Why is My Engine "Knocking"?

If you notice that your engine is making a "knocking" sound, this is your vehicle's way of letting you know that something is right with the engine. Also described as a "pinging" sound, a knocking from the engine can point to a couple of different issues. The most common cause for this sound is the incorrect ration of air to fuel, which is necessary in order for the engine to run smoothly. If you continue to drive your vehicle with this problem, damage can occur to to the piston and cylinder wall. A knocking sound can also indicate a lack of lubrication on the cylinder head.  The most important thing to remember is that loud noises such as knocking or pinging coming from the engine are essentially letting you know that the engine is not running smoothly and accurately. Here are some of the other causes for why you may be hearing these engine noises:  Using fuel with too low of an octane rating for your vehicle, which can throw off the air-fuel mixtur ... read more

Prepping Your Vehicle for Winter Travel

Whether you’re planning to travel by car this winter season or will just be driving to and from work each day, prepping your car for winter can help you avoid car troubles on the road and keep you safe while driving in winter weather conditions.  Before you hit the road for any type of extended travel, we recommend bringing your vehicle into our shop for a winter car inspection. This will give you peace of mind on the road knowing that an expert took a look at your vehicle and made sure that everything was in working order to stay reliable in the cold weather.  Here are some of the top ways in which you can prep your car for traveling this winter:  Get your car serviced if it is due and inspected for other issues Check your manufacturer’s website for any recalls Inspect your tires to verify they have good tread and are in overall good condition Install new windshield wipers and top-off wiper fluid Check all vital fluids  Be sure to test your vehi ... read more

Happy Thanksgiving from Premier1 Auto Care!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Premier1 Auto Care! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. With all the holidays comes lots of travel, so if you are planning a road trip in the near future, we recommend that you check off some important travel measures before you hit the road.  Be sure to have your vehicle inspected by the experts here at Premier1 Auto Care before you hit the road. You never want to be caught in a situation where you are stuck without a working vehicle, so guaranteeing that your vehicle is ready for any road trip will keep your family safe and bring you peace of mind on the road.    Pack ample blankets and coats for the road to keep warm if you’re traveling in the cold this winter.    Have an emergency kit on hand in your trunk to help out in cases of emergencies. Some things to make sure you have with you include a spare tire, jack, wrench, flashlight, flares, cell phone charger, and first a ... read more

Avoid These Distractions While Driving

Driving safely on the road can be the difference between getting to your destination safely and finding yourself in an unexpected accident. Accidents can happen, but often times can be avoided by staying focused on the road and driving as safely as possible. Following the speed limit, giving yourself plenty of time to slow and stop, and obeying all traffic laws when it comes to driving can protect you on the road. However, distractions can occur which can take our eyes off the road and put our safety at risk.  Here are some helpful tips to avoid distractions while on the road:  Put your cell phone away and out of view. Texting or talking on the phone while driving is very distracting. Nowadays, many cell phones have features that will actually text back anyone trying to contact you with an automated message that you are driving and will get back to them shortly. This is a great tool to use to prevent yourself from being tempted to checking your phone on the road ... read more

How to Top off Your Engine Oil Properly

The engine oil in your vehicle is extremely important to the overall health and operation of your car. Although your regular oil changes should never be missed, you can top off your own engine oil if you do so properly in between oil changes if you find that your engine oil is low or needs a top off. It's important to know that adding oil to your car does not replace your regular oil change.  First, you should find a quality engine oil that is trusted in the industry. Do you research and avoid using cheap oils that can cause more harm than good. Your vehicle's owner's manual is also a great source for what type of oil to use. You'll also want to check your vehicle's oil level before proceeding. Make sure your vehicle is parked on a flat surface and open up your vehicle's hood. Pull out the oil dipstick to measure the level of the oil. If it is low, you can top off and add some oil in between oil changes.  To top off oil, following the following steps ... read more

What Causes Alternators to Fail?

The alternator has an important job - it keeps the battery charged while driving by recycling energy created by your vehicle which helps to power all of your electrical components, such as the radio, lights, and more. Often times when our car won't start or stay on, we blame it on the battery. However, sometimes the issue can actually stem from a failing alternator.  There are certain tests that can performed that can indicate the true culprit of a no start car condition or electrical problem. The battery can be tested first to determine if a dead battery is the cause. However, if the battery looks fine, the alternator can then be tested to see if it is working properly. The issue can also be related to writing problems within the starting or charging system, so these tests need to be run in order to find the true cause.  If the alternator is bad, here are some of the potential reasons why:  Bad shaft bearings Bad wiring Bad brushes Flooded alternator shaft If ... read more

What Does the TPMS Warning Light Indicate?

What Does the TPMS Warning Light Indicate?

Your vehicle's TPMS warning light is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. If this light illuminates, it can mean a number of different things, but more than likely your car has detected that one or more of your tires has low air pressure that can be dangerous on the road.  The Tire Pressure Monitor System monitors the inflation pressure of the tires on your vehicle. If the pressure inside one or more tires drops 25% or more below its recommended inflation pressure, the warning light will come on.  If you do see this light turn on, the best thing to do is pull over and check your tires. If you have an obvious tire that looks completely or almost flat, you may need to call for assistance. If everything looks ok at eye's view, try to safely get to a gas station that has an air pump or an auto repair shop for help.  Try not to drive too much when this light comes on, or at all if possible. When you drive with low pressure in your tires, you are at risk for a ... read more

What to Do in a Car Emergency

Nobody wants to get stuck in a vehicle emergency situation, but chances are it may happen to you in your lifetime. The best thing you can do is be prepared for anything while on the road and understand the steps you need to take in a certain situation to protect yourself and your safety. If you get into an accident or your vehicle suddenly stops working in the middle of the road, here are some helpful tips to remember: 1. Stay calm and don’t panic. If you start to panic, you may lose sight of what you need to do in the situation and make things worse. Just breathe, and try to think of the next step that will be best for you in whatever situation you catch yourself in.  2. If you’re in an accident, pull over off of the road or to a safe place if possible. Never get out of your vehicle in the middle of the road. If you cannot move your car to safety, stay in your vehicle and call the police. If you can get over safely, make sure you can exit your vehicle without being ... read more

Vehicle Tune-Ups - How Often Are They Needed?

Unlike an oil service, tune-ups are a larger service that are typically required every 30,000 miles or so, depending on the age of your vehicle and your driving habits. If you are wondering when your vehicle will be due for a tune-up, the best thing to do is to refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will lay out when a tune-up is due for your vehicle and what services are included.  Even though tune-ups are usually needed on an interval basis, they can sometimes be needed prior to the recommended mileage due to excessive driving. Some signs that your vehicle may need a tune-up include: Lack of overall performance Decrease in fuel efficiency Car constantly stalling Engine running rough Start up troubles If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, your vehicle may be due for a tune-up. If you’re unsure, you can visit your local auto repair shop for an inspection. Some typical tune-up services include spark plug replacement, fuel ... read more

5 Signs That Indicate You Need New Brake Pads

Brakes are one of many vehicle components that are vital to your safety on the road. Your brakes help you slow and stop when needed, and compromised brakes can put your safety at risk. As soon as you notice something off about your brakes, it is important to have your vehicle inspected at our shop to determine what the cause may be. Repairing the issue early on will save you money and will also help protect you and your family while driving.  Brake pads are an important part of the brake system and essential help produce the friction that allows your vehicle to slow down and stop. However, brake pads do not last forever. Over time, they begin to wear down and will need to be replaced. Here are 5 telling signs that your brake pads are due for a replacement:  If you hear a squealing noise while baking. This is a key indicator that the brake pads are worn down and that metal to metal contact is happening.    If you hear a clicking noise, this is a sign that your br ... read more

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