Vehicle Electrical Warning Signs – When They Identify Potential Problems

A vehicle’s electrical system is quite complex, which means that there are a lot of things that can go wrong with it. Figuring out exactly what’s going on is often times very difficult, but there are things that one can look at to figure out what is generally going on, and whether they need to take their vehicle to a car service center in Longmont for assessment and repair. This article will go over a few of those warning signs one should be on the lookout for.

An Engine that’s Hard to Start

If one’s car is having a lot of difficulties starting, it could be because of a battery that’s not functioning quite as it should be. However, this is by no means that the only reason this could be happening. Indeed, the engine or starter could also be experiencing issues. In addition, it can be that there is a part of the electrical system that’s faulty, and is hence draining out the battery. If when one is turning their key, they hear a clicking noise, it is most likely because the starter isn’t getting the amount of current flow it needs in order to do its job, in which case the battery is discharged. On the other hand, if one hears a grinding noise, then the culprit is most likely the starter or the flywheel ring gear. If any of these symptoms show up, one should take their vehicle to a car service center in Longmont.

Battery

The battery is an essential part of the electrical part of a car, which is why it should be paid close attention to. One should ensure to check the cables of the battery to see if any corrosion is apparent, or if the ends present any tight fit. In case the cables suffer from corrosion, they should be taken away with care, and cleaned with a chemical terminal cleaner. Indeed, corrosion can be the reason why one’s electrical system isn’t getting enough current flow.

Headlight

When either the brake lights or the headlights are dim, it could be indicative of an issue with charging, wires that have come loose, a battery that is extremely low on power, or the presence of resistance within the electrical system. When one’s lights are dim, it can also be a sign of low voltage within the system. A car service center in Longmont should be able to pinpoint the exact reason why this is occurring and fix the issue.

Taking one’s vehicle in for service the minute one notices something wrong with the electrical system is extremely important. Ignoring potential electrical related issues can lead to further system failures and even a total breakdown of a vehicles major systems.  

 

Everything A Vehicle Owner Should Know About Wheel Alignment

Perhaps Longmont residents have heard about wheel alignment, and how important it is, but they don’t know exactly why. The reality is that it is quite important for helping one’s tires perform as they should while ensuring that the car doesn’t pull in one direction or another when it is supposed to be going straight.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

When one is getting their alignment assessed at a service center in Longmont, they’re getting the suspension of their car adjusted. The suspension is the system that ties the wheels of a car to the rest of the car. The name is a bit misleading because, despite the fact that it is often called wheel or tire alignment, one doesn’t refer to an adjustment of the actual wheels. When this alignment is properly done, the angle of the tires is just right for them to have good contact with the road.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Important?

When one’s alignment in Longmont is properly done, there are a few benefits that come to mind. First off, the tires will last for a longer time, while the vehicle will be easier to drive. Not to mention that less energy will be needed for the car to do its job, which could also result in less money being spent on fuel.

Tire Wear and Its Effects

As mentioned earlier, an uneven alignment leads to tires wearing out unevenly. So, why is this a problem? When a vehicle’s tires are worn out differently, it could lead to issues with the steering and suspension components. This, in turn, can cause a whole host of problems, which is why if this happens, those components will need to be replaced, leading to big expenses.

Signs the Alignment Isn’t Right

One of the biggest signs of a faulty alignment is one’s vehicle pulling to either the right or the left. In addition, if the tires are showing signs of wear that is either uneven or just extremely fast, it could be yet another sign that a mechanic should fix the alignment. Finally, another sign of issues in this department are squealing tires.

Alignment Troubles that Can be Fixed at Home

While in most cases, the alignment should be done by a professional, there are things one can do at home to prevent misalignment or to fix it. For starters, one shouldn’t drive around with a lot of stuff in their trunk, since this can lead to an uneven weight distribution of the car, which can throw the alignment off. Another thing one can do is ensure that their tires always have the correct amount of air pressure.

How to Find a Good Mechanic

When it comes to finding a mechanic, or an auto repair shop in Longmont, most people feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. It makes sense since most individuals don’t know much about cars, which, in turn, means that they’re bound to take for granted whatever their mechanic tells them. The good news, however, is that there are ways one can tell if the mechanic they’re thinking of leaving their car with is a good one.

Appearances Matter

By nature, we all pay attention to looks. While this may not be the best thing when it comes to evaluating people, when it comes to evaluating an auto repair shop in Longmont, it is. Indeed, the way the shop presents itself both visually and in attitude will tell quite a bit about how much the business values their customers. If the entire place looks well put together and is clean, then chances are, the business is very serious about what they do. Expect that there will be dirt and grime in the garage area, but evaluate if the shop has made an effort to make their front entrance welcoming to customers.  If not, it could be a sign that one should take their repair job elsewhere.

Mechanic

Just because the auto repair shop in Longmont is clean, doesn’t necessarily mean that their mechanics are great. A good way to tell if this is the case is by looking at the walls of the shop, to see if there are any certificates attesting to training courses the mechanics may have undergone. While these certificates don’t necessarily mean that the mechanics are the best at what they’re doing, it speaks volumes about the business, since if it is willing to send its workers for training, it is probably concerned with their performance.

Services Offered

A basic shop will be just that – basic. Before trusting a mechanic to your vehicle, take note of the services offered at the shop. Is there a short or long list of automotive services available?  It is a good idea to source out a shop that offers a number of services such as general repairs and maintenance, brake repairs, electrical services, engine overhaul and replacement, oil change services, transmission repair, A/C and heating services, and all undercar services.

When Size Matters

Toolboxes are what the mechanics work out of. They provide mechanics with instruments to fix cars. It naturally follows that the more instruments a mechanic have, the more they know since it takes knowledge to handle tools. Not only this, but purchasing tools are quite an expensive endeavor, and it is highly unlikely that anyone would buy them just for show. As such, if a certain mechanic is working out of a small toolbox, it’s a sign that he or she may be new to the whole thing, and there is a chance that they may not know what he’s doing.

The Customer Has Control

It’s useful to remember this fact. Just because one went into a shop to inquire about the repair job they need, does not mean that they have to stick with that shop. If one isn’t getting the right vibe from the mechanics they’re chatting with, it’s perfectly fine to go elsewhere.

Why You Need to Tune Your Car Up Regularly

Summertime means that you’re likely finding yourself on the road more often. Whether you’re driving to your favorite local hiking spot or are visiting out-of-town relatives, you need a car that is running safely and reliably.

This is why it’s important to have tune-ups performed regularly. Oil changes, brake services, and alignments in Longmont all help boost your car’s longevity and ensure that it’s running smoothly. Here’s how regular maintenance improves vehicle performance.

Tires

Your tires play a critical role in getting you and your vehicle safely from Point A to Point B. During a tune-up, your technician will check the tread to see if your tires are becoming worn and perform a rotation to help your tires wear evenly. This will help you get the most out of your tires before they need to be replaced.

They will also check the air pressure to make sure they are properly inflated. Tires that are overinflated are more susceptible to road damage, while under-inflated tires can increase your chance of crashing.

Engine

One of the most important maintenance tasks you can have done for your car is an oil change. Motor oil lubricates your engine and keeps metal parts from scraping against each other. This guards against damage while keeping your engine’s overall temperature cool.

Old or thick oil cannot perform these tasks as efficiently, putting your car at risk for damage or overheating if you skip tune-ups. Your technician will replace your existing oil and filter to keep all parts running smoothly.

Brakes

When the car in front of you brakes suddenly, you need to be able to react quickly. If your brake pads are worn or if your rotors are damaged, your vehicle might not be able to stop in time.

Your technician will inspect the condition of your hydraulic brake system and operating hardware and replace worn brake pads if necessary. Signs that you need to replace your brake pads include a brake pedal that feels soft or “spongey” when pressed.

Tune-Up Frequency

Owners of older vehicles with non-electric ignitions should plan on having a tune-up performed either annually or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Newer cars with electric ignition and fuel injection systems can go longer—on average, drivers can last from 25,000 to 100,000 miles without needing a major tune-up performed.

 

3 Common Reasons Why Your Car Isn’t Starting

It’s a situation that many people have been in. You’re late to work when you get in your ride, put your key in the ignition, turn, and—nothing.

One of the most common reasons for car service in Longmont is a vehicle that won’t turn on. Though this can occur for several reasons, your vehicle’s electrical system is most likely to blame. Read on to learn how to find the source of the problem and determine whether it’s a quick fix or an issue that requires the hand of a skilled mechanic.

1. Battery

Did you turn the key and nothing happened? First, check to see if your interior lights turn on. If the lights, radio, A/C, or other electrical features of your automobile aren’t turning on, the issue is most likely with the battery.

Your car’s battery provides an electrical current even when the vehicle isn’t turned on. Even if your vehicle does crank on, a dying battery might make this cranking sluggish or take longer to start the entire vehicle.

How old is your battery? The average battery should last anywhere from three to five years with proper maintenance. If your battery is past the four-year mark, a replacement might have been inevitable. Next, take a look at your battery. Does it appear swollen or bloated? Excessive heat might have caused damage that shortened its lifespan.

Luckily, a dead battery can also be simple to fix. Find someone to help give your automobile a jumpstart, which will give your battery enough of a charge to get your engine running again.

2. Alternator

Are your interior lights on but nothing happens when you turn the key in the ignition? Your alternator might be to blame.

While your battery is responsible for providing the initial charge to start your vehicle, your alternator makes this supply last. This device uses an alternating current to recycle your automobile’s limited electrical supply, which prevents your battery’s energy store from depleting.

Other signs of a faulty alternator include a car that shuts down after being jumped or a weak electric signal while it’s driving. You might notice that your headlights are dimmer than usual or interior lights that fade in and out.

3. Starter

Do you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition? Your starter could be the reason why your vehicle isn’t turning on.

Your starter motor is what causes your engine to turn, allowing it to start the rest of your vehicle. A starter that is worn or not engaging properly will often produce a grinding noise, which can cause engine damage if not addressed quickly.

Another warning sign is seeing smoke, especially if it’s accompanied by a burning smell. This could be signaling that too much power is being drawn to your starter through the electric supply.

5 Car Maintenance Mistakes

Your car is an investment. Regular preventative maintenance is one of the best ways that drivers can keep their vehicle running smoothly and prolong its longevity. This will help save you time and money in the long-run, since you will be able to identify and prevent costly damage before it occurs.

However, keeping up with regular tune-ups is easier said than done. If you’re not a natural-born mechanic, here is a list of the most common car maintenance mistakes to avoid.

1. Skipping Oil Change

Having regular oil changes in Longmont is one of the most crucial car maintenance tasks. Oil keeps your engine lubricated and helps siphon away heat, reducing the likelihood of damage or overheating. While the general rule of thumb used to be having a replacement done every 3,000 miles, drivers can now go anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing to have an oil change done.

2. Skipping Brake Checks

Are your brakes making an annoying squeaking or grinding sound? Don’t just raise the radio volume and hope it goes away. Your brakes are an important part of your vehicle’s safety features, and these strange sounds are often a sign that your brake pads are worn. Another common sign is a brake pedal that feels spongy or takes too long to engage when you press down.

3. Ignoring the Check Engine Light

Even if the sign of trouble isn’t immediately obvious, there’s a reason why your check engine light is on. While this can sometimes be due to a bad sensor, there might be something else amiss with your vehicle. Having your light checked is quick and easy, but waiting can result in expensive issues down the road that could have been avoided.

4. Using Home Glass Cleaner On Windshields

Though it might seem convenient, never use home glass cleaner on your vehicle’s rear windshield. These products often contain ammonia, which can deteriorate the thin red wires that are responsible for defrosting your glass. Instead, use a product specifically formulated for auto glass.

5. Not Checking Your Fluids

Though motor oil is the lifeline of your vehicle, it’s not the only fluid that needs to be checked and replaced regularly. Your engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid all need to be checked, replaced, and/or topped off regularly. Each fluid has its own respective reservoir under your engine hood that will let you see where your current levels are.

4 Signs You Need New Tires

When your tires are worn or past their prime, accidents are more likely to occur. While they might not seem like pressing matters at the moment, even low tire pressure can cause a blowout or pricey damage if left unaddressed. This is why you should inspect your vehicle’s tires regularly to make sure they are still performing as they should. If you notice the following signs, you should plan on replacing your tires as soon as possible.

1. Worn Tread

Tire tread is the rubber of your tire that makes contact with the road. You are likely familiar with a tread pattern, which is made up of the grooves that are molded into the surface. As you drive your car, the tread will naturally wear down. This reduces its ability to provide traction and grip the road, increasing the likelihood of a collision.

Your tread depth should never fall below 1/16 of an inch. You can measure this with measuring tape or use the penny test. Stick a penny upside down in one of the grooves with the head facing you. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, then your tread is too low. Plan on replacing your tires right away.

2. Uneven Wear

While inspecting your tire tread, also take note of its uniformity. Do all tires show the same amount of wear, or are the front tires significantly more bare than the back set? While poor tire pressure or a bad alignment is often to blame, you should also consider how often you rotate your tires.

For front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires are more likely to wear first. This is because they’re responsible for accelerating, steering, and braking, receiving most of the force of these normal driving functions. To encourage even wear, it’s smart to have your tires rotated on a regular basis—preferably every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.

3. Bulging At Sides

Are your tires misshapen and appear to be bulging at the sides? This is a common sign of deflation. You might be dealing with something as simple as low air pressure or more pressing like a puncture that is causing air to leak.

Inspect your tire for damaged areas that might be allowing air to escape—there is a chance you might have run over a nail or cracked your sidewall. A technician might be able to patch up minor damage or suggest that you replace the entire tire.

4. Making Strange Noises

While a certain amount of road noise can be expected while driving, your ride should be relatively quiet. If you are hearing strange sounds coming from the areas where your tires are positioned, that’s often a sign of impending auto repair in Longmont.

A probable cause is that your tires are out of balance, especially if you hear a thumping sound coming from under the seats. However, if your steering wheel is also vibrating, you might be dealing with suspension issues.

Does your car need A/C maintenance?

Now that summer is here, you’re likely running your car’s air conditioning more often than usual. Not only do you need to stay cool as you’re driving, but you also need to remove the heat that collected if your car was parked in direct sunlight.

If your A/C system stops working suddenly, it won’t take long for your everyday work commute or a weekend road trip to become extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are some warning signs to watch out for that will clue you in to your air conditioner’s health.

Along with regular tire rotations and oil changes in Longmont, CO, periodic A/C checks should be at the top of your car maintenance to-do list. Beat the heat by looking out for these common symptoms of a faulty A/C system.

Hot Air Coming Through Vents

When you turn on your A/C, do you notice that only warm or hot air is making its way through the vents? You might be dealing with a refrigerant leak. Since A/C systems are pressurized, they must be completely sealed in order to function correctly.

As a result, when a leak occurs, your refrigerant levels cannot simply be topped off. Your system must be recharged with pressurized refrigerant before it will begin blowing cold air again.

Strange Noises from Car AC

As with any other car issue, you should be concerned if you hear unusual sounds coming from your air conditioner system. When functioning properly, you should only be able to hear your fan running quietly in the background as it blows out cool air.

If you hear a banging or rattling sound, there might be sticks, trash, or other debris stuck in your blower motor. There is also a chance that your condenser or compressor belt might be worn and in need of replacement.

Humid Inside Car

In addition to keeping you cool, your A/C is also responsible for pulling moisture from the cabin air. This water is siphoned away and deposited outside your vehicle in the form of water—on a hot day, you might notice this as a puddle underneath your car.

However, if you notice condensation inside of your vehicle, your air conditioner system might not be functioning as it should. This could be due to a clogged drain or hose that is causing water to back up and drain directly into your vehicle instead of the ground outside.

Your Brakes Might Be Telling You Something

Driving with faulty brakes is dangerous, and it can lead to a fatal accident. Therefore, it is important to check your brakes all the time to make sure that they are working properly. When you bring in your car for maintenance or for auto repair in Longmont, make sure that your brakes aren’t forgotten. They should be checked if they have gone through wear and tear and might need replacing. They should also be checked to see if they need tightening.

Your brakes should be checked at least once a year. They should be checked more frequently if you drive a lot. All components of your brake system should be verified to be in the best condition to ensure a safe drive.

Your brake fluid should also be checked. The brake fluid requires regular changing as well, similar to an oil change. Doing so helps in preventing any damage to your car. If this isn’t done regularly, there can be a blockage in the brake system, which can cause more problems that are more expensive to fix.

To avoid any untoward incidents with your brakes, you should listen to any warning signs. Your brakes might be telling you something you shouldn’t neglect. Here are some warning signs from your brakes. If you experience any of these, it is best to bring your vehicle to a car repair shop.

1. Screeching, grinding, and other noises when you step on the brakes

2. The car pulls on one side when driving

3. The brake pedal almost hits the floor before it engages

4. The brake pedal requires extreme force to engage

5. The brake engages with the slightest touch

6. The brake pulses or vibrates even when just normally driving

7. The brake light is turned on on the dashboard

The brakes experience normal wear and tear with regular use. To ensure that they are in top condition, you should always have them checked. If they are already worn out, you should get them replaced immediately to avoid accidents that can be caused by it. Moreover, don’t let the brake pads be thin enough that they hit metal to metal. If this happens then it can be more costly to replace the rotor or the drum. In some cases, when the brake pads are still thick then the brakes might just need tightening.

The brakes can be easily checked by your trusted mechanic. They can be checked during regular maintenance check-ups so you don’t need to take additional time off for this. When you bring in your car for maintenance, make sure to have the brakes checked too.

Therefore, always listen to your brakes because they might be hinting at something.

Wheel Alignment: Why You Should Get It and When to Get It


Wheel alignment is one of the crucial maintenance steps that should be done to your car. Doing this regularly can help ensure that your car is performing at its best. Moreover, it can help guarantee better fuel economy and improved handling. There are lots of reasons why a car would need a wheel alignment. For instance, if you’re driving in Longmont and hit a pothole, chances are your wheels will need an alignment after that. There is nothing to worry though because this is easy to do. Just bring in the car to a maintenance service facility and they’ll do the trick for you.

Benefits of Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment has an important role in ensuring that your car performs at its best. Here are the benefits of getting wheel alignment:

 

  1. Extends tire life

    Properly aligned tires have a longer lifespan. Since the suspension system is in the right orientation, the tires are also in the right orientation. If not, this can lead to uneven wear and tear of the tires, which can lead to a shorter lifespan. With a longer tire lifespan, you can save on getting new tires in short periods of time because your old tires can serve you longer.
  2. Promotes safety

    If your tires aren’t aligned, it can result in difficulty in steering and handling. If this happens and you’re driving fast on the road, it can lead to an accident. You might find it difficult to steer your wheels if they aren’t aligned, which can either cause you to panic or simply be unable to steer them. Hence, an accident is imminent if this is the case
  3. Adds comfort

    Aligned wheels are easier to drive. If you are a long-distance driver, you would appreciate the comfort of having aligned wheels. You won’t have to spend extra effort to turn and maneuver your car. Even if you’re a city driver, you would definitely appreciate the comfort that aligned wheels provide.

 

When to Get Wheel Alignment?

There are signs that tell it’s time to go to a maintenance service facility and get your wheels aligned. Some of the tell-tale signs include:

 

  1. An uneven orientation of your car
  2. The car gets easily pulled on one side
  3. Your ride gets too bumpy even on smooth roads
  4. You have a hard time steering your car and maneuvering it
  5. Your tires show uneven wear and tear

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should immediately seek help to align your wheels. Neglecting it can lead to more serious and more expensive problems. It doesn’t take a lot to do this so it is best to get it done immediately.