Auto Repair in Longmont for Air Conditioning Black Death

When air conditioning problems arise in a car, they’re generally obvious as airflow can become weak, warm, or non-existent. If reduced airflow is found early on, auto repair in Longmont can help prevent what is known as the “black death”. This doesn’t mean that a virus from 14th-century Europe will harm the air conditioning; it means that a car air conditioner has already gone through a process that has damaged the A/C system majorly.


What Exactly Is the Black Death?


This term happens when the refrigerant breaks down. A refrigerant is used as lubrication for the engine, and when this is gone, it targets the compressor first. After this has worn down on the compressor, mucky particles then find it’s way through the system to target the air conditioner. Instead of producing a weak airflow constantly, this will completely break down the system and cause it to completely stop working.


It is named “black death” because the color of the grime and crud that fuses itself to the system components. Flush machines are unable to remove this nasty coating on the metals of the components. When an air conditioning unit is properly maintained in a vehicle, the original compressor can stand the test of time and never have to be replaced. Unfortunately, when the “black death” hits, this is no longer the case, and the car air conditioning unit must be exchanged.


What Causes Weak Airflow?

A car air conditioner that is displaying weak airflow will show signs by producing a lack of cool air. While this is obvious, there are many causes of this weak airflow.


Since car air conditioners produce an excess of cool air, mold and mildew can accumulate over time. This typically happens in the evaporator core and will prevent solid airflow from reaching the vents. When this isn’t taken care of, over time the refrigerant will break down causing the compressor to accumulate grime. This is a main cause for the air conditioner issue, “black death”.


Another way weak airflow can occur within a car a/c unit is through a hose coming loose. When reattaching this hose, solid airflow is restored. While this is a simple fix, if not found early on, it could damage the a/c unit.


When there’s a leak in the condenser or the evaporator, this can cause refrigerant to leave the unit. If this happens, that means moisture will make its way into the unit and cause mold and mildew. This is one of the many ways the Black Death begins because of a lack of airflow and an underlying issue. Maintenance auto repair in Longmont can help prevent problems before they turn into expensive headaches.


Last, but not least, the seals on each unit can become open. These seals can be found in the core case, evaporator core, and the blower house. When these open up, direct airflow is not blowing, and once these seals are unfastened, the entire system becomes weakened and damaged.


The Black Death is a life-ending sentence for cars and their air conditioning units. Any type of moisture contamination can begin this process, including having bad refrigerant.



Is running a car’s air conditioner in the winter good or bad?

Some car owners hesitate when it comes to running their car’s air conditioning during the winter months. Not many think it is a good idea to run the a/c when temperatures outside are near freezing and the ground is covered by snow. However, running the a/c in the winter months does not cause any harm to the car’s heating and cooling system. In fact, there are many benefits to running the car’s air conditioning in the winter.

Air Conditioning Compressor

The car’s compressor does more than just cool the air before it passed through the car. You can use the a/c compressor while controlling the heat setting of the car to control the climate within. Doing so will help dehumidify the air, reducing fogged up windows. Running the air conditioner will also help clear up window condensation.

Air Conditioning System

Running the air conditioner during the winter will help prevent the car’s cooling system components from wasting away. This helps reduce the loss of refrigerant which occurs when the air conditioning unit is not used for extended periods of time. It also helps keep up the service life of the vehicle, reducing the need for to take the car to a local Longmont auto repair shop for expensive cooling system repairs. Those who opt not to run their air conditioning system during the winter months should make sure they at least run it for 30 minutes once a week. This will help keep the system active and fluids flowing through the a/c compressor.

Air Conditioning Problems

Though the cooling aspect of the air conditioning system will not be used during the winter months, car owners will still be able to catch any major issues. If the air conditioner is not run during the winter, a problem with the system may not be noticed until the summer. Which means the car owners could be driving around without air conditioning when the hotter months come around.

Running the air conditioner in a car during the winter months has many different benefits. Those who do so will be able to more efficiently control the temperature and moisture in the car. Plus, they can also protect the cooling system and possibly avoid high repair costs.

How to get the car ready for winter

Winter is finally here and many car owners are working fast to ensure their cars are completely winterized. Winterizing a car is simple and can be done in a short amount of time. Though some winterizing steps can be done by the car owners, other steps may require the assistance of a Longmont area auto repair shop.


The oil levels in a car’s engine will depend greatly upon how hot or cold the engine is running. As temperatures drop, the engine will run more efficiently when using thinner oil. Take the car in for an oil change before temperatures get too cold. This will help ensure the car’s engine runs more efficiently during the winter months.


Check the coolant levels of the car to ensure they are full. This will help keep the engine from corroding during the winter months. This will protect the engine when temperatures start to fall. Check the car’s manual for the proper coolant to use during the winter.


Check the battery capacity and inspect all cables and terminals. Since battery capacity is reduced in the winter, checking it will help ensure the car’s battery does not die. Depending upon the capacity level of the battery and condition of the cables and terminals, it may be necessary to get a new battery.

Snow tires

Those wanting to use snow tires during the winter will want to ensure that they are inflated properly. It is also important to check the treads on the tires. Those replacing a tire may want to replace all four. This will help ensure they all work together when driving on snowy and ice road conditions.

Winter kit

Keep a winter kit in the trunk of the car. The kit will be useful should the car breakdown on the side of the road. This kit should include flares, blankets, boots, a radio, extra engine oil, washer fluid and coolant. It should also have a few nonperishable snacks and bottled water.

Windshield washer

Check the wiper blades for the windshield. It is also a good idea to use windshield washer fluid designed for cold temperatures.

Taking the time now will help reduce any additional damage done to a car when temperatures drop below freezing. Winterizing a car will also help ensure that the driver is prepare for any road conditions and will keep all passengers safe during an emergency.

When a car’s air conditioning system doesn’t work, and the weather is hot, it’s time to find the right auto repair shop in Longmont, Colorado. Driving around in a hot car all day can make it difficult on the driver, and the problem can be a rather inexpensive one. A number of problems can go wrong with a car’s air conditioning system, and it isn’t always a costly repair.

A Hose May Be Loose Within the Air Conditioning System

A simple loose hose is all it takes for an air conditioning system to have a reduced flow of cold air. This is an easy repair, and one that many car owners can do on their own. When one doesn’t know a thing about air conditioners in a car, this can be done quickly at an auto repair shop by a mechanic. The repair should be fast and inexpensive when there is just a loose hose.

The Ventilation Fan Needs to be Replaced

The fan that blows air from the cooling unit into the car can break, causing the cold air not to reach the inside of the car it is trying to cool. This repair is more expensive than a loose hose, but it is still worth the repair costs to fix a broken ventilation fan. This fan is the same one that works to blow hot air into the car during the cold winter months, so it’s essential to have the ventilation fan fixed.

The Compressor is Broken

The compressor on a car air conditioning system can break, which is the most costly repair on a car’s air conditioning system. This type of repair is usually required on older cars, and some people find that it is not always worth fixing their compressor in order to have the air conditioner work again. Depending on the age of the car, and how hot the area is in which it is driven will determine if fixing the compressor is worth it to the car owner. It is worth getting the air conditioning system checked out by a professional to determine why the system is broken before giving up on the repair completely.

How to Get the Most from Auto Repairs

If consumers are not careful, they could easily pay more for auto repairs than necessary. Many drivers have little understanding of the mechanics of their vehicle. When a problem arises, they’re forced to rely on a qualified mechanic to handle the repairs. Smart drivers will take advantage of the following tips to ensure they get the most from their auto repair in Longmont without over-extending their budget.

Don’t Assume, Ask

When bringing a vehicle to the shop for service, consumers should ask the mechanic questions concerning repair work that needs to be done. A good mechanic will take time to explain what the problem is, what work needs to be done, how long it will take and give an estimate for repair costs. Working with a trustworthy mechanic will give consumers greater confidence in receiving quality repair work at reasonable costs.

Compare Repair Costs

When it comes to major repairs, consumers should check around to get an idea of prices in their local area. It often pays to get quotes from several shops before making a final decision. Once consumers have received a diagnosis of the problem, they can simply call a few other shops in their area or go online to compare prices for the repairs they need.

Get Repair Costs in Writing

Once consumers have agreed to repairs, they should get the mechanic’s work and cost estimate in writing so both parties are fully aware of the services being authorized for the car. Repair costs should be itemized on the estimate so consumers can see at a glance what the mechanic is charging for the services he or she plans to provide.

Once a mechanic has started work, it’s possible he or she may find additional problems. If so, consumers should ensure their mechanic receives confirmation from them to perform additional repairs. This gives consumers time to consider repair options and prepare for additional repair costs.

For major auto repairs, consumers should expect their repair shop to provide a written guarantee for at least one year for parts and labor.

Check Warranty

Before taking a vehicle to an independent shop for repairs, consumers should check their warranty to ensure the repairs are not already covered by the dealership. If a vehicle is under warranty, chances are consumers can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by having the repairs completed at their local dealership.

Winter Auto Repair in Longmont

Winter auto repair in Longmont typically involves receiving car heater service. This normally includes routine maintenance and troubleshooting on the heating and air conditioning systems. Certain fixes can benefit the health of drivers and passengers.

When diagnosing heating and cooling problems, mechanics usually perform a series of routine inspections. These include the following:

  • Testing the air for presence of mold and mildew
  • Observation of the defrost system to detect operation problems
  • Addressing heating and cooling issues that occur while idling
  • Checking of airflow at lowest and highest settings
  • Examination of heating system when it only blows cold air
  • Search for more answers as to why the vehicle does not heat properly
  • Inspections of the internal blower, hoses, radiator cap and thermostat
  • Measure of interior vent air temperature
  • Monitoring of A/C pressure to see if it meets manufacturer specifications
  • Inspections of the compressor belt

Positive Effects of A/C Inspections

Regular inspections usually prevent worse problems. When looking over an engine, a mechanic can immediately take care of clogged hoses. He or she can also watch out for drips within the heating and cooling system and make necessary repairs. Hoses, thermostats, fans, belts and other parts often are replaced during this time.

Another important concern is the condition of the radiator. A mechanic usually will look for leaks within it, and if holes cannot be repaired, the entire unit is replaced. The hugest issue with radiators is that a poorly-performing one can blow out an engine. This often happens when the antifreeze does not circulate properly through the heating and cooling system. Besides inspecting hoses and other parts, making sure the radiator is in optimal condition will prevent engine damage.

Air Flow Testing

Upon taking a car to receive auto repair in Longmont, air flow testing is sometimes recommended. Making sure all heating and cooling ducts are working properly prevents air contamination. When the air quality inside an automobile is clean, it can prevent airborne sicknesses caused by mildew, mold and pathogens.

After undergoing auto repair in Longmont, drivers are more likely to make it through the winter with very few problems. Their vehicles will usually start, and they will stay warm. They will stay cool in the summer, too.

Car Care Basics: Electrical Warning Signs

Modern vehicles are equipped with complicated electrical systems that are responsible for controlling everything from windows and locks to starting the engine and even charging phones. When something starts to go wrong with the electrical system in modern cars, troubleshooting can be a difficult process. When drivers start to notice electrical issues they should do their best to avoid self diagnosis and head to their local auto repair experts in Longmont.

Time for a Service Visit: Top Electrical Warning Signs

Difficult Engine Crank

There are many factors that can come into play when drivers are having a hard time getting their engine to crank properly. Most of the time drivers assume this means there is an issue with their battery. While this is a common car maintenance issue, it shouldn’t be the first assumption drivers make.

Often there is a larger underlying issue in the car’s electrical system that drains the battery over time and therefore prevents the starter form cranking the engine properly. If a clanking noise is heard while turning the key, it often indicates that the starter is unable to get enough current flow to properly engage.

Strange Smell

If drivers smell melting plastic or electrical insulation while driving, there may be a major issue that needs to immediate attention. When a wire or electrical component shorts out the circuit will begin to draw more power than it can handle, creating a dangerous electrical situation. If drivers notice a strange burning smell they should take their car in to their trusted auto repair shop in Longmont as soon as possible for an internal car electrical service.

Blown Fuse

A blown fuse can be a frustrating and annoying process to remedy. But when fuses are continually blowing or going missing, it could mean there is a bigger electrical problem at hand. Blown fuses can indicate that an electrical device or wiring in the vehicle is drawing an excess amount of current. To avoid having to constantly replace blown fuses and possibly larger electrical issues later on down the road, drivers should get a professional to asses any possible issues and service the electrical system as needed.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Electrical issues, although common, can be very serious and possibly dangerous if left unattended. If drivers are experiencing any of these common electrical warning signs, it is time to schedule an internal electrical service inspection today!

Vehicle Inspection: Tips for Purchasing a Used Car

When shopping for a used vehicle there are many factors buyers need to take into consideration. From the make and model of the vehicle to mileage and performance, it can be tough to know when to take the plunge and put down an offer. Even if buyers have already completed their test drive and gotten the CARFAX information, it is important to go the extra mile when purchasing a used car. The next step car buyers should take is to visit their local auto repair shop in Longmont for a detailed car inspection service.

Avoid Getting Stuck with a Lemon

A pre-purchase car inspection gives drivers an expert opinion on the current condition of any used vehicle. Even with CARFAX information and a solid test drive, a thorough vehicle inspection performed by a technician can help to discover unreported problems that only an experienced eye can identify. Unfortunately, many used car shoppers skip this important pre-purchase step and find out later on down the road that the car they bought is not performing as it should be.

A pre-purchase car inspection can not only help to prevent issues later on down the road but it can also give car buyers some leverage when negotiating on the final purchase price if the mechanic finds issues that need to be repaired. As an added bonus pre-purchase car inspections are usually very affordable and can help to give car buyers peace of mind when taking the plunge and purchasing a used car.

Pre-Purchase Car Inspection Checklist

When performing the pre-purchase car inspection service, potential buyers should make sure their mechanic checks the following:

  • Safety – Brake check, airbag safety and seatbelt functionality
  • Car Build – Overall structure of vehicle, suspension and drive train
  • Exterior – Tire condition, light functionality and overall body condition
  • Performance – Heating and cooling system functionality, electrical system, radiator performance, hoses, belts and fluids

Drive Away with Peace of Mind

By enlisting the services of a trusted, local auto repair shop in Longmont to perform a pre-purchase car inspection service before buying, drivers can save a great deal of time and money down the line. With the help of an experienced mechanic, potential buyers can rest easy knowing they’ve made the right choice in a used car and can give themselves and their loved ones peace of mind with a top performing vehicle.

Transmission Services: Top 4 Signs That it’s Time for a Flush

Most auto repair shops in Longmont will recommend that car owners get their transmission flushed every 30,000 miles or every 2 years to keep their vehicle in good working order. But for some cars, there may be certain situations when that rule of thumb needs to be ignored. In some cases, a transmission may need to be flushed much sooner to help protect the transmission and the car’s overall performance. For owners that believe there may be an issue with their transmission performance, there are several key signs they can look for.

When to Flush: 4 Most Common Signs of a Troubled Transmission

Grinding and Strange Noise

When a transmission becomes bogged down with dirt, grease and other debris it may begin to show signs similar to that of low transmission fluid levels. If drivers notice their transmission grinding or making odd sounds when driving, it is a good idea to check the transmission fluid levels while the car is still running. If the fluid level seems normal, the vehicle most likely needs a transmission flush.

Hard to Shift Gears

Whether a vehicle is a manual or automatic, clean transmission fluid is necessary for smooth operation and maximum performance. If a transmission has too much dirt or sludge in the fluid it can cause a sluggish response when shifting gears. It may be time to flush the transmission fluid in an automatic if the car changes gears too quickly or too late. Manual transmissions that need a flush may be hard to shift at all.

Slipping Gears

Excess dirt and contaminants in the transmission can cause a loss of hydraulic power, therefore keeping the transmission from staying in the appropriate gear. A dirty transmission can quickly start to interfere with transmission fluid flow, resulting in the lack of pressure needed for the transmission to stay in gear. It the transmission is experiencing no other issues besides slipping gears, it may be time to get a flush.

Vehicle Surge

A transmission that is polluted with an excess amount of dirt and debris usually needs a transmission flush. When drivers notice a certain unexplainable surging while driving it may mean that the dirty transmission is hindering proper fluid flow. This can cause the car to jump or surge backwards and forwards without warning. This phenomena is caused by an inconsistent flow of transmission fluid and indicates that it is time for a flush.

Stonum Automotive in Longmont services all makes and models and transmission types.

Troubleshooting and Maintaining a Car’s Electrical System

A car’s electrical system is an extremely important component and is relied on for the smooth operation of any vehicle. Unfortunately, many car owners tend to neglect their electrical systems because they’re not as obviously in need of maintenance and regular care as the car’s moving parts. In reality, however, any car owner can benefit greatly from being aware of what comprises a car’s electrical system and what can be done to keep it running smoothly.

Parts of a Car’s Electrical System

There are several key components that make up a car’s electrical system. The battery, alternator, and starter are the three main parts of any vehicle’s electrical system; all three of these parts work together to start a car and keep it running. The starter and the alternator specifically draw power from the battery to start the engine. If even one part of the electrical system isn’t working properly, the entire vehicle may be unable to start.

Signs It’s Time for Electrical Service

There are many signs that vehicle owners may run into that can indicate that it’s time to bring a car into an auto repair shop in the Longmont area for service. The most common sign of electrical trouble is a vehicle that will not start at all. Often times, this is the sign of a bad battery. If jumping the battery doesn’t work, however, the problem could lie within the starter or alternator.

Another common sign that it’s time for electrical service is when a car’s lights start flickering or won’t fully illuminate when the car is turned on. This could refer to lights on the dashboard not properly working, or even headlights going dim inexplicably.

Electrical System Maintenance Tips

To better maintain a car’s electrical system, there are a few tips that car owners can take that are quite simple. For example, taking the time to clean off the connections on a battery from time to time can help a prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the car’s starter. Furthermore, having a car’s electrical system completely tested every couple of years is a great way to find and repair problems while they’re still small and inexpensive.

By keeping this information in mind, any car owner can keep their car’s electrical system running smoothly. As a result, they an experience fewer breakdowns and potentially save money on repair costs as well.