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.

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

336-331-3448

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.

Toyota Camry: Common Reasons For A Check Engine Light

Toyota Camry: Common Reasons For A Check Engine Light

Toyota Camry: Common Reasons For A Check Engine Light

The Toyota Camry has long enjoyed a reputation for being one of the most durable and reliable brands of cars on the road. Even so, they can be prone to mishaps if they are not properly maintained or repaired. A common complaint among Camry owners revolves around the cause of their check engine light illuminating. Our team of skilled Toyota mechanics can explain to you why your check engine light is on and what you need to do to address the issue promptly.

 

Faulty Spark Plugs or Spark Plug Wires In Your Toyota Camry

The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the mixture of fuel and air in your engine. They help provide power to the engine while the spark plug wires in turn transfer the spark to the plugs from the ignition coil.

When either the wires or plugs go bad, they can have a detrimental effect on your Camry’s performance rating. Their compromised condition can also damage other components in the engine.

When the check engine in your Camry comes on, you can bring it to us so that we can test your spark plugs and wires. If we detect that these parts are the issue, our Toyota mechanics will replace them right away.

 

A Toyota Camry With A Malfunctioning Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor functions to measure the volume of air that goes into the engine. It determines how much air is needed for the engine to operate efficiently.

As important as this part in the engine is, it is also one of the most common reasons for the check engine light to illuminate. When the part malfunctions, it negatively impacts the fuel economy of your Camry. However, it can be difficult for you to determine if the mass airflow sensor is acting up while you are driving your car.

If your check engine light is on, allow our team of experienced Toyota mechanics to test your mass airflow sensor. We can find out if it is the reason for why the light is on and replace it if necessary to resolve the issue quickly.

 

Your Toyota Camry Could Have A Bad CO2 Sensor

It would be fair to argue that most Camry owners do not know what a CO2 sensor is or what purpose it serves in their engines. It measures the amount of unburned oxygen that is in your car’s system.

When this sensor malfunctions, it throws off your car’s fuel economy. It also triggers the check engine light to come on.

If you do not find out why the check engine light is on and discover what the issue is with your CO2 sensor, it can have a detrimental impact on your spark plugs and catalytic converter. Rather than take that risk, you can bring your Camry to our shop and let us run tests on this sensor. We will repair or replace the sensor and make sure that the check engine light is no longer plaguing you and your Toyota.

 

Malfunctioning Catalytic Converter

A bad catalytic converter also can trigger the check engine light to come on while you are driving. This important part is responsible for converting the carbon monoxide in the engine to carbon dioxide. Without proper care and attention to it, it can become significantly damaged.

Further, you need to replace a bad catalytic converter in order to pass emission tests in your state. A faulty converter will cause your car to operate at higher temperatures.

Instead of ignoring your check engine light in your Camry, you can bring the car to us to run tests on and find out what is wrong with your engine. We can replace your catalytic converter if necessary and reset the check engine light.

 

Damaged, Loose, or Missing Gas Cap

Out of all of the reasons for your check engine light to come on in your Toyota Camry, which would be the most pleasant easily fixed? Perhaps the most common and seemingly most inconsequential is a damaged, loose or missing gas cap. The gas cap actually serves an important purpose. It seals the fuel system in your Camry and reduces the emissions while maintaining pressure.

A faulty or missing gas cap will increase harmful emissions from your car and negatively impact its fuel efficiency if the cap is not replaced. You can easily rule out a missing gas cap. If you bring your Camry to us and we find that you need to replace a faulty cap, we maintain a healthy inventory on hand.

 

There are a number of reasons that can trigger a check engine light in a Toyota Camry. It can be one of the most irritating problems to deal with as a car owner. Rather than ignore it or try to figure out the issue by yourself, bring your Camry to us at Cloverdale Auto in Winston Salem North Carolina. Our knowledgeable and skilled Toyota mechanics will quickly and efficiently get you and you car safely back on the road.

Winter Weather Prep For Your Vehicle

Winter Weather Prep For Your Car & Truck

» Sadly, summer is over, fall is flying by, and winter weather will soon be upon you. Before you know it, the temperatures will be plummeting. All drivers should do a little winter weather prep work prior to the freezing weather. With icy roads and freezing conditions, make sure that your car or truck has these key maintenance tips checked & or performed to it in preparation. Read through this winter weather prep tip list below.

1. Have Your Tires Inspected, Rotated, Repaired, Or Replaced To Have Your Car Or Truck Winter Weather Prepped & Ready

Replacing old worn tires is #1 on this tip list. Poor traction during the winter weather serves no one well. Whether you have summer or winter tires, or even all season tires, tread that is out of specs provides little to no traction. And no traction no matter the season is a big no no.

Summer tires are thinner and contain less tread than winter tires. They don’t need to grip the road as securely. In the winter, with icy and snowy roads, you’ll want that extra grip. Winter tires are also generally tougher. While adding chains to your tires can be an effective method for further making your car winter-road ready, most drivers can get away with a simple exchange or rotation of tires.

2. Window Washer Fluid That Has Freeze Protection & Operational Wiper Blades

It is amazing how dirty your car or truck can become during the winter. It’s no wonder what with all the muck, salt, and debris trapped in the cold slushy weather. Your go-to for keeping your windshield clean is your window washer fluid. A simple tug of a lever and the washer fluid and windshield wipers work hard to clean the windshield. As long as it’s not frozen.

Of course, this tip is contingent upon where you live and how cold it gets. If temperatures where you live ever get near or below freezing, this tip is certainly for you. Keep your washer fluid full with low temperature tolerant fluid. Meaning the fluid will stay in a liquid state completely until it drops below the fluid’s low limit (most are around -20 degrees F).

Also, have your windshield wipers inspected. It’s very important to have fully functional wiper blades to wipe the windshield washing fluid back and forth across your windshield. If your blades are not up to par, clear vision while driving is worth every penny of the cost of new blades.

Freeze resistant windshield wiping fluid alongside good working wiper blades are a key items concerning winter weather prep for your car or truck. Because let’s face it, no one can travel safely if they can’t see out of their windshield.

 

3. Maintain Your Recommended Oil Change Schedule & Be Mindful Of Mileage Traveled Between Oil Changes

Thorough winter weather prep for your car or truck most certainly includes getting an oil change. No doubt you were driving a great deal during the summer. Your car needs a little bit of tender love and care after that.

Getting your car or truck’s oil drained & filled, as well as a fresh new oil filter is paramount to the longevity of your vehicle. It will help ensure that your car is purring all throughout the winter. When other cars are lining up outside of the shop because of a simple need, you can drive on by because you’ve already done it.

 

4. Be Certain Your Fuel Filter In Fully Up To Par

It’s also not a bad idea to have the fuel filter inspected or changed out every now and then. You should always your manufacturer’s recommended scheduled maintenance. However, scheduled maintenance is not always all you will need.

Over time, it’s possible that water may begin to accumulate in your gas tank. Gasoline contains ethanol. Ethanol loves water. It’s hydrophilic which means it bonds to water. The air is full of water vapor. Ultimately water vapor collects and becomes water droplets. If your tank has too much water in it instead of gasoline, then it can cause some significant problems.

Occasionally, you may notice your vehicle operating a little more sluggish than its typical.One possible cause is a partially clogged fuel filter. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road because the car can’t receive the fuel it needs. Winter weather prep for your car or truck definitely includes maintaining an operational fuel filter. As well as a water free gas tank.

 

» Not everyone keeps a kit in their car or truck equipped for cold temperatures. Although it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Stave off being stuck on the side of the road in freezing conditions by following the winter weather prep tips for your car or truck. Cleary, preparatory work is key. You should accomplish this before winter weather hits. Make your winter driving season warmer by bringing your vehicle in to your mechanic for its winter weather prep.

 

Cloverdale Auto Service Professionals Know What It Takes To Winter Weather Prep Your Vehicle

If You Live In Or Around The Winston Salem, NC Area Stop By & See Us

2020 Cloverdale Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

OR Call To Schedule An Appt

(336) 331-3448

 

 

School Bus Brake Repair

School Bus Brake Repair to Minimize the Risk of Traffic Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, school bus accidents in the United States are increasingly rare. More than 25 million school children safely ride to and from school each day on the more than 480,000 school buses in operation today. However, when school bus accidents do occur, it’s most often because of faulty brakes. As experienced bus mechanics, we work together with school district fleet managers and bus drivers to significantly lower the risk of school bus accidents. We do this by performing routine inspections and school bus brake system repair.

 

Frequent School Bus Brake Inspection

School buses need to be inspected as often as possible to ensure that their brakes work properly. When fleet directors bring their buses to us, our skilled mechanics inspect many components in the brakes like:

– School Bus Brake linings

– Thickness of the rotor plate

– Flexibility of the brake hoses

– School Bus Brake fluid level

We adhere to the safety and maintenance recommendations established by the buses’ manufacturers for maintaining and servicing the brakes. Our careful inspection ensures that the brakes on every school bus that is we inspect to us for servicing work correctly and safely.

Signs of Brake Damage

During our inspections, we also look closely for any signs of damages to the brakes. For example, one of the most important things that we look for is uneven wear on the brake pads and rotors. This uneven wear and tear will eventually lead to the brakes squealing and grinding whenever the driver steps on the brake pedal.

Our knowledgeable bus mechanics likewise make sure that all of the bus brakes are adjusted and not out of alignment. If the brakes are out of adjustment, we do what is necessary to get them back into their proper position so that the bus’s driver can stop safely and effectively.

Other components that we check during our inspection are the calipers and shoes. These parts are also critical to being able to stop quickly to avoid being in accidents. We can replace them on the spot if they are worn out.

Listening to Drivers’ Input

Many times, school bus drivers will be the first ones to notice issues with their school bus brakes. Our mechanics want to know right away if school bus drivers who bring their buses to us experience brake issues like:

Different feel when stepping on the brake pedal
Grinding or squealing when braking
Increased stopping distances when applying the brakes
Warning lights indicating issues with the brakes
Brake fluid leaks on any of the brake components

Our team of school bus mechanics can determine what kind of brake issues could be at issue based on the input of school bus drivers. We take to heart what they have to say and then immediately begin the process of finding out what is wrong with the bus’s braking system.

 

Preventative Maintenance

Many of the most common brake issues can be prevented with routine maintenance. As experienced bus mechanics, our team can provide a variety of maintenance services designed to keep every school bus in the fleet on the road.

Our mechanics will balance the brake system to ensure even and effective braking, for example. All of the brakes on every wheel will work in conjunction with each other. This coordination increases the safety and reliability of your buses.

They will also measure the stopping distance of the buses that they are about to repair. We make sure that buses that come to us for repairs can stop on a dime after we finish servicing it.

After replacing faulty brake components, our bus mechanics will also test drive the buses to ensure that they drive safely. The buses will not return to a school district until the brakes work as they should.

 

School buses are some of the most reliable and safest vehicles on the road. However, their reliability depends significantly on the safety and usefulness of their brakes. Lastly, let our experienced school bus mechanics perform routine inspections and repairs. When you need to keep all of your buses on the road safely this school year.

Auto mechanic

Auto Maintenance Winter Checklist

Although you may hate to admit it, the summer is crawling to an end. Before you know it, the temperatures will be plummeting. Along with your winter coat, you’ll likely also be pulling out the old snow brush to place in your car. However, there are a few other steps that you should take to prepare your car for the winter. With icy roads and freezing conditions, make sure that your car has had these key maintenance procedures done to it in preparation.

1. Tire Change

One of the first steps you should take is to have your summer tires changed to winter tires. Many people likely don’t think that tires make a difference on the road, but they do. Summer tires are thinner and contain less tread than winter tires. They don’t need to grip the road as securely. In the winter, with icy and snowy roads, you’ll want that extra grip. Winter tires are also generally tougher. While adding chains to your tires can be an effective method for further making your car winter-road ready, most drivers can get away with a simple exchange of tires.

2. Window Washer Fluid Additive

It can sometimes be amazing how dirty your car can become during the winter. With all the muck, salt, and other debris trapped in the snow, it’s no wonder. Your go-to for keeping your windshield clean is your window washer. A simple tap of a button and the washer fluid cleans the windshield, so you can see through it. However, if you don’t add a specific kind of fluid into the reserve or don’t add a de-frosting additive to it, then the fluid can freeze. The next time you go to use your washers, you’ll find that the liquid is frozen in the tank. When seeing outside of your windshield is paramount, you don’t want to find yourself with frozen liquid.

3. Oil Change

The winter season, or just before it, is also a great time to make sure your vehicle has had proper maintenance. No doubt you were driving a great deal during the summer. Your car needs a little bit of tender love and care after that. Having its oil checked, changed, and have more oil added as necessary is a great decision. It will help ensure that your car is purring all throughout the winter. When other cars are lining up outside of the shop because of a simple need, you can drive on by because you’ve already done it.

4. Fuel Filter

It’s also not a bad idea to have the fuel filter inspected or changed out every now and then. As it ages, gasoline starts to turn into water. If your tank has too much water in it instead of gasoline, then it can cause some problems. Sometimes your filter needs to be changed out, too, to ensure that your car can receive the fuel it needs efficiently. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road because your gas is bad or because the car can’t receive the fuel it needs. Not everyone keeps a kit in their car equipped for cold temperatures. Stave off being stuck on the side of the road in freezing conditions by having your gas tank and filter examined and changed.

Clearly, there are a few steps that you should take before winter hits. Your winter checklist for auto maintenance should include all of the above at the very least. Make your winter driving season easier by having these necessary procedures performed on your car today.

Cloverdale Auto Service is the Best in Winston Salem, NC when it comes to Winter Auto Repair.

bus repair

Factors to Include on Your Annual School Bus Checklist

As the school year approaches in Winston Salem, you as the district’s fleet manager have the responsibility of inspecting and repairing all of the school buses. They must be in good working order on the first day of school.

You can make sure each bus is in the best condition possible by compiling an effective safety and mechanical checklist. You can also quickly and conveniently handle any damages to your buses by taking them to a skilled bus repair mechanic.

Testing the Brakes On A School Bus

The first to-do item that you can include on your bus repair checklist is to inspect the brakes. The brakes on the bus are critical to the safety of each student who rides on it. They must work correctly and reliably to prevent accidents and injuries.

To check the brakes, you should make sure the air pressure in them is at the maximum level. The pressure should remain constant even when the engine is switched off.

If the pressure decreases, this could indicate that there is an air leak in the brakes. A leak can also be indicated by a buzzing sound from the low-pressure indicator on the bus.

If you suspect that the brakes have an air leak, it is crucial that you take the bus to a licensed bus repair mechanic. The mechanic can retest the brake lines and replace or repair them if necessary.

Check the School Bus Steering

The steering on each bus should function freely from lock to lock on the steering wheel. You must ensure that the power steering reservoir is completely full before each bus is taken out on its route.

You also can check for stone damages and leaks that occur within the power steering pipes. The undercarriage should get a thorough inspection to detect any fluid leaks that occur there. The steering wheel itself should also be free from any cracks or breaks.

Power steering issues can be complex to repair on your own. Rather than take the chance of the steering not working on one of your buses, you can take it to an experienced bus mechanic to have it repaired quickly and effectively.

Windshield, Wiper Blades, and Mirrors Inspection

In addition to checking each bus for mechanical issues, you also should inspect each one to ensure its outer components are working correctly. To start, you can examine the windshield for repair issues like cracks, chips, and breaks. The windshield should also be free of any clouding that can impede the view of the bus driver.

Additionally, you need to look at the mirrors on each side of the bus. The mirrors provide the driver with a clear view of any cars or pedestrians that are passing on either of the bus’s side. Like the windshield, the mirrors should be free of damages like dents, cracks, and holes that can block the driver’s view.

Finally, both windshield wipers ideally should be as operational as possible. However, the one on the driver’s side of the windshield has to work well enough to clear water and debris from the driver’s line of sight. If any of these components need to be repaired, you can rely on a trained bus repair mechanic to fix them for you.

Testing the Lights

Another exterior component that has to be tested before a bus can be taken out on its route is its lights. During your summertime review of your fleet’s buses, you should test lights like the:

  • Headlights
  • Front, rear, and park lamps
  • Tail and stop lamps
  • Hazard lights
  • Reverse lamps

If any of these lights fail to illuminate when tested or if they do not come on when you test the switches for them, they need to be replaced or repaired. A skilled bus mechanic can replace the bulbs, repair or replace switches, and fix the wiring within these fixtures on the outside of the bus.

These factors should be included on your annual school bus mechanical checklist. These tasks ensure that all of the most important parts of your buses are working correctly. You can have vital repairs done quickly and easily by taking your buses to a licensed bus repair mechanic.

source:

Road Safety Checklist for School Buses

Cloverdale Auto Service