Boyd's Auto Blog

Power Steering Service in St. Catharines

2017-06-27 09:36:03



Most St. Catharines 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 St. Catharines 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 knowledgeable pros at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines.

The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so St. Catharines drivers need to replace it from time to time. Many vehicle manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your technician at Boyd Automotive & Tire, will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.

Here are some  warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It's harder to turn the wheel, there's erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump quickly.

Other steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks: ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear and an off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines will reveal bent or damaged steering components.

Most SUV's, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.

The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Boyd Automotive & Tire, also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners' manual maintenance schedule. It's usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the St. Catharines area, the bearings will need service more often.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

 

Boyd Automotive & Tire, Fuel Saving Tip for St. Catharines: Check Engine Light

2017-06-18 03:22:03

Here's a question for St. Catharines, Ontario : How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your Check Engine light? 

Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

Many conditions that trigger the Check Engine light can hurt your vehicle. A lot.

If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the Check Engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Boyd Automotive & Tire, a call when you are ready.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

How Does Boyd Automotive & Tire, Know What to Recommend?

2017-06-13 10:26:05

When you drop your vehicle off at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines, we don't just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. Boyd Automotive & Tire, professionals have lists and procedures we follow for different types of service. First of all, your St. Catharines service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. we'll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, we will also check your vehicle's history.

If the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations go beyond the services you've ordered, we'll let you know. We'll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The Boyd Automotive & Tire, pros won't do work that you don't agree to.

We will, however, perform inspections while we're servicing your vehicle. we'll check belts, filters and fluids. we'll check your windshield wipers for wear. we'll let you know if there's an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and we'll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.

You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you've had x-rays recently. If not, he'll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You'll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You'll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist's usual purview. Then you'll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.

These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines operates the same way. We want St. Catharines drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.

Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.

Boyd Automotive & Tire, follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.

Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening. Service centers also offer St. Catharines drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. we'll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren't compromised. You can rely on the pros at Boyd Automotive & Tire, for good auto advice.

The next time you're headed to the dentist's office, think about the vehicle you're riding in. Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Serpentine Belt System Wear

2017-06-06 09:26:04

The primary job of the serpentine belt for St. Catharines drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around St. Catharines with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

Give us a call.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Causes of Wheel Misalignment

2017-05-31 12:13:04

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. St. Catharines drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major crash, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday St. Catharines driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your car can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.

When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an inspection every year or two.

Give us a call.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Time for Differential Service at Boyd Automotive & Tire,?

2017-05-22 05:11:04

Hello St. Catharines - let's talk differentials. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, your differential is on the back axle. With front-wheel drive cars, the differential is up front. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials - front, rear and in the middle. So you see, you've got a differential (or two or three) and it needs service now and then.

What does your vehicle differential do? Well, it compensates for the differences in speed between your outer and inner wheels in a turn. Using the dimensions of a typical car, let's compare the distance the wheels travel from the start of a turn through to the completion of the turn.

The inside wheel travels about 12.6 feet/3.8 meters. How much farther does the outside wheel travel? About 18.8 feet/5.7 meters – over 6 feet/1.9 meters more. This means the outer tire has to rotate 9 times in the same amount of time that the inner tire has to rotate only 6 times - so the outer tire has to spin faster in order to keep up. The differential makes this possible.

The gears in the differential are cooled and lubricated by differential fluid. It's this fluid that needs to be serviced. Small bits of the gears break off and are suspended in the differential fluid. The dirtier the fluid, the faster the gears wear.

So your Boyd Automotive & Tire, technician drains the old fluid out and replaces it with fresh fluid. Some differentials also need a special additive that is put in at this time.

So when should you have your vehicle differential serviced? Intervals vary from vehicle to vehicle – and may be as short as 15,000 miles/24,000 km – so check your vehicle owner's manual or ask us at Boyd Automotive & Tire,. If you frequently drive with heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in hot Ontario conditions, you may need to change differential fluid more often. Servicing your differential on schedule at Boyd Automotive & Tire, can save a pricey replacement down the road.

Give us a call.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Give Your Engine Clean Fuel with a New Fuel Filter from Boyd Automotive & Tire,

2017-05-15 02:44:03

Your vehicle requires plenty of clean fuel to run. If your fuel contains contaminants, your fuel injectors will eventually become clogged up. When this happens, your vehicle engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run at peak performance. This hurts performance as you drive around the St. Catharines area. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.

That's why all vehicles, including vehicles, come equipped with a fuel filter. The job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and keeps them out of the fuel stream. Of course, like all filters, it will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines.

If your fuel filter is clogged, the vehicle engine can't get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your vehicle engine running but doesn't protect it from  contaminated fuel.

St. Catharines drivers may find that they need to change their fuel filter at Boyd Automotive & Tire, more frequently as their vehicle ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect parts and to maintain performance.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

New Life for Your Older Car in St. Catharines

2017-05-07 06:23:04

Isn't it amazing how much of our stuff is disposable these days? Clothes, electronics, housewares, furniture.

Remember the days when St. Catharines families mended their clothes, polished their shoes and neatly put away their toys every night? If something was lost or ruined through neglect, your parents just told you to do without, that you should have taken better care of it. They considered the loss a “life lesson.”

But today many St. Catharines drivers tend to neglect one of the more expensive and important purchases we make: our vehicles. Vehicles are a lot more reliable today than back when we polished our shoes, and that reliability can sometimes make us take them for granted. Drivers in St. Catharines neglect good vehicle care practices and procrastinate when it comes to preventive maintenance. What we're really doing is heading straight for one of those dreaded “life lessons.” Eventually we'll pay for our neglect in repair bills and a shorter life for our vehicle.

Is procrastinating on routine maintenance really so terrible? Consider what happens when you procrastinate on brushing your teeth, washing your clothes or getting the dishes done. Gunk builds up, makes the job harder and ultimately damages your teeth, clothing or dishes. It's the same with your vehicle. Some of the best auto advice out there for St. Catharines drivers is to stay on top of routine oil changes by bringing their car into Boyd Automotive & Tire,. Even a little extra interval between oil changes can result in oil sludge, which can clog passages in your engine. This means oil can't get to some of the engine components, and they'll wear out faster without lubrication. Every time you put off an oil change, the problem gets worse, eventually cutting years off the life of your engine.

The same is true if you skip cooling system service. Corrosion inhibitors in the fluid become depleted over time, opening the system up to damage. Consistent neglect will lead to holes in your radiator. Talk to your friendly service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire, for suggestions and feedback.

Neglect of other fluids can also result in engine damage. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid—all of these need to be serviced on a regular basis. In addition, your fuel system needs periodic cleaning or it can start to break down and cause permanent damage to your engine.

The good news is that it's never too late to get on track and start getting good, regular preventive maintenance for your vehicle at Boyd Automotive & Tire,. You may not be able to reverse damage that's already been done, but you can prevent further damage.

It really does all start with an oil change. With a full-service oil change at Boyd Automotive & Tire,, your fluids will be checked and your car inspected for wear and tear. Our pros at Boyd Automotive & Tire, can also advise you of other inspections and maintenance items that are coming due. If you're on top of oil changes, your service advisor will keep track of your maintenance schedule and remind you what needs to be done.

Older vehicles are going to need repairs. But with good maintenance, those repairs will involve fairly routine stuff like alternators, water pumps, belts and batteries. The cost of these replacement parts at Boyd Automotive & Tire, is much cheaper than the repair bills that come with serious engine damage, and they're certainly less than the cost of a new car.

We may not need to polish our shoes anymore, and tossing out that outdated cell phone may not be such a loss. But when it comes to our vehicles, they're just too valuable to be treated as disposable. Let's take a step back, listen to our parents and take care of our stuff. If we don't, we could be on our way to a “life lesson” involving our bank account and a bus pass.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Boyd Automotive & Tire, Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

2017-04-30 10:13:04

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in Ontario. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep St. Catharines residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. St. Catharines residents can't afford to overlook any of them.

The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the St. Catharines area. They are not presented in any particular order.

1. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.

2. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a vehicle to pull to one side. This is dangerous for St. Catharines residents and can lead to accidents. Also, it causes uneven and rapid tire wear, which means tires must be replaced more often.

3. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Differential Service. They are part of the drive train system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Damage or wear in this system can make a vehicle undriveable.

4. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Cabin Air Filter. Your vehicle may or may not be equipped with a cabin air filter. Its job is to remove dust and pollen from the air that enters the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If this filter clogs, it can stink. So check your owner's manual to find out if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If so, come visit us at Boyd Automotive & Tire, and get it changed according to the recommended schedule.

5. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Timing Belt Replacement. Most passenger cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. St. Catharines residents can check their owner's manual to find out if their vehicle has one. If so, you can't drive without it. And if it breaks while on the road, you may be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs. So it is important to inspect it occasionally. If your vehicle has close to 60,000 miles/100,000 kilometers or more on it and you haven't had your timing belt replaced, then you need to find out the recommended replacement interval NOW.

6. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Transmission Service. Transmission fluid gets dirty and has to be replaced. If not, you risk repairs.

7. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Air Conditioning Service. The refrigerant in your air conditioner needs to be replaced periodically. This fluid doesn't just refrigerate air; it provides lubrication to the air conditioning system and conditions seals. Lack of fluid can damage components.

8. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Brake Service. Even if your brakes are quiet and working well, the brake fluid still might need to be changed. Over time, moisture builds up in brake fluid. Water has a different viscosity than brake fluid, so the brakes can't compress properly when there's too much moisture in the fluid — and you shouldn't need to be told how it is to drive with brakes that are compromised. Moisture in your brake fluid can also corrode parts in your brake system, causing it to fail altogether.

9. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Coolant System Service. Antifreeze is another fluid that needs to be changed regularly. If not, it actually becomes corrosive and begins to damage your cooling system. Eventually it can eat holes in your radiator.

10. Boyd Automotive & Tire, Fuel System Cleaning. Over time, your fuel system just gets gummed up, which can interfere with the flow of fuel in a number of ways.

Of course, your next question should be: How often do I need to get all of this done? Well, the answer varies depending on which service we're talking about, the make and model of your vehicle, the climate where you live in Ontario, your usual driving conditions and your driving habits.

But don't lose heart. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended service schedule for most of the service items listed. And you can get quality auto advice from your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisors to help you meet the service intervals that suit your vehicle.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821


Easy Miles – Do St. Catharines Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?

2017-04-23 12:53:03

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 St. Catharines 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 it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around the St. Catharines area are less than four miles, you should be using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines will help prevent the formation of sludge.

Most of us St. Catharines drivers think of severe Ontario weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we're right. Cold Ontario weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.

Hot St. Catharines weather is also bad for vehicles. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot Ontario weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

So, in the end, most of us St. Catharines auto owners drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart St. Catharines residents will ask themselves the question: "Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?" An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

 

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