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Vehicle Maintenance Videos by LeDuc's Service Center: Serpentine Belt System Wear

Posted November 27, 2015 10:03 AM

The primary job of the serpentine belt is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service specialist can check your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

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LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Serpentine Belt category

Breathe Free In Centralia: Cabin Air Filter Replacement At LeDuc's Service Center

Posted November 18, 2015 10:46 AM

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Centralia motorists' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.

A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Centralia. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Tacoma atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Centralia prone to air pollution.

Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you’ll probably want to go to your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service professional to get it done. Check your sedan owner’s manual to find out if your sedan is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every twelve to fifteen thousand miles.

Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Chehalis, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in Washington, you’ll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don’t work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.

Most Centralia folks know that good car care includes keeping your sedan clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It’s good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn’t wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!

Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Centralia allergy sufferers, but they’re also a great idea for anyone in Tacoma who just wants to breathe better.

Posted in the Cabin Air Filter category

The LeDuc's Service Center Auto Report: Wiper Blades – Signs of Wear

Posted November 12, 2015 7:49 AM

90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most Centralia car owners wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield.

As a critical safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service advisor can replace them for you.

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LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Windshield Wipers category

LeDuc's Service Center Auto Tips and Car Care: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

Posted November 5, 2015 11:38 AM

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. Centralia auto owners need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.

Timing belts are very challenging to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more costly maintenance services, but the cost to fix an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.

The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service advisor can help you with the timing.

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LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Timing Belt category

Drive Train Service in Centralia at LeDuc's Service Center

Posted October 30, 2015 8:17 AM

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the vital components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.

Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.

LeDuc's Service Center service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.

LeDuc's Service Center service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.

All-wheel drive sedans provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.

Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.

Servicing an all-wheel drive at LeDuc's Service Center involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Centralia car owners encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.

Centralia drivers would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their sedan drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service professional as well. You may live in an area in Washington where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.

If you drive off-road, it is critical to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the Tacoma area are particularly hard on your driveline.

Good car care at LeDuc's Service Center in Centralia always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your sedan becomes a very large paperweight.

LeDuc's Service Center is located at 1417 Kresky Ave in Centralia. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of Centralia, Littlerock, Winlock, Chehalis and Tacoma.

Posted in the Drive Train category

LeDuc's Service Center Auto Tips and Car Care: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

Posted October 22, 2015 9:52 AM

Repair or Replace? That’s a question Centralia drivers ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely corrected. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

Run flat tires should not be repaired. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service advisor can survey your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely repaired or if it should be replaced - and then help you get back on the road.

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LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Tires and Wheels category

Check Your Shocks and Struts at LeDuc's Service Center

Posted October 15, 2015 9:52 AM

Today we're talking to Centralia drivers about shocks and struts. They're so easy for Washington folks to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they're very .

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for Centralia drivers.

Visit LeDuc's Service Center to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional service specialist. You can find us at 1417 Kresky Ave, Centralia, Washington 98531
Or give us a call at 360-736-0123 to make an appointment.

There's a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our Centralia streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps. Centralia auto owners may notice the rear end squatting when they accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner. 

Uneven tire wear can also be a a critical sign of worn shocks for Centralia auto owners. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced. Talk to your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center technician.

Your owner's manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your sedan. It's usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on bumpy Centralia roads, your shocks might wear out faster.

If those Tacoma area driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.

The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around Centralia, Washington, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your Centralia, Washington tech at LeDuc's Service Center can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.

It's best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you'll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be detrimental.

Posted in the Shocks & Struts category

Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

Posted October 7, 2015 3:04 PM

If you've ever been driving around Centralia and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at LeDuc's Service Center. We're at 1417 Kresky Ave in Centralia, Washington 98531. Or give us a call at 360-736-0123

Experts in Centralia recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long Centralia winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that's a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they'll last for the life of your car. If you want your Centralia friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint - no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can't react to what you can't see. You need headlamps that'll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That's because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Centralia service centers offer a service to restore the lens that's a lot cheaper.

You can't drive if you can't see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don't forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Posted in the Maintenance category

LeDuc's Service Center Car Care News and Information: Serpentine Belt Tensioner

Posted September 30, 2015 11:23 AM

The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining optimal 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 prevents the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise.

Your car maker 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 vehicle might have. Your professional, friendly & honest LeDuc's Service Center service advisor can review your system and let you know if it’s time for a replacement.

Give us a call

LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Serpentine Belt category

LeDuc's Service Center Car Care Advice for Centralia Motorists: Tire Replacement Overview

Posted September 25, 2015 2:18 PM

Tires are an expensive purchase so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for Centralia car owners. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.

Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. We can inspect your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further analysis of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call

LeDuc's Service Center
1417 Kresky Ave
Centralia, Washington 98531

Posted in the Tires and Wheels category

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