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Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips

If you haven't noticed, summer is here! The kids are out of school and road trip season is upon us! It is important to prepare your vehicle for the few extra miles you will likely rack up as you crisscross the state or country on your next summer adventure. Be sure to conduct a little pre-summer auto maintenance so your vehicle keeps on running great all summer long, providing you with reliable transportation and fantastic fuel efficiency. Inflate the Tires Ensure that your tires haven't are fully inflated before hitting the road for a long haul. Visually inspect your tires for cracking and ensure they have a safe amount of tread left. Check the tire pressure rating and fill the tires to the right PSI if they are not already at it. Low tires can cause a decrease in fuel efficiency by 2 MPGs or more. Replace the Air Filter Your car runs on a mixture of air and gas and if the air filter is clogged your vehicle will burn more fuel to compensate, thus decre ... read more

5 Signs of Cooling System Failure

The cooling system in your car or truck has an extremely important job. It keeps the engine temperature regulated during operation to prevent it from quite literally melting itself. In most vehicles the cooling system consists of a radiator, fan, a thermostat, water pump and a series of hoses that coolant runs through in order to keep the heat down inside the engine. A faulty cooling system can lead to serious engine trouble, such as a blown head gasket, or worse, complete engine failure, which would require extensive repair. At the first sign of cooling system trouble, which may include the following, be sure to head to your local auto repair shop to have the issue resolved. Rising Temperature Gauge Your dashboard is full of information about your car, including the current temperature of the engine. If this gauge shows that your engine is running hot you'll want to pull over immediately to let your car cool down. Contact a mechanic about what you should do next ... read more

3 Signs it is Time for a Wheel Alignment

Could you imagine trying to walk if each one of your feet wanted to go in different directions? You'd be wandering all over the sidewalk! Thankfully our bodies are rightfully aligned, making it easy to take ourselves in the directions we intend to go. Cars and trucks are also designed to go in one direction, of which the driver selects. The tires are all aligned perfectly when a vehicle rolls off the assembly line, but following some sort of impact or a run in with a curb or pot hole all that could easily change. If one of your tires is pushed out of alignment it will cause hazardous control issues that could result in decreased fuel efficiency, increased tire wear and numerous other problems. If your vehicle is portraying any of these signs of bad tire alignment give the auto shop a call today to have your vehicle serviced. Shaking or Vibrating Steering Wheel Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of trouble is a steering wheel that shakes or vibrates constantly ... read more

How Important are Oil Changes?

No matter what you drive it requires regular maintenance in order to properly operate. Whether you need a cooling system flush or a complete 30/60/90K checkup, these services are incredibly important to do if you want to ensure your car has a long and healthy roadlife. While these services only need to be done every few years or so, there is another services that is imperative to the health of your car that needs to happen on a much more regular basis, usually between every 3,000 and 7,500 miles. Every time you have the oil changed it breathes new life into the vehicle. This service serves a few important functions, and if it goes undone you will run the risk of having to conduct expensive engine repair. Regulates Engine Temperature Sure, the cooling system does most of the work in this regard, but oil helps lower the operating temperature of the engine in a way that coolant can't. Oil is engineered to absorb heat inside the engine in places that coolant can't reac ... read more

What Causes Engine Failure?

Vehicle engines are highly engineered to perform well with relatively little maintenance. While oil changes, timing belt replacement and 30/60/90K maintenance are all necessary parts of an engine's life there are problems that can arise that will leave you stranded and wondering what went wrong. Hopefully it doesn't get to the point of complete engine failure as you will have likely had numerous symptoms of trouble. But if your engine does bring your car to a grinding halt it is likely because it didn't receive the maintenance it needed or simply because it has racked up many miles, wearing out parts along the way. These are three common things that can cause an engine to seize up. Overheating Problems If the engine is allowed to run at temperatures hotter than it is designed to it will begin to overheat. If this happens it can cause several parts to fail. Overheating often occurs due a coolant leak from coming from the radiator, a cooling system home or system ... read more

4 Common Symptoms of Starter Failure

People often take for granted the fact that when they turn the key in their vehicle's ignition in order to start their car that a complicated series of events must happen. The turning of the key is really the most simple thing about turning the car on. That key basically unlocks an electrical pathway that allows for the rest of the events to happen, usually within a split second. One of the first things that happens is that electricity is fed to the starter motor, allowing its pinion gear to mesh with the flywheel in order to get the engine spinning. If the starter motor fails your car won't be able to turn on. If you're having issues getting the motor started and you experience any of these signs of starter motor problems you better head to the auto repair shop to get it repaired or replaced! Grinding Noise A grinding sound that occurs when trying to start your car is probably being caused by loose bolts that mount the starter motor. However it may also indicate worn, broken ... read more

Tricks of the Trade - Mechanics' Little Secrets

Choosing an auto repair shop for your vehicle's service and repair can be daunting, as we've all heard stories about unscrupulous mechanics finding and fixing a small problem but billing for the repair of a big one. Experts say three out of ten auto shops are unethical, and only half produce better than mediocre work. So where does that leave you when your car or truck needs work? Here are some tips that'll help you recognize auto repair shops to avoid. Big One: Watch for scare tactics that come in phrases like, "Good thing you got this in here when you did! I wouldn't have driven this one more mile." That's almost always a good signal to pack up and be on your way right there and then. Reputable auto repair shops display certifications and the more the better. If you don't see any displayed, ask to see them. Meaningful certifications include, but are not limited to, the American Automobile Association (AAA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the Better Business Bureau ( ... read more

4 Signs of Major Engine Trouble

There are few greater feelings than being able to hit the open road and cruise down the coast. Of course, you're more likely utilizing your car for a daily commute to the office. Either way you car is put under a lot of stress during its regular operations. Without proper care or after many miles on the road there is a good chance you're going to run into some problems with your motor. There are a few signs of engine trouble you can look out for, and as long as you head to the mechanic at the first trace of an issue you shouldn't have to worry about extensive engine repairs. Knocking Noise The moving parts of your vehicle's engine rests on engine bearings. If these bearings wear out because they are not properly lubricated or just due to high mileage there will be a metal on metal contact that creates a repetitive knocking noise that will speed up and down parallel to engine RPMs. Head to the mechanic the first time you hear this noise to avoid the need for a compl ... read more

What is Leaking from My Car?

Vehicle utilize many different fluids to properly operate. While most people understand that gasoline is necessary to make a car go, it also needs several other liquids to perform vital functions that without, would leave you stranded and you car, truck or SUV in pretty bad shape. If you notice some sort of fluid dripping from your vehicle you can use this guide to vehicle fluids to try and identify it and then call your local auto repair shop to let them know what the problem may be and schedule an appointment to have it fixed! Brake Fluid Brake fluid is a clearish light brown color and will feel slimy to the touch. A leak will most likely collect in a puddle near a tire or under the brake master cylinder. If you believe you have a brake fluid leak do not drive your vehicle as you could completely lose your ability to slow and stop your car. Coolant The fluid used by the cooling system is generally a bright green color, but can also come in pink or yello ... read more

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