S&W Hours

Technical Tips

Damage caused by Overtighening Ball Joints or Tie Rod.

A key part of a car's suspension system, the steering knuckle is susceptible to damage due to overtightening. Watch this informative video to learn how to identify steering knuckle damage. In this video, Master Technician Mark Isaac of Garage Gurus shares with you the proper tool to use when doing car steering knuckle suspension system repairs. -- (click on Picture)

Replace Rotors & Brake Pads Together

Brakes rely on friction from the brake pad as it is pressed against the rotor to bring the vehicle to a stop. There are some safety considerations when new brake pads are put onto a vehicle with used rotors. This could reduce the vehicle’s stopping ability. Optimal braking calls for solid contact between the brake pad and rotor. Deep grooves that have developed in a worn rotor will act as a hole-puncher or shredder and damage the pad material as it is pressed against the rotor. Many professionals and mechanics recommend that both elements of the brake system be replaced at the same time. Some vehicle owners that have only replaced the brake pads and had kept the existing rotors experienced uneven wear on their brake pads afterwards, causing the need to replace the pads and rotors prematurely. Please understand that the brakes are one of the most important safety components on their vehicle today. They are worth the investment. Avoid extra costs and time away from your daily routine.....Be sure to replace the rotors when changing the brake pads.

Is Your Vehicle Overheating?

Numerous things may cause overheating in a vehicle but by understanding how the cooling system works may help you find your problem. Up until the late 1950’s, vehicle cooling systems didn’t operate under pressure. This was primarily because of the vehicles larger radiators and a lot more room under the hood, enabled engines to dissipate more heat. The low horsepower and low compression engines in the older vehicles did not develop a tremendous amount of heat With the advert of higher horsepower engines, smaller radiator (due to styling limitations), higher thermostat opening temperatures and emission controls, this caused much more heat to develop with less surface to dissipate it to the atmosphere. It became necessary to use pressurized cooling systems. By increasing pressure in the cooling system, isolates it from the atmospheric pressure. For every pound of pressure exerted on the cooling system the boiling point (212F) of the coolant is raised approximately 3 degrees F. A cooling system under 15 pounds of pressure will allow coolant to reach 250 degrees F before it can boil. One can now see how important no leaks and a good radiator cap is to the cooling systems of vehicles today. The radiator cap now serves as a vacuum relief and siphon valve allowing coolant to be siphoned back into the radiator as the engine cools and the coolant contracts. Radiator caps also serve as pressure relief valve to prevent excessive pressure in the cooling system after the engine is turned off. Unchecked high pressure could cause damage to the radiator, heater core, hoses or water pump seal. The pressure cap also prevents radiator hoses and tanks from collapsing due to the partial vacuum which would be created if air was unable to enter.