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This month we have been covering various topics about keeping your car cool during the summer time. Today, we're discussing one essential button in your car that can make all the difference when the summer heat is turned up full force. That button we're refering to, is the AIR CONDITIONER!!! If you haven't had your air conditioner properly serviced over the past year, you may have a few common problems that will keep that button from working properly.
1) Make sure your cabin air filter is clean; if it’s gummed up, that cool air isn’t getting pushed into your interior.
2) The AC condenser looks like a small radiator in the front of your engine & it often gets filled with road debris; leaves & bugs & dirt...if that’s clogged, your AC won’t cool as much. Some spray cleaner and a hose can work wonders.
3) Then there’s the actual refrigerant the system uses to create the cold air; while you CAN recharge it yourself, you HAVE to do it correctly. Too much refrigerant can actually cause MORE damage to your system.
And that’s why when your AC is making you hot, I recommend taking your vehicle to one of our trusted car care pros here in town.
You know that moment when you pull your car door open after it’s been baking in the sun all day and you feel like you have just entered into a sauna? Then, as you start to break a sweat, your car’s air conditioner has to fight off all that heat before you ever start to cool off. Does this scenario sound familiar right about now? There is nothing we can do to change the temperatures in August, but there are a couple things you can do to keep things nicer inside here over the course of a hot day.
1) Don’t be afraid to crack your windows a little bit. Even a slit just an inch or so on each side is enough to drop the temps but not big enough for anyone to reach inside.
2) Another thing you can do is open the windows on both sides of your car right when you get inside. As you get yourself situated for your drive, that hot air is getting pushed out.
3) It’s the old standby, a window shade. These really do work to keep things cooler inside. Get a second one for the rear window too.
4) For those of you with your remote start, don't forget to crank that up! This will help tremendously!
5) If you are going to have your car parked all day, see if there are any shade options around.
And if you need a hand with keeping your car cool, make sure to stop by & visit our trusted car care pros here in town.
At this time of year it doesn't really matter where in the country you are, it is going to be hot. We are square into the heat of the Summer and your car is taking a beating everyday: hot temperatures mean that your engine is getting in a good workout. If you’re keen to your dashboard, you’ll notice that the temperature gauge reads a bit higer this time of year. That’s normal as long as it doesn’t move too much. When that needle creeps towards the far side things go bad in a hurry. Check your owners manual for your car’s specifics, but a rule of thumb is to change your engine’s coolant every 2 years.
Think it's time to get your car checked out? With help from our trusted car care pros here in town, it’s easy to do yourself at home or you can have them do it for you. It’s quick & will help ensure your car makes it through the heat, cool as can be.
All month long we’ve talked about using your vehicle on holiday trips, parties and the things you see while on the road. With school starting back up in just a few short weeks, everyone is prepping for their last vacation road trip of the season. Today, we’re going to make sure your car or truck is up to snuff with my summertime road trip checklist to keep you and your family safe on the road.
1) Check The Air In Your Tires. Pressure changes with temperature so if you last checked it in January, they may be WAY off here in the summer.
2) Next is your cabin air filter: you’ve got the AC on a bunch & this filter keeps the air free of contaminants.
3) Another thing we overlook: windshield wipers. Out in the sun all day long, they dry out & crack. Check them now before you need them...only to find out they’re leaving big streaks right across your glass.
4) Start your car with a full tank of gas. This way you will eliminate another stop on the way to your destination.
5) Get your car battery checked.
6) If you need an oil change, go ahead and get that done before your leave.
7) A good music playlist on your iPhone never hurts to add some entertainment and sing along in the car.
And when you need a hand with any of these, make sure to swing by our trusted car care pros here in town!
Yes you read the title to this weeks car care tips correct! With summer cookouts and football season just around the corner, your car is the perfect place to host a tailgate party. So here are some of our tailgate tricks to make your party standout!
1) Up first, bring an oddball utensil: anyone can flip a bratwurst with tongs, but YOU do it with foil-wrapped pliers!
2) Next, Many vehicles now have built in coolers and chilled cup holders & that’s a heck of a way to keep the egg salad from going bad!
3) Anyone drive a Corvair; the trunk was just a metal tub with a drain plug: but can you say Portable Cooler?!
4) And finally, don’t just use your car to GET to the barbecue, use your car AS the BBQ! A quick internet search will show you recipes and books to actually cook ON your engine! And THAT is how you make the ordinary, EXTRAORDINARY!
Every time behind the wheel you should be a defensive driver and aware of your surroundings. Regardless of the time of day or time of year, people don't always make the smartest decisions when getting behind the wheel which can put you and your family in danger. Tell us if this scenario sounds familiar:
You’re driving down the road and there you see it...a car swerving all over the place. It’s an impaired driver...and you, being the good citizen, want to do something about it. But what is it that you should do? How shold you handle this situation so you can keep yourself and other safe? Mothers Against Drunk Driving offer up some smart tips.
1) Up first, do NOT try & be a hero, let the police do that. Stay back & keep your distance.
2)Second, get a good description of the vehicle: the more information the better: make, model, color and license plate and what road they’re on. BUT, don’t jeopardize your safety getting the info.
3) Finally, when it’s safe, call 911 and tell the authorities.
There’s a slogan you’ll see at airports these days, but it fits here too: if you SEE something, SAY something. And we’ll all be better for it! Be sure to check in with your local professionals to give you additional tips and keep you safe on the road!
July is a month of celebrations! There are holidays, weddings & just good old fashioned summer cookouts which can all be a lot of fun!If you're hosting one of these parties, you do have some responsibilities that come along to ensure everyone's safety behind the wheel when the festivities come to an end. Now, the obvious thing is to make sure that no one leaves your party who has consumed more alcohol than the legal limit.
So how do you make sure of this? Have a SOBER key-master, which is someone who can make sure drivers are okay to drive. It's also a good idea to have a list of cab companies on hand so you can call when needed. You can also invite your friends and family to stay the night, which can often turn out to be a lot of fun! In many states, the party host can be found liable if a guest at their party then drives drunk, even though YOU'RE not behind the wheel. Our trusted car care pros are going to be safe this summer, you can be too!
The 4th of July holiday isone of the deadliest times to drive. BUT, if you MUST be outthis weekend, lets look at a few things you can do to make sure you & yourfamily are as safe as possible. Up first, stay alert! Many of usare driving long distances & staying up late, so if you start to feelsleepy, pull over & close your eyes. Sometimes a short power nap isjust what you need to give you another driving boost.
Secondly, don't drivedistracted:calls, texting, even playing the license plate game with the kidstakes your concentration off the road.
And finally, this is themost obvious; DON'T DRINK & DRIVE. On behalf of all our trusted carcare pros here in town, have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Before loading up thefamily truckster for your annual vacation, take a few minutes to give it aonce-over. The adage is right on this: An ounce of prevention is worth apound of cure. Luckily, we've got several partners here in town who canhelp with pre-trip service. Here are a few things to do:
1) Get an oil change
2) Rotate your tires
3) Have the alignment& brakes inspected.
4) Any leaks? Hows the AirConditioning?
5)Don't forget to checkthe light bulbs too.
Honestly, these are alltypical service items, but before you travel they're even more crucial. And they're a LOT easier to fix BEFORE you leave town. Heads up though;plan your service in advance of your trip...lots of other folks are having ourtrusted car care pros do the same to their vehicles too!
These days one of the besttools you can keep in your car is this: your cellphone. Can we be honestfor a moment? Most of us are not going to try & fix our car on theside of the road. And that's why roadside assistance programs are sopopular. The idea is that that for a monthly fee, you have access toservices like changing a flat tire, towing, jump starts & they'll evenbring fuel if you run out of gas. Some even help you plan a trip or offerpre-negotiated discounts on hotels & restaurants.
We're not going to endorse one plan over another, but with a bit of research you'll find the onethat's right for you. In fact, call your insurance agent: you may have roadsideassistance as part of your policy!
Need more travel tips? Beconfident & ask any of our trusted car care pros here in town!
Being prepared is key to asafe & fun long distance drive. Today were going over a few things tokeep in your car for the just in case situations while on the road! Knowing where you are is crucial if there's a problem & most smart phoneshave a GPS built in. If you don't have one, consider a standaloneunit. Next, you need to communicate: your cellphone is great, but ALWAYSkeep a charging cord in your car. Some other essentials to consider are asmall toolkit, a tire pressure gauge and a fire extinguisher. Copies ofyour registration & insurance cards are a great idea as well. And thelast thing we suggest you prepare is yourself: the right mindset will make yourtrip a LOT more fun! And if you need pre-trip help, wed love for you to say hito our helpful car care pros here in town.
Have a great trip!
Every summer, hundreds ofthousands of us take to the road and travel. We are of the belief that gettingthere is half the fun & that the road trip itself is a greatadventure. So today we're sharing with you a few tips to get the most outof your holiday drive.
1) Plan ahead: think aboutthings like lunch breaks, sights to see and pit stops for both you AND yourcar.
2) Next, cross-check yourroute for points of interest and construction work; all of that is listedonline these days & knowing ahead can save you a lot of time.
3 )After that, in a worldfilled with satellite GPS, don't be afraid to pull out an old fashioned map.Some of the greatest road trip memories are off the grid.
4) Finally, give your cara quick once-over:check the fluids, brakes & tires before you head out.
Need a hand? There are lotsof helpful car care pros here in town to lend a hand!
A handful of years ago, the closest thing to accident avoidancetechnology was the loose nut behind the steering wheel: YOU. Today, tehcnology has come a LONG way andmodern cars can actually help you avoid accidents: ABS, anti-lock brakes, havebeen around for quite some time & help you control your car in a panicstop. But now some cars come withsensors that tell of cars in your blind spots or coming across you as you backout of a parking lot. There are evenradar enabled systems that can sense an impending crash, warn you and evenapply the brakes automatically. Of course, the BEST accident avoidance systemis a well trained & alert driver and thats YOUR responsibility. And if youve got questions about technologylike this, youre always welcome to talk with our trusted car care pros here intown!
Tis' the season! You've got the family truckster loaded up and headed...right into a holiday traffic jam. Worry not! We may be able to help avoid some of it. Here's how in 3 easy steps:
1) Know your route. Tourists & once a year travelers are out during the holidays: they're going to use the main roads. Arm yourself with local knowledge of smaller routes, the back roads. What you'll spend I'm a few extra miles could save you substantial time at the end of your drive.
2) Check your GPS: most systems calculate alternate,faster routes at the push of a button (many smart phones have apps to help if you don't have GPS in car).
3) Leave during no peak travel hours.
4) Finally, check for traffic updates here in the news: if it's a major backup, we'll tell you about it fast.
It's dark, slippery & everyone has an opinion...on motor oil. Here's our Oil Change 101: oil is the blood of your engine. And it gets dirty. That's why we change it. Now the big question;when do we change it? The mantra for years had been every 3months or 3,000 miles. But modern technology means oil may last longer in your car. Check your owners manual to know for sure. Some newer vehicles even have an electronic monitor that tells you when to change your oil. Regardless of if you do your own work, or use a trusted shop, regular oil changes are the single best thing you can do to extend the life of your engine.
As always, be sure to visit your local car care professional for any of these services!
A few weeks ago we talked on here about how important it is to check your tire air pressure. This week its time to talk about rotating those tires that we all rely so heavily on. Now, I'm all for doing a good deal of the work yourself but when it comes to rotating tires its really important to have a car care professional help. Here are some helpful tire tips and reminders to keep your car running on the road longer.
So head to your trusted car care professional and lets keep that car on the road longer!
Everyone is going green these days and if you aren't yet, today is the perfect day to jump on board. Not only is driving green great for the environment, it can also help you put more green in your pocket. Now that sounds like a double win! Here are some friendly ways that you can drive GREEN-
As always, visit your local car care professional for any questions or help you may need!
School is officially back in session, but the weather is still beautiful in many places which means it's still a great time to take a family road trip! Once Labor Day passes vacation rates typically drop a significant amount making it a great opportunity for a family vacation. When you think of family vacations some people get the Griswold Family Vacation image in their minds, when it doesn't have to be that way. Safe preparation is the key to a successful family road trip. Here are some important things you should be sure to do before taking a trip:
1. Make a service stop- A quick tune up can go a long way. This includes tire rotation, oil check, replace car's fuel filter, proper valve adjustment, fill tires with air ect.
2. Toss out your old wiper blades and pick up a new pair from your local car parts supplier. You never know what kind of weather elements you will hit on your road trip. Not being able to see out of your windshield is extremely dangerous and could ruin a trip.
3. Only bring the necessities- Over packing can be stressful before, during and after your trip. It is important to be able to see out of all your windows for safety. In addition, minimizing the amount you bring can help your overall fuel economy. Who doesn't want to save some extra cash while on the road to spend on a good family dinner?
4. Car wash after the trip- When you finish your family road trip it's a good idea to get a good detailed wash for your far. You want to get rid of all the elements your car goes through while on the journey. Make sure to vacuum out the interior as well to get rid of all the spilled snacks! This will help your car's overall longevity so you can keep the value of your car and take future trips with your car looking sharp!
Have a safe family road trip and remember as always to visit your local car care professional for the best service and assistance to do things the right and safe way. Be sure to visit back for more tips and tricks here at Auto Matters.
First you need to buy a good gauge. It doesn't have to be expensive but you need a good gauge to make sure you have accurate readings every time.
Next, locate your air pressure requirements either inside your cars door or in the owners manual. This will always be your reference for inflating your tires.
When you have your gauge and your settings the best time to check air pressure is in the mornings, before you have driven. Driving can create heat which will give you a false reading so this eliminates any confusion.
And finally make sure to check and set them all at the same time and compare the numbers to what your car requires. That way you can identify if one tire is losing more than the others. By doing this you regularly you're going to increase your handling, fuel economy, safety and even keep your car on the road longer.
Please remember that it is always a good idea to use your local car care professional when it comes to car maintenance as they will always provide you with the best top level service.