The crisp temperatures of Halloween are a general reminder that the weather is changing, and wet and stormy weather is on its way. We usually get a rush of customers right after the first cold storm wanting to “winterize,” so beat the crowd and come in now.
Out of the blue, there’s suddenly green, red, or other color fluids under my car. WHAT’ S GOING ON!! No need to panic…yet.
Depending on the manufacturer, some coolants are red, some are green, and some are yellow. Never mix colors, and always use the color your vehicle already has in the radiator. Also, many transmission fluids are red. If any of these are under your car, you have a leak, and it needs to be addressed. If it’s monstrously large, don’t drive the car, have it towed to us to avoid more damage.
If you notice that your car, truck, or SUV is wandering, or pulling to one side of the road, that’s an indication of a safety issue with your steering. It may be caused by bad tires, a steering component failure, an alignment issue, or some other problem.
Once it starts, it’s likely to get worse, and could lead to a catastrophic failure and a collision. At the first sign of this, come in and we’ll do an inspection. We’ll find your steering goblins and get your vehicle back to handling like a dream!
The braking system on your vehicle is just as important as the drivetrain that moves it under power. While your engine and transmission provide the “GO”, it’s your brakes that slow you down when you’re ready to “WHOA”! On all vehicles, brakes take a beating every time they are applied. They take the rotational energy of the turning wheel, and by hydraulic pressure turn that energy into heat. This conversion of energy is what allows you to slow down a little, or a lot by pressing the brake pedal.
At this time of year, there is less daylight each day. There is more rain in the forecast, and our trips for after-school and evening meetings are now ending at dusk or in the dark. This is the time to play it safe by changing all the wiper blades on your vehicle so you’re ready for any changes in the weather. Also, it’s time to safety-check your exterior lights, to make sure they all work properly. Headlights should both work in high and low beam, and be clear and well-aimed. All brake lights should be working, as well as turn signals, taillights and side markers or running lights.
Your vehicle’s battery has a lot to do! It provides electrical power to start the engine. It sends power to operate all of the cabin accessories, such as the stereo, lighting, and the blower motor for the A/C and defroster. It powers the instrument panel so we can see what our vehicle is doing. And as vehicles get more complex, even more systems are added, such as navigation, engine, and transmission management, Wi-Fi, lane departure, self-driving modes and much more.
Whenever your “Check Engine” or “Check” light comes on while you’re driving, you need to pay attention to it immediately. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something drastically wrong with your car, but that IS a possibility. One thing is for sure…nobody likes seeing this light on their dash.
Fifty years ago, vehicles needed a “tune-up” about every 25,000 to 40,000 miles. Electrical systems were very simple back then, but they had many parts that would wear out very quickly. It was not uncommon to have to replace the distributor cap and rotor, points and condenser, all spark plugs and in some cases all of the ignition wires. Additionally, this was also a good time to replace the air filter, possibly the fuel filter, and clean and adjust the carburetor.
We all love Summer activities, but the Summer heat can take a toll on your vehicle. Exposed to direct sunlight, the interior temperature of a vehicle can be as high as 30 to 50 degrees hotter than the outside ambient air! The law frowns on anyone who leaves a pet or child alone in a locked vehicle, in some cases allowing passers-by the ability to break into a vehicle if a life is in danger. Vehicle interiors will trap hot air, so it’s very important to at the very least crack a window to allow some heat to escape.
Here’s some tips to keep your interior cooler…
We recommend taking five minutes at the beginning of each month to check your tire pressure to help save you money and headaches down the road. But how do you check your tire pressure? We wrote this blog just for you to learn!