Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Pitts Repair Service

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When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Pitts Repair Service in Concord is a lot like buying shoes, except that Concord motorists’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of NC road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Charlotte area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Concord need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough NC mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Charlotte area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Concord often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Charlotte are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Pitts Repair Service tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the NC tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Concord folks get what they pay for.

At Pitts Repair Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Concord auto owners to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Charlotte motorists.

So, some good auto advice for Concord motorists would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

What

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Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most car makers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.

Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like NC. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.

There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.

But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Concord. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Concord is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.

Concord car owners may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Concord roads.

Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.

Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Concord restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in NC. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. They will soon be available for
Concord car owners.

Concord auto owners who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that essential preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.

When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most
Concord service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Pitts Repair Service, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance For Concord Drivers

Hello, Concord motorists. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Concord car owners don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your SUV ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your SUV owner’s manual or Pitts Repair Service to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Pitts Repair Service service professional can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at NC highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Concord, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Concord car owners.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to costly repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service technician will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care for Concord motorists means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Pitts Repair Service and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved gas mileage, safety and peace of mind.

How Your Check Engine Light Works

Have you ever had an experience like this in Concord NC? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing!

You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off.

You wonder; “What was going on?” Well, it’s actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.

Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn’t be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something’s wrong. Whatever’s wrong could cause some serious engine damage.

Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action.

It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I’m still concerned, I’ll keep this light on for now.

Then the Check Engine Light goes off in a day or two.

The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it’s gone now. The danger is past, I’ll turn that light off.

Now a flashing check engine light is serious. You need to get it into our Concord NC shop as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?

Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air to fuel mix, spark advance, and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.

The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the check engine warning.

The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can’t compensate for the problem, the check engine light stays on.

The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what’s wrong?

Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t really tell you why, because there could be any number of causes.

Let’s say you’re feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees.

You know your symptom – a fever – but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?

You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.

There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.

There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory, and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer’s computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.

A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy or that the auto parts store uses, doesn’t have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Concord NC service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.

The second problem is that once you’ve got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.

So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor, which are not cheap, and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.

How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Pitts Repair Service. Give us a call at 704-786-6894 and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.

Pitts Repair Service Advice On Buying New Tires

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Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Concord driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all NC seasons.

Concord off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Concord? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Pitts Repair Service tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Concord car owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at NC tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some vital adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the SUV. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your SUV with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Pitts Repair Service in Concord to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your SUV on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Concord a lot longer.

Synthetic Oil For Concord Autos

If you aren’t currently using synthetic motor oil in your Concord vehicle, maybe now’s the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn’t gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Concord, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil; with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why; we’d need a microscope, so we’ll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there’s less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn’t sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Concord have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead admit it. Since we’re not perfect, doesn’t it make sense to use a motor oil that’s got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You’ll likely save money in the long run. If you’re serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call at 704-786-6894 to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Pitts Repair Service website.

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine In Concord, NC

 




If the fuel system in your SUV is dirty, you will be hurting your fuel efficiency and losing performance as you drive around Concord, NC.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Concord auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your SUV owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your appreciative, honest, efficient service advisor at Pitts Repair Service in Concord has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Pitts Repair Service uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Pitts Repair Service, you’ll notice more power, improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your vehicle manufacturers fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your SUV running strong.

Concord auto owners don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service technician and see when your car is scheduled for a key fuel system cleaning.

Serpentine Belt Service At Pitts Repair Service In Concord

If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your SUV hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your SUV. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Concord.

Serpentine Belt Service At Pitts Repair Service In ConcordMore importantly, the belt powers the alternator
. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your SUV’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

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 SUVs, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Concord cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Concord auto owners realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owners manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owners manual, come see us at Pitts Repair Service.

At Pitts Repair Service in Concord, your appreciative, honest, efficient technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your appreciative, honest, efficient technician at Pitts Repair Service. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Pitts Repair Service, we recommend Concord drivers that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your SUV.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s is important to the operation of your SUV. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Pitts Repair Service – so it’s good to do so before it fails.

Keep Your Concord Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter


Hey Concord car owners – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your SUV burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very essential but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to pricey problems. Of course, your car maker recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in NC affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Charlotte or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your appreciative, honest, efficient Pitts Repair Service service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your SUV needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel efficiency and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more pricey in Concord, but they increase horsepower and may improve gas mileage to boot.

So it’s vital for Concord drivers to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Pitts Repair Service in Concord and it should easily pay for itself in better gas mileage before your next oil change.

Stop by Pitts Repair Service at 325 NW Pitts School Rd., Concord, NC 28027, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 704-786-6894 to make an appointment.

Pitts Repair Service
325 NW Pitts School Rd.
Concord, NC 28027
704-786-6894

Economics of Maintenance For Concord Auto Owners

Buying a new car in Concord is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Concord who’ve been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you live right here in Concord and have a five year old vehicle. It’s now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there’ll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don’t know what to expect. For help we turned to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com has compiled maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They’re able to use manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can’t predict what will happen to your vehicle in Concord, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let’s look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it’s actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Concord:

  • Ford Escape – $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado – $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent – $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Concord service advisor at Pitts Repair Service. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there’s any particular problem common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions:
Pitts Repair Service
325 NW Pitts School Rd.
Concord, NC 28027
704-786-6894