Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category
American Car Center knows that you have things to do and places to be which can often mean bringing along bulky belongings. Roof rack systems are designed to safely haul oversized sporting gear, camping equipment, or other cargo safely, allowing you to enjoy an active lifestyle with less fuss and more fun. Rack manufacturers and sellers have web-based or in-store selection tools that make it simple to find the system best for your vehicle and activities. Let’s better understand your vehicle’s roof type and the parts of a base rack system.
Vehicle roof types
- A bare roof has no built-in attachment points. A clip-fitted rack snug to the vehicle’s door jams is a reliable solution for a bare roof.
- A raised-rail roof has rails that run parallel to the doors with space between the rail and the roof itself.
- A flush-rail roof has rails that run parallel to the doors with no space in between it and the roof body.
- A fixed-point roof has four (hidden) attachment points allowing for quick and easy installation of base towers. Some vehicles with a raised- or flush-rail roofs vehicles also come with these built-in mounting points.
- A track roof is one with long metal channels or slots that run parallel to the doors.
A base rack system has only a few key parts
The tower (foot) of the roof rack carries the weight on for cargo and are placed at the roof’s strongest points.
The vehicle-specific mount or fitting kit – clips that attach the towers to the roof and rubber bottom pads that rest between the roof and tower – fasten the towers to your vehicle.
The crossbars are the usually two bars that run across the width of the roof, to which activity-specific
Accessories, such as cargo carriers, can be attached. Crossbars support the weight of all the gear you’re adding to the roof and transfer the weight to the towers.
Again, rack system manufacturers and retailers make it easy for you to find one best suited to your vehicle. Better yet, most today systems are fully complete and assembled; they are ready to be mounted right out of the box on the roof rails with all installation tools provided.
Simple Steps to Installing a Fully Assembled Rack
The commonly purchased fully assembled rack is easily mounted to a vehicle’s rails:
- Place both tower/crossbar combinations loosely on the roof rails;
- Adjust their placement so that they are centered on the roof for best weight distribution and ease of access;
- Tighten and secure the four mounting points using the knob and any provided locking mechanism;
- Check your work, making certain the connection points are solid.
Watch the American Car Center video guide, Easily Install Your Roof Rack, for an easy how-to guide to mounting a pre-assembled base rack.
A roof rack is a must for taking your lifestyle essentials with you as you explore our beautiful parks, trails, rivers or streams or your cherished possessions to new beginnings. American Car Center has more than 50 incredible locations with an amazing inventory of SUVs, cars, and trucks – each with a limited warranty of up to 3 years or 36,000 miles, oil changes included – to match your summertime adventures. Don’t delay, The King of Credit Wants to Approve You Today!
In summer, car and trucks are a lot like people – they are happiest when kept cool. A belt or hose failure can cause an overheated engine, the loss of power steering and loss of the electrical charging system, potentially requiring expensive repairs. Thankfully, easy preventive maintenance of hoses and belts can help keep your vehicle’s engine cool under the sun and your summer driving vacation plans on track.
Made of flexible rubber compounds which absorb vibration, hoses are the cooling system’s weakest structural component. Manufactured to hold coolant under pressure, hoses are subjected to the extremes of hot and cold, dirt, oils, acids and sludge. Hoses slowly deteriorate from the inside; a weakened hose may rupture from pressure, heat, or constant flexing. The most susceptible areas of the hose are nearest to clamps where it connects to the engine or radiator.
Simple and minor maintenance can help prevent coolant hose failure:
- Check the white coolant-recovery tank’s markings to confirm correct the fluid level. Also check for white, pink, blue or light green, blue, or pink coolant residue in the engine bay – a sign of leakage.
- When the engine is cool, give the hoses a squeeze near the clamps, feeling for soft spots. A good hose will be firm yet pliable.
- Inspect for visible cracks, nicks, depressions or bulges.
- Look for oil contamination or fraying near the connection points.
- Inspect for parallel cracks in bends, a hardened glossy surface or abrasive damage.
- Flush & replace the coolant according to the owner’s manual as clean coolant will lessen deterioration.
Many of the same things – heat, ozone, oil and abrasion – that damage hoses also harm a vehicle’s belts. Most cars and trucks have one multi-grooved serpentine belt to drive the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor. A belt should be changed when it shows signs of excessive wear.
- Inspect the serpentine belt for cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.
- Look for signs of excessive glazing on the belt’s sides. Glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat or crack.
- Twist the belt to check for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks of the grooves on the underside.
- Listen for the sounds of a belt-tension problem: high-pitched whining, chirping and vibration.
Speak to a qualified technician about any cooling issues and always consult your owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures.
It’s that simple. A quick under-the-hood inspection of your vehicle’s hoses and belts, lends peace-of-mind that your summer driving will be smooth and carefree!
Visit a conveniently located American Car Center today for exceptional service and let us find for you a great vehicle from our vast inventory of late-model, low-mileage cars, trucks and SUVs. We make it easy for hard-working people across the Southeast to drive a high-quality vehicle no matter their credit history.