Should I Have To Pay For Diagnosing My Car’s Problem?

Years ago, a technician might spend five minutes diagnosing a car and five hours making the repair. Today, we might spend five hours running tests and diagnosing the vehicle, and five minutes repairing or putting a component on it. The use of electronics drives this change. Vehicles today have a tremendous number of electronic systems. […]

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When Should I Service My Car’s A/C System?

In states with sweltering, hot summers, few things are more frustrating than having your air conditioning blow hot air when it is over 100˚ outside. Proper maintenance can prevent this. Your air conditioning system is a sealed system. In closed systems, the only way you lose fluid, or in this case refrigerant, is when you […]

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When Should I Jump Start My Car?

Knowing when to jump start a car can save you time and frustration. Not every no-start condition can be resolved by a jump start. Jump starts only help when the actual problem is a discharged (dead) battery is the cause of the no-start condition. If you hear a series of rapid “clicks” when attempting to […]

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Do I Really Need To Change My Coolant? Is A Coolant Flush Necessary?

The cooling system’s primary component is antifreeze/coolant, which helps keep the engine from freezing in the winter (don’t laugh, we do travel to other climates you know), and keeps it cool in the summer. As with brake fluid, your coolant can be tested to determine when it needs to be replaced. In this case, we […]

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Does Brake Fluid Really Need To Be Changed Or Flushed?

Unlike the previous aspects of maintenance, brake fluid is not added at particular intervals. Instead, we can measure when brake fluid or coolant should be changed. The measurement for when brake fluid should be flushed is 200 copper parts per million. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that if you left the can open overnight, […]

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Does The Power Steering Fluid In My Car Really Need To Be Changed?

Shown above are two power steering pumps. The one on the left is for a newer vehicle, the one on the right the old fashioned style many of you may be familiar with. Of course the main thing they have in common is that they do their job by creating hydraulic pressure on a specially […]

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What Is A Differential? Does The Differential Fluid Really Need To Be Changed?

Most of us have heard of a “rear differential” or a “front differential” but few know what it actually does. Basically, the differential takes power from the vehicle’s transmission and turns power traveling down the centerline of the vehicle and transfers it to the wheels. It also allows the wheels to turn at different speeds […]

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Is a Transmission Flush or Transmission Service Really Necessary?

If you read our blog on motor oil, we covered the fact that dirt is suspended in the oil. At each oil change, the oil (and the dirt it holds) drains out of your car and clean oil is added. Can we apply the same reasoning with transmissions? Transmissions don’t pull in air or combustion […]

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Are Auto Club Memberships Worthwhile?

Motor clubs provide good benefits for the consumer and offer peace of mind for the consumer who travels a lot or has a loved one living away from home. Undoubtedly, their primary focus is the customer. I am thinking of clubs like AAA Motor Club or Cross Country Motor Club, the two big wheels in […]

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What Is The Best Kind Of Fuel For My Car? Should I Use Premium Gasoline?

The best way to determine if premium fuel is right for you is to check your owner’s manual to see what they recommend for your specific car. Higher-end models and turbo charged engines may require premium gas. Those cars are designed to burn fuel at optimum levels. Both the way the engine is timed and […]

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How Do I Jump Start My Car? What Is The Proper Jump Start Procedure?

We’ve all experienced a dead battery, haven’t we? We turn the key and either hear nothing or series of repetitive clicks. The engine does not turn over. That is the only time you should jump-start your car. If you’re driving down the road and your car dies, the battery is not the cause of your […]

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Should I Buy An Extended Warranty?

We advise our customers against purchasing extended warranties. Evidence proves that, in most cases, the cost of the warranty is far more than the benefit received. The concept we operate under is very simple. Any warranty company has to make a profit or it goes out of business. It must have significant overhead, with a […]

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Should I Fix My Car Or Buy A New One?

Every car has a point of diminishing returns. What you do from the day you drive your car off the showroom floor and whether you think of your vehicle as an investment or as an expense affects the decisions you make about replacing it. You should not say, “Well, I don’t want to put that […]

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How Long Before I Should Change My Oil?

How often you should change your oil is becoming an issue in our industry because of changes in service intervals. Years ago, it was every three months or three thousand miles. Our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers all taught us that. The reason the oil needed changing so often was because the engines were exposed to […]

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Does It Matter What Oil I Use?

Here are some common questions about engine oil: Does the type of engine oil I put in really matter? Can I change the brand of oil I use? What do the numbers mean? All oil today is called “paraffin-based oil.” That means the oil has the ability to capture dirt—this is one of its jobs. […]

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What’s That Whining Noise In The Engine?

Whining usually occurs either from the children in the back seat or from the car’s power steering pump under the hood. You’ll want to check both of those possibilities. You may need a cookie for one and power steering fluid for the other. The power steering fluid is a sealed system for the most part. […]

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What Is That Thumping Noise While I Am Driving?

If you hear a regular thumping or vibration that varies with your speed as you’re driving down the road, the tires are usually the culprit. Many times, the tread in the tire is separating internally. Want a sure-fire way to know if this has occurred? Try this: Drive across a parking lot at 2 to […]

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What Is That Thumping Or Clicking Noise When I Turn?

Sometimes when you turn the steering wheel, you will hear a thumping noise and possibly feel a jerking action through the steering wheel. Several problems could cause this thumping noise. One problem could be your “constant velocity joints” (or CV joints). A CV joint is pictured above. Your axle has a constant velocity joint built […]

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What Is That Squeak In My Engine?

Many times, you’ll find a plastic splash shield installed underneath the front of the car for multiple purposes. These shields not only prevent foreign objects from getting into the engine compartment and causing damage, but also protect against water getting into the drive belt area. If water enters that area, the drive belt may actually […]

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What Is That Noise When I Push The Brakes?

One common noise that often scares people is a squeaky noise that happens when you push on your brake pedal. A high-pitched noise is indicative of brakes needing repair, especially if this is a new sound. Sometimes what we’ll call “inferior” brake pads or “inferior” parts are used on a brake job. In those cases, […]

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Car Noise – How Do I Explain What Noise I Am Hearing?

One of the greatest things about car ownership is really getting to know your car. That means using your five senses—hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch. You can use your senses to know what is normal for your car so you’ll recognize when something has changed. When it comes to hearing noises that you know […]

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What Is The Gauge That Tells Me How Many Miles The Car Has On It?

  That gauge is known as an odometer. The name comes from the late 18th century: from French odomètre, from Greek hodos ‘way’ + meter. The accuracy of an odometer gauge has changed over the years. Today it’s electronic, whereas years ago, a cable ran from the speedometer head down to the transmission. As the transmission rotated, this […]

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Gas Gauge – When Should I Fill The Tank?

Most people know that “E” does not stand for “enough”—it stands for empty. And “F,” of course, stands for full. In today’s cars, the fuel pump is located inside the gas tank. Having enough fuel in the tank helps keep that little electric motor—called your fuel pump—cool, and will typically make it last longer. As […]

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What is a Battery Gauge?

The battery gauge, also known as the “voltage gauge”, simply measures battery voltage. You will usually see a small picture of a battery on this gauge. Some gauges will have a number 12, which relates to the voltage; however, most of the time the normal position for the needle, when everything is fine with the battery and […]

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Wheel Alignment – What Is It?

Pictured is a graphic of how alignment angles work and the tire wear that occurs when a vehicle’s wheel alignment is not properly set. It’s not just front wheel alignment anymore; most vehicles have four wheel alignment adjustments available. Bad wheel alignment can cost you a lot of money in premature and excessive tire wear. […]

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