Monthly Archives: October 2017

Check Engine Light

When your Check Engine light comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. That's perfectly understandable. That same Check Engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap. There's a very common misconception that the trouble codes stored in your engine computer when your check engine light comes on will specifically identify a problem. It's really more like pointing to the symptoms of a problem. Call Hometown Garage at 860.342.5777 for help with your Check Engine light. Think of taking your temperature. Say it's 101°. Your heat sensor – the thermometer – tells you that your temperature is out of the normal range. But it doesn't tell you why you have a fever. Is it the flu or a sinus infection? You need more information, more tests. For any ... read more

Steering

Steering is one of the things we Portland drivers take for granted in our vehicles. Let's break it down into two areas: first, the power assist and second,  the actual parts that steer the vehicle. Most drivers in Portland, CT, who are under 40 have never driven a vehicle without power steering. Most vehicles in CT today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer. The pump is usually driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles in CT have an electric pump. Some Portland vehicles even have an electric motor that directly powers the steering. The important thing to keep in mind is that these pumps and motors will eventually wear out and the hoses will start to leak. Portland drivers can postpone that day by having a power steering service at Hometown Garage from time to time. We will drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. This rem ... read more

Axles

Question: I hear a clunking sound from my front wheel when I make a turn. What could be the problem? Question: I hear a clunking sound from my front wheel when I make a turn. What could be the problem? Hometown Garage Answer: One possible cause of the problem is a worn axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles have axles that transfer power from the transmission to your front wheels. There is one for each front wheel. These axles are called constant velocity axles or CV axles for short. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have axles that are in back and run between the differential and the rear wheels. Of course, all-wheel drive vehicles will have an axle at each wheel. When a front CV axle goes bad, it will make a clunking noise as you make a slow turn. When a rear axle goes bad, the clunking or moaning sound will be in the back. Now there really isn't any preventive maintenance you can have performed to make your axles last longer, but you can ha ... read more

Alignments

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Middletown area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that you won't notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around when you're out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out faster because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, i ... read more

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