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.

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.

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!

336-331-3448

 

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.

Cloverdale Auto Service