Oil Change Service_Oil Change Mistakes_Cox Auto

5 Common and Potentially Basic Costly Oil Change Mistakes

5 Common and Potentially Costly Oil Change Mistakes

As a car owner in North Carolina, you probably already recognize the significance of changing your oil on time. This critical maintenance item can dramatically impact engine performance and longevity. When servicing is needed, it’s always a good idea to take your vehicle to a certified professional. Here are five common and potentially costly oil change mistakes. 

 

Using the Wrong Type of Motor Oil

When performing an oil change, it’s critical to always use the correct type of motor oil for your specific engine. Unfortunately, far too many quick-lube service centers fail to do so. This can lead to a number of problems in the long run. 

If the oil is too thin, this can cause the engine to experience premature wear. Leaks are also far more likely to develop. On the other hand, excessively thick oil may not flow well during cold weather. As your engine ages, it may actually do better using a different oil viscosity than when new. An experienced mechanic can determine which grade is best. 

 

Improper Drain Plug Installation

Your oil pan’s drain plug needs to be properly torqued. Overtightening this bolt can result in slow leaks. Too much force may also damage the plug’s threads. 

If the drain plug’s gasket is made of copper or cheap plastic, it needs to be replaced at every oil change. Fortunately, this part typically costs only a dollar or two. When the gasket becomes deformed, it’s unable to properly seal. It’s only a matter of time before a leak arises. 

 

Not Adding the Right Amount of Oil

It’s important to add the proper amount of motor oil. Overfilling when performing an oil change tends to be the biggest problem. This floods the crankshaft, thus causing the oil to be whipped into a foam. The end result is an inequality lubricated engine. Oil pressure can reach dangerously low levels. 

There are a few telltale signs the oil level is too high. For starters, you may notice the smell of burning motor oil. Blue exhaust smoke is yet another big symptom. Keep in mind that overflowing oil can also find its way into spark plugs, which ultimately impacts performance. At this point, you’ll likely have trouble even cranking the engine. 

 

Forgetting to Reset the Oil Change Light 

Many modern vehicles are designed with an oil life monitoring system. It uses special sensors to collect important data. Engine temperature, trip durations, and driving habits are just a few of the key factors that are taken into account. When an oil change is deemed necessary, the system will trigger a warning light. 

Unfortunately, some shops forget to reset the oil change light after servicing the vehicle. This is a major inconvenience. 

 

Forgot to Put the Engine Oil Fill Cap Back On

When rushing to finish an oil change, neglectful technicians may forget to reinstall the engine oil fill cap. This is a big problem, to say the least. The entire engine bay and hood could be covered in oil. 

Even worse, dust and debris have an opportunity to enter the engine. These particles can grind between the cylinder walls and pistons, thus causing the parts to prematurely degrade over time. 

BMW

How to Preserve the Reliability of Your Luxury BMW 3 Series

How to Preserve the Reliability of Your BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series is one of BMW’s most popular car models. This small luxury sedan’s sporty driving dynamics and quality interior help make it an appealing choice. While the 3 Series can last for upwards of 250,000 miles with no catastrophic mechanical issues, owners must have it serviced at the recommended intervals. Here are a few important tips to keep your BMW 3 Series performing at its best.

Always Use High-Quality Motor Oil
To no surprise, mechanics stress the importance of getting regular oil changes. This is one of the biggest keys to long-term durability. If you neglect having the oil changed on time, expect the engine to experience accelerated wear and tear.

It’s just as critical to choose the correct type of motor oil. If your 3 Series was built in the past 20 years, experts advise the use of fully synthetic BMW LongLife-01 engine oil. Not only is this oil formulated to provide enhanced protection, but it also promotes better fuel efficiency.

Invest in Genuine OEM Parts
If you own a 3 Series, don’t be a cheapskate when it comes time to replace components. While aftermarket parts from China are far less expensive, they may cause you trouble in the long run. There’s a good chance your car’s reliability will be severely compromised.

The best approach is to invest in genuine BMW parts. They are engineered to fit precisely and last longer. In the event that you decide to sell or trade in your 3 Series, the installation of OEM parts will boost the car’s value.

Replace the Spark Plugs
Spark plugs have a direct impact on engine performance. When they begin to wear out, your vehicle’s drivability will take a big hit. Some of the tell-tale symptoms include rough idling, sluggish acceleration, and difficult starting. Driving with bad spark plugs can also cause other costly components to fail, including the catalytic converter.

Most BMW manuals suggest replacing the spark plugs every 45,000 to 60,000 miles. However, this interval can vary from one model year to the next. Ideally, you should have the entire ignition system periodically inspected by a certified automotive mechanic.

Shy Away from Aftermarket Modifications
At some point, you could be be tempted to make modifications to your vehicle. Unfortunately, this is often a recipe for disaster. While it’s okay to install a different set of wheels, think twice before attempting to modify the car’s powertrain or suspension. For instance, some 3 Series owners in Asheville have opted to install a bigger turbocharger. The extra load subjects the engine to significantly greater stress, thus shortening its life.

If you’re a driving enthusiast who desires peak performance, purchase a 3 Series model that already comes equipped with performance upgrades from the factory. BMW’s available M Sport package includes a lowered performance suspension and beefier brakes.

Don’t Forget About the Transmission
Like the engine, the transmission needs to be properly maintained. It’s critical to have the transmission fluid changed at the recommended interval. Fresh fluid will help keep friction to a minimum, which ultimately enhances the gearbox’s durability.

When it’s time to have the transmission fluid changed, your mechanic will also install a new transmission filter. Most filters begin to become dirty after around 50,000 miles.

engine repair

Six Reasons Why You May Need Engine Repair

Engine Repair

When engine problems occur, this can dramatically impact the performance of your vehicle. In some instances, you will ultimately be left stranded along the side of the road. Here’s a look at the six most common reasons for engine repair.

Overheating
If your vehicle’s temperature gauge begins to approach the red zone, there’s a good chance the engine is overheating. Excessive temperatures can cause several parts to be destroyed, including the head gasket and pistons. The total cost of engine repair could be thousands of dollars.

In many instances, overheating stems from a low coolant level. Old radiator hoses are especially prone to bursting during the summer. A malfunction cooling fan and a bad water pump can also cause overheating to occur.

Misfiring
A misfiring engine will cause your car to perform poorly. Some of the symptoms include rough idling, sluggish acceleration, and hard starting. Don’t be surprised if your check engine light turns on as well.

From bad spark plugs to contaminated fuel, a wide range of different issues can cause misfiring. The best approach is to have the vehicle checked out by an experienced Piedmont Triad mechanic. By performing a diagnostic test, they can quickly track down the root of your trouble.

Oil Leaks
If you begin to notice oil stains on your driveway, be sure to have your vehicle inspected by a professional. Until the necessary repairs are made, you’ll need to check the oil level more often than usual.

Fortunately, oil leaks don’t always require major engine repair. After a vehicle surpasses the 80,000-mile mark, it’s not uncommon for the valve cover gasket to deteriorate. You could also be dealing with a warped oil drain plug, which can easily be replaced with a new one.

Engine Noise
Engine noise should never be ignored. Strange sounds will often warn you of a developing problem. While the issue could be minor, the best approach is to err of the side of caution.

Of the potential noises you may hear, knocking is by far the most serious. This indicates the fuel isn’t burning properly within the cylinders. Waiting to get engine repair is not an option. Some of the likely causes include a bad knock sensor, carbon deposits in the combustion chamber, and improper spark plugs.

Car Stalling
When you’re driving with a near-empty gas tank, your car could suddenly stall at any given moment. Every year, thousands of motorists run out of gas. However, this isn’t the only thing that can cause stalling.

A failing alternator will eventually cause your vehicle to quit. When this problem occurs, your battery warning light should appear on the dash. If you begin to hear a whining sound coming from the fuel tank or experience engine sputtering, fuel pump failure is a strong possibility.

Smoky Exhaust
A well-tuned engine should not produce any visible smoke. When you start to see smoke coming out of the exhaust, engine repair could be needed. While blue exhaust smoke indicates burning oil, black exhaust smoke points to an improper fuel/air mixture.

Thick, white exhaust smoke is just as serious. Coolant is likely being burned in the engine. Your vehicle could have a blown head gasket or a cracked intake manifold gasket.

Cox Automotive has maintained the cars, trucks, SUVs, hybrids and 4x4s of Asheville residents and visitors for 50 years. We look forward to providing the same top quality service for your vehicle. Call us at 828-254-8661 to schedule your service appointment today.

 Auto Cooling System

Five Auto Cooling System Problems to Watch Out For

Auto Cooling System Problems

With our hot weather right now, it is the time to have your vehicle’s cooling system checked. Whether you’re running daily errands or taking a weekend road trip, you will appreciate the extra sense of security. Remember, poor maintenance is the number one cause of engine overheating. Here are five auto cooling system problems to watch out for.

Sludge
Most automakers suggest changing your coolant roughly every 30,000 miles. Unfortunately, far too many drivers in North Carolina fail to do so. Neglecting this important maintenance item can cause the vehicle’s auto cooling system to experience trouble.

Over time, coolant gradually begins to break down. The anti-corrosion inhibitors will eventually degrade, thus allowing rust to build up. It’s then only a matter of time before sludge begins to develop within the auto cooling system. This slimy substance can ultimately block the radiator core and other key components. When coolant can’t flow properly throughout the engine, overheating is often the end result.

Blown Head Gasket
Some head gaskets prematurely fail due to a manufacturing defect. However, frequent engine overheating tends to be the biggest cause. Head gaskets can only withstand a certain amount of pressure before they fail. To fix the problem, a mechanic will need to remove the engine’s cylinder head and install a new gasket.

There are some telltale signs that you’re dealing with a bad head gasket. For starters, you could experience a serious loss of power. A faulty head gasket can also cause coolant to mix with the motor oil, which often leads to even more trouble.

Worn Hoses
Your auto coolant system features a few different hoses. While hoses are quite durable, engine heat causes them to gradually wear out. Ideally, you should have these parts inspected at least once a year.

An experienced automotive technician can quickly determine the condition of a hose. If the hose feels soft or has started to bulge, it’s already on borrowed time. When driving on a hot summer day, a worn radiator hose could burst at any given moment. You will then be left stranded.

Bad Radiator
When a vehicle’s auto cooling system is routinely serviced, the radiator can last for more than 10 years. On the other hand, failing to perform the recommended car maintenance will drastically shorten this component’s lifespan. Radiator leaks are especially common on high-mileage vehicles. Although “stop leak” products are readily available at most auto parts stores, avoid them at all costs. They can actually cause even more damage in the long run.

If your radiator goes bad, the only legitimate solution is to have a new one installed. You can then drive for thousands of miles without any worries.

Low Coolant Level
Of the common auto cooling system problems, a low coolant level is the easiest to prevent. Drivers simply need to develop a habit of regularly checking the coolant level. On most vehicles, you can easily keep tabs on the level by reading the markings on the coolant reservoir.

If the coolant level is frequently low, you’re almost certainly dealing with a leak somewhere in the system. Just a few of the parts that can allow antifreeze to seep out include the water pump, plastic hose connectors, and radiator cap.

300c

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

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.

Cox Auto Service