Articles:

Improve Your Night Vision When Driving in MEMPHIS

Night driving in MEMPHIS is not as safe as daylight driving as evidenced by the increased accident rate at night. Much of that is simply because it's dark outside.Visibility is important to safe driving. Ninety percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. And at night, we just can't see as much as we can during the day. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision during the day, your night vision is only 20/50. To translate, that means that an object you can clearly see 50 feet away during daylight, only becomes visible to you at 20 feet at night.Reaction time is also related to visibility. MEMPHIS motorists don't react to a situation until they see it. So at night, we're reacting to situations later just because it takes longer to see them. But we don't have to stop driving at night to stay safe. We just need to practice some preventive maintenance and vehicle care that will maximize our night vision.The most crucial item that helps us see wh ... read more

Categories:

Headlamps

Hey MEMPHIS Drivers: How Do You Save Gas?

Higher MEMPHIS fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of MEMPHIS drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course TN vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.Preventive maintenance at Central Automotive in MEMPHIS and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Central Automotive for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.Th ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Bouncy Bouncy ? Are My Shocks Bad?

When MEMPHIS drivers think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don't generally think about our shocks or struts, but these auto parts keep our tires on the road.MEMPHIS drivers don't think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don't need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your vehicle, try replacing your shocks and struts.Of course, if you drive off-road around MEMPHIS, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibr ... read more

Categories:

Shocks & Struts

Introduction to Diesels for MEMPHIS, TN

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around MEMPHIS, TN, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.Most people in TN are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in MEMPHIS, TN. But that's about to change.In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in MEMPHIS, TN, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.Why are so many MEMPHIS drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of dies ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Diesel Maintenance for TN

At Central Automotive we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our TN friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in TN.You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to TN and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that TN diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Re ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Serpentine Belt Service at Central Automotive in MEMPHIS

Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy MEMPHIS road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around MEMPHIS, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your veh ... read more

Categories:

Parts

The Central Automotive Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of MEMPHIS drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in MEMPHIS. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on TN roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb MEMPHIS hills, pass or start up again.Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common. At Central Automotive, we ... read more

Categories:

Transmission

Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires

MEMPHIS drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Central Automotive puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.Proper tire inflation will also help MEMPHIS folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated tires wear too fast in the middle.Four-wheel-dri ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Central Automotive Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in TN. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep MEMPHIS residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. MEMPHIS residents can't afford to overlook any of them.The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the MEMPHIS area. They are not presented in any particular order.1. Central Automotive Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.2. Central Automotive Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a ve ... read more

What Is That? Check Engine Light Service at Central Automotive

Okay. You went to your local MEMPHIS car wash, and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the Check Engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the vehicle! You head for the nearest MEMPHIS service center, but on the way, the Check Engine light stops flashing and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the Check Engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty; maybe when it comes on it doesn't mean anything, or maybe it's just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary repairs. You're glad you didn't take your car to the MEMPHIS repair shop and resolve to ignore that Check Engine light in the future.Whoa! Let's look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics
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