Articles:

Transmission Service at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

Let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Colorado Springs drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people in Colorado to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually, it's much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the ma ... read more

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Transmission

Air Conditioning Maintenance at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

Warm weather or cold, Colorado Springs drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most Colorado Springs people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Lighthouse Automotive, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on. Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs.The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Colorado Springs vehicle owners kno ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Lighthouse Automotive

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the Colorado news. Colorado Springs people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate. A lot of Colorado Springs motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so. There are plenty of Colorado Springs drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in Colorado.The Colorado Springs drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change ... read more

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Maintenance

Suspension Service at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

During an inspection at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs, your friendly and knowledgeable automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Here's a quick rundown of suspension system components: There are the springs which hold the weight of your vehicle. There are several varieties of springs. Springs are heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. Good shocks are essential for handling performance and ride comfort. You've probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. If your tires develop a cupped wear pattern, your shocks or struts may be wearing out. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your vehicle dives excessively whe ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Colorado Springs, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Colorado Springs area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.Some vehicles around Colorado Springs come from the factory filled with syntheti ... read more

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Fluids

Recommended Colorado Springs Service Intervals

Everyone in Colorado Springs, Colorado, knows we are advised to go to our Colorado Springs dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Colorado Springs residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can't be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – "Everything's fine, see you in six months." Or "You've got a small cavity starting, let's schedule an appointment to take care of it." By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big problems. And you avoid those huge bills.If Colorado Springs folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our vehicle maintenance? Following the vehicle manufacturer's recommended ... read more

Synthetic Oil for Colorado Springs Autos

If you are a driver in Colorado Springs and you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Colorado Springs, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil, with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle. Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pi ... read more

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Maintenance

Colorado Springs Tire Repair

Most Colorado Springs residents have experienced a flat tire. You know it's inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn't just a big safety issue for Colorado Springs drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high Colorado gas prices, we've all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to save on gas. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer.  There's another danger with under-inflated tires for Colorado Springs residents. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don't just keep adding air every few days. You want to avoid tire damage. Colorado Springs residents should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs - we have a who ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Colorado Springs car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Colorado Springs, Colorado, folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there's no reason a modern vehicle can't be made to last for a 150,000 miles (250,000 kilometers) or more for smart Colorado Springs drivers.The old adage: 'a stitch in time saves nine' is really true for Colorado Springs residents when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Colorado Springs drivers have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule at Lighthouse Automotive.Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be ... read more

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Maintenance

Serpentine Belt Service at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Colorado Springs vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, Colorado Springs drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s m ... read more

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Maintenance
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