CarSmart Auto Service

Providing Saint Louis car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 1980

CarSmart Auto Service - Providing Saint Louis car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 1980

Get Where You’re Going With Power Steering Service In Marlborough

Today we’re going to talk about power steering service in Marlborough. If you took an informal poll around Marlborough you’d probably find that most have never heard of power steering service. That’s not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Marlborough aren’t aware that it needs periodic service.

If you’re younger than a certain age, you’ve probably never driven a car or truck without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you’ve ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it’s a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that’s hard, especially around downtown Marlborough. That’s why old cars had such big steering wheels; to get enough leverage to steer.

Steering Most vehicles in Marlborough have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Marlborough use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We’re also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We’ll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your Marlborough service advisor at Carsmart Auto Service or check your owner’s manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It’ll extend the life of your power steering components.

The Importance Of Marlborough Drivers Following Service Intervals

Today in our Carsmart Auto Service blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your pickup isn’t the only aspect of your life in Marlborough with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

The Importance Of Marlborough Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Marlborough takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our pickups? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Marlborough neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, Marlborough people don’t need to memorize their pickup owner’s manuals. You can let your Carsmart Auto Service advisor remind you of the guidelines established by auto makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your pickup. You really can rely on Carsmart Auto Service professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Marlborough drivers who want to be more proactive with their pickup care, here are some simple ways for Marlborough car owners to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your pickup go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Marlborough car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Carsmart Auto Service for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy gas mileage, your pickup doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Lease Or Buy?

Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Marlborough car financing. It’s always a tough question for Marlborough motorists. But here is some info that’ll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you’ll pay the full cost of the car, with maybe an initial down payment, then monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Marlborough car owners who lease, finance the portion of the cost of the car that’s used up during the term of the lease. You’ll pay some money up front; fees, security deposit, first month’s payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the car to your local Dupo area dealership. 

So how do Marlborough drivers decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that’s a factor.

How long will you keep the car? Marlborough car owners who keep their cars around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

Carsmart Auto Service
7921 Watson Road
Marlborough, MO 63119
314.968.9496

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like, say a work truck would, then buying’s better. The Marlborough auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you’ll pay.

How many miles do you drive in and around the East Carondelet area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit, and if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile when the lease is up. So high mileage MO motorists should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your Marlborough business? Check with your Marlborough accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper for Marlborough motorists. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more in MO.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment, rather than price. So sometimes Marlborough leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the Marlborough salesman asks if you’ll be leasing or buying, say you’re not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your Marlborough financing options.

Here’s another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the car, you’ll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments, and usually, it’s less than the car’s fair Dupo market value  – and that’s all your MO auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Marlborough agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition, and may need to do all the auto maker’s recommended service and maintenance, or face penalties. So see your local technician at your Marlborough auto repair shop  or Carsmart Auto Service on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It’s well worth it.

Carsmart Auto Service: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most Marlborough and Ballwin auto owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Carsmart Auto Service, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Marlborough auto owners actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Marlborough car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your pickup engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in Marlborough, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Carsmart Auto Service: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Carsmart Auto Service article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your pickup fuel efficiency driving around MO. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best MPG. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Carsmart Auto Service.

Here’s an easy one for brilliant Marlborough auto owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your pickup auto manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for Marlborough auto owners that  want to save cash: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Marlborough roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel efficiency.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Marlborough can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the expressway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your Marlborough expressway,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our pickups tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.