When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Marietta can cause your suv’s wheels to be out of alignment.
Driving for an extended time in Marietta when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded GEORGIA freeway. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.
Here are some alignment basics from Aero Automotive:
The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire. The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top. And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.
The ideal alignment for your suv was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Aero Automotive starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your honest Aero Automotive technician will look at tire condition.
From there, the suv is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to suv car makers’s specifications.
Your suv owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Aero Automotive before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.
Everyone in Marietta GEORGIA has blind spots – and no, I’m not talking about the fact that you really don’t sing like Jessica Simpson. I mean the areas of the road that you can’t see when you’re driving around Marietta.
First let’s talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others…
To begin, we can greatly reduce our blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your suv before you start to drive.
First, adjust your rear view mirror to give the best possible view directly to the rear of your car. You don’t need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or your dazzling smile. The rear view mirror should look to the rear.
Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver’s side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car.
Aero Automotive We’re on 4725 Canton Rd. in Marietta, GEORGIA (30066) Call us to make an appointment at 770-926-9050.
Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.
With your mirrors adjusted this way, you’ll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second. So it’s wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn’t moved into an area you couldn’t see in your mirrors.
Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive (suv?), you may still have some blind spots. All vehicles have an area behind them that’s blind when backing up. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. A pick up or SUV can hide a small child – an RV, bus or tractor-trailer can hide an entire vehicle. So be careful around our Marietta streets!
As you drive around the Atlanta area, avoid staying in other diver’s blind spots. You can’t count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.
Let’s talk about safely sharing the road with heavy trucks and buses. In crashes involving a truck and car, the car causes about 40 percent of the accidents. But 78 percent of the fatalities are with the car. The laws of physics are against the smaller vehicle, so it pays to take extra precautions around trucks and buses.
Heavy vehicles have huge blind spots: to the rear, on both sides and up front. They also can’t maneuver like a car. They take twice as long to stop and need twice as much space as you do in your suv or other type of car. You need to keep wide margins when driving around one of these big rigs.
Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle in the Atlanta area:
Avoid the blind spots. If you can’t see the driver’s face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!
Don’t follow too close. If you can’t see one of the truck’s mirrors, you’re too close.
Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you’re on one of our local Marietta GEORGIA two way highways, wait for a passing zone.
Don’t linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can’t pass quickly, drop back.
Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks’ blind spot is much larger on the right.
Be attentive and wear your seat belts while driving anywhere around Marietta, even short drives.
Don’t be aggressive when driving around trucks. Because of their size, they appear to be going slower than they really are. Cutting it short around a truck could be disastrous.
Use your turn signals when starting to pass. Once you can see the full truck in your rear view mirror, it’s safe to signal and move over. Don’t cut it short or slow quickly when you pull in front of a truck.
Be careful passing a truck at an intersection. Trucks need to turn wide to maneuver through city streets. Squeezing between a truck and the curb could put your car in the Marietta body shop. Look for the truck’s turn signals.
We at Aero Automotive want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.
Let’s talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. Marietta, GEORGIA service centers like Aero Automotive have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don’t know what these services really are unless they ask. Let’s go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.
Feel free at any time to give Aero Automotive a call at 770-926-9050 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our Marietta, GEORGIA auto center at 4725 Canton Rd. 30066.
First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.
Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.
Alignment. Service centers like Aero Automotive make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.
Battery service. Service centers like Aero Automotive inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery’s ability to hold a charge. If the battery’s still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.
Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.
The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.
Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.
Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.
Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don’t require service very often, so people don’t think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.
Engine air filter. This filters the air that’s burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.
Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.
Contact Aero Automotive, your Marietta, GEORGIA auto repair center, by calling us at 770-926-9050.
All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Atlanta auto owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Marietta motorists and could even cause damage.
In addition to new grades of engine oil, many suvs now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Atlanta drivers should always use the recommended grade and type of oil in their engine.
All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Aero Automotive in Marietta. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your suv cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.
Most passenger vehicles on Marietta roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your suv power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.
Now, the essential thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your honest Aero Automotive service specialist or suv owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.
Give us a call
Aero Automotive 770-926-9050 4725 Canton Rd. Marietta, GEORGIA 30066
Some Marietta auto owners wonder why Aero Automotive and other Marietta auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Atlanta HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Woodstock doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Aero Automotive for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Atlanta area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your suv brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy GEORGIA interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your suv engine, however, Aero Automotive diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Atlanta drivers’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Woodstock, Marietta, and Kennesaw drivers that the trouble code tells the Aero Automotive technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The suv computer’s trouble code just tells the Aero Automotive technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Aero Automotive customers. The Aero Automotive service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Atlanta service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Aero Automotive wants to figure out what’s wrong with your suv and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
When winter approaches in Marietta GEORGIA, we break out the sweaters, coats, boots and mittens. We want to be ready for winter conditions. Your vehicle needs to be ready for winter as well. The last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold. You need your vehicle to be safe and reliable. It’s a good idea to get caught up on any neglected maintenance items anytime – but the stakes are higher in the winter.
There are some specific things that we need to do in Marietta GEORGIA to have our vehicle ready for winter. The most obvious is having the antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze level is too low, it can’t properly protect your engine, radiator and hoses from freezing. If your car does not seem to be making enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze level may be low or you could have a thermostat problem. Get it checked out. If you are due for a cooling system service, now is a perfect time to have it done.
In the cold months around Marietta we always worry about being able to stop in time when it’s slick out. The first thing to remember is to slow down and allow yourself plenty of room to stop. Of course, you want your brakes to be working properly. A thorough brake inspection will reveal if the pads or any other parts need replacing. Check with your service consultant to see if it is time to replace your brake fluid. It accumulates water over time which really messes with your stopping power.
It is a really good idea to have your battery tested. A battery’s cranking power really drops with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not be up to winter. There is nothing like a dead battery in a snow storm.
Which leads us to an emergency kit. You should always have a blanket or something to keep you and your passengers warm if you get stranded. If you will be venturing away from civilization, pack more items such as food and water to help you survive. Keeping at least half a tank of gas is a good precaution if you get stuck and need to run the car to keep warm and it will help keep your gas lines from freezing up.
Winter in Marietta GEORGIA always makes us think of our windshield wiper blades – usually during that first storm when they aren’t working right. That’s why it’s a really good idea to replace your blades in the fall before the winter storms. If you live where there’s a lot of snow and ice, you might want a special winter blade that resists freezing up. And be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.
The final thing to consider is your tires. Any tire can lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six or eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 80 degrees outside when you checked your tire pressure two months ago and now it’s 40 degrees out, you could be down 5 pounds of pressure. That’s enough to be a real safety issue and it wastes gas too. You may need special winter tires as well. Your tire professional can help you find the right tire design for your expected road conditions.
If you’re getting winter tires, it is always best to put them on all four wheels. If you are only getting two, have them put on the rear – even if you have a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.
This is a very important safety measure recommended by tire manufacturers. Sliding or fish-tailing on ice and snow is a matter of not having enough traction at the rear end. That is why your newest tires should always be on the rear.