Saturday, May 18, 2013

What is a TPMS Sensor?

A Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor (TPMS) is an electronic sensor located on the valve stem of your tires, designed to monitor the air pressure on various types of vehicles. They have increasingly become popular on newer vehicles for a number of reasons. The TPMS sensor shows information to the driver of the vehicle by a gauge, pictogram display, or a simple low-pressure warning light. They can be provided by the manufacturer as Original Equipment or aftermarket parts.

The reason for these sensors is to avoid traffic accidents due to under-inflated tires by early recognition of the malfunction of tires, and also reducing rolling resistance thus increasing overall fuel efficiency. At this time, you currently do not need your TPMS sensor to be off in order to pass state inspection.

If you have a TPMS sensor light on, stop by the Auto Clinic so we can take care of it for you!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

If your Air Conditioning is blowing warm air..

Now that the weather is warming up..time to fire up the Air Conditioning! but cold air comes out? It's your car telling you something.

Picture your AC system like a refrigerator, it is a closed, pressurized system of pipes that contains a freon gas that is odorless, colorless, and leaves no residue. Now picture driving a refrigerator down the street, exposed to all of natures elements- sand, salt, water, rocks, etc. Most likely, before too long, your AC system will get a leak.

Once you have a leak in your AC system, it loses all pressure, and all the freon that keeps the air cold leaks out. Thats when your vents start blowing warm air...and it's time to call the Auto Clinic!

Auto Clinic offers NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY for an AC recharge. The first step in diagnosing your leak is to find out where the leak is coming from. In the process of recharging your AC, we'll put a dye in the freon that will mark where your leak is located.

AN AC RECHARGE DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOUR AC IS FIXED. Once you have a recharge, you must drive your car until your AC starts blowing warm air again, bring it back to us and we'll check to see where your system is leaking. At that point, we will be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

An AC recharge can last you 2 years or 2 days, it all depends on how large a leak you have. Having you AC recharged for the first time is simply the first step to diagnosing where your leak is coming from.

Have any questions? like to learn more about what we do? Visit our website

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Prevent Breakdowns Before they Happen!
Here are some helpful preventative maintenance tips

Check your Oil, Check your Oil, Check your Oil! We have found several cars very low on oil. Oil change intervals have substantially increased over time because of various improvements. It is not uncommon for vehicles to burn oil. However, some burn more than others and with many miles between oil changes it can spell disaster! If your car has over 80k miles avoid costly repairs and remember to check your oil regularly or simply ask to have it checked if you use a full service fuel station. Better yet... just stop by and see us and we'll be happy to check your oil for you!

Check your Tires Before you head out, visually check your tires to make sure they are not low with air. Changing temperatures can cause tire pressure to run low, causing poor gas mileage and dramatically shorten the life of your tire. Also, having the proper tread on your tires allows for the best traction with slippery conditions.

Check Engine Light is Extremely Important It is a common misconception that when a Check Engine Light comes on, it is not a time sensative issue. This is a Myth! When your Check Engine Light comes on, it's your vehicle telling you a component is not working properly and could be causing damage until it is fixed. A flashing light means there is eminent damage being caused to your catalytic converter and stop the vehicle immediately.

Like to get these things checked out? email us here

Auto Repair Pepperell MA

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Avoid Costly Engine Damage; Change Your Timing Belt at the Recommended Interval

Avoid Costly Engine Damage; Change Your Timing Belt at the Recommended Interval or Every 72 Months, Which Ever Comes First

Automobile engines can be classified as either Free-Running or Interference, depending on what occurs if piston/valve synchronization is lost. Knowing the difference between these engine types and recognizing the type of your own car can give you insight on when you should change your timing belt, and what could happen if you don't.

As illustrated below, The free-running engine has a valve that does not interfere with the piston, even if the engine should seize, or stop moving. The Interference engine has a valve that does interfere with the piston should the engine seize or stop moving.

If the valve interferes with the piston, synchronization is lost and the interference engine sustains significant damage. Once the piston and valve collide, damage can occur to the valves, pistons, or heads that can cause very costly repairs to the owner, and even ruin the engine completely. Most car and light diesel engines have higher compression engines are considered interference engines. Follow your auto manufacturer's mileage replacement recommendations or the standard recommended mileage interval of 60,000 miles.

Timing belts are located inside the engine and are often considered out-of-site out-of-mind for routine maintenance. Here are some quick questions to consider to be aware of when your timing belt should be replaced.
  • Did you buy the car new? Check your maintenance manual to see when you should have your timing belt replaced.
  • Did you buy the car used? Make sure you find out if the timing belt has been replaced by the previous owner or dealer. If they are not sure, have the timing belt checked or replaced and be aware if it is an interference engine.
  • How many miles are on the vehicle? Generally belts are replaced around 60,000 miles or less. Ask your local auto repair facility to look up the recommended mileage for timing belt replacement.
  • Have you ever replaced the timing belt? If the answer is no, you should find out when your vehicle is due for replacement.
Helpful Hint:
For vehicles within a few thousand miles of recommended replacement interval, if you are already getting engine repairs done, have the timing belt checked. If it needs replacing, do it along with the other repairs by saving on labor costs, time, and money.

Friday, January 4, 2013

10 Most Common Causes of Poor Gas Mileage

10 Most Common Causes of Poor Gas Mileage

gas mileage/auto repair/ automobile/ pepperell, MA

Gasoline costs can be a major part of a household budget. You use gasoline every time you take the car out to run an errand, get to work or take a trip. Gasoline consumption also contributes to air pollution. Recognizing the 10 most common causes of poor gas mileage and finding ways to manage those causes can lead to monetary savings and a cleaner environment.

1. Tires

Under-inflated tires are a common cause of poor gas mileage. Pull out your owner’s manual and note the recommended tire inflation for your vehicle. Gas mileage drops by one percent for every 2 lbs the tires are under-inflated. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage by up to 3 percent.

2. Speed

The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that gas mileage rates begin to decrease at speeds over 60 mph. Maintaining a slower speed can result in a 7 to 23 percent savings in fuel economy.

3. Heavy Trunk

Extra weight in your car causes the engine to work harder and lowers gas mileage. Remove excess items from your trunk and any car carriers. A reduction of 100 lbs in excess weight can save 1 to 2 percent in fuel economy.

4. Inconsistent Driving

Cars perform best when driven consistently. Sudden acceleration, or braking, can decrease gas mileage. The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that erratic driving can decrease gas mileage by as much as 5 to 33 percent. The use of cruise control on the highway can help you maintain a constant driving speed and improve gas mileage.

5. Tune-Ups

Not following the recommended schedule for your car’s tune-ups can increase your gas consumption. Regular tune-ups will increase gas mileage by up to 4 percent. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct tune-up schedule for your car.

6. Roof Rack

A roof rack may help you load extra items onto your car, but it will also decrease your gas mileage. A roof rack changes the aerodynamics of your car and increases the air resistance, resulting in poor gas mileage. Extra items carried on the rack add weight to the car and contribute to poor mileage. Remove the rack if it is not needed. A loaded roof rack may decrease your gas mileage by 5 percent.

7. Errands

The amount of gas your car consumes is greatly increased by the number of trips you make trying to finish your daily errands. Combine trips to cut down on gas expense. Review your errands for the week and plan to take care of errands in the same general location on one trip.

8. Idling

Keeping your car running, while not going anywhere, is a waste of gasoline. Idling contributes to gas consumption and contributes nothing to gas mileage. It also contributes to pollution. Turn off your car when waiting.

9. Oil Choice

It is important to use the proper oil for your automobile. The incorrect choice can result in poor gas mileage. Use the type of oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Look for the American Petroleum Institute symbol on the motor oil container. If the symbol indicates “Energy Conserving” the oil has been designed to improve fuel economy.

10. Oxygen Sensor

An oxygen sensor interprets the amount of oxygen in your car’s exhaust and uses that information to adjust the car’s fuel consumption. An improperly functioning oxygen sensor can to lead to poor gas mileage. Fixing an oxygen sensor may improve your car’s gas consumption by as much as 40 percent.