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.

bus repair

Preventative Maintenance Keep Your Buses in Good Working Order

The closing of the school year does not mean you can take a break as the district’s fleet manager. In fact, the summertime may be your busiest season with getting the school buses back in working order for next year. You can make sure every bus in your fleet is ready for the first day of school by entrusting these preventative maintenance and repair tasks to a skilled bus mechanic.

Tire Rotation and Replacement

The buses in your fleet rack up thousands of miles each school year. All of this travel takes its toll on the buses’ tires, however. By May or June, their tread may be wearing thin.

You cannot send out the buses next year with tires that are worn out and ready to blow. Instead, you may need to have several if not all of the tires on the buses changed out with brand new ones.

A skilled bus repair mechanic can inspect each tire closely for wear and tear. If possible, better tires can be rotated to help them wear better. If needed, the worn out tires can be taken off and replaced immediately.

Having brand new tires on your buses for the school year can give you the peace of mind you need as a fleet manager. You also avoid having to do this extensive work yourself by taking your buses to an experienced bus mechanic for servicing.

Brake Pad and Shoe Inspection and Replacement

The brakes on your buses also take a beating during the school year. Buses often make repeated stops and starts during the course of a regular route. All of this stopping and going inevitably will take its toll on the brake pads and shoes.

When you hear squealing and grinding as the bus comes to a halt, you know it is time to have the brake pads and possibly the shoes replaced. The bus mechanic can inspect both parts on all of the tires for wearing and thinning. If the pad or shoe is beyond repair, the mechanic can replace either with a brand new part guaranteed to last for hundreds of miles.

You cannot risk the safety of your buses by sending them out with worn out brake pads and shoes. A thorough bus mechanic can quickly replace them to ensure they are safe on which to drive this school year.

Battery Check

As the fleet manager, you also are responsible for making sure each bus in your fleet has a good battery under its hood. Depending on the bus’s age, its battery may be close to dying. Most bus batteries are only designed to last for five to six years.

You cannot afford to have a single bus not working during the busy school year. You need each bus to be out on its route every day.

By taking your buses to a mechanic who can check each one’s battery, you can ensure that nearly dead ones are replaced. You can also find out how much life is left in the ones that are checked and left in place.

Radiator Flushes

A good bus mechanic can also flush out the radiator on your fleet buses. If the radiator is not flushed out on a regular basis, you can face challenges ranging from overheating to stalling. These mechanical headaches can take a bus out of rotation and leave you shorthanded in picking up and dropping off students from school.

Rather than handle this complex task on your own, you can hand it off to someone who is trained and certified in bus maintenance and repairs. The bus mechanic can flush out all of the radiators in your fleet buses and make sure they are in good working order by the start of the new school year.

Windows and Doors Repairs

The windows and doors on your buses can take a beating during the school year. The constant opening and closing of these fixtures can wear out springs and levers, rendering them unsafe and useless.

We will prioritize checking these fixtures out and making all necessary repairs to them. They will be ready to use for another school year by the end of summer.

Honda issues

Common Honda Issues

Honda Odysseys consistently top the National Transportation Safety Board’s list for the safest cars in the country. As reliable as these vehicles is known to be, however, they are sometimes plagued with common yet repairable mechanical issues. You can keep your own Honda Odyssey on the road by knowing what these issues are and how you can get them repaired quickly.

Problems with the Exterior Lighting

One of the most common issues reported with all years of the Honda Odyssey involves those with the van’s exterior lighting. In particular, many owners report that their vans’ corner and bumper lamps fail to illuminate correctly. When they are driving their vans, owners say the lamps do not provide sufficient lighting to see the road ahead of them.

The poor lighting from the corner and bumper lamps put owners of Honda Odysseys at an increased risk of being in a car accident at nighttime. If you notice your own Odyssey failing to put out enough light because of faulty lamps, you should take it to an experienced Odyssey repair technician who may be able to replace either the bulbs or fuses in the lamps.

Frozen Windshield Wiper and Washer Rods

Another commonly reported with Odysseys involves the freezing of the windshield wiper and washer rods. The front windshield wiper blades on the van can become frozen to the windshield. When this happens, the linkage rods can easily become bent or separated from the motor.

If this occurs, drivers of Odysseys cannot clear their windshields during rain or snow. If they are driving at night or in poor conditions, they are at an increased risk of being in an accident. If the windshield wiper and washer rods on your Odyssey have become frozen, bent, or separated, you should have an experienced mechanic replace the front wiper rod immediately.

Middle and Rear Outboard Seating Displacement

Problems in the 2011 and newer Honda Odysseys have been reported with the vans’ middle and rear outboard seating. The seats can become displaced when they are being maneuvered into one of the two available positions for them. If they become displaced, people in them could become injured when the driver of the van brakes suddenly.

To repair displaced outboard seating in the middle or rear rows of the van, you will need to have a Honda Odyssey repair technician put in a new bracket. The bracket will prevent the seats from sliding out of position and also hold them in place securely when the driver applies the brakes.

Dangers with the Front Underhood Electrical Wiring

Some of the newer models of the Honda Odyssey have problems with the electrical wiring under the front underhood. The wire harness that is located in the engine compartment could be severely damaged if it comes into contact with metal pipes. This contact could result in a fuse being blown in the compartment.

Once a fuse is blown, the power to the engine or any system that relies on electrical power could be lost. This includes the power to the lights, horn, windshield wipers, and antilock brakes. Depending on the system that loses power, the driver of the van may not be able to control the car and could be involved in a serious accident.

Fixing this issue involves putting a protective covering over the wire harness and metal pipe in the underhood. Faulty wires in this part of the engine should also be replaced. You can have these repairs made by a licensed Odyssey mechanic.

Failure of the Ignition Switch

Problems with the engine’s ignition switch have been reported in models as recent as 2018. The electrical contacts in the ignition switch become degraded because of high electrical currents passing through them when the vehicle is started.

If this damage occurs, the engine in the van could stall unexpectedly. In worst case scenarios, it could lead to a serious car accident.

An experienced mechanic will know how to replace the faulty ignition switch in your Honda Odyssey. You should make this repair immediately to avoid the risk of being in an accident.

These issues are commonly reported by drivers of Honda Odyssey vans. They can be easily repaired by taking the van to a mechanic who is skilled at working on all years of Odysseys.

oil change

Signs Your Vehicle Need An Oil Change

It is important to have your oil changed on a regular basis. Regular oil changes will keep your car functioning at its peak. They will also help you improve your gas mileage. Many people wait too long to get their oil changed because they do not recognize the signs. There are a number of things that indicate it is time for an oil change.

Dirty and Dark Oil

If oil is clean, then it will have an amber color. Oil has a tendency to darken when it gets dirty. The only way that you will know that the color has started to change is by checking the oil every month. If the oil is dark and thick, then it is time for you to get it changed.

Engine Noise

Oil helps lubricate the engine parts. This allows them to move without any friction. Oil loses the ability to lubricate the parts over time. That is why you will start to notice the rattling, rumbling or knocking if it is time for you to get an oil change.

The Check Engine Light is On

If your oil is low, then you will notice that the oil change light is on. You should check the oil as soon as you notice the oil change light turns on. If your check engine light is on, then this could be another sign that it is time to get your oil changed. It may also be an indication that the engine is damaged.

Exhaust Smoke

It is normal for some smoke to come out of the tailgate. You may notice this when the weather is cold. However, if you notice a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust, then it is time for you to get an oil change. This could also indicate that your oil is leaking.

There is an Oil Smell

If you smell oil, then you will likely need to get an oil change. You may also notice the smell of exhaust or gas. Additionally, you may notice an oil smell if the vehicle is overheating. This is dangerous. A fire can result if your engine overheats. That is why it is important to get an oil change as soon as possible if you notice a smell.

Rough Idle

Your car may rattle and vibrate when you are stopped at a red light if your oil needs to be changed. If the oil is dirty, then it will not be able to lubricate the parts properly. The engine will rumble as a result of this.

Sluggish Acceleration

Your car will not be able to accelerate properly if the oil is dirty. If your car does not have as much power as it used to, then it is likely time for you to get an oil changed.

Ticking Sounds When the Car Starts

When you turn on your car, the engine will start circulating oil. If the oil is too thick, then this will take longer than it has to. That is why you may notice a ticking sound. This noise occurs because the valves are trying to move the oil.

Excessive Mileage

You may not notice any of the aforementioned signs. However, it may still be time for an oil change. Mechanics generally recommend that people get their oil changed every three months or every 3,000 miles. If you have a new vehicle, then you may be able to wait until you have driven 6,000 miles or every six months.

It is important to note that these recommendations are general guidelines. That is why it is a good idea to check your owner’s manual before you get an oil change. The owner’s manual will also be able to tell you about other maintenance that you will need to get for your car.

Not only will an oil change keep your vehicle running at its peak but it will also prevent your car from breaking down. An oil change can help you save a lot of money in the long run. It is important for you to discuss the needs of your vehicle when you come in for an oil change. Your technician will also be able to tell you about how often you need to get an oil change.

Tire Maintenance Woman Checking Car Tire Pressure Using Gauge

4 Simple Tire Maintenance Tips All Drivers Should Know

 

Tire Maintenance Woman Checking Car Tire Pressure Using GaugeThe tires on your vehicle are critical to its safety as well as its performance. All drivers should know simple tire maintenance. Doing so will keep your tires functioning at their best and will also make them last longer. It will significantly lessen your chances of getting flat tires, skidding, and other tire emergencies.

 

⇒ Check The Tread On Your Tires

One of the most important steps you should take when maintaining your tires involves checking the tread on them. Tread helps the tires grip the road. It can be incredibly important during inclement weather. It prevents the car from skidding and sliding on wet or icy roadways.

To check the tread on your tires, you can insert a upside down quarter into the tire grooves. If you can see George Washington’s head, the tread on the tire is too low, meaning that you will need to replace the tire soon. If you cannot see Washington’s head, the tread is sufficient for safe driving.

You should check the tread on your tires every month or before you embark on a long car journey. This preventative tire maintenance tip can help you avoid being in an accident or not being able to control the car in bad weather.

 

⇒  Check Your Tire Pressure

You should also check the pressure in all four tires at least once a month or before you take a long road trip. The tires should have the required weight of air in them. You can find the amount recommended for the tires on your car by looking on the inside of your car door or in your car owner’s manual.

You should check the tire pressure first thing in the morning when the air inside of the tires is stable and cool. Maintaining the right amount of air in the tires is critical for being able to control the car on wet surfaces. Proper air pressure helps the tires grip the road and prevents the car from slipping and sliding on slick roads.

 

⇒  Rotate Your Tires

Another preventative maintenance tip to keep in mind when you want to take the best care of your tires involves having them rotated on a regular basis. Ideally, you should have the tires rotated every 5000 to 7000 miles. Rotating the tires helps all four of them wear at the same pace.

Further, when you buy new tires, you should have them placed on the back axles rather than on the front. Putting new tires on the back axles makes the car easier to handle in all types of road conditions. It also reduces the likelihood of the rear part of the car losing traction and spinning out of control when you are driving on slick road surfaces.

 

⇒  Balance & Align Your Tires

Finally, you should have your tire balanced and aligned on a regular basis. Balancing and aligning the tires prevents them from wearing out too quickly. It also prevents the car from pulling to one side while you are driving it.

Many people schedule their tire balancing and alignment at the same time as their oil changes. You should ideally have the tires balanced and aligned every 3000 to 9000 miles or whenever you buy new tires for your vehicle.

 

The tires on your car can last longer and perform better when you take care of them. Simple tire maintenance does not require a lot of money or effort. Simple measures like checking the tread and tire pressure can go a long way in maintaining the tires properly and ensuring that your car is safe to drive at all times.

 

heduled maintenance in Winston Salem NC

Scheduled Maintenance the Path to 200,000 Miles

Cars, trucks, and SUVs last longer today than in earlier times. The average age of an auto on the road in 1995 was eight years. Today, the average is about 11 years. People are getting more from the cars today than ever before. There are many factors such as advances in electronics, design, and engine technology. Some things do not change but grow in importance. More than earlier times, the key to a vehicle that lasts is keeping up with the regular scheduled maintenance. As well as, ensuring you get quality repairs when necessary.

⇒  What is Regular Maintenance? ⇐

The guide to regular maintenance has two parts, the manufacturers recommended service and schedule, and the adaptation you must make to suit your driving style, habits, and pattern of usage. You can help keep your car in great shape by using the proper instructions. If you do a lot of city driving, then you should apply the schedule that covers heavy usage. Similarly, if you live in a hot or cold area, you should account for the conditions such as cold weather starts that can cause excessive wear.

→ The Manufacturer

The manufacturer’s recommendations come with the vehicle instructions and are often available online. They indicate the recommended mileage intervals for routine steps like oil changes and inspections. The adaptation will require the help of a knowledgeable automotive technician. Some little-noticed steps advised by manufacturers could play an important role in avoiding big repairs. For example, keeping tires inflated properly is important to tire tread life, but also to the delicate steering, alignment, and suspension balance.

Electronics are a growing part of the manufacturer’s equipment that helps the car keep track of its condition, The network of sensors and the onboard control computer run the car and also detect signs of problems. The check engine light activates its alarms when sensors send information to the computer.

→ The Technician

In 1995, the average automotive repair worker would have been a certified mechanic. He and she would have a lot of formal training and a lot more time under the hood developing an ear for bad noises and an eye for the beginnings of excessive wear. Today, a qualified technician must add familiarity with on board computers, software, and electronic diagnosis.

Vehicle maintenance is the key to getting long, productive life from your automobile. It is a significant investment for most car owners, and getting the most out of the purchase is a key to financial well-being as well as safe and happy driving experience. You must have an excellent technician as your partner in long-term maintenance.

→ Quality Parts

You must act with the idea that you will keep your car for a long time. You can add accessories that make it more comfortable and useful, and items that may have come after you bought your car such as backup cameras. When parts wear or need to be replaced, then it is critical to get the right replacement parts. The right parts include getting high-quality parts when replacements occur, and not settling for temporary type fixes.

⇒ Owner and Technician Teamwork ⇐

Owners can help the technician hone in on any trouble spots. A great habit all vehicle owners should strive for is to increase awareness of their vehicle’s condition. For instance, owners should look at the ground after parking for some hours to see if there are signs of oil or fluid leaks. You can open the hood occasionally and look for signs of wear in the belts and hoses.

When operating your vehicle, you may hear here odd sounds or detect an unusual odor. These are important pieces of information for your technician. You should note the conditions in which these events occur such as speed or how long you have been driving. Noting information about the condition of the vehicle can help the technicians pinpoint the source of the problem. This habit can help find problems and also reduce the costs of repairs.

⇒ The Path to 200,000 Miles and More ⇐

Modern vehicles have a great potential for long life, and 100,000 miles is no longer the general limitation for carefree driving. Your vehicle can go far beyond, and the electronic and computer-based maintenance helps the driver play a vital role in early detection of problems. Once your vehicle achieves the scheduled maintenance for 100,000 miles or more, then you should engage your mechanic and technician on a schedule for maintenance that incorporates the vehicle age, mechanical condition, weather conditions, and driving pattern.

You and your automotive technician should add additional inspections or things to watch based on all the available facts. Today’s automobiles have advanced oils, lubricants, rust proofing, and wear resistant finishes. When added to an involved owner working with a well-trained and knowledgeable technician, then you have a path to 200,000 miles and beyond.

Cloverdale Auto Service