Safe Driving

November 17, 2017

Pay Attention to the Lights on your Vehicle

  When you own a vehicle, you will want it to always be in the best condition possible. You will need to check the parts over to ensure they are working correctly with one another. When you check the vehicle, also remember to inspect the lights on it. This should include the headlights, taillights, and blinkers. Headlights and taillights are used so other motorists can see you in limited visibility conditions. This is vital if anyone wants to avoid becoming a crash statistic. Drivers need to be aware of the fact that daytime running lights do not turn on tail lights or full headlights in bad weather such as rain, snow, fog, or at night when darkness falls. You should be sure their headlights are working properly both the low beam and high beams. The headlights need to be aimed correctly by professionals and checked regularly to ensure the driver can see the road safely and not blind oncoming motorists. Headlight lenses should be kept clean and clear. With time and abrasion from road grit and grime, these plastic lenses can cloud over and become opaque. A secondary part of a car’s lighting system are fog lights. The vast majority of motorists do not know when to use these specialized lights. They are designed to be used when the fog is so thick that it prevents the headlights from penetrating through the water droplets to light up the road ahead. When this occurs, the light from the headlights reflects back into the driver’s eyes making matters worse. In this event, the driver should turn off the headlights and turn on the fog lights to illuminate the road below the fog. It is also important that motorists turn off their fog lights on unlit roads at night to prevent temporarily blinding oncoming traffic. Fog lights were not designed for use on clear nights Turn signals and brake lights are the communication side of our automotive lighting system. It is important for your safety that the drivers approaching you from behind know you are slowing or stopping. Brake lights should be bright and red. In other words no broken lenses. The turn signals let the other motorists around you know when you need to change lanes or make a turn. When you check the lights on your vehicle, turn on your full lights and walk around your vehicle to see if all taillights and headlights are illuminated. A brake light check can be done when backing into a parking spot in a mall if the store has windows that can reflect the lights. If you notice an issue for your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible, so we can inspect it for you.
October 20, 2017

Reason why the Car Makes Grinding Noises

Sometimes, your car makes grinding noise when braking. It is a warning sign telling you that there’s something wrong either with the brakes or the rotors. Vehicles can make various sounds and some are normal and harmless. The car has to generate plenty of heat energy through friction every time you push the brake pedal. As a result, the brake pads can wear out over time, causing the damage of rotor and caliper and the brakes to fail. Brakes that fail are never good news because it may lead to major accidents. So, ignoring the sounds will only make the problems worse. All the parts and components of a vehicle are supposed to fail or wear out at some point. However, what is important is to identify the problems before these become serious. Rocks between the rotor and caliper could be the culprit. It is normal for the components to catch dirt, dust, and grime. However, sometimes small rocks or other solid objects from the road can catch between the caliper and rotor and create grinding noise whether you push the brake or not. The frictions created from such an object can damage these parts. It’s natural for these pads to get tattered at some point. When it happens, a metal on metal contact between the backing plate and the rotor gravely damages the later component. The rotor can also rub the caliper and scrape its meal surface. To avoid this, you should do a regular inspection of the brakes and replace the pads when they are worn out. Damaged or worn out friction pads might be the reason of grinding noise. Brake pads have an average lifespan of 20,000 miles. Some may not last that much longer for some reasons. One probable cause is leaving the automobile in your garage for weeks. Idleness and bad weather can cause the forming of rust and corrosion on the rotors. It that case, the rust will spread to other parts too and destroy them. You should drive the car regularly, at least for a while, to avoid this problem. If you do notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you.
October 12, 2017

Fall Maintenance is Important for your Vehicle

Now is the time to start thinking about getting your car ready for the colder months ahead. Here are a few simple maintenance checks to help keep your vehicle in top condition. Battery Fall is a good time to inspect your car battery, making sure the cables and terminals are snug, and retighten as necessary for good contact. If your connections are dirty or showing a lot of corrosion, disconnect and clean them with a wire brush or cleaning tool. Be aware that when you disconnect the battery, you may have to re-enter a security code in your radio or navigation system. If the vehicle is going to be parked or stored for an extended period of time, you may want to consider investing in a trickle charger to keep it charged. All batteries lose strength over time, so it’s important to be proactive in replacing your battery. Batteries come in a variety of sizes, and it’s important to choose the right size. If you are not sure what type of battery is right for your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment so we can inspect it for you. Headlights As cars age, the headlights can become cloudy or hazy, especially on cars that are routinely parked outside. More than a cosmetic problem, clouded lenses can pose a serious threat to safety, compromising night vision and reducing the effectiveness of your headlights by up to 80 percent. Tires Proper maintenance and responsible driving can maximize the mileage in a set of tires. Monthly tread inspections can inform when the tires warrant replacement. If you notice that your tires have less than 1/8-inch of tread left, then it’s time for a new set. Most people buy all-season tires because it’s easier and cheaper than buying one set for the winter and another for summer. Wash and Wax Fall is a good time to clean up your car so that winter’s mess doesn’t land on top of the summer’s dead bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap. If you want to go further than soap and water, you can try car wax to keep your car’s finish looking new. Most waxes tested showed a significant loss of protection within about five weeks. Wipers If your wipers are leaving streaks of water on your windshield, then it’s time to replace them. Wipers degrade quickly and typically need to be changed every 6 to 12 months. Should performance deteriorate in less time, try cleaning the blade with a paper towel and glass cleaner. Often, that can renew the blades for a few more weeks or months of streak-free operation.  
October 6, 2017

Why the Fluids are Important

  The fluids are essential for the vehicle operating at top performance levels. Make sure to inspect the fluid levels on a regular basis. They should be filled to the line indicated on each reservoir. If you notice that a fluid decreases and you have to add more to the reservoir often, it could be an indication there is a leak somewhere in the system. If the leak is ignored, it can cause issues for the vehicle when you want to drive it. With several fluids to check, make sure you inspect them all. They should be free of any dirt and contaminants that will affect the condition of the fluid. Also make sure to bring the vehicle in on a regular basis so we can inspect the fluids for you as well.     Along with checking the fluid levels, also remember to have the oil changed when it is recommended. Keeping he oil fresh and clean will be able to allow the parts to work effectively with one another. Without the oil, parts of the engine will cause friction with one another and extra strain. If you are not sure how often the oil should be changed, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the proper oil change schedule that is beneficial for you and your vehicle. When you bring the vehicle in, we can also inspect the oil filter for your vehicle. The oil filter is important because it catches dirt and other pollutants that could be in the oil.     Along with checking the fluids in your vehicle, also make sure to inspect the windshield wiper fluid. This is important because in order to have the windshield wipers work effectively, you will need the fluid to help wash away any dirt or road grime. It is always recommended to keep some extra wiper fluid in your vehicle, just in the event where the reservoir runs empty. No matter what the weather is, or the time of the year, having the windshield wiper fluid topped off is best. This improves the visibility when you drive on the road. A clean windshield can allow you to see the road effectively, as well as noticing any drivers that are around you.