So, everyone in the Kissimmee Florida area knows how great helium is – you know, party balloons, squeaky voices. But a lot of people around Kissimmee still haven't heard about the benefits of nitrogen in your tires, and how it can help your tires. Here's some great advice from AutoNetTV, brought to you by Don's Complete Auto Service.
Nitrogen has actually been around for a long time in the Kissimmee Florida commercial sector, but it's just starting to catch on for private vehicles in the 34744 zip code area.
Why nitrogen in your tires? Air is air, right? Actually, it turns out there is a difference.
Contact Don's Complete Auto Service to learn more about nitrogen in your tires You can find us at: 508 E. Vine Street Kissimmee, Florida 34744 Or call us at 407-847-3427
The heart of the matter is maintaining proper tire inflation. When your tires are properly inflated, they last longer, handle better and more safely, and save you money at the gas pump.
The problem is that tires filled in Kissimmee with regular air can lose a pound and a half of air pressure every month. This just happens as the oxygen in the tire seeps out. So if you don't check your pressure for a month or two, well, you can be significantly low – low enough to actually affect your handling, shorten tire life and waste money at the fuel pump.
How does nitrogen help? Regular air contains about 78% nitrogen. Nitrogen is the largest molecule in air. It's dry and non-flammable. Air also contains 21% oxygen, which is smaller and seeps out of the tire three to four times faster than nitrogen.
So, a tire filled with nitrogen at Don's Complete Auto Service will take about six months to lose as much pressure as regular air does in just one month. So it's more forgiving for those who don't check their pressure every week.
Also, when oxygen is at higher temperatures – like those inside your tire when you've been driving for awhile – it oxidizes the inside of your tire. Getting the oxygen out of your tire means that it'll last longer.
Who's using nitrogen? Well, let's start with NASCAR and Indy. These racers like nitrogen's ability to maintain consistent tire pressure and reduce tire temperatures under very demanding conditions. The US government requires all commercial aircraft to have nitrogen in their tires. NASA and the US Military use nitrogen. The mining industry has been filling those "humongous" tires with nitrogen for years. And semi trucks and trailers are starting to use nitrogen extensively.
You may have heard some detractors of nitrogen. But the studies and white papers from tire and vehicle manufacturers demonstrate that the technology really works.
In fact, a prominent consumer research group did a study where they filled some tires with air and some with nitrogen and stacked them outside for a year. They observed that the nitrogen filled tires did hold their pressure better, but they couldn't see the economic benefit. But that particular test has very little to do with the real world. Most tires are actually holding up cars and they also get driven around and do a lot of work. So if nitrogen helps them last longer, saves gas and gives safer handling, it's worth considering.
Have you ever gone to Saint Cloud to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That's why they tune up together.
Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your car. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.
We call this, (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.
So check your owner's manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Kissimmee service advisor at Don's Complete Auto Service what he thinks.
...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.
Posted in the Fuel System category
What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?
Posted May 15, 2012 9:55 AM
With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Kissimmee, Florida, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most folks in Kissimmee, Florida don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of mind for our Kissimmee customers. So it's not uncommon for people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.
Call Don's Complete Auto Service at 407-847-3427 for information about differential service, or stop by our Kissimmee, Florida auto center at 508 E. Vine Street 34744.
To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Kissimmee high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.
The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.
It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Kissimmee, Florida area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.
That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.
The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.
Your Kissimmee, Florida technician at Don's Complete Auto Service will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he'll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.
Your Don's Complete Auto Service service advisor can look up the manufacturer's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at 407-847-3427 for more information about your differential service.
Posted in the Drive Train category
Don's Complete Auto Service Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas
Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Kissimmee Florida also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.
Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.
There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your manufacturer recommends.
For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by our Kissimmee Florida service center: Don's Complete Auto Service 508 E. Vine Street Kissimmee, Florida 34744 407-847-3427
Read your owner's manual carefully to see if it's acceptable to use lower grades. With some cars in Kissimmee Florida it is; the engine control computer can adapt. You’ll lose some performance, but won't do damage. With other engines, using a lower grade of fuel could result in serious damage; so you don't want to save a couple of bucks at the pump only to pay it out a hundred fold at the repair shop.
Today's computer controlled vehicles are optimized to run well on the recommended grade of fuel. Using a higher grade than is recommended will not give you any additional performance or better fuel economy.
Regulations require detergents for all grades of gasoline, so your engine will have the same protection, regardless of the grade of fuel you use. If you do hear some knocking or pinging from your engine, take it seriously and get your Automobile into Don's Complete Auto Service. It may be a sign that you need a tune-up or some other repair.
In times of high gas prices, we're all conscious of making our fuel dollar go further as we drive around Kissimmee Florida. Be sure to use the right gas for your car. Keep your tires properly inflated and your vehicle well maintained and you will get the best fuel economy possible.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Tracking True In Florida: Wheel Alignment In Oak Ridge
Posted May 1, 2012 12:08 PM
Wheel alignment is often overlooked by busy Oak Ridge and Pine Castle car owners until serious tire damage has been done. One wheel can be knocked out of alignment from the rest by hitting a curb or pothole on Saint Cloud roads.
When a vehicle’s out of alignment, one or more of the wheels does not track true and pulls against the others. The tires will wear out very quickly and will need to be replaced prematurely. It could also lead to Automobile suspension damage.
But the big issue for Oak Ridge, Pine Castle , and Kissimmee motorists is safety. When your Automobile wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you’re out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee.
At Don's Complete Auto Service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.
Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in precisely the same direction.
Signs of alignment problems are: Your car pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you’re going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Saint Cloud service center look it over. If you’ve been in an auto accident in Florida that involved a wheel, you should get your alignment checked.
A big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Oak Ridge drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.
That’s why your manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your Automobile owner’s manual doesn’t specify, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with Don Collins or your service advisor at Don's Complete Auto Service in Kissimmee.
One thing’s for sure: the cost of the alignment at Don's Complete Auto Service is cheaper than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.