. This valve directs some of the exhaust back into the air intake system for both gas and diesel engines. The recirculated exhaust takes up some of the space in the engine cylinders, reducing some of the oxygen-rich air that would normally be there. This reduces the temperature when the fuel is burned; cooler combustion means that there are fewer harmful gases produced and released into the air.

The EGR valve in your Worcester vehicle can get clogged with soot. If this happens, it will cause multiple problems including incorrect timing, which effects performance, and faulty exhaust amounts being recirculated into the engine, resulting in lowered fuel economy. If the issue with your vehicle’s performance is a clogged EGR valve, AutoPro can check to see if it can be cleaned or whether it needs to be replaced. AutoPro in Worcester can improve your engine’s power, performance, and drivability.

Diesel vehicles have much higher soot content than other gas vehicles. (Ever notice the amount of soot that belches out of an older 18-wheeler?) Since the soot is that much higher, diesel engines are highly susceptible to getting clogged EGR valves. (Although the soot is ultimately filtered out of the exhaust further down the line, it passes thru the EGR valve before it gets to that point.)

There are a few things you can do to extend the life of the EGR valve, if your Worcester vehicle has a diesel engine. One thing is to reduce the amount of time your vehicle spends idling. When your diesel engine is idling for long periods of time, the soot is allowed to build up and accumulates in the EGR valve. This happens because the engine’s operating temperature is reduced and the valve does not open and close as it would when driving. Without it opening and closing, the soot has nowhere to go so it clogs up the EGR valve. Another thing you can do is to use diesel fuel with a higher rating of cetane. The higher the rating, the better the combustion is. Cetane ratings are not always listed at the pump so you may need to do a little internet research on your favorite gas station to determine how their diesel fuel is rated.

If your Worcester car or truck is suffering from poor performance, decreased fuel economy, or rough idling, have AutoPro in Worcester run through the diagnostic testing to determine the issue. We can repair your vehicle and restore your engine’s performance.

Give us a call at AutoPro today. 508 757-1297. Help is right around the corner.

 

Head Light Safety

You may be surprised to hear that 40% of traffic accident deaths happen at night when there is 60% less traffic but it is true. Poor night time visibility is a major contributor to these traffic fatalities in the Worcester area. 

Several factors contributor to better night time visibility. Having a clean windshield will increase visibility so make sure your wiper blades are in good shape and that you have wiper fluid. The headlights play a major role as well. The amount of brightness in your headlights comes from both the condition of the lens as well as the bulbs themselves.  

As with the bulbs in your lights at home, headlight bulbs go dim over time. When this happens, they just need to be replaced to improve your night time visibility around Worcester area streets. 

If you do a lot of night time driving, it would be worthwhile to consider changing your headlight bulbs once a year as a maintenance item.  This will ensure that your headlights never get dim enough to become a safety issue and to prevent driving around with a burnt out bulb. If you take care of it at a fall oil change your lights will be bright thru the long winter nights in Worcester.

The other thing which can effect night time visibility is the lens on the headlights. For the last twenty years or so, most headlight lenses are being made of plastic. The plastic gets cloudy over time, making it harder to see. At AutoPro, we can buff out the headlight lenses to nearly new. We use a special buffing and cleaning process to remove the yellowed and hazy layer off the headlight lenses. Once we are done, you will be able to see much better at night while driving around Worcester.

Give us a call if you need your bulbs changed or want to have your headlights buffed out. We are here to help!

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
 

508 757-1297

Q & A - I hear a clunking when turning

Question: 

I hear a clunk when I turn corners. What could be the problem?

AutoPro Answers:

A worn axle can cause a clunk or clinking noise when turning corners on the streets of Worcester. 

Front-wheel drive vehicles have axles that transfer power from the transmission to your vehicle's front wheels. Each front wheel has an axle. These axles are called constant velocity axles or CV axles for short.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles have rear axles which run between the differential and the rear wheels.

All-wheel drive vehicles will have an axle for each of the four wheels.

When a front CV axle goes bad, it will make a clunking or clicking as you make a slow turn. When a rear axle goes bad, the clunking or moaning sound will be in the back.

As a driver, there isn't any preventive maintenance to be done to help the axles on your Worcester vehicle last longer. What you can do is have them inspected from time to time to see if there is a problem such as a torn or leaking protective boot. (The boot protects the axle joint, keeping it lubricated and free of damaging debris.) If a boot is torn and axle has not been damaged, the repair will be less expensive for you.

Of course, axles do sometimes wear out and need to be replaced. A bad axle can be dangerous. This repair should not be put off because a severely worn axle can break or can seize up causing damage to your transmission or other components. Either can leave you stranded.

Make sure to have your cv boots and axles checked at regular intervals at AutoPro. If you hear a noise or suspect other issues, let us know and we will help keep your repair bills low.


AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

Tire Rotation & Tire Balancing at AutoPro

Putting tires on your vehicle is expensive. Make sure to take care of your tires to help them last a long as possible while driving the Worcester area. What does this mean? Regular tire rotation and balancing will help you get more miles out of those tires. Let's take a look at why this is important.

First let's start by looking at tire rotation. Under normal driving conditions in Worcester, the front tires on your car, truck or SUV wear more on the edges since they handle much of the cornering forces when you take a turns. On front-wheel drive vehicles, even more of the force is on the front wheels.

Tires need to be regularly rotated so all of the tires do some duty on the front (which is harder on them) and some duty on the rear. By doing this, all four tires  will wear more evenly over their lifetime and have a longer life as well.
 
For most vehicles in the Worcester area, tires are rotated from the front to the back. Some tire manufacturers recommend a cross rotational pattern that includes the spare tire. There are also some high-performance vehicles with different size tires on the front and rear.  Worcester area cars may even have uni-directional tires that can only be on the left or the right side of the vehicle. It can get a little confusing. Let the highly trained technicians at AutoPro properly rotate your tires for you. We can also recommend the correct rotation intervals based on manufacturing specifications and current tire wear.

Let's move on to wheel balancing. When one or more of your wheels is out of balance, the car can shake at highway speeds. 

Wheel weights are added to each wheel to balance out the weight of the tire. to balance it out. A small amount of weight is added and then checked on the tire balancing machine. Variations in the tire and wheel manufacture can cause a slight imbalance. The valve stem and the tire pressure monitoring sensors in the tire also play into the equation.

If a tire is out of balance, it can cause an annoying shake or vibration at higher speeds. What's happening is that the wheel is basically bouncing a bit as it goes down the road. For example, at freeway speeds, an out of balance wheel can be slamming into the road 14 times a second. Not only is it annoying but it also can cause your tire(s) to wear out more quickly.

If you are feeling vibrations when driving at highway speeds, let AutoPro check your vehicle out. It maybe some thing as simple as a tire out of balance. 

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

 

Rear Brake Drum Service

Properly working brakes are essential for the safe operation of your Worcester vehicle. You need to carefully maintain your brakes to be safe on Auburn area roads.

Some vehicles come with drum brakes. This means that the brake parts are housed inside a drum that rotations with the wheel. When a driver applies the brakes, the wheel cylinder will activate and push the brake shoes outward against the drum and slow the car down.

Brakes shoes wear away with normal use. If you start hearing squealing or grinding when braking, AutoPro Import Repair can check your brakes to see what is causing the noise.  Our thorough brake inspection will determine any brake issues your car may have. We will assess the braking system to make sure the vehicle will stop properly. If we find that is it time to replace the shoes or if there are other issues with your brakes that should be addressed, we will let you know.

Some Worcester drivers will ignore the warning signs and keep driving long after the shoes are completely worn out. Letting this happen will cause damage to the brake drums as well; increasing the cost of the repair. 

The new brake shoes and/or wheel cylinders we put on your vehicle at AutoPro Import Repair in Worcester will help your vehicle be able to "stop on a dime". We use only good quality aftermarket or OEM brake parts.  We will install parts to help increase your stopping power, eliminate annoying brake noise and reduce brake dust.

Have AutoPro check your brakes today. Taking care of your brakes keeps them working safely – and can prevent additional and unexpected brake repairs.  

Give us a call today!

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

 

Vehicle Alignment

It's no surprise that your car, truck or SUV will drive better in Worcester if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or drifts when letting go of the steering wheel.

If the wheels on your car, truck or SUV are not aligned properly, it will cause excessive and uneven tire wear.  This happens when the vehicle is pulling to one side and the driver has to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire wears out quicker since you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip in MA – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight.

Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are hitting all those Worcester potholes, sliding into a curb or hitting road debris. With that said, it doesn't even have to be a big shock; it can just be the regular bumps of daily Worcester driving that add up and eventually take your vehicle out of alignment. That's why you should have AutoPro check your alignment periodically.

During an alignment service at AutoPro Import Repair, we measure each wheel's alignment and to see where they are relative to factory specifications. While we have the vehicle on the alignment rack, we inspect the tires for wear as well as the suspension and steering components for damage or wear – things that can contribute to alignment problems. With some vehicles you can adjust all four wheels so we bring all wheels into alignment. On those vehicles where you can only adjust the front wheels, we bring the front into alignment relative to the rear.

If it's been a while since you've had your wheels aligned, bring your vehicle to AutoPro Import Repair in Worcester for an alignment check.

Give AutoPro a call at 508 757-1297.

 

What's a Cabin Air Filter?

Question:
I get a nasty smell when I run the heat or a/c in my car.  My cousin said it might be that the cabin air filter is gunked up. What's a cabin air filter & why could it be causing the smell? 


AutoPro Import Repair Answer:
A cabin air filter is a special filter which cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartments – or cabin – of vehicles. Most new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in MA now come equipped with a cabin air filter. The function of the cabin air filter is to catch dust, pollen, and other pollutants before they can get into your cabin; cleaning the air you breathe inside your vehicle.

As Worcester drivers can imagine, the cabin air filter will eventually get filled up and can even start to get smelly when clogged with contaminants. Replacing the cabin air filter at regular intervals will prevent this problem. AutoPro in Worcester, can help you with this maintenance item.

Your owner's manual will list the recommended service intervals for changing the cabin air filter in your Worcester vehicle. If you no longer have the manual, just call AutoPro - we have access to the information from the vehicle manufacturers on servicing your car, truck or SUV. 

If you live and drive in MA where there is a lot of dust, pollen, and pollution, the filter may fill up quicker. Of course, if you're getting a bad odor, give us a call so AutoPro can give your vehicle a thorough check over. 

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

 

E85 Fuel Safety

E-85 gasoline for cars and trucks was developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption in MA and the rest of the US. But what is E-85? E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. The Flex-Fuel vehicles you see around Worcester are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. Using E-85 gas results in lower harmful exhaust emissions in central Massachusetts. But not every car or truck can use this type of gas.

Some newer vehicle models sold in MA are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol. A lot of WORCESTER gasoline does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when WORCESTER driver's without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At an 85% concentration of ethanol, there is a huge potential for problems due to corrosion. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

MA fire fighting experts caution WORCESTER residents to only use E-85 if they know their vehicle is certified to handle it because of the potential for fires due to leaking fuel .

Additionally, Worcester garages and repair shops are being warned to have special fire extinguishers on hand that use the foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution. Since starting-up an ethanol damaged engine can lead to hazardous fires.

Obviously, a hazardous fire isn’t something you want to have happen in your garage at home. If your car or truck isn't a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if you vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297

 

Differential - What is it?

Ever think of what happens to your car or truck when you take a corner as you are travelling around Worcester? One of the things to occur is that the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels. What this means is the outside wheels have to turn a bit faster than the inside ones. The differential is the part of your vehicle which handles this. It allows the wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds without the wheel binding up.

If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, the differential is on the rear axle. Have you ever noticed a pumpkin shaped bulge in the middle of the axle when you're behind a truck? Well, that's the differential.

If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by the transaxle. All-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both the front and the rear axles. They also have a center differential or a transfer case to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.

Since the power of the engine is transferred through the differential(s), they have to be very strong and are built to last a long time. They do require maintenance on a regular basis, generally changing out the fluid,  as determined by the vehicle's manufacturer. The function of the differential fluid is to cool and protect the gears. Low fluid can cause the differential to run too how and wear out prematurely.

The technicians  at AutoPro in Worcester, using the technical specifications from your vehicle's manufacturer, can check and service your differential as necessary. Fresh fluid will extend the life of your differential. We will also inspect any accessible u-joints which connect your drive shaft to the differential. Some u-joints can be lubricated as well.

Over time, differentials can eventually wear out and may need to be replaced. You might notice a strange noise or vibration from your axle area as one of the first warning signs. If the differential shows signs of failure, it is time to replace it. Waiting too long can cause further damage to your vehicle's axles, driveshafts or the transmission. You may also run the risk of the differential freezing up when driving which can cause a loss of control of your car, truck or SUV. 

AutoPro is here to help. Get your differential services as needed. Have AutoPro check your car, truck or SUV out, if you are experiencing any noises or vibrations. Together we can keep your vehicle in tip top shape and running for miles to come.

Batteries

Today's Worcester cars, trucks and SUVs have more electronic components than ever.  With things like electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs as well as power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players and many vehicles now have navigation systems, back up cameras and powerful stereos. This really puts a strain on your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up.

Battery technology has improved over the years but the fact is that vehicle batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. 

Vehicle batteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some Worcester cars have limited space that requires a specially shaped battery to fit. While trucks and SUVs  require more powerful batteries to get them started. Since Worcester's winters are cold, you will need a more powerful battery because engines are harder to start when it is cold out.

In MA, batteries come in “good", “better”, and “best” grades. More expensive batteries may have a longer warranty and are guaranteed to last longer. As with most things, paying a little more up front saves money in the long run. 

AutoPro Import Repair in Worcester, offers best grade batteries with long life to help prevent you from unexpected breakdown. AutoPro installs qualities parts, right down to the batteries we offer!