• 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.

  • Better Left to the Pros

    Posted on 22, January, 2018

    Having a car’s like having a house. Chances are your home’s going to need some work from time to time. Maybe the wood panels in the den just need a fresh coat of paint. Or maybe the electrical wiring’s worn down and needs replacing – that’s not something you’ll want to do yourself. Your car’s no different. Whether it’s an old Chevy or a year-old Honda – some maintenance items require a professional, who can do the work safely and efficiently.

    Here’s a quick rundown of auto repairs best left to the pros:

    ·         Check Engine – The light goes off and you think: low engine oil. But it’s not always that clear. Some check-engine codes are vague and require a much deeper dive to figure out what the problem is. What you thought was a notification that your gas cap is loose, might be something much more serious – like a bad catalytic converter. Skip the guessing game and let our pros use their know-how to figure out the problem.

    ·         AC Fill-up – Some people swear by the cooling agent Freon, to cure any problems with their climate control system. But what they don’t know is that if you need Freon, that means something is probably leaking, and filling your system with coolant will only act as a Band-Aid. If you don’t have enough compressor lube, Freon can overheat your compressor and burn it up. When dealing with any kind of AC problem, just give us a call.

    ·         Suspension – This is the system of tires, springs, and shock absorbers that connect your car to its wheels. It’s a complex system of parts, but basically, it’s what keeps your car between the lines. Mess with any of your suspension components and you’re asking for a safety hazard. For your safety and the health of your tires, we recommend leaving any suspension repairs and upgrades to our trusted auto care pros. 
    Just like switching out a light bulb in your chandelier, there’s no doubt you can change that headlight, too. But when it comes to these three complex auto repairs, leave the challenge to the pros at Integrity Car Care & Tires - not just for your safety but also for some peace of mind!

  • Tire Pressure in Winter

    Posted on 20, December, 2017

    You may notice when the weather turns colder, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light on your dashboard lights up more frequently.  It is important that you check your tire pressure regularly during the winter to help keep the TPMS light off and your vehicle safe.  It is common at this time of year for your TPMS light to come on.  You will often see this on the coldest mornings.  If it warms up later in the day, the light may turn off but it’s likely that tires will still be a few PSI under inflated. This is why it’s important to check tire pressure regularly.  According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, for every 10 degree drop in the temperature, tire pressure decreases one to two pounds per square inch (PSI).  Checking the tire pressure is important for vehicle safety, tire life and gas mileage.  Incorrect tire pressure can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires and improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent when the correct tire pressure is maintained.  Here at “Integrity Car Care & Tires”, we recommend checking tire pressure at least monthly. It is important to note that newer cars with tire pressure monitoring systems may not alert you until the tire is significantly under-inflated, so you may want to check it more frequently.  It is important to check tire pressure whenever there is a significant weather change and more often during the winter months.

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