Signs That Your Shocks & Struts May Need Replacement in Littleton, Colorado

Sometimes, the signs that your vehicle exhibits when shocks and struts are starting to show wear aren’t obvious. In fact, they are often mistaken for different engine problems, but if several occur at once you can be sure that it’s time to bring your car in for a diagnostic.

  1. Delayed steering response – If it takes more effort to steer, this is an indicator that new struts or shocks may be needed. Stiffness and unexpected noises when steering are also clear indicators that a replacement is in your future.
  2. Break instability – A change in brake behavior is another indicator that your vehicle needs service. Don’t panic. This may not mean new brakes are necessary, as this symptom could be a direct result of worn shocks or struts.
  3. Uneven tire wear – In a well-serviced vehicle, wear will occur across all tires evenly, but if shocks or struts require replacement, cupped and uneven wear will occur. Fully inspect your tires to determine if there could be an issue. If any questions come to mind, reach out to the experts you trust at All American Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair.
  4. Unusual vehicle bounce – Should your vehicle bounce excessively while turning or stopping, worn shocks and struts are probably to blame. If this condition is a recent occurrence, it’s time to bring it in to your auto repair shop for an evaluation.
  5. Fluid Leakage – Is fluid leaking from the shock or struts? This is a clear indicator that service is required and eventual replacement may be the result.

Pay attention to the visual signs. Examine your vehicle for possible problems. Fluid leaks, dented mounts, or damaged shocks and struts are signs that trouble is brewing. Cupping; an unusual tire wearing, may also be an indicator that it’s time not only to replace the shocks and struts, but also the tires. Vehicle handling changes are another clue as to the condition of your vehicle. Shaky and bumpy rides, poor steering response, stiffness and instability when braking, and swaying are signs that it’s time for new shocks and struts. Bringing in your vehicle for a diagnostic will assure that all maintenance issues will be addressed and resolved in both a timely and cost-effective manner. Don’t forget to consider your vehicle’s mileage. After 50,000 miles, most cars require new shocks and struts. Every 50,000 miles thereafter should spark a maintenance appointment. Trust All American Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair to get you on the road safely, ensuring that of your engine’s parts are in good working order. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and don’t forget the importance of preventative maintenance.

Summer 4×4 Maintenance Tips

With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner, the itch to go offroading with your 4×4 is great, but before you take to the dirt paths, consider these maintenance tips. As temperatures rise, so do the risks for your 4×4 without proper routine maintenance. Consider the following before taking a road trip or an offroad adventure and keep your 4×4 safe as summer takes hold.

  1. Show your AC that you care – It’s been a while. You haven’t needed to reach for that familiar knob in quite some time, but it’s there and quietly beckoning to be turned. The questions is: When you do, what will come out? Now is the time to check your coolant level and air filter. Poorly performing AC not only infuriates the driver, but it also puts a drain on battery life, making gas less efficient. No one wants to pay more than they have to at the pump.
  2. Don’t neglect your tires – It’s easy to overlook them. Your 4×4’s tires are always getting the job done with little to no complaint, so why would you think to give them some attention every now and then? Before opening her up on the open road, give your tire pressure a check. High temperatures change the pressure of your tires. This can lead to a blow out or misalignment in the front or back end. Taking some time to check ensures a summer season free of unexpected blowouts.
  3. t’s time to check those timing belts – Heat inspires expansion of all of your 4×4’s interior belts. Now’s the time to consider them as temperatures rise. Check for cracks and damage. Don’t forget that perfectly smooth belts indicate excessive wear. It may be time to change them after all.
  4. Wiper blade switch out – Being stuck in a summer thunderstorm with worn wiper blades is no picnic. Be sure to check your 4×4’s wiper blades before heading out on a trip or mud run. Replacement blades are inexpensive and a lifesaver when the situation calls for them.
  5. Oil should be your friend, not a foe – Overheating is more common in the summer and heavy driving of your 4×4 in high temperatures could be the culprit if you aren’t keeping an eye on your oil levels. While the standard oil change is every 3,000 miles, heavy summertime use could eat through your 4×4’s oil supply faster than the average cycle. Take note of the color and consistency of the oil upon examination. If it is dark and gunky, it’s time for another change. It may simply need to be topped off and if that’s the case, do so before heading out on an adventure.

Any questions? Let the experts at All American Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair answer any questions you may have about preparing your 4×4 for summer trips and get yours into top form before an offroad excursion or roadtrip. Bring your 4×4 in for a free diagnostic consultation today and be wowed by our knowledgeable staff and educated technicians.

How Regular Oil Changes Impact Your 4×4’s Performance in Littleton, Colorado

When it comes to reliability, 4x4s are at the top of the list, but how can you ensure that yours will always be running smoothly? Preventative maintenance is the key and most importantly, keeping up with regular oil changes goes a long way. Considering the low cost for upkeep, it’s the best way to reduce the risk of engine trouble for the long haul of your vehicle’s life and the most impactful routine service when considering how essential oil is to the daily use of your 4×4. Most importantly, they keep the need for major fixes in check if kept to a regular schedule.

If you ever wondered just why changing the oil in your 4×4 is critical, take a look at these reasons below. While they are simply a handful, they detail the major points of this preventative service. Avoiding this maintenance could stop your 4×4 dead in its tracks and that takes all the fun out of owning an offroad vehicle!

– Oil Stress – Oil breaks down over time – a fact that your average 4×4 owner may not consider when out on an adventure with your favorite toy. The temperature and stress put on your 4×4 requires the lubricant to be fresh to be effective, but if oil is not changed during the designated time, its quality is degraded until the oil no longer acts as a lubricant at all. In fact, the very opposite occurs, with clogs and gunk bringing your engine to a grinding halt. This form of engine failure is very costly to repair when considering how cost effective regular oil changes are to ward off this possibility.

– Oil Filter Clogs – A replacement filter is a part of routine oil changes, installed by one of our expert technicians. A new filter aids in the proper distribution of oil throughout your 4×4’s engine. Not only does it allow clean oil through, but most importantly, this filter keeps build up and sludge out of the engine. Old filters exposed to degraded oil become clogged and useless, bringing damage to internal parts and eventual engine failure.

– Cracks & Leaks – Circulated, degraded oil can cause cracks or leaks within the engine thanks to debris which is carried through during use. Additional damage may cause other coolants or even gasoline to leak into the oil. This mixture is toxic to the engine’s performance and could shorten the life of your 4×4. At the very least, it will damage parts of your 4×4’s engine that will be costly to replace.

– Corrosion – When old oil is circulated throughout the engine again and again, it spreads corrosion from dirt, dust, and even water accumulation over an extended period of time. These outside elements break down parts of the engine after repeat abuse. The end result in this treatment is also engine failure.

During your oil change at All American Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair, not only will we provide your 4×4 with the top quality oil it requires, but we will also perform a complete diagnostic to provide you with peace of mind. Changing your oil every 3,000 miles or three months is recommended. Allow our expert technicians to service your 4×4 with the care only trained professionals can provide. If you need to get back on the road while we work, take advantage of our free transportation service. Why should a repair or routine maintenance disrupt your day? Making service as easy and carefree as possible is what we’re best at. Contact us today to schedule your next oil change!

4×4 Seasonal Battery Maintenance in Littleton, Colorado

No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road due to battery failure. A towing service may be costly and it’s wasted time that you cannot get back. Avoid future breakdowns by seeking seasonal maintenance on both your battery and the rest of your 4×4. As temperatures rise here in Littleton, Colorado, your battery takes a hit given the amount of drain forced upon it in the winter months. Now is the time to pay attention to your battery to ensure that it will always keep you safe on the road through all of your journeys. The following tips are essential to prolonging the life of your battery. Given that the average lifespan of a battery is 3 – 5 years, getting the most you can out of it is both essential and cost-effective.

Clean all connections – Seasonal battery cleaning helps to remove any build up of corrosion that accumulated over months of use in lower temperatures. Build up of corrosion around the battery’s connectors can disconnect the battery’s power supply, causing a random lack of power or a sudden burst. Check the tightness of all terminals to gives yourself the piece of mind that there are no leaks to damage both the battery and the engine.

Disconnect the battery when possible – When a battery remains idle for too long, the charge will suffer dramatically. Worse still, it may damage the responsiveness of the alternator, causing an unreliable start-up. If you plan to be unable to drive for over two weeks, disconnecting the battery is highly recommended to prolong its life. This will keep the electronic demand low – a usual culprit for draining battery life. Upon your return to regular driving, reconnect the battery properly to be back in action.

Avoid frequent, short trips – The alternator recharges the battery while your vehicle is being driven, but the battery’s charge suffers greatly when the vehicle is making short, frequent trips. 4x4s are like no other type of vehicle. Opening them up on the road in the name of recharging the battery is a small price to pay. Just twenty minutes of consecutive driving per week is enough to let the alternator do its work and recharge the battery as the car is being driven.

To get the most out of your 4×4’s battery, seasonal routine maintenance is required. When you bring your car in to All American 4×4 for that maintenance appointment, do mention any battery concerns and we will do a diagnostic straight away. We are happy to ensure that your 4×4 is operating at optimal standards across the board. Contact All American 4×4 today and schedule your spring maintenance appointment. Don’t wait until a major issue comes to light. Preventative maintenance safes money in the long run and may help you avoid major repairs down the road. Our 4×4 diagnostics test will point out any problems within your vehicle. Our skilled technicians are ready to offer repair options with your budget in mind. Allow the experts at All American 4×4 extend the life of your battery and ensure that your 4×4 is safe and ready to take to the road this spring.

Proper 4×4 Alignment for Winter Driving in Littleton, Colorado

Four wheel drive vehicles are built to be tested by how we drive both on and off the road. This is why proper 4×4 alignment is critical throughout the year. Winter in Littleton, Colorado has a way of testing the limits of your 4×4 even further given the wear and tear ice, snow, and poor road conditions can have on your 4×4. When considering the safety of your family and your 4×4, there are several easy ways to determine if your alignment is off.

  • Is the steering wheel off-center? If your tires are straight, but you notice that the steering wheel is settled in a position that either favors the right or left, this is one way to be sure that your alignment is no longer correct. Often, a misalignment in the toe or rear axle could be the cause. Occasionally, a bent frame may have altered the alignment of your vehicle. This is more common when driving on roads damaged by winter potholes.
  • Does your 4×4 favor one direction or the other? Again, the misalignment of any axle can throw off the entire balance of your 4×4. Often hitting potholes or navigating on icy conditions can chip away at a solid 4 wheel alignment, leaving your vehicle’s alignment unstable.
  • Do you find that your 4×4 no longer handles inclement weather with ease?Misalignment opens up your vehicle to vulnerability when driving through snow, ice, and even rain. If performance is no longer up to your standards, an alignment may be the answer.
  • Is tire pressure a concern? When tire pressure does not meet the standards of your vehicle in one or all of your tires, it can lead to misalignment. Take the time to review the owner’s manual of your 4×4 or check the interior of your vehicle’s door to determine if you are driving on tires with the correct pressure. Driving on tires that are not properly inflated is dangerous for both you and other drivers on the road. It can be a direct cause for poor driving performance, skidding, and even lead to a blow out should they continue to be driven on without proper care.

While 4×4 driving can make you feel invincible to winter weather, nothing derails a high performance vehicle quicker than misalignment. A midwinter maintenance appointment at All American 4 Wheel Drive & Auto Repair may be the answer. Contact us today to set up an appointment and we will ensure that your alignment meets the standards of your 4×4. We will also be sure to check fluid levels, as many directly affect the winter performance of your vehicle. Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid both play a large role in safe winter driving. Keeping your windshield debris and salt-free during poor weather conditions is imperative for safe driving. Whether you are going from job site to job site, to and from the office, or to pick up the kids, preventative midwinter maintenance will keep your 4×4 reliable and safe in even the worst conditions Old Man Winter can throw at us this year.