Top 3 Signs That Your Car Needs AC Repair

Whether a person lives in a sunshine state like Florida or a colder state like North Dakota, they are still going to benefit from a functional car air conditioner. During the summer season, it can be crucial for drivers to have access to air conditioning, which is why mechanics are often ready for AC repair come summer. Although many people are aware of their car’s AC levels, some are not, which is why it is important to look for clues when determining whether or not one’s car AC needs a tuneup. The following are the top 3 signs that your car needs AC repair.

 

A Decreased Air Flow

 

One of the most obvious signs that one’s car AC is no longer up to par is a decreased airflow. Commonly, when a driver turns on their AC they are met with sufficient airflow levels. This allows them to cool down when the day is warm and properly ventilate their vehicle. A driver might begin to notice that their AC airflow is weak due to low performance. If one’s car used to cool down within seconds and now takes minutes to manipulate the air quality, this can be a sign that it’s time to call a mechanic. As a test, drivers can hold up their hands to the AC vents to see if there is indeed a sufficient airflow.

 

The AC’s Airflow Is on the Warmer Side

 

When a driver cranks on their AC, they want to feel an immediate burst of fresh air. However, this isn’t a possibility when a car’s AC levels are nearing empty. If this is not a pressing matter, a driver can wait to ask their mechanic about it until they visit their Longmont garage for an oil change. Should it be pressing, however, making an appointment to have one’s AC unit checked out can be in order. Sometimes, mechanics might find that a driver’s AC vents are blocked with dust or that they are low on AC fluid.

 

There’s a Strange Smell Emanating From the AC Vents

 

While most people will encounter car AC troubles that revolve around poor performance, some will experience more puzzling issues. For example, there are some drivers that make appointments due to their car AC emanating a strange smell when turned on. If a foul odor is making one’s car AC intolerable, it is important to bring it in for examination. More often than not, there might be some water contamination that is causing mold and mildew growth. Having this issue taken care of is crucial, as mold and mildew can be detrimental to one’s health.

 

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4 Reasons to Visit Your Mechanic Today

It is no secret that owning a car is expensive, but this doesn’t negate how important it can be to own one. Individuals all around the world have made their lives easier by owning a car. However, some have made their lives more difficult due to not partaking in general car repair. When a car issue makes itself known, it is crucial for a driver to take action. Putting car repair jobs on the back burner can cause a small issue to become a large one, which can be much more expensive than necessary. While there are some car-related issues that one can fix on one’s own, it is important to seek professional help when inexperienced. The following are the top 4 reasons to visit your mechanic today.

 

You Have a Flat Tire

 

It is very rare for a driver to have never experienced a flat tire, which is why most drivers know what to do in such a situation. Still, there’s a first time for everything. The very second a driver becomes aware of a flat tire, it is crucial for them to pull over on the side of the road and call for help. Continuing to drive on a flat can cause the wheel bearing to break, and fixing this piece can be expensive. Most people will have a spare tire in their trunk. Should this be the case, calling for roadside repair may be in order. Should this not be the case, getting towed to one’s mechanic will be a must. Once united with one’s mechanic, a tire can be chosen and the car maintenance provided.

 

 

You Need Your Oil Changed

 

If there is one car-related procedure that everyone needs — it’s getting an oil change every 3,000 miles or so. Doing so can prevent a car’s insides from getting rusty, therefore increasing its lifespan. The longer one waits to receive an oil change, the more damage can be done to their vehicle.

 

There’s a Strange Noise Coming from Your Car

 

Hearing a strange noise coming from one’s car is never a good sign, which is why it should be taken seriously. Before making an appointment with one’s mechanic, take note of when the sound occurs. Does it happen during acceleration, idling, low speeds, or high speeds? The more information one has, the faster a mechanic can find the issue.

You Want to Fix Your Air Conditioning

 

A car’s air conditioning may need repair after a few years of use, which is why visiting one’s mechanic in Longmont for air conditioning services may be in order.

 

 

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4 Reasons to Have Your Car’s Oil Changed Regularly

One of the most important things a driver can do for their car maintains its inner workings. While receiving an oil change might not seem important to some drivers, it is extremely so. In fact, those who choose to neglect their cars for years at a time can end up facing many complications, as their car will have failed to be properly lubricated. On average, Americans spend about $120 dollars on oil changes every year — a small price to pay for a properly maintained vehicle. Whether one’s car is receiving an alignment in a Longmont garage or having its tires changed, asking the mechanic whether or not an oil change is in order can be beneficial. The following are the top 4 reasons to have your car’s oil changed regularly.

 

Helps You Get the Most Out of Your Gas Money

 

When a car is running on a relatively low amount of oil, it can begin to experience a decrease in efficiency. One of the most noticeable results of poor car lubrication is getting fewer miles out of one’s gas tank. When an engine is poorly lubricated it can begin to burn through fuel faster than it usually does, which can result in a decrease of funds and functionality. When a car owner has their oil changed regularly, however, they can expect to see positive changes immediately. As a matter of fact, car owners can expect to see an improvement of about 2%.

 

Oil Changes Help Maintain a Car’s Innerworkings

 

As many longtime mechanics would say: oil is to cars as water is to humans. In other words, oil can help prolong the lifespan of a car. As a car runs, it is normal for it to encounter large dirt particles. These can lead to early onset corrosion if not taken care of properly. In order to minimize these particles, mechanic recommends changing a car’s oil every 3,000 miles or so. Without oil and filter changes, sludge can become present in a car’s inner workings, which can cause its engine to grow tired.

 

To Maintain the Engine’s Lubrication Levels

 

When a car’s engine is running, it is normal for there to be moving parts underneath its hood. These parts (pistons, valves, etc.) end up producing a significant amount of heat due to the friction they are exposed to. Cars that have been properly lubricated can handle the amount of heat expelled, whereas unlubricated cars cannot. This added heat and dryness can have drastic effects on a car’s engine.

 

Expands Your Car’s Lifespan

 

All in all, a car that receives its needed oil changes can experience a longer lifespan than those that don’t. Routine maintenance is encouraged as it helps cars maintain a long and happy road-life.

 

 

 

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Study Reveals Benefits of Synthetic Oil over Conventional Oil

A recent AAA study was published that revealed how much better synthetic oil is for a car’s overall health than conventional oil is.  This might surprise a lot of average car owners who have always gone with conventional oil because of its affordability and the fact that it has passed minimum standards.  The study backed up what car enthusiasts already know: that premium oil is better for long term engine health and will not cause as much dirt to damage the internal structure of the vehicle.

AAA Is An Impartial Agency

Opinions about the merits of synthetic vs conventional oil had, up until now, only existed in the realm of informed opinion.  There were those who said synthetic was way better but had no conclusive scientific research to back it up.  Until now, that is.  The organizers of the study, AAA, are a reputable automotive agency that offers insurance for emergency car pick up and repair anywhere in North America.  Their merits are not to be questioned because they are relatively impartial, which is to say that they have no incentive to sway the evidence one way or another.  It would be a different story if a giant oil company (that just happened to produce conventional oil) published research and claimed “conclusively” that conventional oil is fine for cars.

Structure Of The Study Was Quite Comprehensive

The insurance agency conducted a thorough analysis on the effects of each oil by picking five brands at random and testing their impacts.  They checked for the impact that temperature and other variables had on viscosity (thickness of the oil).  They assessed the relative volatility of the oil, which affects how much evaporates and the kind of deposit it leaves in the tank.

Synthetic Oil Performed Much Better

Synthetic oil performed much better in all areas than conventional oil.  It is able to remain viscous in a variety of different temperatures and is also less volatile (meaning it is cleaner).  This conclusive information should be taken seriously by car owners across America because it shows that investing in higher quality oil will save money on engine repair and general car care over the long-term.  There is no question that the buildup of deposits causes a lot of unnecessary damage to a vehicle that winds up costing more than would be saved if synthetic oil was used from the beginning.

Car owners in the Longmont area should consider switching to synthetic oil because it will save them money over the long term and free up extra savings to deal with emergencies like alignment issues or a busted AC system.  There are a number of different brands of synthetic oil on the market so all it takes is a little bit of digging to find the best deal.

 

Independant Garages Are More Popular Than Franchised Locations

A new study conducted by consumer reports found that car owners are overwhelmingly more satisfied with services at an independant garage as compared to a franchised new car dealership.  A lot of new car owners (especially of the luxury brands like Buick and Lincoln) have the option of buying parts and getting serviced at a dealership.  The research was pulled from a questionnaire given to 121,000 car owners: 80,000 from franchised locations and 40,000 from independant garages.  According to this study, the kinds of work being done at dealerships is not as satisfactory as independant garages.

Dealerships Are Just More Expensive

The study took into account general satisfaction, price, quality of the work, and friendliness of the staff.  Independant dealers scored better on all these fronts, which is a great sign for independant mechanics across the country.  Car owners understand and appreciate the time and attention to detail that independant mechanics are known for.  Above all, though, car owners like how affordable they are.  The study highlighted that the costliness of a dealership is the main reason why people don’t like them—scores on quality of work and ability to consistently meet deadlines were pretty high for mechanics at franchised locations.  It really comes down to a matter of cost and convenience.

Costs for car repair certainly add up, especially if the vehicle is over 10 years old.  Independant mechanics know this fact, and are usually quite willing to match the needs of their customers.  This kind of bargaining is not possible at a dealership.  Even better than a friendly discount is the fact that independant mechanics will try and cut costs every step of the way.  Forming a trustworthy bond with a car mechanic will save money and lots of heartache because if something needs to get done, they will do it.  They will not say it’s time for an oil change if it’s only been three months, for example, which cannot be said for mechanics at a dealership that are looking to maximize their profits.  Most independant car mechanics know that the satisfaction of recurring customers is the bread and butter of their business.

Negotiate Over Repair Work

An independant car mechanic will not be offended to negotiate a price.  It’s a part of the business transaction that shows the mechanic the customer knows what they are talking about and wants a fair deal.  It would be best for a customer only to begin negotiating once they have become comfortable with the required terms to be convincing.  In Longmont, independant car mechanics are known to give discounts on air conditioning service and oil changes.  Anything more serious than this will probably have to be paid in full.

Tips For Fixing The Parking Brake

Regular brake repair in Longmont, CO is arguably more important than an oil change.  Colorado is a mountainous state with a lot of inclined roads.  To successfully navigate these roads, a driver will need an excellent braking system.  While driving with dirty oil is never recommended in normal circumstances, driving in Colorado does not really constitute normal circumstances.  An oil change will not help keep a car parked on an uphill slope or help the driver navigate a busy street on a steep decline.  An excellent braking system is needed in these circumstances, and drivers should be sure to have their brakes checked regularly so that they can rely on them in times of need.

Fixing The Parking Brake

One of the problems mentioned above is parking on an incline.  A fully functional parking brake is required to leave a car in a safely parked position on a hill.  Though it is not super common, malfunctions in the parking brake do happen from time to time and car owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms before it happens.  The most important sign of wear and tear is when the parking brake will not fully lock into position as high as it used to.  The reason why it slowly weakens over time is quite simple: the brake wires get loose with age and use.

Each car make has a specification for how high the parking brake should be pulled for it to actually lock.  This should be stated in the owner’s manual, and anything less than this height should be taken as cause for alarm.

Fixing The Parking Brake Is Not A DIY Fix

Some ambitious DIY blogs will say it’s possible to repair a parking brake with a few tools and a rudimentary knowledge of cars.  This is advisable for those who fancy themselves adept at mechanical work and have a fair amount of experience to back them up.  Those who have not worked much with cars are far better off taking it to a mechanic for a proper fix.

Electric Parking Brakes Operate The Same Way

Some newer models will have an electric parking brake system instead of the manual system described above.  Electrical parking brakes work in much the same way, the only difference being that it is automated through an electric motor rather than cable-operated.  Most mechanics will have the proper tools to replace or fix electronic parking brakes, so it’s no hassle either way for the car owner.

Getting regular check-ups on the parking brake might not be needed.  They are pretty sturdy components in the car’s braking system and really only need attention when their malfunction is noticeable to the driver.

How To Keep A Healthy Car AC Unit

A car with a busted AC unit in the summer is like driving around in a sauna.  It might be all right with open windows when driving around the neighborhood, but on the highway things will get pretty sticky in no time.  Even though repairing an AC unit should not break the bank, checking on the system to ensure it is functional is always a good idea.  The funny thing with AC units is that they will not give much of a warning sign before plunking out completely.

A conscientious car owner that wants to save some money and some sweaty car rides should regularly check the status of their unit.  It is important to remember that the unit in not simply blowing cold air into the interior of the car.  The AC unit is a circulatory system that works to remove hot air from the interior and replace it with cooler air extracted from outside.  This process involves the coordinated work of an evaporator, condenser, and compressor.  Then there is the refrigerant liquid that turns hot air into cold.  As with all mechanical gear, these pieces will experience normal wear and tear over the years and will require consistent checking and semi-consistent maintenance.

A car owner should do the following things to keep their AC unit healthy:

Run The Unit Regularly – It’s advisable to run the AC unit for a few minutes at a time about once a week.  This should be done all season long regardless of the external temperature.  The purpose of this task is to keep all the tubes, pumps and valves well lubricated.  If these components become too dry they could possibly disconnect or at least become less fluid.

Ask Mechanic About The Refrigerant Levels – At the next general car check-up, have the mechanic check the refrigerant levels.  Not all mechanics in Longmont will consider the AC as part of their general check-up routine, so clarifying before an oil change and regular check up is always helpful.  If the refrigerant levels are low it’s nothing to worry about.  It is sold at Walmart and many other locations.

Might Have Fungus – The older the car, and the damper the climate, the more likely it is for mold or fungus to build up within the AC unit.  Most people will not even recognize the fungus or mold smell in the car.  Those with asthma or allergies will recognize the presence of these unwelcome growths and will most likely experience poor breathing because of it.  This is a rare case, but it can certainly happen if the car is over 10 years old.  Luckily there are some cleaning liquids that can be applied to the AC unit to clear it out.

These are some great tips for car owners to prevent the breakdown of their AC unit in the hot summer months when they need it most.

How To Winterize A Car

Living in colder climates comes with a fair share of challenges.  There is the requirement to live in a house with strong insulation; the extra electricity bills to keep the house warm; the need for an entirely different wardrobe full of turtlenecks, long johns and wool socks; and then all the obligations that come with preparing a vehicle for the winter months.

 

With all these factors at play it is no surprise that some people do not prepare their car effectively for winter.  Depending on the climate, this oversight can have grave results.  There is no doubt that a 10 year old car will not do well in frigid temperatures – for one thing, the engine will struggle to start because motor oil will have thickened in the cold.

 

In the interest of helping car owners get through the winter unscathered, here is a list of things to do to winterize a vehicle:

 

●      Winter Tires Are A Must.  All season tires will simply not cut it when black ice is on all the roads.  Winter tires have tread patterns and rubber compounds that are designed to navigate safely over ice.  This traction will certainly come in handy more than once.

●      Check The Battery.  The battery will operate at half power in freezing conditions, so it’s important to make sure it is at full strength.  Check the fluid level in the battery by removing the plastic cap.  If there is any uncertainty about the strength of the battery do not hesitate to have it checked.

●      Use The Right Engine Oil.  As mentioned above, engine oil thickens in the cold.  Today it is normal for cars to use multi-weight oil that operates well in  heat and the cold.  However, it is recommended to switch to a grade of oil that is specifically designed to work in colder temperatures.  If extremely cold temperature is expected, there is always the option to purchase an engine block heater that can be installed in the engine and keeps the oil from expanding or freezing.

●      Double Check The Cooling System. The cooling system relies on rubber tubes to work effectively.  In colder weather these tubes can become brittle, or excessively soft, and stop performing up to par.  Check the hoses manually and replace them if they are either too firm or too soft.  It is wise to have the cooling checked every two years, so contact a garage if it’s been longer than that.  It is normal for carers to have a full check up at the garage once a year.  Mechanic shops in Longmont, CO offer great package deals that include winterizing maintenance with a standard oil change.

●      Let The Engine Warm Up.  Otherwise the oil will not warm up in time!

 

Common Issues With Car Air Conditioning Explained

Getting a regular flow of cold air throughout a car is one of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a vehicle.  In the muggy summer months there is really no replacement for it because opening windows only brings in more of the muggy air.  The funny thing is that you only realize how important a functional A/C unit it is when it stops working.  The car quickly goes from being heat relief to a scorching sauna, and driving suddenly becomes immensely unappealing.

As with all mechanical things, there are a number of different reasons why the A/C in a car stops churning out cold air.  Here is a detailed run-down of the most common issued with air conditioning:

The Black Death?  This ironic reference to the bubonic plague that swept Europe in the 14th century refers to the breakdown of the refrigerant.  The refrigerant is a mixture of coolant and water that is spread throughout the car when the engine is started.  A refrigerant breakdown means that the liquid will have seeped out of where it should be kept and begun damaging the compressor and other parts of the car.  The compressor really is where all the damage emerges from, and soon enough particles of metal will spread through the A/C system and wreak havoc to various parts of the car and block the proper transference of the refrigerant.  For anyone worried about the potential for ‘black death’ in their car it is recommended to book an A/C performance check with a local car mechanic.

Weak Airflow? The air might be cool, but it’s so weak that it makes almost no difference.  There are a few reasons why the airflow is so weak.  The first option is that mildew has built up in the evaporator that prevents thorough air flow.  A second potential option is a loose hose.  Usually this happens to the blower hose that is responsible for supplying air to the blower unit.  A third option is a damaged or broken ventilation fan; while a fourth option are broken seals that would otherwise keep the air pressure strong.

Lack of Cold Air? A lack of cold air is every car owner’s worst nightmare.  The most likely cause of this is failed compressor or damaged condenser.  In some cases, vacuum leaks have developed that bring moisture into parts of the car that should never be exposed to the elements.  This can cause serious and costly damage. The gradual decrease in

The gradual decrease in cold air should be attended to immediately.  Don’t wait for the next oil change to get the A/C unit checked at a garage in Longmont or surrounding areas.

 5 Benefits of Regular Oil Changes

Any car owner will say that changing the oil is important – but do they know why?  What usually ends up happening is that car owners think their oil will just be okay for a while.  They keep telling themselves that until something goes wrong, and then they finally go about fixing it.  It’s a similar attitude that many people have with their health: if nothing is going seriously wrong, why go in for a check-up?

The problem with this attitude to car maintenance is that it actually destroys the car at a much faster rate than if oil changes were done regularly.  Most car mechanics in Longmont will say that an oil change is required every 3,000 miles, while an air conditioning service is not as urgent.

 

Here is a list of 5 reasons why a regular oil change will add quality years to the life of a car:

 

  • The Engine Needs Clean Oil.  This is the most important reason to get an oil change.  Imagine a human body that had blood seeping through its veins that gradually became dirty and clogged up.  The body would not operate well if the blood was not flowing everywhere it needed to, right?  This is exactly what happens to a car that has not had an oil change.  The oil picks up debris from the internal organs of the vehicle and drags it around as it tries to reach every compartment of the vehicle.  Naturally, the car will begin to run more poorly and eventually die.
  • The Engine Will Stay Strong.  This debris that collects in oil will cause damage to the engine if left untreated for too long.  Lubrication is integral for the engine to start smoothly and operate without any hitches.  The engine obviously operates at a very hot temperature, and without the proper lubrication, this heat will cause degradation of all component parts.  It goes without saying that engine damage is incredibly costly and should be avoided at all costs.  Changing the oil on a regular basis can literally add years of life to the engine of the car.
  • Better Fuel Efficiency.  The logic of this is quite simple: the cleaner the oil is, the easier it is for the car to run, therefore the less fuel it has to burn just to get to work and back.  This saves money on gas and limits (though only slightly) a number of emissions being sent into the atmosphere.  There is also the practical concern of passing emissions tests to consider.

 

These are only a few of the many reasons why getting an oil change is an integral part of car maintenance.