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Yearly Archives: 2018

Timing Belt

Ever heard the sad tale of a staggeringly steep repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let's take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.First, let's review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There's at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two will open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves - that's 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It's called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything's in sync.The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt. But some vehicles use ... read more

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Parts

Introduction to Diesels for KANSAS CITY, MO

Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around KANSAS CITY, MO, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.Most people in MO are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in KANSAS CITY, MO. But that's about to change.In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in KANSAS CITY, MO, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.Why are so many KANSAS CITY drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in ... read more

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Fuel System

A Cool and Smooth Transmission in KANSAS CITY

When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us KANSAS CITY drivers remember to get our oil changed. But services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is part of car care. A poorly maintained transmission will fail and lead to repairs.The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it's clean and well-lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your transmission will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this service. Or, you can ask your friendly and knowledgeable The Muffler Doctor service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your vehicle ... read more

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Transmission

Fall and Spring Checkup in KANSAS CITY

When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into The Muffler Doctor for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.Your owner's manual or KANSAS CITY service advisor at The Muffler Doctor can tell you the right oil to use.Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the MO summer or freeze up in ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your KANSAS CITY Vehicle

Imagine you've left KANSAS CITY and you're up in the arctic on a dog sled.Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you're covering less ground for the same effort.You're wasting kibble.The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that's pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the vehicle; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You're wasting gas.So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the vehicle pulling to one side.Sometimes we KANSAS CITY residents bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can t ... read more

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Alignment