Car Maintenance

9 Steps for a Winter Ready Car

winter car

The last thing any driver needs is to break down in cold, harsh winter weather. A vehicle check now before winter arrives is a sensible way to be prepared for inclement weather and avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.

We recommend the following nine easy steps for winterizing your vehicle:

  1. You may be due for a tune-up, we suggest that you have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
  2. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
  3. Allow us to clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years. When was the last time you had this done?
  4. Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid.
  5. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  6. Allow us to check your brakes for your safety, this is one of the most important tools your car has during this season.
  7. We will check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  8. Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
  9. Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter.

Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks.

The Road to a Long-Lasting Vehicle

Long lasting

Most people buy a vehicle with the intent of keeping it for as long as possible. This is how you maximize enjoyment and minimize the cost of ownership. During the time of ownership, we discover that some cars we like a lot, and some not so much. But the common denominator is this…the better care a vehicle receives, the longer it will last!

The key is to do regular service and maintenance, both for the mechanical systems and to the body and interior. When you keep your vehicle clean and running well, it will take you a long way down the road to a vehicle that lasts and lasts.

Auto Repair: Wondering About Your Warranty?

Maintenance

Car dealerships make money when you buy their car, but they make a lot when you bring it in for service. Consider us your “dealership replacement.” We can do any job they can, and you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars on any repair! Plus, we warranty our parts and labor for everything we do. Our goal is to give you peace of mind whenever you drive, so rest easy, drive safely, and count on us to be there whenever you need us.

Auto Repair and Service: What to Expect

Maintenance

If you’re having a problem with your car, truck, or SUV, contact us right away and let us know what the issue is. We won’t diagnose your problem over the phone, but we can usually tell you if your car should be towed, or if it can be driven in for repair. Once here, we’ll do a thorough inspection, and provide an estimate of what the repair will cost. We’ll also make you aware of any other areas that may need attention. The safety of you, your family, and even others on the road is dependent on your vehicle being in a safe operating condition, so trust us to help you and address any issues your vehicle may have.

Watch Out: 3 out of 4 Vehicles Need Service Right Now!

Maintenance

That’s right. Three out of four vehicles on the road right now have some need for service. That car in front of you…bad brakes. In the right lane next to you…it pulls to the left. That SUV behind you has bad wipers that don’t clear the windshield. Good thing it’s not raining.

Whether it is a part beginning to fail, or a lack of maintenance, these cars are operating on the very edge. This means that in an emergency, YOUR car will make the difference between safe passage, or being in an accident not of your making.

Keep on top of maintenance, and have regular inspections done to get ahead of potential problems.

A Broken Tire Can Shake Things Up

Bad tire

You jump in your car to do a quick errand, and you notice a steady vibration through the steering wheel. You’re sure you didn’t hit any potholes recently, and it sure wasn’t vibrating earlier today…

It could be a broken belt in your tire! Tires are made up of layers of material, many times made from different materials to give them particular characteristics. When a belt breaks, it changes the shape of the tire, and weakens the area under the tread. In some cases, the tire might look completely normal!

So many different things can cause wheel vibration. At the first sign of a vibration in your vehicle, first STOP when it is safe and quickly inspect the tires, lug nuts and tire pressures. If all looks fine, but the vibration persists, Bring it in to us as soon as possible. Any cause of a vibration can lead to a serious loss of control, and injury.

Your Car Doesn’t Ask For Much

Car Care

It’s always there for you, getting you where you need to go. A little extra care this Valentine’s Day in the form of an oil change, tune-up and basic service is the perfect gift for the one who keeps you going.

We recommend a little tender loving auto care this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s performance. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.

  • Change the oil and filter per the owner’s manual. Periodic oil and filter changes keep your engine clean on the inside.

  • Check the tire pressure monthly, including the spare. Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety.

  • Have the alignment checked annually. Potholes and other road conditions, as well as normal wear, can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.

  • Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car. Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need periodic replacement.

Give us a call today so we can show your car some love!

When Too Cool Is Not So Hot

Maintenance

Whether you have a heater only, heater and A/C, or a fully automatic climate control system in your vehicle, they need periodic maintenance to perform correctly. Heaters are completely dependent on the operating condition of your engine’s cooling system, as they use the hot coolant as a heat source for your passenger cabin. Air Conditioning systems use an engine-driven belt to turn a compressor, which circulates freon to take heat out of the passenger area. And both apply to climate control systems, with several sensors thrown into the mix to determine when and how to heat or cool your vehicle.

Now that the days might include both heating and cooling, come on in and let us check out these systems for proper operation. A problem with the engine cooling system can not only leave you stranded, but it will also leave you in the cold! Call us or come on by for an inspection and review of your climate control system today!

Don’t Get Schooled by Bad Brakes

Maintenance

It’s a busy time of year. Kids are back in school; chores need to get done around the house before the holidays sneak up on us. And traffic always seems to get worse! Not to mention the road hazards of wind, falling leaves, early darkness, and new potholes.

Now is the time to make certain that your vehicle’s brakes are in perfect working order. A brake inspection can give you peace of mind in knowing that your brakes are in decent shape; it can also be the best way to find out that you might need new pads or rotors, or even a brake fluid purge and replacement. We can quickly assess the condition of your braking system and help your vehicle to be as safe as possible out on the road. Just STOP in or call us for an appointment.

It’s No Trick – Treat Your Car Now to Prepare for Winter

Car Care

The crisp temperatures of Halloween are a general reminder that the weather is changing, and wet and stormy weather is on its way. We usually get a rush of customers right after the first cold storm wanting to “winterize,” so beat the crowd and come in now.

Fresh fluids, new wiper blades, proper tires, and any other items inspected and needing service can be addressed now so you’re ready for whatever evil weather is looming outside. There’s no need to be alarmed; our super-heroes on staff will help you to keep your service needs and budget under control. Act now…while there’s still time.