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atc AutoCenter Vehicle Maintenance Tips and Videos: Alignment Inspection

Uneven tire wear, the auto pulling to one side or a steering wheel that is off-center are signs for Augusta drivers that their wheels may be out of alignment.

When doing an alignment inspection, the tech will inspect your tires for uneven wear as well as suspension and steering parts for signs of wear or damage. He’ll also compare your current alignment with the auto manufacturer’s settings.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to check alignment. Of course, this recommendation is based on normal driving. If you have been in crash, hit a curb/pothole, frequently drive off-road around Augusta, or notice any symptoms of misalignment, have your atc AutoCenter tech perform an essential alignment check.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

Vehicle Maintenance Videos by atc AutoCenter: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at best speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your honest atc AutoCenter tech can review your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

atc AutoCenter Auto Service and Maintenance Videos: Serpentine Belt Tensioner

The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining ideal tension to drive the accessories like the alternator and A/C compressor. The service life of the belt tensioner is the same as the belt itself, so they should always be replaced together. A worn tensioner inhibits the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise.

Your vehicle manufacturer has a recommended mileage interval for serpentine belt replacement. A complete accessory drive system service replaces the serpentine belt, the belt tensioner and any idler pulleys your auto might have. Your honest atc AutoCenter service professional can inspect your system and let you know if it’s time for a replacement.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

atc AutoCenter Auto Maintenance Videos: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Augusta car owners need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.

Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more pricey maintenance services, but the cost to fix an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.

The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the auto manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your honest atc AutoCenter technician can help you with the timing.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

atc AutoCenter Car Care News and Information: Brake Noise

Your brake pads are the important parts that rub against the rotor (or disc) to slow and stop your auto. They eventually wear down.

When your pads are worn too much, they won’t stop your vehicle as well. When the friction material is worn away, metal parts of the pad are exposed and you’ll hear a squeal or grinding sound.

That’s when Augusta motorists should replace their brake pads. Not only will new pads restore your stopping power, but replacing them on time will prevent damage to the rotor.

If your brakes are making noise, ask your atc AutoCenter service advisor to check your brakes. Addressing issues early will restore your safety and prevent pricey brake damage.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

atc AutoCenter Car Care Advice for Augusta Motorists: A Broken or Damaged Timing Belt

The timing belt rotates the cam shafts which open and close the valves that allow air, fuel, and exhaust to flow through the engine as it powers your automobile.

An old timing belt can lose a “tooth” in the belt allowing it to slip. The engine could stop or misfire. Timing belt slip – or a broken timing belt – can be disastrous on some engines. In “interference” engines, open valves can get in the way of the piston when the timing belt breaks or slips. When that happens one or more valves can be bent requiring costly engine repairs.

It is vital for Augusta car owners to replace their timing belts as recommended in their owner’s manual to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Ask the team of professionals at atc AutoCenter in Augusta if it’s time for your timing belt to be replaced.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

The atc AutoCenter Guide for Augusta Drivers: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Augusta drivers ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely repaired. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

Run flat tires should not be repaired. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your honest atc AutoCenter technician can check your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely corrected or if it should be replaced – and then help you get back on the road.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

Automotive Guide for Augusta: Causes of Wheel Misalignment

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Augusta drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major collision, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your auto can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.

When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at atc AutoCenter in Augusta can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest a diagnostic examination every year or two.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

Automotive Guide for Augusta: Rotor Problems

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your car.

Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is important for Augusta car owners to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the issue. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake troubles that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your honest atc AutoCenter tech complete a thorough review.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

The atc AutoCenter Auto Report: Battery Testing

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most Augusta car owners and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Your atc AutoCenter technician can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for Georgia car owners because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

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atc AutoCenter
(706) 738-7812
1853 Gordon Highway
Augusta, Georgia 30904

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