spark plugs

Top Signs Your Vehicle Needs New Spark Plugs Signs

Five Top Signs Your Vehicle Needs New Spark Plugs Signs

Modern engine tune-ups involve replacing the spark plugs. If you neglect this important maintenance item, it’s only a matter of time before you start to experience performance issues. While some modern plugs have a life expectancy of up to 120,000 miles, they will all wear out at some point. Here are the top signs your car needs a new set.

1. Visual Signs of Excessive Wear
It’s recommended to have your spark plugs visually inspected every 30,000 miles. By performing a visual examination, an experienced Asheville mechanic can estimate how much life they have left. Carbon deposits, cracked housings, and worn-out electrodes all indicate the need for replacement.

An oil leak can also cause the plugs to become contaminated. Before installing a new set, it’s important to first repair the leak. If you allow the leak to persist, the same problem is bound to happen again.

2. Your Car Has Trouble Starting
A number of issues can cause your car to have trouble starting, including a bad battery and a failing fuel pump. Fouled spark plugs can also lead to poor starting.

If the spark plugs aren’t firing correctly, trouble is bound to occur. Things will only worsen over time. Severely worn electrodes can cause your vehicle to not even crank. There won’t be enough spark to turn the engine over.

3. Check Engine Light Comes On
When your spark plugs have reached the end of their life, don’t be surprised if the check engine light pops on. The car’s onboard computer is designed to detect misfires. You should bring in your vehicle for diagnostic testing as soon as possible.

However, never continue to drive your vehicle with a flashing check engine light. This indicates severe detonation, which could cause irreversible damage to the engine’s internal components. You may need to call for a tow.

4. Decreased Fuel Economy
The condition of your vehicle’s spark plugs has a direct impact on fuel economy. When these crucial ignition parts begin to deteriorate, gas mileage can take a big nosedive. Your engine will be out of tune, which causes it to suck down fuel at a much higher rate.

Efficiency can decrease by up to 30 percent. A vehicle that once averaged 30 mpg may struggle to even hit the 20-mpg mark.

5. Sluggish Performance
When driving a car with worn spark plugs, you can expect to experience sluggish performance. Acceleration will be much slower. Your car will also have difficulty climbing hills.

Furthermore, don’t expect the engine to run smoothly. It could eventually begin to stall at times, especially while idling at a stop.

When Should I Replace My Spark Plugs?
Don’t wait until your vehicle begins to run poorly. The best approach is to have your spark plugs replaced at the recommended service intervals. This information can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual. Also, be sure to purchase genuine OEM spark plugs. Installing the wrong kind can cause just as much trouble in the long run.

Battle of the Chevrolet Sport Cars: Camaro vs Corvette

Battle of 2 Chevrolet Sports Cars: Camaro vs Corvette

Chevrolet gives Asheville drivers two iconic sports cars to choose from. While both the Camaro and the Corvette promise to deliver a lot of driving fun, one may suit your lifestyle better than the other. Let’s take a closer look at how these models compare.

Chevrolet Camaro vs Corvette – The Cost

If you’re on a budget, the Chevrolet Camaro is very likely your best option. Chevrolet lists the Camaro with a starting MSRP of only $25,000. Even the V8-powered Camaro LT1 is priced at a more than reasonable price, $34,000.

Drivers who want a new Chevrolet Corvette must reach significantly deeper into their pockets and or bank accounts. Prices for the base Corvette start at roughly $60,000. However, adding options can cause the car’s price to quickly approach upwards of $100,000.

Performance Comparison Between Chevy Camaro & Corvette

All versions of the Corvette now come standard with the same powertrain. Under the hood rests a potent V8 engine, which develops up to 495 horsepower. Sending power to the wheels is a quick-shifting, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Road tests show the Corvette clocks a 0-60 mph time of around 2.9 seconds. In contrast to the Camaro, the new Corvette is not offered with a traditional manual transmission.

The Chevy Camaro gives you far more powertrains to choose from. Thrill seekers will want one of the available V8 engines. Chevrolet rates the Camaro’s naturally aspirated V8 to crank out 455 horsepower. This ensures a quick 0-60 time of 4.0 seconds. Another step up the performance ladder is the Camaro supercharged V8 engine, which pushes out a staggering 650 horsepower. Drivers will be able to hit 60 mph in as quickly as 3.6 seconds.

Handling & Ride

Most experts agree that the Chevrolet Camaro handles remarkably well for an American muscle car. It inspires drivers with a great deal of confidence on twisty roads. With that said, the Corvette is an even more precise driving machine. A mid-engine layout and lower stance enable Corvette to compete with many of today’s exotic sports cars. Fortunately, both of these models offer a smooth highway ride.

Which Chevy Vehicle Has Better Fuel Economy?

The Chevrolet Corvette’s fuel economy isn’t bad for such a high-performance ride. You can anticipate getting up to an EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/27 MPG highway. Meanwhile, a standard turbo four-cylinder engine enables the Camaro to return 22 MPG city/31 MPG highway. Expect V6-powered models to be just a tad less economical. Upgrading to the Camaro’s V8 engine lowers efficiency to 16 MPG city/27 MPG highway.

Interior Room

Unlike the Corvette, the Camaro has a backseat. This is good news for drivers who need to accommodate their small children. Taller drivers will also appreciate the Camaro’s extra 1.1 inches of front-seat legroom. Extra cargo space gives the Camaro yet another advantage in terms of everyday practicality. While the Camaro has a trunk volume of 12.6 cubic feet, there’s only 7.3 cubic feet of storage space in the Corvette’s trunk.


Both of these Chevrolet coupes offer a safe driving experience. Among the available safety features include a color head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, and forward collision warning. Parents will appreciate Chevy’s standard Teen Driver system. Aside from allowing a speed limit to be set, this feature can also monitor for driving mistakes. And parents can even set it up so that a report with drive details comes straight to their mobile phone.

Why Are BMW Vehicles Typically More Expensive to Maintain?

Why Are BMW Vehicles Typically More Expensive to Maintain?

Why Are BMW Vehicles Typically More Expensive to Maintain?

BMW is known for producing some of the best high-end luxury vehicles on the market. However, this German automaker’s cars and SUVs often cost more to upkeep. Here’s why BMW models tend to be more expensive to maintain.

Requires Synthetic Motor Oil

Most BMW engines are designed to use synthetic motor oil. Unfortunately, it is a bit more expensive than conventional oil. Some models also require up to seven quarts of motor oil. By comparison, the typical American commuter car only needs around 4.5 quarts.

On the bright side, synthetic motor oil is more resistant to heat and high pressures. Because these formulas don’t break down as quickly, you can drive more miles between oil changes. Furthermore, sludge is less likely to become an issue when using synthetic motor oil.

Complex Engineering

When it comes to engineering, BMW has always been a step ahead of the competition. Modern models are able to deliver a high level of performance without sacrificing much fuel efficiency. The downside is that these vehicles are often more difficult to service and repair.

Owners need to take the vehicle to a shop that has the necessary knowledge and experience. Some tasks can be more difficult than you may think. For instance, the car usually needs to be programmed upon installing a new battery. Failing to do so can lead to serious charging problems in the long run.

Top-Grade Parts

When a repair needs to be made, it’s always a good idea to only install genuine OEM parts made by BMW. Although there are aftermarket options available at the local auto parts store, most are inferior in quality. This means you’re far more prone to experiencing premature failure.

As expected, BMW replacement parts are more expensive. Most of these components are made by high-end manufacturers, such as Bosch and Bilstein. You’re paying for top-grade craftsmanship. High-performance models are even more expensive to maintain. A good example is the BMW M5. This high-powered sports sedan features performance tires, upgraded brakes, and a special sport suspension.

High-Mileage Repairs

After surpassing the 100,000-mile mark, it’s not unusual for BMW owners in Asheville to encounter a few mechanical problems. Oil leaks are especially common, which require worn seals and gaskets to be replaced. The cost of labor will be more costly than average.

Electrical problems are also quite frequent among high-mileage BMW vehicles, including malfunctioning wipers and defective A/C systems. An even bigger issue is BMW’s VANOS system. While this variable valve timing system may enhance engine performance, it can go bad.

Owner Neglect

Owner neglect can cause any vehicle’s repair costs to ride. However, this is especially true for BMWs. You must make routine maintenance, like tune-ups, air filters, and oil changes to name just a few. a top priority. Bad habits, like skipping oil changes and failing to replace parts at the recommended intervals, could lead to major trouble. If you think that the cost of maintenance is a tad too expensive for your budget, the best approach is to buy a more economical alternative.

What Can Cause a Vehicle Battery to Fail?

What Can Cause a Vehicle Battery to Fail?

A vehicle battery is one of many important components a car or truck cannot go without. When a vehicle battery is bad, it can put drivers in a stressful situation. Let’s take a look at some of the common things that can cause failures.

The Weather – Vehicle Battery Killer

What Can Cause a Vehicle Battery to Fail?


Cold weather is known as the number one battery killer. When temperatures start to dip, a vehicle battery naturally starts to weaken. If there aren’t enough cold cranking amps available, your vehicle will struggle to start. This is especially true on an extremely frigid morning.

While keeping your car in a warm garage will help to prevent trouble, not everyone has this luxury. The best approach is to have your battery tested before Old Man winter starts to set in. If the battery is on its last leg, don’t hesitate to buy a replacement.

Hot conditions also contribute to premature battery failure. Elevated temperatures can evaporate the battery’s vital fluids, thus leading to a weak charge. This is referred to as heat deterioration. In the summer, try to keep your vehicle parked in a shady spot whenever possible.

Time – Car Batteries Unfortunately Do Not Live Forever

A vehicle battery is not designed to last forever. When there’s no juice left in the battery’s cells, even attempting to jumpstart the car will prove to be a wasted effort. After being manufactured, batteries are stamped with an expiration date. When your unit begins to approach this expiration date, it’s already on borrowed time.

Keep in mind that not all batteries are created the same. While cheap “economy” batteries often fail after a year or two, top-quality batteries can last for five years or more. If you plan to keep your vehicle on a long-term basis, always purchase the best battery that you can afford.

Poor Maintenance

Don’t fall for the hype of a “maintenance free” vehicle battery. Although modern batteries don’t require as much upkeep as before, they still need some care. Simple tasks, like periodically checking the tightness of the cables, can help prevent problems.

It’s even more important to keep an eye out for corrosion on the terminals, which typically has a green or bluish color. Because corrosion can cause a poor connection, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Brushing the terminals with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and vinegar is usually an effective solution.

Forgetting to Turn Off the Headlights and Other Electronics

Unfortunately, human errors can cause a vehicle battery to fail sooner than normal. Accidentally leaving the headlights on for long periods can completely drain a battery. Drivers are then left stranded in a parking lot.

If your vehicle is equipped with an amplified sound system, you must be careful about playing it while the vehicle is not running. Using car electronic equipment with your vehicle off causes your battery to expend a lot of energy. In the event that your battery suddenly weakens overnight, you could be dealing with an electrical short or an accessory that is not functioning properly. A mechanic will need to track down the issue.

Bad Alternator Will Not Charge Your Vehicle Battery – Therefore Killing It

When your alternator isn’t working properly, this forces a vehicle battery to power everything. It’s then only a matter of time before the battery ruins out of juice. If your headlights suddenly become dim while you’re driving at night, this is a telltale sign of a bad alternator. You may also notice a squealing sound coming from the part’s worn bearings.

The only option is to have a new alternator installed. In some instances, you may have to get a new battery as well.

Recommended Hybrid Service Tips For Eco-Friendly Driving

Hybrid Service Tips For Eco-Friendly Driving

Recommended Hybrid Service Tips For Eco-Friendly Driving

In recent years, concern about the rising cost of fuel is on many drivers minds. This is a key reason why hybrid vehicles have become so popular in Asheville. Tree huggers also appreciate these low-emissions vehicles. While modern hybrids are more reliable than ever, routine maintenance is crucial. Here are a few important hybrid service tips.

Hybrid Service Tips:

Change the Oil at the Recommended Interval with Hybrid Service Professionals

Because hybrid vehicles are engineered with electric motors, less stress is placed upon their combustion engines. This means less wear and tear in the long run. Nevertheless, hybrid service professionals still emphasize the importance of getting regular oil changes. To find out your hybrid’s recommended oil change interval, take a look inside the owner’s manual. The dealership can also provide this vital information.

If you neglect to change the oil when needed, the long-term durability of your vehicle will be compromised. As motor oil begins to degrade, it can no longer properly protect and lubricate the engine’s internal parts.

Also, be sure to always use the correct type of motor oil. Most hybrid powertrains are built to use a lower viscosity grade. Thicker oils can cause poor cold weather starting and reduced fuel economy.

Regularly Inspect the Braking System

Many of today’s newer hybrid cars and SUVs feature a regenerative braking system. When you come to a stop, the kinetic energy is used to replenish the car’s battery back. A side benefit is that less friction is created, which translates to longer life on brake pads. Many hybrid owners can travel more than 70,000 miles before needing new brake pads.

While your pads may last a lot longer, don’t overlook the importance of getting a regular inspection on the regenerative braking system. When bringing in your vehicle for hybrid service, the technicians will check for potential problems. Over time, the rubber seals and boots are especially prone to cracking. It’s important to get the issue fixed as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for your brakes to fail during an emergency.

Although there are some key advantages to a hybrid’s regenerative braking system, an enormous amount of heat is often produced. To prevent your brake fluid from boiling, the system must be able to effectively cool things down. As you probably know, driving with overheating brakes is a major safety hazard. The extreme temperatures can also cause your brake rotors to warp.

Properly Maintain the Hybrid Battery

Hybrid vehicles feature a large battery pack, which can last for more than 150,000 miles. While the advertisements for many hybrid batteries say they are “maintenance free”, don’t fall for this misconception. Hybrid service technicians advise owners to obtain a battery checkup every 12 months.

After surpassing 100,000 miles, it’s also a good idea to have a stress test performed on the battery. With the use of a special scan tool, mechanics can determine if the battery is maintaining optimum energy levels.

Although the battery itself may not require much servicing, there are some steps you can take to ensure a better performance. Hybrid batteries tend to perform worse in cold weather. When temperatures begin to drop below freezing during the winter, develop a habit of allowing your vehicle to warm up. Extremely hot weather also isn’t ideal. On summer days, park your hybrid in the shade whenever possible.

Cooling System Check

At least once a year, be sure to have your hybrid’s cooling system checked. Like a conventional gasoline vehicle, hybrids have radiator. If you fail to have the coolant regularly flushed out, it can leave behind sludge-like deposits. Over time, this can lead to your radiator prematurely rusting away.

Of course, the radiator hose also needs to be inspected for wear by a hybrid service center. If the radiator hose bursts or collapses while you’re on the road, engine overheating will likely occur. Replacing an old hose ahead of time will help you to avoid being on the side of a busy roadway.

Tire Care

When it comes to tire care, a hybrid service is no different from any other vehicle. Make it a point to maintain the proper air pressure. Not only does under inflation lead to a much shorter life expectancy for tires, but they also jeopardize your safety. Low pressure makes tires more prone to blowing out.

It’s never a good idea to drive on slick tires. Don’t allow the tread depth to drop below 2/32 of an inch. You can use the tried-and-true “penny test” to determine whether the tread depth is too low. Simply place Lincoln’s head upside down between two ribs on your tire. If the tire tread does not reach Lincoln’s head, begin shopping for a new set.

Another important aspect of tire care is getting a yearly wheel alignment. Running over potholes and driving too fast over speed bumps can easily knock your vehicle out of alignment. You will eventually start to notice uneven tire wear and sloppy handling.

Air Filter Replacement

When bringing in their vehicle for hybrid service, some drivers complain about a loss of performance. They may notice sluggish acceleration when leaving traffic lights and merging onto the freeway. This problem is often solved by installing a new air filter.

Most air filters are made to last for around 30,000 miles. Once the filter becomes saturated with dirt and dust, airflow to the engine will be restricted. This results in a marked drop in overall power.


Contact Cox Auto Service today for more information about hybrid service tips or to schedule an appointment.

Mercedes-Benz Vehicle

Keep Your Mercedes Benz Running Strong

Mercedes-BenzKeep Your Mercedes-Benz Running Strong

Mercedes-Benz is known for producing high-end luxury vehicles. While most models are quite durable, a lack of routine servicing can lead to reliability issues. Here’s how to keep your Mercedes-Benz performing at its best.

Change the Oil Regularly

If you want your Mercedes-Benz to last, always change your oil at the recommended intervals. Neglecting to do so can have some serious consequences. Accelerating engine wear is the biggest problem that occurs if one ignores maintenance intervals from the manufacturer. The latest models, built in the last 10 years, require an oil change every 10,000 miles.

The overwhelming majority of Mercedes-Benz vehicles need premium synthetic oil. In an effort to cut costs, some Asheville drivers opt to use conventional motor oil. Unfortunately, this mistake often ends up causing them more money in the long run. Conventional motor oil tends to break down far sooner, which means it must be changed more frequently.

Routine Tune-Ups

It’s typically recommended for Mercedes-Benz owners to have the spark plugs changed every 30,000 miles. When the spark plugs begin to deteriorate, you can expect to encounter a few noticeable performance issues. Rough idling and sluggish acceleration are two of the most common symptoms. Along with the loss of performance comes decreased fuel economy.

If you neglect to get a tune-up, even more problems can arise. Unburned fuel can escape into the catalytic converter, which ultimately leads to this part needing to be replaced. Keep in mind that the average cost of a new Mercedes-Benz catalytic converter is more than $1,000.

Have the Drive Belts Routinely Inspected

Drive belts are among the most critical components of a Mercedes-Benz. They are responsible for transferring power to essential parts, such as the water pump and alternator. If a worn drive belt suddenly snaps, you will likely be stranded on the side of the road. Your only option will be to call for a tow.

Most belts are rated to last for around 40,000. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to have your belts and pulleys inspected at every oil change. Large cracks and stretched rubber indicate the belt is on its last leg. Meanwhile, bad pulleys often begin to become noisy.

Maintain a Good Battery Connection

Contrary to common belief, there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free battery. In order for your Mercedes-Benz to run smoothly, the battery needs to remain in good condition. Mechanics recommend cleaning the battery posts and terminals at least twice a year. This helps prevent corrosion from building up. Remember, heavy corrosion can cause the same symptoms as a dead battery.

Modern automotive batteries have an expiration date. As your battery ages, it’s more likely to fail. Aside from making your vehicle harder to start, a weak battery can also cause intermittent electrical problems. Don’t wait to get a replacement.

Prevent Engine Overheating

It’s important to keep your Mercedes-Benz running at the optimum temperature. Engine overheating can be especially damaging. As soon as your temperature gauge starts to rise above normal levels, pull over immediately. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Engine overheating can be caused by a wide range of different things. While you could be dealing with a failed radiator fan or bad water pump, the root of the problem is more likely a low level of coolant. There’s a leak somewhere in the system.

Top up the coolant until you can have the problem professionally repaired. Never refill the coolant reservoir with regular tap water. This can cause major rust issues. The best mixture is 50/50 concentrated antifreeze with distilled water.

Change the Air Filter

An air filter is a simple component. Its sole purpose to prevent dust and debris from getting inside the engine. When the air filter becomes dirty, your Mercedes-Benz won’t feel nearly as powerful when accelerating.

A good rule of thumb is to install a new air filter every 30,000 miles. However, models equipped with a turbocharger may need to have this service performed more often.


Car Running Poorly? Signs It’s Overdue for a Tune-Up

Car Running Poorly? Seven Signs It’s Overdue for a Tune Up

Most car manufacturers suggest getting a tune-up every 40,000 to 120,000 miles. This important service involves changing the spark plugs and installing new ignition wires. Here are seven signs that your vehicle is overdue for a tune-up.

Bad Gas Mileage

Tune-UpIf your vehicle’s fuel economy has started to dip, it may need a tune-up. When the spark plugs begin to wear out, the engine will have trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Gas mileage can plummet by up to 30 percent. Changing out the old spark plugs can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is especially true for drivers who commute on an everyday basis.

Slow Acceleration

Slow acceleration is a definite red flag. When driving with bad spark plugs or worn ignition wires, it can feel as if your vehicle is pulling a heavy load. Expect to notice a major decrease in passing power. You’ll have trouble merging onto the freeway, which can be a safety hazard. After getting a tune-up, performance should improve dramatically. Keep in mind that a clogged air filter can also cause sluggish acceleration, so first check the condition of this part before taking further action.

Check Engine Light May Require a Tune Up

Be on the lookout for a check engine light. This could be a warning sign that you need a tune-up. If your car’s onboard computer detects multiple misfires, it will trigger the check engine light to turn on. To be on the safe side, bring in your vehicle to the shop. With the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, the technicians can track down the specific source of the problem.

Hard Starts

When their vehicle is hard to start, many car owners immediately begin to fear a dead battery. However, bad spark plugs can also cause your vehicle to not crank. Over time, the electrodes on a spark plug gradually start to wear out. A weak spark will be produced. This means your plugs can no longer send an electrical current to the engine’s combustion chamber. A tune-up may prove to be the recommended solution.

Rough Idling May Require A Tune Up

A well-maintained vehicle should run smoothly with no hiccups. If your vehicle starts to experience rough idling, one or more of the spark plugs may have gone bad. Expect the engine to be vibrating far more than normal.

Arcing Ignition Wires

Ignition wires, which are also referred to as spark plug wires, often arc when they become defective. At night, pop the hood while the engine is running. In the event you see any sparks coming from the wires, this indicates that the insulation over the wires has broken down.

Raw Fuel Smell May Require A Tune Up

A lingering smell of raw fuel should quickly catch your attention. This could stem from incomplete combustion. If the spark plugs are determined to be bad, don’t wait to get a tune-up. You don’t want any unburned fuel to escape into the exhaust system. The vehicle’s catalytic converter can become damaged, which is often expensive to replace.

Car overheating

What Can Cause Engine Overheating?

Engine overheating is among the most serious car problems encountered by drivers in North Carolina. When your temperature gauge begins to approach the danger zone, it’s important to pull over as soon as possible. Not only can overheating leave you stranded, but the potential engine damage can be expensive to repair.

Car overheating

Here Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Overheating.

Leaks in the Cooling System

Leaks are by far the top reason for engine overheating. When the coolant level becomes too low, temperatures will quickly start to rise. This is why you should have your cooling system professionally inspected every year. Simply adding more coolant is only a temporary fix.

Parts prone to leaking coolant include the thermostat housing, hoses, heater core, and plastic reservoir. If a head gasket begins to leak, you have an even bigger problem on your hands. Aside from inducing engine overheating, a bad head gasket can also cause a major loss of power.

Bad Thermostat

A thermostat is a simple valve in your cooling system. However, it holds a big responsibility. The thermostat’s job is to help the engine to maintain the correct temperature.

If the thermostat fails in a closed position, the coolant will no longer be able to pass through the radiator. Engine overheating can occur quickly, especially on a hot summer day. The good news is that new thermostats are not expensive.

A Busted Hose Can Cause Overheating

It’s important for worn-out coolant hoses to be replaced in a timely manner. A burst hose will cause coolant to literally gush out of the engine. You’ll also notice steam pouring from underneath the hood.

To avoid overheating, check your coolant hoses from signs of wear and tear. Cracks and bulges in the hose are definite red flags. A soft hose also needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Water Pump

A properly functioning water pump barely makes a sound. If you start to hear a whining noise coming from the water pump, immediately bring in your vehicle for service. You may also notice coolant leaking from the part’s weep hole. At this point, the water pump is on borrowed time.

When a water pump fails, it can no longer propel coolant throughout the cooling system. Overheating is bound to occur at some point. The bright side is that you can expect a new water pump to last for 100,000 miles or more.

Overheating From a Bad Radiator Fan

A radiator fan, which enhances cooling by pulling air across the radiator, is an essential component. It’s designed to automatically kick on at a certain engine temperature. If the radiator fan isn’t working, overheating becomes a real possibility.

In some instances, the problem can be traced to a blown fuse. It only takes a few minutes to swap out an old fuse for a new one. You also can’t rule out a worn fan motor as the culprit. On the other hand, your fan may be in perfect working condition. A faulty temperature sensor may not be signaling the fan to turn on. Cleaning the sensor may fix the problem.

mildew smell from auto ac

Car AC Repair in Asheville, NC

Asheville’s four seasons are undoubtedly one of the benefits of living in this area. But North Carolina summers can be hot, especially if your car’s air conditioning fails. This is why many area residents trust Cox Auto Service on Druid Drive for their car AC repair.

Your car’s air conditioning system contains many working parts. These include a compressor, expansion valve, and two heat exchangers. The system also requires refrigerant fluid. Failure of any of these parts can lead to cooling problems. Below are some of the most common reasons why people need trusted car AC repair.

No Cold Air Flows from the AC

A refrigerant leak often causes the cold air to stop flowing from a car air conditioner. Without this important fluid in its system, the AC components stop working and you need car AC repair. A leak can occur for many reasons. The most common cause is a hole in one of the AC’s main parts, such as:

  • Hoses
  • Connections
  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Evaporator

To fix this problem, your trusted mechanic at Cox Auto Service adds a fluorescent leak tracer dye and refrigerant to your AC system. While the air conditioner runs, they use a blacklight to find the leak, then repair, evacuate and recharge your AC.

Air Does Not Flow through the Vents

Several component problems can cause air to stop flowing through your car’s vents. This type of car AC repair requires the skill of a knowledgeable technician, starting with diagnostics. Parts checked for this repair include:

  • Fuses and relays
  • Blower motor and blower resistor
  • Air intake vents
  • Belts and hoses

The technician typically starts repairing the AC with this problem by replacing fuses and the relay. From there, they can eliminate this quick repair issue if the air still does not flow as it should. Bigger problems generally require repair or replacement of non-working parts.

The AC Does Not Cool Enough

Low refrigerant causes air conditioning to get cool, but not cold enough. Other reasons for only slightly cool air from your AC can include a blocked or failed condenser or a failed clutch switch. To solve your car’s problem, the technician tests these components. He or she looks for damage, blockages in the system or part failure before starting your car AC repair.

A Mildew Odor from the AC

Car AC Repair

If you smell the noxious odor of mildew coming from your AC, you have bacteria growing in your system. Older vehicles and those where the AC is rarely used generally have this problem. It can also happen in vehicles frequently set for maximum cooling since excess moisture builds up in the unit during operation at this level.

For this car AC repair, you need the air filter replaced. This can fix the problem. If it does not, the technician must add an anti-bacterial fluid that clears contaminants and kills mold in the system.

The AC Makes Noise

If you turn on your car’s AC and hear odd noises like banging or rattling, this signals a problem. Sometimes the issue is simple, like leaves or other debris blocking the unit. But you may have a bigger issue, such as a worn-out bearing that grinds or squeals or a failed compressor clutch that rattles.

This car AC repair starts with inspection by a trusted technician. During this inspection, the auto mechanic can find which component is failing to replace it.

Water Dripping Onto Your Floorboards

Water dripping on your car’s floorboards from the AC generally means a chain of problems. These start with build-up of bacteria on the evaporator coil in the AC heater box under the dashboard. This bacteria combines with condensation and creates a slimy film that accumulates on the AC fins. Over time, the film clogs the drain line and causes water from condensation to drip onto your vehicle’s floor.

For repair of this problem, the technician first determines what is clogging the drain line and why. He or she then repairs or replaces the hose to fix your AC and get you back on the road in cool comfort.

AC Switching from Cold to Hot

When you turn on your AC, the last thing you expect is for it to blow hot air. This sometimes happens with a failed expansion valve. The expansion valve must properly dispense refrigerant to the evaporator for proper AC cooling. A blocked valve prevents this and can freeze from resulting moisture.

For this car AC repair, your auto technician tests the system’s pressure. He or she also inspects parts for malfunctions or blockages for proper diagnosis. If your car needs repair or replacement of these parts, they fulfill those needs.

Asheville’s Best Car AC Repair

Do you have problems with your car’s air conditioning? There is no reason to suffer in the summer heat of North Carolina. Simply call Cox Auto Service at 828-254-8661 to schedule your car AC repair or other services.

Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

With COVID-19 hitting the economy so hard, some Asheville drivers are a bit hesitant to buy a brand-new car. Opting to purchase a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. However, you need to avoid buying a lemon. When shopping for a secondhand vehicle, auto repair shops warn you to watch out for these five red flags.

Discolored Motor Oil

Before even taking a test drive, auto repair shops advise used car shoppers to pull the oil dipstick. The color of the motor oil can reveal a lot about the vehicle. While it’s perfectly normal for motor oil to have a dark brown color, a black appearance indicates big trouble. The owner clearly didn’t make routine maintenance a big priority.

Milky motor oil is even more alarming. This is a result of antifreeze from the cooling system mixing with the oil. There’s a good chance that a blown gasket is the culprit.


Far too many people fail to notice smoke coming from a used car’s tailpipe. You can prevent a major headache by having an auto repair shop inspect the vehicle beforehand. Bluish smoke is especially common, which stems from oil leaking into the exhaust manifold. On the other hand, black smoke is caused by a fuel problem.

White smoke is the worst of all. It’s only a matter of time before the vehicle needs to be towed. A damaged cylinder head could be the culprit, thus requiring a complete engine rebuild.

Worn Timing Belt

Some used vehicles are designed with a rubber timing belt. This belt’s job is to keep the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft turning at the same time. If the timing belt suddenly breaks, catastrophic engine damage may occur.

The bad news is that many car shoppers have no knowledge of a vehicle’s timing belt. This is yet another reason why a pre-purchase inspection is so critical. An auto repair shop can give you a rough estimate of the timing belt’s life expectancy.

Bad Wheel Alignment

Never buy a used car that has a bad wheel alignment. Aside from causing premature tire wear, a bad wheel alignment could indicate a previous accident. A bent frame can be extremely difficult to straighten. Because the damage is underneath the vehicle, it’s easy to go unnoticed.

If the vehicle tends to veer to one side, this is a surefire sign of a bad wheel alignment. An uneven steering wheel also points to an obvious problem.

Engine Runs Rough

Ideally, an engine should run smoothly with no hiccups. When test driving a pre-owned vehicle, take note of rough idling. It’ll definitely need to be examined by an auto repair shop.

Rough idling is often caused by old spark plugs. As the electrodes start to wear down, the spark plugs can no longer fire properly. A vacuum leak can also cause the engine to run rough. Although the parts to fix a vacuum leak usually aren’t expensive, tracking down the leak can be difficult for the average backyard mechanic.


Contact Cox Auto Service Auto Repair Shop

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.

Cox Auto Service