February 27, 2017

Tips to Know when you drive in the Winter

  Sometimes the winter weather can be unpredictable. When traveling, you should always be prepared for any weather that may be on its way. If you encounter poor weather or poor roads, the first thing to do is decrease your speed. Also make sure to give yourself plenty of room. This is important incase you have to stop suddenly. This can help to prevent hitting the vehicle in front of you. Also make sure that the headlights are turned on. This can help your visibility, as well as having others see you. If it is precipitating, also have the windshield wipers on. Also, if you notice the roads are ice or snow covered, do not try to pass anyone.   When you check the tires on your vehicle, the air pressure should be the first thing you check. Having tires that are properly inflated can help improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The recommended air pressure can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door. Air pressure that is too low can cause the tires to become hard to handle or turn. Under inflated tires can also wear unevenly. This can result in the tires needing to be replaced sooner than needed. Tires that are over inflated can cause alignment and balance issues. This is because the contact with the road will be less. We can also inspect the tires to make sure they are in the best condition possible. If there are cracks, bulges, or blisters, we can help to ensure the best set of tires for your vehicle. You will also want to have to best visibility possible when you drive. The windshield should be cleaned off of any ice or snow. This can help to have a clear view of the road when you drive. If there are any cracks or chips in the windshield, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Even small divots can cause a distraction while driving. The chips or divots could line up with an obstruction in the road that could lead to impaired vision and judgment. The windshield wipers should also be inspected so they can effectively clean the windshield. If the wipers have tears or rips on them, make sure to have them replaced as soon as possible. This can eliminate streaks or smearing on the windshield. By inspecting the windshield and wipers, you can improve the visibility for your vehicle.  
February 20, 2017

What the Check Engine Light Could Mean

  When you are driving, it is important to pay attention to the lights on the dashboard. This is the area that will illuminate if there is an issue with the vehicle, or under the hood. If the engine warning light comes on while you are driving, pull over at the earliest and safest chance to have a look under the hood. Since the engine warning light can illuminate for any possible reason, it does not tell you exactly what to look for. Seeing the words ‘Check Engine’ is not actually that helpful. It could be that there is a malfunction in your management system and this will need to be addressed as soon as you can bring it in. If the light flashes and does not totally light up, the first action you should take is to reduce your speed. If the light then goes out, it is just a glitch. If the light then comes on and stays on as a solid light, you can safely continue the journey, but keep your speed lower.   Oxygen Sensor Sometimes the engine light will come on if your oxygen sensor fails or malfunctions. Any sensor that is not able to function correctly will trip the management system to switch on the engine light. Having problems with a sensor does not mean you have to stop your vehicle immediately. If you are not sure what the issue is, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.   Emission Control System The malfunction indicator lamp, or engine warning light may also illuminate to warn you that there is a problem with your emission control system. This can stretch to an exhaust issue, a catalytic converter issue, or an engine issue.   Electrical Problems Your engine light will notify you that there is an issue with the engine. In order to determine it, your vehicle will have to be diagnosed to find out the cause. If you are having some obvious trouble with the electrical parts, like lights not working or fuses blowing or relay switches malfunctioning, then the engine light may come on.   Light Malfunction In some rare cases the engine light will come on, not because there is an issue with the engine, but a malfunction with the light itself. If this happens, you can try resetting the check engine light. If there is a problem with the engine you can guarantee that the engine warning light will come back on again at some point soon. Anytime you notice anything out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.
February 9, 2017

Transmission Issues to be Aware of

  One part that is important to inspect is the transmission. Problems with the transmission are most often caused by neglect. This vital component should not be overlooked when it comes to proper care and maintenance. Depending on the make or model of the vehicle, the transmission assembly may vary according to design and function. If you notice any weird noises or odd smells from the vehicle, make sure to contact us as soon as you can. We can inspect the transmission to make sure it is operating efficiently.   Leaks could be caused by a variety of factors such as a loose filler tube, defective pan gasket, or a converter housing area leakage. Check your garage for red oil leaks to confirm the presence of a leak. It would be advisable to bring the vehicle in to have the system checked and repaired. Fluid leaks could be fixed by replacing the gasket, internal or external oil filters, or tightening the oil pan bolts to stop the leak. Remember to check fluid levels regularly, especially when a leak is evident, to prevent further damage to the transmission.   A buzzing or whirring noise when in operation is a common problem that occurs due to insufficient fluid levels, scored or broken gears or a defective torque converter. Any transmission noise that occurs while driving should be given attention immediately. It is advised to check the level of automatic transmission fluid before traveling or driving on daily commutes. Replenish the fluid when necessary to check if the noises heard are due to insufficient fluid levels in the crankcase.   If an unusual burnt smell is noticed upon checking the condition of the fluid, clogged fluid cooler lines could cause it. It could also be from a defective oil pump or low fluid level. Be wary that the presence of brownish fluid accompanied by a burnt smell could hint at serious transmission damage when left untreated. It would be best to replenish the level of fluid or have the system drained and flushed to correct the problem. The oil filter may be clogged as well, and will need replacement. Also remember to schedule an appointment anytime you notice an issue with the vehicle. By inspecting an issue at the first sign, you can help save time, money, and stress in the long run, as well as providing a reliable drive.
February 2, 2017

Remember to Check the Windshield Washer Fluid

Windshield wiper fluid is a liquid that is used with the wiper blades to clean the windshield of your vehicle. This green mixture is housed under the hood of the vehicle and is pumped through a small hose that is attached to your wiper blades or at the base of the windshield on the hood. By pushing the button that is typically located on the lever that controls the wiper blades, the fluid is activated and provides you with a spot free windshield. By topping off the windshield wiper fluid, you can help improve the visibility when you drive.   The windshield wiper fluid is alcohol-based to prevent it from freezing in the cold winter months. Generally windshield wiper fluid contains about thirty to fifty percent methanol with very little detergent. Since windshield wiper fluid contains poisonous ingredients that can be harmful, it is important that it is stored out of the reach of children and pets. Some fluids contain a de-icer, which helps get the frost and ice off your windshield in colder weather. While windshield wiper fluid is not necessary in the operation of your vehicle, it is recommended, as it can save you from a dangerous situation if your vision through your windshield becomes impaired.   When you check the windshield washer fluid, also remember to check the windshield wipers. When you check the wipers, make sure that the blades are in the best condition. This includes any signs of tears or rips that might be on the rubber of the blade. If the windshield wipers are vibrating or skipping when they operate, it may be time to purchase new ones. If you are unsure how often the windshield wipers will have to be replaced, make sure to bring the vehicle in. We can then inspect the windshield wipers for you. We can also check the condition they are in at any time. If the wipers need to be replaced, it can also be done when you bring the vehicle in.   Windshield wiper fluid cannot go bad, but it is good to check it regularly to make sure it is filled and is not dirty or leaking. If your wipers are not fully wiping the area clean and are leaving smears, it might be more than just a problem with your windshield wiper fluid. It may signify that your windshield wipers or inserts need to be replaced. If your blades look corroded or if they are falling apart then it is probably time to consider purchasing a new set. By performing routine checkups on your vehicles wipers and fluid you catch problems more quickly and make your driving time on the road much safer. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you.