Ken Scales Auto Repair in Medford, Oregon, specializes in foreign and domestic car repair needs. The Ken Scales Auto Repair Blog is full of tips and advice for car care and maintenance, and the information in the articles is trustworthy and exhibits a high level of expertise.
The winter weather is on its way out, and now that spring is here, much warmer days are coming. Most people wait until the hot weather has already arrived to take their car in for AC service. Rather than wait until your system breaks down, risking costlier repairs, have your AC system inspected now.
While a broken AC system basically only yields one result – a car that won’t cool down to a comfortable temperature inside – there are many components making up the air conditioning system that could potentially fail, including the control system, vacuum lines and refrigerant system.
Common checks performed on the refrigerant part of the AC include the following:
Checking the controls with a road test
Visually checking hoses for any leaks
Ensuring the condenser and cabin filter are both free of obstructions
Examining the condenser fan and AC compressor
Checking the pressure readings with a refrigerant recovery machine
Recycling and cleaning refrigerant, filling it to the correct level
Checking for additional leaks
Reporting any necessary repairs needed
This standard diagnostic can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the extent and complexity of the issue.
Signs That Your AC Needs Serviced
Air isn’t coming out cold. The refrigerant may need recharged or simply topped off.
Musty or foul smell coming from the vents. This could indicate mold in the system.
Banging sounds or unusual rattling. This could be caused either by debris clogging up the fan or a fan belt that is worn out.
Water stains or puddles beneath the dash. This would indicate a clogged drain hose.
Finally, if your air conditioner’s refrigerant is topped off, but your AC starts pumping out warmer air in a relatively short amount of time, this could indicate a leak somewhere in your system. Refrigerant should not need replaced more than every few years at most, so if you are noticing more frequent issues, make sure to have your car serviced and checked thoroughly. We provide several AC system services, including inspection and repair, so give one of the professionals at Ken Scales Automotive a call today.
If you drive a car with over 75,000 miles on the odometer, you’ve likely experienced the
following question at your most recent oil change: “Would you like to switch to high mileage
oil?” For some, a little extra security at a few dollars per quart is a pretty good deal. For others, it
seems like just another way to try to get some extra cash at each oil change.
What Is High Mileage Oil?
Oil is added to your car for one purpose – to lubricate the engine. Conventional oil is made from
the crude oil that naturally occurs in the earth, and has certain additives to adjust the heat
tolerance and viscosity (thickness) so that it runs at the perfect temperature to lubricate your
car’s engine. Synthetic oils are created in a factory to have most of the same properties as
conventional oils along with higher heat tolerance and engine cleansing benefits.
High mileage oil is usually a blend of conventional and synthetic oils with an extra additive
designed to prevent leaky seals. As your car’s engine ages, the seals and gaskets wear down and
become brittle, which can lead to leaks and excess use of oil. The additives in high mileage oil
include seal conditioners, which increase the flexibility and the durability of the seals and
prevent oil loss.
Is High Mileage Oil Worth the Cost?
Experts have concluded that high mileage oil is effective at keeping engine seals in better
condition, thereby preventing oil loss. Is this something that could benefit your vehicle? Perhaps.
Although manufacturers recommend switching at 75,000 miles or 100,000 miles, a high mileage
oil is not necessarily mandatory at those markers. If you’re unsure about your oil consumption
but have an older vehicle, high mileage oil can’t hurt – in fact, it may even prevent leaks from
occurring down the road.
Overall, the extra cost of high mileage oil – especially when compared to full synthetic – is fairly
minimal. For most vehicles over 75,000 miles, the leakage prevention alone is worth the minimal
cost. However, be sure to check your manual and speak with an oil and lubrication expert to
determine the best oil for your car.
As a responsible vehicle owner, you need to bring your car to a trusted mechanic for regular maintenance and check-ups. However, many Medford, OR drivers do not realize how often they truly need to go in for a tune-up and why these inspections are important. Here’s what you need to know about vehicle tune-ups.
What Do Mechanics Check for During a Tune-Up?
During a tune-up, your mechanic will examine your car’s engine and perform a few functions to help it run like new. Depending on your vehicle’s state, your mechanic may:
Examine and replace belts, fluids, and hoses
Replace your air and fuel filters
Replace your spark plugs and plug wires
When Should I Get a Tune-Up?
Different vehicles have different tune-up needs. Depending on the age and number of miles on your vehicle, you may need tune-ups as often as once per year or more. You should check your vehicle owner’s manual for more information on your specific tune-up intervals.
If you have an older vehicle that does not have an electronic ignition, you will need a tune-up every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or once per year. Whichever metric you hit first is when you should bring your car in.
If you have a newer vehicle with an electronic ignition, you will need to seek a tune-up once every 25,000 to 100,000 miles.
What Are Some Signs That I Need a Tune-Up?
Even if you are not sure when you need to bring your car to a mechanic, there are a few telltale signs that you need to go in for a tune-up. If your vehicle experiences any of the following issues, you should visit a mechanic as soon as possible:
You notice that your vehicle stalls frequently.
It’s becoming difficult to start your car and seems to worsen over time.
Your engine is running roughly while you are idling and/or accelerating.
Are you looking for reliable tune-up services in Medford, Oregon? Look no further than Ken Scales Automotive. Contact us today to learn more about our tune-up services and schedule your appointment.
Winter can wreak havoc on vehicles, and all owners should know how to prevent the common winter issues that plague drivers. Taking the time to arrange a tune-up or inspection before winter is a great way to save money and frustration, but there are also things you can do during the winter that can help preserve your vehicle during the colder months.
Have a mechanic check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. These are essential to proper vehicle operation in cold weather. Another crucial fluid is your motor oil. Synthetic oils flow more easily in colder temperatures, and most modern vehicles allow hybrid-synthetic or full-synthetic oil.
Inspect Your Brakes
Your vehicle’s brakes are a crucial safety feature that require your attention. Winter roads covered in snow, ice, and slush can be major hazards for vehicles with worn-out brakes, potentially preventing a driver from slowing or stopping to avoid an accident.
Check Your Battery
Warm weather will take a toll on your vehicle’s battery, and fall to early winter is the most common time for drivers to experience battery failures. A mechanic can help you replace a dead or dying battery, or you may want to investigate maintainers or trickle charges to ensure your car starts up when you need it to.
Protect Your Car’s Exterior
Winter weather can damage your vehicle’s paint job and cause a host of cosmetic issues. You can prevent exterior damage by learning proper washing and waxing techniques. The right protective coating can preserve your paint job and prevent costly exterior damage. It is also important to regularly wash your vehicle in the winter to clear away road salt accumulation and dirty ice.
Ken Scales Automotive in Medford can help you get any vehicle ready for the winter with a thorough inspection and wide range of repair and maintenance services. Instead of contending with vehicle issues this winter, come to Ken Scales Automotive and have the professionals help protect your car from the elements.
Holiday traveling can be exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful. Regardless of whether you plan to drive only a few miles or a couple hundred miles this year, preparing ahead of time can help ensure your upcoming Thanksgiving trip goes as smoothly as possible. Take a look at a few simple tips to assist you in making your holiday drive safe, stress-free, and enjoyable this year.
Be Mindful of Peak Travel Times To Avoid Jams
Try to avoid driving during the peak traveling times while scheduling your trip. Rather than traveling on Wednesday, plan to hit the road on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving or early on Thanksgiving morning. You can also dodge traffic jams during your return trip if you opt to depart on Saturday rather than Sunday.
Check Your Spare Tire
Before you leave, make sure you check your spare tire to ensure it is in good condition. While you’re at it, double check that you have all of the necessary tools, including the wrench and tire jack.
Give Your Car A Comprehensive Check Up
Make a point to check your vehicle’s tire pressure, brake lights, oil, fluids, coolant, and windshield wipers to confirm they are working as they should be prior to taking off on your Thanksgiving trip. Be sure to replace your windshield wiper blades and refill fluids as needed. Bring your car to a local auto shop for a professional inspection if you aren’t sure how to perform these checks yourself.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Prepare ahead of time for a potential emergency by packing an emergency kit for your car that contains road flares, bottled water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a backup phone battery, and a couple of snacks for the road.
Prepare When Traveling with Pets
If you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride this Thanksgiving, be sure to set up their carrier or crate in an area where they will not be impacted if you have to break abruptly. Don’t forget to pack all of the basics, such as water, toys, food, leashes, and clean-up products to assist in the event of an accident.
Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are becoming the new normal for later model vehicles. The benefits are numerous, and such brakes reduce accidents on the road. Let’s look at some of the benefits of a vehicle with ABS.
Better Stopping Power
The technology gives your vehicle better stopping power in the case of slippery road conditions. It can save drivers from skidding and causing an accident on wet or icy pavement. It also allows the driver to maintain better control in a potentially dangerous situation, saving lives. Anti-lock brakes give drivers confidence on the road.
Keeps Auto Insurance Down
Auto insurance companies charge less for a vehicle with ABS, because studies have shown they reduce the risk of accidents. Insurance providers will lower the price on your premium for a vehicle with anti-lock brakes. This long-term savings can help drivers recover some of the costs of purchasing the car in the first place.
Anti-lock brakes provide better traction than traditional systems. The tire sensors tell your vehicle when a wheel locks up. Using complicated algorithms, the car can determine the best course of action for the brakes to keep it from sliding. In the factory, installation for ABS is almost the same as installation of the technology for traction control, making it easier for the company to install traction control features in the car.
Increased Resale Value
Cars with an antilock braking system installed have higher rates of resale later in life. Since most cars now come with antilock braking systems, vehicles without them are at a disadvantage in the marketplace. Many used car drivers opt for ABS because of the decrease in insurance and other safety factors. If you plan to sell your car sometime in the future, an ABS is a good investment.
Antilock brakes improve your sense of security in your car and help prevent accidents. These brakes are a good feature to have in your car, especially during inclement weather. The experts agree that antilock brakes are a valuable driving tool, and when used the right way, they can help save your life on the road.
Different sources will give you different answers to the question, “How often should I get an oil change?” The old standby is every 3,000 miles, but some sources say this is too often or not often enough, depending on the situation. While there is no secret equation or single answer for everyone, you can learn how often you should get your oil changed by understanding the purpose of this auto service. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Point of an Oil Change?
Oil doesn’t necessarily “go bad” – that’s why drivers and mechanics can recycle used engine oil for future use. Instead, the oil picks up dirt, grit, burned fuel, and other contaminates that aren’t good to cycle through your engine. Dirty oil loses efficiency. Drivers must get periodic oil changes to renew the oil in the engine, replacing the old dirty oil with clean lubrication. Oil changes help keep the parts of the engine moving smoothly, preventing buildups of sludge in the engine that can cause costly problems.
Where Did the 3,000-Mile Rule Come From?
Drivers have been obeying the 3,000-mile standard for oil change frequency for decades. No one knows exactly where it started, but it came about as a rule of thumb for drivers who want to keep up with regular oil changes. In a typical vehicle, 3,000 miles is a reasonable amount of distance in between oil changes. Replacing the oil every 3,000 miles will keep it clean and lubricating efficiently. Yet many owner’s manuals on newer vehicles will say it’s acceptable to wait as long as 5,000 miles between changes in typical conditions.
What’s the Right Answer?
To find out how often you should get oil changes, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Each vehicle is unique. Your manual will give you guidelines to follow in terms of how many miles you can safely drive between oil changes. Keep in mind, however, that these are during “normal” driving conditions.
If you’re driving in freezing temperatures, hot weather, low speeds for long distances, dusty roads, or while towing a trailer, your oil can take a toll. In severe conditions, you will need to change your oil more frequently. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss your vehicle’s unique oil change needs.
Summer is in full swing, which means countless residents of Medford, Oregon, are eager to embark on their next road trip. But before you hit the road this summer, you should plan to make time to complete the following fundamental vehicle maintenance tasks to ensure your car is well prepared for the trip.
Your air conditioner will be a vital part of keeping you and your car cool while traveling to your final destination this summer. Without the cooling air dispensed from the air conditioner, your car may be susceptible to overheating. Be sure your car’s air conditioning is operating properly prior to taking off on your trip. This means looking at the unit’s compressor, belts, and refrigerant levels. Many auto shops can check these elements quickly. If you opt to bring your vehicle in for a professional maintenance check-up, ask your technicians to examine your engine coolants and top them off if they are low.
Hot summer temperatures can place a strain on your tires, as the warm air causes them to expand in the day and contract when they become cooler at night. Make sure your tires are in tip-top condition before your trip to avoid any serious problems while you are on the road. Check your tires for any signs of wear and tear in your tread. If everything looks good, focus your attention on your tire pressure. Aim to check your pressure in the mornings and at night to get an accurate reading.
Checking your brakes will require you to look behind the tires to get a good view of the brake pads and calipers. The primary thing you should check is the amount of brake padding present. A lack of padding can result in severely damaged rotors, so it’s important to ensure there is enough there to support you throughout your road trip.
If you’re planning to leave your vehicle out in the sun for an extended period of time at any point throughout your trip, consider purchasing a windows panel to protect your car’s interior from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
We all know that proper maintenance keeps our vehicles running in top shape. So why do we continue to neglect it? Maybe it’s cost, but we also know that the cost of maintaining our vehicles is far less than what it would be for repairs. Let’s call the summer of 2018 the summer of no excuses. Complete these essential seasonal maintenance tasks to keep your vehicle running at its best all summer long.
De-winterize Your Vehicle
If you added snow tires, it’s time to swap them out for an all-season variety – they put less stress on your system and can make modest improvements to your mileage. It’s also time to look at your windshield wipers – they likely got a lot of work brushing salt, ice, and other road debris this winter. Replace them so they’ll be ready to tackle summer storms.
Check Your Cooling Systems
It makes sense that your car would run hotter in the summer than it does in the winter. Now’s the time to check your coolant levels and replace them or top them off if necessary. If your air conditioner is running a little on the warm side, have someone check your Freon levels and add more to keep you cool all summer long.
Schedule an Oil Change
Changing your oil is a common maintenance task, yet many people still neglect it. This can lead to engine problems and other negative, and costly effects. Schedule your oil changes at a mileage or time recommended by your manufacturer.
Have Your Battery Tested
Colder temperatures can cause your batteries to work harder, which makes them more prone to short in the summertime. Have your battery life checked and know when it’s time for a replacement, especially if you have an older or used vehicle.
Don’t Ignore Noises or Lights
If you have a warning light on in your vehicle, now is the time to get it checked. Delaying the solution will only lead to more costly repairs down the road. Contact us to schedule an inspection or service. Let’s make this summer your car’s best one yet!
As temperatures begin to rise, the sun will start to shine even brighter in the Medford, Oregon area. Unfortunately, the reality is the sun and the heat can cause major damage to your vehicle, which is why car owners should take the proper measures to ensure their vehicles are safe from the excessive heat. Check out the following 6 tips to have a better understanding of how to protect your car from the sunlight during the warmer months.
Parking in the shade whenever possible is the easiest way to protect your car from sun damage. Avoiding sunlight will help prevent your dashboard from drying out and cracking.
Using a sun protector on your windshield is an excellent means of making sure your car remains cool while you are not driving it and preventing sun damage. While it can be a hassle to get protective panels out whenever you leave your vehicle, ensuring your car’s interior remains in good shape is well worth the extra minute or two you will spend putting protectors on your car’s windshields.
Since the sun can cause your car’s paint to crack and fade, it is best to wax your car to protect it. Because wax acts as an effective buffer between your car’s finish and the sun’s rays, taking the time to wax your car regularly can help shield it from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
The sun and the heat can cause severe damage to leather seats, so use conditioner to protect your car’s beautiful seats. Employing conditioner and keeping your seats clean does wonders to prevent cracks in the upholstery.
Warm weather conditions cause hot roadways, which are hazardous when combined with underinflated tires. To prevent your tires from blowing out, check your tire pressure often to make sure your pressure matches your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendations.
High temperatures and air conditioner usage can cause a vehicle’s battery to become worn out, which increases the chances of it failing unexpectedly. Get your car’s battery looked at to make sure it is working as it should.