Winter roads are slick in Omaha, and across Nebraska. As you drive along snowy, icy roads this winter, use extra caution to remain in control of your vehicle to avoid slides and skids.
At Auto Station, we’ve seen many of our customers’ vehicles suffer damage from sliding into a curb on slick winter roads. Even though this seems like a small mistake, hitting a curb can have major impacts on your car. Don’t ignore it! Stop by our auto shop to have an inspection before small damage causes big problems. Call us at 402-896-5800 to schedule an appointment.
Potential issues from hitting a curb:
- Hitting a curb even going as slow as 5-10 mph can have a major impact on the performance of your tires. Tire wear damage is possible in as little as 200 miles after a curb impact.
- Tie Rods are the connection between your steering system and the wheels. Any damage to the tie rods can severely inhibit your ability to steer, especially important when roads are slick.
- The control arms allow up and down movement of the suspension while holding the knuckles, spindles, and axles firmly onto the car. Jarring from hitting a curb can cause extreme damage to the control arms and suspension of your vehicle.
- A steering knuckle contains the wheel hub or spindle and attaches to the suspension components. It is variously called a steering knuckle, spindle, upright or hub, as well. Damage to steering knuckles also impacts suspension and steering your vehicle.
- Tires and Wheels can be damaged as well. If you suspect tire damage, have it inspected immediately to avoid costly problems.
What should you do?
If you hit a curb, call us at 402-896-5800 to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Our certified technicians will make sure your vehicle can keep you safely on the road, without risking extensive damage and costly future repairs.
An alignment check is a small expense, but can save your vehicle many miles and dollars from costly issues. If an adjustment is needed, this inspection can save many miles on your tires, and help you get more miles out of every dollar if other issues are found (by catching and fixing small problems before they lead to extensive damage and costly repairs). But more importantly, a check will provide peace of mind that you and your family will stay safe while driving, especially as it gets really cold in Nebraska.
Don’t ignore the fact that you just hit a curb! Call today to have your vehicle inspected.
Stay safe and warm this week (and all winter) in Omaha. To prepare your vehicle for cold weather, stop by Auto Station for an inspection: 402-896-5800.
As National Fall Car Care Month, this month is the perfect time to ask, “Is my car ready for autumn and winter?” Here are eight things you should check to make sure your car can handle the coming weather and road conditions:
- Tire pressure – Cooling temperatures can affect the pressure in your tires, as external pressure changes with the weather. Take a few moments to check your tires with a pressure gauge and make sure it’s filled to the recommended level. Proper tire pressure not only reduces the chance of a flat, but also improves fuel efficiency.
- Tire tread – Check your tire tread too! While 2/32” is the minimum acceptable tread on your tire, rain and snow conditions require more tread for safe driving. Your tires should have at least 4/32” of tread, without bulges, wear, or bald spots, so you don’t risk losing control of your car on slick roads.
- Windshield wipers – If you wait for the next rain storm to check your windshield wipers, you’re risking your safety. Get in the habit of running your washer fluid periodically – you’ll be able to monitor if your wipers need replaced, and you’ll have a cleaner windshield!
- Defroster/Heater – Also test your defroster before the cold weather hits. On the next cold morning, turn on your heater to make sure it’s working. Make sure air flow reaches your windshield and isn’t blocked in any spots. If it takes too long to warm the interior, bring your car in for a heating system inspection.
- Battery condition – As temperatures drop, your battery may begin to show signs of failure. Test your battery’s condition using a multimeter (or have it tested) to ensure it is operating in the acceptable range. If your battery is getting old or can’t hold the proper charge, your vehicle may not be able to start on cold mornings.
- Brakes – When roads are slick with rain and snow, your brakes are put to the test! Brakes are subject to wear and tear with normal use of a vehicle, which means you’ll need to have them serviced and replaced periodically. Have them inspected before the first storm so you know that they are up to the task.
- Cooling system – If you’ve been putting off your coolant flush, have it done before winter arrives. Coolant (aka antifreeze) is critical to keep your engine running at the proper temperature even when the weather gets cold.
- Winter tools – Chances are you took that pesky ice scraper out of your car to make room for summer gear. Now is the time to put it back in your trunk or glove box so you are prepared for early frosts of the year. It’s also a great time to start prepping your auto survival kit.
Pay attention to your vehicle as the weather changes – some systems that work fine during the summer may start to reveal warning signs this season. Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on manufacturer recommended maintenance, and address any concerns before they lead to bigger problems and costly repairs.
Stop by our shop for an inspection to make sure your car is ready for this fall!
Whether you were just cut off on the highway or reacting to an abrupt animal crossing, there comes a time where you may need to slam on your brakes in order to avoid an accident. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) were designed to be your best friend in these situations. ABS prevents skidding to enable you to keep control of your vehicle until you can stop safely. ABS also prevents tire damage since it doesn’t lock the wheels during a stop thus shortening the stopping distance of your car.
Types of ABS Systems
There are two types of ABS. Vans and some light trucks have a two-wheel anti-lock braking system on the back tires. During a stop, the vehicle will continue to move in a straight line even though the two front wheels may lock up.
A four-wheel anti-lock braking system can be found on other light trucks and most cars. It is easier to maintain your steering with ABS because it will prevent all four wheels from locking up. This way you can have control over your vehicle during an emergency stop and stay out of harm’s way.
How ABS Works
If a vehicle is equipped with ABS, it will have a microprocessor called an anti-lock brake computer located inside the vehicle. This microprocessor will monitor the speed of each wheel using its speed sensor. When braking, the system will trigger electronic solenoids to release hydraulic pressure to each wheel much faster than manually pumping a set of ordinary brakes. You can feel the pulsating of this process when completing a high-speed stop. It is important to NEVER pump an anti-lock braking system in this situation and keep firm pressure on the brake pedal.
Unfortunately, ABS cannot prevent all skids and, in certain situations, it does not shorten the stopping distance of your vehicle. High speeds, sharp turns and slamming on the brakes can still send a vehicle with ABS into a skid. Since anti-lock braking systems will always prevent the wheels from locking, cars with ordinary braking systems will find it easier to stop on roads with loose gravel or snow as it forms a wedge in front of a locked wheel.
If you see an amber “anti-lock” light on your dashboard, this means your ABS is not working properly. You will still have an ordinary braking system, but it is advised that you bring your car to our certified mechanicsso they can get your ABS working properly again. The technicians at our Omaha location can help you with all your auto repair needs. Call us today to make your next appointment!
The most important system in the automobile for safety is the brake system. You change your brake pads when they have outlived their useful life, right? How about brake fluid? Many people overlook that component of the brake system, even though it is an integral part. But that’s why Auto Station is here to help you repair your Omaha brakes.
It has been shown that brake fluid becomes contaminated, on average, every two years. This is important because with it being a hydraulic fluid, its job is to transmit force and apply the brakes. As it becomes contaminated with moisture, the once non-compressible fluid now does compress, causing you to press harder on the brakes for the same amount of stopping power. This means that in a panic stop scenario, the more contaminated the fluid becomes, the longer it will take for you to be able to stop your vehicle.
In modern vehicles with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), there is even more reason to flush the brake fluid regularly at an Omaha Brakes facility. Dirty brake fluid can damage the sophisticated and expensive ABS control equipment.
To avoid reduced brake efficiency and component damage, have your trusted Omaha brakes facility, like Auto Station, do a system check on your brakes to see what the condition of your brake fluid is. It is also a good idea to have some other overlooked items performed while they are doing that. First have a full inspection of all the brake components performed to see not only how the pads and fluid are doing, but also the lines and hoses.
Next, if you have rear drum brakes, these will come out of adjustment so you should make sure to have that corrected too. And lastly, make sure that the emergency brake is adjusted properly too.
Now that the system has been taken care of, make sure to continue flushing the brake fluid at your local Omaha brakes every two years. In addition, make sure to have the other adjustments made at every brake job. This will ensure that the brake system will be there for you when you need it most and it will work at its peak efficiency.