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

Clean Fuel

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 pickup engine.

Marlborough auto 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 your pickup 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 pickup 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.

Clean Fuel – Clean Performance for Marlborough DriversThe harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner’s manual to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. Marlborough motorists should change it before it becomes clogged. Your courteous Carsmart Auto Service service specialist can help you with recommended fuel filter replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your pickup engine will sputter when you drive at highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Marlborough, 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.

Marlborough motorists take note: 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.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to expensive repair bills for Marlborough auto owners. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your courteous Carsmart Auto Service service specialist will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

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

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment For Your Marlborough pickup

Imagine you’ve left Marlborough and you’re up in the arctic on a dog sled.

Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.

That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you’re covering less ground for the same effort.

You’re wasting kibble.

Alignment The same is true of your pickup when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that’s pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You’re wasting gas.

So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side.

Sometimes we Marlborough motorists bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take the wheels out of alignment as well.

Marlborough drivers need to make sure they’re tracking straight. You’ll get better MPG and your tires’ll last longer. Now, mush!

Carsmart Auto Service
7921 Watson Road
Marlborough, MO 63119
314.968.9496

Keeping Your Marlborough Air Fresh When Driving With A Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter?

A. A filter for your Marlborough house?
B. A fresh, piney scent?
C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?

Clever you, it’s C.

A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your pickup. It filters out common Marlborough air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.

These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

Not all Dupo drivers have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in MO. Last check, about forty percent of new vehicles sold in Marlborough come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.

Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for Marlborough motorists. Your pickup can be a haven during our Marlborough allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filter eventually gets clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.

Check your owner’s manual for replacement guidelines. If your pickup owner’s manual doesn’t mention your cabin air filter, ask your courteous service advisor at Carsmart Auto Service for a recommendation. It’s usually every year or 12,000 miles / 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in dusty conditions around the Marlborough area, or if you start to notice a funky smell coming from your vents.

The team at Carsmart Auto Service urges Marlborough motorists to keep their cabin air filter cleans. It may not help with your brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience around Marlborough more enjoyable.

Come by Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough and we’ll take a look at your cabin air filter for you.

A New Battery In Marlborough

Hello Marlborough drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Marlborough, here’s some auto advice to help you.

There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.

The Dupo weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the pickup engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold MO weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.

So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in MO where winters can get really chilly, it is vital to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.

The battery that was installed in your pickup at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.

Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your pickup without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your pickup has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Marlborough and East Carondelet do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.

Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Marlborough lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your pickup has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Dupo.

Your courteous service advisor at Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your pickup. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.

Car batteries aren’t cheap in Marlborough, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is essential and can help you get the most out of your battery.

The Carsmart Auto Service Guide To Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What’s that? And what’s it for? I’ve been told by my service professional that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?

Do these questions sound familiar? They’re not uncommon for Marlborough auto owners. A lot of us in Marlborough don’t know what a differential is or what it’s for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it’s more critical to the operation of your pickup than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.

A differential allows your pickup tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.

The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehicle you drive. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located in the back. For a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is located on the front, but it is usually called a transaxle. Four-wheel drive vehicles have three differentials: one on the front, one in the back, and one in the middle. This center differential compensates for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Your differential contains strong gears that need to be protected from dirt, debris, water and other contaminants. A differential is sometimes referred to as a “gear box.” The work of these gears is to transfer power from the pickup drive train to the wheels.

Your differential needs fluid to lubricate and cool the gears. This fluid, even though enclosed in the “gear box,” can get dirty because the gears grind down over time, releasing tiny bits of themselves into the fluid. Also, the additives in the differential fluid break down and need to be replaced. That’s why vital preventive maintenance for your pickup needs to include servicing the differential.

Your owner’s manual can give you recommendations on how often to service your differential. But you should also consult with your courteous Carsmart Auto Service service professional. Carsmart Auto Service can give you some good auto advice on whether your vehicle needs to be serviced more frequently. For example, if you drive in hot or cold Marlborough weather conditions, your differential will need to have its fluid changed more often.

Severe conditions will also affect your car care routine, and your differential. Check your owner’s manual for a definition of “severe service” conditions that affect your vehicle. Examples may include driving with frequent stops and starts, a lot of short trips around Dupo, hot or cold MO weather conditions, and towing.

Off-roading is particularly hard on a vehicle’s differential. If you are an off-roader, especially if you cross MO streams or waterways, it is important that you service your differential more frequently than the recommendations suggest.

Properly servicing your differential will extend its life and keep you out of Marlborough auto repair shops. A smooth ride for Dupo auto owners is the result of proper preparation and smart choices.