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Get the 411: Wheel Alignment and How It Works

Get the 411: Wheel Alignment and How It Works

Why do I need an alignment? Alignment is necessary to ensure that your vehicle’s suspension (the system connecting the wheels to the powertrain and the rest of the car) is angled properly. Harsh roads, bumps, and curbs can push your car out of alignment over time. The wearing of tire rubber and sagging of suspension components, like the springs, over time also contributes to changing wheel angles that affect alignment. How does an alignment work? During an alignment, vehicles are secured onto a lift that clamps on to each of the four wheels. These clamps connect to a computer that assists the technician’s adjustments to each of the wheels. Doing an alignment also gives the technician an opportunity to make sure that all components of the car’s suspension is functioning normally. If any part of the suspension or steering is broken or needs replacement, this needs to be done before alignment can take place for safety reasons. An alig ... read more

Get Your Car Ready for Summer with Our 4-Point Checklist!

Get Your Car Ready for Summer with Our 4-Point Checklist!

Is your car ready for summer? If you're not sure, make an appointment at your local car doctor before your next trip. Especially after the winter months, it's important to check the all systems in your vehicle are running normally. The last place you want to be on a road trip is on the side of the road. Use this guide to ensure critical components in your car are ready to beat the heat. 1. Ready your rubber. Rubber is a huge component of every standard vehicle on the road today. It’s not only used for tires—the belts and hoses under the hood and windshield wiper blades are made of rubber, too! Intense summer heat can wreak further havoc on cracked rubber. If you or your technician eye any concerning damage, its best (and cheaper!) to replace a cracked serpentine belt now rather than on the side of the road. Tires are held together by glue, and glue and sun do not mix. Whenever you see ripped treads and loose rubber on the highway, that’s th ... read more

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car care tips

How do I find a reliable mechanic?

How do I find a reliable mechanic?

Finding a mechanic you trust your vehicle with may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think. Most people have at least one poor experience with an auto repair shop, and that experience can shape how they view interactions with other shops they go to. After you find a shop that does the kind of work you’re looking for, you may wonder how much you can trust them with your vehicle and money. So, what does credibility look like in an auto repair shop? 1. Look for an ASE Blue Seal of Approval. The fastest way to check a service center’s credibility is an ASE badge. This is the most widely acknowledged and accepted certification for professional technicians. Shops that employ technicians who are trained in some or all eight test categories receive this seal from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE is a non-profit established in 1972 to advance vehicle service quality and ensure that automotive professionals a ... read more

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car care tips

How do I stop my car from hydroplaning?

How do I stop my car from hydroplaning?

If you’re wondering how to avoid hydroplaning, vehicle use and maintenance need to be considered. Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle experiences a loss of traction in a wet environment, and slides or skids across the road. There are several choices you can make to eliminate the risk of your car hydroplaning in bad weather. 1. Choose defensive driving over aggressive acceleration. Slow down when driving in wet conditions. Maintain a speed at least 10 miles below the speed limit and lower your need to brake. Wet roads equal less traction so braking will do little in your favor, especially if you’re shooting down the highway at 65 mph. Going a safe speed will also eliminate your need to make sudden movements, which will increase the likelihood of your car hydroplaning. To reduce further risk of hydroplaning, try driving in the tracks of cars in front of you. The water or ice will have begun to sepa ... read more

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car care tips

National Car Care Month: Teslas and EVs

National Car Care Month: Teslas and EVs

As the National Car Care Month of April comes to a close, it seems right to go out on an electrifying note. Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace on the roads today. Their attractive, eco-friendly design has convinced many drivers to go electric. Unfortunately, the price tag on these vehicles makes them less accessible (the Nissan Leaf is the most affordable EV in the game with an MSRP starting at just under $30,000). However, high-end companies like Tesla have struck close to perfection and quality with their sleek designs, attempting to make it worth the consumer's while. The name “Tesla” is an homage to Serbian engineer Nikola Tesla, creator of the alternating-current, or AC, induction engine used by the vehicle. Because Teslas run on pure battery power, they don’t need the usual fluid changes and transmission maintenance that standard vehicles require. The company does recommend ... read more

How You Can Drive Green on Earth Day

How You Can Drive Green on Earth Day

With gas prices through the roof and another Earth Day come and gone, it’s time to talk about you. Specifically, what you can do to increase your car’s fuel economy. Fuel economy refers to the number of miles a car can drive per gallon of gas. 1. Avoid aggressive acceleration. Road rage costs you, so why sweat it? According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, drivers who obey speed limits and practice gentle braking and acceleration improve their car’s fuel economy up to 40% in traffic and up to 30% going highway speeds. Gradual acceleration is also kinder to your car, preventing faster break-down. 2. Lose the junk in your trunk! Extra weight reduces fuel efficiency in your car. Smaller ... read more

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car care tips

Why are my brakes smoking?

Why are my brakes smoking?

Why are my brakes smoking? The smell of burning can be scary when you're driving, and you start to notice it. Only to then find out that smoke is coming into your car. Many times, your brakes are to blame. If your brakes start to smoke, it is best to stop driving until the problem is fixed. Some of the most common causes and some things to look for if your brakes start to smoke are explained below. Stuck Brake Pads As time goes on, your brakes will get dirty with brake dust and corrosion. This is because they are exposed to the weather. Buildup of dust can make your brake pads stick to your disc. People who have this happen cannot move the brakes or the wheel can't move freely. The friction causes a lot of heat that does not need to be there, which often causes a b ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Why does my Car Pull to One Side when I drive?

Why does my Car Pull to One Side when I drive?

Why is my Car Pulling to the Side? If your car is pulling to the side, it is a pretty good indication of a Problem with your Car’s Suspension System. This Pulling can be attributed to many things including Uneven Tire Pressure, Uneven Tire Wear, Poor Alignment, or a Sticking Brake Caliper. Driving over a pothole or up on a curb may break your Control Arm, and alter the Alignment of your Vehicle. While it’s generally not hard to realize the ... read more

How can I keep my HVAC System running efficiently?

How can I keep my HVAC System running efficiently?

How can I keep my HVAC System Running Efficiently? Many of us simply can’t imagine driving our cars without temperature control, whether to stay warm in the cooler months or cool in the warmer months. Your HVAC System works hard to keep you and your family comfortable. However, the benefits will not last long if you do not give the system care and keep it properly maintained. First, change the dirty cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering out the air that enters the cabin of the vehicle through the HVAC System. Just like the filter in the HVAC unit at home, it is critical to keeping the air quality healthy inside your vehicle. Second, it is important to keep your condensers free of leaves and debris. If debris gets in, the system will not cool as well as it should. Bottom line, if you allow your HVAC System to become dirty or clogged, you will need to turn up the Power making it work harder, and in turn making your engine work hard ... read more

Categories:

Cooling

Why is there a noise coming form the air vent when turing on the fan?

Why is there a noise coming form the air vent when turing on the fan?

Why is there noise coming from the air vent when turning on the fan? 1. Leaves stuck in the blower motor. When the fan is turned on, the leaves will spin around the blower motor making a rustling sound. 2. Bad vent blend door or actuator. The actuator responsibility is to control the vent blend door for a specific function. For example, it is used to move the vent blend door for temperature changes, defrost mode, recirculation, fresh air and so on. When the vent blend door or actuator fails, it can make a flapping or slapping noise. 3. Failed blower motor. When a blower motor is failing, it can make a whistling noise, whining noise, grinding noise, and other odd noises. Usually, the noise will gradually increase as the fan speed increases. At this point the electric motor is failing and will need replacement. 4. Rattling noise. Sometimes, objects can fall into the air duct through the vent entrance and make a rattling noise when the vehicle is in motion or when the ... read more

Categories:

Cooling
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