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Summertime and Batteries

When you think of a dead car battery, you probably think about it being the dead of winter. One frigid morning and nothing happens, but it likely began to fail months earlier. No battery lasts forever. When you buy one, the label usually tells you how long you can expect it to last. Five to 7 years is normal – as long as the battery is operated under normal conditions. While true that battery failures can occur in cold weather but that’s not usually what has caused the problem. The drain on the battery most likely occurred during the summer’s hot weather. Extremely hot weather and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. If the car’s voltage regulator malfunctions, allowing too high a charging rate, your battery suffers a slow death



Bad Brakes

The chances are that you’ll buy at least three brake jobs during the life of your vehicle. Stopping on a dime requires three simple components – the caliper (the squeezing machine), the brake pads (the friction material), and the rotor (the part that gets squeezed). Knowing how they work and how you drive can save you money when it comes time for those repairs. Calipers: Brake calipers work in a push-pull process to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors. First, the caliper piston pushes the inboard pad outward until it touches the rotor. Then the caliper slides backward, pulling the outboard against the other side of the rotor. When you back off the brakes, the piston retracts slightly and the caliper releases pressure on the pads. But if the caliper binds on the slide pins, the brake pads wear unevenly and quickly. Binding is a very common problem. But that doesn’t mean you have to replace the calipers. Instead, we might simply need to replace the slide p ... read more



Change Your Wipers and Headlights

It is easy to forget to maintain your vehicle’s headlights and windshield wipers. As weather changes, the quality of these easily over-looked car parts becomes increasingly more important. Regularly change your bulbs and wiper blades as needed so you can See and be Safe. Why/When to Change your Wipers: If your wiper blades leave streaks and smears, or if they chatter even when there is plenty of moisture on the glass, you could need new wiper blades. If you find yourself ducking and dodging your head like a boxer trying to see out, you could need new wiper blades. Let your eyes and common sense dictate when to change wiper blades. This is especially true living in an area where salt and sand is used on the roads – dried salt can practically make a windshield opaque. If you pull a wiper arm away from the windshield, you might find tears or cracks in the wiper blade – another sign they need replacement. Wiper blades should be able to easily clear water, snow and ... read more



To See or Not to See

That truly IS the question! When you drive, almost ALL the decisions you make are influenced by one thing, the ability to see clearly. Seeing clearly means that both your windshield wipers AND headlights have to do their job as well as possible. Your wipers need to keep the windshield clean and streak-free in order to what’s ahead of you. And your headlights need to illuminate your path at night far enough ahead of you so you have time to react. Headlights: We don’t see well at night. Our vision is severely curtailed by the dark. Headlights illuminate your path ahead, but can assist only so much with you peripheral vision around the vehicle. Dim, burnt out or broken headlights further reduce how far ahead you can see. The shorter the distance, the fewer seconds you may have to react to a sudden obstacle. Just like the lights in your home, auto headlights will dim and/or burn out over time. Unless caused by an accident, headlights and/or capsules should be repl ... read more



When Should I Replace My Shocks?

A better question might be, How well do you want my vehicle to perform? If/when you can answer the ‘How’, the decision of ‘…when’ gets a whole lot easier. It becomes a matter of whether its… an Optional Upgrade for Maintenance to Restore Required / Necessary Here’s what we mean… Optional Upgrade If you want more handling and control than your vehicle is currently capable of: Now is the right time to upgrade. Vehicles are generally designed to handle a broad range of purposes with passenger ride comfort on one end and load and terrain capabilities on the other. If your use of a vehicle is dealing with heavier loads or towing or off-road conditions, you may want to consider replacing the shocks with units that exceed original factory equipment. For Maintenance If you want to keep your vehicle operating as well as it was designed, most industry experts suggest replacement shocks and struts after 50,000 miles. Even on we ... read more


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