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A/C Problems Demystified

September 28th, 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 ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

What's Leaking From My Car?

September 28th, 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 t ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Questions You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Auto Repair Tech

September 28th, 2016

Often, drivers are mystified by how their cars actually work. It’s to be expected. Even an older car is a complex machine with many sub-assemblies that all work together to move it down the road.Car questions? Ask them!

As a result, drivers tend to be a little intimidated by auto repair and often tend to not inform themselves by asking the necessary questions of a tech or a garage. Too often, that ends up being a big mistake. Here are some examples of the kinds of things you really should know before any auto repair work starts:

  • Does your shop work on any kind of vehicle? Of course, most shops can service a product from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and the other leading makes. Some makes, however, require a ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Differential Service: Too Often Neglected by Drivers

September 28th, 2016
Differential Service – Why Is It Important? 
 
Of all the various things on a vehicle that need regular service and maintenance, the differential is too often neglected. But what exactly is it, and what does it do? 
 
Visualize a rear-wheel-drive vehicle making a right-hand turn. As the car turns to the right, the left rear wheel will have to actually cover a longer distance and spin at a different speed than the right wheel. If the rear axle was delivering the same torque to both wheels, the left rear wheel would be binding and skittering as it made the turn. The differential is designed to allow the wheels to turn at different speeds around corners, eliminating that probl ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Winter Safety Tips – Don’t End Up In the Ditch!

September 28th, 2016
Some people love winter. They love the snow, the snap in the air, the short days and cozy nights at home. Others can’t stand it, for many of the same reasons. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, though, chances are you’re going to have to get out and drive in it at some point. We’ve got a few suggestions to help you through the winter safely: 

Make sure you’ve got a well-maintained car. This includes fresh windshield wipers, proper tire inflation, a strong battery, a properly-maintained cooling system and a fresh oil change. If your tires aren’t up to the job of winter driving, you might consider switching to winter ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

How To Update Your Auto Repair Routine

September 28th, 2016
Time has a way of sneaking up on everyone, and so does mileage on a vehicle. If you have a long commute or regularly put lengthy interstate trips on your car, you can easily rack up 15-18,000 miles a year. Even though today’s cars don’t need as much maintenance as cars from a generation ago, it’s still something you can’t neglect. Here’s a reminder of some important milestones for service on your vehicle: 
 
Monthly 
• Check tire inflation
• Check oil and transmission fluid levels
• Check all lights
• Check windshield washer fluid
 
Every 5,000 Miles
• Oil ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Mark Auto Repair off Your Back-To-School To-Do List

September 28th, 2016
The kids are going to be headed off to school again before you know it, and then of course, the holidays will start coming one after another between Labor Day and the end of the year. There’s a lot to stay on top of, and auto repair should be one less thing for you, the grownup, to worry about as the year marches on. Here are some suggestions for things you might want to take care of before it all starts rolling again: 
 
• Oil Change – Can’t remember the date of your last oil change? Then it might be a good idea to go ahead and set up another one. Dirty motor oil is so loaded with carbon and other contaminants it will begin to form sludgy carbon deposits on internal engine assemblies and moving parts.&nb ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Six Hot Tips on Cool Air Conditioning

September 28th, 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]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

4 Budget Friendly Ways to Improve Mom’s Ride

September 28th, 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 wipers for dry rot, chunks ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Five Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

September 28th, 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
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