Our Current Blog Articles
January 11, 2017
How a Radiator Flush Helps Your Engine’s Cooling System
Today, Sundance Automotive Repair in Lakewood wants to share with you how a radiator flush helps your engine’s cooling system. If you didn’t know, cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system and it’s usually because of neglect. Lucky for you, our ASE-certified technicians have the knowledge, experience, and proper cooling system equipment to quickly diagnose and repair your vehicle’s cooling system problems.
Why do you need to maintain your cooling system?
Your cooling system is not maintenance-free. In many vehicles, when coolant breaks down, it can cause rust. These rust particles can then become electrically charged and cause the coolant to become highly corrosive. This sometimes results in major damage to the engine and cooling system. To avoid such a catastrophic issue, your system needs to be flushed.
Why are antifreeze leaks bad?
If you notice an antifreeze leak, you need to pay attention. If you’re parked on the street or your driveway the leaking antifreeze could get into the storm drain and make its way into your town’s water supply. In addition to the health and environmental problems, a leaking radiator can also cause a cooling system failure. If it’s the radiator that has a leak, it can burst open and spew the rest of the coolant. If it’s a hose leak, it may cause the hose to blow out. Our technicians’ advice is to fix the leak early to prevent dealing with a bigger, more expensive problem down the line.
What do you do when you see your car is overheating?
Cooling an engine involves coolant flow and airflow across the radiator. So instead of pulling over and turning off the engine if your car overheats, you should increase your car’s speed to allow more coolant flow and more airflow. Believe it or not, another thing you can do if your car overheats is to turn your heater on full-blast. Yes, it really works, because the heater is basically a cooling coil that dumps heat from the engine inside the cabin of the vehicle.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on antifreeze.
You should always check your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty because sometimes your warranty is void if you don’t use the recommended antifreeze. It also needs to be filled to the correct specifications. If you live in a cold weather location, your antifreeze can actually freeze if it gets cold enough. One solution is to mix the antifreeze with water. This actually lowers the risk of your coolant freezing. You should also keep the coolant level full.
Because your coolant will eventually break down you will need to put a coolant flush on your maintenance schedule. Our Sundance Automotive Repair specialists can help you.
What is really involved in a cooling system flush?
A cooling system flush, or what is sometimes called a radiator flush, completely removes the fluid from the coolant system. If it’s a normal cooling system service, the coolant is drained and then replaced, but this process only removes about 50 percent of the fluid from the radiator. It also doesn’t help clean out the built-up scale deposits and debris.
Your vehicle may need a full flush, which uses specialized flushing equipment to fully clear the system of fluid. This is known as a cooling system transfusion. Any accumulated water and the coolant are flushed out of the system.
During a coolant flush, the built-up contaminants in the coolant system are also removed. This means all the scale deposits, rust, and particulates are completely cleaned out and the entire system is cleaned out with an engine-safe detergent and protective conditioner.
Bottom line, your cooling system is a complex component that ensures your car, truck or SUV runs smoothly. It’s important to keep your cooling system well-maintained and full of high-quality coolant to protect your car against corrosion and future engine damage. It’s also vital to have a coolant flush service completed for true protection and to keep your car running longer.
When you come to Sundance, our automotive technicians will use flushing chemicals to scrub the coolant system clean. Then additives and a conditioner are added to prolong the life of the system and protect against corrosion. Lastly, the system is refilled with fresh, premium coolant.
What are the benefits your vehicle receives from a coolant flush?
The biggest benefit is removing old coolant before it has a chance to become acidic. Coolant breaks down over time. Antifreeze specifically can become acidic if it is not replaced periodically. If not properly serviced, old and broken down coolant can cause other parts of the vehicle to break down, wear prematurely, or cause corrosion.
A coolant flush also helps lengthen the life of your cooling system. The additives and protective lubricants in the coolant are designed to protect the water pump and radiator. As these properties age, they’re less able to do their job. By flushing the system, you’re making sure clean additives are flowing through your engine.
When do you need a cooling system flush?
Check your manufacturer’s recommended service but generally, your cooling system should get a full maintenance service every 30,000-60,000 miles. We will make sure you get a complete cooling system test. Based on those results, we may recommend a complete system flush.
At Sundance Automotive Repair, our goal is to offer the best services available at affordable prices so you stay safe and your car runs well. Our team of experts offers these cooling system services and repairs for foreign and domestics vehicles, cars, trucks, and SUVs:
- Complete cooling system diagnostic
- Repair and service cooling systems
- Replace thermostat
- Radiator service
- Cooling system flush
- Cooling system leak check
- Replace antifreeze
- Replace radiator hoses and fan belts
Now you know how a radiator flush helps your engine’s cooling system. So, bring your car, truck, or SUV into Sundance Automotive Repair in Lakewood. Our ASE-certified technicians take care of your cooling system so it can keep working well for the life of your car. Putting in a little bit of maintenance really does go a long way.
December 17, 2016
Synthetic Oil Change For Your Car
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of oil and frequency of oil changes in order to keep your car running in prime condition. However, if you’re not sure whether to go with a conventional or synthetic oil change for your car, just visit the experts Sundance Automotive in Lakewood and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Are you wondering what synthetic oil is? Synthetic oil is man-made. Sometimes it uses a petroleum base that's been modified and sometimes it is totally synthesized from other materials (full synthetic oil).
Synthetic oil must pass stringent tests. It is made from chemical compounds that offer better protection and performance for your car’s engine than conventional oil, including less evaporative loss, a higher viscosity index (resistance to thinning as temperature rise is the viscosity index), greater resistance to oxidation thermal breakdown and sludge problems.
Synthetic also offers better performance in extreme temperatures. It flows more freely at freezing temperatures and provides greater chemical stability at high temperatures. It won’t easily evaporate or break down from the heat of your vehicle engine. This allows it to resist turning into sludge, which can cause engine problems.
Yes, a synthetic oil change for your car will cost more than conventional oil. It goes through a more involved manufacturing process, which makes the price higher. So if an oil change with conventional oil costs around $20, then an oil change with synthetic oil would cost about $80. But consider that synthetic oil lasts longer, so you don’t need an oil change as often. If your car doesn’t need synthetic oil then conventional oil is fine.
Just be aware that certain manufacturers are using full synthetic oil in their high-tech engines. If your carmaker requires you to use it and you don’t, it may risk damage to your engine damage and void your vehicle warranty. Corvettes and many Mercedes vehicles come with synthetic oil as a factory fill.
Synthetic Blend Oil
There is also a synthetic blend oil. This is a blend of synthetic and conventional oils and is between them in price and protection. Synthetic oil is more slippery than conventional oil and that means less friction in your engine. This allows your engine to run cooler, have less wear, and last longer. It can also give you a boost in power. If you do a lot of towing, off-roading, or severe use driving like in heavy traffic, you might want to consider using a synthetic or synthetic blend.
Don’t forget to get an oil filter specifically built for the longer lasting service life of synthetic oil.
The rule of thumb is to always follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on what type of oil to use and how often to bring it in for a change. It’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure better vehicle performance and greater longevity. So, when it’s time for a synthetic oil change for your car, come to Sundance Automotive in Lakewood. We’re the oil change experts, whether conventional or synthetic. Call or contact us today for an appointment.
December 7, 2016
Vehicle Winterization Tips
It’s December and that means cold weather in Colorado. It also means it’s time to bring your car into Sundance Automotive in Lakewood to get it ready for winter if you haven’t already. Our technicians know the best vehicle winterization tips. A DMV.org article offers some suggestions as well, so let’s check those out as well.
It’s Time to Replace and Refill All Fluids
Your car’s fluids are important. We will check them and fill them up or replace them so your vehicle can run it’s best in the cold weather, including oil, coolants, and wiper fluid.
- Oil: Switching to a thinner oil may be a consideration if you live where the temperature dips below freezing. We can take a look at what kind of car you have and where you live, particularly if you spend any time in the mountains, and make some suggestions for you.
- Coolant: The right antifreeze will help prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator.
- Wiper Fluid: When the winter storms hit you will want your freeze resistant wiper fluid to be filled up so you can keep your windshield clear.
- De-icing: Sometimes it’s so cold it can freeze car door locks. What if you can’t get the door open or your key breaks off in the lock and you don’t have any warm water to help melt it? You might want to get glycerine to use as a de-icer, just don’t keep it in your car where it can get locked in.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Tires
When it comes to vehicle winterization tips, your tires are very high on our list. You need to make sure your tires are in good shape and possibly replace them with something more conducive to the cold.
- Pressure and Tread: When the roads get slick from snow and slush you need to make sure your tires are not too worn out and the air pressure is not too low in order to get the best traction. We will check your PSI and make sure your tires are inflated properly.
- Snow Tires: You might want to consider getting snow tires if you live in an area of Denver metro that may not see snow plows come through often. Snow tires increase traction in the snow and keep you safer on the road. You could also go with snow tires with studs, just remember to change them when spring comes. We also carry all-season tires that can function in all weather.
Can Your Battery Handle the Cold?
As you know, your car’s battery is very important for starting your car in the winter and battery capacity is reduced when the weather is cold. We’ll take a look at your battery, check the cables for cracks and breaks and make sure the terminals have no loose connections. We’ll also look at the battery fluid level and fill it up if needed. Finally, we’ll test the battery’s level of charge.
For more vehicle winterization tips, as well as last-minute preparations, simply bring your car, truck or SUV to the experts at Sundance Automotive in Lakewood. We’ll provide the right fluids and recommend the right tires. Need any other work or repairs? You got it. Call or contact us today for an appointment.
November 25, 2016
Brake Repair and Disc Brake Maintenance
Have you had your brakes inspected lately? A regular brake check should be on every car's maintenance list. If you need brake repair and disc brake maintenance, bring your vehicle to our certified technicians at Sundance Automotive in Lakewood. We can inspect, diagnose and repair brake related problems for any car, truck or SUV – foreign or domestic.
The reason for brake repair and disc brake maintenance is obvious, your car needs to be able to stop, especially in case of emergency. But, how much do you know about this crucial system? Here we’ll give you a quick look at its inner workings and parts so that you can better understand your vehicle.
How Disc Brakes Work
The wheel hub keeps your wheel on the vehicle. Inside the hub, the brake disc (also called the rotor) turns with the wheel as you drive. Straddling the disc is the caliper which houses pistons that apply the necessary pressure to the brake pads. So when you step on the brake pedal, these pistons cause the pads to clamp down onto the disc and slow down the wheel. When the brakes are released, the pistons retract, removing the pads from the caliper.
Of course, there’s a lot more to a car’s brake system than this, as well as another vehicle braking system known as drum brakes. For a complete dissertation on brake repair and disc brake maintenance, come chat with a tech at Sundance Automotive in Lakewood, and they’ll talk your ear off.
How Brakes Wear Out
Your vehicle’s brake pads start to wear the moment you use the brakes. So, eventually, the pads will need to be replaced. Newer vehicles typically have sensors that will trigger a dash warning light when it’s time to swap out your brake pads.
If you don’t replace your pads, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the brake disk/rotor and carve grooves in the surface. While we may be able to smooth it out on a lathe, deep grooves and a warped or cracked rotor will need to be replaced. Like many auto repairs, the longer you wait, the more damage you create and the more expensive it will be for brake repair and disc brake maintenance.
Signs You Need Brake Repair
There are several signs that point to a problem with your brakes. It’s best to pay attention and bring your car in for us to take a look. Here are warning signs that you may need to bring your vehicle to Sundance Automotive for brake repair:
- You hear a grinding or squealing when you brake
- The brake pedal feels spongy or slow to respond
- It takes longer to stop
- The dashboard brake light is orange, showing that a problem with your anti-lock brakes (ABS)
- The dashboard brake light is red, meaning there is a system imbalance
If you haven’t had your brakes checked recently, bring your car to our experts at Sundance Automotive in Lakewood for brake repair and disc brake maintenance. Remember that it’s better for your vehicle to get brake pads replaced on time, not only for your safety but to spare you from damage and expensive repairs down the road. Call or contact us today for an appointment.
November 5, 2016
Auto Electrical Shop Battery Upgrades
When you’re considering auto electrical shop battery upgrades, you should always meet or exceed your vehicle’s specifications. Beyond that requirement are many other considerations that should also go into your decision. So, stop by Sundance Automotive in Lakewood and our expert auto technicians can help you decide on a battery that delivers the performance and reliability you need.
If your battery needs replacement, your first instinct might be to simply choose the cheapest one. But, upgrading to a better battery means you can choose a battery that fits your location, reserve capacity needs, type of battery for safety and lifespan, and warranty expectations. While you’ll spend a few extra bucks up front, you’ll likely benefit from increased longevity and improved performance.
Let’s take a look at these auto electrical shop battery upgrades.
An important consideration is your location. Where you live and what kind of driving weather your vehicle must navigate can affect the battery. We all know that cold starts need more power from your battery. If you live in a location, like Colorado, where your winter is severe, you will need more battery power. The reason is two-fold. It’s a result of cold sluggish oil and a slower chemical reaction in the battery in cold weather. You may need to get a battery with more cold cranking amps.
Another feature to think about is reserve capacity. This is the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has under a particular load. If your driving includes mostly short, stop-and-go trips then your battery may not have time to fully recharge while driving. You may need to use your battery’s reserves to get started again.
Keep in mind that today’s vehicles have many things like the security system, remote sensors, and vehicle computers that can drain the power. Along with entertainment system, sensors, heated seats, and even chargers for phones that put a high load on the battery. We can help you figure out how much reserve capacity your car battery might need.
Type of Batteries
You will need to decide what type of battery works best for your vehicle.
- Wet-Cell – Most batteries are wet-cell batteries because they are filled with liquid battery acid.
- Absorbed Gas Mat – New absorbed gas mat (AGM) batteries are non-spillable which makes them safer than wet-cell batteries. AGM batteries also have a longer lifespan than wet-cell batteries. Owners of off-road vehicles often choose AGM batteries because its performance is not affected by steep inclines. AGM are also preferred by many RV and boat owners.
If you buy a premium battery, you will often get a longer warranty which can be a big advantage. A full-replacement warranty gives you a new battery if it fails within the warranty period. A pro-rated warranty gives you a partial credit based on how far into the warranty period it is when the battery fails.
When you’re looking into auto electrical shop battery upgrades, simply bring your vehicle to Sundance Automotive in Lakewood and our expert auto technicians can help you choose the right one. We’ll even provide installation, including recalibrating accessories and registering the battery into your engine’s computer if needed. Call or contact us today to schedule your appointment with our team.