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Spark Plugs – How Often Should They Be Replaced?

April 27th, 2017

In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.

But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?

Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Things To Look For When Buying a Used Car

September 15th, 2016
Buying a used car is somewhat less of a crapshoot than it was at one time. You can get detailed information on a vehicle's history via the CARFAX report, and a Car buying tips in TNtechnician can use onboard diagnostics to get a good picture of what's going on under the hood and what problems might be coming up. 
 
It's always a good idea to get a mechanic to look over any prospective purchase, but there are things you can get a look at yourself before you spend the money for a professional inspection. These are things which will give you a pretty good idea of the kind of use and maintenance a vehicle has seen before you got it. 
 
-- Put your head against a fender and sight down the side of the vehicle with one eye. ...[more]
  Tags: auto service, mechanic
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

What's Leaking From My Car?

July 14th, 2016
You go out to your car, start it up, pull out of your parking space and see a puddle of...something...where you were parked a moment ago. This is never a good Auto Repair in TNfeeling. What could it be? 
 
Fortunately, some automotive fluids are dyed different colors to make this a little easier to narrow down. 
 
Does it appear to be water? Were you recently running your A/C? Chances are that's just condensation from the A/C system, which drips out through a rubber tube and is perfectly normal. No worries there. 
 
For years, antifreeze was dyed a bright green to make it easy to identify. Today, other antifreeze formulations can be colored pink or orange, but it's still not hard to figure ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

A/C Problems Demystified

June 30th, 2016

Believe it or not, the A/C system in your vehicle is fairly simple in principle and design. Like your refrigerator, it operates on a cycle of compression and expansion of a gas, known as refrigerant. The compressor turns the gas into a liquid, and as the gas evaporates it provides cooling. Like your refrigerator, its main components are: 
 
  • Compressor
  • Condenser 
  • Receiver/dryer
  • Thermostatic expansion valve
  • Evaporator
  • Refrigerant
  • Blower 
The good news is most automotive A/C systems have become very robust and reliable compared to cars from a generation ago. Most of the time, poor performance is due to low refrigerant levels due to le ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Common sense tips to lengthen your car's life

May 13th, 2016

Auto Repair Tips & TricksWe all hope our vehicles will last a long time, right? And we all hope to avoid having to pay costly repairs to keep our cars running longer, too. By following some simple, common-sense tips to maintain your car, you can lengthen its life without digging too deeply into your wallet.

Perform regular upkeep and maintenance.One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to ensure your vehicle stays on the road for years to come is to vigilantly pursue its upkeep and maintenance schedule. All vehicles require periodic work, such as oil and air filter changes, radiator flushing, hose and belt replacement and tire rotation. It isn’t flashy, but just following the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual will keep your car running lo ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair, Tips & Tricks

The Holidays Are Coming – Is Your Vehicle Ready?

December 21st, 2015
Where did this year go? Before you know it, it’s going to be time for the holidays, and that can mean travel in some pretty trying conditions (and we don’t just mean restless kids in the back seat). Is your vehicle ready for some interstate miles?

Winter Auto Repair Checklist TN & VA

 
Tires: It’s a good idea to have your tires rotated every 5,000-7,000 miles to ensure even wear. With that in mind, it’s easy to just schedule a tire rotation with every oil change, since the vehicle will be up in the air on a lube rack anyway. Have you checked your inflation lately? Your ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair

Why Schedule Regular Oil Changes For Your Vehicle?

August 4th, 2015
Oil Changes in TN & VAMany vehicle owners do not take the time to schedule regular oil changes. Regular oil changes are vital to the life of your engine and can extend its performance for years. This is one of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to keep engine protected. Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000-6,000 miles, depending on your vehicle use and the type of oil you are using. 
 
Oil Changes are essential to:
  • Lubricate engine to reduce wear and friction
  • Reduce engine temperatures
  • Maintaining proper engine function
With regular oil changes your engine will be protected a ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair

Five questions to ask at your auto shop

June 30th, 2015

Auto Repair Shop TN & VAAs a person on the go, you want to minimize miscommunications that may slow you down and throw off your schedule. So when you take your car in for repairs, you want to make sure everything is clear between you and your technician. Your auto repair shop is likely a busy place on a tight schedule, too, and the folks there are just as interested in getting things right the first time.

Making sure you get pertinent questions answered up front is a great way to avoid misunderstandings later. To be certain you and your mechanic are on the same page, here are some important questions to answer from the get-go.

1. Ask if they are familiar with the make and model of your vehicle.Most repair shops are experienced with all ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair, Auto Repair 101

Have your car’s air conditioner serviced before you really need it!

April 30th, 2015

Auto A/C Repair TN & VALast week, we enjoyed some cool spring weather. But now, Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer – has come and gone, which means hot weather is just around the corner. And on that first real scorcher of a summer day, the last thing you want to find out is that your car’s air conditioner has stopped working after a long winter’s layoff.

And even if your AC works the first time you need it this summer, that’s no guarantee it will be operating at its peak by summer’s end. Air conditioning systems lose between 5 to 15 percent of their efficiency each year because of leaks in the lines, hoses, O-rings, and the compressor shaft’s seal, all of which dry out over time. (Helpful hint: Periodi ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair, Auto Repair 101

There’s no suspense about suspension systems’ importance

August 16th, 2014

Suspension Repair TN & VAA suspension system keeps your vehicle from rocking, swaying or bouncing while allowing the steering system to guide the wheels independently of the vehicle’s frame. The suspension system also makes driving a pleasant and comfortable experience, instead of a scary and painful undertaking, by helping ensure that your car doesn’t bounce off the road when it hits a bump.

When your tires run over a bump, much of your car’s forward energy is directed vertically, pushing it upward. But the suspension system absorbs and redirects that upward thrust, keeping the tires on the ground and responsive to your steering.

However, absorbing that energy takes a toll on the springs, struts, shock absorbers and joints that make u ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair, Auto Repair 101
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