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:

  • Toyota
  • Mercedes Benz
  • BMW
  • Nissan
  • Subaru
  • Chevrolet
  • GMC
  • Ford
  • Cadillac
  • Pontiac
  • Jeep
  • Saturn
  • Dodge
  • Oldsmobile
  • Chrysler

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!

Headlight Bulbs

Reviewing the Main Types of Headlight Bulbs

Main Types of Headlight Bulbs

Whether you’re traveling at night or driving through a rainstorm, it’s essential to have working headlights. They are a fundamental safety requirement. Today, car manufacturers offer three main types of headlight bulbs. Laser light technology is another alternative for folks who desire a high-end luxury vehicle. There are pros and cons to each option.

Halogen Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulbs are currently the oldest on the market. Nevertheless, they are still highly functional. The average cost of replacing these bulbs is around $15 to $30, thus making them your most affordable option. Furthermore, installation tends to be straightforward.

There are some downsides to halogen bulbs. For starters, energy consumption is higher. This means greater stress can be placed upon the vehicle’s electrical system. Although halogen bulbs are the least bright of the bunch, most drivers will have no complaints.

LED Bulbs
Over the last few years, LED headlight bulbs have become more popular than ever. They produce an impressive amount of light while delivering a more efficient performance. Because LED bulbs can be arranged to fit tight spaces, automakers have the ability to create sleeker and more innovative headlight designs.

As expected, LED bulbs are more expensive. This is an important factor for drivers who’re looking to keep their vehicle’s cost of maintenance as low as possible. The good news is that these bulbs typically have a long lifespan.

HID (High-Intensity Discharge Bulbs)
Many premium luxury models come standard with HID headlight bulbs. Some aftermarket companies also produce HID kits for vehicles. Xenon gas helps give these bulbs a distinct white/blue tinge, which can be remarkably bright. Drivers will appreciate the enhanced visibility when traveling on a dark street.

One of the drawbacks to HID bulbs is their price. Owners may have to spend more than $200 for a new set. Light output gradually decreases over time, thus indicating the need for replacement. Expect an average lifespan of around three years. Another issue is that the brightness of HID headlights can blind oncoming traffic.

Laser Technology
Laser headlights don’t feature bulbs. They work by creating a chemical reaction, which causes the phosphorus gas on the inside to glow. An extremely strong light beam is produced. To no surprise, laser headlights are limited to select high-end vehicles.

To keep these advanced lights cool, a sophisticated built-in cooling system is needed. Replacing a failed laser headlight assembly will be a big cost. If the vehicle’s factory warranty has expired, owners may have to spend thousands of dollars. Furthermore, laser lighting technology is only available for the high beams.

Tips to Keep in Mind
When one of your headlight bulbs burns out, expect the other one to be on borrowed time. The best approach is to replace both at once.

If your headlight covers become cloudy, try to have them professionally restored as soon as possible. Not only are cloudy headlight covers an eyesore, but they also reduce visibility at night. Remember, not all bulbs are simple to replace. Instead of taking on the complicated chore, take your vehicle to a certified Asheville mechanic.

exhaust

What Causes Smoke to Come Out of the Exhaust?

Smoke is usually a major red flag. There’s an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Here are some of the common issues that can cause smoke to come from your exhaust.

 

Blue Exhaust Smoke

Blue smoke coming from the exhaust typically indicates burning oil. There’s a good chance motor oil has started to leak into the engine’s combustion chamber. The valve guide’s seals or piston rings may have worn out. You can continue to drive your vehicle until the necessary repairs are made. However, schedule an appointment with an Asheville mechanic as soon as possible.

There are quite a few issues that can stem from oil leaking into the combustion chamber. For starters, the vehicle’s rate of oil consumption will increase. This means you’ll need to check the oil level more often. The last thing you want is for the engine to seize up due to a lack of oil.

When dealing with an oil leak, other parts can become damaged. Once the spark plugs become contaminated, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to corrode. You should also be concerned about the exhaust system’s catalytic converter being damaged, which can be an expensive part to replace.

Although stop-leak products are available at your local auto parts store, stay far away from them. Not only are these additives ineffective, but they can also cause long-term damage to the engine. The only legitimate solution is to have your vehicle professionally repaired by a mechanic.

 

Black Exhaust Smoke

Black smoke coming from your exhaust should be just as concerning. It usually indicates that the engine is having trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Just a few of the potential culprits include a stuck EGR valve, a worn oxygen sensor, a clogged fuel injector, and a bad fuel pressure regulator.

Don’t wait to have the vehicle inspected by an auto repair shop. When the air-fuel ratio is incorrect, your gas mileage can decrease dramatically. Of course, performance is also likely to take a big hit. Don’t be surprised if your car feels sluggish when accelerating.

 

White Exhaust Smoke

Upon starting your vehicle on a cool morning, it’s perfectly normal to notice wispy smoke coming from the exhaust. It’s simply a result of condensation being vented while the engine is running. If you notice thicker white smoke along with the sweet smell of coolant, you could be dealing with a serious issue.

A blown head gasket can certainly cause heavy white smoke to be produced. While a lot of smoke may not be present while the vehicle is idling, it will be more obvious when you begin to accelerate. This is an issue that requires immediate attention. Continuing to drive with a blown head gasket makes engine damage more likely to occur.

Replacing a cracked head gasket is a big repair. The best approach is to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place. It’s especially important to keep the engine running at an ideal temperature. When overheating occurs, the increased thermal pressure naturally puts more strain on the head gasket.

Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

We are an ASE-certified auto repair shop specializing in both minor and major repairs and services. Our wide range of services includes check engine light diagnosis, engine and transmission rebuilds, emissions repairs, NC State Inspections, oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups and much more! Our experienced technicians offer quality and reliable auto care services that you can count on. Rely on our certified technicians to get you back on the road in no time.

Auto Cooling System

Six Parts of an Auto Cooling System That Can Wear Out

Six Parts of an Auto Cooling System That Can Wear Out

An auto cooling system is one of the most important features on a vehicle. It helps the engine to maintain the proper temperature throughout the year. Here are six parts of an auto cooling system that can wear out.

1. Coolant Reservoir Cap
Most modem vehicles are designed with a coolant reservoir cap, which must be removed when adding antifreeze to the system. Although this part may look simple, it serves a very important function. The coolant reservoir cap actually helps your auto cooling system to maintain a constant pressure. If this cap fails to properly tighten, overheating is more likely to occur.

Most automakers recommend replacing the coolant reservoir cap every 60,000 miles. When it goes bad, the coolant reservoir tank may start to overflow. While the cap may appear to be in good condition at first glance, there’s a good chance its inner seal has worn out.

2. Radiator Hoses
Ideally, you should have your vehicle’s radiator hoses inspected at least every six months. Although radiator hoses may still look good on the outside, they typically begin to degrade from the inside out. Fine cracks in the rubber will slowly start to develop. If the hose has already developed a swollen appearance, it’s definitely on borrowed time.

Replacement of the radiator hoses is an important aspect of auto cooling system maintenance. The last thing you want is for a hose to suddenly burst while you’re driving. While some splits can be temporarily sealed using emergency tape, this method doesn’t always work.

3. Coolant
Coolant, also referred to as antifreeze, isn’t meant to last for the life of a vehicle. While some formulas are rated to last for 30,000 miles, others have a life expectancy of 100,000 miles. Neglecting to have the antifreeze flushed out at the recommended interval can cause big trouble.

Coolant contains rust inhibitors, which gradually deplete over time. This means old antifreeze makes rust more likely to develop inside your auto cooling system. Various parts of the system will be more prone to experiencing premature failure, including the radiator.

4. Radiator
The radiator is the heart of an auto cooling system. While a radiator can last for the life of a vehicle when properly maintained, this isn’t always the case. In the past, these components had more durable copper cores. To cut costs and improve thermal efficiency, many manufacturers now use aluminum cores with plastic headers. The downside is that the radiator may not last as long.

Every two years, it’s a good idea to have your radiator pressure tested. This will enable a mechanic to track down any leaks. Even a tiny pinhole can cause you to lose antifreeze.

5. Thermostat
A thermostat is another key component in your auto cooling system. This small valve is designed to open and close based on the engine’s temperature. If the thermostat fails in the open position, your vehicle will have trouble reaching the proper operating temperature during the winter. On the other hand, a thermostat that fails in the closed position can cause overheating.

In most instances, a bad thermostat will set a trouble code. There’s a good probability your check engine light will turn on at some point. Luckily, new thermostats are typically inexpensive.

6. Water Pump
A water pump is responsible for circulating antifreeze throughout an auto cooling system. When the water pump gives out, you can expect engine temperatures to rise immediately. If you’re on the road at the time, the only option will be to call for a tow.

Water pumps often give warning signs before completely failing. They are designed with a weep hole, which leaks out a small amount of coolant when the pump’s seals are about to go bad. You may also notice a low grinding noise, thus indicating the internal bearings have worn out. Remember, this isn’t an issue that you can wait to get fixed. Promptly schedule your vehicle to be serviced at an Asheville repair shop.

BMW

Common Problems BMW Owners Tend to Encounter

Five Common Problems BMW Owners Tend to Encounter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

Toyota Tacoma

Taking Your Toyota Tacoma Off-Road

Taking Your Toyota Tacoma Off-Road for the First Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

overheating

Tips to Help Prevent Your Engine from Overheating

Here’s how to help prevent your engine from overheating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

pontiac

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

What to Know When Buying a Fourth-Generation Pontiac Firebird

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

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

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

WS6 Package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

car won't start

Common Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

5 Common Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Cox Auto Service in Asheville, NC we cover the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own. If you are experiencing any of the warning signs above contact us, and we will be glad to be of service.

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