• Money Tips for Stress Free Auto Repair

    Posted on 13, August, 2018

    Auto loan payments, insurance, and fuel come up every month and are pretty easy to plan for. Plus, you can typically anticipate so many oil changes in a year and the odd engine or cabin air filter here or there. These costs are standard with vehicle ownership and part of the price we pay for safe and reliable transportation.

    The real rub is when costly repair work like needing new tires, a timing belt, a leaky radiator or an engine management system failure happen suddenly or “crawl up” on us and need attention at a bad time. We never want to compromise on safety items, but occasionally can find ourselves in a “pay a little now or pay a lot later” situation where we have to consider putting off important maintenance and repairs for budget reasons.

    Fortunately, at Integrity Car Care & Tires we have an easy to budget solution to these unplanned repair costs with our convenient NAPA EasyPay Credit Card. You may be saying, “The last thing I want is another credit card”, but this is a specialty card for automotive service and repair items. It lets you keep your cash and other credit cards free for other things. Want more peace of mind with your auto repair servicing? Use your NAPA EasyPay Credit Card and increase the NAPA Peace of Mind Nationwide Limited Repair Warranty which covers parts and labor on qualifying automotive repairs from 24 months or 24,000 miles to 36-months or 36,000-miles.

    Whether it’s a large unexpected repair or something as routine as wanting to get caught up on several maintenance services before a road trip, this card can help you work these important expenses into your budget. The card is easy to apply for and you’ll have an answer back while you wait. Ask one our Service Advisors for details.

    Click here to learn more about the program.

  • Coolant System Maintenance

    Posted on 06, August, 2018

    Here at Integrity Car Care & Tires, we're often asked questions about the cooling system – the system that cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. Let's examine the topic in two areas: first the coolant itself and, second, the parts that make up the cooling system.

    The coolant is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat. First, you need to have the proper amount. If you don't have enough coolant it can't keep your engine cool.

    You also need the right kind of coolant. Different makes of vehicles require different coolant formulations to protect against corrosion.

    Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh. Over time and miles, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the coolant can start to eat away at the cooling system parts. The level of freeze protection deteriorates over time also. At Integrity Car Care & Tires, we recommend a complete coolant system flush every 30K miles. This includes flushing the system to remove contaminants and corrosion products, then replenishing your cooling system with the correct amount and type of coolant.

    Now let's talk about the cooling system components. These will all eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Starting with the radiator, we see them coming into the shop with leaks or clogged with deposits. Depending on the damage, we will clean, repair or replace. We also see radiator pressure caps that can no longer hold the proper pressure. We recommend replacing pressure caps when you change your coolant to avoid this problem. We see leaky water pumps and hoses that need to be replaced. There's also a part called the thermostat that opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant. Sometimes they stick open or closed and the cooling system won't work properly.

    Engine damage from overheating or from freezing is very expensive to fix, so it's important to maintain your cooling system properly with scheduled coolant replacement and periodic inspections of the cooling system.

    Your coolant system’s health also has a direct impact on your personal comfort in both summer and winter. When your coolant system cannot maintain properly maintain your engine’s temperature, the first thing your engine’s onboard computer does is turn off your air conditioning to prevent further overheating. In cold weather, a clogged cooling system will limit your car’s ability to keep you warm. So, if you suspect a leak or if you don’t know the last time your coolant system was serviced, schedule an appointment today and have us take a look.

    Tagged: coolant system
  • Cabin Air Filters

    Posted on 31, July, 2018

    Cabin air filters are a common topic these days because not all vehicles have them. To clear up any confusion, let's discuss the difference between the engine air filter and the relatively new cabin air filter.

    The cabin air filter cleans the air going into the passenger compartment and the engine air filter cleans the air going into the engine. Every vehicle is equipped with an engine air filter but not necessarily with a cabin air filter.

    There are many pollutants, spores and dust particles in the air today. The cabin air filter traps most of these before they reach the passenger cabin. When you consider that a cabin air filter can stop a particle as small as three microns in size and a grain of sand is almost 200 microns, it's easy to see that having it filter the air entering your passenger compartment can make your travel experience much more pleasant.  A clogged and dirty cabin air filter also restricts air flow through your car’s vents – not what you want when you’re trying to cool off your hot car on a hot, sunny day!

    Since cabin air filters are still new on the scene, some people haven’t heard of them—they many not even know they have one! Often, when a customer complains of unpleasant odors in their vehicle, it turns out the cause is a dirty cabin air filter. Unlike many maintenance procedures we perform on our customer’s cars, timely cabin air replacement does nothing your car’s safety, reliability or longevity.  It’s sole purpose is to protect your health and comfort while you travel.

    An additional and important note for hybrid owners: your car has a special air filter that cleans the air and cools the hybrid battery pack. This filter should be inspected with the cabin air filter to ensure the battery pack doesn’t overheat.

    Much like the AC and furnace filters in your home, your cabin air filter should be replaced at specified time intervals independent of your vehicle mileage.  Here at Integrity Car Care & Tires, we recommend annual replacement of your cabin air filter as part of our comprehensive overall maintenance strategy.  Call Integrity Car Care & Tires today to schedule your appointment.

  • Fuel System Operation and Maintenance

    Posted on 23, July, 2018

    I'd like to give you a quick overview of the fuel system. It starts with the fuel tank. The fuel pump is located inside the tank and pumps fuel out to the engine. Somewhere along the way is a fuel filter whose job is to filter out dirt before it hits the engine. Then there's the fuel intake system and the fuel injectors that deliver the fuel to be burned in the engine.

    Our focus is to discuss how to make the various components of your fuel system work well and last as long as possible. Now the best thing you can do for your fuel pump is to use good quality fuel. Top tier gas typically has fewer contaminants and more detergents to keep things clean. Using good gas, or adding a fuel system cleaner to your tank, can prolong the life of your fuel pump. Because the fuel pump lives inside your tank, it's pretty expensive to replace, so helping it last as long as possible is a worthwhile goal.

    The fuel filter catches dirt and contaminants. When it's clogged, your engine may not be able to get enough fuel and could sputter. A clogged fuel filter also causes your fuel pump to work harder and may result in premature fuel pump failure. At Integrity Car Care & Tires, we recommend your fuel filter be replaced every 45,000 miles to ensure top engine performance and long fuel pump life.

    Now fuel will cause gum and varnish to build up in the fuel intake system. A professional fuel system cleaning will remove the gunk to keep fuel flowing freely and help prevent contamination from reaching your fuel injectors and your engine.

    Fuel injectors squirt fuel into the engine. The fuel must be delivered in a precise amount, at a precise time, under precise pressure and in a precise pattern. Pressure can range from 45 pounds per square inch to 45,000 pounds per square inch depending on the engine. As you may guess, fuel injectors cost a lot. Allowing them to get gummed up will not only hurt your performance and fuel economy, it will cause the injectors to wear out much more quickly than they should.

    A professional fuel system cleaning will keep injectors clean and working correctly. It'll also clean deposits from the inside of the combustion chamber and off the intake valves giving you optimum performance and mileage. At Integrity Car Care & Tires, we recommend a professional fuel system cleaning every 15,000 miles to ensure top engine performance and fuel economy.

  • The Integrity Team

    Posted on 19, July, 2018

    Updated team photo. (clockwise from top left): Mike with ball cap - all things automotive repair & maintenance, Ethan - all things automotive repair & maintenance, Joanie - all things customer service, Abraham the intern, Debora - all things bookkeeping & accounting, Fred - manager, master technician and expert cat herder.