Is your engine making strange noises or harsh burning smells? If so, then it’s time to bring your car in to the auto shop.Though modern engine control systems are so high-tech that they don’t require much in the way of a traditional “tune-up,” there is still the possibility of broken or worn-out components, especially in older vehicles. Whether you your car needs a cooling system repair or a full engine replacement, All County Auto Repair & Tire has the tools and expertise to fix any issue. Don’t put the health of your vehicle on the back burner--call to request a quote and schedule an appointment today!
We provide a variety of repair and replacement service on engines, belts, hoses, and related systems, including:
- Full engine repair and replacement
- Belt repair and replacement
- Hose repair and replacement
- Cooling system repair
- Radiator repair and replacement
- Water pump repair and replacement
- Drivability diagnostics and repair
- Fuel injection repair and service
- Fuel system repair and maintenance
- Ignition system repair and maintenance
How does the engine control system work?
The engine control computer system is a complex piece of machinery that includes many working parts. A vast network of switches and sensors monitor engine operations and convert this data to electrical signals which are then sent to the main computer. Based on these signals, the computer then commands the ignition system, the fuel system, and the emission control system in order to control different aspects of the vehicle.
Different parts of the engine house different sensors, including:
- Mass airflow sensor
- Throttle position sensor
- Manifold absolute pressure sensor
- Coolant temperature sensor
- Exhaust oxygen sensor
- Crankshaft position sensor
- Camshaft position sensor
Keep your engine running smoothly
Though some major maintenance is inevitable, taking routine care of your engine is a great way to keep major mechanic shop visits to a minimum. Whether you’re driving across town or across the country, every time you run your vehicle you are wearing down the engine a little more. This can eventually lead to big engine repairs and replacements over time, but most problems can be prevented or delayed with simple maintenance. Your engine deserves the best, and All County Auto Repair & Tire is here to make sure every vehicle owner knows how to give their car the proper care.
- Change the oil - Routinely changing your motor oil is the single best way to extend the life of your engine and prevent major engine repair or engine replacement. As a rule of thumb, you should change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 6,000 miles, but be sure to double-check the specifics of your particular vehicle. In between oil changes, don’t forget to periodically check the oil level to ensure that it is always up to the proper level.
- Clean the engine - Believe it or not, the way an engine looks on the outside is often a good indicator of how it will look inside. When your engine builds up grease and dirt, it can hold in too much heat, thereby compromising the efficiency of the components. To clean the engine, spray a commercial degreaser on the cool engine, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse and wipe it clean.
- Replace the spark plugs - Changing the spark plugs is a relatively easy fix that can prevent many bigger repairs down the road. If you do not want to replace your spark plugs yourself, the professionals at All County Auto Repair & Tire will be happy to assist you
- Use proper parts - When replacing engine parts, use original equipment that is specially designed to fit the make and model of your vehicle.
- Use clean, proper fuel - If you have a vehicle that you store for long periods of time, be sure to fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer. This will both keep the gas from going stale and prevent harmful condensation from forming inside the tank. As always, use only the grade of gas that your car is meant to hold.
- Replace the air filter - Paper air filters cannot be cleaned when they clog, so be sure to replace them at regular intervals.
- Check and maintain the battery - Keep the battery casing clean and regularly check for any irregularities such as cracks, corrosion, or bulging, as these may be signs that the car battery needs to be replaced. If you are storing your vehicle over the winter, remove the battery and charge it occasionally.
- Check fluids - Make sure engine coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid are always at stable levels and not leaking.
- Change the belts - Most vehicles are operated by two belts: a timing belt that runs the engine and a serpentine belt that controls an assortment of pumps and accessories. Don't wait until these belts break completely to replace them. All belts will wear down over time, so consult your owner's manual or speak to an expert for scheduled belt replacement.
- Fix minor issues - If your check engine light comes on or you notice strange sounds or smells coming from under the hood, then it is always better to have your car checked by a certified professional. Even minor problems can lead to big repairs or replacements if they are left unchecked, so call All County Auto Repair & Tire to speak to a certified mechanic today!
Belts and hoses
The majority of modern vehicle breakdowns today stem from problems with belts, hoses, and cooling systems. Over time, belts and hoses can wear down, crack, or leak from the routine stress of operating the engine. Though these issues usually start small, they will continue to build if not addressed, eventually leading to major repairs or even engine replacement. Thankfully, the automotive experts at All County Auto Repair & Tire can find and fix these minor issues before they turn into major headaches. Our mechanics perform a variety of in-depth tests and inspections specifically tailored to each vehicle system.
- Identify obvious damage (cracking, fraying, glazing, softening, burning, or peeling)
- Test for proper tension
- Test for proper alignment
- Make note of the belt condition in vehicle record
- Identify obvious damage (leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
- Test for hidden leaks using pressure technology
- Make note of hose condition in vehicle record
While most everyone gets a regular oil change, many people ignore these other systems until they need a full-blown belt replacement or hose replacement. Don’t put off this critical vehicle system--call All County Auto Repair & Tire to set up a time to bring your vehicle in for an inspection today!
Understanding your vehicle’s components
Knowing the basics of how your car operates is the best way to tell when something is wrong. Read the sections below to learn an overview of the various belts and hoses that keep your vehicle running.
Many vehicle accessories are run by pulleys and belts rather than the power from the engine itself. The elements can be powered by a series of belts or just a single serpentine belt. Some of these accessories include:
- Power steering pump
- Air conditioning compressor
- Water pump
- Radiator cooling fan
Just like arteries and veins in the human body, hoses are the circulatory system of a vehicle and are responsible for pumping fluids to different areas. Hoses are made of two layers of rubber with a layer of fabric sandwiched in between. Common types of hoses include:
- Fuel hose: pumps gas to the engine
- Radiator and heater hoses: pump coolant to the engine and heater core
- Power steering hose: pumps power steering fluid to steering equipment
The long belt that winds around the engine is known as the serpentine belt. This belt is driven by the engine and in turn powers your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering pump. In some cases, it can even control the radiator fan, power brakes, and water pump. Without the serpentine belt, your car’s battery would die in a matter of miles and the engine would overheat soon after. Because of their importance, serpentine belts should be monitored and replaced before they have the chance to wear down to the point of breaking. At All County Auto Repair & Tire, we keep a close eye on your serpentine belt and record its condition each time we inspect your vehicle in order to make sure we can swap it out before it causes any problems.
Cracks in the belt are definitely still an issue, but modern belts are much more likely to wear down before they crack. Our mechanics measure the grooves in the belt to determine the thickness and weather or not your belt is worn down enough to need replacement. Additionally, we check to make sure your serpentine belt is properly aligned, as a belt that has slipped out of place can damage other parts of your engine.
To keep the serpentine belt tight, there is a device known as a tensioner pulley that puts pressure on the belt and keeps it stable at the right tension. The spring in this device wears out over time, so more often than not, it is replaced at the same time as the belt itself.
Piston engines usually come in one of two groups: interference engines and non-interference engines. If a timing belt breaks on a non-interference engine, then the piston will not be able to contact the valves. If, however, a timing belt on an interference engine breaks, then the valve train and piston can be severely damaged if the engine is running. Most manufactures suggest replacing timing belts every 50,000 and 60,000 miles.
Radiator and coolant hoses
Radiator and coolant hoses prevent your engine from overheating, but they can wear down over time. The professionals at All County Auto Repair & Tire will check these hoses for signs of damage and can replace them as needed. As a general rule, these hoses will need to be replaced every five years or 100,000 miles.Don’t leave the health or your engine up to chance. Whether it’s an engine performance check or a belt and hose replacement, All County Auto Repair & Tire has the parts and the know-how to keep your car in peak condition. Call us today at either of our convenient locations in Tequesta (561-747-8320) or Stuart (772-266-8685) to speak with an expert, request a quote, or schedule your engine maintenance today!