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 every

one 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

Recommended 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

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 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.

Mercedes-Benz

Keep Your Mercedes-Benz Running Strong

Mercedes-BenzMercedes-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.

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.

Smoke

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.

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

This is a great time to be a car enthusiast. Several exciting new vehicles of 2020 have emerged. Here’s a look at the five coolest vehicles of the year.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette

For good reason, the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has triggered a great deal of excitement. Chevy has taken this American sports car’s performance capabilities to the next level. Its redesigned LT1 V8 engine cranks out a thrilling 495 horsepower. Even the entry-level trim is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in a blistering 3.1 seconds. Because the new Corvette’s engine is now positioned behind the passenger area, it has a near-perfect weight balance. Handling is better than ever.

Many people are drawn to the new Corvette’s drop-dead gorgeous styling. It has an exotic look that instantly turns heads. Meanwhile, a more luxurious interior makes the Corvette an even better car for long-distance traveling. For these reasons the latest Chevy Corvette is #1 on our top five new vehicles of 2020.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

#2 on our top five new vehicles of 2020, without a doubt the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This is the most powerful Mustang to ever come from the factory! The all-new 2020 Shelby GT500 comes ready to hit the track.

Under the hood sits a supercharged V8 engine, which cranks out a jaw-dropping 760 horsepower! Although you can’t get the Mustang Shelby GT500 with a manual transmission, its seven-speed automatic is remarkably quick and precise. When accelerating from a stop, you can hit 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds.

While the new Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beastly performance machine, it’s still comfortable enough to drive on a daily basis. Plenty of premium amenities are available, including heated and cooled seats.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator is the ultimate pickup truck for serious adventure-seekers, earning this Jeep seat #3 on our top five new vehicles of 2020. Although the all-new Gladiator is based on the popular Jeep Wrangler SUV, a versatile bed and higher towing capacity help set it apart. Motivating the Gladiator is a Pentastar V6 engine with 285 horsepower. Every trim also comes standard with a capable 4WD system and rugged skid plates.

Asheville drivers will love the Gladiator’s removable roof. Life in the summer will be especially fun. A spacious backseat and active safety technologies also make this trail-ready pickup truck a more than worthy family vehicle. Of course, everyone on the street will notice the Gladiator’s iconic Jeep styling.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Folks in the market for a new midsize sedan should take a serious look at the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, sitting at #4 of our top five new vehicles of 2020. Its sleek exterior styling makes a bold statement. A gaping front grille and cool LED headlights help this car to truly stand out.

Hyundai also engineered the Sonata to offer a more pleasing driving experience. A wider stance and sportier suspension tuning enable the sedan to take curves like never before. Drivers also enjoy the responsiveness of the new turbocharged engine, which kicks out competitive 180 horsepower. There’s a lot of new technology available for the Sonata. While a Blind-Spot View Monitor makes lane changes safer, Remote Smart Parking Assist enables the Sonata to park itself without you even being behind the wheel.

2020 Nissan Sentra

Many automotive reviewers are touting the 2020 Nissan Sentra as the best compact sedan on the market. And we agree! That’s why this stylish & efficient sedan slid straight into seat #5 on our top five new vehicles of 2020 list. Its upscale appearance will win over a lot of people. Many of the Sentra’s styling cues were taken directly from the latest Nissan Altima. Larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a contrasting black roof give the SR trim an extra wow factor.

Although the Sentra isn’t a sports car, it does benefit from much-improved handling. Furthermore, every trim now comes standard with an advanced safety package.

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020
Photo Courtesy of Nissan USA
Automatic Transmission - Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Automatic Transmission – Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Automatic Transmission - Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Some car parts, such as brake pads and filters, need to be replaced every so often. Meanwhile, other components can last for the life of the vehicle when properly maintained. No driver wants to have to replace things like their vehicle engine or automatic transmission as these major auto repair components always come hefty price tags. Additionally, catalytic convertors, fuel pump & filter, & also replacing a car or truck battery are infrequent maintenance needs that can surface.

Here’s how to protect your vehicle’s most expensive parts from premature wear and tear.

Engine

To prevent costly engine repair, take the necessary steps to protect your vehicle’s most expensive part. It’s especially important to get an oil change at the recommended interval. This routine service can extend the life of your engine by thousands of miles.

It’s just as critical to keep the engine cool. Overheating can cause an extensive amount of damage, including a blown head gasket and warped cylinders. If you happen to notice your temperature gauge approaching the danger zone, pull over as soon as possible. Some of the common causes of an overheated engine include coolant leaks, malfunctioning radiator fans, and a bad water pump.

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions have become more sophisticated than ever. Because transmission repair can be so expensive, you must make maintenance a top priority. The transmission fluid will eventually need to be changed. Over time, heat and dirt cause this critical fluid to break down.

Another way to help preserve your auto transmission is to allow it to properly warm up, especially on cold days. When leaving home, simply drive gently for the first few miles. Far less stress will be placed upon the various moving parts. Contrary to popular belief, modern vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to idle for long periods of time. This is not an effective way to warm up the engine and automatic transmission. After allowing the engine to idle for about a minute or so, it’s safe to hit the road.

Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is part of your vehicle’s emission system. It’s specially designed to limit the amount of pollution emitting from the exhaust. The cost to replace a damaged catalytic converter can be up to $1,500 on some vehicles.

In Asheville, a malfunctioning catalytic converter will result in a failed NC state inspection. In many instances, poor maintenance is the primary cause of a catalytic converter going bad. It’s important to repair oil leaks. When oil drips into the catalytic converter, it’s only a matter of time before you experience trouble. You also shouldn’t wait to replace worn spark plugs, which can cause unburned fuel to enter the exhaust.

Fuel Pump

It’s easy to forget about your vehicle’s fuel pump. This component quietly does its job without making a fuss. When your fuel pump starts to become noisy, expect the worse.

You must remember to have the fuel filter replaced every 40,000 – 80,000 miles. A dirty fuel filter will put extra pressure on the pump, thus shortening its life. Never make the mistake of driving on a near-empty tank of gas. This could cause your fuel to severely overheat.

Hybrid Battery

Some of today’s vehicles feature a hybrid battery. On average, you can expect a hybrid battery to last for at least 100,000 miles. However, there are ways to get even more life out of a hybrid battery.

According to experts, drivers should coast when traveling down hills and coming to a stop. A hybrid vehicle uses kinetic energy to replenish the battery. Also, try to park in the shade whenever possible. Extreme heat will ultimately shorten the battery’s life expectancy.

In conclusion, all cars & truck require minimal amounts of regular maintenance. Maintaining the proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle may seem small & insignificant, but in fact, it is HUGE. Always follow the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. Regular oil changes will likely minimize the chances that  you will need to replace your automatic transmission & in some cases even vehicle engines! Maintaining a clean & working auto fuel filter may extend the life of your fuel pump as well as potentially prevent the need for a new catalytic converter on down the road.

 

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

As a car owner, you need to take care of your ride. Not only will your vehicle last longer, but it’ll also provide a safer driving experience. Here’s a look at six of the biggest car care mistakes to avoid.

1. Driving On “E”

Whether you’re short on cash or simply don’t feel like stopping by the gas station, it’s never a good idea to drive on a near-empty tank. This is among the most costly car care mistakes. A low level of gas can cause your vehicle’s fuel pump to overheat, thus making it more prone to failing. This is why you should always keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle.

2. Using the Wrong Motor Oil

Most drivers recognize the importance of getting regular oil changes. However, it’s just as critical to use the recommended type of motor oil. If you use the wrong motor oil grade, you could experience a loss of fuel economy or decreased performance. Even worse, the wrong grade may not provide an adequate level of protection. The extra wear and tear could noticeably decrease engine life.

3. Buying Inferior Brake Pads

In an attempt to save a few bucks, some drivers choose to use the cheapest parts available. Installing cheap brake pads is a big car care mistake. During heavy braking, low-quality pads are far more prone to fading. This means you’ll experience diminished stopping power. Cheap brake pads can also lead to warped rotors, which is yet another safety hazard. For your own personal security, spend the extra money on quality brake pads.

4. Failing to get a Wheel Alignment

Most automakers suggest car owners getting a wheel alignment once a year. Unfortunately, many drivers tend to neglect this important maintenance item. Failing to get a wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear down much sooner than expected. When your wheels aren’t properly aligned, your vehicle also won’t handle as well. If your vehicle is difficult to keep in a straight line, this is a tell-tale sign that a wheel alignment is needed.

5. Hiring a Backyard Mechanic

Think twice before taking your vehicle to a backyard mechanic. This could prove to be one of your most regrettable car care mistakes. Although these amateur handymen may offer you a great deal, the best approach is to take your vehicle to a certified automotive professional.

If a backyard mechanic makes a mistake, you stand to lose thousands of dollars. Some of today’s modern cars are engineered with sophisticated technologies, which makes them more complicated to work on. The average do-it-yourselfer doesn’t have the knowledge or equipment that it takes to perform certain repairs.

6. Ignoring Issues

When encountering potential car problems, always get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. Taking action could prevent you from becoming stranded on the side of the road. In most instances, car issues gradually become worse over time. This means you’ll likely end up spending even more money on repairs. Strange noises, check engine lights, and funny smells should all catch your attention.

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