Auto Pro https://autoprogo.com We Keep Your Car on the Go! Mon, 07 Oct 2019 15:59:22 -0400 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://autoprogo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-auto_pro_512x512-32x32.png Auto Pro https://autoprogo.com 32 32 Blend Box https://autoprogo.com/blend-box/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 15:59:17 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=750 You push a few buttons or turn some knobs, and voila! You have air blowing on your feet or cool air chilling your face. But how does all that happen? Well, it’s all thanks to the air blend box. This box lives behind your dash and helps direct the right temperature of air where you want it.

Let’s break it down. First there is the blower fan that circulates your FL air through the heating/air conditioning system. The fan can blow at different speeds, depending on how much hot or cold air is comfortable. The blend box can either pull fresh air from outside or recirculate air from inside the cabin. Tampa drivers often choose to recirculate air when first starting the vehicle until it starts to either cool down or warm up.

Another thing the blend box does is direct air over the heater core to warm the air,  over the air conditioner evaporator core to chill it or a blend of hot and cold to get it just right. From there the blend box can direct the air out into the passenger compartment through the floor vents, the panel vents, the defroster or a combination. All of this allows Tampa drivers to customize the climate just the way they like it.

Some vehicles have different climate control zones, like one for the driver and one for the passenger – or even more zones for the back seat. Additional blend boxes are used for this. Climate controls can be manually adjusted or computer controlled, depending on your vehicle.

The blower motor and all of the little actuator motors that open and close the various blend doors can fail and need to be replaced. Most new vehicles come with a cabin air filter. This filter cleans the air before it gets into the blend box. If you neglect to change the cabin air filter, it can get clogged, smelly, and even allow mildew and other microorganisms to build up in the blend box.

The pros at Auto Pro in Tampa can perform a heating/air conditioning system cleaning service that will clean and disinfect the system, restoring a fresh clean scent. If you are not getting enough hot or cold air, your service center can inspect your system, diagnose the cause and set things right. And don’t forget to replace your cabin air filter on schedule. If you drive in the dusty Tampa conditions or where there is a lot of pollen or other pollutants, you may need to replace your cabin air filter more frequently.

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Differential Service https://autoprogo.com/differential-service/ Mon, 09 Sep 2019 18:16:45 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=746 When you take a corner in your car, the outside wheels have a slightly longer distance to go than the inside wheels.  That means that the outside wheels must turn a bit faster than the inside.  The piece of mechanical wizardry that makes this possible is called the differential.

The differential allows the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns without the wheels binding or hopping.  If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is on the rear axle.  You’ve seen that bulge in the middle of the axle when you’re behind a truck – that’s the differential.

If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the differential function is handled by your transaxle.  Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles have differentials on both axles.  They also have a center differential or a transfer case between the front and rear axles to compensate for speed differences between the front and rear.

Because all the power of the engine is transferred through the various differentials, you can imagine that they are very strong and are built last a long time.  That’s why it’s important to keep your differential properly lubricated.  Differential fluid cools and protects the gears.

Your service technician will check differential fluid level and top it off if necessary.  With low fluid, the differential will run too hot and wear prematurely.  Ask your service advisor for when it’s recommended to change your differential fluid.  Fresh fluid will extend the life of your differential.  Your technician will also inspect the u-joints which connect your drive shaft to the differential and may recommend service.  Some u-joints can be lubricated as part of a routine lube, oil and filter change as well. Now, of course differentials eventually wear out and need to be replaced.  You might notice a strange noise from your axle area as one of the first warning signs.  When the differential shows signs of failing, it’s important to repair it.  If you leave it too long and it freezes up when you’re driving you could lose control of your vehicle and other parts like the axle, driveshaft and transmission could be damaged.

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Tips on TPS (The Throttle Position Sensor) https://autoprogo.com/tips-on-tps-the-throttle-position-sensor/ Tue, 20 Aug 2019 22:14:37 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=740 When you step on the accelerator, you expect your vehicle to speed up, not slow down.  But, what if it doesn’t?  That can be a big problem.

The answer may be a problem with the sensor that helps your vehicle determine that the proper mix of air and fuel for your engine.  It’s called the TPS, or Throttle Position Sensor. Here’s how it works.

Your vehicle’s throttle opens when you need more air to accelerate and closes when you need less.  The throttle position sensor does pretty much what its name says: it senses the position of the throttle.  That reading, along with air flow measurements, is sent to the vehicle’s computer.  The computer factors in air temperature, how fast the engine is turning over, and air flow to determine how much fuel to supply the engine.  If everything’s working correctly, you’ll get the acceleration you want along with the fuel economy you expect. 

However, if the TPS fails, your vehicle won’t accelerate properly or have the power you expect when you push down on the accelerator pedal.  Your vehicle could even accelerate on its own.  Another symptom could be reduced engine power.  You also may see your Check Engine light come on. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s wise to get over to see your NAPA AutoCare Center soon.  When your TPS stops working correctly, it can leave you behind the wheel of a vehicle that is not safe to drive. In case of a total TPS failure, most vehicles have a “limp home” or “limp in” mode that will allow you to at least get off the road to a safer spot. 

Your qualified technician can diagnose the problem and install the correct TPS replacement part.  The new unit may need to be reprogramed to work in harmony with other software in your vehicle. 

Let’s face it; computers are a big part of today’s vehicles.  It’s important to keep them—and the sensors that provide them information—working right so you can travel safely down the road. 

Auto Pro
1801 East Fowler Ave. Ste. C
Tampa, FL 33612
813-866-7411

TPS
TPS Location
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Wiper Blades https://autoprogo.com/wiper-blades/ Tue, 13 Aug 2019 17:31:37 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=736 Today at Auto Pro we’re going to talk about windshield wiper blades. Now that may seem like a pretty mundane topic, but think about how important your vision is: We protect our eyes. If we need contacts or glasses, we taken care of them too. And, well, wiper blades are critical to our vision when we drive.

We really ought to think about wipers as part of an important safety system. We should think about maintaining safety – not just responding when our wiper blades fail.  How many times have you been caught off-guard being in a storm with a streaky windshield you can barely see out off or with no washer fluid?

Wiper blades live outside the vehicle, exposed to all elements. It’s no wonder that they get dry, brittle and torn.

We recommend changing wiper blades twice a year – before they’re so damaged that they don’t work.

Some of us live in areas with more extreme weather and temperature conditions. You might just live somewhere where it rains more so your blades wear out faster, or you travel a lot and use your wipers to clean bugs and road grime.

When it comes to wiper blades, it’s important to think of it as maintaining this safety component by replacing your blades before they fail. That’ll keep you seeing clearly in all conditions.

Auto Pro
1801 East Fowler Ave. Ste. C
Tampa, FL 33612
813-866-7411

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Exhaust https://autoprogo.com/exhaust/ Mon, 05 Aug 2019 18:50:35 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=731 We’ve all heard a car or truck that needs a new muffler.  But there’s more to the exhaust system than just the muffler. 

The exhaust system has three main functions:

  1. To safely get hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe
  2. Treats the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants
  3. Muffle the engine noise

Exhaust gas is poisonous.  You don’t want it getting into the passenger compartment.  For example, carbon monoxide can be deadly.  That’s why you should never run your engine in a closed garage.  If you have a leak somewhere in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and make you sick or even kill you.

If you smell exhaust in the vehicle, roll down your windows and get it inspected.  You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak.  Sometimes the sound from an exhaust leak is loud and obvious.  Sometimes it’s a ticking sound when you start the engine that goes away as you drive.  That could be a small crack or a bad fitting that leaks when it’s cold but seals up when the metal heats and expands.

Now, let’s address the environmental issues.  Exhaust gas contains several pollutants and particulates.  The catalytic converter scrubs some of those harmful substances.  And diesel vehicles have systems to deal with soot.  Catalytic converters eventually wear out and need to be replaced.  They’re expensive so you want to help them last as long as possible by keeping the fuel system clean and replacing your air filter.  These components need to be tested for function with an emissions test from time to time.

And that leaves the muffler.  The beauty of getting a new muffler is that you can suit your taste:  Some want whisper quiet and others like a little rumble.  And some like a roar.

Give us a call

Auto Pro
1801 East Fowler Ave. Ste. C
Tampa, FL 33612
813-866-7411

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Evaporative Emissions Control https://autoprogo.com/evaporative-emissions-control/ Thu, 01 Aug 2019 19:32:13 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=728 The oil and fuel in your vehicle give off vapors that are very harmful to the environment. Evaporative emissions control systems – EVAP for short – are mandated in all cars and trucks. The EVAP system is there to capture these vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program.

The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the top 5 reasons for a Check Engine light to be illuminated. Your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Pro service advisor can pull the trouble codes and begin a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault.

With the proper equipment, your technician can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine light.

While EVAP problems don’t generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact that they trigger the Check Engine light can mask other more problems for Tampa residents if left unaddressed. After all, there are hundreds of conditions that can trigger a Check Engine light, but there is only one light. So if the light is on because of an EVAP issue you haven’t fixed and another arises, you won’t be alerted to the new condition because the light is already on.

Of course, if you live in a jurisdiction in FL that requires emissions testing to register your vehicle, you won’t pass the test until you make the repairs. An EVAP trouble code could be caused by something as simple as a loose or worn gas cap, a leak in a hose, problems with a purge valve or even a rusty fuel filler pipe.

When your Check Engine light comes on, bring your vehicle into Auto Pro in Tampa and let us check it out. Your Auto Pro service advisor will be able to diagnose the system and work out a plan to address any problems that are uncovered. There’s peace of mind for Tampa drivers that comes from knowing what is wrong and taking care of it.

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Auto Pro Tech Question on Tire Wear https://autoprogo.com/auto-pro-tech-question-on-tire-wear/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 17:29:50 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=724 Auto Pro Tech Question:
My name is Dan. My vehicle tires wore out early and I had to replace them. What can I do to make my tires last longer?

Auto Pro Answer:
Dan’s problem – premature tire wear – is very common for Tampa residents. Here are several ways to lengthen the life of your tires:

First, tires lose air pressure over time, so check them at least once a month and fill them up as necessary. A sticker on the driver’s side door jamb has the recommended pressure.

Tire rotation is also important to increase the life of tires. Your front tires take the brunt of stopping and steering forces so they wear faster than the rear tires. They should be rotated regularly so that all four tires wear more evenly. Talk to us at Auto Pro in Tampa for more information.

Out of balance wheels can also cause a tire to wear too fast. Tampa drivers who feel a vibration in their seat or steering wheel may have a wheel out of balance.

Finally, bad wheel alignment and worn or damaged suspension can chew through a tire very quickly. Ask your friendly pros at Auto Pro to have your tires inspected for signs of premature wear. Your technician will be able to pinpoint the cause and get it taken care of.

Give us a call

Auto Pro
1801 East Fowler Ave. Ste. C
Tampa, FL 33612
813-866-7411

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Your Nose Knows Gasoline https://autoprogo.com/your-nose-knows-gasoline/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:24:30 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=720 Each time we fuel up our vehicles, we get a little whiff of gasoline, so the smell is very familiar. There shouldn’t be any gasoline smell in or around your vehicle when you are away from the gas station. When you do smell gasoline away from the gas pump, the cause ranges from something simple to something that can be very dangerous.

Let’s start with the simple causes. It could be a loose or faulty gas cap, or you might be missing one entirely. You may also have a leak in the fuel tank vent hose. These are relatively straightforward things to repair. By the way, because your vehicle has fans that draw in outside air, you may be able to smell these outside fuel leaks inside the cabin.

Here are some other possible sources of a gasoline smell. You may have a leak in your fuel tank, and these are more common than you might think. Fuel tanks can rot or get punctured by road debris. The tank can be fixed or replaced.

The fuel lines can also deteriorate or be damaged by road debris. Vehicles with fuel injectors have high pressure in their fuel lines, so any small holes or leaks can allow vaporized gasoline to escape, sometimes near hot engine parts. Obviously, this is something that a technician should repair as soon as possible.

Another couple of causes? A leak near a fuel injector can also allow small amounts of gasoline to escape. A technician can replace the seals or O-rings if they have deteriorated. Also, you could have gasoline leaking out of your vehicle’s charcoal canister, which is a device that prevents evaporating gasoline vapors inside your fuel tank from venting out to the atmosphere. This will often cause the Check Engine light to illuminate.

Gasoline fumes and leaks can be dangerous for a couple of reasons: they could be a fire hazard and inhaling fumes can cause health problems. It’s always wise to get fuel leaks checked out at your NAPA AutoCare Center as soon as you can.

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The Auto Pro Guide to Buying a Used Vehicle https://autoprogo.com/the-auto-pro-guide-to-buying-a-used-vehicle-2/ Wed, 15 May 2019 20:36:25 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=716 The Auto Pro Guide to Buying a Used Vehicle

Used vehicles are certainly an economical choice for budget-conscious drivers. But how can we know we’re getting a good used vehicle and not just inheriting someone else’s problems?

There are good used vehicles for sale. Cars are sold when families upsize, when families downsize or even when someone just wants a new car. So the used vehicle may be just fine. But some used car owners sell vehicles because they don’t want to deal with developing or existing problems.

When you’re considering buying a used vehicle, ask for service records. Check to see if the recommended schedules for preventive maintenance have been followed. If so, you probably have a great used vehicle on your hands. If there aren’t any service records, then assume the worst.

Take the vehicle you’re looking at to Auto Pro for a pre purchase inspection which will reveal many basic or developing problems. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Pro service advisor about concerns you had on the test drive. Get a heads-up on needed repairs or maintenance.

Previously leased vehicles are often tempting to used vehicle buyers because they are generally newer models with low mileage and have been factory-cleaned. Be cautious, however. Many drivers of lease vehicles don’t bother with preventive maintenance because they know they’ll be turning the vehicles in. Again, ask for maintenance records, take the vehicle in for a full-service oil change and consult with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Auto Pro about any problems the vehicle may have.

Once you purchase a used vehicle, give it some tender loving car care. Give it a thorough cleaning, inside and out — and don’t forget the engine compartment. A good wax will make it look and feel “new.” And, of course, stay on top of preventive maintenance. Used vehicles can last a good, long time if they’re properly cared for. They’re economical to buy, and they can keep on saving us drivers money if we look after them.

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Transmission Service https://autoprogo.com/transmission-service/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 15:27:55 +0000 https://autoprogo.com/?p=712 Question:
My friend just had a very expensive transmission repair. How can drivers like myself avoid transmission trouble?

Auto Pro Answer:
Florida drivers may have noticed a trend of engines becoming more and more powerful in recent years. At the same time, fuel economy has been improving in nearly every motor vehicle segment in FL. More power and better economy have always been at odds. Some of the improvement in fuel economy has been due to engine design, but most of the increases can be credited to advances in transmission technology.

Every engine has a sweet spot in which it most efficiently makes power. This is often referred to by technicians as the power band – the optimal engine speed (measured in revolutions per minute, or RPM). The computers that control what gear your automatic transmission is in also try to keep it in the right gear in order to maintain optimal engine speed – whatever your Tampa driving conditions may be. Modern automatic transmissions have anywhere between four and ten speeds. The more “speeds” your transmission has, the more time your engine can operate at peak efficiency. Needless to say, transmissions have become more sophisticated.

Transmissions are cooled and lubricated by transmission fluid. This pressurized fluid is directed through small passages to effect gear changes. When transmission fluid gets old and contaminated, the small passages can become plugged, which adversely affects shifts. The dirty fluid circulating in the transmission can eat away at gaskets and seals, causing internal leaks that also hurt shifting. This is why some recommend that transmissions be serviced from time to time. The interval varies by vehicle, so check your owner’s manual or speak with your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Pro service advisor about your transmission service recommendations.

Old, contaminated fluid is removed and new fluid is installed. Keeping up with the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule helps prevent internal damage that may result in a transmission rebuild. Let Auto Pro help you extend the life of your vehicle and prevent repairs with recommended preventive maintenance service.

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