High-Powered Luxury Sedan: Reviewing the new 2023 Chrysler 300C

2023 Chrysler 300C

Over the years, many people have grown to love the Chrysler 300’s macho exterior styling and ultra-spacious interior. If you crave an enhanced level of performance, the sedan’s all-new 300C trim will get your attention. It is the perfect alternative to the popular Dodge Charger Scat Pack. With the 300 expected to soon be discontinued, this model is bound to become a highly coveted collector’s item. Let’s take a closer look at what the powerful 300C brings to the table.

Big Motor Under the Hood
Chrysler stopped producing the mighty 300 SRT8 after the 2014 model year. It developed a monstrous 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Under the hood of the new 300C sits a similar 6.4-liter, HEMI V8 engine. However, output has increased to 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. According to reports, this enough muscle to promote a fleet 0-60 mph time of just 4.3 seconds.

As expected, power is routed to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can look forward to enjoying smooth, rapid shifts. Drivers can gain manual control by using the car’s steering wheel‑mounted paddle shifters.

Unlike the lineup’s other trim levels, the 300C comes equipped with an active exhaust system. At the press of a button, drivers can give this sedan the iconic sound of a pure muscle car.

Enhanced Handling Capabilities
The new 300C is one of the best-handling models in the sedan’s history. Chrysler outfitted it with adaptive suspension dampers, thus allowing you to adjust the level of firmness. A limited-slip differential helps the tires to maintain better traction. You can also trust the 300C to stop quickly during emergencies. It comes standard with a beefy set of high-performance Brembo brakes.

Signature Styling
Expect the new 300C to get plenty of attention on the street. Black chrome accents help it to stand out. You’ll also notice the sedan’s black headlamp and taillight bezels. Meanwhile, unique 20-inch forged wheels bring a powerful stance. Black rounded exhaust tips are found on the rear. There are three available paint colors: Bright White, Gloss Black and Velvet Red.

Special interior touches further set apart the 300C model. Black Laguna leather sport seats with silver accent stitching make the cabin feel a bit racier. Carbon-fiber accents add to the sedan’s exclusivity.

Still a Luxury Bargain
Chrysler lists the new 300C with a starting price of $56,595. When comparing this sedan to its European rivals, it still proves to be a legitimate bargain. The 300C definitely packs enough premium features to satisfy most luxury fans.

Regardless of the outdoor weather, heating and ventilation modes for the front seats enable you to set the perfect temperature. Music fans will especially enjoy the powerful Harman Kardon sound system, which features a total of 19 amplified speakers. Another highlight is the automaker’s applauded Uconnect 5 infotainment system. It provides an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

To help drivers to avoid accidents, Chrysler equips the 300C with today’s most sought-after safety technologies. A few of the highlights include full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure alert, and a traditional backup camera.

Toyota Corolla

Four Common Problems That Can Plaque a Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is among the most popular models in North Carolina. Many drivers especially appreciate this compact car’s rock-solid reliability and inexpensive upkeep. While the Toyota Corolla can last for more than 500,000 miles when properly maintained, it’s not completely invincible. Here are four common problems that owners may encounter.

1. Excessive Oil Consuming
Unfortunately, the Corolla is known for consuming an excessive amount of motor oil. This is especially true after its engine has started to rack up the miles. To prevent trouble, owners must develop a habit of checking the oil level more frequently.

Why does the Toyota Corolla have a tendency to guzzle more oil? For starters, Toyota designs its engine with low-tension piston rings. They effectively boost efficiency and help lower the amount of emissions being produced. The downside is that these modern piston rings can allow more oil to pass through, especially when routine servicing is neglected.

The good news is that there are preventive measures you can take. Owners are strongly advised to prioritize timely oil changes. They also need to invest in high-quality motor oil. These two things will help keep the piston rings in good condition for years to come.

2. Creaky Front Suspension
It’s not uncommon for Toyota Corolla owners to hear a creaking sound when driving over speed bumps and turning. In most instances, this noise can be traced to the front suspension. Luckily, the issue is unlikely to impact the car’s performance for a while. It’s more of an annoyance. Greasing the ends of the control arm will often quieten the suspension.

If the noise becomes progressively worse, there’s a good chance your lower control arm bushings have worn out. Expect to also experience sloppier handling and uneven tire wear. At this point, the only solution is to get the necessary repairs.

3. Transmission Slipping
Corolla models built prior to 2014 offered a four-speed automatic transmission. While this transmission is quite durable, it can experience problems when not servicing at the recommended intervals. Poor shifting and gear slipping tend to be the biggest issues. These problems are especially common after surpassing 125,000 miles on the odometer.

To avoid trouble, it’s important to change the transmission fluid every 50,000 miles or so. Old, dirty fluid causes greater friction between the internal parts. This may eventually lead to overheating, which could seriously damage the transmission.

4. Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) Complications
To help curb environmental pollution,  the Toyota Corolla is equipped with an EVAP system. When this system starts to malfunction, your car may still drive perfectly fine. However, you may notice that the check engine light is on.

The first thing to do is to make sure the gas cap is not worn out. Your car’s onboard computer can quickly detect when excessive fumes are being released. If installing a new gas cap does not resolve the problem, you could be dealing with a bad charcoal canister. Taking your Corolla to a certified Toyota mechanic will help you to avoid a lot of unnecessary stress. With the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, they can precisely pinpoint the issue.

save on gas

9 Ways To Save on Gas

Save On Gas

As gas prices remain stubbornly high, drivers across the country are scrambling to find new ways to save on gas at the pump. While there isn’t much the average person can do in terms of changing the price of oil and gas, there are ways to save money by getting better gas mileage. Your individual driving habits and maintenance routine make a huge difference when it comes to fuel efficiency. If you notice your vehicle’s gas mileage unexpectedly dip, that may be an indication of serious trouble. Don’t hesitate and bring it in to our team of ASE-certified automotive technicians here at Cox Auto Service Asheville for expert diagnostics, service and repair.

1.) Drive Slower: Driving the speed limit might not sound exciting, but it’s a great way to get better gas mileage. According to the AAA, most cars reach their peak fuel efficiency when traveling at about 50 mph. Every 5 to 10 mph driven above the optimum operating speed increases fuel consumption by up to 14 percent. With today’s gas prices remaining persistently high, those numbers can add up quickly.

2.) Tire Pressure: Properly inflating your vehicle’s tires to the manufacturer-specified PSI level reduces costly fuel consumption. If a tire is even just a few PSI levels underinflated, it creates additional resistance, which requires your car or truck to burn more gas. According to U.S Department of Energy data, American motorists waste 1.25 billion dollars of gas annually due to under inflated tires. Most auto experts recommend checking the PSI level of your car’s tires every month.

3.) Routine Service & Maintenance: Staying up to date with your car or truck’s service and maintenance routine plays an essential role in getting better gas mileage. Needless to say, a properly maintained car will run more efficiently than a poorly maintained vehicle. Aside from saving at the pump, keeping your car, truck or SUV in good overall condition extends its life and longevity. This in turn lowers the overall operating cost of the automobile by keeping service and repairs to a minimum over the life of the vehicle.

Essential Maintenance Services for Better Gas Mileage

  • Regularly scheduled oil changes
  • Inspection and replacement of fluids and filters
  • Properly aligned and maintained suspension
  • Battery and electrical components in good working order
  • Spark plug inspection or replacement
  • Balanced and rotated tires with plenty of evenly worn tread
  • Exhaust system in good working order
  • Inspection and replacement of hoses and cables

Automotive service and repair work is only as good as the mechanic doing the job. An incompetent or dishonest mechanic can actually do more harm than good with low quality work. That’s why you will want find a reputable auto service center like the team here at Cox Auto Service. Located just off Patton Avenue, we’ve proudly served the Asheville, North Carolina community with trustworthy automotive service and repair since 1970.

4.) Lighten the Load: Removing as much excess weight in your car, truck or SUV plays a big part in getting better gas mileage. All the random clutter and junk living inside your vehicle hurts fuel economy. For every additional 100 pounds of weight your vehicle hauls, its fuel efficiency drops by about two percent. When it comes to roof racks, bike racks, cargo containers or other external add-ons, you can expect a 6 to 25 percent decrease in gas mileage driving on the highway. Consider removing these external components when not in use or utilizing your vehicle’s trunk whenever possible for better gas mileage.

5.) Smooth Acceleration: Aggressively accelerating and braking significantly increases a car’s fuel consumption level. Rapid acceleration can burn an additional 15 to 30 percent more gas under highway driving conditions and a wallet-busting 10 to 40 percent while operating in traffic. For maximum fuel efficiency, gradually bring your car or truck to speed by smoothly stepping on the accelerator with measured pressure.

6.) Plan Ahead: As the old saying goes, “luck favors the prepared”. Another crucial aspect of getting better gas mileage is knowing when and where to drive. Planning ahead helps limit or avoid gas-guzzling traffic jams, poor road conditions, inefficient routes or inclement weather. Combining multiple stops and errands into one trip provides a way to counter the elevated cost of oil and gas.

7.) Limit Idling: Depending on the make and model of your car or truck, leaving it running on idle can burn up to a full gallon of gas every hour. Aside from the additional pain at the pump, an idling car emits up to 80 percent more harmful carbon emissions than it would while driving. Turning off your engine and restarting uses less fuel and creates less air pollution than letting your car or truck idle for a minute. The practice of warming up a car by idling is highly inefficient and in most cases unnecessary. Warming up a modern car, truck or SUV simply driving it delivers far better gas mileage.

8.) Cruise Control: Driving at a constant speed consumes less gas than driving at variable speeds. Activating your automobile’s cruise control can save up to 14 percent more fuel while driving on the highway. Beware of utilizing cruise control during poor weather or wet, slippery road conditions due to the increased risk of an accident.

9.) Turn Off the Air Conditioner: The Environmental Protection Agency estimates blasting a car or truck’s AC unit can decrease fuel economy by up to 25 percent or more. Operating the air conditioner while on shorter drives further decreases fuel efficiency. Electric vehicles and hybrids also experience a significant drop in efficiency when running the AC. Unfortunately driving with the windows rolled down also diminishes fuel economy. Based on a report by The Society of Automotive Engineers driving with the windows down reduces gas mileage by an average of eight percent.

Leaking Oil

Why is My Car Leaking Oil?

Oil leaks are one of the most common repair issues a car will face over its lifetime. According to a widely circulated report from the automotive data-analysis company S&P Global Mobility Reports, the average car on the road is currently 12.2-years old. America’s fleet of cars and trucks is projected to age even further in the future. Older vehicles inevitably encounter more service and repair issues, like leaking oil.

The auto experts at Cox Auto Asheville recommend bringing your vehicle in to a reliable mechanic as soon as possible at the first sign of leaking oil. Driving a car or truck with an oil leak can exacerbate any mechanical problems you may already be experiencing. As motor oil continues to leak, it clogs and damages other engine parts and systems. Oil leaks can even lead to engine fires along with other health and safety concerns. If your car or truck is dripping oil, it’s time to bring it in to Cox Auto Asheville. Our team of highly qualified, ASE-certified auto technicians will make your vehicle’s oil leak a thing of the past.

5 Signs Your Car is Leaking Oil

1.) Oil Pressure Indicator or Check Engine Light – An oil pressure warning indicator or check engine light illuminating on your car or truck’s dashboard is a clear, straight-forward sign you vehicle is leaking oil. The Oil Pressure warning light deploys when the engine’s oil level falls below the manufacturers recommended operating level. A telltale sign of an oil leak.

2.) Oil Stains on the Ground Under the Car – Whether it’s a few drops or a huge puddle on the ground under your vehicle, oil stains are an obvious sign your car is leaking oil. While oil leaks on the ground are easy to spot, they can be difficult to diagnose. That’s why you will want a highly-trained, experienced mechanic to take a look at it for you. The automotive experts at Cox Auto Asheville have been reliably repairing oil leaks in North Carolina for over five decades.

3.) Burning Oil Smell – Even if you aren’t able to see oil on the ground under your vehicle, your car may still be leaking oil. Often times when oil leaks, it drips on a burning hot engine component or exhaust pipe and incinerates before it reaches the ground. While you may not be able to see it, it is hard to miss the unmistakable odor of burning motor oil.

4.) Low Dipstick Oil Level – If you have any suspicions your car or truck has an oil leak, it is highly advisable to check you automobile’s oil level. You will want to ensure the engine’s oil is at its proper operating level and not decreasing. Check your engine’s oil dipstick level when it’s “cold”, either before the car has been started, or after it has been parked for a while. This ensures most of the motor oil is in the sump pan in order to register an accurate reading.

5.) Smoke – It is fairly normal for an automobile to emit white smoky vapor, especially during ignition. However if there is significant amount blue or gray colored smoke coming out of your vehicle’s exhaust or from under the hood, chances are your car is leaking oil. The oil is most likely burning up inside the motor, or dripping on to the surface of one its hot metal engine component, hence the smoke. Blue or gray smoke may also be indicative of other serious internal engine problems as well.

5 Common Causes of Leaking Oil

1.) Loose Oil Filter – In many cases, a car, truck or SUV might be leaking oil due to a loose oil filter. Whether simply installed incorrectly or the result of being physically knocked out-of-place while driving or being serviced, a loose oil filter is often the common culprit behind an oil leak.

2.) Damaged Oil Sump Pan – Your vehicle’s sump oil pan is located directly under your vehicle and houses its motor oil. Due to the location of the sump pan, it is vulnerable to taking damage while driving, especially on dirt or poorly maintained roads, which can lead to leaking oil. An oil pan’s plugs and seals can degrade over time or due to poor maintenance and leak oil as well.

3.) Failing Gaskets or Seals – All engines are equipped with a variety of rubber or plastic gaskets and seals. These gaskets and seals are essential in “sealing” your vehicle’s motor from oil, coolant, transmission fluid, or other automotive fluids. Eventually all gaskets and seals fail over time as the rubber or plastic ages, dries out and cracks. Poor maintenance and operating the engine at higher-than-normal temperatures exacerbates this issue. While the seals and gaskets are relatively cheap, replacing them can require costly, labor-intensive work that often entails removing the engine.

4.) Piston Rings & Valve Seals – In a worst-case scenario, your automobile’s leaking oil may be due to a serious internal engine issue such as failing piston rings or valve seals. Both of these mechanisms receive a lot of wear-and-tear during the internal combustion process. You will notice thick blue smoke, sluggish performance, loss of power as well as increased oil loss or consumption. Replacing piston rings or valve seals requires difficult, labor-intensive work that entails completely dismantling and rebuilding the motor.

5.) Miscellaneous Parts – There are a myriad of other miscellaneous parts known for causing pesky oil leaks. For example, cracked, damaged or disconnected oil hoses and lines are notorious for leaking oil. Oil can leak out of the oil sump pan due to a damaged plug, worn bolt or corroded washer. Many car manufacturers recommend replacing your oil sump pan’s washer every oil change. While rare, sometimes the remedy to an oil leak is simply tightening or replacing a bad screw or bolt.

Don’t let a minor oil leak turn into a costly engine overhaul. Call, click, or message us today at Cox Auto Asheville for an obligation-free consultation. Let our team of highly qualified, ASE-certified automotive technicians stop your car or truck’s leaking oil in its tracks. Located on Druid Ave. just off Patton Ave., here at Cox Auto we’ve proudly served the Asheville, NC community since 1972.

great auto mechanic

What Makes A Great Auto Mechanic?

What makes a great auto mechanic?

At Cox Auto Service in Asheville, North Carolina, our most important business asset is our people. We hire only the best auto mechanics for our ASE-certified auto shop. We also only employ those who understand the role of quality customer service. We know you can take your car, truck or SUV to any of Asheville’s auto repair and maintenance companies. But you are our customer and we value that relationship, so we hire to keep our relationships strong!

What makes a great auto mechanic? Below are some of the key skills and attributes we look for when hiring our people.

Customer Service Skills

Believe it or not, quality customer service cannot always come from learning. Each individual auto mechanic needs to have a certain level of innate appreciation for the customer’s time, money and trust. People spend a lot of money on their motor vehicles. This makes them want to have a trusted mechanic they can call on to fix problems, keep their car or truck running its best and help them get the most out of their four-wheeled investment.

Work Ethic

Mechanics typically work on cars because they love digging into machinery and fixing problems for it to run its best. They like getting under the hood and making the engine purr. This work takes dedication to ongoing learning, patience and a lot of time spent working hard, getting greasy and focusing on the problems in front of them. They also must be able to get the job done as promised to get customers safely back on the road.

Technical Aptitude

To do well as a mechanic, one must have the ability to learn how to use the latest technology, solve mechanical problems and use advanced diagnostics. This makes hiring people with a wide range of skills very important. At Cox Auto Service in Asheville, we know the difference between good mechanics from great ones. That difference comes down to being able to apply knowledge and skill to a wide range of vehicle types and models.

Our auto mechanics work on many vehicles, including:

Problem Solving Skills

Problem-solving skills are important to us when hiring our mechanic shop team. Everyone who works at Cox Auto Service must be able to think quickly on their feet in solving customer problems in the office, maintenance bays and auto repair floor. We expect our mechanics to find the best solutions for our customers, particularly those that cost drivers less. All of our auto repair technicians must also communicate well and easily explain fixes to customers. Solving problems honestly, reliably and with clear communication is why we have been in business for over 50 years.

Advanced Knowledge

No one can predict whether the next vehicle to show up at our auto repair shop will be a Ford, GMC, BMW or Mercedes Benz. On a given day, we might work on a $3,000 1990s Saturn. On the next, a car costing well over $100,000 may be in one of our service bays. Regardless of the type of vehicle, our auto mechanics must provide the same level of quality service. Every customer deserves an auto repair shop that values them and knows every inch of their vehicle make and model.

For an auto mechanic, this variety makes work exciting. It also makes it challenging, as they must take it upon themselves to stay updated with all of the latest technologies and systems. This means having a wide individual knowledge base about automobiles. It also means being able to efficiently diagnose and repair problems with electrical systems, air conditioning systems, fuel systems, computer systems, tires and transmissions.

Experience and Maturity

Mechanic experience and maturity ensure you receive the best possible service every time you bring your vehicle into Cox Auto Service. You want help from people who have worked on your type of car, truck or SUV. You also want one who has tried a multitude of repair options, now confidently knowing what works best for your specific needs. Confidence in their work is critical, in addition to the maturity to listen to you, proceed appropriately and perform the right checks before saying the work is done.

We Hire the Best Auto Mechanics in Asheville to Give You the Best Service

As said before, Cox Auto Service of Asheville considers people our most important asset. But these people do not just include our auto technicians. You and other customers are our top priority. To ensure you receive the best maintenance and auto repair service, we always hire the best mechanics.

Schedule your next auto service appointment today to experience our quality service for yourself. Everyone at Cox Auto Service looks forward to adding you to our family of satisfied customers. Call us at 828-254-8661 today!

Vehicle Heater

5 Reasons Why Your Vehicle Heater May Not Be Working

Why Your Vehicle Heater May Not Be Working

When winter arrives in North Carolina, staying warm becomes a big priority. You definitely don’t want to get stuck driving a car without heat. Here are some of the common issues that can cause a vehicle heater to stop working.

Low Coolant/Antifreeze Level
Coolant does more than just help prevent overheating. If there’s not enough coolant circulating through the engine, this will prevent the vehicle heater from blowing out warm air. The easiest solution to the problem is to top off your coolant. However, a severely low level of antifreeze typically indicates a leak.

The best approach is to have your car inspected by a certified mechanic. They will be able to track down the source of your leak. Getting the problem repaired now will give you one less thing to worry about.

Thermostat Not Working
If your car’s temperature gauge begins to drop toward the cold mark when cruising along the open road, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a bad thermostat. While you can temporarily drive a vehicle with a stuck-open thermostat during the summer, this isn’t the case when Old Man Winter arrives. The performance of your vehicle heater will be poor, thus making daily commutes a lot less comfortable.

Fortunately, new thermostats are relatively inexpensive. However, the ease of installation can vary from one model to the next. To gain access to the thermostat on some cars, several engine parts may need to be removed.

Electrical Problems
In some instances, the reason the vehicle heater isn’t functioning properly is due to electrical issues. You may notice that no air is being blown from the vents. A technician will ultimately need to inspect the unit.

The culprit could simply be a blown fuse or loose wire. These issues typically aren’t a big challenge to fix. On the other hand, you could also be dealing with a burned-out blower motor.

Heater Core Problems
Modern cars are designed with a heater core, which resembles a small radiator. It’s responsible for dispersing the heat released by the coolant. When the heater core becomes clogged or develops a leak, don’t expect the vehicle heater to work well. If your car begins to use up coolant quickly or has a sweet-smelling odor in the cabin, there’s a good chance the heater core is to blame.

Replacing a heater core is a big repair. Luckily, a blocked heater core passage can often be flushed out. Once the built-up crud is removed, the vehicle heater may begin to function normally.

Faulty HVAC Controls
Broken HVAC controls can prevent your vehicle heater from working. The various buttons and knobs are prone to wearing out over time. This is especially for ones made of plastic.

Many of today’s newer HVAC systems feature a touchscreen display. While these modern units are intuitive, they can be quite expensive to repair when problems occur. A faulty touchscreen may be fixed by simply resetting your car’s onboard computer. This can be done by disconnecting the vehicle battery for about 10 minutes.

Headlight Bulbs

Reviewing the Main Types of Headlight Bulbs

Main Types of Headlight Bulbs

Whether you’re traveling at night or driving through a rainstorm, it’s essential to have working headlights. They are a fundamental safety requirement. Today, car manufacturers offer three main types of headlight bulbs. Laser light technology is another alternative for folks who desire a high-end luxury vehicle. There are pros and cons to each option.

Halogen Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulbs are currently the oldest on the market. Nevertheless, they are still highly functional. The average cost of replacing these bulbs is around $15 to $30, thus making them your most affordable option. Furthermore, installation tends to be straightforward.

There are some downsides to halogen bulbs. For starters, energy consumption is higher. This means greater stress can be placed upon the vehicle’s electrical system. Although halogen bulbs are the least bright of the bunch, most drivers will have no complaints.

LED Bulbs
Over the last few years, LED headlight bulbs have become more popular than ever. They produce an impressive amount of light while delivering a more efficient performance. Because LED bulbs can be arranged to fit tight spaces, automakers have the ability to create sleeker and more innovative headlight designs.

As expected, LED bulbs are more expensive. This is an important factor for drivers who’re looking to keep their vehicle’s cost of maintenance as low as possible. The good news is that these bulbs typically have a long lifespan.

HID (High-Intensity Discharge Bulbs)
Many premium luxury models come standard with HID headlight bulbs. Some aftermarket companies also produce HID kits for vehicles. Xenon gas helps give these bulbs a distinct white/blue tinge, which can be remarkably bright. Drivers will appreciate the enhanced visibility when traveling on a dark street.

One of the drawbacks to HID bulbs is their price. Owners may have to spend more than $200 for a new set. Light output gradually decreases over time, thus indicating the need for replacement. Expect an average lifespan of around three years. Another issue is that the brightness of HID headlights can blind oncoming traffic.

Laser Technology
Laser headlights don’t feature bulbs. They work by creating a chemical reaction, which causes the phosphorus gas on the inside to glow. An extremely strong light beam is produced. To no surprise, laser headlights are limited to select high-end vehicles.

To keep these advanced lights cool, a sophisticated built-in cooling system is needed. Replacing a failed laser headlight assembly will be a big cost. If the vehicle’s factory warranty has expired, owners may have to spend thousands of dollars. Furthermore, laser lighting technology is only available for the high beams.

Tips to Keep in Mind
When one of your headlight bulbs burns out, expect the other one to be on borrowed time. The best approach is to replace both at once.

If your headlight covers become cloudy, try to have them professionally restored as soon as possible. Not only are cloudy headlight covers an eyesore, but they also reduce visibility at night. Remember, not all bulbs are simple to replace. Instead of taking on the complicated chore, take your vehicle to a certified Asheville mechanic.

Dead Vehicle Battery

How to Avoid a Dead Vehicle Battery This Summer

Avoid a Dead Vehicle Battery

The dog days of summer can put a lot of extra stress on a car’s battery. If you don’t take the necessary steps to protect this critical component, you’ll be far more likely to experience a breakdown.  Below we discuss how you can avoid a dead vehicle battery this summer.  The good thing is these tips can be applied to anytime of the year!

Have Your Battery Tested
Before the summer kicks into full gear in Asheville, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle battery tested and inspected by a professional mechanic. You’ll be able to travel with an extra sense of security. If the battery is on the verge of reaching its expiration date, the best approach is to have it replaced ahead of time.

Avoid the temptation to buy the cheapest battery on the shelf. Lower-priced “economy” batteries tend to be far less durable. Some may begin to weaken after only a year of use. A premium battery is well worth the extra money.

Keep the Connections Clean and Tight
It is important for your connections to remain tight. Once the cables become loose, it’s only a matter of time before you experience starting issues. Fortunately, most vehicle battery cables can be easily tightened using basic hand tools.

Corrosion tends to be an even bigger problem. When there is a significant amount of corrosion on a vehicle battery, less current will flow through the terminals. This ultimately results in decreased cranking power. Oftentimes, built-up acid can be neutralized using a baking soda paste. Simply mix together one cup of distilled water and one tablespoon of baking soda. After dipping an old toothbrush into the solution, scrub down the terminals.

Keep the Battery Cool
Excessive heat can cause a vehicle battery to fail much sooner than expected. Whenever possible, try to park under the shade. Develop a habit of looking for nearby trees. If you do not have a garage at home, consider investing in a car shed.

Always keep your battery wrapped in a heat shield, which helps block out radiant engine bay heat. Most replacement heat shields cost less than $30.

Jump-Start Your Car the Right Way
It’s not uncommon for a person to accidentally leave their headlights on, thus leading to a dead vehicle battery. They will likely need to jump-start the car. Unfortunately, many inexperienced drivers do it the wrong way. Not only can the battery be damaged, but other electronic components can be ruined as well. Keep in mind that a vehicle’s computer system can be especially expensive to replace.

Before even attempting to jump-start a car, first make sure all electrical systems are turned off. It’s even more important to connect the jumper cables to the correct terminals. Furthermore, the cables should never come in contact with any metal surfaces. Experts also recommend allowing the dead battery to charge for a few minutes before attempting to start.

Consider Investing in a Trickle Charger
If you have an automobile that you only drive on special occasions, consider investing in a trickle charger. It is designed to slowly charge the car’s battery while in storage. No longer will you have to worry about the vehicle battery being drained when preparing to take a summer road trip.

If you need assistance with your dead vehicle battery or any other car maintanice, come see us at Cox Auto Service in Asheville.  Contact us today at 828-254-8661 to set up a full-service maintenance appointment. We offer convenient same-day drop-in service as well.

What Causes Smoke to Come Out of the Exhaust?

Smoke is usually a major red flag. There’s an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Here are some of the common issues that can cause smoke to come from your exhaust.


Blue Exhaust Smoke

Blue smoke coming from the exhaust typically indicates burning oil. There’s a good chance motor oil has started to leak into the engine’s combustion chamber. The valve guide’s seals or piston rings may have worn out. You can continue to drive your vehicle until the necessary repairs are made. However, schedule an appointment with an Asheville mechanic as soon as possible.

There are quite a few issues that can stem from oil leaking into the combustion chamber. For starters, the vehicle’s rate of oil consumption will increase. This means you’ll need to check the oil level more often. The last thing you want is for the engine to seize up due to a lack of oil.

When dealing with an oil leak, other parts can become damaged. Once the spark plugs become contaminated, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to corrode. You should also be concerned about the exhaust system’s catalytic converter being damaged, which can be an expensive part to replace.

Although stop-leak products are available at your local auto parts store, stay far away from them. Not only are these additives ineffective, but they can also cause long-term damage to the engine. The only legitimate solution is to have your vehicle professionally repaired by a mechanic.


Black Exhaust Smoke

Black smoke coming from your exhaust should be just as concerning. It usually indicates that the engine is having trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Just a few of the potential culprits include a stuck EGR valve, a worn oxygen sensor, a clogged fuel injector, and a bad fuel pressure regulator.

Don’t wait to have the vehicle inspected by an auto repair shop. When the air-fuel ratio is incorrect, your gas mileage can decrease dramatically. Of course, performance is also likely to take a big hit. Don’t be surprised if your car feels sluggish when accelerating.


White Exhaust Smoke

Upon starting your vehicle on a cool morning, it’s perfectly normal to notice wispy smoke coming from the exhaust. It’s simply a result of condensation being vented while the engine is running. If you notice thicker white smoke along with the sweet smell of coolant, you could be dealing with a serious issue.

A blown head gasket can certainly cause heavy white smoke to be produced. While a lot of smoke may not be present while the vehicle is idling, it will be more obvious when you begin to accelerate. This is an issue that requires immediate attention. Continuing to drive with a blown head gasket makes engine damage more likely to occur.

Replacing a cracked head gasket is a big repair. The best approach is to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place. It’s especially important to keep the engine running at an ideal temperature. When overheating occurs, the increased thermal pressure naturally puts more strain on the head gasket.

Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

We are an ASE-certified auto repair shop specializing in both minor and major repairs and services. Our wide range of services includes check engine light diagnosis, engine and transmission rebuilds, emissions repairs, NC State Inspections, oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups and much more! Our experienced technicians offer quality and reliable auto care services that you can count on. Rely on our certified technicians to get you back on the road in no time.

Auto Cooling System

Six Parts of an Auto Cooling System That Can Wear Out

Six Parts of an Auto Cooling System That Can Wear Out

An auto cooling system is one of the most important features on a vehicle. It helps the engine to maintain the proper temperature throughout the year. Here are six parts of an auto cooling system that can wear out.

1. Coolant Reservoir Cap
Most modem vehicles are designed with a coolant reservoir cap, which must be removed when adding antifreeze to the system. Although this part may look simple, it serves a very important function. The coolant reservoir cap actually helps your auto cooling system to maintain a constant pressure. If this cap fails to properly tighten, overheating is more likely to occur.

Most automakers recommend replacing the coolant reservoir cap every 60,000 miles. When it goes bad, the coolant reservoir tank may start to overflow. While the cap may appear to be in good condition at first glance, there’s a good chance its inner seal has worn out.

2. Radiator Hoses
Ideally, you should have your vehicle’s radiator hoses inspected at least every six months. Although radiator hoses may still look good on the outside, they typically begin to degrade from the inside out. Fine cracks in the rubber will slowly start to develop. If the hose has already developed a swollen appearance, it’s definitely on borrowed time.

Replacement of the radiator hoses is an important aspect of auto cooling system maintenance. The last thing you want is for a hose to suddenly burst while you’re driving. While some splits can be temporarily sealed using emergency tape, this method doesn’t always work.

3. Coolant
Coolant, also referred to as antifreeze, isn’t meant to last for the life of a vehicle. While some formulas are rated to last for 30,000 miles, others have a life expectancy of 100,000 miles. Neglecting to have the antifreeze flushed out at the recommended interval can cause big trouble.

Coolant contains rust inhibitors, which gradually deplete over time. This means old antifreeze makes rust more likely to develop inside your auto cooling system. Various parts of the system will be more prone to experiencing premature failure, including the radiator.

4. Radiator
The radiator is the heart of an auto cooling system. While a radiator can last for the life of a vehicle when properly maintained, this isn’t always the case. In the past, these components had more durable copper cores. To cut costs and improve thermal efficiency, many manufacturers now use aluminum cores with plastic headers. The downside is that the radiator may not last as long.

Every two years, it’s a good idea to have your radiator pressure tested. This will enable a mechanic to track down any leaks. Even a tiny pinhole can cause you to lose antifreeze.

5. Thermostat
A thermostat is another key component in your auto cooling system. This small valve is designed to open and close based on the engine’s temperature. If the thermostat fails in the open position, your vehicle will have trouble reaching the proper operating temperature during the winter. On the other hand, a thermostat that fails in the closed position can cause overheating.

In most instances, a bad thermostat will set a trouble code. There’s a good probability your check engine light will turn on at some point. Luckily, new thermostats are typically inexpensive.

6. Water Pump
A water pump is responsible for circulating antifreeze throughout an auto cooling system. When the water pump gives out, you can expect engine temperatures to rise immediately. If you’re on the road at the time, the only option will be to call for a tow.

Water pumps often give warning signs before completely failing. They are designed with a weep hole, which leaks out a small amount of coolant when the pump’s seals are about to go bad. You may also notice a low grinding noise, thus indicating the internal bearings have worn out. Remember, this isn’t an issue that you can wait to get fixed. Promptly schedule your vehicle to be serviced at an Asheville repair shop.

Cox Auto Service