• Northwest 8906 Maple St. Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 393-7888
  • North 4102 N. 30th St. Omaha, NE 68111 (402) 455-0135
  • Downtown 2717 Leavenworth Omaha, NE 68105 (402) 346-1040
  • Bellevue 301 Ft. Crook Rd. N Bellevue, NE 68005 (402) 293-1800

Omaha Auto Service News

Some Like It Hot…Really???

Heating and air conditioning systems are maintenance-free for the most part, so when something bad happens, it’s seldom because the owner neglected to have it serviced. The systems just wear out over time. That includes the refrigerant for the air conditioner.  It’s in a closed system, and if the refrigerant is low, it’s because of a leak, not because you forgot to take it in to be topped off.

The main things you can do to maintain your heating and air conditioning systems is make sure there’s enough coolant in the radiator and that it has sufficient freezing, boiling and corrosion resistance, and to change the cabin air filter on a regular basis. Outside air passes through the cabin filter to the climate system, and if it’s clogged because it hasn’t been changed in years, less air will get through. Here are some common climate system issues:

  • If the air conditioner doesn’t blow cold air or cold air only comes out of some vents, it’s probably low on refrigerant because of a leak in the system. Topping off the refrigerant won’t fix a leak. Our ASE Certified Technicians can find the cause, and sometimes that includes adding refrigerant and dye to trace where the leak is.
  • Leaks can come from hoses or seals that are easy to find and fix, from a faulty compressor or corrosion on the condenser (located in front of the radiator). Compressors can leak or break, and they may signal they’re about to expire by making unusual noises.
  • Air conditioning evaporators, which do most of the cooling of the air, can also fail and corrode. They’re usually behind the dashboard and thus expensive to replace because of all the labor involved.
  • If not much air is flowing through the vents (hot or cold), then it could be because the blower motor for the fan, or a switch or resistor that controls fan speed, isn’t working. Another cause might be that electronically controlled “blend doors” that direct air flow are stuck or broken.

Don’t spend the rest of the summer being miserable in this heat – come on in and have your A/C checked. Our experts can diagnose and repair any signs or symptoms of trouble you’re having now. Check out our Specials for a discount on A/C repairs and services!

Adapted from the article “Common Heating and Air Conditioning Problems” by Rick Popely which first appeared on www.cars.com.

 

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The Big Chill is Just Around the Corner!

The method used to warm a car’s cabin isn’t a whole lot different from the one used to keep its engine cool. In fact, it’s all hooked together and runs on the same circuit. Coolant circulates through the engine and absorbs engine heat, which is exchanged with the outside air by way of the radiator. A much smaller radiator called the heater core uses the same hot coolant to keep the cabin toasty. In general, there are two things that can go wrong with this setup…

The first item to check is the engine temperature. To help cold engines warm up fast, the flow of coolant is restricted by way of the thermostat, a thermal valve that opens when it’s hot and closes when it’s cold. When the thermostat wears out, it remains stuck open or shut, which leads to either overheating or cool operation. A worn-out thermostat might be preventing the coolant from getting warm enough to heat the cabin.

If the thermostat is fine, the flow of coolant in the heater core may be restricted by built-up goop. Sediment and grime can accumulate between coolant changes and collect in the heater core.  A coolant flush may be in order.

Before you get caught out in the cold, bring your vehicle in for a heating system check and find out if it’s due for a cooling system flush. We’re offering a Winterization Special now — for only $119, you can get an oil change, tire rotation and coolant flush and have your front washer blades replaced and your starting and charging system inspected.  Take advantage of this $60 savings now and stay in the hot seat!

Adapted from the article “What’s Wrong with My Car’s Heater” by Ben Wojdyla published in Popular Mechanics.

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It’s Shocktober!

SHOCKTOBER is upon us! When you bring your vehicle to “THE HOUSE” and have any combination of 4 qualifying Monroe shocks or struts installed, you’ll receive a rebate that’s equal to the amount of your lowest priced item.  The bottom line is that you buy 3 and get the 4th one free — what’s NOT to like about that?  Just mail a copy of your receipt and rebate form to Monroe and they will send you a VISA prepaid card.

If you’re still driving around with 50,000+ miles on your shocks or struts, now’s the time to get a great deal on replacing them and improving your ride!

monroe-shocktober-2016-web-image

Signs that indicate that it may be time to replace your shocks or struts:

  • A bumpy or shaky ride
  • Poor response, stiffness or noise when steering
  • Vehicle sways or leans on turns or when changing lanes
  • A noticeable “nose dive” when braking or the rear end “squats” when accelerating
  • Broken, damaged, corroded or worn mounts or bushings
  • Fluid leaks, dents or damages on the outside housing of the shock or strut
  • Cupped or uneven tire wear

Besides a more comfortable ride, new shocks and struts will give you:

  • Better braking – less wear on your front brakes and shorter stopping distance by as much as 10 feet.
  • Improved tire wear – new shocks/struts keep your tires on the ground better.
  • Better handling – less sway, bounce and roll.
  • Reduced wear on your other suspension and steering parts.

This offer is available until Halloween.  Make an appointment today!

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Best of Omaha 2017: Voting is in Full Swing!

Go-Vote-For-Us_480pxThanks to our loyal customers, House of Mufflers & Brakes has been awarded top ranking in the Best of Omaha’s automotive repair and services categories for over 10 years!

When you weigh in on your favorite local businesses in this year’s campaign, we’d love to have your vote.  Please take a moment and go to: http://www.BestofOmaha.com/50223.  Our Quick Vote Code is 50223. We ask that you select us in the category of Best Exhaust and Muffler Service, but of course, we’d also appreciate your votes for Best Brake Service, Oil Change Service and General Auto Repair, too.

Voting ends on August 31, 2016…it’s quick, painless, nonpartisan and tax-free!  And at the end of casting your ballot, if you print off your Proof of Voting certificate and bring it to one of our four locations, we’ll give you $10 off any service.

We’re grateful to those who have voted for us in the past and who continue to entrust us with servicing and maintaining your vehicles. Thanks for helping to keep our Best of Omaha winning streak alive!

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If I Hit a Pothole, Does My Car Need an Alignment?

pothole

Well, maybe…

You’ll notice right away if your car’s suspension has been compromised — bent struts or crooked wheels or broken tie rods, stabilizer links, control arms or ball joints call for immediate attention to prevent further damage.

But don’t ignore some of the more subtle signs that something is amiss, such as a crooked steering wheel or vibration when the car is driving down the road. If it pulls to the left or right or even if there is passive pulling and your car naturally “drifts” without a hand on the steering wheel, these are all signs that your vehicle may be out of alignment.

Uneven tire wear or noticeable differences in wear patterns between the two front tires or the back two tires can also indicate a problem. If the alignment is off, your tires will wear out faster. A four wheel alignment will not only prolong the life of your tires and prevent their warranty from being voided due to improper maintenance, but it will also reduce wear on the steering column and improve your gas mileage and how your car handles.

Take advantage of this month’s alignment specials and let our Undercar Specialists at House of Mufflers & Brakes get things straightened out for you!  Providing Total Car Care in the Omaha metro area for over 46 years.

                                    TAKE IT 2 THE HOUSE!

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Car Care Tips from the Pros Prepare You for Winter Driving

It’s foolhardy to head out in a poorly maintained vehicle in the dead of winter, of course, but even vehicle owners in temperate zones need a car care check as the days grow shorter, note the pros with the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians.

“Regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gasoline mileage, reduce pollution, and catch minor problems before they become big headaches,” says Tony Molla, vice president of communications at ASE.

Continue reading

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SHOCKTOBER Is Here!

It’s SHOCKTOBER! What that means to you is that when you buy FOUR struts or shocks you get them for the price of THREE! That’s one free. When you mail in your receipt to Monroe, they will send you a VISA prepaid card with a value equal to the lowest price unit that you purchased. If you still have the original shocks/struts and you have over 50,000 miles on your vehicle, now’s a great time to consider what new ride control can do for you and your vehicle. Continue reading

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Why did your “check engine” light just come on?

The light just popped up on your dash: the dreaded one, the one that looks like an engine. But your car seems to be running fine. So why did it come on? Well, it could be a lot of things – but the most common reason is your oxygen sensor.

Your what?

You may ask, “What does that do anyway?” Well, it senses what kind of fuel/air mixture is flowing through your exhaust system and sends a signal back to your car’s computer so that it can adjust the mix. Too much fuel going through your exhaust uncorrected will result in the ruination of your VERY expensive catalytic converter. Plus, your car will be sucking more gas than it needs – and that costs you at the pump. Continue reading

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What Your Oil Indicator Isn’t Telling You

Most new cars have an indicator on the dash that tells you when you should have your oil changed.  Many people think that there’s some sensor inside the engine that is measuring and testing the oil to tell you when its dirty or losing its ability to lubricate. But that is certainly not the case.

Those indicators are basically countdown clocks. They figure that oil is good for ‘X’ amount of engine revolutions and then they count that down to zero. They don’t know how much oil is in the crankcase and they certainly don’t know the condition of the oil. Continue reading

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Are You Taking Care of Your Vehicle for the Future?

Proper maintenance on your vehicle means much more than just changing your oil.  Every vehicle has a maintenance schedule.  You can find it in your owner’s manual.  We also can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends for your specific car.

Continue reading

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