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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.

 

Here, at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers, we want our customers to be in the know about how to properly care for their car or truck. We provide an extensive range of auto service repair / maintenance services, including:

  • Belts and HosesCar Tune-up from Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center
  • Brake Repair
  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Lube, Oil, and Filter Change
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Exhaust System Repair
  • Climate Control Systems
  • Cooling System Repair
  • Tire Services
  • Wheel Services
  • Axel, CV Joint, Driveshaft Repair
  • Diesel Engine Repair
  • Differential RepairASE Certified Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems
  • Engine Diagnostics and Performance
  • Four Wheel Drive System (4WD)
  • Nitrogen Inflation
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Starting, Charging, and Batteries
  • Steering and Suspension System
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Transmission Repair

Hopefully, with the following helpful car care tips you will be able to improve gas mileage and reduce tire wear when driving in and around Reno, NV and Sparks, NV. We also hope this helps you understand when and why your car needs to be serviced by the professional ASE Certified Technicians at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers full service auto repair shop.

Car Maintenance and Care

  • Change your fluids on time, every time.
  • Change your oil every 3,000 miles for regular, 5,000 miles for synthetic oil.
  • Change antifreeze fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change brake fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Schedule a maintenance check every 15, 30, 60, and 90,000 miles.
  • Replace your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first).
  • Replace your fuel filter every 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Tire Maintenance and Care

  • Tire Tread Comparison MST Tire Center or Mill Street TireRotate your tires every 5,000 miles or every 6 months.
  • Check your tire pressures approximately once a week. Low tire pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and comfort. To accurately measure your tire pressure, check tires when they are cold. Wait at least three hours after driving.
  • Always make sure that your wheels are properly aligned. Badly aligned wheels will again lead to dragging of the car on the road.
  • Check your spare tire each month and keep it properly inflated so it¹s ready to go when you need it most.
  • Use the penny trick to determine if the tread on your tires is worn to low. Take a penny and put Abraham Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves of the tread. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you’re OK. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to replace the tire. When the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, tires must be replaced.

Gas Mileage Tips

  • gas_savingsCheck and/or change your air filter every 6 months to improve fuel economy and keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Don’t top off. Don’t bother topping off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out.
  • Tighten up that gas cap. Gas will evaporate from your car’s gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing, or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year.
  • Go for the shade. The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also evaporates fuel from your gas tank.
  • Use the right oil. You can improve your car’s gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

And most important of all……

  • Always check for potential problems before they happen. Following these recommendations will help keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come. However, please refer to the required maintenance schedule provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer for the intervals specific to your vehicle.

So, give Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers a call at (775) 525-2420 today to schedule your next maintenance appointment.

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Gas for Goodness: Supporting Our Community

Cystic_Fibrosis_Walk_LogoEvery Wednesday in April, we’ll make a ($.01) penny donation to a local charity for every gallon of gas sold from our Sierra Car Care/MST Tire Centers. And we’ll donate $1.00 per tire sold each Saturday at MST Tire Center on Mill Street.

All donations in April will support the CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION – Nevada Chapter.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • Clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • Obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Each year, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development.

We need the public’s continued support to fulfill our mission of finding a cure and improving the quality of life of those with the disease.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION – Nevada Chapter by visiting any of our 5 locations on Wednesdays for gas and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street location only).

Walk in Great Strides today and help add tomorrows to the lives of those living with cystic fibrosis.

For more information,visit:
http://www.cff.org/chapters/nevada/
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cysticfibrosisfoundation
Thanks for supporting our community!

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