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

Spring Vehicle Maintenance

Spring is a great time to take control of your vehicle’s maintenance. Driving in the winter weather can take a toll on our vehicles, causing wear and tear that can affect overall performance and fuel efficiency. Before your spring and summer road trip plans, be sure to come by our shop for a spring vehicle inspection. Here are the top spring maintenance items to keep your vehicle running smoothly into the summer! Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual and see if any recommended services are due Make sure you are current with your vehicle’s oil and filter change Have coolant levels, condition, and concentration checked Inspect belts & hoses for any wear and tear Test air conditioning and verify if it is working properly Check your tires - look at the overall condition, tread, and check tire pressure  Look at all lights, interior and exterior, to make sure they work properly including headlights, tail lights, and brake lights Change your windshield wi ... read more

Is Your Car Making Strange Noises?

If your car starts making strange noises while driving, this is usually a sign of an issue within your vehicle. The source can vary depending on the sound and when you hear it. If you do hear a strange noise, don’t ignore it! The best thing to do is to note down the noise, including exactly what you hear and when it happens. If it persists over a few days, you should bring your vehicle into your local mechanic for an inspection.  The problem causing the noise can vary depending on where the noise is coming from and when it happens. Some common strange noises and their sources include: Squealing, screeching, or grinding while braking Sputtering or rattling exhaust noises from underneath the car Chirping or squealing noise from under the hood Humming, growling or roaring noise while accelerating or driving at faster speeds As soon as you notice a strange noise, be sure to note down where it seemed to be coming from and when it happened. Understanding when the noise occurs ... read more

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