November 29, 2016

Inspecting the Vehicle in Winter

The winter months can present many challenges for you and your vehicle. While modern vehicles are designed to handle inclement weather conditions, there are some basic steps every driver should take as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. Replace or Refill All Fluids The best way to winterize your car is to start by checking your fluid levels. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the fluid levels for you. Coolant—It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information on this mixture. Make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line. Oil—Make sure to have the oil changed on a regular basis. This will help keep the parts operating efficiently with one another. Wiper fluid—Often overlooked, you will need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear. Inspect or Replace Your Tires Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure. If you have never checked tire pressure yourself, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can check the pressure and properly inflate the tires if they need it. Cold Weather & Battery Capacity The battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter. Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. To read the level of charge in your battery, you will need to turn the engine off. Some batteries have a built-in hydrometer eye that tells you the amount of voltage remaining in the battery. If you prefer, a handheld hydrometer can be used to collect the same information. While you are inspecting your battery, look around for the manufacture date. Knowing how old your battery is can clue you in to when it will begin to lose charge. Pack an Emergency Kit Keeping a safety kit in your car all year is a good idea. Things like road flares, a jack, a lug wrench, and a first aid kit should be at hand no matter what. Items to include in your winter safety kit can include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, a bag of kitty litter or sand incase you get stuck in slush, ice scraper, a small shovel, and non perishable snacks. Prevent Frozen Doors Door locks can freeze in cold weather and break your key if you try to force them open. You can purchase glycerine that you can use for de-icing. Think about where you keep it, however, because if the de-icer is in the glove box of your frozen-shut car, then it will not help you out. You can also place a tube at home in the garage and also in your desk at […]
November 21, 2016

3 Tips for your Vehicle this Winter

  In the winter it is important to keep your vehicle operating in the best condition possible. This is because you will want to have an efficient vehicle that is operating at top performance levels. The best way to ensure that the vehicle is working correctly is to bring it in for regular maintenances. By having the vehicle inspected, we can look for parts and components that might be starting to wear. This way we can advise you on the best way to have them repaired or replaced. Having the parts in the best condition can help save you time, money, and stress in the long run. This is because if a part is starting to wear, it can do further damage to other nearby parts.   The Battery   One reason that the battery might be starting to lose power is due to the cold weather. The colder temperatures can sometimes cause the battery to go dead without any warning. Even if the vehicle sits in the garage, you will want to make sure that the battery is properly charged and in great condition. If you notice that the battery is starting to wear out and the vehicle is becoming hard to start, make sure to bring the vehicle in. The poor power could be caused from a faulty alternator, slipping drive belts, or a loose or corroded battery terminal. All batteries can lose strength over time. It can sometimes happen to new batteries that you just purchase, although this is less common. If you drive only short distances with the lights and other accessories on, it can cause the battery to drain. When the Vehicle Will Not Start With the onset of winter temperatures, owners of a wide variety of vehicles find that their engine will not turn over, or that it runs roughly when first fired up. Depending on the make and model, a frozen relay or valve may be the culprit. Batteries also lose significant capacity as the temperature drops, compounded by thickening motor oil that puts a greater load on the battery. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can locate the reason for why the vehicle may not be starting this winter. The alternator, battery, and other parts will be inspected for the efficiency and performance it has. Replacing the Windshield Wiper Blades   To help maintain the best visibility possible, make sure that you have the windshield wipers replaced on a regular basis. They will start to lose their effectiveness in as little as six months. Streaks or missed expanses of glass are signs that the blades should be replaced as soon as you have time. To help extend the life of the wiper blades, make sure to clean the rubber edge periodically with a paper towel and glass cleaner. It is recommended to replace the blades twice a year. If you are unsure if the wiper blades should be replaced, make sure to contact us and we can recommend when […]
November 15, 2016

Inspecting the Lights of your Vehicle

  It is important to make sure your vehicle is as safe as it can be, and that safety also includes checking the blinkers, headlights and taillights. These are an important safety feature on your vehicle that can sometimes be overlooked. While checking your headlights can be easy, you should always find a safe place to park, and then get out to make sure your headlights, parking lights, and even blinkers are working properly. While doing this, you can check the taillights as well.   Light-emitting diode, or LED light bulbs provide higher visibility at night, which will help ensure better safety for everyone involved. They often double or triple the range of standard lights used. LED lights are built with several light bulb systems rather than the single bulb in other fixtures. LED lights also help to make vehicles easier to spot in the dark by drivers that are following behind them. From a safety standpoint alone, LED lights greatly improve overall night driving. These lights also require only a minimum amount of energy to function, which creates less strain on the electrical system. Unlike traditional incandescent counterparts, LED lights are less susceptible to breaking because they do not have the filament and the heat they produce is at a higher concentration. The initial cost for LED lights is slightly higher, but in the long run the cost pays for itself. They last longer which means you will have to replace the bulbs less often. Besides LED bulbs, you can use Halogen bulbs for your vehicle’s lights. The halogen bulb’s tungsten filament is contained inside an atmospheric vacuum so it burns at a much higher temperature than others. It also generates a whiter light, which is also brighter. The filament is also strengthened because of the bromine and iodine that are inside the bulb. Halogen bulbs perform at a higher and consistent output throughout their lives.   If you have a blinker that goes out, it could be dangerous for everyone. If this happens, vehicles around you will not know when you are turning, which can lead to an accident. If you have both taillights or both headlights go out at the same time other drivers on the road are impaired and it is unsafe for all parties. Making sure your lights are working properly can save your life as well as those around you.      
November 3, 2016

Care of the Battery this Fall

  Keeping your vehicle in the best working condition is important. This should include bringing it in for regular maintenance inspections. We can inspect the parts and components of the vehicle to ensure they are working efficiently and at top performance levels.   The battery should be inspected for any signs of corrosion. Check the terminals and the connections to ensure they are free of any build up or damage. If you notice that there is any build up of dirt and leaves, make sure to have it removed as soon as possible. This will allow you to have an efficient battery when it needs to supply the power to your vehicle.   Remember to notice how the vehicle is starting each and every time. If the vehicle becomes difficult to start, it could be a sign the battery is poor. If the terminals are loose or not securely tightened, it can result in issues with how the vehicle starts. Since there are several reasons why a vehicle may have a starting issue, it is always best to have us inspect it for you.   If you ever notice an issue out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for the source of the issue. This can help prevent any further damage to the vehicle, helping it to last as long as possible.