Monthly Archives: June 2018

Headlight Restoration

Question: My headlight lenses are all cloudy. I checked with my Portland vehicle dealership about replacing them and it is very expensive. What else can I do? Hometown Garage Answer: You are right - replacing a headlight assembly can cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily there is something Portland citizens can do about cloudy headlamps. First let's talk about why the headlamps are so cloudy. Back in the day, Portland vehicles' headlights were glass. These were heavy, could crack, and had practical limits as to their shape, so auto manufacturers started using plastic headlight lenses. CT road grime and UV light take a toll on the plastic surface. Over time the lenses get cloudy and discolored. Just look at the vehicles in any Portland parking lot and you'll see a lot of that. Because a disproportionate amount of traffic accidents happen at night, smart Portland citizens make sure they have maximum visibility. Cloudy lense ... read more

Fuel Saving Tips - Tire Pressure

Under-inflated tires waste gas. Think how hard it is to walk in sand; you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When Portland drivers tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from one location to another.  Portland residents should always check their tire pressure when they gas up. If they're low, even just a little bit, bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of the driver's door that gives the vehicle's recommended tire pressure. And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops twenty percent below recommendations. That's severely under-inflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak, get it fixed right away. We can get that done quickly at Hometown Garage in Portland. Get some air and save so ... read more

Radiator Fan

Portland drivers who are old enough have probably heard the term “fan belt." Back in the day, the radiator fan in your vehicle was turned by a belt driven by the engine. There are still belt driven fans, although most are now driven by the serpentine belt. But most Portland vehicles now have electric fans that draw fresh air across the radiator to cool it. As coolant/antifreeze circulates in the cooling system, it captures heat from the engine and flows into the radiator. Air cools the radiator and the coolant in it before it sends it back into the engine to pick up some more heat. Now your engine has an ideal temperature range in which it is most efficient: it shouldn't be too hot or too cool. The electric radiator fans help maintain the ideal temperature. A switch mounted in a cooling system passage checks the temperature of the coolant. If the coolant is at the low end of the range, the switch turns off the fan motor. When the coolant rises to a certain tempera ... read more

Timing Belt

Question: My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to repair his engine. What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt? Hometown Garage Answer: Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Portland drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here's a brief overview of what the timing belt does: Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it's pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is important that the opening and closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly. Beyond that, on some vehicle engines, the valves actually extend i ... read more

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