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Category Archives: Automotive Repair and Maintenance

Can You Drive with Faulty Spark Plugs?

Can You Drive with Faulty Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs have been around since cars were first dreamed about. The first spark plugs were developed in the mid-1800s and while others had a hand in developing them, Robert Bosch was the one to perfect and patent the technology in 1901.          Today, if you drive a gasoline-powered or hybrid vehicle, your vehicle has spark plugs. So it's worth taking a few minutes to understand how they work. What are spark plugs? Spark plugs are a major component of your vehicle's ignition system. They create the electric spark needed to continuously ignite the fuel-air in the combustion chamber of your car. Every vehicle requires a specific spark plug. When your spark plugs are in good shape, they burn fuel efficiently. But like your motor oil, spark plugs also require routine maintenance and replacement. A faulty spark plug is one that has become dirty or has blistered and worn out from running too hot. Just one bad spark plug will a ... read more

5 Unusual Car Smells & What They May Mean

5 Unusual Car Smells & What They May Mean

We all don’t expect our vehicles to always smell like roses, but we don’t anticipate a nauseating smell either. If your car releases a strong odor, it can help you identify a potential problem. Unless you have a new air freshener, an unusual smell should be inspected to prevent dangerous mechanical problems and costly repairs. Below are five strange car smells to look out for and what they may mean.  Sweet Smell Coolant is usually lime green and smells very sweet smelling. If you notice a sweet smell inside your car cabin, there may be a coolant leak. In some cases, the coolant leak will be visible underneath the front of your vehicle. However, a coolant leak may not always be visible because it can take place beneath the dashboard. A sweet smell may seem nice but should be inspected by a professional.  Burning Smell  A burning smell may occur if the brake pads and rotors have overheated due to hard braking. If the burnin ... read more

Back to School Vehicle Maintenance

Back to School Vehicle Maintenance

We understand that this month's back to school season looks a little different than usual. Your children may be in smaller class sizes, may have to wear their mask at school, or might be learning from home virtually. Even though back to school looks different, this is still a great time of the year to catch up on your vehicle's maintenance and ensure that your car will be safe on the road.  The summer can actually take quite a toll on our vehicles, which is why a pre-fall inspection is so important. Getting your vehicle ready for the changing season and the increase in driving is critical so that you don't have to deal with any unexpected vehicle breakdowns or major repairs any time soon.  Here are the vehicle maintenance items to take care of now:  Tires - check that your tires have proper air pressure and are in condition, meaning that they have good tread and there is no obvious sign of wear and tear.   Oil change - be sure to have your oil chang ... read more

Why is There No Pressure in My Brake Pedal?

Why is There No Pressure in My Brake Pedal?

Stepping on your brakes to slow down your vehicle and finding a spongy brake pedal can be alarming. The brake pedal may feel like it doesn't offer the same pressure as it did before, which can raise some red flag when it comes to your brake's performance. If there's no pressure in your brakes, there's definitely a reason and the cause is typically due to brake fluid. Let's take a look at the potential causes and what to do next.  The brake system is hydraulic, which means that it uses brake fluid in order to create pressure which helps activate the brakes when you press down on the brake pedal. If there is air in the brake line or your brake fluid is suddenly low, then the system won't be able to work properly. If you're dealing with soft brakes, something is wrong with the brake fluid.  Typically, a problem with the brake lines is due to a leak somewhere in the system which is causing brake fluid loss or there is a bad seal in the master cylinde ... read more

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Why is My Vehicle Making Strange Noises?

Why is My Vehicle Making Strange Noises?

Is your car making strange noises while driving? When your vehicle is telling you something, its best not to ignore it. A strange noise can definitely be an indication that there is an issue with your vehicle, and understand what you hear and when it happens can help narrow down where the problem is stemming from.  If you do hear a strange noise, don’t ignore it! The best thing to do is to make a mental note of when the noise happens and what it sounds like. If the noise is persistent and doesn't go away, we recommend getting your vehicle into DRIVE AutoCare as soon as possible. The sooner we get the issue taken care of, the less repairs that will be needed and the better off your vehicle will be.  Here are some of the most common noises heard while driving:  Squealing, screeching, or grinding while braking Sputtering or rattling exhaust noises from underneath the car Chirping or squealing noise from under the hood Humming, growling or roaring noise while ... read more

Don't Ignore These Car Maintenance Items

Don't Ignore These Car Maintenance Items

Car maintenance is a key part of car ownership especially when it comes to both your safety on the road and the overall integrity of your vehicle. Whether or not you intend to resell your vehicle sometime in the future, the best care you take of your car, the most reliable it will be on the road.  Car maintenance and how often you will need it will vary depending on the service as well the make and model of your vehicle, its age, and your own driving habits. Regular vehicle inspections are a great way to stay current with your vehicle's maintenance and being able to schedule out services when they are soon to be due so that you don't miss any important items.  Maintenance can mean a number of things, from regular inspections to oil changes and other recommended services by your vehicle's manufacturer. While all maintenance items are typically important, here are some of the services that should never be ignored in terms of getting them done when they are du ... read more

Preventative Maintenance and Older Vehicles

Preventative Maintenance and Older Vehicles

Many of the cars on today's roads are older than 10 years. While there are many newer cars in production today, many drivers don't feel the need to purchase a new vehicle when their current car runs just fine. There's nothing wrong with driving a vehicle older than 10 years, however, it is important to understand how to best care for it.  As vehicles age, preventative maitnenance becomes more and more important. This is because important components, fluids, and parts within your vehicle will begin to wear down and become less effective over time. When parts are older, they tend to break down more easily.  When you invest in preventative maintenance, your vehicle will be well taken care of and you'll prevent major issues from occuring which can end up costing you a lot more money to repair. A well taken care of vehicle will also help you get the best fuel efficiency from your car and keep it running even longer.  According to the Car Care Council, the m ... read more

Why Regular Vehicle Inspections are Important to Your Car's Health

Why Regular Vehicle Inspections are Important to Your Car's Health

Many car owners may not be staying on top of their vehicle's inspections, and we understand why. For most people, they may be afraid that if they have a vehicle inspection, the mechanic will find something wrong and it will cost them money. This may be true in some instances, but let us explain the importance of this.  Inspections are a way of catching issue early on, especially if you are already experiencing some minor symptoms of an issue. While you may feel that catching these problems is costing you money, it is actually saving you money in the long run.  When a problem is ignored, it can actually progress and get worse. The worse the issue is, the more extensive and expensive the repair becomes. So an inspection isn't about just finding anything wrong to cost you money - it is about finding a small issue that can be fixed now to prevent a more expensive problem from occurring later on.  Regular inspections are a key part of preventative maintenance, and ... read more

The Cinderella Era of Vehicle Ownership is No Fairytale

The Cinderella Era of Vehicle Ownership is No Fairytale

The Cinderella Era There was a time when buying a new car sounded like a dream come true but The Car Care Council now suggest that keeping your car through the Cinderella Era is the smartest way to get a solid return on your vehicle investment. The "Cinderella Era" is the period of time right after you've paid off your car loan, the time when your car is still in great shape and needs only modest repairs and maintenance. With proper care, the typical vehicle should last at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable performance. By allocating the equivalent of just one new car payment annually, vehicle owners can cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance. The most common maintenance procedures and repairs to keep a car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its long-term value involve checking the oil, filters and ... read more

Get Your Car Ready For Summer

Get Your Car Ready For Summer

Get Your Car Ready For Summer Driving With An Air Conditioning Inspection and Service DRIVE AutoCare recommends an annual A/C Inspection to stay cool when temperatures soar. Summer heat and humidity can drive you to distraction and the last thing you need is a malfunctioning air conditioning system. “Getting stuck in traffic is stressful enough, but getting stuck in traffic during the heat of summer without functioning A/C is the pits,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It is important to always have the A/C system properly maintained to keep it in tip-top shape and avoid costly repairs down the road.” A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level ... read more

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