April 29, 2015

What to Consider When Choosing a Mechanic

Mechanics are a crucial service and tool for anyone with a vehicle, as they help to keep your car in perfect working order. Sometimes you will need the mechanic to handle basic auto maintenance, and other times you will need them for more serious auto repair services. You must choose a mechanic who can handle both, providing you with the best services possible. Maintenance that Can Be Done The first thing that you will want to look for are the services that the shop can perform. Having maintenance done for your vehicle can improve the life of it. You want to know that the mechanic that you choose can actually handle the services that you need, and may be able to handle services that you need in the future. Simply ask for a full list of services to have a better grasp on what the mechanic can provide. Certification is incredibly important, as you want to make sure that your mechanic has been educated on the specific parts that you need repaired. Look for ASE certifications for various aspects of your vehicle. If you find a Master ASE Technician, you have found someone who has been certified as much as possible. Price is an important thing to consider because you want to make sure that you do not spend too much for your repairs. Ask a mechanic for prices for various maintenance and repair jobs to understand their usual prices. Take a look at the shop that you are interested in. Popular repair shops rarely offer poor service, as they would simply be unable to keep a high volume of customers if they did so. Reviews are a Good Source Online reviews are an important part of the search, as they give you solid insight into the world of the mechanic and their relationship with their customers. Look into these different reviews and work to understand both the good and the bad. While you should take all of these reviews with a grain of salt, know that they may expose a continuing problem with the company. You will note any potential issues that you may have with the mechanic and may be able to decide whether or not the mechanic is the right one for you based on this information. Leaving a car to chance is simply not an option for anyone who wants their vehicle to be in the best shape possible. Take the time to check out the various mechanics you are considering for your vehicle. Know their prices and know the services they offer. Research online reviews and take note of their certifications and their popularity. Each of these various characteristics will help you to understand what to expect from the mechanic. Comparing these different mechanics through these five different characteristics will make it simple and easy for you to pick out the perfect mechanic for your vehicle. It is important to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible, so you will want to make sure the place you choose, will do an ideal job of keeping the vehicle in that condition.
April 16, 2015

Spring Maintenance Inspections for your Vehicle

When you own a vehicle, you will want to make sure it is maintained on a regular basis. This will help ensure it operates at the best performance levels when you will need to drive it. If is important to bring your vehicle in on a regular basis so we can inspect it for you. We will check parts and components of the vehicle so that they are working properly. If there is an issue, we can advise you for when they should be repaired or replaced. The winter weather can be brutal on your vehicle. The vehicle may face snowstorms, below-zero temperatures, and even potholes. These conditions are not healthy for your vehicle. Inspecting and cleaning your vehicle in the spring is a great time to wash away any salt or winter grime that may be on your vehicle. Clean the Vehicle to Remove Salt In the spring, it is important to have your vehicle cleaned. Salt that is used on the roads to melt the ice and snow can cause serious damage to your vehicle. This is especially true for the undercarriage of the vehicle, where the metal can rust. By washing your vehicle, you can eliminate the salt and road grime. Improve the Alignment and Suspension of the Vehicle Driving over potholes can damage your car’s alignment and suspension. You might have a problem if you notice that the car pulls to one side or the steering wheel vibrates as you drive. If you notice any steering issues, make sure to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you. Check the Oil in your Vehicle If the last oil change your vehicle had was before winter, now is a great time to have it done again. You can also bring your vehicle in, and we can advise you when the oil should be changed regularly on your vehicle. If you wait too long to change the oil, it could lead to a costly repair. It could also result for other parts of the engine to have damage done to them. Also make sure to check the other fluid levels in your vehicle. This way you can ensure the vehicle will be ready to drive when you need it to be. Take Care of the Tires When you inspect the tires, make sure you look at everything on them. You should check the tire pressure, including the spare should you ever need it. The tires affect the ride, handling, traction, and safety of your vehicle. On occasion, the tires may need to be rotated or aligned. This will help keep the vehicle in the best condition possible. Also check the air pressure to ensure it is at the correct amount. If you are unsure how much it should be, make sure to consul the vehicle owner’s manual. The correct amount can also be found on the inside doorjamb of the driver’s door. You can bring the vehicle in, and we can check the tire pressure for you.
April 8, 2015

Spring is Here, so make sure to Inspect the Air Conditioner

While the temperatures start to get warmer out, you probably will quit using the heater in your vehicle. Eventually, the air conditioner will need to be used in your vehicle. Most drivers have become fully dependent on air conditioning for their vehicles. What was once a luxury option, and only adopted by those who could afford it, has now become standard equipment in a majority of cars sold today. This is especially true in areas and regions where temperatures can rise quite high in the summer. Humidity is another added factor when opting for an air conditioning unit. Regular Maintenance Inspections are Important It is recommended that the vehicle be brought in for a regular inspections based on the manufacturer’s schedule. If you are not sure how often that should be, make sure to contact us. During inspections, we can also check the air conditioning unit for you as well. By having the air conditioner checked when recommended, you can help ensure it will be efficient and effective when it comes time to turn it on. At the start of the season is the ideal time to have the air conditioner inspected by our trained technicians. We can troubleshoot any problems that can or will occur. This will help ensure a cool and pleasant ride. If there is an Issue, bring the Vehicle in No matter where you take your vehicle for the inspection, we will go over a number of areas. We will check the temperature level of the cold air being discharged through the car’s vents. We will also check if the thermostats are functioning as they should. If defective, they will be replaced. Checking the anti freeze level in the car’s cooling system and bring it up to the correct level if it is low will be done. If the existing anti freeze appears to be full of rust and contaminants, it may be time to flush the radiator and refill it wit new product. Freon Levels should be Checked The Freon levels of your vehicle could be lower than needed to provide proper cooling. Freon is a gas that occasionally leaks out of the sealed system. As those levels become diminished, the cooling capacity of the air conditioning unit is compromised, sometimes completely. If that in fact has happened, Freon must be added to insure the proper operation of the cooling system. The compressor is then checked for leaks and cleared for service. The last steps needed to complete the maintenance include checking the condition and tension of the fan belts. Signs of wear indicate the belts can easily break in the course of normal use. If they are loose, they may slip and interfere with the proper function of the fan. The hoses that circulate the anti freeze through the system will also be checked for minute leaks or wear that can cause them to break and release the coolant. We can tighten them and have your vehicle ready for another season of cold, refreshing air. We will check over all fittings and look for leaks.  
April 1, 2015

What the Check Engine Light Could Mean

At some time, all of us will see the check engine light illuminate on the dashboard. This is a fairly common occurrence and more often than not, it is not a serious issue. The light is part of a built in computerized system, so you should not ignore it. In most cases, you can finish your normal drive and then investigate the issue. It is important to not confuse the check engine soon light with the service engine light because they have different meanings than the check engine light. The maintenance is required when a service engine soon light illuminates at a given mileage to let you know that a vehicle service is needed. Common Reasons for Check Engine Light on Older Vehicles There are several reasons your check engine light might come on. To have a better understanding of what may have caused the light to come on, it is significant to know what year your vehicle was built. If your vehicle was built before 1996 and your check engine light comes on, it might mean that there was a failure somewhere in the vehicle’s Electronic Engine Control System. If there are any actuators, solenoids, or electronic sensors not functioning properly, you are going to see the check engine light. Common Reasons for Check Engine Light on Newer Vehicles Starting in 1996 this check engine light began to monitor vehicles’ emissions. The check engine light is now required to monitor a number of different emissions factors, including the exhaust that comes out of the engine. The latest cars go even further and monitor the exhaust again as it is exiting the catalytic converter. These newer systems are so precise that the check engine light may come on if the gas cap is not tight enough. Also in newer vehicles, the system is so particular that the light will come on if there is a leak anywhere in the fuel system. What to Do if your Check Engine Light Comes On If the light on the dashboard illuminates, make sure to schedule an appointment with us so we can inspect the vehicle. There are two very serious visible warnings to look for are whether or not the light is red versus yellow and if the light is blinking versus staying solid. A red check engine light means you should not be driving the vehicle at all. If the light is blinking this is also a serious problem and means the vehicle should probably not be driven at this point. The main reason the light comes on like this is if there was a malfunction in the vehicle’s emission control system. If the check engine light comes on and stays on, but is not blinking or red, then you can check for a couple more signs. Finally, check your gas cap. Make certain it is tight and try turning the car off and back on again. This may help reset the light. In some cases, it may even take a couple of short rides to get the light to reset.