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February 19, 2018

What's Wrong with My Exhaust System?

catalytic converter Bowers Automotive Colorado SpringsIf you are currently wondering what's wrong with my exhaust system, then it may be time to get in contact with Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs. Your car's exhaust system plays a crucial role in routing combustion gases out of the engine and away from the cabin. It also helps to keep your car running quietly and efficiently while reducing the level of air polluting emissions produced by the vehicle. For some helpful tips on diagnosing a problem with your exhaust system, keep reading.

Loud Rumbling: If your car starts to make a rumbling noise while running, it is very likely that there is a problem with the muffler or a leak somewhere in the exhaust system. As soon as you begin to hear a change in the noise made by your exhaust, have it checked by a professional. Generally speaking, the longer you leave this problem to worsen and the louder the rumbling gets, the more complicated and expensive the repair job will be.

Catalytic Converter: A damaged catalytic converter will often produce a rattling sound when the car is stopped in traffic or parked. Catalytic converters contain precious metals that make up part of the filtration system which works to neutralize noxious gases. Due to the high value of these metals, it is reasonably common for catalytic converters to be stolen from vehicles. If your catalytic converter has been removed, you’ll notice a loud noise and obvious decrease in performance when the car is running.

Exhaust Leak: A new vibration felt through the seat of the car, the steering wheel or when you touch the pedals is a warning sign that may have you asking what’s wrong with my exhaust system? Usually, a leak in the exhaust system is to blame. Broken seals, disconnected components or damage to the tubing of your exhaust system can allow exhaust to escape in a location where it should not be present.

Vibration, noise and a change in engine efficiency are common symptoms of this kind of exhaust leak. If you notice that your car needs gas more often and the fuel is not lasting as long, get your car tested for an exhaust leak. If there is one, your engine will have to work harder to convert fuel into the same amount of energy. An exhaust leak will result in you burning through fuel faster than you usually would.

Your exhaust system's tubing, catalytic converter, and muffler are all susceptible to damage, as well as standard wear and tear. Leaving them without attention from a professional mechanic will cause your vehicle to run loudly, inefficiently and produce toxic gases that are bad for the environment and human health.

As soon as you find yourself wondering what's wrong with my exhaust system, just call the local experts at Bower's Automotive in Colorado Springs. We perform a fast and accurate evaluation using modern diagnostic tools at our auto shop. Our team can then provide professional repairs to get you back on the road, as well as ongoing automotive maintenance to ensure your exhaust and all other systems are in proper working order. Give us a call to make an appointment.

February 9, 2018

How to Fix Transmission Problems

transmission Bowers Automotive Colorado SpringsThis week at Bowers Automotive of Colorado Springs, we are focusing on how to fix transmission problems. If you suspect there is an issue with your vehicle's transmission, there is no need to panic. Transmission malfunctions are not always as complicated as most drivers think they are. Often, you can carry out some of the easy fixes for minor transmission problems on your own. Keep reading to learn which issues to tackle yourself and which require the attention of our qualified mechanics.

Transmission Fluid Leak

If you notice the fluid is lower than it should be when you check the dipstick, you probably have a transmission fluid leak. The seals at the driveshaft, transmission and input gasket should be checked without delay as these are the most likely locations for a leak. You can temporarily solve this problem with a bottle of Stop Leak, available from most service stations. If the leak continues, you will need to take the vehicle to an auto shop for inspection and to have it repaired. 

Transmission Overheating

If your vehicle is under strain pulling a heavy load, the transmission can overheat. It often happens when the transmission lines are clogged or if the fluid has become contaminated with dirt and metal particles. To solve this issue, completely drain and replace the transmission fluid, as well as clean the transmission filter. This requires you to open up the transmission, so this is only recommended if you are experienced and comfortable working on this part of the car. Just be sure to have your vehicle's manual on hand.

Transmission Slipping

If you feel the gears slipping or resisting when you try to change them, usually either a fluid leak or a malfunctioning solenoid is to blame. A faulty solenoid needs to be opened and checked for a build-up of debris or obstruction. This is best done by a technician if you are inexperienced with basic auto mechanics. Solenoids and other components of the transmission system often have longer warranties than other car parts. You may be eligible for a replacement by your car dealership.

These are some of the most common issues that affect car transmission. It's important to remember that taking good care of your transmission system and doing preventative maintenance will go a long way in saving you from having to fix transmission problems. And remember, never try shifting into 'Reverse' or 'Park' until the car has completely stopped moving. And always have the vehicle’s brake pedal pressed when shifting out of 'Park.'

Checking your transmission fluid according to your manufacturer's guidelines and taking your vehicle for regular maintenance checks will help avoid any unwanted surprises with the transmission. If you do experience a serious problem with your transmission or any component of your car, try to get it checked out without delay. At Bowers Automotive, we know how to fix transmission problems quickly, affordably and professionally. Call us today on 719-596-4818 for more information or to get a quote.

January 19, 2018

Understanding Your Car Alternator

Understanding Your Car Alternator Bowers Automotive Colorado SpringsWhen it comes to understanding your car alternator, and everything else under the hood, it is best to consult the experts. Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs has been servicing vehicles since 1993. Our team offers friendly, efficient service at the right price. And helping customers understand their vehicles better is one of our passions. While many components of vehicles have modernized and changed over the past few decades, alternators have held their basic structure and function within your car. 

What Does the Alternator Do?

The purpose of your car's alternator is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, to produce an AC current that can be used to charge the battery. A standard car's battery lasts for years and does not need to charge from an outside source. This is thanks to the alternator, which harnesses mechanical energy from the motor while the engine is running and turns it into an electric current capable of charging the battery of your car.

The battery needs to maintain a constant charge in order to be capable of turning on the lights, radio, heating systems, GPS and internal computers within your car. If you have ever found that your car's battery is dead after not using the vehicle for an extended period, this is because the battery depends on a regularly running motor to remain charged.

How Does It Work?

Understanding your car alternator is a little complicated. It uses the principle of electromagnetic induction to produce electricity. This is when voltage is generated across a conductor by a changing magnetic field. The alternator is composed of an iron conductor with coils wound around it and a magnet that can be rotated inside the conductor. To create the changing magnetic field, the magnet must be physically rotated. Whenever the engine is running, the moving drive belt produces the force necessary to set the magnet rotating.

What Happens When the Alternator Malfunctions?

Some signs of a failing alternator include dimmed headlights, failing electrical components and difficulty starting the car's ignition. A loosened belt could be the culprit, and the problem can be easily solved by having it tightened up.

If you notice that your battery fails to retain a charge, leaks or is completely dead, it may be time to replace the alternator. A good way to check for an alternator malfunction is to charge the battery from an external source. A loud grinding noise will be produced by the alternator if the bearings have started to go and need to be replaced.

At Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs, we have the latest in diagnostic tools and auto repair technology. We can take the guesswork out of understanding your car alternator by quickly identifying any malfunctions. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, reliable repair services. If you suspect any issues with your vehicle's electrical system or mechanical parts, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. More often than not, the quicker we address the problem, the easier it is to fix!

January 5, 2018

Proper Car Maintenance for the New Year

proper car maintenance for the New Year Bowers Automotive Colorado SpringsToday, Bower's Automotive in Colorado Springs offers a short guide to proper car maintenance for the New Year. If you only keep one resolution for 2018, then be sure to make it count. Get out the calendar and mark the date for your next auto service, or even better, set a reminder on your phone. By keeping your car up to date with maintenance in the following areas, you can significantly lower the risk of road accidents and potential breakdowns.

Brakes Maintenance

Keeping the brakes in good condition is absolutely vital to your safety and a smooth driving experience. For high mileage vehicles or if you drive in heavy traffic, having the brakes checked once per year is a good idea. If you have noticed that putting pressure on the brakes causes a foul odor, a shaking in your steering wheel, squealing or grating noises, then it is may be time to change the brake pads.

Oil Change

Besides including this as proper car maintenance for the New Year, this is one of the most important car care items on the list. Now, how often to change the oil depends on the age and model of the vehicle. Generally, an oil change every 7,500 to 10,000 miles is sufficient, but if your car has an oil life monitor, you can rely on it to say when to change the oil. Between changes, use the dipstick to check if the oil is low or dirty on a regular basis.

Air Filters

The air filters can also be serviced every time you get an oil change. If you frequently drive near construction sites or in an area with a lot of dust, wind or sand, get the air filters checked more often to prevent too much build-up.

Tire Rotation and Alignment

A good rule of thumb is to get the tires checked each time you get an oil change. Tire rotation, balance, and alignment will prevent the tires from wearing out quickly and unevenly. Once per month, check the tread of the tires and the tire pressure. The optimal PSI range can be found in the owner's handbook. Driving on underinflated tires reduces fuel efficiency and can increase the risk of damage.

Windshield Wipers

Wiper blades need to be replaced regularly in order to keep working efficiently. They should be replaced at least once per year and more often if you usually drive through heavy rain or snow.

Belts and Hoses

Have your mechanic check all belts, hoses and rubber seals regularly or during a tune-up. These parts can wear out easily and lead to significant damage if not replaced in time. Fluctuations in temperature and a high annual mileage will cause these to wear out faster.

Following this guide to proper car maintenance for the New Year will ensure your vehicle is in top condition throughout every season. Prevention is key when trying to avoid costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns. Taking your car to a qualified mechanic in Colorado Springs regularly will give you peace of mind on the road and a safer driving experience. Bowers Automotive offers a complete range of maintenance and repair services to all types of vehicles.

December 19, 2017

Signs You Need Car Engine Repair or a Rebuild

Bowers AutomotiveSigns You Need Car Engine Repair or a Rebuild Bowers Automotive Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs has put together a list of the most common signs you need car engine repair or a rebuild. Here at our auto shop, we receive plenty of customers with engine trouble, especially during the winter months. We know it's all too common for drivers to put off visiting their local auto repair shop, even when their dashboard warning lights are flashing. And this often results in a complete breakdown of your car. This is not only inconvenient, but it also means that severe damage has been done to your engine and it may require a complete rebuild.

If your vehicle's engine is struggling to perform, it will let you know. The important thing is to be able to recognize the signs of engine trouble and know the difference between a superficial issue and imminent engine failure. Check out the following symptoms and if you notice something similar happening to your car, do not ignore it. Nobody wants to be stuck without their vehicle. So, bring your car to the experts at Bowers Automotive if you notice any of the following signs you need car engine repair or a rebuild.

White Smoke

Thick white smoke billowing out of your tailpipe is caused by one thing only. Coolant and water leaking into the combustion chamber and mixing with the fuel to produce distinctive white smoke. If the coolant has made its way into the combustion chamber, it is usually due to one of three possible reasons: a blown head gasket, a cracked engine block or a damaged cylinder head. These problems can occur if the engine is running hot and can be costly to repair.

Check your engine oil dipstick for changes in color and consistency of the oil. A gooey consistency and brown color indicate that coolant has mixed with the engine oil. When the engine has cooled completely, you can check the level of coolant in the radiator. It will most likely be low, due to the fluid escaping into other areas of the engine. To determine exactly how extensive the damage to your engine is, a technician can remove the cylinder head to examine.

Black Smoke

Notice black smoke coming from your exhaust? There's no need to panic just yet. Black smoke usually means your fuel to air ratio is unbalanced, or that your engine is running rich. There are precise mechanisms in your engine that control the amount of air entering the combustion chamber, keeping it in proportion to the amount of fuel and ensuring optimum combustion. If there is a malfunction, too little air is mixed with the fuel, and black smoke is the result. Targeted engine repair by a technician should resolve this problem quickly and easily.

Blue Smoke

If you see blue smoke coming from your vehicle, the most likely culprit is burning engine oil. Broken seals and general wear and tear can create gaps for engine oil to leak through. To find the location of the leak, your auto mechanic will need to check the top end of the engine where broken valves around the cylinder heads could be responsible.

It's also possible that the bottom end of the engine could be where the issue lies. Worn piston rings that no longer seal properly could be allowing oil to enter the combustion chamber. If you notice blue smoke and low oil levels at the same time, it’s one of the signs you need car engine repair or a rebuild. You are probably burning considerable amounts of oil, and your problem can only get worse. If this problem is not dealt with quickly, you can be looking at paying for serious and extensive repairs of the engine.

Loud Noises

Harsh banging noises coming from your engine are an immediate warning sign that something is wrong. Usually, these sounds are coming from the bottom end of your engine where you have high-intensity movement by pistons and the crankshaft. A bearing failure at one of these points can initiate the loud knocking sound. Often this occurs at the piston wrist pins, where the connecting rods meet the corresponding pistons.

Hearing these noises should set the alarm bells ringing in your head immediately as they are common signs you need car engine repair or a rebuild. If you choose to keep driving, you will hear the engine clatter even more in response to acceleration or when climbing a hill. Forcing the car to keep going in that state will cause progressive mechanical damage and is a recipe for disaster. To avoid a complete engine rebuild, get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible and have the problem analyzed.

Loss of Power

Over the lifetime of your car, it can be expected to gradually lose power as general wear and tear takes its toll. This loss of power is usually imperceptible and happens over the course of many years. If you notice a marked difference in your vehicle's power, this could indicate trouble in the engine. Do not ignore a loss of power, especially if other warning signs are present such as unusual noises or rough running. If the physical power of your engine is failing, you are probably dealing with a major component failure somewhere in the engine. Only a trained auto technician will be able to identify the source of the problem and take action to fix it.

Ignore these signs you need car engine repair or a rebuild at your own risk. Unlike other components of your vehicle, the engine cannot be ignored once it shows signs of failure. The block, pistons, and valves that make up your engine undergo substantial mechanical strain to be able to power your vehicle enough to move. If they continue to work with faulty bearings, broken seals, cracks or a lack of lubrication, the mechanical parts are going to be severely damaged within a short period of time.

Avoid the cost and inconvenience of a complete engine rebuild by taking your car to Bowers Automotive at the first sign of trouble. Our team can use advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the problem quickly and carry out a speedy repair.

 

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