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 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.

car won't start

5 Common Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

As a car owner, it’s important for you to recognize the early signs of a potential problem. Failing to do so could lead to you being stranded and in need of a tow. Here are some of the most common reasons why your car won’t start.

Dead Fuel Pump
If your car won’t start, don’t rule out a dead fuel pump. Oftentimes, a failing fuel pump will begin to produce a loud whine or howl. Expect the sound to gradually become louder over time. Your vehicle could also begin to sputter. At this point, replacement is likely your only option. The last thing you want is for the fuel pump to suddenly go kaput while on a busy highway.

While a fuel pump can fail due to old age, poor maintenance tends to be the biggest culprit. Many drivers neglect to replace the fuel pump’s filter, which causes excess dirt and debris to build up. Routinely driving on E can also cause premature failure. In order to prevent this component from overheating, a certain amount of gasoline needs to be in the tank.

Bad Battery
Of the reasons why a car won’t start, a bad battery is probably at the top of the list. Car batteries naturally start to weaken with age. However, freezing and extremely hot weather can also cause them to fail sooner than expected. Although you can jump-start a weak battery during emergencies, you’ll need to get it replaced asap.

To be on the safe side, have your battery tested and inspected at least twice a year. A mechanic can tell when there’s not much juice left. Also, pay attention to your battery’s expiration date.

Faulty Starter
A vehicle’s starter tends to have a long life expectancy. Some can even last for 200,000 miles or more. Nevertheless, it will eventually need to be replaced at some point. Once this electrical motor goes bad, your car won’t start.

Starters typically give warning signs before they completely fail. Many drivers notice that their vehicle takes noticeably longer to crank. You may also hear a clicking noise when turning the ignition.

Broken Timing Belt
Some vehicles are engineered with a timing belt. This rubber belt is responsible for opening and closing the engine’s valves at the appropriate time. As you begin to rack up the miles, the belt gradually begins to weaken. If the timing belt snaps, your car won’t start. On some models, there’s also a chance for major engine damage to occur.

Car owners can prevent trouble by simply having the timing belt replaced at the automaker’s recommended interval. While some timing belts need to be changed every 60,000 miles, others are rated to last for more than 100,000 miles.

Engine Failure
A well-serviced engine can last for an extremely long time. Unfortunately, some car owners in Asheville tend to put maintenance on the back burner. Failing to get regular oil changes can definitely shorten an engine’s life. Overheating is another big issue, which often stems from a low level of coolant.

If a mechanic finds that your engine has failed, there are two options to take. You can either have the engine rebuilt or have a new one installed.

At Cox Auto Service in Asheville, NC we cover 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. If you are experiencing any of the warning signs above contact us, and we will be glad to be of service.


Tips for Taking Your Jeep Off-Roading

 JeepJeep is known for producing some of the most rugged vehicles in the world. Popular models, like the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee, come ready to tackle rough terrain. However, conquering an off-road trail isn’t as easy as you may think. Here are some tips for taking your Jeep on an off-road adventure for the first time.

Watch Your Speed

When venturing off the beaten path, some Jeep owners make the mistake of going too fast. This is especially true for amateurs. Speed can be your enemy. While you may need to slightly increase your speed when encountering hills, the best approach is to maintain and slow and steady pace. You’ll have a far greater sense of control.

If you’re speeding along an off-road course, expect the vehicle’s suspension to bottom out at some point. The jolt could be powerful enough to send you flying out of your seat. The chances of you damaging something also increase dramatically. Sharp rocks and tree trumps can thrash the undercarriage, thus forcing you to speed more money on repairs.

Lower Your Tire Pressure

On the street, it’s important to keep your tires inflated to the factory-recommended pressure. This helps ensure better handling and optimum fuel economy. However, drivers often need to lower the tire pressure when traveling off-road. Even normal pressure can cause the tires to bounce like a basketball. You definitely won’t enjoy the rougher ride.

Aside from giving you a smoother ride, a lower pressure also helps lessen impacts. Expect your Jeep to feel noticeably more stable. Another benefit of lowering the tire pressure is enhanced traction on muddy trails. Because the tires will be touching the ground at a lower pressure, they can better grip slippery surfaces.

Don’t Go Alone

If you don’t have a lot of experience off-roading, it’s probably not a good idea for you to go alone. Nothing is scarier than being stuck in the middle of nowhere without a companion. There could be unknown dangers lurking in the woods. A buddy will help you to safely explore the rough backcountry. Although Jeep 4X4 vehicles are extremely capable machines, don’t take any unnecessary chances.

To enjoy greater peace of mind, try to find another off-road enthusiast in Asheville who has their own 4X4. They’ll be able to show you the ropes. You may also need them to pull you out of a ditch.

Have Your Vehicle Serviced and Inspected

Before you take your Jeep on an epic adventure, be sure to have it serviced by a professional mechanic. You’ll be less likely to experience a breakdown. It’s definitely in your best interest to have the transmission inspected. When attempting to maneuver out of a mudhole, transmission temperatures can rise quickly. Its cooling system must be in prime working condition.

Your Jeep may also need a wheel alignment. It’s easy for suspension parts to get bent when driving over tough landscapes. The vehicle may then begin to veer to one side on the street, thus making it more difficult to control.

Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenarios

You never know what can happen on an off-road excursion. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. To be on the safe side, be sure to bring along a first-aid kit. This will enable you to quickly disinfect and patch up wounds.

It also never hurts to pack a little extra food and bottled water. In the event that you become stranded for longer than expected, you’ll appreciate having iodine pills on hand. These pills can purify water, which allows you to safely consume natural freshwater sources.

Mechanic Shop

Bad Driving Can Lead to A Mechanic Shop Visit

Mechanic ShopEven the most reliable vehicle will eventually need repair. Normal wear and tear is something you can’t prevent. However, some car problems are often caused by bad driving behaviors. Here are five habits that can cause your vehicle to end up at the mechanic shop.

Driving On “E”

Some people have become accustomed to driving on a near-empty tank. Unfortunately, this bad habit can damage your vehicle in a number of ways. If you continue running on a low level of fuel, you’ll soon be scheduling a visit to the mechanic shop.

When there’s little gas in the tank, your vehicle’s fuel pump is far more likely to overheat. You’ll eventually begin to hear a loud whining sound, which means this component has already started to wear out. A failed fuel pump will ultimately force you to call for a tow. To prevent being stranded on the side of the road, never allow the fuel level to drop below a quarter tank.

Using Regular Gas In a Vehicle That Requires Premium

Some of today’s vehicles are built to run on premium gasoline. If you use a lower octane fuel in a model that requires premium gas, the consequences can be severe. For starters, the engine won’t be able to develop maximum power. You’ll likely notice a big difference in performance, especially when accelerating.

Some vehicles have a “premium gasoline only” warning. You should never use regular unleaded gas in these vehicles. Doing so could cause the engine to detonate. This sudden, intense rise in cylinder pressure can result in major damage. The mechanic shop may need to completely rebuild or replace the engine. In the long run, spending the extra money on premium gasoline can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress.

Ignoring A Check Engine Light

If your check engine light turns on, don’t wait to take the vehicle to a mechanic shop. While the root of the problem may be something simple, the best approach is to not take any chances. Getting your car checked out now could save you from an even bigger auto repair bill.

There are more than 100 problems that will trigger a check engine light. Symptoms, like rough idling and sluggish acceleration, often stem from bad spark plugs. You’ll need to get a tune-up as soon as possible. Worn spark plugs can cause the vehicle’s catalytic converter to fail, which could be expensive to replace.

Allowing Your Vehicle To Idle for Long Periods

Contrary to popular belief, you’re not doing your vehicle any favors by allowing it to warm up for a long time. Aside from wasting fuel, this bad habit actually puts unnecessary stress on the engine. Even on cold days, it’s recommended to not let the engine idle for more than a couple of minutes. Gently driving the vehicle for the first few miles will able the engine to reach its normal operating temperature quicker.

Engines that idle for long periods in traffic often suffer from heavy carbon buildup. These sticky deposits can cause the engine to wear out a lot sooner than expected. This is a key reason why city vehicles often don’t last as long. If you do a lot of stop-an-go driving, your mechanic shop may need to periodically clean the engine to remove carbon.

Towing More Weight Than Your Vehicle Can Handle

A lot of drivers in Asheville tend to use their vehicles for towing. However, it’s important to research the model’s maximum tow rating beforehand. Attempting to pull too heavy of a load can strain the engine. Transmission overheating is also far more likely to occur.

Remember, a vehicle’s suspension is only designed to handle a certain amount of weight. When your load is too hefty, handling will be especially poor. Parts, like shock absorbers and wheel bearings, will also need to be replaced more often.

Engine Trouble

Major Engine Trouble: Five Problems That Can Cause a Bad Piston

Engine TroublePistons are among the most important parts of an engine. If they have issues, you will defiantly have engine trouble. In extreme cases, this could be justification for an engine replacement. They hold the responsibility of converting fuel into energy. When a piston goes bad, expect to experience a big drop in performance. In some instances, you could lose all engine power. Furthermore, here are five problems that can lead to a damaged piston.

1. Broken Timing Belt

If you are having engine trouble, keep reading. Also, if your vehicle engine’s is designed with a timing belt, be sure to have it replaced at the recommended interval. Over time, this rubber component gradually begins to weaken. While some timing belts need to be replaced every 60,000 miles, others are rated to last for more than 100,000 miles.

You definitely don’t want a timing belt to suddenly snap while you’re driving. On an interference engine, this could cause the pistons and valves to collide. Catastrophic engine damage will be the probable outcome.

2. Engine Detonation

It’s important to fill your gas tank with the correct type of fuel. Typically, high-performance cars and luxury vehicles are tuned to use premium gasoline. Repeatedly using low octane fuel in these automobiles can cause engine detonation. Worn-out spark plugs and carbon buildup from excessive idling also make engine denotation more likely to occur.

When engine donation occurs, an excessive amount of internal heat is produced, which is engine trouble. Temperatures can become hot enough to melt an aluminum piston. To help counteract the effects of using a lower octane, automakers engineer vehicles with components called knock sensors. They signal the car’s computer to reduce ignition timing, which ultimately protects the engine. The bad news is that knock sensors can fail.

3. Low Oil Level

Routine maintenance is the ultimate key to keeping your vehicle running strong. Mechanics stress the importance off regularly checking the oil level. It’s a simple step that only takes a minute of your time. Once some vehicles surpass the 50,000-mile mark, they tend to consume motor oil at faster rate.

A piston is a moving part, which must be properly lubricated at all times. As the piston slides up, oil is sprayed on its undersides. Also, when the oil level becomes too low, friction becomes a serious issue. Poor lubrication could result in a stuck piston. However, the damage caused by metal-to-metal contact is even more detrimental.

4. Engine Overheating

Engine overheating is one of the most destructive car problems. To prevent severe engine damage, it’s important to pull your car over as soon as possible. Within seconds, temperatures can rise to dangerous levels.

As mentioned earlier, virtually all modern pistons are made from aluminum alloy. While aluminum is light and resistant to corrosion, it can warp when exposed to extreme heat. Also, if you allow the engine too get to hot, the pistons can bend and deform. Additionally, this means the engine won’t be able to maintain the proper compression, thus leading to a major power loss. The vehicle will not be drivable in some instances.

5. A Hydrolocked Engine

A hydrolocked engine is a very serious problem. It’s a condition where an excessive amount of water enters the engine at once. Also, this naturally prevents the pistons from fully compressing. As you know, certain streets in Asheville are prone to flooding after an intense rainstorm. Unfortunately, some hard-headed motorists choose to drive their car through the high water.

If you attempt to drive a vehicle with a hydrolocked engine, the piston rod can suddenly break. Lastly, your only option will be to either spend the money on the necessary repairs or buy another engine.

Five Ford Models

Check Out These Five Ford Models

Over the years, Ford has released a number of entertaining vehicles. If you don’t want to spend the money on a brand-new car, take a look at what the used market has to offer. Here are five fun-to-drive Ford models to consider. These Five Ford Models are popular and sell fast.

1993-1997 Ford Probe GT

The Ford Probe GT was one of the top compact sports coupes of its era. Its sleek styling caught the attention of a lot of drivers. Even today, this car has the ability to turn heads. Although the Probe doesn’t feature a big backseat, a hatchback design enables it to prove an impressive amount of cargo space.

Under the hood of the Probe GT rests a Mazda-built V6 engine, which develops a competitive 164 horsepower. While this car was offered with a four-speed automatic transmission, it wasn’t very durable. Your best bet is to search for a model that’s equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. Excellent handling adds to the Probe GT’s fun factor. While the Probe is dependable, owners must be sure to have its timing belt replaced every 60,000 miles or so.

2002-2004 Ford SVT Focus

Although this “hot hatch” was based on the regular Focus, Ford’s Special Vehicles Team upgraded it with a few go-fast goodies. Motivating the Focus SVT was a quick-revving four-cylinder engine. Ford rated it to develop 170 horsepower, which was enough muscle for drivers to have some serious fun. Meanwhile, an upgraded suspension enabled the SVT to Focus to handle like a legitimate sports car.

A racy body kit helped give the Focus SVT the look of a serious contender. What makes this car such a great choice is its practicality. You can drive it every day without worrying about expending a fortune on maintenance.

1999-2004 Ford Mustang GT

While the latest Mustang GT is an incredibly exciting ride, it may not fit your current budget. If you want to save some cash without sacrificing much fun, check out the 1999-2004 Mustang GT. Its “New Edge” styling has aged quite well over the years.

Motivation comes from Ford’s durable 4.6-liter, Modular V8 engine. When serviced regularly, this engine can easily last for more than 300,000 miles. Ford tuned it to push out an enjoyable 260 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, the intoxicating sound of the engine is second to none. Installing an aftermarket exhaust system gives the Mustang a distinctive rumble.

2010-2019 Ford Taurus SHO

Five Ford ModelsThe Ford Taurus was always known as a safe and comfortable family car. Unfortunately, it tended to be a bit boring to drive. To better satisfy true driving enthusiasts, Ford developed the high-performance SHO model. Many people describe this full-size sedan as being a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Putting the Taurus SHO in motion is a 3.5-liter, EcoBoost engine. Twin turbochargers help it to develop a formidable 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. With a tested 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds, this car proved to be seriously quick. Standard all-wheel drive also ensures great traction throughout the year.

1999-2000 Ford SVT Contour

Although Ford started producing the SVT Contour in 1998, experts suggest stepping up to at least a 1999 model. Ford had tweaked this underrated sports sedan to offer more performance. Output increased to 200 horsepower.

On the road, the SVT Contour was just as nimble and athletic as its more expensive European counterparts. Drivers loved the seductive sound of Ford’s modified Duratec V6 engine. Because of this engine’s sophisticated design, owners should always have the car worked on by a professional mechanical. Like the car’s alternator, the spark plugs can be difficult to replace. We hope this article about Five Ford Models has helped you in the buying process.

Toyota Tacoma Truck

Toyota Tacoma Truck Is So Highly Recommended

If you’re looking to buy a new truck in the near future, the Toyota Tacoma Truck will prove to be a fine choice. There are many reasons why experts recommend the new Tacoma. It’s dependable, rugged, and powerful enough to deliver some serious driving fun. Here are six arguments for why you should strongly consider getting a new Tacoma.

1. The New Toyota Tacoma Truck is Reliable As They Come

Toyota Tacoma TruckIf you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the repair shop, the Toyota Tacoma Truck is definitely the right pickup for you. Over the years, this well-engineered truck has become known for its bulletproof reliability. Every major component is to withstand the test of time. As long as you have your Tacoma serviced at the recommended intervals, you should not have any problems. This is one of the primary reasons why this pickup truck has such a high resale value.

2. Fun to Drive the New Toyota Tacoma Truck

The Tacoma comes standard with a dependable four-cylinder engine. However, your best bet is to upgrade to Toyota’s Atkinson-cycle V6 engine. It generates a formidable 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. This is enough muscle for you to tow up to a 6,800-pound load. Unlike most other trucks, the Tacoma continues to offer a manual transmission. This is a big advantage for drivers who enjoy the art of changing gears.

If you don’t plan to venture off-road very often, consider getting the Tacoma TRD Sport. A sports-tuned suspension and automatic limited-slip rear differential help ensure tighter handling on the street.

3. Extremely Capable Off-Road Machine

Adventure seekers in Asheville will love the Tacoma’s rugged design. Toyota gives you two extremely capable Tacoma models to choose from. Most outdoor enthusiasts will be more than happy with the TRD Off-Road model. Aside from undercarriage protection and all-terrain tires, you’ll also benefit from the truck’s Crawl Control technology. When encountering challenging terrain, this system can automatically control throttle and braking. The driver can then focus solely on steering the truck.

Drivers who need an even more skilled off-road machine can step up to the Tacoma TRD Pro. It comes equipped with exclusive FOX racing shocks and a thick front skid plate. Toyota also outfits the TRD Pro model with a cool Multi-Terrain Monitor. It helps drivers to spot obstacles beneath the truck, thus making them less likely to be surprised by unexpected rocks and stumps.

4. Toyota Tacoma Truck Has a Much-Improved Interior Comfort

In the past, the Tacoma was heavily criticized for its rather awkward driving position. Taller drivers were impacted the most. Toyota has fixed this issue by offering the Tacoma with a new 10-way power driver’s seat. You can now take the Tacoma on a long road trip without experiencing any discomfort. Also, upgraded amenities, like heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control, are offered as well.

5. Cool Exterior Styling

The Tacoma doesn’t look like any of today’s other midsize pickup trucks. Models equipped with a vented hood are especially sporty. Smoked headlight and taillight housings give the Tacoma an even cooler appearance. Toyota also offers the Tacoma with some bold paint options, including Voodoo Blue and Barcelona Red Metallic.

6. Plenty of Modern Technologies in The New Toyota Tacoma Truck

When behind the wheel of the new Tacoma, drivers will be surrounded by modern technology. Every trim receives Toyota’s easy-to-use Entune touchscreen. While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto simply the processing of linking your smartphone, Amazon Alexa allows you to make voice commands while on the go. Meanwhile, an available Wi-Fi Hotspot ensures a reliable connection to the internet. For music fans who demand a powerful soundtrack, Toyota offers a JBL premium sound system with an enclosed subwoofer.

Most importantly, every new Tacoma now comes standard with a bundle of safety technologies called Toyota Safety Sense P. Automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and smart cruise control are all included.

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat: Ultimate Family Hauler

Many people love the versatility of an SUV. If you’re a serious driving enthusiast who craves maximum excitement on the road, check out the high-performance 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. Not only does the new Durango SRT Hellcat reward you with a powerful adrenaline rush, but it also treats your family to a high level of comfort. Let’s take a closer look at what this all-new model brings to the table.

Race-Bred Performance

Dodge Durango SRT HellcatThe new Durango SRT Hellcat is among the most powerful three-row SUVs in the world. Motivating this beast is a 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi V8 engine. This is the same monstrous engine available in other Dodge performance vehicles, including the legendary Challenger. It’s tuned to crank out a stunning 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. A quick-shifting, TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission feeds power to all four wheels. Upon stepping on the gas, you’ll immediately hear a throaty rumble coming from the SUV’s specially tuned exhaust.

While behind the wheel of the new Durango SRT Hellcat, drivers can look forward to experiencing breathtaking acceleration. According to Dodge, the SUV clocks a blistering 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. This means you’ll be able to embarrass the average sports car. Launch control technology helps eliminate any wheelspin when accelerating aggressively. Aside from being extremely fast, the Durango SRT Hellcat is also capable of towing up to 8,700 pounds.

To ensure nimble handling, the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is equipped with the SUV with a few additional performance goodies. Adaptive suspension dampers come standard. Activating the Track mode stiffens the dampers for enhanced body control around corners. A special rear spoiler helps increase rear downforce by more than 400 percent, thus giving the Durango SRT an extra degree of grip. Meanwhile, beefier Brembo brakes with 15.75-inch front rotors provide the necessary stopping power.

Looks Mean From Every Angle

There’s no denying the Durango SRT Hellcat’s intimidating appearance. Dodge outfits the SUV with a number of menacing styling cues. The front fascia definitely makes a bold statement, which features a black sport grille and black headlamp bezels. A performance-enhancing hood vent adds more aggression. Distinctive Hellcat badges on the sides let you know this isn’t your typical Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. Cool 20-inch alloy wheels further highlight the SRT Hellcat model’s wide stance. Some of the attention-grabbing paint options include Octane Red, Reactor Blue, and F8 Green.

Roomy, Modern Interior

A few racy touches are found on the inside, including red-accented gauges and a thick performance steering wheel. Although the Durango SRT Hellcat is engineered to deliver all-day driving fun, it doesn’t make any sacrifices in the comfort department. Heated and ventilated front seats elevate the interior’s luxuriousness. Whether you’re cruising around Asheville or taking a long road trip, everyone can look forward to enjoying a relaxing ride. Up to seven people can climb inside. There’s also more than enough cargo space in the rear.

Modern tech makes the new Durango SRT Hellcat even more rewarding. Dodge’s latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system receives a standard 10.1-inch HD touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto take the hassle out of connecting your smartphone. Drivers will especially appreciate the interface’s built-in Performance Pages app, which allows them to access real-time performance data and adjust the vehicle’s driving character. Other nice features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa, and a high-powered Harman Kardon sound system.

Are There Any Potential Downsides to the Durango SRT Hellcat?

While the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a dream vehicle for many drivers, this high-performance SUV doesn’t come cheap. Dodge lists the new SRT Hellcat model with a starting MSRP of $82,500. If this is too expensive for your budget, the regular Durango SRT will prove to be a good alternative. It still packs a healthy 475 horsepower under the hood. You should also be aware of the supercharged Durango SRT Hellcat’s rather low fuel economy rating, which tops out at only 19 mpg.


Dodge Challenger Maintenance Tips

If you own a Dodge Challenger, be sure to have it serviced on a regular basis. A little extra attention will help keep your muscle car running like a champ. Here are a few key maintenance tips to keep in mind.

What To Do Every Month

DodgeA few maintenance checks should be done every month. It’s especially important to check your Dodge Challenger’s tire pressure using a digital gauge. Not only does low pressure hurt gas mileage, but it also shortens the life of your tires. If you happen to notice abnormal wear on the tires, a wheel alignment is likely needed.

You should also develop a habit of inspecting the condition of your car’s battery. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free battery. It’s definitely not uncommon for corrosion to collect on the terminals, which can ultimately cause hard starts. Fortunately, this oxidation can be easily dusted off using a battery cleaning brush. While you’re under the hood, take the time to tighten the battery cables as well.

Don’t forget to check your fluid levels every month. While a low coolant can cause overheating, a low level of motor oil can lead to premature engine damage. Also, keep an eye out for any leaks.

What To Maintain Every Six Months

Dodge recommends an oil change every 8,000 miles. This typically means you’ll need to bring your Challenger in for service every six months. Failing to regularly change the oil can cause a lot of trouble in the long run. Slug will eventually start to develop inside the engine, thus leading to costly damage.

Dodge makes it easy for owners by equipping the Challenger with a convenient oil life monitor. By keeping track of your mileage and driving conditions, this feature can determine exactly when an oil change is needed. After your oil change light turns oil, be sure to get an oil change within the next 500 miles.

While your vehicle is at the shop getting an oil change, it’s also a good idea to have the tires rotated. The goal of this service is to ensure even wear on all four tires. You stand to extend the life of your tires by thousands of miles.

Once a Year Maintenance Requirements

The way you drive your Dodge Challenger has a direct impact on how long the brake pads will last. Spending a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic will naturally accelerate wear. While your braking system is designed with wear indicators, it’s still advisable to have the pads professionally inspected at least once a year.

Dodge advises Challenger owners to check the condition of their car’s engine air filter every 12 months. Dust and pollen gradually start to build up, which hinder the engine’s ability to breathe freely. A dirty air filter usually results in a noticeable decrease in performance. Sluggish acceleration is a tell-tale sign the engine air filter needs to be replaced.

What to Check Every Two Years

Dodge equips the Challenger with long-life spark plugs. They are rated to last for up to 100,000 miles. However, certain factors can cause a spark plug’s electrode to wear out sooner than expected. When one or more of the spark plugs begin to misfire, performance and fuel economy typically take a big hit. This is why the spark plugs should be inspected every two years. The extra peace of mind is well worth it.

Unlike most modern muscle cars, the V6-powered Challenger offers an AWD system as an option. This feature enables Asheville Challenger owners to maintain excellent traction during wintry conditions. To keep the AWD system’s gears turning smoothly, it’s important to change the transfer case oil every other year.

Service Engine Light

What Caused My Service Engine Light To Turn On?

Research shows that nearly 30 percent of drivers in Asheville tend to ignore their service engine lights. Unfortunately, this makes them far more likely to experience an unexpected breakdown. With the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, a professional mechanic can quickly track down the source of the trouble code. Here are some common problems that will trigger a service engine light.

Loose Gas Cap

Service Engine LightYour vehicle’s onboard computer can almost instantaneously detect a loss of pressure inside the fuel tank. If your service engine light suddenly turns on after refueling, there’s a good chance you simply forgot to tighten the gas cap. Although a loose or missing gas cap may not seem serious, this issue can cause trouble in the long run.

For starters, a loose gas cap allows fumes to escape. This problem contributes to environmental pollution. Over time, you may also notice that your vehicle’s fuel economy has taken a hit. While it’s okay to drive without a gas cap for a few days, don’t make it habit.

Bad Oxygen Sensor Triggers Service Engine Light

After your vehicle surpasses the 60,000-mile mark, it’s far more likely to encounter a bad oxygen sensor. This sensor’s job is to monitor unburned oxygen coming out of your exhaust, which allows the onboard computer to properly adjusts the engine’s air-fuel ratio. When it fails, expect to see a glowing service engine light.

Most modern vehicles feature at least two oxygen sensors. The pre-cat oxygen sensor is the one that usually causes performance issues. A rough-running engine is especially common. Bad gas mileage is another problem that stems from a bad pre-cat oxygen sensor.

Bad Spark Plugs

When your vehicle is in dire need of a tune-up, its service engine light is usually activated. A mechanic must replace the spark plugs and ignition wires. This is a critical aspect of any vehicle’s factory recommended maintenance.

Bad sparks usually cause rough idling, hesitation, and hard starting. If you continue to drive your vehicle with worn-out spark plugs, things will only get worse. In some instances, your vehicle may even to even crank. The good news is that modern spark plugs have a long lifespan. Some are rated to last for more than 100,000 miles.


Engine overheating is among the most serious car problems of all. Aside from a service engine light, you’ll also likely notice stem escaping from underneath the hood. At this point, be sure to pull over as soon as possible. When an engine has started to overheat, it can self-destruct in less than a minute. From a blown head gasket to warped cylinders, several major problems may occur.

The root of the problem could be a low level of coolant, which often stems from a leaky hose or busted radiator. While adding more coolant may temporarily solve the problem, you’ll ultimately need to have the leaked professionally repaired.

Bad Catalytic Converter

Designed to help limit harmful exhaust emissions, the catalytic converter is one of the most important parts on your vehicle. When this part fails, your vehicle’s service engine light will turn on.

Oftentimes, catalytic converters fail as a result of poor maintenance. For instance, misfiring spark plugs can allow raw fuel to get into the catalytic converter. This could cause the ceramic material inside the catalytic converter to melt. Motor oil leaks can be just as damaging.

Engine Overload – Service Engine Light

Vehicles that are used for towing are more prone to experiencing engine overload. This is why it’s important to adhere to the manufacturer’s maximum tow rating. Too heavy of a load puts unnecessary stress on the engine, which could lead to big trouble. If your service engine starts to flash repeatedly, pull over and shut off the vehicle. To be on the safe side, the best approach is to call for a tow.

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