auto maintenance myth

Auto Maintenance Myths Debunked by Your Winston-Salem Auto Repair Experts

Auto Maintenance Myths Debunked by Your Winston-Salem Auto Repair Experts

Your Winston-Salem auto repair experts at Cloverdale Auto have heard many interesting auto maintenance myths over the years. These myths typically relate to common car care issues like oil changes, transmission fluid changes, which fuel to use, warranties and car batteries. But are these rumors actually true?

You Need an Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles

One of the most common auto maintenance myths surrounds the need for oil changes. While needing this service used to be important every 3,000 miles, newer model vehicles are different. Today’s cars typically do well with oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. This is due to improved oil composition and synthetic alternatives available on the market today. Engines are also superior to designs of the past.

To know precisely when you need oil changes, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Your Winston-Salem auto repair experts can also provide this information for you.

Premium Fuel Improves Vehicle Performance

For some cars and trucks, premium fuel does improve performance. But this is not true across the board. Regular grade fuel works well in cars not equipped with a high-compression or performance engine. It is also an auto maintenance myth that regular fuel will harm your engine. However, premium gas has protectants and cleaners in its formula that do benefit a turbo-charged engine.

Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for guidance in which fuel to use for your car or truck.

Taking Your Car to a Winston-Salem Auto Repair Shop Will Void Your Warranty

Another popular auto maintenance myth is that taking your car to a Winston-Salem auto repair shop will void the warranty. While dealerships want you to only visit their shop for routine maintenance needs, you can take your car to any legitimate mechanic. You just need to save your receipts in case you need to prove the work was done and its cost. This is the case for any routine maintenance listed in your owner’s manual, when performed on the recommended schedule.

You Must Warm Up Your Vehicle’s Engine in Cold Weather

It is true that your engine’s parts run their best when fully warmed up. But today’s vehicles warm up more quickly when the car is in motion. Leaving your car running in the driveway before taking off only burns gas, wastes money and adds emissions to the environment. Warming up your vehicle in cold weather is an auto maintenance myth you can ignore, if you have a recent model.

Always Replace All Tires at the Same Time

You do not need to purchase four new tires if one or two need replacement. Simply ensure you buy the same brand, size and model as your remaining tires. Then, continue having them rotated as part of every other oil change.

Drive for a Short Period of Time after a Jump Start to Fully Recharge Your Battery

After having your battery jump-started, it takes hours of driving to achieve a full charge. This is particularly true in cold weather, when lower temperatures drain a battery’s energy. Simply driving for five, 10 or even 50 miles will not “refill” the battery. Instead of believing in the old auto maintenance myth, plan on driving for several hours. Avoid using heated seats, the radio and other accessories that pull power from the battery while you do this. Obviously, the best way to avoid having to jump-start your car battery again is to replace it as needed.

Flush the Transmission Fluid Every 50,000 Miles

    Most modern vehicles use transmission fluid with a longer life than in the past. Instead of having to flush this fluid every 50,000 miles, as the old auto maintenance myth proclaims, today’s cars and trucks can last up to 100,000 miles. Of course, your vehicle’s manufacturer provides the best information about when to have this important service performed at your Winston-Salem auto repair shop.

    Winston-Salem Auto Repair You Can Count On

    If you have questions about auto maintenance myths or the service your vehicle needs, there is no one better to ask than your Winston-Salem auto repair experts at Cloverdale Auto. Schedule your next oil change, transmission fluid flush, tire rotation or other service today by calling 336-331-3448.

Sell Your Car

How to Get the Most Money When You Sell Your Car or Trade It In

Sell Your CarAre you getting ready to sell your car or trade it in? Before you get a new car, you have to decide what to do with the old one. Selling it yourself gets you more money toward your new vehicle purchase. But trading your car in is often the better choice. This is true if you do not have enough time to sell or money in the bank for your down payment on a new one.

No one likes having to haggle with a used car buyer. Whether you are selling it yourself or trading your car in, you inevitably have to haggle. But you have the upper hand when your vehicle is in good shape. Negotiating the right deal also means doing some research into your vehicle’s actual value. Below, we look at how to get ready to sell your car or trade it in for the best possible financial return.

1. Find Out What Your Vehicle Is Worth

It is critical that you have a realistic idea of your vehicle’s value before you sell your car or attempt trading your car in. You can use several resources to come up with the approximate value, such as Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book.

You can also compare values across other websites, such as Auto Trader, Craigslist and anywhere else people sell their cars. By reviewing pricing on multiple sites before you sell your car, you can understand how your car rates on the market. It is also helpful to have one or more used car dealers look at the vehicle. Have them tell you what they will pay to buy it or when you are trading your car in.

Knowing these amounts gives you confidence in the haggling process. If you are trading your car in, you can start negotiating just beyond the high end of your offers. This is better than starting with their low quote and trying to raise the trade-in offer. It gives you the upper hand and you can maintain that position with the insights you gained.

2. Make Your Vehicle Appealing

When you try to sell your car or when trading your car in, it is important to make sure it looks its best. A clean, well-maintained vehicle generally brings in a better price than one that looks like it has hidden problems. Have your vehicle detailed inside and out before listing it for sale or driving it to the car lot.

Also take your car to your local auto mechanic at Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for routine maintenance. Get the oil changed and the engine tuned up. Ask the mechanic to ensure everything is in good shape to prepare it for sale. If your vehicle has major repair needs, your friendly mechanic can help you weigh your options. Sometimes it is better to fix problems before you try to sell your car. In other cases, it is best to leave the major repairs to the buyer.

3. Sell Your Car at the Right Time of Year

Depending on the type of vehicle you own, there are certain times of year that are better for trade-ins or outright sales. For example, during the sunny and warm months you can more easily sell your convertible in Winston-Salem, than during the early parts of winter. In the wintertime, North Carolina car buyers have more interest in trucks and SUVs. Get to know your local area’s buying trends to get the most from your sale or when trading your car in.

Just like seasons affect car sales, so do gas prices. When fuel costs are high and you are selling a car that gets great gas mileage, you have the advantage. When Winston-Salem area fuel costs are low, you will more easily sell your gas guzzler.

4. Hold Your Ground on Price

As you learn about car pricing in your local area, also decide on the absolute bottom price you are willing to accept. Car dealers and even consumers will try to pay you as little as they can for your vehicle. Once you know your absolute limit, stick to it.

Always be willing to walk away if you cannot get the right price from a particular car lot or individual. This impression that you will not give in puts you in an advantageous position. This is particularly true when trading your car in. Look for signs the dealer needs more vehicles for their lot. Also try to gauge whether they are struggling to meet their new car sales quotas, such as when business seems slow.

Cloverdale Auto Helps You Prepare to Sell Your Car

When you are ready to sell your car or you want to try trading your car in, schedule routine maintenance at Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem. We will perform an oil change, replace fluids, and rotate tires. We can also provide a multi-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is in its best selling shape. Schedule your visit today by calling 336-331-3448.

auto maintenance

Should I Keep My Auto Maintenance Records?

Auto maintenance is critical for keeping your car, truck or SUV running as it should. But did you know it is important to keep your auto maintenance records? Why should you keep these documents and how can they help you?

Your Vehicle Maintenance Records Can Save You Money

auto maintenanceWhen your vehicle undergoes routine maintenance or even specific auto repairs in a Winston-Salem auto shop, your receipt is your record of these services. If your vehicle breaks down or experiences other problems after the service, these records can come in handy. Auto maintenance and service is often guaranteed, such as for a year after that work takes place.

As an example, if you get your oil changed, you may not think it is important to keep your receipt. But if you leave the auto maintenance shop and the “oil service” light illuminates on your dash, something could be wrong. With your receipt, you have the documentation you need to access the auto shop’s service guarantee.

Of course, this is a minor example. If you have major repair work done on your vehicle or purchase expensive parts for replacement, it is more important to keep this documentation.

Vehicle Maintenance Records Help Your Vehicle Hold Its Value

Maintaining your car, truck or SUV as you should helps it keep its value. This benefits you a great deal when you decide to put it on the market for sale in Winston-Salem or trade it in at a dealership. People want to buy well-maintained cars and trucks, as these are less prone to break down and endure longer. With good records, you can prove how your vehicle is worth its full resale or trade-in value.

At the negotiating table for your new car, you have more power when you have maintained your trade-in well throughout its lifetime. This can mean real cash value and shave hundreds, if not thousands, off your new vehicle price.

It Is Easy to Forget Auto Maintenance

Keeping auto maintenance records is important for recalling specifically what work has been done. You have a busy life and it can be difficult to remember when you last had the oil changed. You can also forget whether that tie rod you had replaced was on the driver’s or passenger’s side of the vehicle. Having these documents works great for recalling other information, too. You can easily find part numbers and mileage counts between routine service.

Auto Maintenance Can Be Tax Deductible

If you use your car, truck or SUV for work, you can possibly deduct your auto maintenance costs. You need to talk to your accountant about specific rules and how these apply to you. But having the documentation comes in handy in April, when you need proof of how much your business use of your vehicle costs you.

Organize Your Auto Maintenance Documents for Real Benefit

The best way to keep up with your auto records is to have one folder dedicated to these documents in your desk, home office or even the vehicle, itself. Even placing an envelope in your glove box can make staying organized easy. Make a point of always placing your receipts in the designated place to enjoy future payoffs of doing so.

Of course, the biggest factor in reaping the financial benefits of keeping your vehicle documents is getting that service done, in the first place. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, schedule your oil change, tire rotation or other service today. Call Cloverdale Auto Service at 336-331-3448.

Dodge repairs

Dodge Repairs: Most Common Fixes

Dodge repairsWhen most people think of the auto brand Dodge, they think of an all-American line of vehicles built right here in the U.S.A. When the Dodge brothers Horace and John started the company in the early 1900s, they originally focused on making auto parts. But then in 1914, they decided to expand into making their own vehicles from bumper-to-bumper. The rest is history as these cars, trucks, and SUVs continue selling well now in Winston-Salem, 106 years later. Of course, as trustworthy as the automaker is at crafting reliable vehicles, sometimes you need Dodge repairs service.

What are the most common Dodge repair needs? Below, we look at some of the most frequently occurring issues with these vehicles. We also examine how your trusted auto mechanic in Winston-Salem, NC fixes them.

Most Popular Dodge Vehicles

To list all of the Dodge repairs on all of the automaker’s vehicles would require writing a hefty book. This is true for any major car brand. So we will just look at a sampling of some of the most commonly owned Dodge cars here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and their biggest issues.

The most popular Dodge vehicles throughout the U.S. today include:

Minivan Grand Caravan
Mid-size crossover Journey
SUV Durango
Full-size sedan Charger
Large coupe with muscle car design Challenger
Common Dodge Repair Needs

On the above five vehicles, below are the most common Dodge repair needs:

Grand Caravan

  • Automatic transmission shuddering and shifting harshness issues
  • Power window motor and switch failure
  • Underbody coolant leaks from rear heat/AC
  • Key fails to start the vehicle or gets stuck in ignition
  • Rattling or clunking noise in the front suspension

Journey

  • Intermittent remote keyless entry failure
  • Dampness in the vehicle from a water leak
  • Engine overheating due to debris in the cylinder head coolant port
  • Brake vibration caused by warped brake rotors
  • Whining noise from the power steering pump

Durango

  • Broken exhaust manifold bolts causing ticking noise in cold engine
  • Check engine light turning on from water passing through the cowl screen
  • Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) fault code caused by clogged EGR tube
  • Camshaft position sensor failure on the 4.7L V8 engine, causing starting problems or stalling
  • Bacterial growth in the evaporator causing a musty odor

Charger

  • Shuddering or rough shifting requiring PCM/TCM software update
  • Window motor or regulator failure, causing power windows to not work
  • Interior lighting and feature electrical problems
  • Check engine light because of engine thermostat closing failure
  • Steering column squeaking during turning

Challenger

  • Harsh 4th gear to 3rd gear downshifting
  • Honking, hissing or groaning from the steering column at low speed
  • MyGig radio problems after disconnecting and reconnecting the battery
  • EVAP system canister control valve or other issue causes pump nozzle shutoff during fueling
  • Brake rotor or drum assembly retainers causing vibration during freeway speeds

Dodge Repairs You Need, When You Need Them

Certainly, not all Dodge vehicles experience these problems. But if you own one of these cars, trucks or SUVs and notice any of the above issues, you can rest easy knowing you are not alone. For the majority of these problems, the necessary Dodge repairs are known and inexpensive. Repairs do not always cost a lot of time or money.

The key to getting the efficient and cost-effective Dodge repairs you need is taking your vehicle to experienced auto technicians. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cloverdale Auto Service strives to be the best at auto maintenance and repair. To fix your vehicle’s issues, we start with diagnostic service. We also check Dodge’s documentation for recall, factory service bulletin and parts replacement information. When we find the problem, we discuss it with you before jumping into repair.

At Cloverdale Auto Service, we maintain strong relationships with our customers. We do this by ensuring we meet your Dodge repair needs. We also provide a full array of routine maintenance services, to keep your vehicle running its best.

Lastly, Schedule your Dodge repair or maintenance at Cloverdale Auto Service by calling 336-331-3448 today.

Cloverdale Auto Service