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Posts Tagged ‘brake repair’

With the change in temperature; winter appears to be rapidly approaching. Now is the time to make sure your brakes are operating properly. Brakes are a vital safety feature on your vehicle so it’s important to make sure your brakes are working properly. Any time you notice these symptoms (or any others), it’s a good idea to have your brakes checked.

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • Brake warning light that stays on
  • Continuously squealing or grinding brakes
  • Drifting to one side of the road when braking

What Are Your Options?

Brake linings are a maintenance item and are designed to wear. There are three main types of brake pads available for your vehicle. The different friction (stopping) materials—organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic—each have their own characteristics. When it’s time to replace your brake pads or shoes, discuss your driving habits and how you use your vehicle with your shop or parts provider. Original equipment brake pads from the dealer are always a good option if you have been satisfied with the braking performance. Questions? Don’t hesitate to give our Factory Certified Technicians a call!

When your car ‘speaks‘ to you, it’s usually saying that something’s wrong, something needs fixing. We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; for instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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Many of us take for granted that our cars will start for us in the morning and get us to where we need to go. Without regular car maintenance, however, this reliability won’t last long.

Sounds like squealing, thumping, hissing and grinding are all signs that your vehicle may be trying to tell you something. “It’s important for car owners to listen and act accordingly when their vehicle speaks up,” says Larry Bronson, one of our long-term Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Greenwood Service Advisors. “By checking out what your vehicle is saying; you can take care of the problem now and avoid a breakdown or more costly repairs later.”

 

 

 

 

 

Per Larry, “Any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate a problem”:

  • A high-pitched squeal that stops when pressing on the brake pedal is a sign that a vehicle’s brakes should be inspected.
  • A grinding noise? This could be the result of worn brake pads that should be replaced.
  • Thumping that increases and decreases with the speed of the vehicle could mean a tire problem like a bubble in the sidewall or torn rubber that could lead to a blowout.
  • Hissing noise under the hood may be caused by a disconnected or cracked vacuum hose.
  • A squealing noise while revving the engine could be due to a slipping drive belt.
  • An audible tapping or engine clicking noise coming from the front of your car could mean a worn engine part or low oil pressure.
  • Deep knocking Noises? You should probably not use the car until the knocking engine noise has been fully and properly tested, diagnosed and repaired.
  • Squealing when accelerating? This is your fan belt telling you it is in pain.

When your car ‘speaks‘ to you, it’s usually saying that something’s wrong, something needs fixing. We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; for instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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Winter seems to be quickly approaching; and winter driving comes with it, are you road-ready? In addition to the added perils of winter driving, the change in weather can bring havoc to your car’s systems. Freezing temps, salted roads and wintery precipitation can gang up on your car if you have not done recommended maintenance throughout the year. As with any change of season, you should make sure you are up to date on recommended Winter Specific Maintenance:

  • Check your antifreeze
  • Inspect your tires
  • Replace your wipers
  • Check your windshield washer fluid
  • Clean your battery posts
  • Inspect your spark plug wires
  • Inspect your brakes
  • Check Your Engine Oil

In addition to my list of recommended winter specific maintenance suggestions, a checkup might include additional items depending on the type of vehicle that you drive. I would strongly suggest that you schedule a time before “the snow hits” so that you are prepared for our Indiana winter.

We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; or instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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I left the dealership this past Friday, and hadn’t gone a mile until my “low tire” light came on. Don’t know how you would react, but my heart sank. So, I thought I would provide some insight about this feature. I had not given it any thought, but vehicle manufacturers began to phase in TPMS beginning in the 2006 model year and were required to install it in all vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007.  I talked to one of our Service Advisors and asked for him to explain to me how the feature works: There are two kinds of monitoring systems direct and indirect. To keep it short and sweet, the direct system monitors the actual pressure in the tire while the indirect system uses existing sensors in the ABS system which watches wheel speed to detect smaller tire diameter caused by under-inflation.

So, the culprit that caused my light to come on? When the temperature outside the tire changes, it will affect the pressure inside the tire. In the fall, the colder weather will significantly lower your tire pressure. If your tire pressure has been set during the hot summer months, the first major cold wave will cause the air to contract inside your tire, lowering the pressure, thus setting off your TPMS.

 

 

Word of advice: To alleviate that annoying tire light, check your tire pressure monthly, during the morning, when tires are cold. During this time, make sure all tires are at the PSI indicated in your manual. Additionally, you might consider replacing the air in your tires with nitrogen. My Service Advisor explains: by using nitrogen the molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. Seepage is thus reduced through the tire walls and where the tire meets the rim. Any moisture in the tire is also eliminated, which can affect inflation.

Questions about using nitrogen vs air in your tires? Check with one of our Service Advisors at your next Express Lane Service visit – no appointment needed!

Or, Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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Fall is quickly approaching! The crisp days of fall offer an excellent opportunity to focus on preventive maintenance for your vehicle. Our seasonal service recommendations will help to prepare your car for the months ahead, so add a few minutes to your fall car care routine and make sure it’s ready before the cold sets in. Doing so will help it run better, last longer and retain its value, while providing safe and reliable transportation for you and your family.

So, about the time that our clocks “fall back”, you need to take care of what I like to call the “four b’s”:

  • Brakes – Does your car take a little longer to stop? Do you feel a slight pull to one side or a wobble in your seat or steering wheel when you brake suddenly? Do you hear any squeal or squeak when braking? Sometimes the squeak is due to the accumulation of brake pad ‘dust.’ This is normal for many vehicles. Just hose out your wheels as thoroughly as you can. (It’s best to allow to dry before driving.) If that remedies the squeak, good. If not, or you have any questions about your braking system’s performance, just bring your vehicle in and we’ll be happy to check things out for you.
  • Battery – more batteries fail in cold weather than any other time of year. It takes more power to start a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available. Batteries don’t always die slowly. They can fail without warning, too.
  • Belts –Inspect engine belts for cracking and pliability. If they are rigid, they should be replaced. Hoses deteriorate from the inside out; test them for spongy, brittle or bulging areas. Not sure about the condition? To make it through the winter problem-free, schedule an appointment for an inspection!
  • Blades – Examine wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. In addition, wipers tend to build up a thin layer of grime during the summer that keeps the rubber blade from contacting the glass, which could result in smeared windshields and poor visibility.

In addition to inspecting my “four Bs,” a fall maintenance checkup may include: changing the oil; checking the radiator fluid levels; inspecting or replacing the oil filter and the air and cabin filters; inspecting the heating and exhaust systems; balancing and aligning the wheels; topping off all fluids; examining lights to make sure they work and that headlights are properly aimed; and rotating the tires, making sure to check the tire pressure and inspect the treads for wear.

Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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So, what does this light mean? The “check engine” light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. Since the 1980’s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed, fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In some cars, the computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift. When this onboard diagnostics system finds a problem that it can’t correct, the computer turns on a yellow warning indicator that is labeled by either “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.”

Don’t you wish the alert could be a little more specific? Nope, it can’t. Unfortunately, the check engine light comes to life if anything, and I do mean anything isn’t 100% under the hood. This means that you could be staring at a major repair; or, your gas cap could be too loose (no kidding).

The most common problems that trigger the light are emission control malfunctions. The emission control system is what your car uses to try to keep our air a little cleaner. Here are a few of the more commonly occurring issues:

  • Your gas cap isn’t on tight enough. — Obviouosly, if this is what triggered the light, this is an easy enough problem to fix. Tighten the gas cap, and usually after 4 normal “global starts and cool downs”, the light will go off. (In layman’s terms: Drive the car as normal and after it has been driven 4-times, with the car being shut off and the engine gets cold between the starts / equals a “global start”)
  • Your engine got wet where it didn’t like it — Any electrical burp under the hood can cause one of your car’s gazillion sensors to take a funny reading. When it does, you can expect to see the Check Engine light. More common than rain water getting in there is the overzealous owner who sprays his engine down at the high pressure car wash, shooting water into every crevice of the engine, thus lighting the light.
  • Your spark plug wires are bad — As your spark plug wires start to get old, they may develop tiny cracks which can let little bursts of electricity out. This electricity was supposed to be going to a spark plug, and since it didn’t, the engine will misfire slightly, meaning one of the spark plugs didn’t spark enough.

What happens when I ignore the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT or put off the recommended service? There are two kinds of CHECK ENGINE LIGHT alerts. A non-flashing, but lit CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, is usually a less severe problem that shouldn’t cause immediate problems but needs to be checked as soon as possible. There is also a flashing and illuminated CHECK ENGINE LIGHT means your vehicle senses a critical system error (such as a major cylinder misfire ) and you need immediate attention before potentially breaking down and possibly damaging other critical and expensive parts. In this case, continuing to drive can lead to further damage rather quickly or can leave you stranded.

Bottom line; when the “check engine” light comes on, It’s like someone saying “My leg hurts a little,” or “I get out of breath when I climb stairs.” A doctor — or, for your car, a mechanic — still has to figure out what’s really causing the problem.

Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.
Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

It’s a hassle, but you really do have to maintain your car properly if you want it to run well. So where to go? Below I’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of the dealers versus the corner garage. Bear in mind that when I say “corner garage”, I mean smaller, independent repair shops; not the chains like Midas, Jiffy Lube, Meineke or Pep Boys. Those chains, which often specialize in one “area” of the car, fall in a middle ground between the dealerships and the mom-and-pop repair shops.

Why consider the dealership?

  • Technicians at the dealer level are specialists; they are manufacturer-trained and typically work only on your make of vehicle. Also, dealers have an ongoing training program for the service staff.
  • Dealer service departments most generally provide a shuttle back to your office or home, provided it’s no farther than five miles or so.
  • What about warranties? There, the advantage definitely goes to the dealer. First, a dealer will perform repairs for free if your car is still under warranty. Even if you have to pay for repairs outside the warranty period, dealers back up their repairs with a warranty that is good nationwide. Thus, if the repair doesn’t hold, it can be fixed free of charge at any other dealer.
  • The dealer also offers manufacturer-backed extended warranties for both new and used vehicle purchases. The manufacturer-backed extended warranties makes service easier because there is a large network of dealers; this is especially important if you plan on moving or do a lot of traveling in your vehicle.
  • Because the dealership represents the manufacturer, service departments are required to measure up to corporate standards of customer satisfaction.
  • Dealer service departments have a distinct advantage when it comes to manufacturer recalls and technical service bulletins.
  • Manufacturers and their dealers offer only OE (Original Equipment) parts, which represent a standard of quality and engineering that only the manufacturer can authorize. A 12-month/12,000-mile warranty on parts and labor for repairs and/or service is not uncommon at the dealer level.
  • Dealer facilities are often cleaner, more organized and better maintained than smaller shops. At a dealer facility, you will usually find a waiting room, clean bathrooms, a place to buy car accessories, even the availability of drinks, snacks and television.
  • Online appointment scheduling; making the service department available 24 / 7!!

Why the independent shop?

  • Many technicians at independent shops are both manufacturer- and A.S.E.-certified, don’t be afraid to ask about their certifications.  Although A.S.E. training is less “make” specific than the manufacturer’s training, the technicians at these facilities can be just as expert in their knowledge, depending on their experience.
  • If the repair or service that you need isn’t major, it may be more convenient to drive a short way to your neighborhood repair shop than it is to go to the dealer, especially if you need to leave your car for servicing.
  • Small shops can offer warranties on service or repairs, but may not offer the same length of coverage or may cover only the parts or the labor, but not both. If you travel with your vehicle, your warranty may be worthless wherever it is your car decides to give you trouble.
  • Local repair shops report to no one but you.
  • Automotive service software such as Alldata and Mitchell OnDemand5 allows independent garages to get manufacturer information on recalls and TSBs, updated on a monthly basis. But keep in mind that these are paid memberships and not every corner garage has the software at their disposal.
  • The advantage of aftermarket parts is that, like generic prescription drugs, they are supposed to perform the same function for a lot less money. There are times, though, when aftermarket parts are inferior to OE parts.
  • So how can small repair shops compete with dealers on facilities? The short answer is: They can’t. .

With all this said … what is my opinion? Obviously, from my perspective, I prefer and have always used the services at a dealership that represents the brand of auto that I drive. That is my comfort zone — and at 60+ years of age, I still have my “Dad in my ear” with his advice —  “Why would you want to put your second most expensive lifetime purchase in the hands of just anyone?”. However, the decision has to be one that you are comfortable with. Bottom line, find a facility (either a dealership service department or an independent) that you are comfortable with and one that suites your individual needs. Make sure they are highly qualified to do the work. Develop an ongoing relationship with them (don’t hop from shop to shop looking for the next “deal”).

This topic ALWAYS generates differing opinions, we would love to hear yours! Feedback always welcome:)

Schedule your appointment today….
CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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On my drive into work today, I noticed more “road gators” (my father’s nickname for blown tire treads on the roadway) on the road than normal and wondered why? My search results found that tires can fail during periods of excessive heat – and we have certainly had plenty of that lately! Due to increased friction, high-speed driving, excessive cornering and frequent braking during periods of very high temperatures tires tend to heat up beyond their design ratings. Once this happens, a blowout can occur.

Additionally, improper tire inflation can cause a blow-out. So, I ask you, when is the last time you checked the air pressure in all four of your car tires? If it’s been more than one month, auto technicians in the area say you’re past due and the heat could be putting your tires at risk for a blowout; triple digit temperatures beating down on the hot pavement are taking a toll on your tires.

In my research on the subject, I found out that not all tires are created equal. Tires have separate ratings for climate temperature, tread wear, load capability and speed. Under-inflated tires will run hotter than tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation. In addition, under-inflated tires will result in poor gas mileage. You can reduce the risk of blowouts by slowing down on the highway and taking curves or corners more gently. Excessive heat can cause badly worn or old tires to fail even in careful driving.

In case of a blowout…what should you do? Here is a great video that gives you tips on what to do should you have a blow out! During any roadside emergency, it is always a good idea to have the appropriate supplies such as jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, flashlight, hazard signs, water and a charged cell phone.

AAA recommends the following tips to keep tires running smooth during the hot summer months:

* Check air pressure regularly especially before long trips. A survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association in 2010 found that over half of all vehicles have at least one tire that is under inflated. Make sure to. Remember, use the correct inflation pressure that is found on a label on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual.

* Examine all four tires. When checking tread take a penny, insert upside down into tread groove. If you see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.

* Misaligned wheels can cause premature tire wear. Have alignment checked periodically or if you notice your vehicle “pulling” to the left or right. Hitting a pothole or curb could affect your wheel alignment.

* Inspect valve caps. Metal caps in scorching heat can be hard to remove. Consider a cap made out of heat tolerant material. While you are checking this out make sure it is screwed on tightly.

If you are unsure of the status of the tires on your vehicle, take it to a professional for inspection. Our ASE Certified Technicians are available on a non-appointment basis for basic services. (Greenwood location / Indianapolis location) Questions about tires? Give us a call today! (contact information for our Service Centers)

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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It’s summer time, and the weather is hot. We all know how the words to that old song go, but not everyone is as familiar with how the warmer weather can impact your car’s performance and reliability. With summer’s prime driving season upon us, it’s more important than ever to make sure your car is in tiptop shape.

  • One of the first things dealership technicians will verify during a summer inspection is the state of your vehicle’s tires. The extra heat thrown off by the pavement during the warmer months of the year can add additional stress to tire rubber that is worn out or nearing its replacement date.
  • This last point is also crucial for dealing with any rainstorms you might encounter while out on the highway – bald tires are a significant contributor to hydroplaning, which can see you lose control of your car when encountering standing water or heavy rain. Technicians will also verify that each of your tires is filled with exactly the right amount of air, as too much or too little can contribute to excessive tread wear, as well as lower fuel economy.
  • The next stage for most summer tune-ups takes place under the hood where your vehicle’s air filter will be inspected to determine whether it must be replaced.
  • Other engine-related summer maintenance items that can improve your car’s miles per gallon include spark plugs and fuel filters.
  • In addition to performing the standard brake pad, rotor and fluid checks that should be done every time you have your automobile in for servicing, one of the final things that dealership technicians will verify as being in good working order is your car’s cooling and air conditioning systems.

Summer car maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, getting your car ready for the hottest and busiest driving season is as simple as stopping in at your local dealership and putting yourself in their capable hands.

Scheduling a service appointment can ensure happy motoring. Click Here: Tom O’Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram:  Greenwood / Indianapolis — O’Brien Toyota Scion O’Brien Auto Center

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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Yes, it’s that time of the year again! Family road trip! You’ve checked out and planned the best route to get you there! Perhaps you have decided the time is right to purchase a new vehicle? So, before the trip, you decide to check out  a brand new Town & Country, Journey, Grand Cherokee, 300, Wrangler Unlimited, or one of the many Toyota vehicles.

Or, if you have decided to take your own car, you’ve had your family hauler serviced to make sure that the a/c is operating at capacity, the brakes are good to go, the oil has been changed in our Service department (CJDR Greenwood / CJDR Indianapolis / Toyota), and the windshield wipers and washer fluid container is full and both are ready for any bug battle you encounter.

Does this sound familiar?  “Are we there yet?” being asked only 15 minutes after pulling out of the driveway. Then there are the many needed potty breaks, I’m hungry breaks, and the “I need a snack” right after the “I’m hungry break”. There are several different things you can do to keep your sanity during a long road trip. The O’Brien Automotive Family has borrowed some ideas that will help to reduce the boredom, interact with your kids and make the trip feel shorter for all of you!

Car game ideas for toddlers, preschoolers and younger children.

  • Draw it: Call out letters, numbers, animals and places, but instead of dealing with messy  markers, use a Magna Doodle.
  • Nursery rhymes and songs: Brush up on your nursery rhymes and toddler songs! Little ones love to sing their favorite tunes from preschool and playgroups.
  • I Spy: Before you embark on your road trip, strategically place large, colorful items around      your car and within your child’s view from his or her car seat.

Car games for older kids

Older kids enjoy learning new things, being active and being creative — even while in the car.

  • I Spy: Challenge your kids with a game of I Spy while on the move.
  • Travel Bingo: Bingo is a classic road trip game. A magnet set makes playing in the car fun and easy.
  • Alphabet game: Encourage your kids to explore their surroundings to find the letters of the alphabet on road signs, license plates and other signage visible from the road.
  • License plates: Make a list of  the U.S. states and silently check off each one as you see a matching license plate. Then set a number and the first person to reach that number wins.
  • Name that tune: Make a playlist of your family’s favorite songs and ask your kids to guess the name of the song and the artist.
  • Finish the song: After guessing the name of the song and the artist’s name, stop the music to see if your kids can finish the rest of the song on their own.
  • Punch buggy: Punch buggy is a more physical car game where you punch your neighbor (lightly) whenever you see a VW Beatle or a different type of vehicle.

Additional ideas that work

  • Picture it. Give each child an inexpensive disposable camera, and allow them to take photos of anything of interest they see along the way. After the trip, have the photos developed and let each child create their own homemade storybook about their travels.
  • Travel totes. This one takes a little advance planning, but it’s worth it! Pick up an inexpensive tote bag for each child and fill it with books, crayons, coloring books, a note pad, their favorite portable snacks and treats, and a favorite toy. Each child having their own bag will eliminate back seat battles over whose turn it is to use the crayons next.
  • And pack plenty of snacks! Pack snacks: crackers, fresh fruit and nuts, pre-packed servings of pretzels, cookies and chips.

Have fun and be safe on the road!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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