Is Your Car Ready For Winter?

Winter is coming, like it or not.  The mercury has dipped this week and it is very important you get your car ready for Jack Frost’s arrival in the coming weeks.  I know making sure your seat heaters work is probably at the top of your priority list, but there are some other things your car needs.  Here are some things you need to check before winter hits:

TIRES

snowtireThe absolute number one thing to consider as we get into winter is the condition of your tires.  Tires are the only thing connecting your car to the ground, and when we get snow and ice, you need the best traction you can get.  For the few days of snow a year we get here, a set of good all-season tires with 50% or more tread should be fine.  Take a look or have us measure the tread to be sure you’re safe.  Check your tire pressure too, as cold air shrinks and your tires may need to be topped off as a result.

FLUIDS

fluidsWinter is hard on your engine and demands more of the fluids in your car.  Before it gets cold, get a fresh oil change.  In the cold, oil can develop condensation and not warming up to full temperature can cause acids to form in the oil, both of which can cause corrosion and wear.  Also, test your coolant to be sure the engine won’t freeze and crack, and your heater will work.  All fresh coolant is cheap insurance.  All the other fluids, transmission, brake, power steering, etc all need to be in good shape.  Come see us to check it all out!

BATTERY/ELECTRICAL

batteryContrary to popular belief, winter cold doesn’t kill your battery.  Summer heat causes the water in the battery acid to evaporate and wear the battery down.  When the battery is cold, the reaction that produces electricity slows down, and thicker fluids make the engine slower to turn over.  Both factors will make a weakened battery unable to start the car in the cold.  We can test your battery and charging system to make sure your car starts even on the coldest days.

YOUR TRUNK

trunkYes, check your trunk.  In the fall, you should take a nice day and swap out your summer goodies for winter necessities.  That extra swimsuit and beach towel can come out of the trunk, and the spare flip-flops can go too.  Make sure you have blankets to keep warm, an ice scraper, deicer, something for traction like kitty litter, tire chains, or cardboard.  If you don’t already keep an emergency kit and food/water in your car, now is a good idea to put some in there.  We always recommend a flashlight as well.

BONUS TIP

touchlessWash your car often in the winter, especially after snow or salt has been on the road.  A touchless car wash with underbody is great for getting salt and debris off the bottom of your car that can cause rust and corrosion.  Salt is the number one cause of rusty cars, so do your best to wash it off as soon as possible.

Don’t Baby Your Car!!

That’s right, we said it.  Stop trying to baby your car thinking your are helping it.  You may actually be causing more problems.  Doctor’s recommend exercise to get blood circulating at full capacity and keep our muscles healthy and organs running at top function.  Cars need some exercise to stay healthy as well, or they may deteriorate and experience more problems.  We don’t mean beat the car to death, but read on and we will explain.  Continue reading “Don’t Baby Your Car!!”

How to Avoid Buying Flood Cars

Our country just got hit by two devastating hurricanes, one in Texas and then in Florida.  Estimates put the number of damaged and totaled cars near a million.  A significant number of those cars will be sold with no documentation of the damage.  In northern states like here in Ohio, used cars often have rust, damage from heavy rains, and other things that make a flood vehicle blend in.  Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed into buying a flood vehicle. Continue reading “How to Avoid Buying Flood Cars”

10 Car Mods That are a Waste

Since the early days of cars, people have been looking for ways to get a little more performance.  There are hundreds of different ways to go about it, and tens of thousands of products to choose from.  Here are 10 mods that may not be worth the money for you though. Continue reading “10 Car Mods That are a Waste”

What am I actually paying for?

When you come into our shop, we give you an itemized invoice when you pay for your repair. It lists labor rate and labor hours, parts, and maybe a few other things you may not be sure what exactly they are. We try to make our invoices easy to read, unlike doctor bills, but still, some things may need a bit of explaining, or you might want to know what all goes into our “labor rate” or what a “sublet” is. Let us help you out with reading and understanding your invoice, and what you actually get. Continue reading “What am I actually paying for?”

10 Odd Things You Can Use in Your Car

Auto parts stores and sites like Ebay and Amazon are full of hundreds of random odds and ends that are designed to make your driving experience a little bit nicer.  Many of these things are either cheap, junky gimmicks, or just way overpriced. We have also noticed that once the word “automotive” goes on the package, the price doubles (“marine” makes it quadruple).  What most people don’t know is that your local discount or dollar store is full of great things you can re-purpose in the car.  Here are just a few of them: Continue reading “10 Odd Things You Can Use in Your Car”

While We’re In There

You may have heard it from us or another shop when you’ve had your car in for repair. You have the car in for a transmission repair, and we recommend another service “while we’re in there.” That isn’t our way of selling more work. In fact, we do it to SAVE you money, and possibly save a life. I know, additional work sounds like it couldn’t possibly save money, but let us explain why it does. Continue reading “While We’re In There”

10 Maintenance Items You are Forgetting

Most car owners know to change their oil and rotate tires, but there is a whole lot more to properly maintaining a car than just that.  In order to keep your car at it’s best you need to keep up on maintenance.  Here are 10 items we bet you are forgetting: Continue reading “10 Maintenance Items You are Forgetting”

Top 10 Things to NEVER Do in an Automatic Transmission

10 things to NEVER do in an automatic transmission

You may not know how an automatic transmission works, but you probably drive one every single day.  Did you know there are a few things you should NEVER do while driving an automatic?  These mistakes many people make can cause catastrophic damage to your car, and put you on the hook for some major repair bills if you aren’t careful.  Thankfully, they are all easy to avoid, and we are giving you the advice on how to keep your car in good shape longer.  Read this quick top-10 to make sure you aren’t destroying your transmission. Continue reading “Top 10 Things to NEVER Do in an Automatic Transmission”

Fall Car Care Month

When you think of autumn, I’m sure the things that come to mind are colorful leaves, sweaters, crisp, cool mornings, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, and hay-rides. You are leaving out a big one, though. Car Maintenance. Yes, just like sweaters and pumpkin pie, car maintenance is an important part of autumn.  In fact, October is Fall Car Care month. Continue reading “Fall Car Care Month”