Ask the Car Doctor

Hot Summer, Cool Car

Summer’s coming in and sweaters are coming off. In the cold winter months you dreamed about the hot summer trips you have planned with your family and friends.

Make sure your dreams come true! Don’t let your car be the reason you miss out on your plans or stress you out.

Follow our Summer Maintenance Checklist and your car will be the least of your worries.

1. Check Tire Pressure or Risk High Blood Pressure

Air pressure changes due to changes in temperature. It is an easy check that you can do yourself. Last thing you want to do is change a flat tire in the scorching heat. Unless this is what you look forward to in the summer.

2. Use The Right Lube For Your Engine

Sure, you check your oil change every 3,000 miles. However, even if you haven’t hit the change miles, you should consider getting an oil change if you are pulling a trailer or traveling long distances in the hot summer weather. Oil becomes more fluid with heat so you should check to make sure the oil you are using is thick enough to protect your engine.

3. Check Your Coolant Or Risk Being Un-Cool

Your engine gets very hot when it is running, and even more so when you add in high temperatures. It is absolutely crucial to check your coolant levels and to top it off. This way your engine will stay cool along with your temper.

4. Does Your AC Work?

Every summer, there are tons of drivers who enter their car sauna and flip on their AC to feel a blast of hot air. Don’t give yourself extra stress because you didn’t check to see if your AC works.

Summer is great, if you’re cool.

5. Cool Winter Tires! Too bad It’s Summer

So, get rid of your winter tires! They did their job, now change them out. Whatever tires you end up using, make sure to check your tread levels or shame yourself with a spare donut.

6. Summer Doesn’t Mean You Stop Wiping

When did anyone have the best chance to beat Muhammad Ali in a fight? Immediately, after he went 8 rounds with George Foreman in Rumble in the Jungle. Your wipers kept your windshield clear through the brutal winter, but after a bitter fight it needs a break. Unfortunately for your wipers, this means retirement cause a new wiper is in town.

7. What Does An Air Filter Do? Filters Air Duh!

You’re not alone. Most people have no clue what the benefits of replacing your air filter are. First, remember that gas prices go up in the summer. A new air filter will increase your fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Not only that, if you change your air filter every 12,000 miles, then you will extend the life of your engine in the long run. Don’t have a one summer fling with your car, have healthy long-distance relationship.

8. Be Clean!

It’s reasonable enough to slack off on the exterior cleanliness of your car in the winter months. Most people won’t judge. However, when summer hits and your car is still dripping in the mascara left over from its winter breakup, well it’s just sad.

9. Be safe and Have Fun!

It’s summertime soon and we here at Gregs Too hope it is a BLAST and make sure if you need any car fixes or maintenance, feel free to visit any of our locations near you!

 

 

YOUR ENGINE COOLING SYSTEM

Today we want to take a quick look vehicle cooling systems.

What is it?
The engine cooling system affects your car’s overall dependability and engine longevity. Cooling systems have advanced over the years with new coolant formulations and new radiator designs and materials. If you suspect a problem with your cooling system, you should check it immediately.

What does it do?
The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate heat to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.

Typical Wear and Tear
Factors that affect the replacement of cooling system parts include:

  • Driving habits
  • Operating conditions
  • Type of vehicle
  • Type of coolant
  • Frequency of regular maintenance such as coolant changes

Symptoms

  • Overheating
  • Sweet smell
  • Leaks
  • Repeatedly need to add fluid

YOUR CAR’S EMISSION SYSTEM

What is it?
Your car’s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in all sorts of operating conditions. A steady or flashing warning light on your vehicle dashboard indicates a problem that is currently happening and may require immediate attention. Failure to do so can reduce your gas mileage or cause your vehicle to pollute.

What does it do?

Your car’s emission system controls the emissions, exhaust and pollutants (including gasoline vapors escaping from the fuel tank), using an array of sensors, computerized engine controls and the exhaust components. The emission system substantially reduces harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and, by law, must be maintained in operating condition.

Typical Wear and Tear
Some factors affecting the emission system include:

  • Driving and atmospheric conditions
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle age
  • Type of spark plug electrode material
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Poor quality fuel
  • Damaged or worn sensors
  • Dry-rotted or cracked vacuum hoses

Windshield washer fluid

Windshield washer fluidAs the colder months are coming washer fluid if not mixed correctly can and will damage your washer fluid system by freezing.  When freezing it will burst the lines, tank, nozzles, and pump.  Make sure the washer fluid is good to at least 0 degrees.  There are alternatives at most auto supply stores and retail outlets that are formulated for the winter months.  These alternatives have more alcohol or antifreeze in them to help in window deicing.  Never put water in the washer fluid system during cold months.