Vehicle Safety Inspection

October 14, 2016

Checking the Fluid Levels on your Vehicle

  Keeping your vehicle properly maintained is important. Vehicle fluids include brake fluid, engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, transmission fluid, and battery fluid. Fluid level information and the location of each fluid reservoir can be found in the owner’s manual for your particular vehicle.   Engine oil should be checked each time the vehicle is refueled. Most engines, but not all, have a dipstick to indicate the oil level. Typically the handle is yellow. You can check the oil yourself, or bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the oil and other fluid levels for you. If you check the oil yourself, make sure to turn off the engine, and then remove the dipstick. You will want to wipe off the end of the dipstick with a paper towel and place it back in. When you take out the dipstick, look at the level at the tip. The stick will have marks on it. The “add” mark typically indicates one quart low. If an engine is leaking oil then the price of repairs can vary depending on which repair is needed and the make and model of the vehicle.   Most other fluids will either have a dipstick, similar to engine oil, or a transparent reservoir. If the fluid is in a transparent reservoir, then there will be marks on the reservoir that indicate the acceptable level of that particular fluid. The major exception is the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid may or may not have a dipstick and it will not be in a transparent reservoir.   The following items are important to remember when checking the other fluids in your vehicle. Low brake fluid indicates a problem that should be checked as soon as possible. Never open the cooling system/radiator cap if the engine is hot. A low coolant level indicates a possible leak, which needs to be checked soon. Adding more coolant will not resolve an overheating problem with the engine. Low power steering fluid is an indication of a leak that should be investigated.   The most common interval for changing oil on modern vehicles is every 5,000 miles. Refer to the owner’s manual for your specific vehicle and for fluids other than the oil. The owner’s manual will have a maintenance chart that every vehicle owner can use to be sure the correct maintenance is performed at the right time. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the vehicle for you.  
October 5, 2016

Knowing When to Replace the Windshield Wipers

  When driving, one of the most important things is the visibility you have. This is to help you avoid an accident or hitting something. While it might be easy to opt for the lost cost windshield wipers and parts, this could end up costing you more in the future. Cheaper parts would have to be replaced more frequently. You would also run the risk that they wear out and do not provide you with the best visibility when they operate. Make sure to notice the signs that the windshield wipers could be going out. This can help you to have the cleanest window possible when you drive. If you are unsure about the condition of the wipers, or a good replacement for them, make sure to contact us. We can recommend what type of windshield wipers that would be beneficial for your vehicle.   The blades of a windshield wiper are important components that hold the wiper in place. Though drivers tend to pay very little attention to the blades in the windshield wipers, research shows that the more efficient the wipers are, the safer you are in the automobile. This is because of a clear and unobstructed field of vision. There are different factors that affect the performance and the shelf life of the blades. A few of them include the slope of the wiper, which makes blades more exposed to air and incoming moisture. Also the squeegee effect that is caused due to the spring tension in the blade arms, which can be prevented by using optimum windshield wiper fluid. The material of the blade and the claws that hold the blade and transmit pressure are important to inspect as well.   No matter where you live, it is important to replace your windshield wiper from time to time. It is recommended to change the windshield wipers at least once every six months. Typically, people will change them at the start of fall and at the beginning of spring. While you replace your windshield wipers, do not forget to buy the latest technology wipers that have wonderful performance and are branded. Bring the vehicle in, and we can recommend the right kind of windshield wiper.   When you are looking to shop for your windshield wiper replacements, you must also keep in mind about performing a diligent check on the other system components. Recommended checks in your vehicle include the levels of the windshield wiper fluid, windshield water pump and hoses, rear wiper equipments, front side and headlight wiper replacements, wiper motor efficiency, and others. If you notice anything out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to have a pleasant driving experience.
July 19, 2016

Keeping the Engine Cool

  The engine creates a lot of heat while you are driving. It is important that this heat is removed immediately. If it is not than there can be problems in oil degradation and possible overheating of your vehicle. This is why it is important that you are not only maintaining your cooling system, but that you understand the different components which have a lot to do with the cooling of your engine. This will help in making sure that you are able to maintain a cool engine at all times. Among the things that you will need to know about includes the radiator. The water pump is an integral part that you should know about. Additionally, you should know about the hoses and connections which help to maintain the temperature of your engine. This will help in making sure that you will be able to understand whenever there is a problem with the cooling system.   The water pump is one of the most important parts of your cooling system. It is responsible for moving the coolant throughout your engine. Without this, there is no way that the engine will be able to maintain its temperature. These parts are fairly durable and seldom, if ever, need replacing. This is something to keep in mind though. If there is a problem in which your engine is overheating, it could be very well that the pump has malfunctioned in some way.   The radiator is where the coolant goes after it has been through the engine. This is a large grate which allows air to move through it. There is a fan which blows against the radiator along with the air flow that you will be able to get from driving your car. As air moves over the grates, it removes the heat from the coolant and whisks it away. If there is a problem with your radiator, it can cause the coolant to not be able to flow through it.   There are two hoses that are connected to the radiator which are responsible for bring in the coolant and drawing it out. The upper hose and the lower hose are integral to the operation of the cooling system. Without them, the flow of coolant will cease. This is why if there is a problem with one of the hoses, it will need to be replaced as fast as possible. There is also a line which will allow hot air to escape from the radiator and to the exhaust. This will allow the hot air a place that it can go to. If you notice any issue out of the norm with your vehicle, it is important to schedule an appointment to bring it in. This way we can inspect it for you. Having a vehicle that is regularly maintained can help it be safe and reliable this summer.    
May 6, 2016

Signs New Windshield Wipers are Needed

              The windshield wipers help to clear away rain, snow, or any other debris that might be on the windshield. This can help improve the visibility as you drive. Part of making sure the wipers are able to work efficiently is also make sure the wiper fluid is in good condition.   Make sure to fill the wiper fluid reservoir so you will have it when you need to use the washer fluid. Doing this before any long trip you may take can help to ensure you will have enough. The wiper fluid also helps to wash away any debris or grime that may be on the windshield. The wipers should be checked regularly and replaced at least twice a year.   If you notice the windshield wipers smearing water in both directions, it may mean the wipers have worn. It may also indicate a dirty windshield with not enough water to clear it away effectively. You can use the washer fluid to clean the windshield and have the wipers clear it away. If smear marks still remain there, the wipers should be replaced as new blades can clear the windshield efficiently for you.   Another sign that the wipers need replacing is if you notice water that does not wipe away. The residue and grime that builds up on the windshield will cause water beads to stick to it. Cleaning the windshield thoroughly can help prevent this issue. If you hear the wipers vibrating or chatting against the windshield, it means that water is not getting wiped away efficiently. There could be an issue with a bent wiper arm, which makes the connection to the windshield less effective. The blade arms should be parallel to the glass. No matter what issue you notice from the windshield wipers, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the wipers for you.