Cooling System Repairs

Of course we know the cooling system is important. Coolant/antifreeze spreads throughout the engine, absorbs heat and then disperses it into the radiator. Cooling system failure can cause serious engine damage. Here are some useful tips to avoid engine damage.

One is about minor coolant leaks. It’s tempting to postpone fixing small cooling system leaks; typically we would just keep topping off the coolant. There are several problems with this. First, coolant is messy and it doesn’t just evaporate away. In fact, the puddle that forms is harmful to the environment and toxic to pets. Second, the cooling system needs to maintain a certain pressure to do its job. A leak compromises the pressure. Third, small leaks can unexpectedly become big leaks that will leave you stranded. Fourth, you must keep the correct proportions of coolant/antifreeze and distilled water to maintain proper boil and freeze properties.

Another point is corrosion protection. Antifreeze/coolant contains a package of anti-corrosion additives. These additives coat internal surfaces throughout the entire cooling system. They protect against oxidation which can lead to leaks as well as scale that clogs cooling system components. The protective coating is constantly reacting to chemical compounds created by the extreme heating and cooling cycle the coolant goes through. Over time, the coating is depleted, and there is nothing left to protect the exposed metal in the engine and other system parts.

Your vehicle manufacturer recommends your coolant/antifreeze be changed regularly. Even though your old coolant may be cooling your engine as it should, it leaves it open for corrosive elements that will damage the system. A good practice is to also have your coolant changed when replacing a cooling system component. For example, when you install a new water pump, it is not coated with anti-corrosion additives. If your anti-corrosion package is already worn out, the new water pump will immediately be subject to corrosive elements that will easily start to shorten its life cycle. But if you do have the coolant changed when the new water pump is installed, it is automatically protected the first time you start the engine.

When we do a coolant exchange at AutoPro Import Repair, we do our best to remove as much of the old coolant and accumulated sediment from the system as possible. The cooling system is also thoroughly inspected. Ask us if it’s time for a cooling system service. And if you believe there is a leak, let’s get that repaired right away.

ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes

When it comes down to the anti-lock brakes (ABS), there’s a common misunderstanding that they will help you stop faster. That is usually not the case on loose gravel or snowy surfaces. Anti-lock brakes, in fact, are designed to help you maintain control of your vehicle in an emergency braking situation.

For example, picture yourself driving down a snowy MA road. All of a sudden you have to slam on your brakes and your rear wheels lock up. Chances are the rear end of your vehicle will try to pass the front end, which can cause you to easily lose control. What would happen in the same situation if your front wheels locked up? Certainly for sure you would not be able to steer properly, and your front end would go wherever momentum brings it to.

As many as 15 times a second, the ABS modulates your brakes on and off. This will prevent the wheels from locking up while providing the best of braking possible. You would be able to steer your vehicle and maintain control better. People often talk about the 3 S’s of ABS: Stomp Stay Steer. Stomp on the brake, Stay on the brake and Steer normally.

Modern ABS utilizes a computer to receive information from sensors and control the anti-lock brakes. There are wheel speed sensors at each wheel reporting back to the computer, which can then decide when to activate the anti-lock brakes on the wheel or wheels in need.

So what influences how well the ABS works? First, the quality of your brakes: If your brakes are worn or not working properly, the ABS will no longer be capable of doing its job effectively. A brake inspection from AutoPro Import Repair will let you know if your brake shoes/pads are in proper condition, if there are any mechanical brake issues and if your brake fluid and power brake system are in demand of service. Proper brake fluid maintenance by AutoPro Import Repair helps maintain the brake control module in precise working order. There can also be troubles with the various sensors and the wiring that sends the messages to and from the computer. And, of course, your tires need to be in top condition in order to have sufficient traction to start, stop and steer. Worn tires are a massive problem for ABS and stability control systems.

The ABS is the foundation of stability control systems, providing the information needed for stability control as well as to strategically brake a wheel when needed.  So making sure your ABS is working well is very important. Also, the rolling diameter of your tires is one of the factors on which the computer uses to base anti-lock decisions. If you buy tires that are more than 3% larger or smaller than the tires that were installed at the factory, the ABS and stability control systems will not work properly. The pros at AutoPro Import Repair can recalibrate the computer for the new tire size so that the systems have the correct information.

When you start your car, the ABS light will flash up on the dashboard. If the system determines there is a problem with itself, the light will remain on. That is your cue to take your vehicle to AutoPro Import Repair for an inspection to pin-point the problem. AutoPro Import Repair is your partner in keeping this important safety system operating as it should.

Brake Service

When it comes to braking, most WORCESTER drivers know it means to slow down or stop a vehicle. The mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves is just one part. There's also the power brake system and brake fluid. But there are the tires as well, which are very important to the effectiveness of the brakes.

For instance, you see a pristine car or truck coming off the showroom floor at a local WORCESTER dealer. Of course, it has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and the power assist are filled with fresh fluid and are entirely clean inside. The vehicle tires came new with full tread too. Naturally, at this stage braking power is at its highest performance.
 
Meanwhile, when driving from WORCESTER to Auburn and back, the miles/kilometers begin to pile up. Most WORCESTER car owners seem to always put their attention toward the brake pads. WORCESTER automotive service community, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are known as the friction material. This is because they provide the necessary friction to stop the car. The pads are intended to be compelling throughout their useful life. It's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of spec that they lose stopping adequacy.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that work hard while stopping the vehicle. Do to how many miles/kilometers you are driving, these parts wear and get gummed up. In effect, these parts start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail. That's why a regular brake inspection is important. At AutoPro Import Repair, we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

Which brings us to brake fluid service at AutoPro Import Repair. A portion of the vital additives in the liquid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system weaken and drain over time. That and dampness developing in the system break down the performance of the brake fluid. Brake fluid replacement at AutoPro Import Repair incorporates flushing the brake system to get out deposits, water and dirt. At that point the system is topped off with new fluid.

The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. The stopping force is ultimately dependent on the traction provided by the tires. The better they grip the road, the quicker you'll stop as you drive around WORCESTER.

Give us a call.

Exhaust

At least once we have all heard someone’s vehicle or truck in our Auburn neighborhoods that needs a new muffler. Yet, there is so much more to the exhaust system than simply the muffler.

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The exhaust system has three main functions:

  • Safely removes hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe

  • Treat the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants

  • Muffle the engine noise

Exhaust gas is lethal. It should not get into the passenger compartment. One reason why is because carbon monoxide can be deadly. That's why you should never let your engine run in a closed garage. If there is a leak in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and it can either make you ill or even cost you your life.

 Roll down your windows and get it inspected immediately if you smell exhaust in your vehicle. You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak. The sound from an exhaust leak can be loud and obvious. It can also be a ticking sound when you start the engine but will stop as you drive. Therefore, it could be a small crack or a bad fitting that leaks when it's cold but seals up when the metal heats and expands.

Furthermore, let's discuss the environmental issues for our Auburn community. Exhaust gas contains a number of pollutants and particulates. The catalytic converter cleanses some of those harmful substances. Also, diesel vehicles have systems to deal with soot.

Catalytic converters eventually wear out and need to be replaced. These parts are expensive, so you want to help maintain them as long as possible. You can do this by keeping the fuel system clean and replacing your air filter.  From time to time, these components need to be tested for proper functioning with an emissions test .

At last, the muffler! The beauty of getting a new muffler is that you can suit your taste: Some want whisper quiet and others like a little rumble. And some like a roar when they drive down our Auburn streets.

Diesel Emissions Maintenance

You've most likely seen much more vehicles around WORCESTER, MA being offered with diesel engines. Diesel is a well known decision in significant parts of the world. North America is simply beginning to close the hole among gas and diesel engines. Since we are commonly less comfortable with diesel engines, it is good to survey emissions related issues.

For one thing, while diesel fuel is more vitality thick than a similar measure of gasoline, it creates more power per gallon, yet it likely delivers more exhaust particulates. So cleaning the soot out of the exhaust is essential. By law, present day diesel vehicles are required to have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) installed in the exhaust system. This extraordinary filter traps the particulates (soot). As the soot piles up, the filter quickly gets full.

It would be illogical for WORCESTER drivers to need to change these expensive filters regularly, so manufacturers have invented systems that incinerate built up soot. A few systems are latent, enabling the soot to settle inside the filter and consume heat from the exhaust until the temperature is sufficiently high enough for the particulates caught in the filter to combust and burn off. This procedure is called passive filter regeneration.

One strategy for active filter regeneration is cultivated by infusing a touch of diesel fuel into the engine at simply the right opportunity to heat the fumes enough to consume off the particulates. Another strategy utilizes a fuel injector located in the exhaust pipe upstream from the DPF to insert a touch of fuel into the exhaust stream to make the particulates combust. The engine management computer controls these regeneration occasions.

The days of a loud diesel engine gushing out clouds of dark, sooty smoke are no more. Diesel emissions systems like Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) join together to distribute all of the power and economy of a diesel engine, without the majority of the unsafe and irritating symptoms.

Let us help you with your diesel engine at AutoPro Import Repair. We will help you understand the routine maintenance schedules and warning signs of potential problems so that you can be comfortable with your decision to go diesel.

Stop by or give us a call.

Engine Air Filter

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Vehicle engines need clean air to work efficiently. It takes nearly twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your vehicle engine. Also, clean air is much better than dirty air.

As a result, when your air filter's dirty, it cannot trap dirt anymore. The dirt will just pass through into your air intake system. At that point it can get into the vehicle engine combustion chamber. And burning dust and pollen in your engine as you drive around WORCESTER can only do you harm.

How often you should change your air filter depends on how dirty the air quality is in the MA area you drive in. When your engine air filter needs to be replaced, it needs to be replaced; no ifs or buts. A simple visual inspection by a friendly and knowledgeable AutoPro Import Repair technician will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

If you look at the air filter on your furnace in your home and see it's all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don't hesitate to replace it. When it comes to replacing your air filter don't wait until your air filter is totally plugged; by then your vehicle’s air filter has been running inefficiently for a long distance.

When your AutoPro Import Repair service technician brings out your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and change it out.

Give us a call.

Air Blend Box

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You push a couple buttons or turn a few buttons and voila! You have air that chills your face or air fanning on you feet. But how does this all happen? Well, thanks to the air mixing box. This box lies behind your dash and helps to control the right air temperature. Let’s break it down.

First, Your MA air is circulated through the heating/air conditioning system by the blower fan. Considering on how much hot or cold air there is the fan can blow at distinctive speeds. Having two options, it can either pull fresh air from outside or recirculate air from inside the cabin. WORCESTER drivers often choose to recirculate air when first starting the vehicle until it starts to either cool down or warm up.

Second, the blend box directs air over the heater core to warm the air,  over the air conditioner evaporator core to chill it or a blend of hot and cold to get it just right. From there it can direct the air out into the passenger compartment through the floor vents, the panel vents, the defroster or a combination. This gives WORCESTER drivers the option to customize the climate just the way they like it.

Certain vehicles can also have different climate control zones; one on the driver’s side and one for the passenger’s side – or even for the back seat. More than one blend box is used for this. Depending on your vehicle climate controls can be manually adjusted or computer controlled.

The blower motor and all of the little actuator motors that open and close the various blend doors can fail and need to be replaced. Cabin air filters are now becoming standard in new vehicles.. This filter cleans the air before it gets into the blend box. Do not neglect to change the cabin air filter. If you do it can get clogged, smelly, and even allow mildew and other microorganisms to build up in the blend box.

The pros at AutoPro Import Repair in WORCESTER can perform a heating/air conditioning system cleaning service. This will disinfect and clean the system, restoring a fresh clean odor. If you are not getting enough hot or cold air, your service center can inspect your system, diagnose the cause and set things accordingly. Make sure to replace your cabin air filter on schedule. If you drive in the dusty WORCESTER conditions or where there is a lot of pollen or other pollutants, you may need to replace your cabin air filter more often.

Give us a call.

Improve Your Fuel Economy

To  use less fuel here in the WORCESTER, Boylston and Charlton regions, the US government has created a website dedicated to helping us do so. No matter what kind of vehicle we drive, the cost savings is presented in a way WORCESTER drivers can relate to. For example:

Having your engine properly tuned can save up to 4%. If you're paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas in WORCESTER, you could save 14 cents a gallon.

Dollars Per Gallon              $3.00  $3.50  $4.00
Tune Up 4%                          0.12    0.14    0.16


For MA auto owners replacing a damaged oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to 40 percent That's $1.40 in savings per gallon.

Dollars Per Gallon                          $3.00   $3.50   $4.00
Faulty O2 Oxygen Sensor 40%       1.20     1.40     1.60

If by chance your vehicle oxygen sensor is broken, your Check Engine light  will come on. In addition to oxygen sensor problems, a number of things can cause your Check Engine light to come on. If it is on, check it out at AutoPro Import Repair at 209 Stafford St in WORCESTER as soon as you can.

Also, MA drivers: Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. You could save three percent or 11  cents a gallon. Just even a small drop in pressure can cost you at the WORCESTER pump so be sure to check your tires every week.

Your car manufacturer has recommended a special motor oil weight. The recommendation is based on the design of your engine and gives you the best possible protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent or up to seven cents a gallon in a reduced fuel economy.

Additionally, here are some free gas saving tips: Don't drive aggressively; drive within the WORCESTER speed limit and remove excess weight (junk in the trunk) from your vehicle. These can add up to a dollar or more per gallon.


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Did you know your car scent can make you safer?

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Here's an important travel tip from AutoPro Import Repair that we bet you didn't know, and it might keep you safer:

• The average American commuter spends two and a half hours daily in their car. (The numbers are similar for Canadian commuters.)

• According to the U.S. government, nearly 100,000 auto accidents, annually, are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.

This is from the Canada Safety Council:

"According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, fatigue is a factor in up to 21 per cent of motor vehicle collisions, resulting in about 400 deaths and 2,100 serious injuries every year." 1

The #1 traffic safety concern is aggressive driving (road rage). So what does this have to do with how your car smells? Well, which car scent did you think makes drivers more alert? Is it: (A) Strawberry (B) New Car (C ) Pine (D) Warm Vanilla Breeze

It's C. Drivers in MA are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics. And drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents. And you thought they just smelled good.

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Power Steering Maintenance

We take a lot for granted when it comes to our vehicles especially steering. Let’s break it down into two components: first, the power assist and second, the actual parts that steer the vehicle.

If you are under the age of 40 years old, most likely you haven’t driven a vehicle without power steering. Most vehicles today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer. Usually the pump is driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles have an electric pump. Other vehicles even have an electric motor that directly powers the steering.

Most importantly keep in mind that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will begin to leak. To avoid getting to this point you can have a power steering service done every now and then. Old fluid is always drained and replaced with fresh fluid. This will remove water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts. Ask your service advisor for the recommended change interval.

What about the mechanical steering parts? Is there anything you can do to maintain them? Yes. The steering parts can be lubed. Your technician can take care of this with a lube, oil and filter service. You can also just look out for signs that parts are wearing out, such as loose steering and uneven tire wear.

Of course worn parts can be replaced to get you going again. Now, parts can get bent or damaged from hitting things like potholes, curbs or even rocks. It is important to take care of these problems as early as possible. Now if you decide to ignore them, the damaged parts can stress other attached parts which can lead a chain reaction of damages.

Steering maintenance is pretty straight forward: Replace power steering fluid as recommended and fix worn or damaged parts right away. That’ll save you money in the long run.

Contact a professional service advisor at AutoPro Import Repair for more details.

Guide To Battery Maintenance

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In today's AutoPro Import Repair auto care tips, we are focusing on battery maintenance. Nearly 70% of car batteries do not make it to the standard four year installation mark. They eventually fail and will need to be replaced. However, there are some steps WORCESTER drivers can take to make their battery last more efficiently.

The flow of electrical power is very important when it comes to your vehicle. When you start your vehicle, the battery uses power to get the engine cranking. Once the engine is running, the alternator generates electricity to run all your electrical systems: like lights, a half dozen computers, anti-lock brake system, traction control, power windows, electronic fuel injectors, stability control, air conditioning, transmission servos – the list goes on. Whatever electricity is left will go to recharging your vehicle battery. Then you turn on your radio and seat heaters; maybe plug in your cell phone and computer; the kids watch a DVD and pretty soon there isn't much electricity left to go back into the battery.

Now, you would have enough time to fully recharge your battery if you decided to take a long road trip in MA. But if you are frequently making stops around WORCESTER, your battery isn’t given the chance to recharge. Every single time you start your vehicle engine, your battery takes a big hit again. Multiple starts – multiple hits. By the time you get home, you have less than a full charge.

If the battery is continuously in a discharged state, it loses its ability to fully recharge. When this happens it starts to play a negative affect on the battery life. Now when your battery is on its way to getting this bad, your alternator is working overtime trying to keep it charged – which causes the alternator to wear out prematurely. A lot of experienced WORCESTER technicians suggest replacing your battery after five years, even though it hasn't yet failed, as a maintenance item to extend alternator life.

So what can you do to help your battery last longer? Hook up your battery to a charger at least once a month during the summer time and every three months during the winter time. This will assure your vehicle battery has a regularly full charge. You are less often to do this during the winter because the electrochemical process slows down when it's colder and less damage is done when your battery is low. Computerized battery chargers are real easy to use because they monitor and control the charging rate to keep the battery from overheating while it's charging.

We recommend that you ask your friendly and knowledgeable AutoPro Import Repair advisor to test your battery so you know how much life is left. If all checks out and it only needs a maintenance service, they will clean it up and make sure all connections and cables are good. They can also help you with a battery that's right for your vehicle and driving needs if the battery needs to be replaced.

Give us a call!

Vent Cleaning

Have you ever started up your car and got a musky smell coming from your car’s air vent? Us WORCESTER drivers are familiar with these odors. What happens is moisture accumulates in the air conditioning/heating ventilation system which then allows mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria to grow.

Depending on how bad the problem is, disinfecting and deodorizing can be a process. There are a couple of approaches AutoPro Import Repair may take to get rid of the unwanted smells. For mild situations (especially on newer vehicles), a special deodorizing disinfectant is introduced into the ventilation system. This may be an aerosol or a mist application.

The treatment destroys the offending organisms and deodorizes the system. In older vehicles, an abundant amount of mildew or other microorganisms can sometimes grow on the air conditioning evaporator which can be located in the heating/air conditioning air blend box behind the dashboard. Such cases like this AutoPro Import Repair fills the blend box with disinfecting foam that can eliminate stubborn organisms and return a fresh, clean scent. In all of this, remember your cabin air filter. This is the filter that cleans the air coming into the passenger compartment of your vehicle.

Replacing the cabin air filter can eliminate unpleasant odors. The cabin air filter is the first line of defense for WORCESTER residents. Changing the cabin air filter as needed can actually prevent further contamination problems down the road. If you are experiencing any unusual odors, sounds, vibrations, etc., talk with your friendly and knowledgeable AutoPro Import Repair service adviser. He can recommend the next steps to discover what the is and what it will take to set it right.

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Finding Vehicle Recall Information

Despite how well-made vehicles are, design or manufacturing problems will occur. If the government believes the problem is serious, they require manufacturers to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. Once issued, manufacturers will then try to contact everyone who owns that specific vehicle to get the recall work done.

WORCESTER residents should take these recalls seriously since they always affect safety. Its easy for Auburn folks to see if a vehicle is being recalled.

There are many websites to locate free recall information and searches. For example, the US government has http://www.nhtsa.gov . You can also try carfax.com; autobytel.com and dmv.org.

Although not that very common, recalls a very serious. Sometimes the issues are not as severe and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin- or TSB. TSBs inform WORCESTER auto service centers how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

Then the automotive pros at AutoPro Import Repair in WORCESTER get updated information through subscription plans, which are also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.

So when vehicle recalls occur, get the work done at AutoPro Import Repair, and keep you and yours safe.

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Axles

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Axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to you wheels. These strong parts have a long life span - but can also run into some trouble.

Over time, axles wear out and need to be replaced. Sometimes the axle seals can leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Unfortunately, lubricant leaks out which can lead to water and dirt getting in and contaminating the gears. Once this happens, strange noises can be heard coming from the axle.

Depending on what you have, the sounds could be heard from the rear end if you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle and the sounds can be heard from the front end if you have a front-wheel drive. Of course, if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle the sounds can come from either the front or the end. It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning.

With there being all different kinds of axles, each come with their own potential problems. Your WORCESTER MA service technician knows this and checks for things like leaking seals, torn CV boots, worn axle joints. An inspection will reveal if there are any problems or if a part is nearing failure.

Your axle shaft will be removed and inspected when there is a concern. Any damages to the shaft will have to be replaced. Shafts will be cleaned, lubed and installed if they result in being in good shape. Damaged CV boots are replaced as well.

It's important to have AutoPro Import Repair take care of this work as soon as you become aware of a problem. Waiting only makes the damage worse and more expensive to repair later. If the axle fails completely, it could lock up. This could severely damage other things like your transmission – very costly. It could also contribute to an accident, which nobody wants.

In the long run, taking care of your axles when they need attention saves you money and helps keep you safely on the road.

Time To Clear This Up

I’m sure we all have been in that situation where we driven into a bright sunlight and our windows were either dirty, scratched or fogged, leaving us completely blind in the process. Probably not the best thing or feeling when you're moving down the road is it.

 Also, it's important to be able to see your mirrors and other vehicles behind you. So, a little clarity here can go the extra mile.

Let's take a look at how you can maximize your visibility:

  • Clean your windows with the right cleaner. Stay away from cleaners that have ammonia or alcohol in them. Ammonia can cause the surfaces of your vehicle's interior to dry out and can damage some window tints. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and your service adviser can make recommendations.

  • Don't use abrasives on your windows. For example, some kitchen sponges have a pad on one side that is used to scrub pots and pans. Don't use those! Using abrasives can scratch glass and everlastingly damage them! Instead, pros recommend using a micro-fiber cloth or wipes specifically created for cleaning glass.

  • We may remember to clean the outside, but what about the inside? Trust us the interior is just as important! We've all seen that film buildup on the inside of our vehicle windows. Certain things like cigarette smoke or even sunlight baking your vehicle's plastic and leather interior surfaces can cause this; while also releasing oils into the cabin. With that being said, make sure to thoroughly clean that oily layer.

Once your windows are clean, it's important to be able to keep them clean when you're on the road, especially your windshield. You want to make sure your wiper blades are replaced regularly. Even if they're not used all that much keep in mind the material used in them deteriorates over time regardless.

  • There are several different types of wiper blades, and among the newest is the "beam" blade.

  • Beam blades have several advantages over more traditional blades, including a more contoured fit to the windshield surface. Some even incorporate an aerodynamic design that presses them tighter to the glass at higher speeds.

  • Your service adviser will be able to recommend the best blade for your vehicle and install them properly.

If you are having trouble seeing out your windshield, let us inspect your wiper blades at your next service.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Many decades ago, people started to become more aware of how air pollution negatively affects health. As WORCESTER drivers, MA air quality affects us wherever we go. But what about the air inside your vehicle?

On most new vehicles, since the 2000 model year, cabin air filters have now become standard. These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment.

Cabin air filters can filter particles down to three microns, which can clean out dust, pollen and most pollutants. For those suffering with allergies, this is beyond great news.

You can look in your owner’s manual to see if you have a cabin air filter. If you do, there’ll be a recommendation for replacing it when it gets dirty. If you’re living in an area with a heavy presence of dust, pollen or pollution, you may need to change it more often. You can also ask your AutoPro Import Repair service adviser.

The level of difficulty to change your cabin air filter depends on the vehicle you have. Some are easy to access while others may take some time to get to. They’re usually located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard.

Because cabin air filters are so new, some WORCESTER drivers have never heard of them - even people whose vehicles have them. AutoPro Import Repair service advisers report customers complaining of an unpleasant odor in their vehicle and it turned out to be a dirty cabin air filter.

An important note to MA hybrid owners: there is a special air filter that cleans the air that cools the hybrid battery pack. To prevent the battery pack from overheating make sure this filter is inspected every time the cabin air filter is in inspected.

Give us a call.

What is an alternator?

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Ever notice a bunch of lights that flash on your dash when you start your engine? They flash on to test the circuits then go off if everything is working normally. One of the warning lights looks like a car battery. This light informs you if your battery is not charging correctly.

We know that the battery’s job is to store electricity – enough to start your engine and get you moving. But that's about it – you will maybe get a few miles around WORCESTER on battery power alone. An alternator is needed to generate enough electricity to run your engine and power your electrical accessories. For example, the stereo, power seats, heater fan, on-board computers and so on. Not only that, but the alternator needs to recharge your battery. There isn't enough electricity for all of those things if your alternator isn't working properly. When your alternator fails, you aren't going very far.

So what can cause an alternator to not work you may ask? Usually they've simply been worn out. Alternators are driven by your serpentine belt and spin 2 to 3 times faster than the engine – that's a lot of work. The bearings wear out, as do the copper wire coils and magnets that generate the electricity.

It makes no sense in shuffling along with an alternator that's not working properly. You don’t want to be left stranded when it eventually fails. Get a bad alternator replaced as soon as possible. Your WORCESTER, MA service technician at AutoPro Import Repair will install an alternator that meets your manufacturer's specifications.

Who also has a lot of additional electrical gizmos in the vehicle, like computers, DVD players, power inverters and such? Or may regularly tow a camp trailer with a battery that recharges as you drive? If that sounds like you, talk with your WORCESTER service advisor at AutoPro Import Repair about upgrading to a more heavy-duty alternator to meet your needs.

Fuel Saving: Myth or Fact?

Now that fuel prices are on the rise in Worcester a lot of gas saving advice are going around. Of course some are really great but some not so much. Some are myths that are designed to prey on residents, like you and me, to desperately enhance the fuel economy and save some money.

 Do be sure to thoroughly think through the e-mails you receive floating around MA advising you on how to save gas. Ask yourself does this really make sense? How does it defy the laws of physics? To answer some of the questions you may have, try looking up as much as you can on the Internet or ask your friendly and knowledgeable AutoPro Import Repair service advisor.

 Only if there were magic pills you can drop in your gas tank right? But unfortunately not even the government has come up with a device yet where you can just clip on to your fuel line to make your car run on air.

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with the team of automotive professionals at AutoPro Import Repair in WORCESTER. You'll get more bangs for your buck with a full-service oil change or an engine air filter replacement.



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508.757.1297

Q & A: Serpentine Belts

AutoPro Tech Question:

I was putting groceries in the back of my SUV last night at the market when the car next to me started up & let out the most awful screeching noise. It made me jump a mile! It sounded like a cat stuck in the engine. What was wrong with the car?

AutoPro Answer:

The screeching noise on start up was most likely a problem with the drive belt. Sometimes belts need to be adjusted but sometimes they are worn out. A worn belt will cause other issues before it breaks. If the belt slips, it will put undue strain on other parts such as tensioners and pulleys. This can lead to a more costly repair on your Worcester vehicle.

When the engine turns over, it powers the serpentine belt. The belt runs the power steering pump, alternator, and a/c compressor. In some vehicles, it also runs the radiator fan and the water pump.

If the serpentine belt in your vehicle does break, it will leave you stranded by the side of the road because your battery won’t last for long. If the serpentine belt in your Worcester vehicle also runs the water pump or the cooling fans, the vehicle may overheat before the battery dies.  Having your serpentine belt checked at least once a year makes good sense.

When you make an appointment at AutoPro, mention that you would like your drive belt checked. We will determine if there are any concerns with the belt. We check for cracks and wear to determine if it needs to be replaced.

If the belt needs to be replaced, AutoPro will also check the tensioner and pulley to make sure there are no other issues that can lead to a dangerous breakdown on Worcester streets. AutoPro has you covered!

Give AutoPro in Worcester a call today! 508 757-1297

Spark Plugs

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If you have been a Worcester car owner for a number of years, you probably remember when spark plugs needed to be replaced every few years. Numerous things have changed since then & plug replacement isn’t needed as often. Many spark plugs will last for 100,000 miles. So what is different now?

Years of research and development have changed the materials used in spark plugs. The overall design of spark plugs has changed as well. The other side of the equation is the Worcester vehicles themselves.  Back in the day, spark plugs had to be changed often because of higher amounts of carbon fouling. Carbon deposits happen when fuel isn’t completely burned off. Modern computerized engine controls continue to improve your vehicle’s miles per gallon by reducing the amount of unburned fuel. The end results meaning less carbon build up on the spark plugs and longer recommended spark plug replacement intervals. (Not to mention better gas mileage!)

Another thing to keep in mind Worcester drivers, there are right and wrong types of spark plugs for your vehicle. Engines designed by different manufacturers run at different internal temperatures. Different spark plugs are designed to operate efficiently within those temperatures. The wrong plugs can cause misfires or reduce your Worcester vehicle’s mileage efficiency.


AutoPro in Worcester will only use the correct type of spark plugs for your vehicle. We can also help you understand when to replace your spark plugs based on your Worcester vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

Give AutoPro a call today!  508757-1297