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Gunter Automotive Launches NEW Website!

Leave a comment We got a new look! Gunter Automotive of Lawrenceville, GA, has launched a new website. We understand that the web is taking over how our customers are looking for businesses and services. Our goal is to make sure that our quality auto repair services can be easily found on the web! Feel free to browse around our new website and let us know what you think. Please come back frequently to check out the latest news, photos, advice & promotions. By taking your vehicle to a NAPA AutoCare Center, you’re getting the best of both worlds. All AutoCare Centers are independently owned shops that take pride in their communities and customers while still being backed up by a national warranty and the trusted NAPA brand.
Steering, Uncategorized

The Straight and Narrow: Power Steering Service at Gunter Automotive Inc.

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Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is a vital part of preventive maintenance for bright Lawrenceville car 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 truck’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 trucks 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 auto owners 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 courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. service specialist to learn how often this fluid should be replaced.

When your fluid is replaced, your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. service professional will remove the old fluid and replace it with new. Power steering fluids are not all created equal; the fluid has to be compatible with your hoses and seals. Your Gunter Automotive Inc. service advisor 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, Lawrenceville auto owners who are not topping off the power steering fluid on schedule may hear squealing coming from the engine belts.

To protect your steering system should never hold the steering wheel in the far right or far left position for more than a few seconds at a time. This can wear out your pump in a hurry.

Preventive maintenance for your steering system primarily involves the power steering components, but your steering system has other parts that can wear out 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 motorists 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 Gunter Automotive Inc.. We can steer you in the right direction when it comes to quality car care.

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Gunter Automotive Inc. Auto Tips and Car Care: Rotor Problems

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The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your vehicle.

Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is vital for Lawrenceville auto owners to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the problem. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake issues that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. tech carry out a thorough review.

Give us a call

Gunter Automotive Inc.
(770) 962-1380
579 Lyle Circle
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Cooling System

Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Gunter Automotive Inc.

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Anyone that drives a car in Lawrenceville knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your truck cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the truck’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn't Dacula car owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your truck engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold GA weather. That would spell disaster for your truck's engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your truck. Auburn drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your truck’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. technician for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among vehicle manufacturers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it's hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the truck cooling system functioning well and doesn't allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don't just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner's manual or ask your Gunter Automotive Inc. tech if you don't know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your truck cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It's easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your truck engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Gunter Automotive Inc. to keep you on the road and help your life in Lawrenceville run more pleasantly.

Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning Maintenance At Gunter Automotive Inc. In Lawrenceville

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Warm weather or cold, Lawrenceville drivers still need to think about their vehicle’s air conditioning. Most Lawrenceville people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Gunter Automotive Inc., we can advise you on your 's preventive maintenance schedules for air conditiong service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

air conditioningMaintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the truck's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Gunter Automotive Inc. in Lawrenceville.

The refrigerant also contains a vital oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Lawrenceville car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At Gunter Automotive Inc., we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Corrosion is what leads to many air conditioning system failures for Lawrenceville motorists. The small leaks mentioned earlier also mean that air and water can leak into the air conditioning system. This can lead to rust and dirt in the internal workings of the air conditioning components. This greatly accelerates wear and, ultimately, failure.

Air conditioning service at Gunter Automotive Inc. starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested.

Then the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the truck's air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.

How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your truck owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your Gunter Automotive Inc. service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years.

If you’re not getting enough cool air out of your AC you know something’s wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor and you should get it checked out at Gunter Automotive Inc.. Replacing a bad A/C clutch in a truck is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.

Lawrenceville drivers need to be aware that there’s one more thing that isn’t directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your truck. And that’s your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that comes from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it’s dirty. If you don’t it’ll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your Gunter Automotive Inc. service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they’re doing your air conditioning service.

Inspection

Lawrenceville Road Trip Preparation

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People from Lawrenceville GA love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a GA road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now you can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.

Heading out on a GA road trip? Stop by Gunter Automotive Inc. before you head out to make sure everything is in good repair.
579 Lyle Circle, Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Call us at (770) 962-1380

Let's look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip and what you might do to avoid them.

It all starts with a thorough trip inspection by your Lawrenceville GA service professionals at Gunter Automotive Inc.. Let's talk about some of the items on the trip inspection checklist.

The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems.

A good tire inspection will start with looking over the condition of the tire itself. Are there signs of uneven tire wear? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tire should be replaced? The answers to these questions may lead to a recommendation to balance or rotate your tires. It may also be time to have an alignment service.

Your brakes should be inspected for function as well as to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You'll also want to know if it's time to service your brake fluid. Over time water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.

While looking under your car, your Lawrenceville auto technician should also inspect your suspension system for worn or damaged parts. If you need new shocks or struts, you'll really notice the difference on your trip once you have them replaced.

Now the second most common vehicle failure is the cooling system. It may be time for a coolant exchange or flush. These services remove old fluid that has become corrosive and replaces it with fresh, clean fluid that restores the effectiveness of your cooling system.

The cooling system inspection will reveal leaks and weakened hoses. Replacing worn parts, like the radiator cap or water pump may be indicated. Even though cooling system failure is fairly common, it's easy and relatively inexpensive to prevent with proper maintenance.

Another thing people often overlook their transmission service. This is very important before a road trip because transmission problems tend to take some time and money to get fixed. Not the way you want to spend your vacation.

Your technician will inspect your belts to see if they should be replaced. A failed belt is at best an inconvenience. He'll also give your exhaust system the once over to make sure there aren't any dangerous leaks that could harm you and your passengers.

Of course, there are the usual things as well. An oil change, engine air filter, fuel system cleaning, a tune up. If you need any of these things, get them done today at Gunter Automotive Inc. – the improved fuel economy will be appreciated on your road trip.

If your heater or air conditioning isn't working as well as you'd like, let your Lawrenceville GA service consultant know at Gunter Automotive Inc..

Some important items that are often overlooked are power steering service, differential service and timing belt replacement. If these things don't ring a bell, have your service consultant check to see if they're due.

Now while you're out seeing the sights, you'll want to make sure you can see the sights. Replace your windshield wipers if they aren't working well. And don't forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don't even realize it. Many people replace their lamps once or twice a year.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip. They'll always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

Suspension

Problems with Suspension Solved at Gunter Automotive Inc. in Lawrenceville

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A vehicle’s suspension system is tough. It can last for years and tens of thousands of miles for Lawrenceville auto owners. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Lawrenceville motorists to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during an automotive analysis. An ineffective suspension system will reduce the driver’s control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous and pricey accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks cut down the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your truck might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately a key safety feature of your vehicle, it’s always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of critical attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other essential signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it’s time for new shocks. Your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. service specialist will check your shocks visually. If they’re leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any of these symptoms warrants an inspection of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Lawrenceville auto owners should never put off suspension repairs. If you actually experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to or better than the original shocks on the truck. The original equipment was designed for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Lawrenceville drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Lawrenceville drivers. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your truck’s handling performance, then you should consider upgrading to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Lawrenceville or tow a trailer, then you should definitely think about getting heavy-duty shocks.

Most Lawrenceville motorists are not likely to show off their suspension system to anyone admiring their truck, but it’s essential just the same. In the end, it’s something all of us Lawrenceville motorists can be enthusiastic about.

Automotive News

Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle In Auburn?

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There is a clear and vocal demand in Lawrenceville and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the GA market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Auburn area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Lawrenceville auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Auburn dealership.

Auburn auto owners should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and fuel efficiency as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Lawrenceville, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You’ll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your Auburn area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in GA.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

Flex fuel vehicles do have lower harmful exhaust emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. And in Auburn, E85 is usually lower in cost than regular gasoline. When gasoline prices fall in GA, however, they can drop below the price of E85. This is to Lawrenceville car owners’ advantage, since the vehicle can run on either fuel, but it negates the benefits of lowered exhaust emissions and lower consumption of fossil fuels.

One piece of Gunter Automotive Inc. auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your truck unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on GA interstates, and many get great MPG. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in Auburn.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Lawrenceville and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Snellville roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Lawrenceville, ask your Gunter Automotive Inc. service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline, and it will get lower fuel economy. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some GA areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.

Hydrogen
Another alternative fuel that has enjoyed a lot of hype in Auburn is the hydrogen cell. The natural appeal is that the only exhaust is water vapor. In other words, hydrogen represents a truly clean-burning fuel. But hydrogen vehicles won’t come into widespread use until refueling stations become widely available here in Lawrenceville and around the country.

Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in GA some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Lawrenceville car owners. These vehicles won’t come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Lawrenceville and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV’s.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

Serpentine Belt

Gunter Automotive Inc. Auto Tips and Car Care: Serpentine Belt Tensioner

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The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining best tension to drive the accessories like the alternator and A/C compressor. The service life of the belt tensioner is the same as the belt itself, so they should always be replaced together. A worn tensioner impedes the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise.

Your auto manufacturer has a recommended mileage interval for serpentine belt replacement. A complete accessory drive system service replaces the serpentine belt, the belt tensioner and any idler pulleys your automobile might have. Your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. service professional can inspect your system and let you know if it’s time for a replacement.

Give us a call

Gunter Automotive Inc.
(770) 962-1380
579 Lyle Circle
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Uncategorized

Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Lawrenceville

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Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern Lawrenceville world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There’s a filter that cleans the air going into our truck’s engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic car makers haven’t been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Snellville auto owners who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don’t have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Cabin air filters are still fairly new in Auburn, so you’ll have to check your truck owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your important preventive maintenance. The owner’s manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in GA is particularly dirty or if you’re prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.


Your courteous Gunter Automotive Inc. service professional can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Auburn area. They’re the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Lawrenceville drivers can usually find them in the truck engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Gunter Automotive Inc. and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer truck, it’s good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your truck will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Auburn auto owners discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay on the road in Lawrenceville.