The timing belt, or timing chain in some vehicles, is a drive belt that synchronizes the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft and camshaft with the opening and closing of your engine’s valves. Depending on the vehicle, it may also rotate the water pump.

When the crankshaft turns, the timing belt turns the camshaft, which opens and closes the engine valves to allow the pistons to move up and down. Your vehicle’s engine operates in four phases: intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. During the intake phase, intake valves open and exhaust valves close as fuel and air enter the cylinders.

As the air and fuel is mixed, compressed, and ignited by spark plugs during the compression and combustion phases, the valves close. The remaining air and fuel is pushed out of the exhaust valve during the exhaust phase. The timing belt is responsible for synchronizing this process and for opening and closing valves during normal engine operation.

Have Sierra Car Care and Tire Center Replace Your Timing Belt

Avoiding a timing belt replacement can result in complete engine failure. A worn or stretched belt can disrupt the operating order of the valves and pistons, which can result in a piston hitting a valve and damaging the engine.

Timing belt failure warning signs include rough idling or difficulty starting the engine. Cracks on the belt, which is made of reinforced rubber, are an indication that it may soon break. Replacement of your timing belt will help keep your engine performing as it should and ensure you avoid expensive future repairs. During our replacement service, your belt will be replaced and synchronized with the crankshaft and camshaft to restore proper operating precision and order.

It is widely recommended that you have your water pump changed during a timing belt replacement service as well. If your water pump fails later, it can do great damage to your vehicle.

Give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact Sierra Car Care and Tire Center if you have questions regarding timing belt replacement or any other auto repair Reno, NV services.

Your vehicle’s starting and charging system is involved in regulating multiple electrical processes to start your vehicle’s engine and keep it running.

The starting system consists of the battery, a starter motor, and a starter solenoid responsible for starting the engine, while the charging system consists of an alternator and voltage regulator.

The charging system is responsible for routing energy throughout the entire electrical process while sustaining the battery’s charge. The battery supplies the electric power necessary to start the vehicle. This process starts when you turn the ignition. Then, the starting system sends power from the battery to the starter solenoid to the starter motor, which turns the engine in order to begin the internal combustion process.

The alternator powers the other electrical components in your vehicle while the regulator controls the voltage supplied to each component. The regulator also ensures that the alternator maintains the battery’s charge so that the entire cycle can continue.

Bring Your Vehicle to Sierra Car Care and Tire Center for Repair

Slow cranking engines and dim headlights can sometimes point to a problem with your vehicle’s starting and charging system. Because the battery is required for the electrical charge needed to start the rest of the electrical system, a weak or dead battery can also prevent your car from starting.

If a jump start refuses to revive your battery and the starting system, our staff may need to take a closer look at the other components of the starting and charging system to determine whether or not you need a starter replacement or an alternator replacement.

All components within your vehicle’s starting and charging system are necessary to ensure proper working order, and one bad link between them can render the entire electrical process useless.

If you experience problems with starting your vehicle or maintaining its power even after trying a jump start, then allow Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers service staff to perform a starting and charging system check on your vehicle today.

Starting, Charging and Battery Services

Alternator Replacement

Battery Replacement

Starter Replacement

Starting & Charging System Check

Sierra Car Care and Tire Center proudly serves the Starting, Charging, and Battery Service needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas.

Located on the underside of your vehicle, the exhaust system is responsible for collecting and directing harmful emissions away from the vehicle, reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment, and minimizing engine exhaust noise and force. The exhaust system is composed of pipes and tubing designed to streamline vehicle operation while maximizing vehicle performance and efficiency.

Engines produce dangerous gases as a byproduct of the combustion process. The exhaust manifold collects the emissions from the engine and funnels the gases through the front pipe to the catalytic converter.

The converter transforms these harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide, into less harmful ones, like oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. The muffler helps cancel out the noise created by the engine.

The muffler dissipates sound waves while the tailpipe releases the converted gases into the atmosphere.

Benefits of Exhaust System Repair

Depending upon the problem, the exhaust system can affect both your vehicle’s performance and your ability to drive. For these reasons, it is important to keep current with maintenance intervals on your exhaust system.

A repair service or inspection may be impending if you hear excessively loud noises during acceleration. These noises may be a sign of holes or cracks somewhere in the exhaust system. Rattling noises when starting the vehicle or excessive idling may be a sign of failed or broken hangers.

If you feel drowsiness while driving, this may be a serious sign that fumes are leaking through the vents and into the cabin interior. Sharp odors are also signs that noxious fumes are leaking into the vehicle. Signs of rust or cracks in any component of your exhaust system indicate corrosion.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek a service sooner than later. Maintaining routine exhaust system services will help keep all your exhaust components, like the exhaust manifold, front pipe, downpipe, catalytic converter, and muffler, working efficiently. Routine maintenance on your exhaust system will save you from having to replace the entire exhaust system down the road.

Exhaust System Repair Services

Catalytic Converter Replacement

Center Exhaust Section Replacement

Downpipe Replacement

Exhaust Inspection

Manifold Replacement

Muffler Replacement

Sierra Car Care and Tire Center proudly serves the Exhaust System Repair needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas.

Built with durability, reliability, and optimization in mind, diesel engine systems are designed to use their own compression to ignite fuel.

In gasoline engines, the fuel is mixed with air, compressed by pistons, and ignited by a spark plug. The rate of compression in a diesel engine is more than three times that of a regular gasoline engine system. In a diesel engine system, the air is compressed at a high compression ratio, which introduces a great amount of heat. Following this compression, fuel is directly injected into the cylinder, where the fuel vapor is ignited.

Diesel engines are built without spark plugs. Instead, diesel systems use glow plugs to start and run more efficiently in colder temperatures. Glow plugs have two heating elements that allow them to get very hot very quickly for fast starts.

Turbochargers increase the compression ignition by quickly compressing the air flowing into the engine, allowing for more air to flow into the chamber. More air in the combustion chamber means more fuel can be added to the combustion process. Turbochargers provide diesel engine systems with improved efficiency, and ultimately, more miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

Benefits of Diesel Engine Repair

A diesel engine running at lower RPMs or a hard-to-start engine are signs of low fuel pressure, but these signs may also be symptoms of an insufficient fuel supply or poor fuel quality. Allowing our staff to troubleshoot your diesel engine can help ensure that the proper repair procedures are followed to repair the engine.

Every diesel engine manufacturer requires different preventive maintenance procedures, so referring to your owner’s manual will help in planning and scheduling routine maintenance services. Keeping all diesel engine components—glow plugs, fuel injectors, and turbochargers—in proper working order will increase the life of your diesel engine system while promoting overall vehicle maintenance.

Diesel Engine Repair Services

Excessive Noise Diagnostic

Excessive Smoke Diagnostic

Glow Plug Replacement

Hard Starting and Drivability Diagnostic

Turbocharger Repair

Sierra Car Care and Tire Center proudly serves the Diesel Engine Repair needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas.

Function

Catalytic converters remove harmful elements from automotive exhaust by forcing the fumes to pass over metallic catalysts, including platinum, rhodium and palladium, which neutralize the toxins and transform them into relatively safe components. The entire casing of the converter is constructed of stainless steel. All of these expensive metals make a catalytic converter a costly piece of equipment.

Cars with Dual Exhaust

While most production cars have only one catalytic converter, some do come with two. Cars with dual exhaust often have two catalytic converters — one for each set of pipes running from the headers to the rear of the vehicle.

Cars with Two In-Line Catalytic Converters

Newer high-end vehicles are now coming equipped with two catalytic converters as part of an even more stringent emissions program. The first converter breaks down the exhaust as normal, while the second acts both as a filter for tiny particles and a pump which releases a chemical mixture that further reduces any harmful gases which may have escaped the first converter.

What Are Potential Issues With a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters often last for 10 years or more, but they can become contaminated, clogged, overheated or physically damaged — leading to sluggish engine performance and, eventually, engine shutdown.

One potential contaminant is leaded gas, which can destroy the catalysts, although it is rarely found in the U.S. Others contaminants include engine coolant, which can leak into the combustion system because of a faulty cylinder head gasket, and engine oil. Those fluids can clog a catalytic converter so that exhaust gases are restricted from passing through. Car engines are like athletes in that they require lots of oxygen. If the exhaust flow is restricted, it means less air can get into the engine and performance suffers. If the engine responds sluggishly or quits after running for a while, a clogged converter could be to blame.

Catalytic converters can overheat because of excessive amounts of unburned gas caused by a misfiring spark plug or a leaky exhaust valve. In addition, a failed oxygen sensor can cause overheating.

On many vehicles, the “cat” is located under the vehicle, and like other parts of the exhaust system, it can also be damaged by road debris or by running over a curb.

Catalytic Converter Maintenance

Among the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter are:

  • Sluggish engine performance
  • Reduced acceleration
  • Dark exhaust smoke
  • The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs from the exhaust
  • Excessive heat under the vehicle

Some of those symptoms can also be caused by other parts of the emissions system, so it’s important for a mechanic to diagnose when it’s time to replace your catalytic converter.

Following your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule can help delay this moment as long as possible — often 10 years or more. Keeping your exhaust, emissions and combustion systems in good shape will minimize the risk of your catalytic converter failing before its time.

Stop by Sierra Car Care today for your catalytic converter and exhaust system repair needs.

Daily Deliveries throughout the Reno and Sparks area

Bi-weekly Deliveries to outlying areas from Lake Almanor to Bishop and Nevada City to Elko

When compared to other components in your car, belts and hoses have one of the shortest life spans. These items are constantly exposed to engine heat, vehicle vibrations, and harmful chemicals, which all have the potential to cause cracks and leaks.

Some symptoms to be aware of for belts and hoses nearing failure include squeaking, screeching, or grinding noises that begin when starting your engine or appear during vehicle operation. It’s worth noting that grinding sounds near belts are usually associated with a bad pulley bearing rather than the belt itself, as the pulley bearing may freeze up and ultimately lead to a belt replacement.

Other symptoms of a bad belt or hose include loss of power, leaking coolant or other fluids, illuminated dashboard lights, rising steam from the engine, and air conditioning failure. While routine maintenance of belts and hoses is always important, summertime is an especially important season to keep an eye under the hood due to increased temperatures, which will accelerate deterioration of the rubber components.

Belts Subject to Regular Maintenance

  • Heater Hose Replacement
  • Radiator Hose Replacement
  • Serpentine Belt Replacement
  • Timing Belt Replacement

Since belts and hoses can be difficult to inspect visually, be sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for scheduled maintenance.

Give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact Sierra Car Care and Tire Center if you have questions regarding belts and hoses or any other auto repair Reno, NV services.

Your brakes use friction to stop your moving vehicle, and friction generates heat. Unfortunately, overuse or aggressive braking habits can lead to your brakes overheating. How do you know if excess heat has your brakes smelling like they’re burning?

Brakes Causing a Smell after Replacement

The source of the smell is typically the brake pads. Explaining what’s happening is very difficult because you are treading on very complicated chemistry that is further politicized by the friction material manufacturers. The term and concept that you want to avoid at all costs using is “burning off.” This is inaccurate and may cause the customer to become alarmed. Yes, there is heat involved when the bad smell is produced, but it is not oxidation or burning.

What Causes the Burning Brake Smell in Newly Replaced Pads?

What is really happening is polymerization, or curing. This is a chemical process where smaller units are combined into larger and more stable units. It is like making an omelet. When heat is applied to the eggs, the omelet is formed. But, in the case of the friction material, the yoke and whites are the resins that hold the pad together.

The heat of braking causes the resins to polymerize and form stronger bonds. This is a good thing. The bad thing about this is when the resins polymerize, they create by-products in the form of gases that do not smell pleasant.

Most importantly, the smell is not a bad thing in the majority of cases for new pads.

If the pad is heated too quickly or outside a certain heat range, the friction material could lose strength. Its is best to heat the new brake pads in a controlled manner. The gases given off can cause brake fade, but if the pad is broken-in correctly, the gases do not pose a problem and brake fade conditions can be minimized in the future.

What to Do About a Burning Smell from Your Brakes

Stop and smell the roses — not your brakes. Unless you’ve just had braking components replaced, a burning smell from your car brakes could indicate a problem. Schedule a quick brake check at your local Sierra Car Care and Tire Center today. Don’t compromise your safety on the road or let small issues turn into more significant repairs later.

Bad brakes display warning signs for impending brake maintenance. For example, if your brakes squeal or grind when in use, then your brake pads may be worn and require replacements. If your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, then this may point to worn brakes, a malfunctioning caliper, or low brake fluid in the brake lines. If your brake pedal presses down too easily—also known as “spongy” brakes—then this may be an indication of too much air in the hydraulic brake lines.

Sometimes, your vehicle’s electronic diagnostic system will alert you to a potential brake issue by a service indicator light on the dashboard. While these are only some of the most common signs of potential problems with your vehicle’s brake system, noticing these signs of faulty brakes and seeking out a brake service can save you money down the line.

Our staff is trained in maintaining and servicing front and rear brake systems and all accompanying brake system components like brake pads, brake shoes, parking brakes, rotors, drums, and hydraulic systems.

If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms of bad brakes, like unusual squealing or grinding noises, then contact us today to have your brakes inspected immediately.

A bad battery cable can make you think that your vehicle has serious problems. A faulty cable can make it difficult for you to start your vehicle, cause your car to run poorly or stall in the middle of a long trip. A battery cable can break or become corroded,or the terminal end can go bad. You should not attempt to repair a broken or corroded battery cable, although you can repair the terminal end of the cable. It’s relatively easy to replace the cable or repair the terminal end.

Due to the operational nature of automotive batteries, battery cables are often prone to corrosion build up both internally and on the terminals. When corrosion builds up on the terminals or inside the wire, the resistance of the cable is increased, and conduction efficiency is reduced.

As cables are usually relatively inexpensive, it is always recommended to replace them once they have become too corroded or worn out. Usually, a battery cable will last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The battery cables that are on your car are used quite frequently. Due to this amount of use, it is easy for them to wear.

Schedule an Appointment

It is important to schedule preventive maintenance for these and other components to ensure they continue to work as intended. Remember that environmental conditions may affect your ideal preventive maintenance schedule. Depending upon your environment, you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements.

Contact us today to learn more about recommended car maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

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