Monthly Archives: September 2018

Serpentine Belt Service at The Muffler Doctor in KANSAS CITY

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some KANSAS CITY vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, KANSAS CITY drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Diagnosing Your Vehicle at The Muffler Doctor in KANSAS CITY

When we KANSAS CITY residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at The Muffler Doctor usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as The Muffler Doctor in KANSAS CITY can scan the engine's computer for a troub ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics

Know Your Towing Limits in KANSAS CITY

Some KANSAS CITY drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around KANSAS CITY, you should be aware of safety issues, MO towing laws and potential liability.Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. KANSAS CITY drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resultin ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Relax When the Wind Blows in MO: Winter Car Prep for KANSAS CITY Drivers

When autumn comes around in KANSAS CITY, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for KANSAS CITY drivers to winterize their vehicles.Here is some expert auto advice for KANSAS CITY drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the MO winter months.1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of MO winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at The Muffler Doctor in KANSAS CITY, get that done as well.2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Yo ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Hey KANSAS CITY Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around KANSAS CITY?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in KANSAS CITY and around the country.Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance