Car Care Tips

January 9, 2018

Having an Efficient Battery this Winter

  One way to keep your battery in the best condition possible is to make sure to go to regularly scheduled maintenances. We can inspect the battery on a routine basis to ensure it is in the best operating condition possible. By having the battery inspected, you can help reduce the chance of your vehicle not starting when you may need it. No matter if you need your vehicle for a daily commute or emergency situation, you will always want it to have a trouble free start.     Check the battery for any cracks or puncture marks on it. If the battery case is cracked, it may cause the battery to leak. If the battery begins to leak, it may need to be replaced sooner than expected. If you notice any damage on the battery, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect it for any issues. We can advise you with what your options are to repair the battery, or if a new battery may be needed. Also check the terminals of the battery to ensure they are not broken or damaged. If the terminals are damaged it may affect how the battery supplies the power to your vehicle. You may experience the battery losing its charge when you may need it.     When you inspect the battery, also make sure it is clean. Any dirt or debris that you find on the battery should be removed. A buildup of dirt, leaves, or other debris can result in the battery being inefficient when it needs to hold a charge. The buildup can also cause damage if it is on the terminals. Also make sure the battery is free of any corrosion buildup on it. Corrosion can lead to a poor connection with the battery.   In the winter the colder temperatures are harder on the battery. Make sure to turn off everything before starting your vehicle. This way all the power from the battery will go to making sure the vehicle starts. If you have the radio, lights, GPS, heater, and windshield wipers all working, the vehicle will be harder to start. Also remember to warm the vehicle up a few minutes to ensure that the oil will properly lubricate the engine. If you notice an issue, scheduling an appointment with us is recommended.
December 21, 2017

Noticing Alternator Issues

  The most common way to notice an issue with the vehicle is by any warning lights that might illuminate on the dashboard. If the light that is shaped like a battery or one that says “ALT” illuminates, it could mean there is an issue with the alternator of the vehicle. This light will not always mean there is an issue with the battery   Another way to be aware of a poor alternator is if you notice the lights on the vehicle have become dimmer. This is because the alternator supplies the electrical needs for the vehicle. When it starts to fail, some of the electrical components will decrease in effectiveness as well. This can include the lights, windshield wipers, power windows, and other electrical parts.   Between visits, make sure you are inspecting the vehicle, and be aware of any issues that might be out of the norm for it. This could include a belt that is loose or hanging. A visual inspection can help ensure all the parts are working, as they should be. Also be aware of any sounds you might hear. This can include a growling or whining noise coming from the alternator. The accessory belt or serpentine belt will help to drive the alternator. If it is not in correct alignment, the bearings could start to cause an issue and make odd noises that will indicate an issue. When you notice an issue at the first sign, you can help prevent further damage and wear and tear by bringing it in to be inspected.
December 8, 2017

Signs of a Poor Cabin Filter

Owning a vehicle means that you want it to be in the best condition possible, and ensure it is efficient. Make sure to bring it in for regularly schedule maintenance inspections so that the parts can be checked to ensure they are operating correctly. The cabin air filter is the filter responsible for filtering the air that is fed into the vehicle’s heating and air conditioning systems. The filter traps dust, pollen, and other foreign particles, preventing them from entering the vehicle and polluting the cabin. Since they work in essentially the same fashion as a regular engine air filter, cabin air filters get dirty and should be replaced when they become excessively contaminated, or at the regular service interval recommended by the manufacturer. Usually a dirty cabin air filter will produce a few symptoms that can notify the driver that attention may be required. Less Efficient Air Flow A common symptom associated with a bad cabin air filter is poor airflow from the vehicle’s interior vents. An excessively contaminated cabin air filter will not be able to filter the incoming air as effectively as a clean filter would. As a result, this will cause restricted airflow. Additionally, this will cause the vents to blow with noticeably less force, reducing the overall capacity of the air system and put extra strain on the blower motor. Unusual Odor From Vents Another sign of a bad or failing cabin air filter is an unusual odor coming from the vehicle’s interior vents. An excessively contaminated filter may produce a dusty, dirty, or musty smell. The smell may become more pronounced when the vent is turned on, and may make the cabin uncomfortable for the passengers. A cabin filter is a simple component that should be replaced when necessary to keep the system working as efficiently as possible, and to keep the cabin as comfortable as possible for the passengers. If you suspect that your cabin filter may be dirty, have the vehicle examined by us, to determine if your car is due for a cabin air filter replacement. Always remember to bring the vehicle in at anytime when you notice an issue. By inspecting the issue at the first sign, you can help prevent further wear and tear in the long run. You can also reduce the chance that other parts and components will start to fail, resulting in a costly repair bill. By keeping the vehicle well maintained, you can increase the efficiency of the vehicle when you drive.    
December 4, 2017

Maintaining the Headlights for your Vehicle

You will want to always have your vehicle in the best condition possible. This includes maintaining the headlights, and inspecting all the lights of your vehicle. Over time your vehicle’s headlights will burn out or the electrical system may go bad as it ages dimming or outing one or more of your lights. Headlights have also proven to get rather dirty over time. Once a month you should check to make sure that their vehicles headlights are working properly and are in good condition. Headlight lenses become cloudy and dirty over time. This can diffuse the beams of your headlights, which makes it harder for you to see and be seen. So if you notice that your lenses are foggy or yellowing, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the vehicle and lights for you Also headlights naturally dim over time. So even though they are working, you may still need to have them replaced. You can check their brightness by parking on a level surface about five feet from your garage door or a building wall. Turn your headlights on. The light on the wall from your headlights should be bright white. If they appear to be dim or yellow, you should replace them. While you are inspecting the brightness of your lights, you should also check that the beams are aimed well. Both sides should hit the same spot on the wall. If your lights are aimed too high or too low, you may be creating a blind spot for other drivers. When you do this it affects their ability to see the road and you. Potholes can often cause misaligned headlights, which is one more reason to try and avoid them. If you notice your lights need are not angled properly, you should bring your car into a mechanic to have them adjusted. You should always replace both headlights at the same time. Headlights dim over their lifetime, so if you change only one you will have one light that is brighter than the other. This creates an uneven field of vision which can be majorly distracting for not only you, but for oncoming traffic as well. If you notice an issue, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the lights for you.  
November 3, 2017

Coolant Flush Benefits for your Vehicle

  The radiator on your car plays an important role throughout the year. It helps keep the engine cool while you’re driving or even when the car is idling, and it also prevents the engine from freezing up during winter when your car is sitting parked. Over time, however, this car part can dirty: the antifreeze or combination of water and antifreeze inside it may become contaminated with impurities that make keeping the engine cool and running difficult. Driving habits, the type of antifreeze you use, and extreme outside temperatures will help determine how often your radiator needs to be flushed. During a coolant flush, old antifreeze is pushed out, along with any contaminants that may harm your radiator or your engine. This simple maintenance step can greatly improve the life of your car and offers many benefits. Over time, scale deposits and rust can build up in your radiator. Coolant flushes in remove these deposits as the old antifreeze and water are pushed out. By getting rid of the scale deposits and rust inside the radiator, you reduce the chances of radiator damage and engine overheating. New antifreeze is then poured in and contains additives that help prevent rust from forming on the inside of the radiator again. One of the most beneficial reasons behind a coolant flush is the removal of old contaminants that may be present in the car’s existing coolant. These contaminants are dangerous to the car’s system, as they cause the coolant to lose its anti-corrosive properties. This can lead to rust buildup and radiator corrosion over time if it is not taken care of. A coolant flush gets rid of the contaminants. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect it for you. This will help you to save time, money, and stress in the long run.