February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on How to Tell When Your Car Needs a Tune-Up

Normal daily driving subjects cars to a lot of wear and tear. Even a small malfunction of one part makes a huge difference in performance and safety. Recommended tune up intervals vary depending on the age and model of the vehicle. Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

Most newer vehicles need a tune-up every 30,000 miles. Check older vehicles every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Tune-up the car more often if it pulls heavy load or if it is used for a lot of stop-and-go driving.

A typical tune up involves flushing and filling vehicle fluids, checking all belts and hoses, checking the battery, installing a new air filter, adjusting or replacing spark plugs, and checking fuel injectors and other components. Mechanics also use modern automobile diagnostics that reveal other maintenance issues.

• The “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” lights come on and stay on after starting the vehicle.

• The car stalls frequently, indicating a spark plug or electronic sensor issue.

• The engine idles roughly, or it runs unevenly during acceleration. Sputtering while accelerating or going uphill indicates the car needs a tune up. Often a dirty emissions system causes cars to sputter or stall.

• The car becomes harder to start. This may indicate problems with the starting system, battery, fuel system, ignition system, or electronic equipment.

• The vehicle suddenly gets lower gas mileage than usual. Dirty fuel filters, bad fuel injectors, and spark plug problems commonly cause unexpectedly low gas mileage.

• The car makes a loud squealing noise when the steering wheel is turned, or the steering feels very stiff. Low fluids affect how the steering mechanism operates.

• The vehicle makes a sudden jerk when shifted from park to drive gears. This indicates the car needs the transmission fluid and filter changed immediately. Failure to fix these minor items leads to very costly repairs in the future, including transmission replacement.

• The brakes feel soft or spongy, or squeaking or squelching noises occur when pushing down the brake pedal. This indicates low brake fluid. Consistently low brake fluid indicates worn out brake pads.

• A “rotten egg” exhaust odor indicates a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. A tune up checks and cleans the catalytic converter. A clogged catalytic converter also affects gas mileage and overall vehicle performance.

• Chugging or “dieseling” after the car is shut off indicates the vehicle needs a tune up. Other causes of dieseling include buildup of carbon in the combustion chambers. Poor quality gas cause chugging and dieseling in some engines.

• Knocks and pings from the engine compartment result from carbon build-up in the combustion chambers. These noises may indicate a need to replace the fuel injectors.

• The car emits black smoke or a burnt fuel smell from the tail pipes. This may be the result of a clogged O2 sensor.

Tune-ups let the car’s ignition system, fuel system, emission system, and computer systems work together properly. This leads to optimum combustion chamber efficiency, better performance, and better gas mileage. The car runs its best and emits the minimum amount of pollutants when it has regular maintenance, including tune-ups.

Crompton Brothers is a family owned business since 1994. We are focused on providing the best possible customer service experience when servicing or repairing a customer’s vehicle. We strongly believe in customer education and regularly show the customer what needs repairing. We are very involved in various community activities and believe in giving back to the community who has supported us for almost 20 years. For more information please visit Crompton Brothers Auto Repair.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Vehicle Diagnostics: Boosting Its Efficiency With Computer Analysis

Computers are literally everywhere now. Apart from our homes, offices, it has also found a place in different industries as well as in different products. Today, the automobile industry also involves a host of computer-based applications right from the outset, till the finished product hits the road.

Computing devices are not just used in the manufacturing industries, but in the vehicle diagnostics also. Every automobile has a set of built-in computing devices. These devices carry out different set of functions. The multifunctional indicator light (MIL) normally tells us about the vehicle condition. But, if it does not function properly, built-in computers can analyse and diagnose the defective spares.

A lot of vehicles came up with built-in computing devices since the last twenty years. These computers have made the defect identification process, a lot easier than before. In the earlier days, most of these functions usually demanded human attention. But today, new-age computing devices can find such critical auto repair issues in quick time. These computers play a pivotal role now. If these devices are not in proper working order, the car may not pass its auto emission test. So, any problem with the computer may impair the car performance.

Now, what does the vehicle diagnostic computer actually do? These computing devices carry out a range of functions. It helps to find MIL defects, engine RPM, exhaust systems, ignition timing problems, transmission fuel injecting problems and many more. These automobile computing devices are more advanced than the new-age cars. They also come up with artificial intelligence, consisting of microchips, sensors and computer processors. All these elements boost the vehicle’s diagnostic ability. These computers link the processors, sensors and microchips to the auto diagnostic scanning system. The scanning system enables the computers to find the exact problem.

But, you should always look for a qualified technician to carry out your vehicle diagnostic check. You can scan the vehicle yourself with a hand-held scanning device. But, technicians always use automobile scanning devices to find the problem in quick time.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Car Maintenance Tips to Take You from Winter to Spring

Vancouver winters are tough. Whilst most people take the time to prepare their vehicle for the harsh winter months ahead, few consider the importance of making preparations for spring. The moment the temperature gauge starts to creep up, you should think about booking a visit with your local car repair shop to give your trusty vehicle a little TLC.
Following a regular car maintenance schedule through the seasons will ensure your vehicle is ready to face the conditions ahead whether you’ll be negotiating icy roads or driving in humid or arid conditions.
Car repair shops offer a comprehensive range of seasonal checks that will prepare your car, truck or any other vehicle you drive for the months of driving ahead. Truck maintenance is especially vital as these vehicles must be fit for purpose and transport their load safely.
Car Maintenance Schedule for the Spring and Summer

Springtime is a time of reawakening and renewal following the cold winter months. Attending to the maintenance guidelines below will ensure your vehicle emerges from the winter in roadworthy condition. A well maintained vehicle will give you years more reliable service and be less prone to major faults.
•Swap out tires – If you’ve been using winter tires, it’s time to swap these out for all-season tires. Check each tire is inflated and balanced and also ensure you have a well-maintained spare tire available. Any car repair shop should be able to help you with checking your tire pressure and ensuring your tire tread is sufficient and most importantly, legal.
•Check your brakes – Icy roads mean heavy braking and that can put your brake pads under a lot of pressure. If you’ve noticed brake squeal or any grinding noises when hitting the brakes, you need to get them checked as soon as possible.
•Top up your fluids – A well-lubricated vehicle is a happy vehicle. So many engine parts rely on liquids to keep them cool, oiled and working at optimum levels. Again, booking a seasonal check at your local car repair shop will identify any problems with fluid levels. Engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and windscreen washer fluid are all essential to the performance of your vehicle and levels need to be checked and topped up at regular intervals. Over the winter, freezing temperatures can cause these fluids to become dull and ineffective so a complete drain out and top up with fresh fluids is recommended.
•Automatic transmission – vehicles with automatic transmissions need special consideration when refreshing fluids. Overheating is a real problem with these vehicles and it’s therefore important to keep vehicle fluids at the right level.
•Air-conditioning and ventilation – You probably haven’t had your air-conditioning on during the winter months so it’s a good idea to have a complete service of the system to ensure it works perfectly on those hot days.
•General component checks – lights, seatbelts, dashboard warning lights, wiper blades, spark plugs and hoses should be checked for general wear and tear and replaced or repaired if faults are found.

Keeping your vehicle in top condition throughout the year is important. By booking your vehicle into one of the leading car repair shops in Vancouver, Burnaby, you can ensure your car maintenance schedule is taken care of. You can sign up to our car repair shop mailing list today to receive the latest discounts and coupons.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Taking Care of Engine Repair Problems Efficiently

Some people just don’t know what to do when something goes wrong. They aren’t prepared for problems or issues and end up just panicking and running around in circles, clutching their heads. Don’t let that happen to you; be prepared for whatever may happen so that you will be ready when the crisis occurs rather than playing catch-up. This is especially true when it comes to your vehicle. You don’t want to wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road to figure out where you will go for servicing. Instead, do your research now and know where you are going to take your vehicle when something inevitably goes wrong.

Say you need to get engine repair done on your car. There are a few considerations you should take into account as you search for a service shop somewhere near you. The first thing you should look into is their credentials. Some states require different forms of licensing and you should be familiar with what your state requires. If the auto shop you’re considering doesn’t have these credentials, you probably want to stay away from them. There are some local mechanics and “mom and pop” shops that will do a good job but are low-key and not certified. If you know the mechanic personally, you can probably overlook the lack of credentials but, if it’s a big chain shop or something a little more prominent, be sure to check that all their mechanics and technicians are certified.

When you’re looking for a shop that will do engine repair, try and find somewhere that has a convenient location to your home. If your car breaks down, it probably won’t do it at home or at your convenience but you don’t want to be driving across town or down the interstate if you’re having engine problems. Also, you should try and find a local auto shop and go there every time – this way, the personnel get to know both you and your vehicle and will be able to make repairs much faster. You might also find that you get deals if you’re a regular customer.

Look into what the prices for engine repair are at the shop you’ve chosen. You might not be able to get an exact figure until you actually have this problem but they should be able to give you a ball-park estimate. While you’re at it, you might want to find out their prices for regular maintenance and labor. As already mentioned, it’s a good idea to take your car to one place that can service all your needs. If you plan to do this, finding out all the prices ahead of time will save you hassle later.

Lastly, take note of their professional appearance. Mechanics are allowed to look dirty and greasy but the people who work in the office should look professional. If they don’t or if they don’t treat you with professionalism, you probably will want to take your business elsewhere.

Don’t wait until your car is dead to figure out where you will take it for engine repair. Instead, find an auto shop now that fits all of your criteria and you’ll be ready when your crisis happens.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Car Air Conditioning Repair Is Most Important

A vehicle’s air conditioning is very important so if ever it gets busted, it should be fixed immediately. As others would say, a car air conditioning repair would be quite difficult to deal with; you need to call for help from a professional mechanic who has the knowledge and the experience in terms of fixing vehicle AC systems.

If your car has a problem with vehicle air conditioning, it could come down to a number of various reasons and it includes the following: your compressor does not function properly, a condenser that is clogged, system leak or perhaps a low level of coolant in the AC system. An expert technician could go over the entire vehicle air conditioning system and after the problem has been known, you will be given a price and you could decide from there whether you want to pursue with the repairs or not.

If the AC in your car would break down, it might cause you quite an expensive charge if you are going to have a car air conditioning repair. Normally, if there is not enough coolant this would mean that there is a leak that must be checked down. In most cases, this could be fixed but then it would just depend on the damage. If it would have a lot of fluid and it is just a compressor that needs to be changed this is going to be fixed easily. Once you will encounter such issues, you must need to take it to proper mechanic for diagnosis and also it should have a vehicle AC expert that has the proper tools. It may seem expensive to have a car air conditioning repair but you see your vehicle get benefits from it eventually.

It would surely be a hassle on the driver’s part if the AC is busted since extreme heat could be really exhausting plus this could be dangerous since your attention will be divided, it will be more on the heat. You need to have it fixed the soonest time possible. It is a bad practice to just ignore the AC issues you have in your car as this might lead to bigger problems in the future. If you want to check the best repair shops in town, you could just make a research online or perhaps ask around since first-hand information would be of great help. It is advisable to choose companies that have other car related services so that whenever other car issues will come up, you can just contact one company, Crompton Brothers is the best auto repair shop that will provide complete auto repair for your car.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Routine Car Maintenance: It Should Be Routine

Routine car maintenance is just that; routine. Most people think of things like oil changes, wiper blade replacement and all of the other little things you do periodically to protect your car and keep it running smoothly. These are all absolutely necessary to ensure that the life of your ride is as long as you want it to be. But there are also other routine and preventative things you can do to add to this life.

One of the best ways to guarantee that you’re doing everything you can to protect you car is by applying protective films to your car’s exterior. Composed of materials like vinyl, protective films are applied to your car and used to deflect things like small rocks and everyday road debris. We’ve all been there when a semi-truck’s huge tired have shot rocks at the car and caused a chip. Protective films prevent that and effectively repel the rock so that your car gets away unscathed.

However, just like any product, the protective film wears down over time. The best ones come with a five year guarantee but after that it’s definitely in your best interest to inspect and possibly replace the films that have been protecting your car since 2007.

Routine maintenance is also crucial to maintain the value of your car. Most people drive their cars for roughly three to five years before trading up for a new one. The goal is to get as much back from your car as you put into it. This is tough considering car resale values in general. However, the best way to be sure that you’re doing everything you can is to be consistent about routine maintenance issues.

Some of the main things that reduce resale value are scratches and chips in the paint. Also, hazy and scratched headlights are no good either. Vinyl films help protect against all of these things and it’s a wise investment after you’ve purchased or leased a new car.

Routine maintenance doesn’t have to be a headache. With proper planning, some of the care required at a later date can be avoided all together. By applying protective films before the paint is chipped or the headlight is scratched, you can effectively save a lot of money by simply being proactive. This is a case where a little bit of time, attention; elbow grease and thoughtfulness go a long way. Don’t skimp on your car or the maintenance required; reward your ride and it will reward you.

February 26, 2014


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on How Car Cooling Systems Work

With the passage of time and advancement in technology, the gasoline engines have developed a lot but they are still not too much efficient at turning chemical energy into mechanical power. Almost seventy percent energy in gasoline is converted into heat. It is basically the job of the cooling system to manage that heat. It would be surprising that the cooling system on a car driving down the freeway in fact dispels sufficient heat for heating two average size houses. The basic work of the cooling system as suggested by the name is prevents the engine from getting over heated by transferring this heat to the air. Besides this, the cooling system also has many other important works.

A car’s engine runs best when it is warm. The engine is less sufficient and the components wear out faster when the engine is cold. It also causes more pollution. One more vital work of the cooling system is to allow the engine to get heat up as quickly as possible and then keep its temperature at a constant level.

This article explains about the about the parts of a car’s cooling system and how they subsequently work.

The Basics

Fuel constantly burns inside the car’s engine. This combustion makes a lot of heat to exit from the exhaust system but some of it soaks into the engine making it heated. The engine works best when the temperature of its coolant is at 93 degrees Celsius.

At this temperature, the combustion chamber is hot at an extent to completely vaporize the fuel providing a better combustion. The oil for lubricating the engine has lower thickness level making the engine waste less power. It also makes the metal parts wear lesser.

A car has two types of cooling systems, liquid-cooled and air-cooled.

Liquid Cooling is present in liquid cooled cars that circulate a fluid through pipes and passages in the engine. The liquid absorbs heat as it passes through the hot engine making the engine cool. The fluid passes through a heat exchanger or radiator after leaving the engine. It transfers the heat from the fluid to the air blowing through the exchanger.

Air Cooling was in some old cars and very few modern cars. Its process was that instead of circulating fluid through the engine, the aluminum fin covered engine block pushes the heat away from the cylinder. A powerful fan pushes air over the fins which cool the engine transferring the heat to the air.

So, If you are not a perfect mechanic yourself then you should find a reliable auto repair shop having trained and certified mechanics who can provide you better auto using their repair and your car life can be increased.

June 20, 2012


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Tires and Wheels

When winter approaches in British Columbia, 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 Burnaby, British Columbia 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 Burnaby 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 Burnaby British Columbia 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.

June 20, 2012


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Service Standards

Today we’re going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Burnaby British Columbia who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what’s involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Burnaby British Columbia.

These are valid concerns. If you don’t understand something it’s really hard to know its value. Let’s start with some history.

Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Burnaby British Columbia have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what’s wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle’s Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can’t adjust for, the computer will turn on the check engine light.

It is also called the ‘service engine soon’ light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your Burnaby British Columbia service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you’ve searched for check engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what’s wrong.

That’s a common myth. The code itself doesn’t tell you what’s broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won’t tell you what’s wrong or how to fix it.

Let’s say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads one 102 degrees. You’ve confirmed a fever, but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician’s examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads ‘Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response’. This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that’s all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that’s stored in the engine control computer. That history’s very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Crompton Brothers invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don’t need replacing.

So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your check engine light comes on, get it checked at Crompton Bros. If the light burns steady – don’t panic. Get in to Crompton Brothers soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing check engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing check engine light.

June 20, 2012


In: Uncategorized

Comments Off on Cooling System

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common, it is easy to prevent.

The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then goes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it’s back to the engine again.

There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. The proper mixture keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Both of which can result in massive engine damage.

Another very important coolant issue that is often overlooked is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can’t protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. Old coolant may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.

If you see a warning message to check the coolant or if the temperature gauge is in the hot zone your cooling system needs to be checked. It’s OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things.

  • First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
  • Second, try to get to your Aldergrove service center at Crompton Brothers immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your owners manual – it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
  • Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Crompton Brothers service center where we can make necessary corrections.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to rely on your Crompton Brothers service center in Aldergrove to do things right.

Remember, your Burnaby service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.