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What's Leaking From My Car?

July 14th, 2016
You go out to your car, start it up, pull out of your parking space and see a puddle of...something...where you were parked a moment ago. This is never a good feeling. What could it be? 
 
Fortunately, some automotive fluids are dyed different colors to make this a little easier to narrow down. 
 
Does it appear to be water? Were you recently running your A/C? Chances are that's just condensation from the A/C system, which drips out through a rubber tube and is perfectly normal. No worries there. 
 
For years, antifreeze was dyed a bright green to make it easy to identify. Today, other antifreeze formulations can be colored pink or orange, but it's still not hard to figure out -- antifreeze has a swe ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

A/C Problems Demystified

June 30th, 2016

Believe it or not, the A/C system in your vehicle is fairly simple in principle and design. Like your refrigerator, it operates on a cycle of compression and expansion of a gas, known as refrigerant. The compressor turns the gas into a liquid, and as the gas evaporates it provides cooling. Like your refrigerator, its main components are: 
 
  • Compressor
  • Condenser 
  • Receiver/dryer
  • Thermostatic expansion valve
  • Evaporator
  • Refrigerant
  • Blower 
The good news is most automotive A/C systems have become very robust and reliable compared to cars from a generation ago. Most of the time, poor performance is due to low refrigerant levels due to lea ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Regular, Synthetic or Blend...What Kind of Oil Do I Need?

May 26th, 2016

At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn't been for quite some time. Here's a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it's time for an oil change:

  • Viscosity: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner's manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work a ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Daylight Saving Ends - Check Your Vehicle Lights

May 20th, 2016
Prepare for the end of Daylight Saving Time with proper maintenance of vehicle lighting to ensure safety. After November 2nd, clocks “fall back” which causes most drivers’ commutes to be in darker lighting, being that dusk will occur during peak hours of evening traffic hours. As winter quickly approaches, vehicle lighting should be inspected to ensure optimum visibility for drivers in dim or inclement conditions that command top quality operations of both lighting and windshield wipers.
 
External vehicle lighting serves as an imperative part of enabling vehicle operation and safety during winter months, especially after Daylight Saving Time has passed. Potential for accidents increases drastically as obstacles and obstructions are more difficult to ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Five Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

May 20th, 2016
1. Tires: Ensure tire pressure is properly serviced and maintained for both lengthy travels and everyday driving. Underinflation of tires can cause unnecessary wear and hardship to tire tread, causing tire failure or malfunctions. If not properly inflated, fuel economy can be severely decreased, causing drivers to lose about .6 miles per gallon due to improper tire conditions. Whether over or under inflated, tires can easily lose traction that could lead to an accident if not addressed. Service tires before Thanksgiving travel this holiday season to avoid unnecessary accidents, injury or inconvenience.
 
2. Headlights: Maintaining proper safety and visibility is imperative for winter driving conditions as travelers often drive in less t ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Why Schedule Regular Oil Changes For Your Vehicle?

May 20th, 2016
Many vehicle owners do not take the time to schedule regular oil changes. Regular oil changes are vital to the life of your engine and can extend its performance for years. This is one of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to keep engine protected. Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000-6,000 miles, depending on your vehicle use and the type of oil you are using. 
 
Oil Changes are essential to:
  • Lubricate engine to reduce wear and friction
  • Reduce engine temperatures
  • Maintaining proper engine function
With regular oil changes your engine will be protected against much of the harm normal wear and tear will cause. Parts will stay cleaner with less corrosion, which means with regular upkeep there will b ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

9 Tips for your Spring Vehicle Checkup

May 20th, 2016

The temperatures are inching upward, the days are getting longer and the first buds are starting to appear on the trees. Spring is on its way, and  soon it’s going to be time to do a little preventive maintenance on your ride. No need to dread it -- it’s all pretty routine stuff!

  1. Air filter - If you haven’t changed your air filter since last year (or can’t remember when you changed it at all), it might be time. It’s an easy and cheap fix, and it pays off in your vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.
  2. Cabin filter - Older vehicles often don’t have a cabin filter, but it can make a lot of difference in how pleasant your vehicle is to drive. Stale, smelly air? Change it!
  3. Wipers -- Get a good look at them. Are they showing signs ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

4 Budget Friendly Ways to Improve Mom’s Ride

May 20th, 2016

So we all know that May is devoted to Mother’s Day. In honor of mothers everywhere, here are a few helpful suggestions for you to show mom just how much you care.  
 
1. Oil Change - Getting Mom’s car an oil change would be a nice way to help her get the most miles out of her car. Regular oil changes keep moving parts lubricated, reducing friction and heat buildup, and prevent deposits of sludge and gunk from building up on internal engine assemblies. 
 
2. Wiper Replacement - Even the best windshield wipers need to be replaced every 12 months or so. We’ll get a look at the wi ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Six Hot Tips on Cool Air Conditioning

May 20th, 2016

Summer is here, and it’s time to start thinking about your car’s AC system! Nobody likes driving around in a hot, stuffy car, and a car with an AC system which only works marginally is somehow almost even worse than one which doesn’t work at all. Let’s go through a few tips which can help you keep your ride a little more comfortable this summer…

Remember a cars AC system is really a heat exchanger which moves hot air out of your vehicle, then replaces it with cold air. One thing you can do to help improve its efficiency is to leave your windows down an inch or two (if possible) when you park the car, helping to prevent excess heat buildup. When you start the car and begin to drive off, lower all the windows for the first minute or two to help move hot air out of the car more quickly, giving the AC system a chanc ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Benefits You Didn’t Know About Oil Changes

May 20th, 2016

Automotive technology has come a long way since the mid-20th century, and so has motor oil. A 1940s-era car didn’t feature an oil pump or oil filter. Instead, they relied on dippers on the crankshaft’s counterweights, which would then sling oil to coat crucial moving parts. Motor oils in those days weren’t designed with detergents and other additives to help keep the engine clean; even with frequent oil change intervals, many cars would be in need of an engine overhaul by the time they reached 80,000 miles.

Today’s motor oil formulations incorporate additives to suspend contaminants in the oil so they can easily be trapped by the oil filter. Here are a few other facts about motor oil you may not have known:

...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101
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