Monthly Archives: September 2018

Battery Replacement

Question:When do I need to replace my battery? Hometown Garage Answer: That's a good question for Portland drivers. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced – but some are replaced before their time. Look, if your battery is dying and you need a jump-start, it could very well be that you have a bad battery. But Portland drivers should have Hometown Garage test the battery first to see if it's actually bad. The problem could be parasitic drain or a bad alternator that's not properly charging your battery. And Portland drivers in this situation also need to have their service advisor check their alternator and have it tested. A surprisingly high percentage of “bad” alternators brought into Hometown Garage in Portland are actually just fine: the problem is a worn serpentine belt and/or belt tensioner. If the belt is slipping, it's not sp ... read more

Tech Question on Your Drive Shaft

Hometown Garage Tech Question: I'm Doug. A few years ago I was driving my '85 powder blue Dodge Ramcharger with about 80,000 miles (129,000 kilometers) on it. I was going up a hill in Portland and heard a noise like a tin can rolling down the road. I looked back and saw my drive shaft bouncing down the hill. I put it in four wheel drive and drove to my Portland mechanic to get it fixed. What could I have done to prevent that? Hometown Garage Tech Answer: Now that's quite a story. Doug was fortunate that his vehicle had a part-time four wheel drive system that would let him get home without a rear drive shaft. This “case of the missing drive shaft” highlights the need for regular inspections. Now most drivers in Portland are familiar with recommendations for preventive maintenance services like oil changes and coolant replacement. What you may not know is that there are also recommendations for inspections at various interval ... read more

Serpentine Belt

You know that long belt that snakes around the front of your engine? It's called the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine as it turns. It powers your alternatorair conditioning compressor and power steering pump. On some vehicles it also runs the water pumpradiator fan and power brakes. Sounds like a lot of important stuff, doesn't it? If your serpentine belt were to break on one of our Portland, CT, roads, your battery would die in just a short distance. If it runs your fan or water pump, your engine could overheat. And steering and braking could be more difficult. Obviously, the best thing is to replace your serpentine belt before it breaks. Check your owner's manual for when it's recommended that you replace yo ... read more

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