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 maintence, 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.
exhaust

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.

Mercedes-Benz Vehicle

Top Five Issues That Tend to Plague Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

Top Five Issues That Tend to Plague Mercedes-Benz Vehicles

When discussing the top luxury car brands, Mercedes-Benz vehicle is always in the conversation. Its vehicles have a reputation offering an amazing blend performance and comfort. While these German-engineered automobiles are built to last, owners must put a big priority on maintenance. Some repairs will ultimately need to be made. Here’s a look at the top five issues that tend to plague Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

1. Worn Engine and Transmission Mounts
Engine and transmission mounts are more important than you think. These components help ensure a smooth driving experience by balancing energy absorption. When the mounts start to go bad, you will begin to notice increased engine noise and more vibrations while on the road.

Although you can drive a vehicle with worn mounts, it’s best to have them replaced as soon as possible. Over time, the excessive shaking can cause certain parts to become damaged. After a mechanic makes the necessary repairs, your car will be far more pleasant to drive.

2. Bad Crankshaft Sensor
When their vehicle won’t start, many drivers immediately fear a dead battery. However, there are several more things that can cause this problem. Mercedes-Benz vehicle crankshaft sensors are especially prone to failing. Other symptoms of a worn crank position sensor include poor throttle response, stalling, and decreased fuel economy.

To find accurately pinpoint the problem, an auto repair technician will need to perform a diagnostic test. If your vehicle is deemed to have a bad crankshaft sensor, the only option is to have this electronic device replaced. Fortunately, crank position sensors are relatively inexpensive.

3. Engine Misfire
It’s hard to ignore a misfiring engine. Not only will your Mercedes-Benz vehicle begin to run roughly, but it will also struggle to get up to speed. Furthermore, the check engine light is likely to turn on.

In many instances, this issue stems from a set of worn-out spark plugs. In order for the engine to maintain the proper air-fuel mixture, the spark plugs must be firing correctly at all times. While it’s generally recommended to have these parts replaced every 30,000 miles, many Mercedes-Benz owners neglect doing so.

4. Bad Control Arm Bushings
If your Mercedes-Benz vehicle is approaching 100,000 miles, its control arm bushings may go bad. Found in the front suspension, these rubber components are designed to limit the amount of vibration created between the vehicle’s frame and the wheels. Worn control arm bushings can cause quite a few problems, including a bumpy ride and accelerated tire wear. Your car will also be more difficult to steer.

It’s a good idea to have all the control arm bushings replaced at the same time. When one fails, the other is soon to follow.

5. Not Going Into Gear
Don’t panic if your transmission suddenly doesn’t go into gear or experiences shifting issues. Mercedes-Benz automatic gearboxes are typically quite durable. However, the transmission’s valve body and 13-pin connector are not the best.

The good news is that these parts are not a big challenge to replace. Before buying a pre-owned Mercedes-Benz vehicle, be sure to get a pre-purchase inspection. An experienced mechanic in Asheville will quickly recognize the red flags of a faulty transmission.

 

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.

BMW

Common Problems BMW Owners Tend to Encounter

Five Common Problems BMW Owners Tend to Encounter

It’s no secret that BMW is one of the world’s top luxury brands. This German automaker has a reputation for building vehicles that are plush and engaging to drive. On the downside, its vehicles are often more expensive to maintain. Here are five of the most common problems BMW owners tend to encounter.

1. Oil Leaks
Unfortunately, BMW vehicles are notorious for leaking motor oil. Although this problem usually isn’t serious, it can be extremely frustrating. If you’ve spotted dark puddles under your car or frequently notice the smell of burning oil, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a leak.

While leaks can occur while the vehicle is still under warranty, they typically happen after surpassing the 60,000-mile mark. The engine’s valve cover gasket and the oil pan gasket are especially prone to leaking oil. Fortunately, these parts can be easily replaced by a certified mechanic.

2. Engine Overheating
Be sure to keep an eye on your BMW’s temperature gauge. These vehicles are known for overheating, which ultimately puts the engine at risk of being damaged. Excessive temperatures can easily cause a blown head gasket. While various parts in the vehicle’s cooling system can fail, the water pump is especially susceptible to wearing out. Its primary purpose is to continuously push coolant throughout the radiator and engine.

Some BMW water pumps can fail sooner than expected. This is especially true for ones that feature plastic impeller blades. When installing a new water pump, many experts recommend upgrading to a unit that has more durable metal blades. It’s also a good idea to replace your radiator hoses and coolant reservoir as well.

3. Electric Window Failure
After your BMW begins to rack up a lot of miles, don’t be surprised if its electric windows stop operating. This is a big complaint among many owners. Although you may be able to continue driving the vehicle, a malfunctioning window is a major inconvenience.

There are two problems that can occur when the windows fail. Either the regulator breaks or the electric motor wears out. To be on the safe side, the best approach is to have these parts replaced at the same time.

4. Bad Ignition Coil
When experiencing hesitation and sluggish acceleration, there’s a good chance your automobile’s spark plugs are worn out. However, this isn’t always the case. A bad ignition coil can cause the same symptoms. It’s designed to connect the current from the battery to the spark plugs.

If you happen to notice the previously mentioned symptoms along with a check engine light, it’s time to take your vehicle to a mechanic shop. A severely worn ignition coil will eventually cause your vehicle to not start. To precisely pinpoint the root of the problem, the automotive technicians will need to perform a diagnostic test.

5. Underperforming A/C System
During the summer in North Carolina, outdoor temperatures can easily soar past 90 degrees Fahrenheit. A failing A/C system will make life on the road a lot less comfortable. If your A/C begins to blow lukewarm air, it could simply need a recharge. This process involves restoring the system’s refrigerant levels.

On the other hand, you could be dealing with a bad A/C compressor. If you hear a noise upon turning on the A/C, this is likely the compressor’s bearings falling apart on the inside. The compressor’s seals can also develop leaks. Regardless of the culprit, you’ll probably need to invest in a new compressor.

 

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.

Toyota Tacoma

Taking Your Toyota Tacoma Off-Road

Taking Your Toyota Tacoma Off-Road for the First Time

Toyota produces some of the most adventurous trucks and SUVs. However, the Toyota Tacoma is especially popular among many drivers in Asheboro. If you enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, you’ll probably be looking to take your Tacoma on an off-road excursion at some point. Here are a few tips to remember when venturing off the beaten path.

Know Your Skill Level
If you don’t have much experience off-roading, avoid traveling on more challenging terrain. You should first practice on beginner-level trails. It may take at least a few excursions for you to hone your driving skills.

When exploring the rough backcountry, even the most capable Toyota Tacoma won’t perform too well in the hands of an amateur. Gradually work your way up to the more difficult trails. You’ll slowly learn how to confidently descend slopes and clear obstacles by learning from your mistakes.

Prepare to Hit the Trails
Before you even begin an off-road adventure, first properly prep your Toyota Tacoma for the rural conditions. Most experts suggest lowering the air tire pressure in your tires to about 20 psi. This will help the tires to obtain more grip when encountering uneven surfaces.

To be on the safe side, always bring along a full spare tire and a jack. It’s also a good idea to have a foldable shovel, which will come in handy if you get stuck. Other essentials to bring include a waterproof flashlight, a pocket knife, a first-aid kit, and a tow strap.

Find a Buddy
Although you may take pride in being independent, it’s usually not a good idea to go on a solo off-road adventure. This is especially true for newbies. You never know what can happen when encountering Mother Nature’s obstacles.

When traveling in remote areas, your cellphone may not always get a good signal. This means it could be difficult to call for help during an emergency. Having another buddy with a 4X4 vehicle is always a plus. He may need to pull you out of a ditch or give you a ride in the event of a breakdown.

Have Your Vehicle Serviced
Never plan a trip without first getting your Toyota Tacoma serviced and inspected. From the battery to the engine, every component needs to be in good shape. Worn parts should be replaced ahead of time.

Even if your maintenance is up to par, a mechanic will still need to carefully inspect for leaks. While a minor motor oil leak may not require immediate attention, a coolant leak will need to be repaired asap. When in the middle of the wilderness, the last thing you want is to experience an overheated engine.

Learn How to Use the Truck’s Off-Road Features
If you love to travel off the beaten path, your Toyota Tacoma should be equipped with a 4X4 system. You’ll need to learn how to use it. While the transfer case’s low-range setting comes in handy when encountering deep mud and crossing creeks, the high-speed setting helps you to maintain momentum on trails.

Toyota also equips some Tacoma models with a locking rear differential. This feature is designed to help further improve traction on slippery ground. Some models are also equipped with Crawl Control technology, which helps you to safely descend steep hills. Failing to use these features correctly can lead to increased fuel consumption and premature wear on certain parts.

Cox Auto Service near Patton Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina keeps up-to-date with your vehicle’s routine needs. We stay fluent with common Toyota Tacoma problems, as well as Toyota manufacturer guidelines. This means we stand ready to diagnose and fix any problem you encounter.  Schedule your Toyota service today  by calling Cox Auto Service in Asheville at 828-254-8661 today.

overheating

Tips to Help Prevent Your Engine from Overheating

Here’s how to help prevent your engine from overheating

It’s important for your engine to stay running at the optimum temperature. If it gets too hot, major damage can be done. Let’s look at how to  prevent your engine from overheating.

Regularly Check the Coolant Level
Develop a habit of checking your vehicle’s coolant level every month. If there’s not enough coolant circulating throughout the engine, the chances of you experiencing overheating increase dramatically. This is especially true when sitting in traffic on a hot day.

You’re probably dealing with a slow leak. By pressure testing the cooling system, a mechanic can track down the source of your problem. Remember, even a bad radiator cap can cause coolant to evaporate.

Have Your Belts and Hoses Inspected
To be on the safe side, be sure to have your coolant hoses inspected every year. These rubber parts naturally wear out over time. When a hose begins to look weathered or feels soft, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Your vehicle’s serpentine belt also needs to be periodically checked. This belt delivers power to quite a few major components, including the water pump. If an old serpentine belt suddenly snaps while you’re on the road, overheating becomes a serious possibility.

Watch Your Temperature Gauge
Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of modern vehicles feature a temperature gauge. If you notice the temperature gauge rising above normal levels, the best approach is to pull over immediately. Opening the hood will help the overheating to clear out quickly.

You’ll likely need to call a tow truck. Do not attempt to drive your car any further until repairs are made. If your temperature gauge enters the red zone, avoid taking any chances. From the head gasket to the pistons, a number of different parts can be destroyed.

Maintain the Proper Oil Level
Motor oil does more than just lubricate the engine. It also helps prevent overheating. When there’s too little oil in the engine, temperatures will gradually start to rise.

Ideally, you should check your oil level every month. However, check it more frequently if you have a high-mileage vehicle. Some engines begin to consume oil at a faster rate as they age.

Park in the Shade When Possible
When summer kicks into full gear in Asheville, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to surpass 95 degrees. To help cool down your vehicle’s engine, try to park in the shade whenever possible. Always be on the lookout for trees and tall buildings, which can block the sun. While you may have to park further away from your destination, a little extra walking never hurts.

Turn On the Heat During Emergencies
If you happen to be stuck in a traffic jam and notice your temperature gauge rising beyond normal levels, turn the heater on full blast. This will help prevent overheating by pulling hot air from the engine. Although the extra heat blowing inside the cabin may cause you to sweat, the pros outweigh the cons.

If your vehicle’s engine fails or needs a complete overhaul, you need ASE-certified experience. A mechanic able to complete the work effectively, correctly and at the lowest possible cost. Residents of Asheville, NC rely on the experts at Cox Auto Service near Patton Avenue, just as they have for 50 years. You can trust Cox Auto Service for your domestic or foreign vehicle engine replacement.

 

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.

pontiac

What You Need to Know When Buying a Fourth-Generation Pontiac Firebird

What to Know When Buying a Fourth-Generation Pontiac Firebird

Produced from 1993 to 2002, the four-generation Pontiac Firebird is among the most exciting muscle cars to date. Many Asheville drivers loved its iconic styling and adrenaline-stirring performance. With this car becoming rarer with each passing year, its value is expected to skyrocket in the near future. Now is definitely a good time to buy one. Let’s take a look at the Pontiac Firebird’s must-have features and the biggest issues to watch out for.

LS1 V8 Engine
For the 1998 model year, Pontiac updated the Firebird with a new LS1 V8 engine. In terms of performance, it was a step above the car’s previous LT1 V8 engine. An optional WS6 package increased output to a thrilling 320 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque. Road tests showed the Firebird was capable of recording a quick 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds.

Not only was the LS1 V8 engine capable of producing more power, but it was also more reliable. The old engine suffered from a problematic Optispark ignition system. When kept in its stock form and regularly serviced, the Firebird’s LS1 V8 engine has been proven to last for 300,000 miles or more.

WS6 Package

If you’re in the market for a fourth-generation Firebird, be sure to get one that comes equipped with Pontiac’s WS6 performance package. It added a functional “Ram Air” hood scoop, which enhanced output by directing cool air into the engine. A free-flowing exhaust system further helped maximize the car’s performance capabilities.

When outfitted with the WS6 package, the Firebird also became a better-handling muscle car. Firmer shocks and larger sway bars ensured improved body control on twisty roads.

Borg-Warner Six-Speed Manual
While the Pontiac Firebird was offered with a four-speed automatic transmission, it suffered from a few shortcomings. For starters, performance took a hit when selecting the automatic gearbox. Don’t expect acceleration to be as brisk. This transmission was also not as suitable for aggressive driving, which made it prone to slipping over time.

Your best bet is to get a Borg-Warner six-speed manual transmission. Drivers will love the sensation of shifting from one gear to the next. A strong aluminum casing also enhances the transmission’s long-term reliability.

Issues to Watch Out for When Buying a Firebird
For the most part, the fourth-generation Pontiac Firebird is a reliable muscle car you can drive daily. However, there are a few potential issues that buyers need to watch out for. Always check for rust before handing over your hard-earned money. This is especially true for cars that were driven in a snow-prone region. It’s not uncommon to find rust behind the quarter panels and under the floor.

One of the Firebird’s coolest features is its pop-pop headlights. However, the motors that enable the headlights to move up and down can fail. The same can be said for the Firebird’s window mechanisms. Another thing to check is the taillights. Water can seem into the taillights, thus giving them a dark appearance.

Of course, the biggest thing to watch out for is abuse. Avoid buying a Firebird that has been modified to the max. While some Firebird owners make maintenance a top priority, others tend to neglect routine servicing. This is why it’s highly recommended to get a professional mechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection.

Whether you drive the latest model from a luxury line or a vintage domestic or import, you receive nothing but the best from Cox Auto Service located in Asheville, NC. Certainly, always service you can trust from our ASE-certified technicians. Want to keep your car, truck or SUV performing its best? Then bring it into our Druid Drive location for auto maintenance or auto repair.

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