Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ask Lighthouse Automotive: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

Ask Lighthouse Automotive: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why Colorado Springs drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time l ... read more

Categories:

Timing Belt

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for Colorado Springs Drivers

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for Colorado Springs Drivers

When people in Colorado Springs talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Colorado? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, Colorado Springs drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Colorado areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are a ... read more

Power Steering Service in Colorado Springs

Power Steering Service in Colorado Springs

Most Colorado Springs drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Colorado Springs drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Lighthouse Automotive Radiator Service

Lighthouse Automotive Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Colorado Springs, it is easy to prevent. The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again.There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.Another coolant issue that is often overlooked by Colorado Springs drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Colorado Springs

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Colorado Springs

Many Colorado Springs drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a Colorado Springs road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of ... read more

Categories:

Shocks & Struts
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