Auto Maintenance Checklist

Road Trip Auto Maintenance Checklist

Road Trip Auto Maintenance Checklist

Road trips are so much fun, whether you go alone or with a car full of loved ones. However, even a last-minute trip requires some advanced planning for safety and comfort of everyone on board. This planning involves a bit of auto maintenance to ensure your car runs as it should. But even this maintenance is quick and easy when you know what your vehicle needs. Below is an auto maintenance checklist for your next road trip.

Check the Oil and Fluids

 Auto Maintenance ChecklistYou need to change your car, truck or SUV’s oil once every three months or 3,000 miles as part of routine auto maintenance. If your road trip will take you across many miles in North Carolina or out of state, you should probably get your oil changed before leaving. Driving for long periods of time taxes your car more than a typical daily driving pattern. So, you want to give it the fluid it needs to perform its best and keep it from overheating.

Test Your Lights

Before driving anywhere, you need to ensure your lights are all working as they should. Check your low beam headlights, high beams, blinkers in the front and back and brake lights. You will need your lights when driving at night, in inclement weather and as you try to find your way in new places.

Check the Air and Heating

The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable in summer heat or winter cold while on your adventure. Have your air conditioner and heater maintained, including refrigerant levels. Some of the checks your auto technician performs as part of this auto maintenance include:

  • Visual inspection of belts, caps, hoses, cooling fans, radiator, clamps, water pump and radiator
  • Combustion leak test
  • Oil and transmission fluid check to find potential coolant leak in the engine
  • Radiator cap pressure test
  • UV tracer dye injection to find leaks

Change the Air Filter

To improve engine performance, reduce emissions and get more miles to each gallon of gas, have your air filter changed. This routine auto maintenance is important every 12,000 miles for most vehicles. A dirty air filter limits airflow to the engine, which can cause poor performance. Clean air filters keep your engine clean.

Check Your Tires

Look in your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s ideal tire pressure. You can also find this information on a sticker on the driver’s side door. Of course, the easiest method of having your tires checked is requesting this service when you take your car into a shop for regular auto maintenance.

Let the shop know you are headed out on a road trip and need to understand the condition of your tires. They will look for tears and bulges in the tire sidewalls. If the tread is low or there are other problems, they may recommend you have them changed. Otherwise, if they need air to achieve the ideal pressure, the technician will do this for you. Do not forget to ask them to check your spare tire, too.

Speaking of the spare tire, ensure you have all of the necessary tools for a tire change. Look for your jack and the lug wrench. Other helpful tools include a flashlight, gloves, hand wipes and a towel or blanket on which to kneel, if necessary. It is smart to have a 12″ x 12″ square piece of plywood stored with your spare tire, in case you have to change a flat tire on soft shoulder.

Also consider having a road flare or reflective triangle, in case your vehicle breaks down and blocks the roadway. Some people also like to have a rain poncho in the vehicle, too.

Check Your Brakes

You should never neglect your brakes before a road trip. Take your vehicle to a skilled auto technician and have them perform routine brake checks and required maintenance. They will examine the brake pads and rotors and ensure the whole system works as it should.

Test Wipers and Refill Wiper Fluid

On any road trip, your windshield is going to get dirty. Not only do you face a range of weather conditions, but you will also encounter dust, agricultural debris, road dirt and bugs. The last thing you want is to run out of windshield wiper fluid with so many things potentially clouding your view. Also check your wiper blades and replace them if needed.

Complete Auto Maintenance for Your Road Trip in Winston-Salem, NC

When you feel ready to hit the highway for adventure, auto maintenance is the first priority. The experienced auto technicians at Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem will get your car, truck, or SUV in top shape to ensure your road trip goes smoothly. Call us at (336) 331-3448 to schedule your service today. We hope this Auto Maintenance Checklist has helped you and prepared you for your next road trip!

A Good Mechanic

What Makes a Great Auto Mechanic?

When it comes to owning and maintaining a car, truck, or SUV, there is one thing you should never underestimate. That is the value of knowing and visiting a trustworthy auto mechanic. But what makes a great auto mechanic and where can you find one to trust in Winston-Salem, NC? Below are the top seven skills your great Winston-Salem auto mechanic must possess.

Customer Service Skills

A Good MechanicA good auto mechanic can find what is wrong with your vehicle and repair those problems. They can also help you avoid these problems in the first place through quality diagnostics and ongoing service. But a great auto mechanic does this while also providing excellent customer care. You need one you can trust who helps you understand the needs of your car.

Diagnostic Skills

When something goes wrong with your vehicle, it disrupts your life. You have to spend time without a vehicle, or at the very least, awaiting repairs before getting your car back. Meanwhile, you still need to get to work, transport the kids to their activities, and handle your personal needs. A great auto mechanic efficiently and correctly uses diagnostics to find your car’s problem to get you back in the driver’s seat.

Work Ethic

A great auto mechanic enjoys the work they do, even when juggling multiple customer vehicles at once. They possess excellent problem-solving and multi-tasking skills to get repairs done.


A good mechanic has hours upon hours of classroom education. But a great auto mechanic has this education plus years of hands-on experience. After all, vehicle systems are constantly changing. A mechanic who works on a wide variety of makes and models gain greater exposure to diverse challenges and what works to solve them. They also build confidence through a lengthy history of education, self-guided study and just getting under the hood.

Problem Solving Skills

Deductive reasoning also called problem-solving skills, helps a great auto mechanic find your vehicle’s issues quickly. It is critical that they are able to deduce where a problem begins and the other parts it affects. These skills also come in handy when working with unhappy customers to resolve conflicts and provide honest, reliable information.

Technical Knowledge

Knowing what tools you need for a particular job helps a good mechanic. But having knowledge about the latest technologies defines a great one. This technology constantly evolves, so you need a mechanic who keeps up with the changes.

Diverse Automotive Knowledge

No one can predict which make or model will come into an automotive repair shop on a given day. This makes it particularly important that your auto mechanic has a diverse knowledge base about automobiles. They must know a lot about electrical systems, computers, air conditioning and heating, fuel systems and transmissions, to start. They must also know as much as possible about the tools available to them for making repairs. Finally, it is key for a great auto mechanic to know where to go for reliable, updated information.

Finding Great Auto Mechanics with All Seven Skills in Winston-Salem

Cloverdale Auto is a locally-owned automotive repair business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For years now, local residents and visitors alike have grown to trust our excellent auto mechanics for the services we provide. When you bring your car, truck, or SUV into our Cloverdale Avenue location, you can trust you will receive the quality service you deserve, too.

Services provided at Cloverdale Auto include:

  • Brake repair
  • Check engine light
  • Engine repair
  • Oil change service
  • Bus repair
  • Transmission repair
  • Hybrid repair
  • Radiator repair

Is your vehicle not running as it should? Or is it time for routine maintenance performed by a great auto mechanic? Bring your car, truck, or SUV into Cloverdale Auto for expert diagnostics, service, repairs and parts replacement today. Schedule your visit by calling 336-331-3448.

The Most Common Problems with Manual Transmission

The Most Common Problems with Manual Transmission

More people choose the convenience and ease of driving an automatic transmission vehicle today, instead of opting for a manual transmission. In fact, only about 10 percent of American adults own manual cars. If you drive a stick shift with a clutch, your vehicle actually requires slightly different care and attention than for an automatic car, truck or SUV.

Many people who drive cars with clutches do so because they enjoy improved car handling. They benefit from higher fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs, too.

To keep your manual transmission vehicle from giving you headaches, consider some of their special problems…

Slipping Clutch

A manual transmission clutch transfers power from the engine to the transmission, itself. In other words, this key part enables you to shift gears. If it slips, you notice the engine revving but no movement. Signs like this point to a worn clutch or its pedal requiring adjustment by your mechanic.

Clutches, like other car parts, break down. They wear out from use or misuse, just like tires and brakes. If you feel your floor pedal not working as it should, you risk safety problems. To fix it, your auto technician can replace the clutch and its flywheel, disc, pressure plate and bearing by removing the transmission. For most vehicles with a manual transmission, the clutch needs replacement every 100,000 miles or so.

Gear Shifting Problems

If you experience problems shifting gears, you need to take your vehicle to your Winston-Salem, NC auto repair shop. Not being able to smoothly shift gears often indicates you need the clutch replaced. It can mean your vehicle has worn or damaged transmission parts. It can also indicate your car has electrical problems. Other possibilities include having the wrong transmission fluid in your car or a bad gear.

Sticking Clutch

Auto technicians see many clutches that stick to the floor and do not come back up as they should. Usually, it means the master or slave cylinder has leakage at the external seal. To fix this part, you need air bled from the system and parts replaced. If this is your car’s problem, it does not require removal of the transmission.

Leaking or Dirty Transmission Fluid

Manual transmission fluid requires changing, just like automatic transmission fluid. Without doing so, you risk breakdown of internal components. Most vehicles need this fluid change at between 45,000 and 65,000 miles on the odometer. You can find your manufacturer’s recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.

Transmission fluid helps prevent hydraulic failure. Fluid leaks often occur in components of a manual transmission clutch, such as in the hydraulic lines and the master and slave cylinder. When you take your vehicle in for routine oil changes, you should also have the auto repair tech check your transmission fluid levels.

Effects of Abusive Driving

Your car is a machine that requires care like any other machine with many working parts. To keep it in its best shape and operating as it should, you must take care of it. Part of taking good care of a manual transmission vehicle is driving it properly. Never start driving in second or third gear to reduce having to shift. Skipping gears abuses the clutch.

Another common abusive practice is riding your clutch pedal. Always ensure your foot comes off of this pedal at traffic lights by first placing the gear in neutral. Keeping your foot on it wears this critical part down very quickly.

Check Your Manual Transmission Health Today

To properly maintain your manual transmission and ensure it works as it should, bring your car into Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Our auto repair technicians check fluid levels, perform diagnostic service and repair these parts as they break down. To schedule your visit call 336-331-3448 today.

What is the purpose of a car and truck's emergency brake?

What is the purpose of a car and truck’s emergency brake?

Parking on a hill does not feel secure on its own. As you prepare to get out of your car, you find yourself wondering if it will be in the same position when you return. Will it roll down the incline? For extra peace of mind and your vehicle’s security, you have an emergency brake system. These brakes help you protect other people and property, too.

This simple safety system of backup brakes hold your vehicle in place. Below, we explore emergency brakes and when you need to use them.

What is an Emergency Brake?

Emergency brakes do not work as part of your main brake system. Instead, car and truck emergency brakes work on their own to keep your vehicle in place. You also hear these brakes called parking brakes, e-brakes and hand brakes. Whatever you call them, they provide backup security should your main brakes fail.

In the past, emergency brakes also helped vehicles stop while driving. They do not perform this function in modern vehicles. Instead, car and truck emergency brakes of today only serve a parking security purpose.

How Emergency Brakes Work

Emergency brakes work independently of your vehicle’s regular hydraulic braking system. They lock the wheels in place using cables attached to the hand lever in your passenger compartment.

These brakes work in one of two ways, depending on whether your vehicle has drum brakes or disc brakes. For drum brakes, the cables activate a lever that causes the brake shoes to hold your car or truck in place. For disc brakes, pulling the e-brake lever causes a corkscrew mechanism and piston to pressure the brake pads. This, in turn, holds the vehicle where you leave it.

Four Types of Parking Brakes

Your vehicle has one of four types of parking brakes. These include:

  • Pedal
    These emergency brakes activate when you push a small pedal on the floor and adjacent to your clutch, gas and brake pedals.
  • Center Lever
    Mostly in late-model cars and trucks equipped with bucket seats, you find the e-brake between the two front seats. You pull the lever up to activate the parking brake and release it by pushing the lever down.
  • Push Button
    Using an electronic system, this e-brake is activated through a button on the dash console.
  • Stick Lever
    Primarily found in older cars and trucks, this type of e-brake is typically found beneath other instruments around or on the steering column.

When to Use Your Emergency Brake

You should not just reserve use of your parking brakes on hills. If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, you must use this brake every time you park your vehicle. In automatic vehicles, use of the parking brake is not required. But it is a good idea to use the backup system, whether you park on an incline or not.

Regular use of your e-brake keeps it working as it should. Not using it enables it to corrode. Then, when you really need it, the corroded brake could fail.

Simply activate this brake every time you park. It provides you with extra security and peace of mind, while also reducing the stress placed on your driveline and transmission when you park.

If you have a brake failure while driving, you can use your emergency brakes to help you bring the vehicle to a stop. Slowly apply it for safety. But it will not suddenly jolt the car to a stop, instead easing it into place.

Why My Car Pulls to One Side When Braking: Do I Need Brake Service?

Why My Car Pulls to One Side When Braking: Do I Need Brake Service?

When braking, does your car pull to one side? This drifting to the right or left upon braking is a potentially dangerous problem. Sometimes the cause of problem is not a big one. However, take no gambles at all with your braking system. If you suspect your car or truck brakes are bad, immediately seek brake service. In Winston-Salem, NC, visit Cloverdale Auto Service for all your auto repair needs. Our auto mechanic technicians will get you back on the road safely and quickly.

How My Brake System Works

Your vehicle has one of the two types of brake systems. These are disc and drum. Both effectively stop your vehicle using resistance and friction when you apply the brakes. When you take your vehicle in for brake service, the ASE-certified technician checks all working parts to ensure they perform properly and show no defects. If you need new parts, your mechanic replaces the old ones and installs new parts to get you safely back on the road.

If you have drum brakes, your brake system includes a small round drum that rotates with the wheel. The drum has brake shoes within it. When you apply your brakes using the floor pedal, this forces the shoes against the drum’s sides. As a result, this slows the wheel.

If your vehicle has disc brakes, this system includes a disc-shaped rotor that spins inside the wheel. Applying your brakes causes a caliper to squeeze brake pads onto the disc, slowing the wheel.

Regardless of the type of brakes on your vehicle, you must take your car into a licensed mechanic for routine brake service. Otherwise, worn parts fail to work as they should and even damage other parts of the brake system. You need brake service at basically the same time as you have your tires rotated. This schedule is about every 7,500 miles.

Worn brake pads, damaged rotors or stuck calipers are among the leading potential causes of your car pulling to one side when braking. Not keeping up with your brake service schedule can also cause your car, truck or SUV to not stop as it should.

Potential Reasons Why Your Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

Problems within your brake system are among the leading potential causes of your car pulling to one side when braking. Overall, possible causes include:

  • Uneven tire pressure
  • Worn brake pads
  • Worn or warped rotors
  • Stuck caliper
  • Collapsed brake hose
  • Worn suspension parts

Your braking problems could come from something as simple as uneven tire pressure. Obviously, your mechanic fixes this problem in a hurry and sends you back on your way. But if you have worn, damaged or ineffective parts, you need parts replacement and a certified auto technician’s quality checks before you get in the driver’s seat again.

What to Expect from Your NC Brake Service

When you take your vehicle into a mechanic’s shop for brake service or because your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, you need an auto technician you can trust. After all, you need properly functioning brakes to keep you safe, alive and accident-free. If the problem is not your brakes, other parts causing this problem also need prompt and thorough care.

Your mechanic first listens to how you describe the problem of your vehicle pulling to one side when you apply the brakes. They use this information to consider possible root causes. Then they proceed through a thorough inspection of your vehicle’s brake system and wheels, to determine the actual problem. When they determine the cause of your car, truck or SUV pulling to one side, they report back to you and tell you what repairs your vehicle needs.

Brake service for a car pulling right or left when braking includes inspection of the following parts:

  • Brake pads and shoes
  • Rotor and drums
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Calipers
  • Hardware, hoses and lines
  • Master cylinders
  • Wheel cylinders
  • Anti-lock system
  • Tires

Where can I get this brake service in Winston-Salem, NC?

Cloverdale Auto Service on Cloverdale Avenue in Winston-Salem provides brake system inspection and brake service you need to keep your vehicle safely driving its best. If you notice your car, truck or SUV pulling to one side when you apply the brakes, call us at 336-331-3448 to schedule your service today.

Six Auto Care Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Running Great

Six Auto Care Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Running Great

There are many reasons why your check engine light turns on or you experience problems with your car. But you can keep your vehicle running great forever, if you follow some simple auto care tips. Some of these are things you can do on your own. Others require the help of a skilled auto technician.

Three Auto Care Tips for You to Follow On Your Own

The key to your car running forever is in maintaining it as well as you should. Below are three auto care tips for you to start following today, on your own:

Stop Speeding

Today’s cars, trucks and SUVs go fast. But few of us ever need to reach the maximum speed an engine allows. Being able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in a few seconds is impressive. But accelerating more slowly is better for your vehicle’s overall condition. Avoid revving the engine and remember that “slow and steady wins the race,” especially when it comes to the longevity of your car and its parts.

Do Not Store Heavy Items in Your Car

Another easy auto care tip is simply not storing heavy objects in your car, truck or SUV. Leaving heavy items on the floorboards, in the back seat or in the trunk inflicts unnecessary wear and tear on your tires. It also strains your vehicle in other ways, such as affecting your suspension. Not to mention extra weight = more fuel to move that weight.

Pay Attention to How Your Car Sounds

Get to know the sounds of your vehicle. This enables you to know when something is audibly wrong with the engine. And this seemingly simple auto car tip just might be what saves you from spending unnecessary thousands.

Just think, you’re driving down the road and you hear a knocking or clunking sound. As the responsible and intelligent driver you are, you immediately pull over and shut off your engine. This seemingly insignificant choice could save you thousands. Hearing and responding to irregular car sounds is HUGE. Pulling over and shutting off your engine could save your vehicle from overhear heating. Correctly responding to this out of the normal car sound could easily define the difference between a simple oil change and coolant flush, and a new engine!

Two Auto Care Tips for Your Mechanic to Perform

Besides doing all you can at home to keep your car running its best, you also need to visit an auto mechanic shop at least once per year. Your vehicle’s manual shows how often your car needs routine maintenance. Follow these guidelines or take the advice of your Winston Salem, NC mechanic at Cloverdale Auto Service.

Change Oil and Fluids on a Regular Schedule

Not changing your oil as you should leads to a blown engine. That is a costly problem, no matter your vehicle’s make or model. To know how often to change your oil, read the manufacturer’s recommendations in your vehicle’s manual.

Other fluids also require routine checks and changing, to keep your car running great for a long time. These include:

  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Air conditioning coolant
  • Washer fluid

You can keep some of these fluids topped off through home auto care. But for a system flush and replacement of old fluids, you need a mechanic’s help.

Get Routine Tune-Ups

Your manufacturer’s manual also tells you how often you should tune up your vehicle. This tune up involves an experienced mechanic checking its parts, running a diagnostic test, performing routine service and making recommendations according to specific needs. You possibly need to replace brake pads, spark plugs, tires or a fuel line, as examples. But when you get your car, truck or SUV tuned up on a regular basis, you can have confidence that it is running its best and will last a long time.

The Biggest Auto Care Tip of All? Find an Honest Mechanic.

Cloverdale Auto Service is a woman-owned local business, one taking pride in Winston Salem, North Carolina and the customers we serve. We work hard to ensure you receive the best auto service at a fair price, keeping your car running its best as long as possible. Follow the auto care tips above and bring your car to Cloverdale Auto Service for routine maintenance and repairs. Or call us at 336-331-3448 to schedule your convenient service appointment.

Why is factory scheduled maintenance so important?

Why is factory scheduled maintenance so important?

We live in a time when almost everyone must own a car or have access to one. But owning a vehicle is not enough. You also have to fulfill your responsibilities of ownership. These responsibilities include maintaining an insurance policy, vehicle registration, emissions inspections and regular service. But what is factory scheduled maintenance and why must you follow these guidelines?

Why is factory scheduled maintenance so important?

The manufacturer who designed and manufactured your car, truck or SUV did so with specific operating conditions in mind. Their design works best when cared for as they specify. The automaker provides factory scheduled maintenance instructions to help you understand how to take care of the vehicle for its best performance.

If you do not keep up with this factory scheduled maintenance, you face problems with individual components and the vehicle, as a whole. Neglecting maintenance enables excessive wear and tear on its parts, forcing other components to work harder or fail. Failed parts prove much more expensive than the maintenance that keeps them running as they should.

Who comes up with the factory scheduled maintenance?

The general recommendation in the automotive industry is for major service/maintenance to occur at:

  • 30,000 miles
  • 60,000 miles
  • 100,000 miles

At a minimum

If you do not drive your vehicle very often, your maintenance should take place at two years, five years and 10 years. You can certainly choose to maintain your vehicle through visits to Cloverdale Auto more often, if you choose.

When you take your car, truck or SUV into Cloverdale Auto for its 30,000 mile maintenance, you can expect to receive several automotive services. These include an engine air filter change, oil change, brake fluid flush, cabin air filter change and tire rotation. Of course, make/model specifics do occationally vary. That’s why it’s important to take your vehicle to a mechanic that specializes in and knows your vehicle make. They will be familiar with make specifics for factory recommended maintenance intervals.

At the 60,000 mile interval or after five years of ownership, you receive the same services as for 30,000 mile maintenance. But at this time, you also need a transmission fluid flush from Cloverdale Auto.

After 10 years of ownership or at 100,000 miles, you receive all of the above services plus replacement of the spark plugs, water pump and timing belt, if needed. Cloverdale Auto’s skilled technicians also provide a differential fluid change and transfer case fluid change.

Your Maintenance Timing and Services Can Vary from Typical Recommendations

Factory scheduled maintenance is recommended for the best operation of your vehicle according to typical use, wear and tear. But within this scheduled maintenance are normal duty standards and severe duty standards.

Normal duty standards apply when you drive your vehicle for less than 12,000 miles per year. This is the typical use for someone who only drives a short commute for work. It also involves mostly highway driving, not as much stop-and-go through traffic. If this is how you drive your car, truck or SUV, most auto mechanics recommend you follow the time-based model of factory scheduled maintenance. For example, you should have your vehicle maintained at two years, five years and 10 years of ownership.

Severe duty standards apply whether you do off-roading or drive under other intense conditions. Conditions for following a severe duty maintenance schedule include:

  • Extended periods of idling
  • Stop and go driving
  • Dusty conditions
  • Extreme temperatures

Most drivers fall into the category of doing a lot of stop and go driving. So you likely fall under the severe driving conditions, even if you do not go off-roading or drive in extreme temperatures. Severe duty maintenance typically includes having your vehicle’s fluids and filters changed more often.

Cloverdale Auto Provides Your Factory Scheduled Maintenance

Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem, North Carolina helps you keep your vehicle’s factory scheduled maintenance up to date. In turn, this keeps your vehicle running as it should.

Other key automotive services provided by Cloverdale Auto include:

Call Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem at 336-331-3448 for a service appointment. Be sure to ask about your factory scheduled maintenance and how to keep your car, truck or SUV on the road and driving its best.

Warning Signs of a Failing Alternator in the Honda Odyssey

Warning Signs of a Failing Alternator in the Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey gets some of the best safety and ownership reviews out of all of the minivans on the road today. Even so, it can still suffer from mechanical issues like a failing alternator that call for immediate repairs.

As the owner of an Odyssey, you need to know how to tell if your engine’s alternator could be failing. By knowing the warning signs of a failing alternator, you can act quickly and bring your Odyssey to our knowledgeable Honda mechanics in Winston Salem for a prompt diagnosis and replacement.

Warning Sign Your Vehicle May Have A Failing Alternator Include:

  • Battery Light May Be A Hint You Have A Bad Alternator

It seems like common sense to assume that an illuminated battery light means that the battery in your Odyssey is failing. However, the battery light coming on in your minivan could also signal that your alternator is going bad.

In fact, the alternator’s main job is to provide electricity to the engine while the vehicle is running. The serpentine belt turns this part and allows it to charge effectively. The power that it generates goes into the battery, which in turn stores the voltage so that the Odyssey can start without any assistance from the alternator.

An illuminated battery light alerts you to the fact that the battery is not getting enough voltage from the alternator. If you see this light, you should avoid assuming that it means that you need to change the battery. Bring your Odyssey to us and allow our mechanics to determine if it is in fact your alternator going bad.

  • Engine Stalling

Another common symptom of a failing alternator in a Honda Odyssey is engine stalling. This symptom can be particularly dangerous especially when you are driving on the interstate or busy city roadways.

If you experience engine stalling, you should immediately cut the power to all of your car’s electrical accessories like the radio, heated seats, and even the headlights. This allows all of the power to go to the battery so that you can pull over or bring your car to our North Carolina Honda repair shop for immediate service.

We can test the alternator to find out if it is low on power and needs to replacement. You should not continue to drive your Odyssey if it experiences engine stalling because of a failing alternator.

  • Dim Headlights

The headlights in your Odyssey require a significant amount of voltage from your minivan’s battery to operate. When the alternator cannot provide this power, the headlights will drain the reserve power in the battery. As the reserve dwindles, the headlights will start to go dim.

Dimming headlights are in fact one of the best ways to tell if your alternator needs to be replaced. When they are not as bright as they should be, bring your Odyssey to our Honda mechanics in Winston Salem. Because we can quickly and easily test your alternator. Then recommend replacement if need be. Or, identify the real problem if it is not a bad alternator.

  • Problems with Electrical Accessories

Like the headlights, the electrical accessories in your Odyssey require a substantial amount of power from the battery to operate. You can gauge how well your alternator is working on the power that accessories like the windows, heated seats, radio and other systems in your Odyssey perform.

When any of them start to fail, you should assume that it is because of your alternator failing in the engine. Your next move should be to bring your minivan to our Honda mechanics to have the alternator tested and then replaced with a new one if it is low on power.

  • Bearing Noises

Many Honda Odyssey owners are not aware of the fact that the engine can make bearing noises when the alternator begins to fail. It is easy to assume that the noises are in fact caused by the serpentine belt.

However, when the belt or the actual bearings go bad, they will make a metallic grinding noise. If you are not sure of what is causing the bearing noises in your engine, bring your Odyssey to us, and allow our team of skilled Honda technicians to determine if your alternator is in fact the culprit.

These symptoms are a few to be on the lookout for when you are driving your Honda Odyssey. They indicate that your vehicle may have a failing alternator that needs to be replaced immediately. Avoid any guesswork. Also, do not take your chances out on the road with a failed alternator. Entrust your Odyssey’s care to our team of licensed and experienced Honda mechanics in Winston Salem, NC today.


For Expert Professional Auto Repair In Winston Salem

Call Cloverdale Auto Service


Signs That Point to Urgent Infiniti QX50 SUV Radiator Problems

Signs That Point to Urgent Infiniti QX50 SUV Radiator Problems

The Infiniti QX50 is one of the most luxurious crossover SUVs on the road today. For all of its luxury, however, it can still experience significant radiator problems that require your immediate attention. These tell-tale radiator symptoms alert you to critical SUV radiator problems for which you should bring your QX50 to our experienced and capable Infiniti mechanics today.

Car, Truck, & SUV Radiator Leaks

One of the most common problems that your QX50’s radiator can suffer from are constant leaks. Even so, it can be difficult to tell exactly where the car, truck, or SUV radiator leaks are located. They can originate in the hoses or around the smaller components that make up the radiator.

You can determine if your car, truck, or SUV radiator has leaks by inspecting it for bubbles or steam after your vehicle has been driven. Leaks can sometimes be patched for a short term solution to allow you to drive your QX50 for a bit longer.

Sooner rather than later, however, the leaks in your radiator will need to be thoroughly repaired. Don’t waste your time or money attempting to patch up the leaks and simply prolong the issue. Bring your QX50 to our knowledgeable Infiniti mechanics to have them fixed right away.

Is Failed Thermostat To Blame For Your Seemingly Malfunctioning Car, Truck, Or SUV Radiator Troubles?

A failed thermostat is another common reason for why your radiator will malfunction and your car will overheat. The thermostat is technically not part of the radiator. Still, it is an important valve that controls how much coolant will go in and out of your radiator.

When the thermostat works correctly, it will keep your engine running at the ideal temperature. When it fails, however, it will cause your QX50’s engine to quickly overheat.

Replacing a thermostat in your vehicle can be tricky work. Our Infiniti mechanics are trained & know exactly where the thermostat is located in your engine. And we can quickly & competently replace it with a brand new OEM Infiniti thermostat.

Doing so will cause  your engine to stay at the right temperature. A properly functioning thermostat will allow your car, truck, or SUV radiator to function properly.

Air in the Cooling System Can Cause Car, Truck, Or SUV Radiator Problems

Air can get caught in your radiator’s system, causing your engine to overheat while you are driving it. The trapped air restricts the flow of your engine’s coolant. Which clearly then reduces its effectiveness to keep your engine running at the right temperature.

The only way to repair this problem is by bleeding the cooling system to get rid of the air bubbles. This task is detailed and intricate, however, and should only be performed by mechanics who are trained to work on Infinitis.

Therefore, if this vehicle problem sounds familiar, bring your QX50 to our skilled team of Infiniti technicians. We will correctly and efficiently bleed your cooling system so that your vehicle will function reliably and safely.

Failed Water Pump

Another common malfunction that occurs within radiators is a failed water pump. The pump is a crucial part of this system because it moves coolant throughout the engine. Your water pump circulates coolant through the engine cooling it, and ultimately back into your car, truck, or SUV radiator.

When this pump stops working, it prevents the water from circulating as it should. Your car will then overheat while you are driving it.

Water pumps are one of the most common parts in a car, truck, or SUV radiator that malfunctions. When you suspect yours no longer works as it should, bring your QX50 to us and allow our Infiniti mechanics to replace this broken part in your radiator right away.

Broken Radiator Fan

The fan in your radiator serves an important purpose. It pulls air in through the radiator to keep the engine cool while your vehicle idles or travels at low speeds.

One of the best ways to tell if your radiator fan is malfunctioning is by checking the temperature while your car idles. If it overheats while idling but runs at the right temperature while you are driving on highways or city streets, you can take this as a sign that your radiator fan needs replacement.

Our Infiniti mechanics know how to locate and replace your QX50’s radiator fan competently. Enabling  you to get your SUV back on the road right away.

The radiator in your Infiniti QX50 is one of the most important systems in your engine. Take note of signs that your car, truck, or SUV is in need of repair, rather than damage not further by ignoring them. You can have your QX50 SUV radiator serviced promptly by bringing it to our team of experienced Infiniti mechanics today.

Timing Belt Replacement: Warning Signs Your Nissan Needs A New Belt

Timing Belt Replacement: Warning Signs Your Nissan Needs A New Belt

The timing belt is one of the most important parts in your Nissan Altima’s engine. Bringing your vehicle in to have timing belt replacement service on it prior to your belt breaking completely is paramount. Do not wait until it is too late and you are left stranded. Also keep in mind, a timing belt that breaks typically always causes hundreds if not thousands additionally in repair costs.

To briefly add a tidbit of clarity to those whom may not be mechanically savvy, the timing belt’s roll in your vehicle:

Your car or truck’s timing belt rotates the cam and crankshaft in sync with each other to guarantee that the cylinders each fire at the right time. Your vehicle’s timing belt also controls the piston and valves in the engine cylinders to ensure that the valves open at the right time in conjunction with the pistons.

Because it is sealed off in its own housing within the engine, the timing belt can be difficult to inspect and determine if it is going bad. You can bring your car to our experienced Nissan mechanics right away for repairs by knowing the signs that indicate that your timing belt could suffer from extensive wear and tear or damages.


  • Ticking or Clicking Noises- May Be An Indication That A Timing Belt Replacement Is Needed…..

The primary way to know your Altima’s timing belt is bad? If you hear clicking or ticking noises in the engine. The belt is attached to the cam and crankshaft. When it starts to wear out or suffers damage, it cannot do its job in regulating the pulleys. In turn, it causes the engine to click or tick when the engine is running.

Alternatively, the ticking noise can be caused by low oil pressure. When the oil pressure gets low, the timing belt will become loose and lax. The tensioner that keeps the belt tight is pressurized by the oil in the engine.

Maybe the noise comes from low oil pressure? Or a bad timing belt? Don’t bother trying to determine the origin of the noise your car or truck is producing. Simply bring it in to us at Cloverdale Auto in Winston Salem NC. We can make a quick and thorough diagnosis.Aand then replace your timing belt if we determine it to be the cause of the noises coming from your engine.

  • Misfiring or Rough Running Engine- A Common Warning Sign Your Vehicle Needs A Timing Belt Replacement

A timing belt that is damaged or going bad will throw off your Altima engine’s timing. Which in turn will cause your vehicle to misfire while it is running. The belt controls the pistons and valves inside of the cylinders and the manner in which they operate in conjunction with each other.

If the belt is worn out, it will slip, causing the cylinders to open and close prematurely. This misfiring causes the engine to run erratically or stop running altogether.

An engine that misfires is a serious sign that the timing belt is compromised and needs to be inspected and replaced. Allow our knowledgeable Nissan mechanics to replace this important engine part for you and help you avoid expensive damages to your engine that will occur sooner rather than later because of a bad timing belt.

  • Squealing Engine- Likely Due To A Worn Timing Belt

There can be any number of reasons for why your Altima’s engine squeals while the car is running. Among the most expensive, however, is a timing belt on the verge of wearing out.

When you hear squealing from the engine whenever you accelerate, slow down, brake or idle the car, you need to bring your Altima to us right away to determine if your timing belt has suffered damages. Our Altima mechanics know where to look in your engine to discover the cause of the noise and can replace the timing belt to spare the engine from expensive damages later.

  • Engine That Will Not Turn Over

A broken timing belt is one of the most costly reasons why your Nissan Altima will not start. If the belt is broken, it cannot turn over the engine. The starter itself will engage. However, the engine will not come to life when you try to start your car.

Chances are as well, if your timing belt has broken, other parts of the engine are also now damaged. Some of the more common damages inflicted by a bad timing belt include those found on the cylinder heads. And also damage to water and oil pumps.

The timing belt is a part that your Nissan Altima cannot run without. Avoid trying to find this part or replace it on your own. Let our team of knowledgeable & experienced Nissan technicians service the timing belt in your Altima.  Prevent costly damages to your engine by knowing what to look out for.

Bring your vehicle to our shop, Cloverdale Auto. Our mechanics will perform a timing belt replacement service on your vehicle and get you safely back on the road.

Call Us To Schedule Your Appointment Today!



Cloverdale Auto Service