The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is part of preventive maintenance for  Lawrenceville auto owners. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your vehicle’s wheels would have to come from you.


The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer vehicles have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost.

Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system.

Lawrenceville drivers should remember that fluid levels in the power steering system should be checked at every oil change. Low fluid levels can damage the pump, which can be expensive to repair. Low fluid levels may also indicate a leaky hose in the power steering system, so it is a good idea to inspect the hoses, especially if your fluid levels are low.

Power steering fluid breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness. It also gradually collects moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the steering system. So the fluid needs to be replaced occasionally. You should check with your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor at Global Auto Solutions to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your technicians at Global Auto Solutions will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Know that power steering  fluids are not all the same. Your vehicle’s fluids must be compatible with your hoses and seals. Global Auto Solutions can ensure that you get the right fluid for your vehicle, or you can consult your owner’s manual.

Signs that your power steering system is in trouble can include the following: a steering wheel that is hard to turn, auxiliary steering power that cuts in and out, or a whining sound coming from the pump. Also, drivers in Lawrenceville who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

Here’s a tip to prevent  wearing out your pump. In order to protect your steering system you should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system is composed of other components that are vulnerable to wear and tear  or be damaged by rough GA driving conditions. Such parts include the ball-joint, idler arm, steering gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod. Signs that they are in need of attention include play in the steering wheel, a vehicle that wanders, uneven tire wear and a steering wheel that is off-center. Lawrenceville drivers should have their alignment checked annually. This check-up can reveal bent or damaged steering components.

For answers to other questions about your steering system, or for auto advice on any type of vehicle maintenance, check with the team at Global Auto Solutions. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

Global Auto Solutions
2710 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
770.931.0222

Let’s Take A Look At The Spark Plug

In Lawrenceville, GA, the days when Lawrenceville drivers changed their spark plugs every couple of years has ended. Back in the day, spark plugs really did wear out that often. A couple of things are different now…

First, spark plugs are made of better materials that last longer for Lawrenceville drivers and they’re designed better. The second reason spark plugs used to have to be changed in vehicles and other autos was that they were fouled up with carbon deposits. The deposits built up when fuel wasn’t burned completely. With modern engine management controls that just doesn’t happen as often.

Engine control computers precisely time when fuel is injected into the engine and when spark plugs fire. Unless something’s wrong, spark plugs just don’t foul like they used to.

Electricity from the battery goes into a coil that allows power to build up to anywhere from 12,000 to 45,000 volts, depending on the vehicle. The engine management computer tells the coil when to release the power to the spark plug. The electricity travels through a wire from the coil to the spark plug. At the tip of the plug, a spark jumps between two electrodes and ignites the gas in the combustion chamber.

Some engines have more than one coil. Coils wear out and need to be replaced occasionally. Also, spark plug wires can wear out and need to be replaced.

Modern engines used around Lawrenceville are delivering more power and better fuel economy all the time. That’s largely credited to fast engine control computers, advanced sensors, electronic ignition and improvements to the lowly spark plug.

It’ll be interesting to see where future developments take us. One last thought: it’s to have the right kind of spark plug for your vehicle. Because engines are designed to run with different internal temperatures, spark plugs have different designs to work properly within those temperatures. Your Lawrenceville, GA, service advisor at Global Auto Solutions will be able to get the right plugs for your vehicle. And he’ll be able to advise you on when you should replace your spark plugs as well.

Global Auto Solutions
2710 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
770.931.0222
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

Tire Tread Depth for Gwinnett County Drivers

Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.

The Feds don’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider 2/32 of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider 1/32 to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Global Auto Solutions; (just call 770.931.0222) to find out what your requirements are in the Gwinnett County  area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32 inch/1.6 mm of tread left. But does that older standard give Lawrenceville vehicles enough safety?

Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32 inch/3.2 mm. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Lawrenceville vehicles also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Lawrenceville, GA, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving in Gwinnett County area  over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think Lawrenceville drivers will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph/112 kph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32 inch/3.2 mm of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph/89 kph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph/89 kph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph/72 kph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile (.16 km)  of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Lawrenceville drivers follow that far behind the vehicle ahead? Obviously, this is a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.

How do people in Lawrenceville know when their tires are at 4/32 inch/3.2 mm? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just insert an American quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But an American penny gives you 2/32 inch/1.6 mm to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32 inch/3.2 mm.

Tires are a big ticket item, and most people in Lawrenceville, GA, want to get thousands of miles/kilometers out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.

Have  anyone of our Team members at Global Auto Solutions on Lawrenceville Hwy  take a  look at your tires today.  If you need we have a selection to reccommend for your vehicle.

Global Auto Solutions
2710 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
770.931.0222

Check Engine Light ? What’s That ?

Okay. You went to your local Lawrenceville car wash, and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the Check Engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Is something seriously wrong with the vehicle? Perhaps the Check Engine light stops flashing or it  just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the Check Engine light goes off  again. What? Maybe when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or maybe it’s just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary repairs. Maybe or maybe not,however , don’t disregard a check engne light.

What possibly happened at the carwash….

Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered; there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the vehicle engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The Check Engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the Check Engine light to stop flashing. The vehicle doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out.After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

Have questions abut your vehicle? Ask your Global Auto Solutions service advisor.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a Check Engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself; it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your vehicle engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your vehicle Check Engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your vehicle engine. It knows what parameters are normal and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the Check Engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory — which a technician can retrieve — that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The technician uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your vehicle. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.

The pros at Global Auto Solutions respond to a trouble code in your vehicle’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.

Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem — good medical advice unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself — good auto advice unless you’re a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market, and some Lawrenceville auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your vehicle engine’s  computer for you. But these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Global Auto Solutions in Lawrenceville. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer-specific codes. That’s why our manager at Global Auto Solutions spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Lawrenceville area auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Lawrenceville area parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to Global Auto Solutions and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it likely won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good vehicle care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed — and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s schedule an appointment or visit us at Global Auto Solutions in Lawrenceville, Ga , you’ll be glad you did.

Global Auto Solutions
2710 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
770.931.0222

October Promotion At GlobalAutoSol Lawrenceville

We welcome everyone to take advantage of our October promotion!

As a way to welcome new customers and thank our loyal existing customers. Now and throughout the month of October, we will give 15% off your invoice for every vehicle brought in.  This offer expires November 1st 2017. Click here to schedule your appointment today! Don’t forget to mention the promocode AUTOSOL15