Hi-Tech’s Tire Changing Robotics

CoreyWheelMachineHi-Tech Addison Auto Repair continues to upgrade its technology to protect customer cars, while reducing labor costs by speeding the process using robotics. The latest tire changing robotic system was installed last month to improve service on sports cars and SUVs.


Once the wheel/tire is removed from the vehicle, it’s placed onto a secure and balanced lift system that perfectly positions each wheel in the exact same position to protect it from damage during service. The rim protection tower is spring loaded to maintain the exact amount of force to keep the rim safe.

To separate the tire from the wheel, some mechanics break the seal using a pry bar. This physical activity can lacerate the bead edge and create slow leaks when done without focus. Hi-Tech’s system is automated and uses a powered roller disk to apply the exact amount of pressure to break the seal from the underneath side of the tire. Since the disk rolls across the bead it can never cut the edge of the tire.

The next step is unseating the tire from the wheel. Again, some mechanics use a pry bar that locks into a turntable to unseat the tire. Hi-Tech uses a robo-arm cylinder that protects the bead edge of the tire as the turntable rotates. Once the new tire is placed on the wheel the robotic arm can be used in reverse applying direct pressure on the sidewall to create a bead lock.

After the lift system releases the wheel, the single point sealer can concentrate airflow more efficiently and eliminate excessive maintenance. This makes sure the tire is completely sealed so the customer doesn’t have to return for any micro leaks.


Hi-Tech’s state of the art laser technology uses a direct drive motor to maintain a zero tolerance balance. The system uses lasers to pinpoint the exact location on a tire that requires weights or the removal of weights for balance. This automated sensing system specifies weight location both radially and axially, which eliminates the trial and error some mechanic have to play around with.

The onboard computer system also provides Hi-Tech mechanics both the static and dynamic unbalance data—all simultaneously. This speeds up the correction process, makes sure the wheels don’t negatively impact the car’s alignment, and takes the estimating of the fix out of the equation.

Hi-Tech Addison Auto Repair believes in making sure the latest technologies are employed to help customers. In the case of tire service, Hi-Tech’s goal was to make sure customers with SUVs and sports cars got the service they required through a protective process that maintains their vehicle value.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Delay of Drive Belt Maintenance Causes Loss of Vehicle

Continental_BeltsOne of the top causes of roadside failure is the breaking of the drive belt. This catastrophic failure many times sends the vehicle to an early grave. The good news is that properly maintained belt systems seldom end a car’s life. The bad news is that a driver who delays the maintenance of the belt system could suffer the loss of a vehicle.

The drive belt system is made up of belts, tensioners, pulleys, bearings, and possibly an overrunning alternator decoupler (OAD). Proactive maintenance requires the system to be checked a minimum of every 10,000 miles, but many shops like Hi-Tech check it with every oil change.

Mechanics can quickly inspect the belt system, but drivers can also check the system by listening to the sounds under the hood. There are three specific noises to listen for when doing a sound check:

  1. A buzz suggests a potential OAD failure.
  2. A chirping sound suggests a misaligned or worn belt or pulley.
  3. A squeal suggests low belt tension or pulley drag.

The above sounds can show up under several different sets of circumstances. A squealing, during the initial startup of the vehicle or when parking, is a tried and true clue of a pending failure. When tensioners and pulleys wear out, they too cause noise and vibrations. If the pulley is already damaged, it can cause extensive tension that’ll significantly increase the noise and vibration.

Mechanic’s Checklist

Here is the full checklist used by mechanics:

  • Engine light on (from belt slippage or overheating due to belt problems)
  • High mileage
  • Belt noise
  • Belt wear
  • Belt flutter (caused by too little tension – indicates a worn tensioner)
  • Erratic belt movement, poor track
  • Tensioner out of range
  • Tensioner stuck or jammed
  • Tensioner damaged or worn
  • Tensioner, pulley corrosion
  • Rough pulley bearings
  • Leaking pulley grease wheels
  • OAD wear or failure

Troubleshooting Belts

To avoid the domino effect, mechanics check the surface side (ribs) of all belts and the edge (flanks) to make sure the belts are wearing uniformly. Most belts have an expected life of 60,000 – 90,000 miles, but belt problems due to heat and external conditions can quickly lead to irreparable engine damage if it goes unchecked.

Here are several things that can happen when the belts wear unevenly:

  • Rib Wear is typically caused by high mileage, misalignment or defective pulley bearings.
  • Glazing is a shiny, hardening of the belt due to aging.
  • Backside damage causes a defective pulley.
  • Cracking tends to happen with improper tension or excessive mileage.
  • Chunks breaking out from the belt can also be caused by extensive mileage, but more often is caused by excessive heat degradation or belt slippage.
  • Pilling occurs with misalignment, low tension, worn pulleys, fluid contamination or a combination of the same.
  • Abrasions on the belt are typically caused by slippage or debris in the drive.
  • Misalignment causes noticeable noise, while kinking or twisting the belt.
  • Improper installation of the belt can cause most of the above.

Belt Facts

Many people hesitate to replace a belt because it seems like mechanics use it as an up-sale item, especially when a belt seems okay at first glance from an amateur’s perspective. Here are some facts that will help in the decision making process:

  • It only takes 5% of surface wear for slippage to occur.
  • A belt slipping 10% of the time can impact a car’s drivability.
  • Two cracks within two inches of the surface section (rib) means the belt has used up 80% of its lifespan.
  • Serpentine belts drive three systems: cooling, power steering, and charging output.
  • One broken belt equals one broken down car.

Belts need to be checked regularly by a trusted mechanic. Bad belts also must be replaced immediately to spare the vehicle from catastrophic failure. Checking the owners manual will help drivers to better understand how to create a schedule to keep all the belts functioning at a high level of performance.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Join Us Thursday Night! 6/1/17

Join Hi-Tech Addison Auto Repair for some great music and fun Thursday night! We are sponsors of the Rock ‘N Wheels festival so your admission is FREE. Come to our booth and say, “Hi!” Then check out the cars, motorcycles and food.

6/1/17   from 6 – 10 p.m., Village Green




6:30 p.m.: Joe Kalish

7:30 p.m: Modern Day Romeos (80s hits)

Features food, music and Bike & Car Cruise Night

Historical Museum Open House and Craft Fair, 6 – 8 p.m.

Fireworks Finale!

Food vendors for the evening:

  • Uncle Harry’s Ice Cream (Support Our Friends)
  • Millie’s Pancake Shoppe (Support Our Friends)
  • Pyramid Club: Hot wings and pizza
  • Famous Dave’s: BBQ Wings and Southside Rib Tips
  • Nardi’s: Hot wings and pizza
  • Muggs ‘n Manor: Wings, broasted chicken and hot dogs
  • 601 Bar & Grill: Wings and Pulled Pork
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He’ll Give You His Heart

A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor,

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The Secret Black Book on Hoses

HosesWhen the hood of a car lifts up, the driver sees several different hoses in and around the engine. Seldom do drivers know the function of the hoses and when to replace it. After John spoke with a hose specialist, a copy of the man’s black book was found lying on the desk in the manager’s office. Inside, were answers to questions that drivers may never have asked. Here is a summary of the secret black book on hoses.


  • Hoses can show serious wear between 60,000 to 90,000 miles.
  • At any given time, 1 out of 3 vehicles need a new hose according to the Auto Care Association.
  • Hoses failure, according to AAA, is one of the leading causes of roadside breakdowns.
  • There are up to 6 main hoses that are critical to engine operation.
  • The odds are that a car ten years or older is in desperate need of hose replacements.
  • The number one cause of hose failure is internal corrosion by way of electrochemical degradation (known as ECD).
  • A single coolant leak can lead to immediate and sudden engine failure.


The following are the usual signs of impending hose failure.

  • An overheating engine.
  • Visible steam from under the hood.
  • A sweet burning smell.
  • Drips or the pooling of coolant on the garage floor.
  • The misunderstanding that failing hoses will trigger the engine light. (It will not)


We recommend inspections that can lead to action before hose failure occurs. The main causes of failure include: ECD, vibration, friction, mileage and heat.

  • Replace all hoses if one fails.
    • The moment one hose fails from ECD, failure of the other hoses is just around the corner. Therefore all hoses should be changed.
  • Set a periodic maintenance and inspection schedule.
    • Checking the vehicle owner’s manual for a periodic maintenance program and implementing it not only extends the life of a vehicle, but it also helps mechanics to reduce the possibility of a catastrophe from a hose failure.
  • Check coolant with every oil change.
    • A drop in coolant levels, dirty coolant, or small leaks require system maintenance to prevent catastrophic hose failure.
  • Replace hose when replacing water pump or thermostat.
    • Keeping an old hose to attach to new equipment is inviting danger. Always use a new hose when upgrading any equipment.
  • Check for coolant tracks on hoses.
    • Tracks running down the sides of hoses suggest a leak and a pending failure. Always replace leaking hoses immediately to avoid catastrophic engine failure.
  • Replace hoses that are soft, mushy or hardened.
    • A good hose will have a firm yet pliant feel.
  • Check for abrasive damage on hoses.
    • Hoses that are rubbing against other items will need to be replaced to avoid failure and the area checked for adjustments that can alleviate the rubbing.
  • Normal wear of hoses inspected while hot.
    • Damage can show up in the form of cracks, splits, blisters and pinholes that can’t be detected unless checked while under pressure.

Hopefully the black book notes and our Hi-Tech recommendations will help your car avoid catastrophic hose failure.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
© 2017 Illustration by Continental
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Top Ten Reasons to Trust Hi-Tech


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Prince Philip Quote


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