Get Where You’re Going With Power Steering Service In Beaverton

Today we’re going to talk about power steering service in Beaverton. If you took an informal poll around Beaverton you’d probably find that most have never heard of power steering service. That’s not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Beaverton aren’t aware that it needs periodic service.

If you’re younger than a certain age, you’ve probably never driven a car or truck without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you’ve ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it’s a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that’s hard, especially around downtown Beaverton. That’s why old cars had such big steering wheels; to get enough leverage to steer.

Steering Most vehicles in Beaverton have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Beaverton use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We’re also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We’ll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your Beaverton service advisor at Stan’s Fords and More or check your owner’s manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It’ll extend the life of your power steering components.

Tire Maintenance In Aloha



With the recent focus in Aloha on improving fuel economy, we’ve been told how important it is to maintain our tire pressure.

Beaverton motorists know that tires wear out, but we want to make them last as long as possible because they’re not cheap to replace. In addition to saving gas, properly inflated tires last longer. Under-inflated tires will wear out more quickly.

Some Aloha car owners wonder if they should add a few extra pounds of pressure when they fill up their tires. Bad idea. In fact, there are very good reasons not to over-inflate your tires. For one, the middle of the tread will wear unevenly because the full tread is not contacting the road properly. That also adversely affects your handling.

Stop by Stan’s Fords and More to see about tire maintenance for your Beaverton, Oregon vehicle.

Stan’s Fords and More
18982 SW Shaw Street
Beaverton, Oregon 97007
503-649-4080

Every vehicle in the Aloha area has a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb that tells you the car maker’s recommended tire pressure. This recommendation is an integral part of the vehicle’s suspension tuning. A lot of engineering actually goes into the recommended tire pressure, so it’s critical for Aloha car owners to follow it.

What else do Beaverton drivers need to know about tire maintenance? Tire rotation and balancing are very important. Let’s start with rotation. Because the front tires handle the brunt of turning forces, the shoulders of the front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. At Stan’s Fords and More in Beaverton, we rotate the tires so that they all get to do some duty on the front and they’ll all wear evenly over their life.

For most vehicles, front tires are rotated to the rear and vice versa. Others recommend a cross rotational pattern. Some vehicles use an asymmetrical tire so those tires need to stay on either the right or left side – it’ll say which on the tire. Some high performance cars have asymmetrical tires and different sizes on the front and rear. These can’t be rotated at all. Your owner’s manual will have details for your car or communicate with your honest Stan’s Fords and More tech.

How often should Portlandmotorists rotate their tires? Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation. Your honest Stan’s Fords and More service professional at Stan’s Fords and More in Beaverton can do a visual inspection to let you know if it looks like it should be done. The interval is typically around 5,000 miles.

You know, some Beaverton people don’t think new tires need to be balanced. What they aren’t taking into account is the wheel. Between the wheel and the tire – even a new tire – there’s enough variation to require balancing.

When you add the valve stem and tire pressure monitoring sensors required on new cars, balancing is definitely vital. When a tire’s out of balance, it’s actually hopping down the road. Beaverton car owners with tires out of balance will feel the vibration through the steering wheel if a front tire’s out of balance and through the seat if it’s a rear tire.

Proper wheel balance promotes tire life and increases safety for Portland auto owners and their passengers. Historically, lead weights have been attached to the wheel to bring it into balance. Lead gives some environmental concern, so steel weights are starting to be substituted. 

The team at Stan’s Fords and More also wants to remind you that it is essential to always use the same size tire on an axle. Different size tires on the front or on the back can lead to some real handling problems. And Oregon tire manufacturers recommend that when you get two new tires, they be installed on the rear because that’s where you need the most traction to avoid spinning-out.

Automotive Detective Work In Beaverton

There’s a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in Beaverton. Figuring out what’s wrong with your SUV has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your SUV’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for Beaverton drivers because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the Beaverton doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that Beaverton car owners can do a lot to help out their honest Stan’s Fords and More service advisor in figuring out what’s wrong with their SUV. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. In the same way, the more you can tell your Beaverton service technician about when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., the more efficiently he will be able to get you back on the road.

Good auto advice: learn how to talk to your Beaverton technician.

If fluid is leaking from your SUV, you should note the color of the fluid, where under the car the puddles form, and when they form (e.g. only when it’s parked for a while, only if the engine’s hot, when the weather turns cold, etc.). For example, if your SUV is making an unusual sound, you should indicate where the sound is coming from, what kind of sound it is, and when you hear it (again, be very specific). The more details you can give, the more helpful you will be. “I hear the sound when I turn left” is more helpful than “I hear the sound when I turn.” After a few conversations with your Stan’s Fords and More service professional, you should get a feel for the kind of information he needs.

If you drop your car off, leave a detailed note describing information about your SUV’s problem. A quickly scrawled “Making a funny noise” will only lead to frustration for both your technician and for you. Good communication leads to better car care for Beaverton car owners.

If your SUV is occasionally stalling or sputtering, you may need a little more patience than with other types of car trouble because these types of problems are intermittent. In order to fix the trouble, your service specialist often finds it helpful to reproduce the symptoms. And if the problem is intermittent, it may take a while to do so.

In these cases, specific information can be invaluable, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes for your honest service specialist to get your SUV to misbehave. For example, if you can tell your technician that the vehicle only acts up after it’s been driven for 20 minutes and over 50 mph, it will allow him to quickly reproduce your problem, greatly reducing the time it will take for a car diagnosis in Beaverton and then get it corrected.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of the Portland repair shop, but if you need to get it repaired, good communication will get you back on the road quickly.

Charge It In Beaverton For Extended Battery Life

Here’s an interesting statistic for our drivers in Beaverton, Oregon: Only thirty percent of car batteries make it to forty-eight months. And the life expectancy varies by where you live. It ranges from fifty-one months in extremely cold areas to just thirty months in extremely hot climates.

Why is that? It turns out that it’s our modern cars with all their electric accessories that are to blame. Things like, GPS, DVDs, and entertainment computers are keeping SUV batteries from maintaining a full charge. The longer a battery goes with a low charge, the sooner it’ll die.

It’s clear that you Beaverton drivers need to recharge your batteries. This is the job of the alternator. The problem comes when the car’s demand for electricity is high and we are driving in stop and go conditions or short trips around Beaverton or Hillsboro. The alternator just can’t keep up.

The result is shortened battery life. So what can we Beaverton motorists do to improve our battery’s health?

We need to keep the battery as close to a full charge as possible. That can be hard because sitting for just twenty-four hours in hot weather between charges can be too long. When the weather’s cold in Beaverton, sitting for several days will cause discharge.

So some highway driving between Beaverton or Portland will help keep a full charge if the battery has not been deeply depleted. Car batteries are not designed to be run down really low, or deep cycled, as it’s called. So using your headlights or other power accessories when the car is off can deeply deplete your battery. Using the alternator to recharge from a deeply depleted state is also very dangerous to your battery because it charges too fast. In fact, on average, your battery would only last for ten recharges like that.

If you do find yourself with a dead battery or very low battery, use a good quality battery charger to slowly bring the battery up to full charge. Follow the instructions on the charger or talk to your honest Stan’s Fords and More technician.

Because our batteries are so often at less than a full charge, the experts at Stan’s Fords and More suggest that we use a battery charger from time to time to keep the charge up. They recommend once a month during hot weather and once every three months during colder times.

Now, an important word on safety for Beaverton car owners. Batteries contain sulfuric acid that can severely burn your skin and could blind you. If you find yourself with a dead battery, carefully inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. Deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

At Stan’s Fords and More, we provide quality automotive service including tune up, brake service and air conditioning service.

A New Battery In Beaverton

Hello Beaverton drivers, let’s talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Beaverton, here’s some auto advice to help you.

There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.

The Portland weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the SUV engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold Oregon weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.

So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in Oregon where winters can get really chilly, it is important to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.

The battery that was installed in your SUV at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is critical to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.

Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your SUV without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your SUV has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Beaverton and Beaverton do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.

Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Beaverton lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your SUV has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Portland.

Your honest technician at Stan’s Fords and More in Beaverton can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your SUV. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.

Car batteries aren’t cheap in Beaverton, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.

Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is vital and can help you get the most out of your battery.

Recommended Beaverton Service Intervals

Everyone in Beaverton, Oregon knows we are advised to go to our Beaverton dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Beaverton residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big expensive problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Portland folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our important car maintenance?

Stan’s Fords and More
18982 SW Shaw Street
Beaverton, Oregon 97007
503-649-4080

Following the automobile manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard for Beaverton drivers to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the Oregon drivers that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one SUV, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your service center Beaverton does it. For example, Stan’s Fords and More subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Portland weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in Oregon. Talk about these things with your honest Stan’s Fords and More technician and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not interstate driving in moderate Portland weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Beaverton, Oregon and it should be taken into account.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your SUV is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your SUV engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most automobile manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy for Beaverton auto owners to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a dangerous environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Beaverton don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of dangerous metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem for Beaverton motorists. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your honest Stan’s Fords and More technician. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your SUV on the road and avoiding expensive repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.

Viva la Differential At Stan’s Fords and More In Beaverton

There are a lot of Beaverton people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in Oregon these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Beaverton folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for Beaverton people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Oregon high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside SUV wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a SUV moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your honest Stan’s Fords and More service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Stan’s Fords and More service advisor can look up the SUV manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Stan’s Fords and More, we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Beaverton customers for 10 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 503-649-4080.

Stan’s Fords and More Advice On Buying New Tires

Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Beaverton driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all Oregon seasons.

Beaverton off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Beaverton? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Stan’s Fords and More tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Beaverton car owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at Oregon tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some critical adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the SUV. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your SUV with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Stan’s Fords and More in Beaverton to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your SUV on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Beaverton a lot longer.

Recommended Service Intervals At Stan’s Fords and More

Most people in the Portland area are aware that automotive manufacturers have recommended service intervals. Following recommended service intervals is very important. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated for the areas around Beaverton, Hillsboro and Aloha in Oregon.

The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety.

Protection. Let’s start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil for your SUV. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Over time, the additives are depleted. The oil also becomes contaminated by water, dirt and combustion gases.

Extending your interval beyond the recommendation means that your SUV engine will be operating without the full protection of fresh motor oil. It also means that sludge can form in contaminated oil and clog up passages in the engine, starving parts from needed lubrication.

Efficiency. Some services are designed to keep automotive systems operating efficiently. For example, the fuel system gets clogged up with gum and varnish from the fuel. Fuel doesn’t flow efficiently which reduces fuel economy. A fuel system cleaning restores the fuel system’s efficiency and increases your gas mileage.

Safety. Your brakes are obviously one of the most important safety systems on your SUV. The manufacturer has scheduled brake pad replacement as well as power brake fluid drain and replacement intervals. Because brakes are so important, a brake inspection is also on the schedule to head off problems before they result in an accident.

Check your owner’s manual for recommended service schedules or talk with your Beaverton service advisor at Stan’s Fords and More by calling 503-649-4080. You’ll find our shop located at 18982 SW Shaw Street in Beaverton, Oregon 97007.

You may be surprised to learn that various inspections may be on your list of factory recommendations for your SUV. These inspections are usually at major intervals like fifteen or thirty thousand miles. They’re designed to uncover important parts that may be close to failing.

Your SUV owner’s manual can tell you when to change your oil, but it can’t tell you that you have a radiator hose that’s bulging and about to burst. For that you need a trained auto technician. These scheduled inspections are in addition to the multi-point inspections done with a full-service oil change.

Saving Lives In Beaverton With Tire Pressure

All new passenger vehicles on our Beaverton Oregon roads now have tire pressure monitoring systemsTPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are under inflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about TPMS.

First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is twenty percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is thirty five pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won’t come on until the pressure is at twenty eight pounds. That’s significantly under-inflated. Enough to raise safety concerns.

The worst is tire failure. A severely under inflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also under-inflated tires wear out faster and they waste fuel. So it’s costly to not stay on top of proper inflation.

What’s the practical value of the TPMS system? Well, it’s twofold. First, it can alert you when your tire is losing pressure due to a puncture or a bent rim. That’s an important warning that you might not have gotten until next time you gassed up.

The second is that we all occasionally forget to check our tire pressure. So it’s a failsafe system to let you know there’s a problem brewing.

Other things can cause your TPMS system to go off. The system also monitors itself. The sensors that are mounted in the wheels have little batteries that send a signal to the monitor. The batteries go dead over time and the TPMS system will let you know. And the sensors could break. Also road salt from our Beaverton Oregon roads can ruin them.

There’s also a hassle factor that your Beaverton Oregon tire center has to contend with. For example, when you have your tires rotated in Beaverton, the TPMS system has to be re-calibrated so that it knows which tire is on which corner of the car. Same is true for when you have new tires or winter tires installed. Flat repairs, as well.

That takes extra time. And it requires the right equipment and training. Special – and expensive – tire change machines need to be used with some sensors. It’s all complicated by the fact that there are a number of different TPMS systems in use so the tire professionals at Stan’s Fords and More need equipment and training for each kind. Tire centers have had to raise the price of some of these basic services to offset their increased costs.

Also if you add custom wheels on your SUV, you need to put in new TPMS sensors if your originals won’t work on the new rims. If you don’t your TPMS light will be on constantly and you won’t have the benefit of the warning system.

All in all, the mandated TPMS systems will save lives, so they’re worth the added hassle and expense.