Yearly Archives: 2017

The Lighthouse Automotive Guide to Saving Fuel: Beware of Myths

There's a lot of auto advice in Colorado right now on how to save money on gas. Some of it is good advice. Some of it isn't. Some of it is myth. And it may well be a scam. Plain and simple. When someone offers you a product designed to save money on gas, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?” If the answer is yes, do more research.The internet offers us a convenient and quick way to research someone's claims about gas savings. Colorado Springs drivers can usually find out in only minutes whether that claim is questionable or not.Chances are other Colorado Springs drivers have already tried what you're being offered. If you find evidence that others feel they have been scammed, you should be wary of becoming the next victim. There aren't any pills, magic or otherwise, that you can drop into your gas tank to improve your gas mileage. Drop in enough of those pills and you can actually harm your vehicle. The last thing y ... read more

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Fuel System

Fuel Injector Cleaning at Lighthouse Automotive

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected vehicle driving down Colorado Springs roads.Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the Colorado Springs automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine. A few have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Colorado dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more com ... read more

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Fuel System

What to Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in Colorado Springs

So you've bought a used vehicle in the Colorado Springs area. Do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because people in the Colorado Springs area sell vehicles for different reasons. Think about why you've sold vehicles. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both.Used vehicles in Colorado with 25,000 to 35,000 miles/40,000 to 55,000 km on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most Colorado Springs buyers feel pretty confident about these because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?Colorado Springs drivers who are planning to own a vehicle for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenan ... read more

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Older Vehicles

Serpentine Belt Service at Lighthouse Automotive

Most Colorado Springs folks occasionally have days when they've got a bunch of errands to run. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to fill the gas tank, pick up some groceries at my Colorado Springs market, swing by the ATM and get the kids from school. I could have made four trips . . . but that would have been totally inefficient. Instead I got unusually organized and planned my stops. I hit the ATM first and got gas next. Then I went to the supermarket and picked up the kids on the way home. I was proud of my wise use of time and money.What does this have to do with your car? Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have five or six belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called the serpentine belt. A pulley attached to the vehicle engine's crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. On the engine in the video, the first access ... read more

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Maintenance

Ask Lighthouse Automotive About the Importance of Service Intervals

Today in our Lighthouse Automotive blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life with recommended intervals: What about six-month dental cleanings and regular physical exams? Then there's laundry, mowing the lawn, paying your electric bill, changing your furnace filter - you get the idea.Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals?For one thing, your teeth may get more cavities. You might not discover health issues that benefit from early detection and treatment. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your overgrown lawn and have your power shut off.We all realize there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life diminishes and it inevitably costs more money.Have you ever wondered, "How often should I bring my car in for scheduled maintenance?" Yo ... read more

Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system: the radiator the radiator cap the hoses the thermostat the water pump The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Lighthouse Automotive. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Lighthouse Automotive to see what's recommended.Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail o ... read more

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Cooling System

Tracking True in Colorado: Wheel Alignment in Colorado Springs

The biggest issue for Colorado Springs area drivers is always safety. When your vehicle wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you're vehicle is out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs. When undergoing an alignment service at Lighthouse Automotive, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.Colorado Springs drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you see the edges of ... read more

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Alignment

Exhaust Service at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs

Whenever they hear the term "exhaust service," most Colorado Springs residents think about exhaust pipes and mufflers. Well, actually, exhaust service at Lighthouse Automotive is a lot more comprehensive these days. For example, catalytic converters were mandated in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Governmental emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental regulations.Exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer controlled emissions devices are now a big part of exhaust service. Because it is so sophisticated, your recommends you have your emission system checked out by a qualified Colorado Springs exhaust technician regularly to make sure everything is working right - usually every 6 months or 10,000 miles/16,000 kilometers.If your Check Engine light comes on, especially if it's flashing, get your car looked at right away. Technicians at Lighthouse A ... read more

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Exhaust

Automotive Tips from Lighthouse Automotive: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

When Colorado Springs drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Lighthouse Automotive tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.Give us a call.Lighthouse Automotive2499 East Platte AveColorado Springs, Colorado 8090971

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Tires and Wheels

Easy Miles ? Do Colorado Springs Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?

Have you ever noticed that your vehicle has a schedule in your owner's manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let's define what severe driving conditions aren't: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for 20 miles (32 kilometers) or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour) in 75°F (24°C) weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly and you are driving under severe conditions.Let's look at the parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Colorado Springs are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn't stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate. So i ... read more

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