Car Maintenance

Fall Car Maintenance: Getting Your Vehicle Ready for the Changing Season

Fall Car Care

As the leaves begin to change color and the air turns crisp, it's a sure sign that fall is upon us. While many people focus on pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters during this season, it's essential not to overlook one crucial aspect of fall preparation: your vehicle. Fall car maintenance is crucial to ensure your car's reliability and safety as the weather changes. In this blog post, we'll discuss some essential fall car maintenance tips to get your vehicle ready for the upcoming season.

Check Your Tires: As temperatures drop, your tire pressure can decrease. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to drop by 1-2 psi for every 10-degree Fahrenheit decrease in temperature. Underinflated tires can lead to reduced fuel efficiency, poor handling, and even tire blowouts. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly and keep it at the recommended level specified in your vehicle's owner's manual. Additionally, inspect your tires for signs of wear and consider switching to winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall.

Inspect the Brakes: Brakes are one of the most critical safety components of your vehicle. Ensure that your brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid are in good condition. If you notice any unusual noises when braking or if your vehicle takes longer to come to a stop, it's time to have your brakes inspected by a professional mechanic.

Replace Worn Wiper Blades: Fall often brings rain, and with it comes reduced visibility on the road. Worn or damaged wiper blades can make it challenging to see clearly, especially during heavy downpours. Replace your wiper blades if they are streaking, skipping, or leaving behind water spots. It's a small investment that can greatly improve your safety on the road.

Check Your Battery: Cold weather can be tough on your car's battery. Ensure your battery connections are clean and free of corrosion. If your battery is more than three years old, consider having it tested to make sure it can handle the colder temperatures. A weak battery can leave you stranded on a chilly fall morning.

Inspect Lights and Signals: As the days get shorter, it's crucial to have properly functioning lights and signals. Check all your exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Replace any burnt-out bulbs immediately to ensure you're visible to other drivers, especially in low-light conditions.

Top Off Fluids: Check and top off all essential fluids, including engine oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. These fluids are vital for your vehicle's proper functioning and can help prevent issues like overheating or a dirty windshield.

Prepare an Emergency Kit: Fall can bring unexpected weather conditions, so it's wise to prepare an emergency kit for your car. Include items such as a flashlight, blankets, non-perishable snacks, jumper cables, and a first aid kit. These items can be a lifesaver in case you find yourself stranded.

Don't let the changing season catch you off guard. Fall car maintenance is crucial for your safety and the reliability of your vehicle as the weather shifts. By following these essential tips and staying proactive, you can ensure that your vehicle is prepared to handle the challenges that fall may bring. Remember, a well-maintained car not only keeps you safe but also prolongs the life of your vehicle, saving you money in the long run. So, take a little time to prepare your car for the fall season, and enjoy the autumn months worry-free on the road. Give us a call to make an appointment for any of your car maintenance needs.

The Importance of Regular Brake Inspections: Ensuring Safety on the Road


When it comes to road safety, there are few components of your vehicle as critical as the braking system. Your brakes are responsible for stopping your vehicle promptly and efficiently, preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. Regular brake inspections play a vital role in maintaining the effectiveness and reliability of your braking system. Today we will explore the significance of regular brake inspections and how they contribute to keeping you safe on the road.

  1. Maintaining Optimal Performance: Over time, various components of your vehicle's braking system, such as brake pads, rotors, and calipers, can experience wear and tear. Regular brake inspections allow professionals to assess the condition of these parts and determine if they require maintenance or replacement. By addressing any issues early on, you can ensure that your brakes are in optimal working condition. Well-maintained brakes deliver maximum stopping power, reducing the risk of accidents and promoting overall road safety.
  2. Preventing Brake Failure: Brake failure can have catastrophic consequences. Faulty or worn-out brake components can lead to decreased braking power, longer stopping distances, and even complete brake failure. Regular brake inspections can help identify potential problems before they escalate, allowing for timely repairs. Technicians can identify issues such as brake fluid leaks, worn-out brake pads, or damaged rotors that could compromise the performance of your brakes. By addressing these issues promptly, you can prevent brake failure and minimize the chances of accidents on the road.
  3. Extending Brake System Lifespan: Regular brake inspections not only ensure your safety but also contribute to the longevity of your brake system. By identifying and resolving problems early, you can prevent further damage to the braking components. For instance, worn brake pads can cause damage to the rotors if not replaced in time, leading to more extensive and costly repairs. By conducting regular inspections, you can detect issues early on and extend the lifespan of your brakes, saving you money in the long run.
  4. Enhanced Overall Vehicle Safety: Vehicle safety encompasses several systems that help you stay safe on the road, this includes the braking system. When your brakes are functioning optimally, you can respond quickly to unexpected situations on the road. This allows you to avoid accidents and help keep you safe. Regular brake inspections contribute to your overall vehicle safety by ensuring that your braking system is reliable and efficient. By proactively maintaining your brakes, you demonstrate responsible driving behavior and prioritize the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users.
  5. Peace of Mind: Regular brake inspections provide you with peace of mind while driving. Knowing that your braking system has been professionally inspected and is in good working order can alleviate concerns and help you feel more confident on the road. By taking the time to schedule regular brake inspections, you demonstrate a commitment to road safety and responsible vehicle maintenance. This peace of mind allows you to focus on the road ahead, improving your driving experience and reducing stress while traveling.

Regular brake inspections are crucial for maintaining your vehicle's safety and the safety of others on the road. By ensuring optimal brake performance, you can prevent brake failure, extend the life of your braking system, and provide a peace of mind that will keep you driving confidently.Make it a priority to schedule regular brake inspections with a certified technician and prioritize the safety of yourself and others on the road. Remember, safe brakes save lives!

Preparing for Summer Road Trips: Essential Car Maintenance Tips

summer road trip

With the arrival of summer, many of us start planning exciting road trips to make the most of the warm weather and explore new destinations. However, before embarking on your adventure, it's crucial to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Proper car maintenance not only enhances safety but also minimizes the risk of breakdowns and keeps you worry-free throughout your journey.

Essential car maintenance tips

  1. Check the Tires: Your tires play a vital role in providing traction, stability, and control on the road. Before hitting the highway, inspect the tire pressure and make sure it matches the recommended level stated in the owner's manual. Additionally, examine the tread depth for signs of wear. If the treads are worn down, consider replacing the tires to maintain optimal grip and prevent hydroplaning during rainy conditions.
  2. Test the Battery: A dead battery can quickly spoil your road trip plans. Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion and clean them if necessary. Test the battery voltage using a voltmeter or make an appointment with us and we can test it. If your battery is old or weak, consider replacing it to avoid unexpected breakdowns in remote areas.
  3. Fluid Levels and Oil Change: Regularly checking the fluid levels is essential for the smooth functioning of your vehicle. Make sure to inspect the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Top them up if necessary. Additionally, check the oil's color and consistency, and if it appears dirty or has surpassed the recommended mileage, schedule an oil change with us before your road trip.
  4. Inspect the Brakes: Efficient braking is crucial for your safety on the road. Before embarking on your journey, inspect the brake pads and rotors for wear. Squeaking or grinding noises indicate the need for replacement. Ensure the brake fluid is at the appropriate level and free from any signs of contamination. If you notice any abnormalities, give us a call to address the issue promptly.
  5. Test Lights and Wipers: Proper visibility is essential for safe driving. Check all the lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals, to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs. Additionally, examine the condition of your windshield wipers and replace them if they leave streaks or show signs of wear. Adequate visibility during rainstorms or dusty conditions is crucial for a pleasant and safe journey.
  6. Air Conditioning System: A well-functioning air conditioning system keeps you cool and comfortable during the scorching summer heat. Check the A/C system by turning it on and verifying that it blows cold air. If you notice any issues, such as weak airflow or warm air, have a professional inspect and service the system before your trip.
  7. Emergency Kit and Spare Tire: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essential items like a spare tire, jack, tire iron, jumper cables, flashlight, first aid kit, and roadside assistance contact information. Ensure your spare tire is properly inflated, and you have the necessary tools to change a flat tire if needed.

Preparing your car for a summer road trip not only ensures a smooth and enjoyable journey but also prioritizes your safety. By following these essential car maintenance tips, you can minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns, enhance your vehicle's performance, and make the most of your summer adventure. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping your car in top shape and enjoying many memorable road trips in the future. Give us a call today to make an appointment!

Cold Facts About A/C Refrigerant


Your vehicles’ A/C system requires the use of a toxic gas we routinely call “Freon.” Decades ago, all vehicles used R12 Freon. More recently, a safer form came out called Freon R134a. Now, there is a much safer form called R1234yf. These gases cannot be mixed, so your technician needs to be aware of which Freon is used in your vehicle. It’s this gas that delivers the clod charge to the air inside your vehicle and cools the interior.

To keep your cool all year around, make sure your A/C system is well-charged, has no leaks, and is operating properly by getting it checked twice each year.

Auto Repair and Service: What to Expect


If you’re having a problem with your car, truck, or SUV, contact us right away and let us know what the issue is. We won’t diagnose your problem over the phone, but we can usually tell you if your car should be towed, or if it can be driven in for repair. Once here, we’ll do a thorough inspection, and provide an estimate of what the repair will cost. We’ll also make you aware of any other areas that may need attention. The safety of you, your family and even others on the road is dependent on your vehicle being in a safe operating condition, so trust us to help you and address any issues your vehicle may have.

Watch Out: 3 out of 4 Vehicles Need Service Right Now!


That’s right. Three out of four vehicles on the road right now have some need for service. That car in front of you…bad brakes. In the right lane next to you…it pulls to the left. That SUV behind you has bad wipers that don’t clear the windshield. Good thing it’s not raining.

Whether it is a part beginning to fail, or a lack of maintenance, these cars are operating on the very edge. This means that in an emergency, YOUR car will make the difference between safe passage, or being in an accident not of your making.

Keep on top of maintenance, and have regular inspections done to get ahead of potential problems.

April is National Car Care Month: Spring into Action


The weather is warming up. Days are getting longer, and thoughts of outdoor activities are in the air. Now is the time to take care of any deferred maintenance, or any vehicle service that you’ve been putting off. We can help with a thorough inspection that will identify any areas that need attention. Plus, with suppliers running specials during this month, you’ll save money and be ready for any family outings or car trips. Call us for an appointment today!

A Broken Tire Can Shake Things Up

Bad tire

You jump in your car to do a quick errand, and you notice a steady vibration through the steering wheel. You’re sure you didn’t hit any potholes recently, and it sure wasn’t vibrating earlier today…

It could be a broken belt in your tire! Tires are made up of layers of material, many times made from different materials to give them particular characteristics. When a belt breaks, it changes the shape of the tire and weakens the area under the tread. In some cases, the tire might look completely normal!

So many different things can cause wheel vibration. At the first sign of a vibration in your vehicle, first STOP when it is safe and quickly inspect the tires, lug nuts, and tire pressures. If all looks fine, but the vibration persists, Bring it to us as soon as possible. Any cause of vibration can lead to a serious loss of control, and injury.

Five Maintenance Items You Can Count On in Any Weather


We value and appreciate taking care of your vehicle all year long, however the changes in seasons can create such a different driving environment that it becomes necessary to inspect and be certain your car is ready for whatever the weather throws at you! Here’s just a few items that are of concern whenever the weather changes…

  1. Heating/AC/Climate Control: We all want to be comfortable when riding in our vehicle, so making sure this system has what it needs to keep you warm or cool is essential. First, we’ll do a physical inspection, looking for any sign of leaks or faulty connections. No matter what we find, we’ll make the necessary adjustments and repairs, if any, to keep your family cool as a cucumber, or warm as toast!

  2. Braking System: Brakes will always work best when they, your tires, and the road surface are all warm and dry. Any time they are subjected to rain, ice, snow, or mud, they will not be able to give you the same braking power you would have if it was dry. Therefore, it’s important to know what condition your brakes are in at the start of each season.

  3. Tires: There’s a “patch” of rubber on your tires that is the ONLY contact your vehicle has with the road surface. It’s relatively small (about eighteen square inches), so you want it to have as much grip as possible. We’ll check for proper pressure, and check your tread depth. We’ll also look for unusual wear, which can be an indicator of worn steering parts or bad alignment.

  4. Engine Tune: You want your vehicle to start and run properly whenever you get in and hit the start button. Your battery, spark plugs, ignition system and Engine Control Module (ECM) undergo wear as time goes by. We’ll check it all out, including trouble codes and any other performance or fuel mileage issues we might find.

  5. Fluid and Filters: Your fluids break down over time and use. Engine oil gets dirty; coolant loses its ability to fight corrosion, and even brake fluid can “wear out” once it gets exposed to water or leaks. Using your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule as a guide, we’ll change your fluid and replace any needed filters.

A regular maintenance schedule is the best way to keep your vehicle in top running condition. Come in and see us, or call us for an appointment and we’ll answer any questions you might have. We look forward to serving you soon!

When Too Cool Is Not So Hot


Whether you have a heater only, heater and A/C, or a fully automatic climate control system in your vehicle, they need periodic maintenance to perform correctly. Heaters are completely dependent on the operating condition of your engine’s cooling system, as they use the hot coolant as a heat source for your passenger cabin. Air Conditioning systems use an engine-driven belt to turn a compressor, which circulates freon to take heat out of the passenger area. And both apply to climate control systems, with several sensors thrown into the mix to determine when and how to heat or cool your vehicle.

Now that the days might include both heating and cooling, come on in and let us check out these systems for proper operation. A problem with the engine cooling system can not only leave you stranded, but it will also leave you in the cold! Call us or come on by for an inspection and review of your climate control system today!