Yearly Archives: 2016

The Lighthouse Automotive Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Colorado Springs area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives. Preventive Maintenance Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Colorado Springs can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Lighthouse Automotive will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle. Responsible Car Care Dirty oil grits up your ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of Colorado Springs driver's perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.Twenty years ago in Colorado, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. Colorado drivers called them snow tires back then, and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren't very good on ice, packed snow or wet Colorado roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. People couldn't wait to get them off in the spring.Then all-season tires started to appear in Colorado Springs tire shops. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life and ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

The Lighthouse Automotive Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for Colorado Springs drivers. A lot of us in Colorado Springs don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.The location of your differential depends ... read more

Automotive Tips from Lighthouse Automotive: Rotor Problems

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your car when you are driving in Colorado Springs.Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is important for Colorado Springs drivers to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the problem. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake problems that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your friendly and professional Lighthouse Automotive tech perform a thorough inspection.Give us a call.Lighthouse Automotive2499 East Platte AveColorado Springs, Col ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Colorado Springs drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Colorado Springs tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Colorado Springs drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Colorado Springs area, it should hav ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Lighthouse Automotive Brake Service for Safe Stopping in Colorado Springs

Let's talk about something critical for all Colorado Springs drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order. Here's an explanation on how your disc brakes work: The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around Colorado Springs. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brake ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Right or Left? Lighthouse Automotive Power Steering Service

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some Colorado Springs folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use st ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Picking the Right Tires in Colorado Springs

Shopping for tires in Colorado Springs can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Colorado Springs are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on Colorado roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice. Next comes winter tires. Colorado Springs people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on Colorado roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Trip Inspection at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs area drivers love their vehicles. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like vehicle trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.Now Colorado Springs drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding Colorado byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How far will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier or ATVs? Will it be dusty? Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs to ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

Hey Colorado Springs Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

Higher Colorado Springs fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of Colorado Springs drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course Colorado vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.Preventive maintenance at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Lighthouse Automotive for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy
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