December 29, 2017

Driving your Vehicle in Winter

  When snow falls, even in small amounts, it can be time consuming to clear off your vehicle. Clearing off the vehicle completely is important for your safety, as well as the safety of others. It is important to clean off your entire vehicle, including all windows and even the side mirrors. It can also help to decrease the chance of ice and snow falling off your vehicle and causing an accident for someone else. While cleaning off your vehicle, it is important to remember how to properly remove the snow and ice. Clearing off snow and ice the wrong way could damage part of the vehicle’s surface. When you remove snow from your vehicle, never use a shovel. It is easy to get the shovel too close to the surface of the vehicle, even while being careful. Shovels that are metal or plastic have hard edges that are designed to scrape along the ground to remove the bottom layers of ice and snow. These edges can leave scratches and gouges in the surface of the vehicle.     If there is ice on the vehicle, make sure to remove it correctly by lifting it off. The tendency is to push off any ice chunks that may be on the vehicle. This can cause an issue because when ice is pushed off the vehicle, the bottom of the ice can slide along the surface. This can result in fine scratches on the vehicle.   It is recommended to turn the vehicle on and let it warm up before you drive it. This can be an effective way to slowly melt the ice off the vehicle. It is important not to use the ice scraper on any part of the vehicle other than the windows. The hard plastic is designed to scrape ice off the windows, and may result in scratches if you use it on any part of the vehicle that is painted. Heating your vehicle up also helps to warm up the oil so the engine can perform better. Best of all, the interior of your vehicle will be warmed up too, so you will be more comfortable.
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 5, 2017

Windshield Wipers are Needed Even in Winter

  It might not seem like it, but windshield wipers are needed as much in the winter, as they are in the summer. This is because wipers can remove the snow, sleet, and any other forms of precipitation from the winter. They will also have to deal with more because of the wear and tear they take on freezing temperatures and operating over ice. It is always best to scrape the windshield so it is clear of frost and ice, before you use the windshield wipers. This will help to prevent further damage to them, and having them wear out sooner than they should.   It is recommended to change the windshield wipers at least twice a year. It could also be more often based on how often the wipers are used, and what the weather conditions are. If you are not sure if the wipers should be changed, make sure to contact us and we can inspect them for you.   If you notice a chattering or any other issues with the windshield wipers, it could be a sign that new windshield wipers are needed. This will continue to get worse with time. When the wipers start to wear out, they will no longer clean the windshield efficiently. Other signs could be any smear or streak marks it leaves behind when they operate. Over time this will cause impaired vision when you drive. The poorly cleaned window will reduce the chance that you see other vehicles, animals, or objects that may be on the road.   Also remember to keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir topped off. By making sure it is filled to the appropriate amount, you will have enough to clear the windshield if there is road grime on it. You should also consider having extra washer fluid in the vehicle as well. That way if you run out, you can refill the reservoir no matter where you are. If you notice any issues with your vehicle or windshield wipers, make sure to contact us and make an appointment so we can inspect it for you.
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.