Your engine is one of, if not the most important major component of your car. Without it working in good order, it's impossible for you to go anywhere. If it runs inefficiently, you may face a whole host of problems that can be avoided with relatively simple maintenance. At Dow's Automotive Service we provide all of the expertise and parts needed to keep your engine running happily and at peak efficiency.
One of the simplest ways to determine the condition of your engine is to examine the oil that drains out during an oil change. The oil circulates through much of your engine, so it's a great way to determine the overall health of your car's power plant. Ideally, we want your oil to be darker than when it went in with uniform viscosity and no solid particles. Solid particles are a major concern because they mean that something inside the engine, be it a seal or anything else, is breaking apart. Engines contain a lot of finely balanced mechanisms with only a few micrometers of space for moving parts to clear each other. Any solid particles moving through your engine can cause a massive amount of damage very quickly. At Dow's Automotive Service we perform expert analysis on your oil to make sure that everything is working perfectly within your engine's internals, and we carry the best oils to replace that fluid in your vehicle.
Another simple item that can save your engine untold misery, is the coolant fluid, which keeps everything running at the correct temperature. The many moving parts inside your engine, as well as the explosions taking place within its combustion chambers, generate a significant amount of heat. As with any machine, your engine has temperature tolerances at which it happily operates. Once those tolerances are exceeded, things can start to go wrong. A common side effect of overheating can be radiator failure. The water that cools the engine becomes heated and pressurizes the radiator past a safe level causing the scalding water to spray out. This dangerous problem can be avoided with the engine coolants used by Dow's Automotive Service.
To work efficiently, your car's engine needs the ingredients for combustion to be delivered in the purest form possible. To this end your engine contains a number of filters which keep everything nice and clean. Dow's Automotive Service's engine thorough maintenance keeps checks on your air, oil, and fuel filters, replacing them as needed to keep your car running at its highest efficiency.
Fuel Injector Cleaning
Working alongside your spark plugs are the injectors that shoot a precise amount of fuel into the combustion chamber. Over time these injectors can become clogged with contaminants from fuel. Dow's Automotive Service carries a line of specially developed injector cleaning solutions which open the injector tubing back up and get your car back to making the most power that it can.
Engine accessories such as the alternator and air conditioning compressor rely on belts that take power from the engine to run them. Over time, these belts can become frayed and damaged. If your alternator belt snaps, for example, your engine won't be able to generate the electricity it needs to charge the battery and keep itself running. Dow's Automotive Service can keep a close eye on the health of your accessory belts and ensure that all your engine's pulleys are lined up perfectly to allow for the maximum amount of use from your belts.
Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an engine. Since 1990, fuel injectors have completely replaced carburetors as the primary means of getting gasoline into the engine. A fuel injector atomizes the fuel by forcibly pumping it through a small nozzle (under high pressure). Failure of the fuel injection system means poor performance and ultimately destroys the engine. Make sure your vehicle's fuel injection system is maintained properly. For all your fuel injection maintenance and replacement needs, call 603-436-9886 or visit Dow's Automotive Service today.
An ignition system is a system for igniting (using an electric spark) a mixture of fuel and air in a gasoline engine. A properly working ignition system means a properly starting engine and high performance from your car. For all your ignition system maintenance and replacement needs, call or visit Dow's Automotive Service today.
Ignition Wires & Cables
Ignition cables also known as spark plug wires are an important part of your car's ignition system. They transfer the spark from the ignition coil to spark plugs that ignite the mixture of fuel and air. The mixture starts the engine. Over time, ignition wires and cables get weak and break down. This makes it impossible for the spark to reach the engine cylinders. This results in the engine misfiring. The car will eventually fail to start. If it does start, it will run poorly. Common symptoms of faulty ignition cables and wires are: poor gas mileage, engine misfires, engine light is on, and engine may vibrate. If your car needs new ignition cables and wires, call or visit Dow's Automotive Service in Portsmouth, NH 03801. Here, you will have the wires and cables changed by a top-rated mechanic.
A spark plug delivers electric current to the combustion chamber from the ignition system. Spark plugs that haven't been changed for a long time can cause ignition problems. At Dow's Automotive Service, we have automotive experts who will check and replace your spark plugs. For all your spark plug repair or replacement needs, call 603-436-9886 or visit Dow's Automotive Service today.
Whether you're in need of simple oil service, or more significant engine maintenance, call Dow's Automotive Service at 603-436-9886 to learn how we can help you get back on the road quickly!
Check Engine Light Questions and Answers
Q: Is it okay to drive with the engine light on?A: The short answer, "No." The longer explanation is the light may indicate a serious engine failure and continuing to use your car as if nothing is wrong could result in a very expensive repair bill. The check engine light means you should stop driving and have your car looked at as soon as possible by a professional at Dow's Automotive Service in Portsmouth.
Q: What could cause a check engine light to come on?A: Come by Dow's Automotive Service and we can diagnose the reasons for a check engine light turning on. It can range from something serious like a faulty catalytic converter or potential engine failure to something simple like a loose gas cap or the need for a simple 50K or 100K mile manufacturer maintenance check.
Q: What is the most common problem with my check engine light?A: A loose gas cap is the most common cause of a check engine light coming on. But the best method to determine why the check engine light is on is to have a professional at Dow's Automotive Service read the diagnostic code in the car's internal OBD computer.
Q: What does an intermittent flashing check engine light mean?A: Flashing check engine lights warn of severe situations requiring immediate attention. Get your vehicle to an auto repair shop as quickly as possible or get it safely parked and call a tow truck to take it to your preferred auto repair shop.
Q: What does a solid check engine light mean?A: A steady check engine light indicates a non-emergency issue. Come by Dow's Automotive Service and we can help.
Q: Can I turn off my check engine light myself?A: It is a very bad idea to try to resolve a check engine light yourself. The DIY method to turn off a check engine light without a scanner is disconnect the battery cables, wait 1 minute, and reconnect the battery cables. If the underlying issue has been resolved, the light should go off. But modern automobiles rely on battery power to maintain important systems such as the O2 sensor and ADAS systems. By disconnecting the battery, you run the risk of damaging these delicate and expensive to replace computer-driven components. If your check engine light is on come by Dow's Automotive Service in Portsmouth. Turning off a check engine light is often inexpensive and simple.
Serpentine Belt Question and Answer
Q: How do I know if I need to replace my car's serpentine belt?A: If your serpentine belt is failing, you may notice performance issues with your vehicle. The vehicle may frequently overheat. Your air conditioning or power steering may fail to work or not work properly. You may notice your vehicle battery failing to recharge if the alternator is affected by a bad serpentine belt. If you start to notice any of these issues we encourage you to bring your vehicle to Dow's Automotive Service as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems and breakdown.
Spark Plug Questions and Answers
Q: What else should I replace when replacing spark plugs?A: If you are considering having your vehicle's spark plugs replaced, there's a high probability that your spark plug wires need changing as well. Ignition wires become brittle over time. Old ignition wires can break and cause misfires or declining fuel economy.
Q: How do you know when a spark plug needs to be replaced?A: The most common sign a spark plug needs replacing is the feeling that the car's engine is hesitating when accelerating, but other signs may include misfiring at start up, rough idling, sluggish acceleration, declining fuel economy and engine knocking.
Dow's has been taking care of my cars for 18 years, since back when they were on State and Middle. They have always done excellent work, and as inexpensively as possible. I have sent many friends there and they have had the same experience.