Check the Headlights before you Drive

headlights

 

Checking the headlights on your vehicle is important. Not only does it improve your safety, it improves the safety of others. Headlight bulbs wear out with age and use just like tires, shocks, and brakes. As the bulbs get older, they start to dim, putting less light on the road. This can create serious safety issues at night for all drivers.

Lights improve Visibility

The primary reason is usually attributed to poor driver vision caused by reduced light, which at night can be up to 70 percent. Since the human eye is not adapted for nocturnal vision, colors tend to disappear. Also the contrast fades away, and the oncoming light from other vehicles often blinds drivers. Night drivers can experience the feeling of shortsightedness and can also lose some depth perception.

The filament in a headlight bulb ages with use, time, and exposure to the elements. As a result, it becomes fragile and starts to deteriorate and this causes the light output to diminish. At the end of a typical service life, headlight bulbs will likely be projecting a much shorter and less powerful beam light, than when they were new.

This problem becomes even more critical with older drivers. The amount of light that the human eye needs to see properly increases exponentially with age. That means the older drivers get, the more light they typically need. This is because the lens of the human eye tends to become more opaque with age and reduces the amount of light the eye can receive.

Replace the headlights

The best way to ensure the best visibility is to replace your old headlight bulbs with new bulbs. Also make sure your headlight lenses are clear of any clouding and hazing. It is recommended replacing both headlight bulbs at the same time to ensure a properly lit road ahead. Better lighting will improve your vision and visibility at night, and in turn increase your safety and confidence as a driver. If you notice an issue with your headlights, contact us. We can inspect them to determine if a new set is needed.

Reasons Not to Drive on a Flat Tire

flat tire

 

Driving on a flat tire can be an issue. You may think you can drive a few miles with a flat, but it is not recommended. When a tire loses a significant amount of air pressure, it will become either low or flat. This can occur for many different reasons, such as a defect, poor air pressure, puncture, or over use.

Showing signs

A tire that is at the end of its life cycle can also show signs it may blow if it’s not replaced. Any tire under the recommended tread depth should be replaced as soon as possible. Also be aware of any tire with the steel showing through the tread. It is important to always check your air pressure as well to ensure it’s at the correct level. Driving on under-inflated tires causes increased wear, damage and heat that can lead to a tire prematurely failing.

Pull Over Immediately

If your tire goes flat, you may feel the need to drive slowly on the shoulder on of the road. Instead of waiting on a tow truck or taking the time to install the spare tire, this may be your first thought. When driving and you experience a flat, there are some tips you can follow. Make sure to slowly pull off to the side of the road. Do so when it is safe to do so. By driving on the flat tire, you can cause damage. This includes internal structural to the tires. It can lead to the wheel and vehicle becoming damaged. It could also result in handling and control issues. Driving even a short distance on a flat can do damage beyond repair.

Driving on a flat tire

If a tire degrades enough when being driven while flat, it can start to break apart and cause damage to several important components on a car. Rotors, brake lines, suspension components, and the wheels can all get damaged. If you do notice an issue with your tire, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the tire and the options to repair it. By doing so, we can help improve the safety when you drive.

 

What is the Temperature Sensor for your Vehicle

temperature sensor

To make sure that your vehicle is operating in the best condition possible, make sure to go to regular maintenances. If parts are starting to wear out, they can be replaced before a much larger starts to form. If you notice an issue between visits it is recommended to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can.

One issue that might start to form is a problem with the coolant temperature sensor. This is an important part that will enable the control unit to send alerts if there is an issue with the engine. This could mean that the engine is overheating, or if the temperature is rising in the system. If the sensor becomes damaged, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Function of it

The coolant temperature sensor operates based on the difference in temperature that it will encounter. As the temperature of the engine changes, the potential difference output of the device will also change. This is then measured by the control unit of the engine. As the temperature rises, the resistance of the coolant in the vehicle will drop. The voltage output is then sent to the electronic control unit of the vehicle. This constantly measures the resistance for the coolant in the vehicle.

Location of temperature sensor

The coolant temperature sensor is usually in close proximity of the thermostat of the cooling system for the vehicle. There may also be two temperature sensors in some vehicles. One will send information from the engine system to the control unit. The other will send information from the control unit to the dashboard. If there are two sensors, one of them is the coolant temperature sensor. The other one is for sending the information to the dashboard of the vehicle.

Signs it needs attention

One of the most common signs to know if the sensor might be bad is if it does not function properly. Usually this is by the engine overheating on a regular basis. The coolant may be leaking resulting in the temperature sensor malfunctioning. A bad coolant temperature system will result in the check engine light illuminating on the dashboard of the vehicle. Another sign is if the vehicle uses more gasoline than normal. Black smoke may also come out from the exhaust pipe. This can mean that the coolant temperature sensor in the vehicle is defective. If this is an issue, bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

Why Oil Changes are Needed

oil changes

Oil changes should not be ignored. If you own a vehicle, you will want to keep it well maintained. Noticing any sign of an issue is a good reason to contact us. Having oil changes done will help improve the longevity of the vehicle.

What the oil does

The oil lubricates parts of the vehicle. The components under the hood create heat. They will wear down the engine dramatically without proper oil lubrication. Make sure to refer to the owner’s manual to see what specific weight and grade of oil the vehicle requires and ensure it is kept at the recommended fill volume. Moving parts that lack proper lubrication create friction, which in turn creates heat. Maintaining clean and sufficient amounts of oil is the perfect solution to prevent too much friction and over-heating of the engine.

Helping the Engine

Oil changes remove engine wear particles and sludge. Dirt particles are deadly to engines. Over time, dirt can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. Also as time goes on, oil breaks down and turns to sludge. Regular oil and filter changes help remove particles and sludge and keep engines at peak condition.

 

Poor engine lubrication can lead to increased fuel consumption. Make sure there is enough clean oil in the engine. With routine changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by 1-2%.

Regular maintenance is important

Routine maintenance makes your vehicle last longer. Buildup from dirty oil robs a vehicle’s fuel economy and power, and makes internal components work harder. An engine that works too hard will end up having more problems down the road as well as a shorter life span. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, contact us. We can inspect the vehicle to ensure it is in the best condition possible. If you are not sure how often oil changes should happen, let us know. We can recommend the proper oil change schedule for your vehicle.

Spring Maintenance for Your Vehicle

spring maintenance

 

Having spring maintenance done for your vehicle is important. Without it, your vehicle can breakdown unexpectedly and sooner than it should. Maintain your car’s performance during the transition from winter to spring. If you notice an issue, make sure to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible.

Removing salt

Salt, used on roads to melt ice and snow, can cause serious damage. The damage can happen to the undercarriages where metal can rust. Take your car to a highly rated car wash to eliminate salt, and check that the business has sprayers that clean the undercarriage. Doing so can help prevent the start of rust from forming.

Check the suspension

Driving over potholes can damage your car’s alignment and suspension. You might have a problem if you notice that the car pulls to one side or the steering wheel vibrates as you drive. If you notice odd noises, bring your vehicle in to be inspected.

Check and change fluids

If your last oil change was before winter, then this is a great time to do it. Spring is also an ideal time to flush your transmission fluid. It is one of the most neglected services. If you are not sure how often to change the oil, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the schedule that you should have the oil changed. Also don’t forget to check window washing fluid levels. Any fluid your vehicle has, should be inspected. This includes the brake and cooling system fluids.

You should check the tire pressure, including the spare should you ever need it. The tires affect the ride, handling, traction and safety. It is recommended tire rotation happens every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even. With poor tire inflation, you may notice your vehicle handles poorly as well. Spring inspections are important, so make sure to schedule yours today. This can lead to a safe and reliable ride.