Category Archives: maintenance

Back to School Auto Maintenance Tips - What does that mean to you?

Back to School Auto Maintenance Tips - What does that mean to you?

It feels like summer just  started, but back to school is just around the corner.  Are you, or someone you know, going to begin shuffling children between school and school activities? Are you yourself taking night classes, or someone in your household going off to college? Here are a few tidbits to consider: Probably the most important item you can do is maintain your vehicle. Keep in mind that just because your vehicle passes its safety inspection(Virginia State Inspection), that doesn't mean it's properly maintained. Several maintenance items include: brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant(antifreeze), power steering fluid, differential and transfer case fluids, windshield wiper fluid, and in some cases other fluids. Pay attention to your owner's manual and have the scheduled maintenance performed in a timely manner and your car will reward you for it. When was the last time your vehicle had a DMA(digital maintenance advisory) performed? This is a go ... read more

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maintenance

De-coding vs. Diagnostics

There is no end of Auto parts stores willing to DE-CODE your Check Engine Light fro FREE with a slant toward selling more parts.  Many will say "de-code" is "diagnosis". It is not! All vehicles sold in the United States after 1994 were required to have a vehicle information port (OBDII port).  This port enables anyone with a device to read trouble codes stored in the computer. This might include the primary computer or ECU(electronic control unit), the BCM(body control module), the TCM(transmission control module), and others.  Each of these units can store a multitude of codes. Some codes are related and some are indicating other switches and sensors throughout the electronic control systems. Most are connected to a dash warning light, CEL(check engine light), SES(service engine soon), and in some cases a symbol that resembles an icon or action. Other warning lights in the dash may include SRS(safety restraint system), TCS(traction control syste ... read more

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maintenance

When 'Do-it-yourself' isn't such a good idea

5 Tips for how to know when “not” to fix it yourself 1) You find too many varying opinions on internet forums on what will fix the problem you are having 2) The same applies to the various ways to “fix” the problem on the web (YouTube)  3) You decide to fix the problem yourself anyway without professional assistance and                                                   something that was not mentioned in the forum, or any of the videos, goes terribly wrong 4) The information and/or parts that the forums mention will “fix” the problem don’t 5) You have discovered after all your effort, the amount of $$ the forums suggest you will save by “fixing” the problem yourself is not goin ... read more

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maintenance

March 2016

March 2016

It's March 2016, and the blizzard of January(if that is what you want to call it) is a distant memory for those of us on the East coast, as least so far.  The Holidays of 2015 are behind us and we are all looking forward to a year full of political maneuvering (NOT!)  Well it is a Presidential election year, so we'd better get used to it. What we are really looking forward to is a year that is more fun, more prosperous, and more enjoyable, with less headaches, health issues, and stress.  Yes, we could all use more of this! It will be anybody's guess how the year will shape us financially.  I don't do much in the stock market, but all indications are it's getting off to a very rocky start. Some might wonder how this affects a small business like ours, or anybody else's, but it does.  We all feel the tightening and constriction of an economy posed to affect the bottom line.  And after the "Great Recession" of ... read more

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maintenance

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

We’ve been together for some time now and I have been very faithful in bringing you to all the places you need to go.  I like being your car and I would like to be around as long as you'll have me.  We have a special bond and I want to keep it that way.  I will take you any place you steer me. I will try with all my engines power and power accessories to be the safest vehicle I can and to protect you while in traffic with my other motorized relatives. I promise to use my ABS brakes to stop on a dime when urgently called to do so. I will do all of these things and more, because I want you to keep me for a long, long time.  I enjoy the daily commute and the road trips where we can get away from it all once and a while.  I know you don’t have a choice some times when you have to park me outside in the winter and it’s very cold, but I will always do my best to start right up no matter how icy. In the summer I get blazing hot all over when onc ... read more

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maintenance

Winter is here

Winter is here

The cold weather has finally arrived.  Here in  lower-southeast Virginia we are blessed with a mixed bag of weather.  Sometimes it rains, sometimes sleet, sometimes freezing rain or sleet, and occasionally an all-out snowfall.  Nobody wants to be stuck with a broken-down car regardless of when or where it happens.  Dead batteries, flat tires, broken wipers and a myriad of issues can and will happen.  If you are one of those with the foresight to maintain and service your car routinely, then these scenarios are far less likely to happen to you. None of us look forward to a dentist visit, but we all consider it a necessity for better health, and less frequent visits if we heed the dentist's advice.  That same philosophy can be applied to your car.  If your car requires service or maintenance and that service is put off, then when it lets you down, indirectly you are the one accountable.  Now that is not  to say you caused the breakdo ... read more

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maintenance