Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - November 2011

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This past weekend was the National Women’s Show in Toronto and I was there all three days!  38,000 people (mostly women) attended the show.  Each day I gave a ½ hour presentation on car care and I was also in the Ask Patty/Active Green and Ross booth.  The show was very successful and we even sold 70 PINK wiper blades while we were there! Just so you know, if you purchase the “Pink” wiper blades at Active Green and Ross stores part of the proceeds go towards Breast Cancer research.  If you haven’t been to the Women’s Show before it is worthwhile attending.  There are lots of great foods to try, shows to see and goodies to accumulate. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking!

I also wanted to let you know the car care clinic season has ended for 2011.  I will be booking clinics again in the spring so if you know of someone who might be interested in attending one of these informative sessions please check www.activegreenross.com in the early spring to see if one is booked near you or you can follow me on facebook.

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If you are looking for winter tires make sure you check out the coupon in this newsletter since if you buy 4 Michelin tires your name will go into a draw to win a Fiat 500!

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The first vehicle to use a serpentine belt was Mercedes Benz in 1985.                         

This month's topic: Serpentine Belt

Have you ever started your vehicle up and heard squealing coming from under the hood?  If you have, that’s your serpentine belt talking to you saying “I’m not long for this world” Having said that, serpentine belts are generally good for around 100,000kms.  In older vehicles you would have three belts that would do the same job as this one belt.  Many manufacturers will use one or two serpentine belts as it is space saving inside the engine compartment versus the old 3 belt system.   So what does the serpentine do?  It is a belt that goes around a series of pulleys and is run by the engine. This belt is how your power steering, water pump, air conditioning and alternator are all able to work.  I always say if this belt comes off while you are driving you will be SOL (sorry out of luck).  If this were to happen to you the first thing you would notice is that your air conditioning would stop working if you had it on and the second thing you would notice is that you no longer have any power steering!  You will now have “arm strong” steering.  At this point you can still drive your car but you will have to use a bit more muscle.  The next two things that will happen is your car will begin to overheat because the water pump is no longer circulating coolant through the engine and the battery will die since the alternator is no longer charging the battery.  A serpentine belt can come off if it has stretched with age or a piece of debris has come off of the road and gotten wedged in between the belt and a pulley.

When you open your hood if your engine is mounted forward like in a V8 for example, you will see the serpentine belt right at the front of the engine.  If you drive a smaller car and the engine is mounted sideways you will see the serpentine belt on the passenger side of the vehicle.

When you are having an oil change a technician will usually look at your belt for wear signs.  Some of these signs include cracking, missing chunks or uneven wear.  Looking for cracked belts is diminishing since the belt manufacturers have changed the material they are using so the belts aren’t supposed to crack anymore.  The technicians now are supposed to measure to see how deep the grooves are getting.
During some of my clinics ladies have asked me if you put what’s called a “belt dressing” on your belt will extend the life of the belt.  Using a belt dressing really is like using a band aide.  You are still going to have to change the belt.  This is all part of preventative maintenance.  The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road because of something that could have been avoided and winter is right around the corner.  So there’s one more reason to make sure your vehicle is in tip top condition.

Take care of your car and it will take care of you!

This months photo:

(Serpentine Belt)

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