Our Current Blog Articles
April 18, 2018
How Do I Tell If My Car is Having Electrical Problems
Today, Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs will help you figure out if your car is having electrical problems. This system controls more than you may realize. Everything from the starter, sensors, power windows, dome lights, headlights, and even the brake lights are all controlled via the electrical system.
So when it fails, a situation can pretty tricky, pretty quickly. So, let’s talk about what signs to look for to determine if your car is having electrical problems. That way, you can have it fixed by the experts here at Bowers Automotive before it worsens, and you’re put in a tough situation.
This is probably the worst situation to be in. Not being able to start up the engine and go is never pleasant. However, this problem can generally be narrowed down to either the starter or the battery.
Cabin Electronics Not Working
Vehicles these days include a myriad of electronic devices such as GPS systems, tiny TV screens, and of course the stereo. If any of these are not working, it very well may be a problem with the electronic system. This could mean corroded wiring or failing components. However, another possibility is that a fuse is blown. Have this checked by your trusted auto repair specialist at Bowers Automotive.
A battery terminal will show signs of corrosion in the form of white or blue crystals that are clumped around the terminals. If you are knowledgeable in these matters, go ahead and carefully clean them off yourself, but be extremely careful if you use chemical cleaners as they can burn skin and eyes easily. Otherwise, just come into Bowers, and we can provide a thorough cleaning and sealing process to repair and even extend the life of your car battery.
Any dimming of lights inside or outside of your vehicle is most often an indicator that you car is having electrical problems. If you notice only one light dimming such as the dome light, try replacing the bulb. If the problem persists, the problem is more likely with the broader system. Just come on in, and we can determine the source of the problem and get it fixed quickly in most cases.
Possibly the most common sign of an electrical problem is a burning smell. The smell of melting plastic or rubber can indicate an electrical component of the vehicle has shorted out. A short causes an electrical wire to draw too much current. If this happens, the wire will heat up and melt the plastic insulation covering it. You may also see smoke. This can be a minor or a major issue.
No matter what the problem is, we have the solution at Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs. Call for an appointment or come by the shop if your car is having electrical problems. We’ll take a look at the entire system, including your battery, starter and alternator, as well as all wires and connections. We’ll find and fix the issue so you can get back on the road with a safe and reliable vehicle.
April 8, 2018
Spring Car Care and Maintenance
With the change in seasons, Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs offers our favorite spring car care and maintenance tips to get you ready for the open road. Our team of specialists can provide a thorough inspection and any auto repair services needed to get you ready for spring and summer fun.
Read on to get the best spring car care and maintenance tips.
The windshield is an indispensable part of your vehicle’s safety. During the winter, sand and rocks are used to help drivers maintain traction in snowy weather. But those rocks and gravel on the road can fly up and hit your windshield, causing chips and cracks. Before you head out on a spring or summer road trip, be sure to get your windshield repaired or replaced for unhampered driving.
Make sure that you see clearly through the windshield especially when the rain hits this spring. Get your wiper blades changed and even upgraded for a higher quality driving experience.
Another essential safety element of driving is your tires. Keep your vehicle’s tires inflated according to the owner’s manual recommended PSI for a safe trip, near or far. Extend the life of your vehicle's tires with balancing and rotation. Check the tread to ensure there are no bruises or cuts on the sidewalls.
Check all interior and exterior lighting including headlights, hazards, turn signals, brake lights, dome light, and more. If these are not up to par, an emergency could take an unnecessary turn for the worse.
The fluids coursing through your vehicle all perform essential tasks. Be sure that all fluid levels are correct and if not, then top them off. However, low fluid levels can also indicate a leak, so it’s best to have your vehicle looked over by our professionals. We can spot the signs of a leak and get it fixed.
Oil and Filter
We all know that the engine oil in our cars is indispensable. Keep your vehicle happier and healthier with regular oil changes according to the owner’s manual instructions. An oil filter change is a must as well. Forgetting to change either one of these on a regular basis will inevitably lead to problems with the engine and more expenses down the road.
Winter weather temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle charging system. So, as part of your spring car care regimen, check that the battery is mounted securely, the terminals are free of corrosion, and it's tightly connected.
Belts and Hoses
These take a beating in the cold weather. Check the belts for cracking, fraying, glazing, or looseness and check the hoses for leaking, blistering, cracking, softening or hardening or any other visible damage.
All of the filters on your vehicle will need replacement periodically. Extend the life of your car with a filters checkup this spring. Just give us a call, we’d love to help.
There is no time like the present, so come in and see us at Bowers Automotive for spring car care and maintenance so that you can drive all year long with no problems. We look forward to you dropping by or scheduling with us soon.
March 13, 2018
How Do I Change the Car Oil?
How do I change the car oil? Here at Bowers Automotive of Colorado Springs, we love to see car owners showing an interest in basic auto mechanics. One of the easiest things to learn to do by yourself is to change the motor oil. This is something that every vehicle needs fairly often. Even if you don't plan on doing it by yourself, there's no harm in knowing how to do it, just in case.
Motor oil is needed by your engine to lubricate it's moving parts. When your car has plenty of clean oil, it runs smoothly, uses less fuel and doesn't overheat due to excessive friction between the engine parts. Over time, oil can break down, pick up dirt and turn into a thick sludge-like substance that does not efficiently lubricate the engine. If you change the car oil before it gets to this stage, you’ll ensure that it runs in top condition.
A regular oil change is one of the most important parts of vehicle maintenance. Your car's manual will state how often the oil should be changed. At an auto shop, you may be able to get an oil change for between $30 and $55. A DIY oil change will probably cost you about $24, or closer to $35 if you also change the filter. In reality, you probably won't end up saving a lot of money by changing the oil yourself, but it's an excellent skill to have.
Gather Your Equipment
To change the car oil, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Jack and jack stands
- Plastic sheet or cardboard to catch any spills
- Safety goggles
- Box end or open end wrench
- Oil collection/recycle container
- Oil filter wrench
- New oil filter
- New oil
Before You Change the Car Oil
It's a good idea to collect all the required tools and materials together before you begin. Find a level and stable surface to jack up the car safely. Lay down some plastic sheeting, cardboard or plywood under the vehicle to avoid creating a mess with spilled oil. You may want to use a foam mat to get under the car.
If you have been driving the car in the previous hour or two, the engine oil will be extremely hot. Allow it to cool for at least a few hours before attempting to change it; otherwise, you can risk burning yourself badly. If the engine is completely cold, it's helpful to start the vehicle and leave the engine running for five minutes. This will warm up any old, congealed oil and get flowing better.
Drain the Old Oil
The first step to change the car oil is draining out the old stuff. Look for an oil pan at the very bottom of your engine. You should see the drain plug at the bottom of the pan; it looks like an oversized bolt. Before touching the plug, position your oil container beneath it.
Using the box end wrench, loosen the drain plug. Remove the cap with one quick movement to avoid getting your hand covered in oil as it starts to drain out. Allow all the oil to drain into your container. You can get this oil recycled at most full-service gas stations and auto shops. Replace the drain plug and tighten it according to your vehicle's torque specifications.
Remove the Old Oil Filter
Next, you have to remove the old oil filter. Using the oil filter wrench, crank the filter counterclockwise until it comes loose. Be aware that there will probably be some old oil held in the filter that can splash out. Make sure the rubber gasket comes away with the filter. If it is still stuck to the engine, you will have to peel it off.
Prepare and Install the New Oil Filter
Take your new filter and use some fresh oil to coat its rubber gasket before installing it. Fill the new oil filter about 2/3 of the way up with new oil. Now you can carefully hand-screw it clockwise into place. Remember to move it slowly to prevent the oil splashing out. There is no need to screw the new filter into place with a wrench, as this might overtighten it. Use your hand to get it as tight as you can; that will be sufficient.
Refill the Oil
Now it's time to refill the engine with oil. Under the hood of your car, look for the oil fill cap. Open it up and place the funnel inside for easy pouring. Before you start to fill it up, check the owner's manual for the oil capacity of the engine. You want to pour a little over 3/4 of this amount into the engine at first. If you are using single quart containers, it should be easy enough to measure it out, and the 5-quart containers will have markings on the side of the bottle to show you how much you are using.
Check the Oil Level
When you change the car oil, the reason you don't add the full volume of oil at once is that there is always some old oil that remains trapped within the engine and tubes. If you don't take this into account, you may accidentally overfill the engine and make a mess.
Use the dipstick to check the current level of oil in the engine. Remember to wipe off the oil before checking the level, as it may be still covered up to the level of the old oil. If the oil is below the lower mark, continue to add more little by little until it reaches the correct level. Remember to replace the oil fill cap.
Now you know the basics of how to change the car oil. While it’s not complicated, it does require some patience and advance preparation. If you are not sure about tinkering with the inner-workings of your car, there's no need to worry. At Bowers Automotive, we can give you a great deal on a basic oil, lube and filter service. Whether you do it yourself or leave it to the professionals, the important thing is to make sure to change the oil at the recommended intervals.
February 19, 2018
What's Wrong with My Exhaust System?
If you are currently wondering what's wrong with my exhaust system, then it may be time to get in contact with Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs. Your car's exhaust system plays a crucial role in routing combustion gases out of the engine and away from the cabin. It also helps to keep your car running quietly and efficiently while reducing the level of air polluting emissions produced by the vehicle. For some helpful tips on diagnosing a problem with your exhaust system, keep reading.
Loud Rumbling: If your car starts to make a rumbling noise while running, it is very likely that there is a problem with the muffler or a leak somewhere in the exhaust system. As soon as you begin to hear a change in the noise made by your exhaust, have it checked by a professional. Generally speaking, the longer you leave this problem to worsen and the louder the rumbling gets, the more complicated and expensive the repair job will be.
Catalytic Converter: A damaged catalytic converter will often produce a rattling sound when the car is stopped in traffic or parked. Catalytic converters contain precious metals that make up part of the filtration system which works to neutralize noxious gases. Due to the high value of these metals, it is reasonably common for catalytic converters to be stolen from vehicles. If your catalytic converter has been removed, you’ll notice a loud noise and obvious decrease in performance when the car is running.
Exhaust Leak: A new vibration felt through the seat of the car, the steering wheel or when you touch the pedals is a warning sign that may have you asking what’s wrong with my exhaust system? Usually, a leak in the exhaust system is to blame. Broken seals, disconnected components or damage to the tubing of your exhaust system can allow exhaust to escape in a location where it should not be present.
Vibration, noise and a change in engine efficiency are common symptoms of this kind of exhaust leak. If you notice that your car needs gas more often and the fuel is not lasting as long, get your car tested for an exhaust leak. If there is one, your engine will have to work harder to convert fuel into the same amount of energy. An exhaust leak will result in you burning through fuel faster than you usually would.
Your exhaust system's tubing, catalytic converter, and muffler are all susceptible to damage, as well as standard wear and tear. Leaving them without attention from a professional mechanic will cause your vehicle to run loudly, inefficiently and produce toxic gases that are bad for the environment and human health.
As soon as you find yourself wondering what's wrong with my exhaust system, just call the local experts at Bower's Automotive in Colorado Springs. We perform a fast and accurate evaluation using modern diagnostic tools at our auto shop. Our team can then provide professional repairs to get you back on the road, as well as ongoing automotive maintenance to ensure your exhaust and all other systems are in proper working order. Give us a call to make an appointment.
February 9, 2018
How to Fix Transmission Problems
This week at Bowers Automotive of Colorado Springs, we are focusing on how to fix transmission problems. If you suspect there is an issue with your vehicle's transmission, there is no need to panic. Transmission malfunctions are not always as complicated as most drivers think they are. Often, you can carry out some of the easy fixes for minor transmission problems on your own. Keep reading to learn which issues to tackle yourself and which require the attention of our qualified mechanics.
Transmission Fluid Leak
If you notice the fluid is lower than it should be when you check the dipstick, you probably have a transmission fluid leak. The seals at the driveshaft, transmission and input gasket should be checked without delay as these are the most likely locations for a leak. You can temporarily solve this problem with a bottle of Stop Leak, available from most service stations. If the leak continues, you will need to take the vehicle to an auto shop for inspection and to have it repaired.
If your vehicle is under strain pulling a heavy load, the transmission can overheat. It often happens when the transmission lines are clogged or if the fluid has become contaminated with dirt and metal particles. To solve this issue, completely drain and replace the transmission fluid, as well as clean the transmission filter. This requires you to open up the transmission, so this is only recommended if you are experienced and comfortable working on this part of the car. Just be sure to have your vehicle's manual on hand.
If you feel the gears slipping or resisting when you try to change them, usually either a fluid leak or a malfunctioning solenoid is to blame. A faulty solenoid needs to be opened and checked for a build-up of debris or obstruction. This is best done by a technician if you are inexperienced with basic auto mechanics. Solenoids and other components of the transmission system often have longer warranties than other car parts. You may be eligible for a replacement by your car dealership.
These are some of the most common issues that affect car transmission. It's important to remember that taking good care of your transmission system and doing preventative maintenance will go a long way in saving you from having to fix transmission problems. And remember, never try shifting into 'Reverse' or 'Park' until the car has completely stopped moving. And always have the vehicle’s brake pedal pressed when shifting out of 'Park.'
Checking your transmission fluid according to your manufacturer's guidelines and taking your vehicle for regular maintenance checks will help avoid any unwanted surprises with the transmission. If you do experience a serious problem with your transmission or any component of your car, try to get it checked out without delay. At Bowers Automotive, we know how to fix transmission problems quickly, affordably and professionally. Call us today on 719-596-4818 for more information or to get a quote.