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Bushings are cushions made of rubber, polyurethane (often shortened to “poly” or “urethane”) or other materials. They’re mounted on car suspension and steering joints to absorb road bumps, control the amount of movement in the joints and reduce noise and vibration. Bushings often take the form of fat, rubbery washers through which suspension components — or the bolts that attach them — pass.

When bushings wear, they allow more movement. The driver may feel a shimmy from the front of the vehicle, or hear clunking or rattling noises on rough roads, when turning the wheel or in hard braking. Drivers may also experience poor handling or loose steering. Failure of rear suspension bushings may be harder to detect as they don’t involve the steering system and may be less affected by cornering.

Bushings are used for control arms, stabilizer bars (also called sway bars), ball joints, tie rods, shock absorber and strut mounts, and other suspension and steering parts, as well as in engine and transmission mounts. They wear and crack from friction, age, heat, exposure to road salt and lubricants, and the stress of frequent movement and weight loads.

Like the cartilage that protects knees and elbows, when bushings wear, it puts more stress on the joints and connected parts. Like bone-on-bone contact, worn bushings can allow metal-on-metal contact. Worn control-arm bushings can allow the vehicle’s front end to slip out of alignment and cause premature tire wear.

What feels or sounds like worn shocks or ball joints, or another suspension problem, may not be the fault of the part itself but the bushing that cushions joints and mounting points. A thorough suspension bushing inspection should reveal which is the culprit. For example, a loose stabilizer bar will allow more body lean (and perhaps noise) in turns, but if the bar isn’t bent or broken, maybe only the bushings need replacement.

On the other hand, repair shops may recommend replacing the part and not just the bushings, because if the are worn, it may indicate the part itself is old and may not last much longer. In addition, many bushings are pressed into a metal sleeve and difficult to remove, which increases labor time and costs. On some cars, control-arm bushings cannot be replaced separately, so the mechanic may have to replace the control arm itself.

A bushing is one classification of the overall category of bearings. A bushing is a thin tube or sleeve that allows relative motion by sliding (our type), as compared to rolling. A bushing might also be called a sleeve bearing. However, the term sleeve bushing would be redundant. Thus, a bushing is a bearing, but a bearing is not necessarily a bushing type.

A bearing is the general term for something that allows relative motion between two components, surfaces, etc.

Because of the amount of labor associated with installing new bushings on some vehicles, the overall cost can be high relative to the bushings themselves. New bushings, though, can markedly improve the ride and handling of a vehicle that’s been in use for several years.

If you feel like your suspension system needs repair, please bring your vehicle into any one of our three locations of Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers in the Reno area and one of our ASE Certified Technicians will take care of you.

veterans-day-2016
Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would like to offer all Active Military and U.S. Veterans 10% off any automotive service.

We’re celebrating you this Veterans Day and every day! We are happy to help those men and women who put their life on the line so our country remains free.

Simply provide proof of current or former military service, and you can take 10% off any automotive service. See us at any of our four locations in the Reno-Sparks area for more information.

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drive-train-system A driveshaft is the cylindrical shaft that transmits the torque from the engine to the wheels. They are most commonly found on rear wheel drive vehicles, and connect the rear of the transmission to the driveshaft. As the output shaft of the transmission rotates it spins the driveshaft, which then turns the differential ring gear to rotate the wheels.

It’s most common to find drive-shaft u-joints on rear wheel drive automobiles. You may also find them driving the front wheels on 4×4 trucks and some all wheel drive car models. In the norm, a drive shaft will begin to fail gradually, rather than just ceasing to work in a single instance.

There are various signs and symptoms of drive shaft problems.

Vibrations or Shaking
Damage to the drive shaft will cause a vehicle to shake or tremble, and this vibration will only get worse the faster a vehicle is moving. While vibrations in a vehicle can also occur as a result of a tire problem, tire issues usually become manifest during acceleration.

It could feel like your entire car is shaking, or just a certain portion could be vibrating because of drive shaft problems. A typical area that shakes a lot is the floorboards. A specific sign that the drive shaft is causing problems instead of another part of the car is when the car vibrates while moving or while it’s not moving. The vibration may get a lot worse when you drive at faster speeds.

Noise
Your drive shaft will often emit a variety of noises if in poor condition, and again these sounds will grow louder when you are traveling at a higher speed. In fact, very fast driving may actually result in a noisy drive shaft becoming totally silent. In this case the problem frequently lies within the joint behind the drive shaft and U-joint.

Problems Handling
Your vehicle’s wheels won’t necessarily move properly if the drive shaft is damaged. This will often become especially apparent when you are cornering in a vehicle, and you may feel resistance when you’re trying to carry out a turn on the road as well.

Because tight maneuvering is vital when you’re parking a deficient drive shaft can become very apparent here. Getting into a tight space is already difficult, but if the wheels on your vehicle don’t seem to be responding as they should, it could be the case that your drive shaft is at fault.

Visible Wear & Tear
A road test is just the first step in confirming a problem with the drive-shaft. It’s easier to examine the parts with the vehicle up on a lift. When you inspect the universal, if you see grease leaking out of the end caps, it’s a sure sign of a problem.

With the vehicle raised in the air and the transmission placed in neutral you can usually grab the drive shaft and rotate it to spin the rear wheels. Moving it a half turns up and back in either direction is a good way to inspect for looseness or free play. It should have no noticeable play when moving up and back as described.

u-joint

Could it be the Universal Joint?
Universal joints (U-Joint) are components of the driveshaft assembly fitted to most rear-wheel drive trucks, four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs, or off-road vehicles. U-joints, which are found in pairs on the driveshaft, handle the misalignment between the transmission and the rear axle, all the while transferring power to move the vehicle. This allows each end of the driveshaft, and its associated universal joint, to bend with each rotation of the drive shaft in order to handle the misalignment.

One of the most common symptoms of developing u-joint problems is hearing a clunk while shifting the transmission into gear. A badly damaged universal joint will make a racket when shifting from reverse to drive.

Although this clunk can be caused by other problems it may be a sign of excessive clearance in the u-joints. When a drive shaft flexible joint is on its way out it might make a squeak sound at lower speeds.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers Help Keep You On the Road
A faulty or bad drive shaft can be dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible. If a problem is found early enough, the repair costs could potentially be lower.

Our certified technicians at Sierra Car Care are equipped to complete a full range of auto repairs to keep your car in top running condition. We pride ourselves on providing preventative maintenance Reno, NV auto repair services including oil changes, brake replacement and many other Reno, NV auto repair services at affordable prices.

For auto repair and tires give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact us online to get a free quote.

 

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At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center we take preventive car care maintenance seriously. Preventive maintenance repair is based upon your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your vehicle runs efficiently and lasts longer. Your technician will run down the check list from the owners manual and make suggestions according to what is recommended for your vehicle at the current interval of mileage.

Why are Routine Maintenance Services Important?
Vehicle components and parts naturally wear out over time, and road hazards can negatively impact critical components. By adhering to the preventive maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual, you will help ensure that your vehicle always runs at optimal conditions.

Highly Recommended Mileage Service Intervals for Most Effective Preventive Maintenance. Click for more information.

There are additional mileage services recommended for most vehicles, the above mentioned are just a few of the major mileage service recommendations from our technicians. If you are currently experiencing a problem, you may want to check your mileage to determine whether you should schedule a service or not.

Depending on whether you purchased your vehicle new or used, may determine whether you have a warranty. If you do have a warranty, it may be contingent upon performing regular services for your vehicle. Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage.

During a scheduled maintenance service at the above mentioned mileage intervals, our staff may inspect the function of the following items and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently.

  • Steering System
  • Suspension Components
  • Transmission
  • Exhaust System
  • Check Battery
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Brakes
  • Ball Joints
  • Axles

We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, inspect hinges and locks, and conduct both tire wear inspection and inflation checks. 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 on your environment and driving behavior (frequent stop & go or rough roads may impact wear and tear on your vehicle), you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements. Contact us today or call 1-775-525-2420 to learn more about recommended maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

Our technicians promote preventive repair because they believe that by keeping up with your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule it will help your vehicle run smoother for longer.

Mechanic with a wrenchSierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are some of the leading auto repair shops in town. All automotive repair and mechanic services are performed by highly qualified mechanics. Our mechanic shops work on numerous vehicles daily with the best vehicle repair equipment, and are capable of servicing a variety of makes and models. Whether you drive a passenger car, medium-size truck, mini-van, or SUV, our ASE Certified mechanics strive to ensure that your vehicle will be performing its best. Our superior standards show that our mechanics always have your best interests in mind. Plus, we offer the industry’s best warranty coverage.

Looking for a one-stop automotive repair shop? Than look no further, and allow our highly qualified mechanics to estimate the extent of auto repair you may be looking at. To set up an appointment now, call 1-775-525-2420 or contact us online.

Our number one goal has always been complete customer satisfaction. Our vehicle repair shop has a long-standing reputation for quality repairs. Whether you need routine auto maintenance services or emergency vehicle repairs, contact us online or visit us during business hours.

Areas Served : Carson City NV | Reno NV | Sparks NV | and surrounding areas

Auto Repair Services

The steering and suspension system on your vehicle is responsible for maintaining comfortable riding conditions and driving performance. It also helps drivers remain in control of their vehicles at all times.

When the power steering fails, the wheels of the car become extremely difficult to turn. The wheels will turn, but the force required to make this happen can be unpredictable, creating an unsafe scenario. If power steering failure occurs while a car is in motion, an accident may result.

How Does the Power Steering System Work?
In a power steering system, movements made on the steering wheel cause fluid pressure inside the hydraulic pump to move to one side or the other of the pump. This pressure causes a piston to move, and that piston directs the gears to steer the car. The device that senses the force on the steering wheel is called the rotary valve.

The key to the rotary valve is a torsion bar. The torsion bar is a thin rod of metal that twists when torque is applied to it (torque is a force that tends to rotate or turn things). The top of the bar is connected to the steering wheel, and the bottom of the bar is connected to the pinion or worm gear (which turns the wheels), so the amount of torque in the torsion bar is equal to the amount of torque the driver is using to turn the wheels. The more torque the driver uses to turn the wheels, the more the bar twists.

The torsion bar also turns the output of the steering gear, connecting to either the pinion gear or the worm gear depending on which type of steering the car has. As the bar twists, it rotates the inside of the spool valve relative to the outside. Since the inner part of the spool valve is also connected to the steering shaft (and therefore to the steering wheel), the amount of rotation between the inner and outer parts of the spool valve depends on how much torque the driver applies to the steering wheel.

Components of your Power Steering System Include:

  • Power Steering Pump
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Rack and Pinion
  • Steering Gear
  • Belt
  • Rotary Valve
  • Torsion Bar

How Does the Suspension System Work?
The suspension system converts forward energy created by bumps in the road into vertical energy that travels up into the vehicle frame. Suspension system components, like coil springs and shock absorbers, help to dampen the impact of this road force. While the individual components comprising each suspension system may vary, all suspension system components will weaken over time through stress applied during normal driving conditions. Similarly, off-road driving and erratic driving can wear down suspension components more quickly.

Signs of Power Steering Failure
Knowing the signs of power steering failure can help drivers fix problems preemptively, thereby preventing accidents and potential problems on the road.

  • Steering wheel feels stiff, jerky, or unpredictable in movements
  • Whining or squeeling noise while turning
  • Steering wheel vibrates excessively while idling

Regardless of your driving preferences, Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center have the necessary equipment to identify and correct any issue plaguing your steering and suspension system. Our staff is trained to inspect the steering and suspension components in order to determine whether your service will entail a minor adjustment or a replacement.

Shaky, unsteady, off-center, and stiff steering are all cause for getting a steering system inspected and repaired. Excessive bouncing or swaying during bumps and intermittent control while driving and braking are cause for a suspension system inspection. Uneven tire wear is also a potential sign of a suspension problem, though this may also point to alignment issues

Have you Hit a Pothole Recently?
Potholes can also damage steering and suspension components if you’re not careful. Worn suspension components will reduce the stability of the vehicle and the control of the driver. Because suspension system components combine into one working unit, suspension issues that go untreated have the potential to increase the wear on other suspension components, which may result in more extensive repairs down the road.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, please contact us online or by phone today. Give Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers a call at 1-775-525-2420 to schedule your Steering and Suspension Inspection.

 

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