- Last Chance Auto, Inc.
Air Conditioning Service
The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
The refrigerant carries heat. In modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called r-12 freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes form a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Last Chance Auto, Inc.. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.
Axle Repair and Replacement
Your vehicle’s axles are vital to keeping you safe on the road. They are just as important as other safety devices on your vehicle, such as brakes and tires. Axles bear all of your vehicle’s weight. They connect its wheels and help drive the vehicle. In most cars, the axles are an essential part of the steering system, working with power steering fluid and other components to ensure smooth turning.
When most people think of the word axle, they imagine a bar between two wheels, as seen on wagons or train cars. Most axles, however, are more complex, and they require the eyes and expertise of someone like the team at Last Chance Auto, Inc. to inspect and repair them.
Most of today’s vehicles are built using split axles, which means the wheel on each side of the axle is attached to a separate shaft. Split axles allow independent suspension of the left and right wheels, which allows for a smoother ride. These modern designs also permit the left and right wheels to rotate at different speeds as the vehicle turns. By allowing each side to rotate at different speeds, the split axle improves traction and extends tire life, saving you money in the long run. This particular component is called the differential.
The axle is connected to the wheel by a component called the CV joint. The CV joint boot is a protective flexible covering which covers the joint. If this boot becomes damaged, it can cause brake fluid to leak out, which can cause serious problems.
If your vehicle is not turning as smoothly as usual or you are having problems stopping your car, you might need an axle repair. Bring your vehicle to Last Chance Auto, Inc. today so our team of experts can inspect and fix your vehicle’s axles. If your vehicle’s axles need to be replaced, we can help you find the best axles in NAPA’s inventory and install them for you so you can get back on the road quickly.
Brake Service and Repair
Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Brake System Components That Can Fail
The master cylinder, the heart of the vehicle’s braking system, holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will become ruined.
The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old and dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The brake lines connect to the master cylinder through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve. It regulates the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials, while the disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely, letting the metal of the calipers and cylinders they are attached to grind against the rotors and drums and damage them. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip sounds only when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.
Clean air is enjoyable for everyone. Many large cities now require vehicles to undergo emissions testing in order to minimize air pollution in and around metropolitan areas. If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you cannot complete your annual vehicle registration.
Emissions tests minimize harmful pollutants in the air. With nearly 30 million Americans currently diagnosed with asthma, it is even more important to do all we can to keep air clean. By reducing harmful toxins in the air, we protect everyone.
Here at Last Chance Auto, Inc., we not only perform emissions tests, but we can provide repairs if you fail the test. We are your one-stop shop for emissions testing and repairs. Come by our friendly shop today, and we can ensure your vehicle will not only be safe to drive but more environmentally friendly.
If you live in a larger city, you may be subject to emissions testing. If you fail your emissions test, you may need to get your exhaust system repaired or replaced. The team at Last Chance Auto, Inc. can diagnose and repair your exhaust system and help you pass your emissions test.
While your exhaust system helps reduce noise output from your vehicle, it also significantly reduces harmful emissions from being released into the air. When your muffler and exhaust system functions properly, it significantly reduces your vehicle’s harmful impact on the environment. It also significantly improves the functionality of your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s exhaust system involves several components. The exhaust manifolds right behind the engine collect exhaust gases and connect to cylinder heads. Gases collected by your vehicle’s exhaust manifolds are analyzed by oxygen sensors and refined by catalytic converters before being muffled by the mufflers. By the time these gases reach the muffler, the emissions system has made your car run smoother, quieter and cleaner.
If any of the components of your vehicle’s exhaust system fail, your gas mileage and quality of air around you can be affected. The expert team at Last Chance Auto, Inc. can inspect and repair your entire exhaust system to ensure your vehicle is running cleanly.
Oil Change – Engine Oil
Engine oil is what lubricates a car’s engine, allowing it to run smoothly and last longer. Car owners must maintain a car’s engine by changing the oil and using the oil appropriate for their cars make and model. Every car comes with a “check oil” light and an oil filter under the hood. These components allow car owners to monitor their oil levels and add oil as needed without having to hire a mechanic.
Changing the Oil
An important part of routine car maintenance is changing the oil regularly. The necessary frequency of oil changes has become a point of contention among experts. The Engine Oil Bible maintains that engine oil can’t be changed often enough, but Nordic Group insists that, with the advent of detergent oils and multi-weight oils, some vehicles can go as far as 6,000 miles before needing an oil change. The best course of action is to check the owner’s manual and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
An obvious benefit of changing one’s own oil is saving money, but oil change services frequently advertise bargains. If the “check engine oil” light comes on while driving, this is a strong indication that the car is running low on oil. A driver does not need a mechanic to add oil. However, if the oil light stays on or lights up shortly after adding oil, there may be a leak, and a mechanic should look at the car.
PA State Inspection – Official Inspection Station Pennsylvania
If you live in Collegeville, Pennsylvania or any of its surrounding cities, you may be subject to emissions testing. If you fail your emissions test, you may need to get your exhaust system repaired or replaced. The auto repair experts at Last Chance Auto, Inc. can diagnose the issue and repair your exhaust system to help you pass your yearly emissions test.
While your exhaust system helps reduce noise output from your vehicle, it also significantly reduces harmful emissions from being released into the air. When your vehicle’s muffler and exhaust system functions properly, it significantly reduces your car’s harmful impact on the environment. It also significantly improves the functionality of your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s exhaust system involves many components. The exhaust manifolds right behind the engine collect gases and connect to the cylinder heads. Gases collected by your vehicle’s exhaust manifolds are analyzed by oxygen sensors and refined by catalytic converters before being muffled by the mufflers. By the time these gases reach the muffler, the emissions system has made your car run smoother, quieter and cleaner.
If any of the components of your car’s exhaust system fail, your gas mileage and quality of air around you can be affected. The auto repair professionals at Last Chance Auto, Inc. in Dingman's Ferry, PA can ensure your vehicle is running cleanly by inspecting and repair your entire exhaust system.
The best way to prevent long-term and costly problems with your vehicle is to keep up with its preventative maintenance schedule. One major key to successfully making sure you are doing all you need to do is to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Regardless of your vehicle’s make or model, its owner’s manual will contain a maintenance schedule. Every make and model is different, and standby beliefs such as “You have to change your oil every 3,000 miles,” may not apply to your car.
The maintenance schedule within your owner’s manual is provided by the people who understand your vehicle the best—the company that built it. The manufacturer provides suggestions for how often you need to change your oil, filters, driving belts, timing belts and more.
While some preventative maintenance—such as topping off fluids—can be performed by the vehicle’s owner, other, more complicated procedures should be done by experts like the team at Last Chance Auto, Inc.. Our team can keep your vehicle in top shape by performing the following maintenance:
By following your vehicle’s owner’s manual and having your vehicle inspected and maintained regularly, you can greatly reduce problems and save money in the long run. Let the expert team at Last Chance Auto, Inc. help your vehicle stay in good condition.
How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle mis-adjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
What are the symptoms of a vehicle with incorrect alignment?
Have your vehicle checked if you notice:
How often should I have my vehicle aligned?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
The importance of Total Alignment:
Labor Rate: $85.00 hr.
Pa. State Inspections (Pass or Fail): $30.00
Emissions Test (Pass or Fail): $50.40
Emissions Exempt (Under 5,000 mi.): $25.00
Motorcycle & Trailer Inspections: $28.00
5 qt. Lube, Oil, & Filter: $39.75
B.Y.O. Oil & Filter: $25.50
We check all fluid levels, inspect all belts & hoses, & adjust tire psi. when we do an oil change on any vehicle.
Brake Pads & Rotors (Front or Rear): $127.50 + cost of parts.
4-Wheel Alignment: $79.95
Evacuate & Refill A/C: $69.95 w/1-2lbs.freon
Coolant Flush: $59.95 w/up to 2 gals. Coolant
Transmission Service (Drain, Change Filter, Refill): $59.95 + cost of gasket, filter & fluid