June 27, 2017

When to Top the Fluids off for your Vehicle

          In order for the vehicle to operate at top performance levels the fluid levels should be topped off. This will help operate the parts of the vehicle that need lubrication or fluid in order to run. Having the proper amount of fluid in the vehicle is important. Along with checking the fluids, also remember to inspect the oil. By having the oil changed on a regular basis, you can help keep the engine properly lubricated. If you notice that you have to fill up a reservoir with fluid often, it could be a sign of a leak somewhere in the system. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for where the leak might be.       The fluid checks need to be done for safety reasons as well as ones for maintenance. Having the brake fluid checked on a regular basis can help ensure the proper amount is in there. It can also mean that the brakes are operating effectively and will not lead to an accident over time. Having the fluids checked can help improve the reliability and safety of your vehicle. You can schedule routine fluid checks when you have your vehicle taken in for maintenance. Normally a safety inspection will include checking the major fluids, like the windshield washer fluid, the coolant, and the oil. The other fluids that need to be checked include power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and even the brake fluids in your vehicle.       Dirty fluids could also mean there is a problem within the vehicle. If a fluid has excessive dirt in it, then it might mean there is a part that is leaking something else. For example, oil could be getting in to the fluid where it is not supposed to be. This could mean you have something failing in the engine. This fluid check might have saved you from being broken down on the side of the road somewhere. The fluid checks can also show when more needs to be added. You do not want your brake fluid to dip, which would make it hard to stop. The power steering fluid can leak out, making your turns harder than they need to be. The coolant could leak out, giving you issues with the engine when you are driving for long periods of time or live in an extremely hot area.    
June 20, 2017

Signs the Battery is Failing

  If the vehicle is slow to crank when starting, it is sign the battery may be wearing out. There may also be dimming of the display or backlighting on the dashboard. A poorly charged battery will also tend to show significant dimming for the headlights when you start your vehicle.     If there is an issue with the battery, it may be due to poor battery terminals. These should be regularly inspected to make sure they are not broken or damaged. Also there should not be any corrosion on them. Corrosion on the terminals is commonly caused by electrolysis from the different metals on the terminals and battery cables. It can also occur when there is an imperfect seal between terminal posts and the plastic casing. This can allow sulfuric acid to build up on the terminal posts.     A battery that is beginning to lose its charge can cause issues with the vehicle starting. This is especially common for a vehicle that has sat without being driven for a few hours. If the vehicle is struggling to turn over but the engine is able to start up without a problem, the battery is typically the cause. If the battery has an extremely low charge, there may be a clicking noise when you try to start up the engine. It will also result in the vehicle not starting because the power in the battery is so low.     Dimming headlights on your vehicle may indicate a poor battery. You might notice if the headlights are dimmer than they used to be, especially driving when it is dark out. Another sign is if the headlights fade while the vehicle is being started, or just after it has started. If you notice dimmer headlights or if they are dimming as you travel, make sure to bring your vehicle in a soon as possible so we can inspect it over for any issues.     Another way to tell if the battery is dying is to turn the key in the ignition until the electrical accessories turn on. These include the radio or power windows. If the battery is running low, some or all of these accessories will be slow and sluggish. The windows will roll up or down slower than normal. If the accessories do not come on at all, the battery is completely dead and will need to be recharged or replaced.
June 13, 2017

What to Look for When New Tires are Needed

      Before you drive your vehicle, make sure to inspect several parts of your vehicle. Make sure that you take a few minutes and inspect the tires on your vehicle. The tires should be free from any cracks, puncture marks, or bulges that it might have. If you notice something that is out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as you can, so we can inspect it for you. If a repair is needed, we can advise you on the options that you have. You need to be aware of three things when deciding if you need new tires…tread wear, exposure to the elements, and the tire age.   With this easy test, a penny can buy you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety. Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are shallow and worn. If this is the case, your tires need to be replaced. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 1/16 of an inch of tread depth remaining. This means you probably do not need new tires. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tread on the tires. The most important reason to worry about tread wear is safety. When your tire treads is worn, your vehicle may respond poorly in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow. With good treads your car will grip the road better.   Exposure to heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays may cause structural changes to your tires. If you park outside, try not to have the vehicle in direct sunlight. This can dry out the tires and cause dry rot. Learn how to properly store your vehicle if you are not going to drive it for several months or longer. This can help keep the vehicle lasting as long as possible when you drive.   You should know how old the tires are on your vehicle. Regardless of tread wear, vehicle manufacturers generally recommend you replace your tires at six years. Most tire manufacturers recommend you replace your tires at ten years. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on your specific tires. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can recommend when new tires may be needed for your vehicle. When it is time to change your tires, make sure to know all your options for what tires would be the best for your vehicle. We can also recommend tires to fit your vehicle, budget, and driving style. If you notice something out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment to bring it in. This can help you to get back to a safe and reliable ride.
June 5, 2017

Inspecting the Brakes of your Vehicle

    One of the most important parts of the vehicle is the entire brake system. Without the brakes, your vehicle will not slow down or even stop. This is important because it will improve the safety when you have to drive. The brakes are one such instrument on the car that you cannot go without, ever. In order to make sure your brakes and the brake pads are always in tip top shape, there are a few rules to follow. Those rules can vary a little bit depending on your style of driving and how much you drive each day, but there are still some basics that need to be followed for everyone, and that includes getting regular maintenance done on your vehicle to check out the brakes.   For those who drive to work each day through heavy traffic, the brakes are vital to keep from rear-ending the vehicle ahead of you. It might seem like you are on the brakes more than the gas pedal even some days. When this is the case, then it might be a smart idea to have the brakes checked every time you get the oil changed. The heavier you are on the brakes, the faster they will wear out on the vehicle. They could wear down far enough that there could be damage on the rotors or other parts even that could be costly or dangerous that you should fix. For the person who only drives to work a couple days a week or just to shuffle kids around to practice, then waiting 10,000 miles or even longer is acceptable.   Once the brakes have begun to squeak once you apply them, the brake pads are probably already worn down quite a bit. The more they ware down, the more damage there could be done to the parts surrounding the brakes. The rotors and calipers are expensive to replace, so have them checked out before a problems occurs. Not only will it be cheaper, but it will be safer for you and all of the family members who travel in your vehicle.   If you do notice a squeak or even that the brakes seem to not slow down your vehicle as fast as they used to, take them in for a check. If the brake pads appear to be worn, then new we can install ones easily in a matter of an hour or two. If the brake calipers or the rotors need to be adjusted, they will perform all of those services at the same time when the new brake pads are being installed. The entire braking system will be checked over and repaired before you go out on the road again.