Electronic Stability Control – Auto Repair

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Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – What does it do?
ESC uses sensors in the car (wheel speed sensors, steering wheel position sensors, etc) to determine which direction the driver wants the car to go, and compares that to which way the car is actually going. If the system senses that a skid is imminent or has already started, in other words, that the car is not going in the directions the driver is telling it to go, it will apply the brakes on individual wheels to bring the car back under control. Because the system can brake individual wheels, whereas the driver can only brake all wheels at once, ESC can recover from skids that a human driver cannot.

Fuel System Cleaning – Gresham Auto Repair

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Let’s talk about fuel. Fuel (gasoline) is delivered to your engine to burn and generate the power needed to keep your engine running. This fuel leaves a residue as it moves through your fuel system. This may not seem like much, but it can cause big problems. Gum and varnish build up inside fuel rails, throttle body and injectors. It’s like plaque build-up in your arteries it restricts free flow of fuel and can even clog your fuel injectors. Poor idle, hesitation, and poor fuel economy may all be caused by a dirty fuel induction system. Let OAS perform a fuel system cleaning service for you soon. Call (503) 667-3900 for an appointment.

What Are CV Boots & Joints

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Most front wheel drive cars transmit power to the wheels through flexible axles call Constant Velocity Joints and are attached to the drive shaft. These are covered with rubber boots and packed with grease to lubricate the joint and keep water and debris out. If the rubber boots deteriorate and split open, the protective grease is slung out with the spinning of the axle. When this happens moisture and road grime get into the joint causing it to fail. Caught early, you may only need to replace the boot; most often however, the entire axle may need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking or popping noise when turning, this could be the problem. Call OAS for an appointment (503) 667-3900

Gresham Auto Repair – Importance of Fluid Choice

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Once upon a time, you could get away with putting just about any fluid in a vehicle. Today, put the wrong oil in an engine and you might cut it’s life down to a few weeks. This goes for all of the other fluids in a vehicle as well. If you put the wrong oil in a ‘CVT’ trans-axle and you won’t get out of the parking lot. The wrong coolant or coolant blend and the heat exchangers might begin leaking within hours.

Using an incorrect brake fluid could result in an accident or legal liability. The wrong transmission fluid can lead to poor shifting or worse regardless whether its an automatic or manual transmission. The wrong power steering fluid can change the life of the steering rack and pump. It can also effect the braking system on vehicles with the hydro-boost.

Use the wrong oil in an A/C system, especially the high-volume units in a hybrid, and you could end up replacing every A/C component on the car to correct the mistake.

If you suspect that someone put the wrong fluid in your car, call OAS immediately for an appointment. (503) 667-3900

Cheap Auto Parts = Your Enemy

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A while back I was backing my 2005 Acura out of the driveway when a loud thump sounded from under the hood accompanied by a gaggle of illuminated warning indicators and an immediate loss of power steering assist. I took a peak under the hood to reveal a broken belt tensioner. The car has 180,000 miles on the clock so it didn’t owe me anything. Around the corner at the local mass-franchise parts house, I paid X dollars for a replacement belt tensioner. I was told that it was a brand name, and it looked OK, but not exactly the same as the original equipped one. The price seamed a bit high but I paid it because I needed the car that weekend.

A few thousand miles later, the tensioner failed in such a way that the pulley was out of line with the other belt pulleys. It started tossing belts every few days. I had enough and threw the aftermarket tensioner in the trash and bought a new tensioner from Acura. It was less money and it has been on my car now for many thousand miles. Aftermarket parts = Your Enemy

If you have aftermarket parts giving you trouble, give OAS call for an appointment. (503) 667-3900

Transmission Repair – Transmission Fluid Service

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The advancement in lubricants allow car owners to extend transmission service intervals on many vehicles with automatic transmissions.  In recent past most vehicles with automatic transmissions had service recommendations that were based on time/mileage(2-3 years/30K miles) now with the introduction of “lifetime fluids” these recommendations are 5-10 years or the life of the vehicle (100k miles) unless however the vehicle is subject to “severe duty.”

At Orient Auto Service we are commonly asked when the appropriate time is for fluid service?  This would depend on the use of the vehicle.  Severe Duty as defined in most OEM owners manuals would be defined as:

  • Operating the vehicle in extreme temperatures, above 100° F or below 0° F.
  • Carrying heavy loads or multiple passengers on a regular basis.
  • High speed interstate driving regularly.
  • Driving in hilly or mountainous terrains
  • Constant stop and go driving

Based on these definitions the majority of vehicle owners would engaged in ‘severe duty’ driving.  The winter of 2013-14 proved to be a cold and harsh winter, adding in stop and go driving would be a perfect example of ‘severe duty’ driving.  At Orient Auto Service we typically recommend customers to cut service intervals in half to account for ‘severe duty’ driving(30k-100k to 15k-50k service intervals.)

If you have questions about when you should have your cars fluids changed stop by Orient Auto Service in Gresham Oregon.  With over 20 years serving Gresham and the greater Portland Metro we have the experience to ensure your vehicle is properly cared for.

Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System(TPMS) on Imports

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Most newer vehicles today come standard with a tire pressure monitoring system(TPMS), however many vehicles use an indirect tire pressure monitoring system that do not actually have sensors inside the tires to measure air pressure but detect low tire pressure by comparing relative wheel speeds via the anti lock brake system(ABS) wheel speed sensors.   As a tire looses air pressure the diameter decreases slightly.

Most older indirect tire pressure monitoring systems are not as sensitive to change in tire pressure as the direct systems that actually monitor the air pressure inside the tire.  An indirect TPMS are a fairly affordable add on to a vehicle already equipped with ABS.  Federal law requires the TPMS to alert drivers if the air pressure inside the tires drops below 25% of the recommended pressure.  The same rules apply to both direct and indirect systems causing many car manufacturers to switch to direct TPMS to meet the federal mandate.

One of the downsides to a indirect TPMS is that the warning light may not be triggered if all the tires are under-inflated because the tires are all equally under-inflated the wheels will all be spinning at the same speed and therefor the indirect system would not notice there is a problem.

However in recent years indirect systems have been making a come back starting in 2011 with all Audi models and in 2013 the Honda Accord, Mazda CX-5 and the VW Golf all switched to an indirect system.  If you are getting warning lights or have questions about your TPMS sytems bring it by Orient Auto Service for a look.  We are located in Gresham Oregon at 1550 SE Orient Drive, Gresham, OR 97080.