Keep Things Flowing – Fluid Checks and Flushes

Fluids, Flushes

The Importance of Fluid Checks and Flushes this Winter 🌡️💦

At Northside Auto Repair, we understand the importance of regular vehicle maintenance, especially during the winter season. One of the critical areas we focus on is your vehicle’s fluids. From the coolant that prevents your engine from freezing to the oil that guarantees smooth operation, maintaining these fluids at optimal levels is essential. In this blog post, we delve deeper into why fluid checks and flushes are a must-do for every car owner this winter.

Why are Fluid Checks Important?

The lifeblood of your car, quite literally, is its fluids. They lubricate, cool, clean, and protect the various components of your vehicle. Without them, your car would not run. Thus, it’s vital to keep these fluids at their optimal levels.

When temperatures drop, these fluids can thicken or even freeze, leading to suboptimal performance or, worse, significant damage. Regular fluid checks ensure that your vehicle is always running at peak efficiency, regardless of the weather conditions.

The Role of Coolant in Winter

Many people associate coolant with summer, but it plays an equally important role in winter. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, prevents the engine’s water from freezing in cold temperatures. If the coolant level is low or the mixture isn’t right, it could lead to a frozen engine – a problem no one wants to encounter on a chilly winter morning.

The Importance of Oil Changes

Engine oil is another critical fluid that needs regular attention. It lubricates the engine, reducing friction and heat build-up, and helps to prevent engine wear. In winter, the cold temperatures can cause the oil to thicken, making it harder for it to circulate and do its job. Regular oil changes will ensure your engine has fresh, high-quality oil that can withstand the cold temperatures.

Starting the Season with a Full Fluid Flush

To ensure your vehicle is ready for the winter season, we recommend starting off with a full fluid flush. This process involves removing the old fluids and replacing them with fresh ones. It’s an excellent way to remove any build-up of dirt or sediment and ensure your vehicle’s fluids are in the best possible condition for the winter months ahead.

At Northside Auto Repair, we’re here to help keep things flowing smoothly this winter. Schedule your fluid check or full fluid flush with us today, and let’s ensure your vehicle is in top shape for the cold season. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Stay tuned for more tips from our Winter Maintenance Checklist series. #FluidCheck #WinterMaintenance

Car Battery Care and Maintenance

NAPA Batteries Legendary Starting Power

Car Battery Care: A Comprehensive Guide from Northside Auto Repair

Winter is here, and with it comes the chilly mornings and the dread of a dead car battery. It’s a common scenario that many of us have experienced: you’re ready to leave your house on a frosty morning, only to find that your car won’t start. That’s why at Northside Auto Repair, we believe in the importance of regular battery checks and timely replacements.

Don’t Let Winter Drain You: The Importance of Battery Checks and Replacements

The cold winter weather can be particularly harsh on your car’s battery. In fact, cold temperatures can slow down the chemical reactions inside the battery, making it harder for it to deliver the necessary power to start your car. This is why it’s crucial to ensure your battery is in good working condition as the winter season approaches.

Regular battery checks are not just a preventive measure to save you from the inconvenience of a dead battery on a cold winter morning, but also a critical part of car maintenance. These checks help identify signs of weakness or potential issues that could affect your battery’s performance.

Spotting the Signs of a Weakening Battery

If your battery is older or showing signs of weakness, it might be time to consider a replacement. But how do you know if your battery is on its last legs? Here are a few signs to look out for:

  1. Difficult Starts: If your car takes longer than usual to start, this may be a sign that your battery is losing its charge.
  2. Dimming Lights: If the lights in your car are dimmer than usual, it could indicate that your battery is not providing sufficient power.
  3. Warning Light: Most cars have a battery warning light on the dashboard. If this light is on, it’s a clear sign that something might be wrong with your battery.

Ensuring Reliable Starts All Winter Long

At Northside Auto Repair, we understand the importance of a reliable car, especially during the winter months. That’s why we recommend replacing your battery if it’s showing signs of weakness or if it’s older.

A new battery can ensure that your car starts reliably all winter long, giving you peace of mind and saving you from potential inconveniences. Don’t let the winter drain you or your car’s battery. Regular battery checks and timely replacements are key to avoiding the inconvenience of a dead battery on a cold winter morning. At Northside Auto Repair, we are here to help you with all your winter car maintenance needs.

Contact us today to schedule your car battery check or replacement.

ASE Certified Technicians

ASE Professionals

Northside Auto Repair – Your Home for ASE Certified Technicians

Welcome to Northside Auto Repair, where our team of ASE certified technicians is ready to provide exceptional automotive services. Our commitment to excellence and ongoing training ensures that we stay updated with the latest advancements in the industry. Trust us to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

What Does ASE Certification Mean?

ASE, short for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, is an independent organization that certifies professionals in the automotive repair and service industry. When a technician is ASE certified, it means they have met the stringent experience and knowledge standards set by the organization.

Why Choose Our ASE Certified Technicians?

At Northside Auto Repair, our ASE certified technicians have demonstrated their expertise in various areas of automotive repair and maintenance. They are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to diagnose, repair, and service your vehicle efficiently and effectively.

We believe in quality, which is why we invest in our technicians by providing them with continuous training and the latest diagnostic tools. This commitment to excellence allows us to deliver top-notch automotive services that you can rely on.

Our Services

Our ASE certified technicians specialize in a wide range of automotive services, including:

  • Engine diagnosis and repair
  • Brake system service and repair
  • Transmission service and repair
  • Electrical system diagnosis and repair
  • Heating and air conditioning service and repair
  • Preventative maintenance services

Schedule Your Service Today

Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to maintaining and repairing your vehicle. Trust our team of ASE certified technicians at Northside Auto Repair to take care of your automotive needs.

Contact us today to schedule your service. We’re looking forward to providing you with the high-quality automotive care that you deserve.

Know your rotors, repair your brakes.

Rotors and Brake repairs

Do you think you are having brake problems? More specifically rotors? Proper maintenance and service of your brakes is a top safety priority. The surface of the rotor is just as important as its thickness. This is why most rotors are coated, such as an anti-rust coating. This coating helps to protect the rotor from corrosion, reduce noise and vibration and improve braking power. Rotors also have different types of ventilation, such as vented rotors and cross-drilled rotors. These allow the brake pads to cool more quickly and reduce heat stress on the rotor surface. The type of ventilation used depends on the driving conditions, so it’s important to get professional advice when choosing a rotor for your vehicle.

At Northside, we always make sure you use quality brake pads when replacing your rotors. Cheap, low-grade brake pads can wear down the rotor more quickly and increase the risk of damage. Quality brake pads are designed to work in harmony with rotors to provide maximum braking performance and safety. Remember that good brakes are essential for safe driving, so always get professional advice before making any changes to your braking system.  Your technician can inspect, diagnose and repair any brake problems you may have and suggest the best solution for your vehicle. This way, you can be sure that your brakes will keep you safe on the road.

Rotors Wear Out

Sometimes, Rotors may no longer be able to be machined and operate safely. When this happens it is time to replace the rotor completely. Schedule a brake inspection with Northside Auto Repair to have the rotors replaced using quality parts. This will ensure that your car is safe to drive and that the brakes perform as they should. Brake pads are also part of what we inspect in a brake inspection. We believe the use of quality pads can extend the life of your rotors. Brake pads play an essential role in the safe and effective operation of your brakes. Brake pads provide a cushion between the rotor and brake caliper, causing them to press together when you step on the brake pedal, creating friction that slows down your car.

We understand how important your safety is, so we always make sure to inspect your brakes and replace any worn or damaged components with quality parts. Brake maintenance is essential for keeping you safe on the roads, so don’t hesitate to contact Northside Auto Repair for your brake service needs. We’ll get you safely running and stopping in no time! Fixing Brakes can be complicated. Let us help keep you.

Springtime Brake Inspection

NAPA Brakes

Why You Need to Get Your Brakes Checked at Northside Auto Repair, a Neighborhood NAPA AutoCare Center

At Northside Auto Repair, we understand that vehicle safety is a top priority for you and your family. That’s why we highly recommend getting your brakes checked regularly. Don’t wait until it’s too late to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Importance of Regular Brake Inspections

Regular brake inspections are essential because they identify any issues before they become major problems. Our team of ASE certified mechanics at Northside Auto Repair will inspect all brake components, including brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, and calipers, using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

Addressing these problems promptly can help you avoid costly repairs or complete brake failure. By having your brakes inspected regularly, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safely equipped to stop.

What Can Go Wrong with Brake Parts?

Brake systems are comprised of multiple parts that work in unison to bring your vehicle to a stop. Over time, these parts can become worn, damaged or corroded, leading to reduced braking performance and potential failure.

The most common issues with brake systems are worn brake pads and rotors. When brake pads wear down, the metal backing plate starts rubbing against the rotor, causing a metal-on-metal grinding sound and reduced stopping power. In extreme cases, brake pads can completely wear down, leaving the metal backing plate to grind against the rotor, causing severe damage and complete brake failure.

Similarly, rotors can become overheated, warped, or corroded, leading to a shuddering sensation or pulsating brake pedal when you apply the brakes. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to complete brake failure, putting you, passengers, and other drivers on the road in danger.

Get Up to $50 Back on New NAPA Brakes and Components

This month, customers who have new NAPA Brakes and components installed at Northside Auto Repair can get up to $50 back. NAPA Brakes are designed to provide superior stopping power, noise-free performance, and longer life, backed by the NAPA’s nationwide Peace-of-Mind Warranty.

Your safety is our top priority. Contact Northside Auto Repair, your neighborhood NAPA AutoCare Center, today to schedule a brake inspection. Contact us today to learn more about this offer.

Item Most Stolen from Vehicles?

Airbags are top stolen item

What item is most often stolen from vehicles?

Is it:
(A) Stereo
(B) Wheels
(C) Air Bag
(D) DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft – approximately 50,000 a year nationally in the United States. New airbags cost about $1,000 but go for $50 to $200 on the black market. Stolen airbags are making their way back into vehicles that have been in an accident in Albuquerque. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

[box type=”alert” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]2022 Update! Your catalytic converter is a prime target for the same reasons as airbags. Ask your Service Advisor about theft protection options.[/box]

That is definitely a part you don’t want to take a chance with, so we recommend following the following guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center like Northside Auto Repair that employs ASE certified mechanics.
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a NM manufacturer, dealer or recycler.
  • If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer or recycler.

You will see the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) light when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is a problem with the airbag system.

How well do you know your Fuel System?

Fuel System

Come with the technician at Northside Auto Repair as we give you a quick overview of the fuel system.

It starts with the fuel tank. The fuel pump is located inside the tank and pumps fuel out to the engine. Somewhere along the way is a fuel filter whose job is to filter out dirt before it hits the engine.

Then there’s the fuel intake system and the fuel injectors that deliver the fuel to be burned in the engine. Our focus is to discuss how to make the various components of your fuel system work well and last as long as possible. The best thing you can do for your fuel pump is to use good quality fuel. Top tier or “premium” gas typically has fewer contaminants and more detergents to keep things clean. Using good gas, or adding a fuel system cleaner to your tank, can prolong the life of your fuel pump. Because the fuel pump lives inside your tank, it’s pretty expensive to replace, so helping it last as long as possible is a worthwhile goal.

The fuel filter catches dirt and contaminants. When it’s clogged, your vehicle engine may not be able to get enough fuel and could sputter. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows unfiltered fuel past when the filter’s clogged. That prevents your engine from dying while you’re driving around , but it can’t protect your engine from dirty fuel. Check your owner’s manual or talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Northside Auto Repair about when you should replace your fuel filter.
Now fuel will cause gum and varnish to build up in the fuel intake system. A professional fuel system cleaning at Northside Auto Repair will remove the gunk to keep fuel flowing freely and help prevent contamination from reaching your fuel injectors and your engine. Fuel injectors squirt fuel into the engine. The fuel must be delivered in a precise amount, at a precise time, under precise pressure and in a precise pattern. Pressure can range from 45 pounds per square inch to 45,000 pounds per square inch depending on the engine.

As you may guess, fuel injectors cost a lot in the area. Allowing them to get gummed up will not only hurt your performance, it will cause the injectors to wear out much more quickly than they should. A professional Northside Auto Repair fuel system cleaning will keep injectors clean and working correctly. It’ll also clean deposits from the inside of the combustion chamber and off the intake valves, giving you optimum performance and mileage. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Northside Auto Repair and see when the service advisor recommends you get a fuel system cleaning.

About Water Pumps

water pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.

The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner’s manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles, or 65,000 kilometers, but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles, or 160,000 kilometers.

Water pumps don’t gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they’re either working or they’re not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.

Water pumps can fail in two ways; they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.

If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it’s time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren’t visible because they’re under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Northside Auto Repair to know if the water pump has failed.

If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles, or 100,000 to 145,000 kilometers. The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it’s cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time.

Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it’s powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.

Replacing a water pump at Northside Auto Repair is a car care issue that almost all of us residents face eventually. They don’t last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Northside Auto Repair service advisor.

Improve Fuel Economy with Service

Northside Auto Repair Albuquerque, NM

Maintaining your car or truck will make it more fuel efficient. That means it uses less fuel, and you save money. When we think of things that rob us of fuel economy, we can think of them in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

Friction: Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the engine. The engine has to work harder to overcome the drag, which takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there’s not enough to fully lubricate the engine, so there’s more friction. The wrong viscosity and grade of oil can also adversely affect fuel economy. Dirty oil won’t lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil and fluids changed and your car serviced regularly will help maintain optimal fuel efficiency.

Inefficient fuel combustion: This happens when fuel isn’t burning completely in the engine. It’s also affected by factors like spark plugs, air filters, and fuel injectors. When these things aren’t working properly, it can lead to poor fuel economy. So it’s important to get your car serviced regularly to keep everything running smoothly. By following these simple tips, you can help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save money in the long run.

Meet Our Team

Auto Repair made easy
Auto Repair made easy

Vic Dugger – Owner

The Dugger family name has been trusted for quality auto repair and service since 1972. Vic opened Northside Auto Repair in 1994, after working for the family business and later as a Service Manager in Colorado Springs. Since 1994  more…

Edward Smith – Technician

I’ve been working for Northside Auto Repair for 14 years. I’ve been an auto technician for 22 years. I graduated from Monzano High School in 1986, then TVI now CNM, with a diploma in diesel mechanics in 1987.  more…

Rafael Hosteen – Technician

Rafael grew up in Phoenix and at a very young age started helping his father work on family vehicles. At the age of 20 he and another friend started their own business called “Two Guys Automotive”. They specialized in air conditioning, brakes and front end work. He then graduated from the Arizona Automotive Institute. more…